Field Notes: Prospect

I don’t have a telephoto lens, so my shots here on the blog are usually macro and non-avian. But I captured some not terribly bad shots of birds recently while walking around Prospect Park Lake.
There is usually a cohort of feral domesticated ducks to be found around Prospect Park Lake. Ducks are birds that take readily to hybridization, either through the work of humans or on their own. (Rather complicates the definition of species.) This one has the most beautiful, iridescent purple blue color, which doesn’t come through as well as it should in this picture.
The American robin, Turdus migratorius, is of course everywhere in the park now. You must know the story of the naming: English colonialists homesick for the old country named this new world species after their familiar Eurasian robin, Erithacus rubecula, which is smaller and redder, and really looks nothing like this. This one was evidently resting.
Red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus; this is the male with its anarchist flag of a shoulder. It’s much rarer to see the female; she looks quite different, somewhat like a large streaky sparrow. This of course helps to conceal her amid the reeds when she is nesting. One of my favorite birds.
A spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia. Uncommon, but seen now and then this time of year and further into spring, teetering along the shoreline. One of the few sandpipers that show up in-land.
House wren, Troglodytes aedon. Easier heard than seen, sometimes.

In the same area, on the southern flank of Lookout Hill, while searching for the wren, I noticed a tawny clump and for a second thought I’d found some very interesting bark.
Eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus.

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