Posts Tagged 'birding'


This Common Grackle with both a broken lower bill and a piece of string stuck onto its foot.

By The People a new impeachment campaign. Because we can’t depend on politicians.

Latte Ducks

These two ducklings, still with stubbs of wings, swam against the flow of tumbling Fall Creek to team up with their mother on another rock.This foam looks a little like the froth atop latte or one of those other coffee products.

Good segue to this, then? Caffeine, like other drugs we take, passes through us and enters both fresh and ocean water via sewer systems. There’s a pretty limited understanding of all what all these uppers and downers and other chemicals are doing to other lifeforms, but bets on it not being good?

Birds in the Rain

Yes, the bird has caught a little fish here, one of several seen captured and swallowed with dispatch.This Great Blue Heron flew some thousand feet across Beebe Lake in Ithaca to chase away another Great Blue that had just flown in. I would have thought there was room enough for two.Baby flycatchers?!This Cedar Waxwing posing haiku-ready made sorties out over the lake for insects.

Least Bittern III

The first time I saw a Least Bittern was on Padre Island, Texas. It was a brief glimpse, the bird jumping from one clump of reeds to another. The second time was strange: the bird was high up in a tree in Prospect Park.Third time is a charm of a cliche, but what a sighting! Note those long toes. The bird, a juvenile (no dark crown), stilt-walked above the water by grabbing nearby foliage. They don’t have to wade like other herons.This was up at Montezuma NWR, where a fellow bird-dog called me back twice to make sure I spotted the bird, since it kept scooting back into the reeds.The binomial Ixobrychus exilis can be broken down nicely: the genus name might be translated as “reed boomer” and exilis simply means small. A Green Heron, a larger bird than the Least, seen a few minutes earlier nearby.

In New York? Today is the last weekday you can register to vote for the vital primaries held on September 13th.


This Yellow-crowned Night Heron was belying its name and hunting during the day. Fiddler crabs were the bird’s target. Stalking oh-so-slowly until the final jab with this heavy bill. The crabs were swallowed whole. Watched half a dozen meet this fate over ten minutes. These herons nest here in the city, usually at its edges. In general, I don’t see them inland as much as Black-crowned Night Herons.

And, boy, do they like crabs! This Cornell page on diet lists ten different types of crabs, along with much else that goes into their gullets.

As a student of American history, I’ve taken it as a given there’s a deep state, founded in 1974 with the National Security Act. It’s not the “Deep State” Trump and his Fox choir rail about, but it certainly has grown some way beyond democracy.


The splat, the skin, & the pit.

Raptor Wednesday

Anticlimactic: that’s what the post-fledgling scene was for the #BrooklynKestrels. Two months of cornice work, followed by two weeks of sightings of a trio of fledglings. Then nada. Well, not quite true. The male parent has been spotted sporadically on the large car service antenna one long avenue block from the nest site. This is his old k-perch, but he rarely used it during nesting. The female parent was been sighted a few times in July, too, but I suspect she’s moved to her own territory. One or two of the female fledglings were spotted, too. Afraid we’ll never know where they went… or if they survived. Odds are not good. One statistic I’ve seen is that two of three raptors don’t live to their first birthday. But that’s an average.

Six months of American Kestrels outside our windows! Often right across the street, perching atop a raised fist of London Plane. Half a year of flying, screaming, killing, copulating, and killing some more (my goodness, they scythed through the local songbird population). Also hovering over passing Fish Crows; driving Red-tailed Hawks from the scene; stashing prey on a rooftop lined with solar panels and inside a hollowed knot in the Plane tree across the street (tiny little songbird feed sticking out it). What a glorious experience.

Keep your eyes on the sky. And the local cornices.


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  • Greater Angle-wing katydid calling outside from middle of block. Dzt! 5 hours ago
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