Posts Tagged 'birds'

Green Heron

img_0074The squad of geese attracted my attention. But then the young Green Heron (Butorides virescens) stood out amidst all that gooseflesh.img_0078These juvenile herons are heavily streaked in the neck. The “green” of the name isn’t so helpful (ditto “Green-backed,” the old common name for them). They have nested in Brooklyn in recent years. I haven’t heard or seen a Green-Wood nest, but I have my suspicions. Butorides virescensCrest up, sometimes.Butorides virescensButorides virescensThey prowl slowly along the shore and strike quickly. They’ll eat whatever they can catch: fish, crustaceans, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals. Fish are a big part of their diet, but this one was just a snack. I’ve seen them snatch dragonflies out of the air. Butorides virescensI was doing pretty good at stalking myself, mostly by not moving. The bird came towards me, with the geese still behind. It was finally flushed by one of the little carts cemetery staff get around in.Butorides virescensThe iridescent green of the lores comes across well in a couple of these shots. Speaking of iridescent, that blue streak is a Familiar Bluet damselfly. Butorides virescens

For Want of a Tail

Geothlypis trichasA female Common Yellowthroat warbler (Geothlypis trichas) absent all her tail feathers. A small bird made even smaller. She may have lost them all at molt, although that’s usually a progression not a sudden loss. Or maybe a cat got her? Geothlypis trichasWhatever the case, she was doing fantastic work grabbing larvae and adult bugs, even a moth. Managed to fly out of the way of a yoga dude so in tune with the universe that he didn’t notice.

Magic Hour Bird & Feathers

Some bird identification challenges: img_9816A.) Spotted at distance about 45 minutes before sunset in Prospect Park two weeks ago.featherB.) A single feather found in Green-Wood.feathersC.) Also in Green-Wood sometime later, with quite a few others of its kind. Somebody was plucking.

Doves on the Roof, Aloft If Not Aloof

Zenaida macrouraOn a glass roof. A not bad illustration of the anisodactyl pattern, the three toes forward/one back arrangement of some bird feet. Passerines, the song birds, also known as perching birds, have this layout. The members of order Passeriformes make up half of all bird species. Doves, however, even with the same toe-pattern, are members of the order Columbiformes.

Meanwhile, the zygodactyl pattern, with two forward/two back, are seen in woodpeckers, parrots, owls, Osprey, and others. There are other layouts as well. Ostriches are unique in having only two toes.Felis catusWe were cat-sitting. The screened porch had a glass roof, a good containment pod for this invasive species. Cardinals, Robins, and Jays were some of the other avian life forms noted outside. A surprise was a quick visit by a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, who was checking out the unopened red honeysuckle flowers.

Our close proximity to Prospect Park meant we saw Common Nighthawks over the Long Meadow about one hour before sunset on two nights: there were six overhead at once on Sunday.shadowAnd in the afternoons, the shadows of doves…

Wood Duck

Aix sponsaA female Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) through several layers of wild. There were at least seven on the Pools recently. Aix sponsaTwo of the males. All the males were out of their harlequin breeding feathers, in eclipse plumage, and looked like abashed clowns who had trashed an orphanage after wiping off the greasepaint.

It looks like this species is becoming a regular breeder in Prospect Park… if a couple of years can mean “regular.”

Color of Light

Agelaius phoeniceusSame Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), same camera/settings, different light.Agelaius phoeniceus

Red-Tailed Hawk Stalking

Buteo jamaicensisA young Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) patrolling the 5th Avenue entrance of Green-Wood. I would hazard to guess that it is wondering where that Eastern Grey Squirrel went.Buteo jamaicensis


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