IMG_4379I was surprised to see one of the best birding spots in Green-Wood Cemetery shaved down to the bone recently. This was an impenetrable thicket along the flank of the hill overlooking the Sylvan Water, perfect for songbirds and woodchuck.

Two woodchuck dens are exposed here now, but then most of the cemetery’s dens are out in the open, not buried behind dense underbrush. There’s very little underbrush in Green-Wood: it is, after all, a garden cemetery. This is why, in general, it is not as good bird habitat as Prospect Park, which has more woodlands and understory. Many birds like to forage at the edges of woodlands, which they can retreat to when threatened. I was watching some sparrows, grass specialists, and noting how they kept inside or just at the edge of a shadow of a tree, making them harder to see.

In Green-Wood recently, I counted five separate woodchuck dens. I only saw one of whistle-pigs, though.Marmota monax

Marmota monax

Marmota monaxA week later, another sighting, this one rather smaller. One of this year’s crop? It looked at us and moseyed behind a large tree.

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