Two Nests

Passer domesticusWhy any House Sparrow would want to build a nest in a tree instead of the innumerable cross-bars of stop lights, I don’t know. But there you go. Passer domesticus nests are big affairs, considering the size of the birds, but they are usually inside a human-made structure, so we don’t see the weaver-y details. That’s the proud papa on the left there, on the branch dipping down. Passer domesticusThe clumpy, grassy nest; unseen is the hole in the side for entry.Pandion haliaetusMoving up in scale… While searching for the Common Ravens often seen around Bush Terminal Park, I happened to notice an Osprey. Then another. They’re nesting on the industrial coast of Brooklyn! I think this is a first for this part of the city. Nesting platforms were put up in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Bush Terminal Park last year, but have had no takers. (I think the one in BBP is far too close to the teeming shore.) But these very tall lights north of Bush Terminal, over an unused parking lot, seem to fit the bill. The birds were gathering nesting material while I watched through a chain link fence. You can see a piece of plastic in the nest above. One bird was flying with what looked like a large sheet of cardboard, and, although a very large bird, was having trouble with the aerodynamics of it. In fact, the bird barely seemed to be moving in the air; it released the load before getting up to the nest. Pandion haliaetusIt turns out that I can see the nest from up here in my own nest on the Harbor Hill Moraine; “see” is generous here, as it’s at the limit of my various lenses, with plenty of heat distortion:IMG_6723I need a high-end spotting scope.IMG_6725With this morning’s dawn’s early light and a helpful barge’s white cabin behind the nest. That’s Ellis Island’s southern end across the Upper Harbor.

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