Rough-winged Swallows

Surprised by half a dozen of these earlier this week.
Barn and Tree Swallows are the more usual locals, with an occasionally Rough-winged in the mix during migration. But they do nest in the city: Staten Island, the Bronx, possibly Queens, according to the last breeding bird atlas, done in the Oughts. (The Third Atlas is underway.)
The species has been expanding its range northwards in the northeast and midwest over the last century. It’s a cavity nester, dependent on vertical surfaces like banks, gorges, even human structures. (Bank Swallows have declined: they restrict themselves to sandy banks).
What a bonus they were perched, since swallows are real challenge to photograph in flight.

***

The rush of people into Green-Wood Cemetery has resulted in all the privileged scumbags treating it as their personal playground even as funerals have increased. Tree-climbing, jogging, dog-walking, yelling into phones, clamoring over mausoleums, stealing flowers from graves, feeding animals… yesterday the cemetery’s president said they’d have to close, as other cemeteries have, to non-family members if things didn’t get better. With temps in the 70s this weekend, it will be a test indeed.

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