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Orioles

The ribbon marks a nest. Both parents were present recently.
The male seemed to have a bit of food for the nestlings.

Baltimore Orioles have nested in this linden tree for at least two previous breeding seasons. Do they ever recycle their old nests? Or the materials contained in them? There’s a lot of human-made material incorporated in their woven bag nests, including ribbon (many bunches of flowers in a cemetery…) and string. This stuff doesn’t break down as easily as the more traditional nesting material of grasses and plant fibers.

New Wasp

Another Vespula ground yellowjacket species in the ‘hood! Southern Yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa. This is a queen. She was probably looking for a nice hole at the base of this old cherry to start a nest. This is the first report for this species in Brooklyn on iNaturalist; they’re recorded on Staten Island, Manhattan, and further out on Long Island. That makes five Vespula species I’ve seen here in the borough.

Raptor Wednesday

Red-tailed Hawks can’t fly in the vicinity of Green-Wood’s Sylvan Water without Common Grackles going after them. The Grackles are nesting and want you to know about it.
Passing Osprey don’t get the same treatment.
Peregrine on the car service antenna.
Female Kestrel on same at another time.

Recent Pollination Events

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Two-Spotted Lady Beetles

Above two pictures of same individual seen last week.
Another individual seen on May 3.
Last week, in same patch of milkweed as the first specimen seen above (in first two pictures.
Aphids, yum!

Only the last of these has two spots, but Adalia bipunctata also comes in a black-with-four-red-markings form.

Click Here

At first, I thought this nearly two-inch-long Eastern Eyed Click Beetle crawling up a London plane tree was actually two beetles. This is a lot of beetle. I’ve seen Alaus oculatus before, but I have never gotten such a close view.

The larvae of this species preys on other beetle larvae found in decaying wood. The adults don’t eat much, evidently.

Thank you, contributors!

New Fish Crow

There has been a lot of Fish Crow activity in the neighborhood for weeks now. I hear them all the time. Yesterday, this Eastern Kingbird wasn’t too happy about it.

Well, well, well! A wing-flapping fledgling being fed. I don’t know where the nest is, but it must not be too far away.

The Fisher

The patience of a heron inspires me to wait patiently for the bird to come my way. Both Great Egrets and Green Herons tend to patrol the edge of Sylvan Water in a similar fashion, moving slowly around the edge with periodical pauses before quick, lunging thrusts of their bills into the water. Sometimes, when one is still and/or partially shielded by a tree or a mausoleum, the birds will continue to stalk closer and closer and closer to you.

Miscellany

Two Red-eyed Vireos seen in close proximity to each other, and no territorial tsuris between them, suggesting nesting.

Dark Paper Wasp.

House Wren.

Sylvan Jumping Spider.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker holes on a tuliptree. In Brooklyn, I’ve now found the sign of these birds on 27 tree species I can name and three I can only get to genus.

The Two-spotted Lady Beetle comes in a black form with four spots.

See the little spiky bits emerging from the male Asian Lady Beetle’s elyatra? This is Green Beetle Hanger (Hesperomyces virescens), a parasitic ascomycete fungus. Doesn’t seem to be typically fatal, which may be a bad thing given that ALBs are invasive. Finding it on the majority of ALBs in these patches of common milkweed in Green-Wood.

Raptor Wednesday

Wet and harried by Blue Jays.

Working up a pellet?

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