Raptor Wednesday

A Red-tailed Hawk in the Bronx. This is one of the family of three fledglings seen earlier.

Over the weekend, saw about a dozen Red-tailed Hawks on a road trip to Ithaca. Almost all were perched on phone poles. One was sitting atop a Cornell U dorm. Another was circling below a cloud of Turkey Vultures at Taughannock Falls.

At the Stewart Street Bridge over the Fall Creek gorge, I noticed this nest in plain view. Further research revealed it to be a Red-tailed Hawk nest….No sign of the hawks, since it’s already post-fledgling. The poison ivy beginning to turn red reminds us that fall is coming.

A side-trip to Montezuma NWR revealed half a dozen osprey, including what was probably a new family of four overhead and loudly vocal. In the far distance, a Bald Eagle was identifiable from its white tail. A younger eagle, without the white head and tail feathers, was perched nearer. In between bouts of searching for a Least Bittern, I saw it in the air over the water.

Meanwhile, at the famed Sapsucker Woods, I was unable to identify a falcon and one or two buteos. I lost the falcon while eating lunch; can’t have the binoculars collecting potato salad, you know.

On New York’s pay-to-play system, or how real estate is master of us all. Out-of-staters, just remember this when the dreadful Andrew Cuomo starts putting out feelers for a Presidential run in 2020.

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