Posts Tagged 'birds'

And One Blue Eye Ring

to rule them all.

Raptor Wednesday

I can’t recall ever being this close to a Red-tailed Hawk. This is the one I posted about a couple weeks ago.Beset by tiny songbirds, the bird perched no more than 10 feet above the ground.Eyelids closed! That’s something I don’t see often.Those feet!Yes, those feet. Those toes!

AMKE Saturday

The male of the #BrooklynKestrels pair. I don’t know why he has this gape in his chest feathers. It’s gotten bigger and more noticeable over time. Some commenters on Twitter suggested it was a brood patch for a second round of eggs, but it seems high up on the body for that. Also, as far as I can tell, this male did diddly on the brooding front first time around. And I’ve seen no copulation activity locally (doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, but this spring it was front and center). Interestingly, the Friend of the Falcons reports that the Chinatown Kestrel pair have been copulating now that their fledglings are out and about. He’s been perching on the tall car service antenna down the avenue a lot again. This was his old perch from his bachelor days in January. He was rarely spotted here during courting and nesting. Conversely, he’s only been spotted once here on “the perch” atop the London Plane across the street (these pictures are from last weekend).

Every bird species is given a four letter code for banding/ringing record-keeping. Most are made up of first two letters of their official common name: AMerican KEstrel.

Speaking of Ticks, or More Foxes, More Possums!

I didn’t have my camera with me, so recent run-ins with three young rabbits in the Bronx went unrecorded. Each of them was festooned with ticks, around the ears, face, and neck. Some of the ticks were hugely bloated, looking like malignant gumballs or creepy purple pearls. A few days later, armed again with lens and digital thingamajibbles, I caught this Cedar Waxwing at the communal bath.There in the throat.

Yes, there’s a Waxwing nest nearby.

Raptor Wednesday

Three in number, vocal in youth. (The third is hiding in the lower right.)The apricot/salmon flush to the breast is a sign of youth in Red-tailed Hawks. The feet are signs of raptor.Notice, too, how pale the underside of the tail feathers are.At least one parent was nearby, harried by Blue Jay and Eastern Kingbird. Interestingly, the song birds did not go after the young hawks.SO much larger and noisier than the fledgling #BrooklynKestrels.Did I mention the racket?

One of the birds was feeding. Possibly a pigeon.The other two wanted some, too.

*Subscribers saw an earlier version of this post accidentally over the weekend. Sorry! I entered the wrong date for publication, the 1st instead of the 11th, and when I saved it, it posted. Which meant you got an email post curiously dated more than a week earlier. Sorry for the extra hawks in your email!

But, would-be subscribers, this doesn’t happen often. Why not consider getting these posts in your morning email? There’s no cost. (Some say the gain is priceless.) Enter your email at the top right: you’ll get a confirmation notice.

There are many reports of how extremist Brett Kavanaugh is. Here’s one from his fellow Yalie alum.

Recent Sightings

A President under investigation shouldn’t be allowed to appoint judges who will decide cases involving him. The Republican corruption of justice continues. And on top of that, this Kavanaugh character is already lying by saying “No president has ever consulted more widely or talked to more people from more backgrounds to seek input for a Supreme Court nomination.” We knows he doesn’t believe a sitting President can be indicted, and he starts by shamelessly sucking up to one who is extremely indictable.

Summer

You never know what you’ll see out there. Sure, the frying days of summer make it hard to enjoy the brute sun and humidity, but on Saturday we had a respite from the heat tsunami. So off we wandered down to Bush Terminal Park, where lo and behold! Two amazing (and concurrent) sights/sounds.

 


1. A couple dozen Laughing Gulls were flying low over the recently mown meadow hillock. As we got closer, we realized they were hunting the plentiful Green June Bugs, which were swarming low to the ground. The gulls were snapping the beetles up and swallowing them whole.The beetles rarely paused in flight, but I did catch this one. Note that one of the beetle’s wing isn’t fully tucked under the elytra.

2. As we approached the park, we saw a pair of American Kestrels over the statue of old man Bush (the developer of the docks, in an era before we realized how damn evil developers are). Inside the park, we heard a Killdeer in great agitation on the other side of the fencing that separates the park off from the empty concrete and weed jumble (presumably the site of ugly apartment buildings in the future).

Sure, Killdeer always sound like they’re agitated, but here was extra good reason. That’s a Kestrel there in the background. On the far fence, like these two:There were at least three Kestrels. They made passes over the Killdeer, flushing it into the air. Then the rowdy Killdeer would turn around and chase the Kestrel. A couple of Mockingbirds also harried the Kestrels. When the Kestrels flew further afield towards the June bug fiesta, a Red-wing Blackbird went after them. The Laughing Gulls also chased the falcons, who, we know, also love to eat Green Junies.

Now, a couple of weeks ago, we saw a Killdeer fly into this fenced area and thought, huh, could a pair be nesting in that desolation? Killdeer will nest practically anywhere, often quite close to people. The fence didn’t stop a photographer and model Saturday, and the whole neighborhood is beset with feral cats. And yet, there were three Killdeers visible there Saturday. One definitely looked like a juvenile. We only spotted it after the Kestrels flew off. (Although the falcons came back later). I gathered the noisy adult was trying to lure the falcons away and/or telling the youngster(s) to sit tight.

Team Kestrel was made up of two females and one male. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Were they the #BrooklynKestrels generation? Bush Terminal is five avenue blocks away from the nest (a little more than half a mile).


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