Posts Tagged 'Prospect Park'

Rodentia

IMG_2163There’s a debate around here about which of our rodent friends this young’un is. There were at least ten of them strung out along about thirty feet of paved path in Prospect Park recently, most of them with their eyes still closed, some not moving, others scurrying regardless of their eyelids. I don’t know what the heck happened to result in them being there, when they should have been still tucked away in some nest or nook.IMG_2175Even with eyes closed, this one found something to eat. It turns out that mice and baby rats are similar looking. They are, after all, related. I got 10/12 on a first pass at this mouse/rat test. But were these rats or mice?IMG_2143Luckily, the three dogs that came through while I was there were all leashed, as they are always supposed to be in the Ravine. I moved several of these little rodents off the path, depositing them together.

Nesting

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.

Snout’s Up

Chelydra serpentinaSmall-to-medium-sized Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) peeking from the Duckweed and algae atop the perhaps deceptively named Lullwater in Prospect today.

Update: On second thought, and thoughtful suggestion, this is probably just another Red-eared Slider. All that yellow in the chin wouldn’t be on a Snapping T.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Nycticorax nycticoraxNycticorax nycticorax.

The Birds Certainly Do It

Melanerpes carolinusRed-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) throwing out some wood chips from a nest cavity. Both birds were working on the excavation, and defending it from cavity-stealing Starlings. Polioptila caeruleaOne of a pair of tiny Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (Polioptila caerulea) crafting a nest of spider webs and lichen. Yes, that’s right, spider webs and lichen.Zenaida macrouraMeanwhile, having gotten the jump on practically everybody, early nesting Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) already have young ones clamoring for food.Zenaida macroura

And the bees evidently do it, too, although rather differently. A feral honeybee hive was just a few trees away from the Blue-grays.

Blooms, Bugs, Walks

quinceOrnamental quince with pollinator butt.

Which reminds me: I will be doing a Blooms and Bugs walk in Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 11th for NYC Wildflower Week.

I’ll also be doing a sunrise Listening Tour for them on May 9th.

And while we’re on the topic of walks, it’s the Jane’s Walk weekend (NYC and globally). Tomorrow I march across Prospect into Green-Wood in honor of James S.T. Stranahan. Come join the fun.

Some Brooklyn Mammals

Sciurus carolinensisSquirrel sunning. Procyon lotorRaccoon snoozing.
Tamias striatusChipmunk being very still.Marmota monaxWoodchuck being elusive. Check out the ground-hogging here on this slope: a duplex! The animal was peeking out of the nearer, top, hole, but vanished into the burrow before I could turn on my cameraSciurus carolinensisSquirrel eating a… wait a minute, that’s a green-dyed Easter egg, more than a week after Easter!


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