Posts Tagged 'birding'

Sunset Park Osprey

Pandion haliaetusWe’re at the limits of my optical abilities here, but it looks like the Ospreys nesting atop a light tower on the parking lot of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal have had at least one youngster. Note that spotty back; young birds have this scaling of the feathers. Pandion haliaetusPossibly two. One of these birds flew off while I was observing yesterday afternoon, heading for the bay.

I stumbled upon this new nest back in April. While Osprey nest at Marine Park and Jamaica Bay, this is the first time any have set up housekeeping along the Upper Bay-side of Brooklyn (since when, the arrival of Europeans?). What a success story Osprey have been after taking such a wallop from DDT! To encourage their recovery, many a nesting platform was set up along the coast. In fact, platforms were put up in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Bush Terminal Park not so long ago, although they’ve had no takers; they may be too close to civilization even for a species that shows such a high tolerance for humans. However, the vast, mostly empty parking lot this nest towers above shows the birds’ adaptability. The under-utilization of the SBMT is clearly working in their favor, if not Brooklyn’s economy.

Young Cardinal

Cardinalis cardinalisIn a Dogwood.

Water Birds

Ardea herodiasA Great Blue Heron in up nearly to its knees. In birds, the knees are very close to the sternum; the next joint down the leg, which most people probably think is the knee, is actually the heel.

What you can’t see here are all the dragon- and damselflies going about their business as the big bird stalks. There happened to be another Ardea herodias in this same Van Cortland Park water, and they two were not playing well together. They flew at each other several times, a commotion of pterodactyls complete with barbaric yawls, until this one beat a looping retreat into the air. Bombycilla cedrorumCedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) hawking and hovering over the water from a vertical stick perch (unseen to the right). First time I’ve ever watched a waxwing hunting bugs like this.

More Crow

Corvus ossifragusFish Crow, Corvus ossifragus.

Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceusAgelaius phoeniceus.


Zenaida macrouraHere’s a variation on a common sight: a young Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). Zenaida macrouraNote how much darker it is than an adult. You might almost want to make it another species, although there aren’t really any other options on this end of the country.


Colaptes auratusWe’ve been lucky enough to catch the changing of the guard at this Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) nest a couple of times. Parent flies to hole, perching outside. Other parent bird flies out. First parent scoots in hole.Colaptes auratusThat black mark, the malar, on the cheek means this is the male. He spends a minute looking out before tucking deeper inside. Soon there should be some frantic shuttling of food to the nest by both adult birds.


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