Posts Tagged 'birding'

Raptors vs. Squirrels

Another adult Red-tailed Hawk, another Green-Wood squirrel.
Sunday above Sylvan Water.
How many squirrels are in the cemetery? Not as many, I would guess, as in Prospect Park.While looking for interesting birds lately I’ve come across a couple of squirrels doing their best to lay low inside conifers. On Sunday, on the other hand, five of them ran towards me before breaking this way and that, including up into a bush. They were acting like new-borns but weren’t. Most of Saturday’s snow was already gone.

Raptor Wednesday

It snowed on Saturday. Twice. In between, I happened to be watching several squirrels capering across the park from my window. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught something fly at a bush and then away, turning up to a tree limb. Several squirrels made a racket up there before retreating.
It was a young Cooper’s hawk. Seemed small, so probably a male. Female Cooper’s are notably larger than the males.
He had caught a bird in the bush. I think House Sparrow.

Circled the tree to try get some shots through the branches. The hawk ate unconcerned about the world on the ground, children riding sleds, snow blowers blowing, cars making their awful din.

Sylvan Raptor

Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday I spotted raptors at the gory work of eating. First up is a mature Red-tailed Hawk in Green-Wood at the Sylvan Water.
The unfortunate meal is a Grey Squirrel.
I used a very large tree as a blind to get close as the weather went from cloudy to breaking sunny to cloudy and rainy.

Raptor Wednesday

Cooper’s Hawk!
This bird was still up here two hours later. I think it was digesting breakfast.

***
Uncivil disobedience: a new paradigm in Hong Kong, or how do you fight the awful might of the state?

American Wigeon

Male.
Female.

Choate says wigeon is from the French vigeon, for a whistling duck. Possibly from the Latin vipeo for small crane.

Mammal Monday

Directly above this very cautious squirrel was a
A Red-tailed Hawk (and some obstreperous Blue Jays).
The hawk had a very full crop. So digesting and chillaxing.
In the same tree as the hawk, another squirrel.

H. histrionicus

Brooklyn has gone avian rarities this winter. A Varied Thrush, a bird of the northwest into Alaska, has been hanging out in Prospect Park. A female Painted Bunting has been enjoying the amenities at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is also hosting a Black-headed Gull amid the thousands of Ring-billed Gulls who roost there.
And, something I actually have a picture of, a Harlequin Duck has been bobbing and diving in Sheepshead Bay.
A little bigger than the Buffleheads he’s been hanging out with. Histrionicus histrionicus generally like the rocky coastlines and strong waves found further north. The placid bay here, bulkheaded on three sides, is definitely not typical habitat.
Histrionicus, you say? Histrio, actor, dressed for the part. Histrionic, as in breeding plumage. Harlequinesque.

Meanwhile, what happened to the Black-capped Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches?


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