Raptor Wednesday

A scrum of noisy Starlings on the ground suddenly ceased their jabbering. I looked around the sky and the trees. Nothing out of the ordinary, but my raptor senses were activated. I was a few yards from the 9th Street/PPW entrance to Prospect Park. I don’t know if this female Kestrel (Falco sparverius) had spooked the Starlings, but there she was. I’ve seen these little falcons on that same antenna before. Such relic roof-toppers are a good place to look for Kestrels here in Brooklyn. Nineteen century cornices to nest in and twentieth century antennas to perch on.  (Ruins of ancient civilization.)Then she dropped down a story to land on this curlicue, where the whole park was splayed out before her.

Another month of raptor rapture. Highlights of March included, amidst 105 sightings: a young Bald Eagle passing by overhead while I was in Prospect Park (the third Baldie Ive seen overhead in Brooklyn over the years); the return of the Peregrine, or at least a Peregrine, to St. Michael’s church, a sight not seen since 2/8; two Merlins at once in Green-Wood; the juvenile Northern Goshawk, sparring with a Red-shouldered Hawk. And a week on the Middle Peninsula of Virginia, abutting the Chesapeake, where Bald Eagles and especially Osprey were hard to avoid. Our basecamp on the Piankatank River overlooked an occupied Osprey nest platform; walking out on the dock brought two more occupied platforms in view. A solo Osprey perched frequently on one of the dock’s pilings.  There being less Wednesdays than raptor sightings, I have a backlog of pictures to get up here.

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