Posts Tagged 'birding'

Raptor Wednesday Plus Pellets

Megaceryle alcyonThis Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) female was flying directly towards me across the Crescent Water when suddenly she freaked out. A Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) sped overhead, arrowing towards her. There was much shouting by the Kingfisher, who loudly went hither and yon as the foiled Coop parked itself in a Sweetgum. Accipiter cooperiiI see Cooper’s in the air a lot more than I see them perched. They can be quite flighty, barely perching for long when they’re on the winged hunt.Accipiter cooperiiThis one, though, stuck around long enough for me to get some pictures.Accipiter cooperii

pelletsWhile circling the hawk, I noticed these wet pellets on a bench. There sure look fishy, don’t they?pellets2I think the Kingfisher perched on the back of the bench and coughed up these scaly, bony hairballs.

Speaking of hairballs: how to deal with the reflexive liar Trump, who uses the big-lie strategy every day.

Pied-billed Grebe

Podilymbus podicepsOur smallest grebe species is the Pied-billed, Podilymbus podiceps.Podilymbus podicepsThere was one in a flotilla of Canada Geese the other day in the Valley Water.Podilymbus podiceps(Same bird here, just a lot of differing lighting situations.)

Two and a quarter million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump, and counting (freaking California is so slow!). Considering the blatant voter-suppression tactics Southern Republicans have perfected in the wake of the Republican majority of the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act, this is quite impressive.

Trump et al. are big-lying that the overwhelming vote against him is made up of “illegal voters.” Then surely he wants a recount in every state right? Of course not.

The Electoral College needs to step up and refuse to vote next month for this mendacious pestilence who has his fingers around the throat of democracy.

Daily Raptor

Falco sparveriusI don’t see raptors single every day here in Brooklyn, but it sure seems like it averages out that way. Take this weekend. Yesterday morning, before I was fully awake, I looked out the window and saw a Cooper’s Hawk above a confusion of pigeons over towards 4th Avenue. After breakfast: there was a male American Kestrel perched on the tall antenna above the intersection of 40th Street and 5th Avenue. He was flushed by a pair of crows, who flew over to St. Michael’s, which is where I often see Peregrines. This antenna is usually festooned with Starlings; there was a Red-tail on it Friday and a Merlin has been spotted up there as well.

Later in the morning, a Red-shouldered Hawk flew by the apartment! That was a first. I’ve seen them before (here’s a pretty good picture from Croton Point) but not from my view up here on the Harbor Hill Moraine.

The Red-shouldered was heading away by the time I got my binoculars on it, probably the worst view of a bird you could ask for, but over the park it wheeled around, showing me the tell-tale striped tail and “windows” on the wings. That makes for seven species of raptor I’ve seen from my apartment window: Red-tailed Hawk, Peregrine, Merlin, Kestrel, Cooper’s Hawk, Osprey, and now Red-shouldered Hawk.

Accipiter cooperiiLater in the day, I actually got out of the house. In Green-Wood, I had excellent views of a Cooper’s that went head-first after a female Belted Kingfisher, who screamed bloody murder while escaping. A Red-tailed Hawk ambled by as the Cooper’s parked itself in a Sweetgum, as pictured above. Falco sparveriusLater, a Kestrel landed on the neo-gothic pile of Green-Wood’s main entrance. This was also a male, so could have been the same bird I’d seen six hours, and 15 blocks, earlier.

On Saturday, I saw Red-tailed Hawks over Sunset Park and in Green-Wood, where I also had a Cooper’s overhead, and a Merlin jumping between three trees.

I tweet my Daily Raptor sightings at Twitter.

And did you hear about the kleptocracy?
Trump’s “Cauldron of Corruption.
Trump’s crony capitalism, which should really be called “gangster capitalism.”
A cheat sheet, of Trump’s scandals.
Trump is corrupt AF.

Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianusEverybody could probably do with some Bubo virginianus right about now, right? (Excepting the night mammals, of course!) Spotted this one today when a fire-alarm of White-breasted Nuthatches alerted me to SOMETHING being up.

American Black Ducks

Anas rubripesAnas rubripesAnas rubripesAmerican Black Ducks are year-’round birds, but they are now sharing the harbor with our wintering Buffleheads, Gadwall, Wigeon, and Red-breasted Mergansers. Soon, loons and grebes should be seen as well. There’s been a Humpback Whale in the harbor and up the Hudson, too, lately, although this blogger hasn’t seen a tail of it yet.Anas rubripesWearing a piece of the sea… or is it the sky?

The Baffler, which I highly recommend, has a reading list for dark times like these.

On The Rocks

Charadrius vociferusKilldeer (Charadrius vociferus). This one-footed stance is common among shore birds. Charadrius vociferusDid somebody say vociferus? This quintet was silent, but in breeding season Killdeer can be loud!

It’s Thanksgiving, time to remember what we have to be thankful for and stand on both our feet in defense of it. Let me convey my solidarity with those of you eating with Trumpettes today for the sake of family. An ugly mixture of the deplorable, horrible, reckless, foolish, and ignorant have helped elevate a thieving autocrat into unimaginable power. Maybe some of them will come to see how they’ve been taken by a reality TV hack of a con man, maybe not. But I hope you stand your ground in whatever way you deem best. All that’s best in America stands behind you.

Raptor Wednesday

Falco peregrinusA Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) was perched atop the head of the statue of Justice atop Brooklyn’s Borough Hall when I emerged from the R train.Falco peregrinusThe bird remained there as I made some copies, went to the Post Office, and returned to swing around to the chignon-side.Falco peregrinusNot all Justice is blind. We can see the neo-confederate Jeff Sessions, picked by the self-dealing Fraudster-Elect to make sure the Justice Department is corrupted to his ends, in all his hideousness.Falco peregrinusThe bird flew to this cliff face, where I left it to descend back into the subway. Later that day, a Red-tailed Hawk, Merlin, and possible Cooper’s Hawk were all spotted in Green-Wood. And that evening, another Peregrine, perched on top of St. Michael’s, a sight I haven’t seen since the election.


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