In less than a decade, the invasive Viburnum Leaf Beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) has spread throughout most of New York State. They devour the leaves of viburnum species, key understory plants of our woodlands; a couple years infestation can kill the plant. I’ve seen the damage they do in Prospect Park, skeletonizing every leaf on a bush. In Brooklyn Bridge Park they’re trying to control things by hand.
But this was the first time I’ve run across one of the adult beetles. Yesterday in Prospect Park.
Published June 19, 2015
Tags: birding, birds, Prospect Park
How many Green Heron (Butorides virescens) nests are there in Prospect Park? I saw one, heard about another, and suspect a third.
It’s always dark under this bridge. This Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) nest, made of mud and muck-matter, is a year old and being used again. Nearby is a two-year-old nest that is being re-used again after a vacancy last year.
Here are some gathering mud like the masons they are.
Published June 1, 2015
Tags: mammals, Prospect Park
Some may find this a textbook case of cute, not to mention the adaptability of some animals to live off of our garbage, but all this processed fat and sugar can’t be very good for the animal. After all, just because you like to eat something doesn’t mean it’s good for you, as many of us can attest and supermarkets full of fake foods prove. The signs around Prospect Park urging people not to feed bread to ducks and geese are a case in point; such a diet is actually harmful to waterfowl, resulting in malformed wings. Yet a stupid tradition persists, as parents continue to make their children complicit in poisoning animals they believe they are helping.
Nutella, laughably, was claiming that this stuff was perfect for a healthy breakfast until a class action suit ordered them to cease and desist such blathering nonsense. But it sure does know the not-so-secret key to mammalian taste buds: fat, sugar, salt!
There’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.Even 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?Luckily, 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.
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.