Daily Raptor

Falco sparveriusI don’t see raptors single every day here in Brooklyn, but it sure seems like it averages out that way. Take this weekend. Yesterday morning, before I was fully awake, I looked out the window and saw a Cooper’s Hawk above a confusion of pigeons over towards 4th Avenue. After breakfast: there was a male American Kestrel perched on the tall antenna above the intersection of 40th Street and 5th Avenue. He was flushed by a pair of crows, who flew over to St. Michael’s, which is where I often see Peregrines. This antenna is usually festooned with Starlings; there was a Red-tail on it Friday and a Merlin has been spotted up there as well.

Later in the morning, a Red-shouldered Hawk flew by the apartment! That was a first. I’ve seen them before (here’s a pretty good picture from Croton Point) but not from my view up here on the Harbor Hill Moraine.

The Red-shouldered was heading away by the time I got my binoculars on it, probably the worst view of a bird you could ask for, but over the park it wheeled around, showing me the tell-tale striped tail and “windows” on the wings. That makes for seven species of raptor I’ve seen from my apartment window: Red-tailed Hawk, Peregrine, Merlin, Kestrel, Cooper’s Hawk, Osprey, and now Red-shouldered Hawk.

Accipiter cooperiiLater in the day, I actually got out of the house. In Green-Wood, I had excellent views of a Cooper’s that went head-first after a female Belted Kingfisher, who screamed bloody murder while escaping. A Red-tailed Hawk ambled by as the Cooper’s parked itself in a Sweetgum, as pictured above. Falco sparveriusLater, a Kestrel landed on the neo-gothic pile of Green-Wood’s main entrance. This was also a male, so could have been the same bird I’d seen six hours, and 15 blocks, earlier.

On Saturday, I saw Red-tailed Hawks over Sunset Park and in Green-Wood, where I also had a Cooper’s overhead, and a Merlin jumping between three trees.

I tweet my Daily Raptor sightings at Twitter.

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