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When I started this nature-watching thing, I had no idea there were so many spiders out there. Tutelina genus above.
Or that they would be such a challenge to identify. I think this is a female Striped Lynx Spider (Oxyopes salticus).
I was attempting a closer shot when she jumped. Not unexpectedly, but it wasn’t my approach. She’d grabbed a fly.
And on the same plant, a male Striped Lynx Spider (Oxyopes salticus).
Or that so many would be runners and jumpers instead of orb-web builders. Another tentative ID: Eastern Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus).
Couldn’t get the right angle for this one.
Putnam’s Jumping Spider (Phidippus putnami).
Pardosa thin-legged wolf spider with egg case.
Crab spider.
Orbweaver, but which one? You’d think with this distinctive pattern this would be easy to sort out.


Some more photos of our dumpster-diving parent and child.
Pink mouth = fledgling.

Raptor Wednesday

On the fire-escape recently. This is probably the young Red-tailed Hawk that has been all over Sunset Park, including our roof, this past winter and spring.
I didn’t dare move the screened window, of course, so these all have a muted look.
More so with the cell phone camera. Surprisingly, we haven’t seen raptors on this fire-escape all that much in the half dozen years we’ve lived here. Surprising, because, if you’ve followed along here, we see a lot of raptors around here, and the roof has had its share.
Pigeons, House Sparrows, Starlings, Mourning Doves, of course. Even, once, a lost Rosy-faced Lovebird. Also, a male American Kestrel once cached a bit of bird prey leftovers in the corner….
This bird was born last year. Two red tail feather have come in so far. The rest will follow in the months ahead.
Under many layers of paint, the old plaque on the fire-escape says “Any one placing any encumbrance on this balcony shall be fined ten dollars”. This building is about a century old and the sign may well be, too.

Ravens Continued

Dumpster diving with the Common Ravens.
Three of the five alighted on the big dumpsters near Bush Terminal the other day. Two, a youngster and an adult, stuck around.
This apple core was of particular interest to the youngster.
A denunciating angel of a Northern Mockingbird interrupted that.
But there’s always more where that came from.


Hardest working birds in show business, the Northern Mockingbird. Here one goes after a young (note pink mouth) Common Raven.
And here’s another going after another member of the family of five waterfront Common Ravens. Ravens are about the size of Red-tailed Hawks. Mockingbirds chase Red-tails, too.

Highlights of A Walk

Have seen this one’s hobbit-hole for ages, but this was first time I’ve seen the beast at home.
Spotted Lanternfly nymphs are all over the place.
This young Mallard race-walked across the water in a way I’ve never seen before. Headed to its mother, who splashed down on the left.
Fledgling House Finch (left) harnessing male adult (center) while House Sparrow pays no attention grooming (right).
Mites hitching ride on Bumblebee.
Mouthful of food and some fiber in there, as well.
Wolf spider hauling her egg case.
Second fish in less than 60 seconds.

Vespula squamosa

This is the second spring I’ve seen a queen Southern Yellowjacket in Green-Wood.
The species is parasitic on other Vespula ground yellowjacket species. They typically usurp Eastern Yellowjacket colonies. But, as “facultative temporary social parasites,” they can also found their own colonies as well.
Their northern range is about here in lower New York. On iNaturalist, there are 12 NYC observations. Every borough but the Bronx has them reported. They can be found down to Honduras, making them the mostly southerly of Vespula species. The stripes on the mesoscutum are distinctive, in its range, among the Vespulas.

Host and Diners

A knee-high sapling of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) has kept me busy this spring.
I’ve seen Locust Leaf-miner Beetles (Odontota dorsalis) on it a couple of times.(The strips of eaten-away leaf are intriguing; I don’t think they’re the work of the beetle.)
This is a leaf-blotch miner moth larva, Chrysaster ostensackenella, I think.
Locust Sawfly (Euura tibialis) larvae. Black Locust was one of the first North American plants taken to Europe. It was planted widely and is now highly invasive, especially in Central Europe. This sawfly went with the plant and is now found across the Atlantic as well. We’re all so familiar with invasive here that we forget it’s sometimes a two-way street.

On Wednesday, I passed by again to see what was cooking, but the plant and surrounding vegetation had been cut back. Damn!

“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, baring a bowl of lather…”
Why, yes, this year is the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses in book form, and today, June 16th, is the date the book takes place, so here’s a Broad-banded Hornet Fly (Spilomyia alcimus) because why not. Why it’s holding up its forefeet, I don’t know.

Raptor Wednesday

Welcome to the Class of 2022. Green-Wood’s two Red-tailed Hawk nests are showing their offspring. This is the sole bird of the Sylvan Water nest. That russety chest coloring is a mark of a young Red-tail.
A bit younger, this nestling perches at the top of the other G-W nest along with a parent. A second nestling was further down the tree.
The Welcome Wagon is reporting for duty.


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