Posts Tagged 'birding'

New Robins

Turdus migratoriusOut of the nest, still being fed by the parents. Turdus migratoriusFledged, but less a flier than a hopper and a climber at the moment. People often think birds need help at this stage — can’t fly, looks helpless, no sign of the parents — but they usually don’t. The parents are near, but keeping away from us. Turdus migratoriusA few days later, another in another park. Younger, fluffier. (All approaches here via telephoto lens.)

Raptor Wednesday

No pictures today, but I do have the link to the 55 Water Street Peregrines. There are four young this year, still looking like fluffy off-white chickens, but that is changing rapidly. When typing this (last night), I pulled up the page expecting to see nothing in the dark, but there was enough ambient light from the City that Never Snoozes to see a clump of youngsters and one of the adults standing guard outside the box. So you should check anytime. Catch a feeding.

The House of Detention Peregrine scrape has no camera, but I assume things are at a similar stage there. The local church has been having some renovation done, so I’ve only seen Peregrines on its steeple twice this spring, the last time yesterday, after quite a long time. In years past, this has a standard post for the birds, who can see the jailhouse nest from there.

And always remember to keep one eye on the sky. On Sunday at Marine Park, I noticed something dark and large in the air. Binoculars revealed it to be a sub-adult Bald Eagle. The locals were not pleased. Several gulls were screaming as they circled and swooped after the enormous bird, but the real surprise was an Osprey from the nearby nest platform. It helped to chase the eagle away. An Osprey is a big bird, but it was dwarfed by the eagle.

Monday Morning Preening

Egretta thulaThis is an extreme telephoto, but the bright yellow toes here are a give-away: Snowy Egret (Egretta thula). This bird is a little like a miniaturized version of the Great Egret (Ardea alba), but with black bill/yellow toes to the Great’s yellow bill/black toes. Both species were almost hunted to extinction for their breeding plumes, long wispy feathers that were stuck to lady’s hats into the early part of the last century.

Gone fishing, worming

Nycticorax nycticorax, Larus delawarensis

Raptor Wednesday

Falco peregrinusYou can eyeball the birds at the Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ, pretty closely, albeit through fencing and netting. A Peregrine (Falco peregrinus). Falco sparveriusAmerican Kestrel (Falco sparverius). The animals on display aren’t releasable, but many of the birds bought here for rehabilitation are returned to the wild. Cathartes auraTurkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). The facility, surrounded by Great Swamp NWR, operates on a minimal budget, so you may want to consider donating to their good work.


Butorides virescensGreen Heron (Butorides virescens) sitting on eggs out over the water. Hirundo rusticaIt rare to see Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) on the ground. These were stuffing their bills full of mud for their cup nests. Talk about the importance of varied habitats and general all-around messiness! This is a patch where the stone border of the Lullwater has completely disappeared, creating a small, but richly goopy mud beach thick with organic muck: it was so important for them that they landed just a few feet away from us repeatedly to get more.Hirundo rusticaThere are no barns here, but the underside of bridges will do nicely.Troglodytes aedonA House Wren (Troglodytes aedon), between choruses of his mighty song. Right next to his nest, which, fittingly for a bird named for its association with human structures, is in the back end of a street lamp housing.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Nycticorax nycticoraxNycticorax nycticorax.


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