Posts Tagged 'Green-Wood'

Red-tailed Two

Buteo jamaicensisContinuing our primer from the other day, we now present a mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis).Buteo jamaicensisCompared to that early sighting, this one look rather larger (even though it was higher up), making me think it was a female. Buteo jamaicensisPairs of hawks should be in the bonding and mating stage in the city now. There are a good number of Red-tails within NYC; it is a surprisingly common breeder in our parks; it’s also the species you’ll see perched along the edge of the interstate more often than not. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll see them every day. And it won’t necessarily just be in or over the big green spaces. Buteos are soaring hawks; their wide wings are particularly conducive to circling in rising air currents. I occasionally see them sweep-circling over Sunset Park’s flatlands, just as I used to see them over the Gowanus. Neither terrain suggests great hunting possibilities, but these soaring hawks are generalists. They usually go after mammals but are not above raiding that well-stocked larder of those urban chickens, the Rock Pigeons.

Red-tailed One

Buteo jamaicensisPerched near the edge of Green-Wood Cemetery, a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) surveys the scene. Buteo jamaicensisOne of the classic field marks of this species is the vaguely V-shaped white splotching on the back. Buteo jamaicensisThe band of darker splotches across the belly is another tell. (In the west, things get more complicated ~ there are some vary dark ones out there.)Buteo jamaicensisBut wait, where is this “red tail” noted in the very name of the beast? That, of course, is the tell-all field mark, usually nicely visible when perched or in the air (especially with the sun shining through it). But this bird is under a year old, Class of 2015: a juvenile, or perhaps more accurately given the speed of development, a sub-adult. It takes about a year for the brick-red/russet tail feathers to come in. I would also say that, based on the larger, fully adult bird seen later in the cemetery, that this is a male. In raptors, males are generally smaller.

Mushroom Monday

fungi1A warmer atmosphere has more moisture in it, meaning our winters are getting wetter. If it’s not cold, then that precipitation will be rain. And if there’s one thing that loves damp weather, it’s the fruiting bodies of fungi.fungi2fungi3fungi4

Springtime in Winter

Over the last week, the warm weather forced unexpected blooms.rose Roses in Sunset Park.cherryOne of half-a-dozen blooming cherry trees noted during a short walk in Green-Wood.cherry2The overcast light was definitely wintery, making these blooms look subdued and inducing melancholy in this flower-worshipper instead of the vernal joy of true spring.

Shagbark Hickory

Carya ovataCarya ovata produces thick-fleshed fruit, which dries out to hard four-quarter shell protecting the inner nutshell. Most of them fall to the ground before splitting, or being split/gnawed/chewed by our fellow mammals, but this one was still up on a twig.



So Many Hickories, So Little Time

CaryaAnd such small teeth.


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