Archive Page 2
Still at dawn, but with a different filter. These were taken after last weekend’s blizzard.
Tags: birding, birds, Central Park, owls
Bubo virginianus, bold as daylight.
Tags: birding, birds, Central Park
A Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) showing his generally covert namesake, the kinda-reddish belly, while going for the triple roll. What looks like sweet potato is a peanut butter concoction stuffed into a coconut shell at the feeders in the Ramble.
A long-shot from the apartment yesterday morning.
The night before, Friday, when the snow started, I was looking out the window about 11pm. It was a white night, the lights of the city bouncing down from the low clouds. A large bird came from overhead, just a story or two higher than my fourth floor. It coasted with a light, easy motion of the wings. Its direction was northward. Towards Green-Wood, perhaps, five blocks away.
It was a magical moment. I’ve only seen owls flying a few times, mostly taking off from their roost at twilight as they begin their nocturnal rounds.
So here was the night’s great hunter, deep inside Brooklyn. In truth, there have been Great Horned Owls roosting in Green-Wood for years now. The same ones? I’ve long wondered about their range. Clearly, they go beyond the cemetery fence. We knew that from their nesting seasons in Prospect Park. In 2011, they had two fledglings. As far as I know that’s been their only successful breeding season. Not so long ago I went listening for them after nightfall; nothing was heard above the traffic.
And then the surprise of the owl flying overhead.
There’s a surprising amount of bird activity out there. Pigeons are being driven laterally by the wind. An occasional gull is visible in the gull-colored sky. House Sparrows sweep across sidewalks and the gated little yards across the street on the hunt for food. Starlings flocking in a small Chinese Scholar tree gobble the hanging beans. This Sturnus vulgaris just landed on the window sill to drink up some snow.