Raptor Wednesday — Birthday Edition

I almost walked into this Red-tailed Hawk before seeing it. I backed up and went around a handy mausoleum, used another mausoleum for cover, and ended up within ten feet. For nearly fifteen minutes, I got to watch.That’s food bulging in the bird’s crop. You can also see the stuffed crop pushing the feathers out in the first shot above. And this is blood on the bill, throat, and talons/toes. (You can click on these images to make them larger on your screen.)As I watched, the bird lifted up its head and swallowed the material stored in the crop. Gulp!More tomorrow…

I see raptors almost every day. Sometimes two, sometimes three, four, or more. As soon as it’s light, I look through the scope at the taller of the the two smokestacks in Industry City to see if there is a Peregrine up there. Most days there is; sometimes there are two.

When I was a boy in the 1970s, this would not have been possible — anywhere on the East Coast. DDT had eradicated the regional subspecies of Peregrine Falcon. It wasn’t until the 1990s that NYC had a vibrant population of Peregrines, all because of captive-breeding and introductions. Tom Cade led that effort at the Peregrine Fund. He passed away recently at 91. Thank you, Mr. Cade!

2 Responses to “Raptor Wednesday — Birthday Edition”


  1. 1 Paul Lamb February 21, 2019 at 5:08 am

    ” (You can click on these images to make them larger on your screen.)” – I think the verb you want is “embiggen.”


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