Posts Tagged 'Bronx'

Flyday

Three-spot Horse Fly (Tabanus trimaculatu). I kid you not.It’s the females who bite; I think this one’s a male. He has his father’s eyes, right?

Red Meadowhawks

Obelisking meadowhawk of the Sympetrum genus. This abdomen-up position minimizes the amount of heat hitting the body.The Sympetrum are difficult to distinguish out-of-hand in the field. This could be the White-faced, Cherry-faced, or Ruby-Faced.This male was the only specimen seen at NYBG. The females are even harder to distinguish, but they all know the drill: the sex parts are all unique for the individual species. This dragon made many sorties and perched in multiple spots within a very short compass, but he always faced the pond.Another, this time on Staten Island. Note that segment 2 of the abdomen doesn’t seem as keel-like as the one in the first three pictures. Also the only example seen at this location. They seem to like the perch and foray style, unlike, say, the gliders, which are constantly on patrol in the air.

Raptor Wednesday

Young Red-tailed Hawks were being very noisy among the mature trees. When this one perched on the edge of the woods, the Robins, Catbirds, Blue Jays, Squirrels, Chipmunks, and all let up a hollering of their own.Soon after, three hawks were seen circling way up in the sky.

Just Ds

Blue-fronted Dancer (Argia apicalis).These were found around the Bronx River in the Thane Forest at the NYBG. They get a good distance away from the water, for damselflies. All the above are males. The tan one is a juvenile. Here’s a brown form female. A blue form female. Complicated, eh? Add the juvenile female, and you have five basic versions of this one species.

And so small.For instance, you know how small duckweed is, right? This is a male Skimming Bluet (Enallagma geminatum); they run from about 0.8″-1.1″. Male clasping female right behind the head. He will hold her while she oviposits. First time I’ve seen this species. You can just see the distinctive wavy line on segment two. These were in the pond at the end of Wetlands Trail.Male Azure Bluet (Enallagma aspersum), in the duckweed-free Native Plant Garden. Neon blue at both ends. The Garden is overrun with fans of Dale Chihuly’s corporate-friendly glasswork and missing the real fireworks. (A week later, by the way, there was only one Azure Bluet to be seen of the dozens and dozens seen earlier.)

Some Birds

House Wren. Looks like they were nesting in this old snag.Brown-headed Cowbird male. The female was nearby.
Sign. Look up:Robins; late or second brood.

I usually only catch Little Blue Herons distantly, passing overhead at Jamaica Bay or bobbing distantly about in the marshes there. This one was hunting on Spring Pond in Blue Heron Park.These birds are about the size of Snowy Egrets, so rather smaller than Great Blue Herons. And, unlike the Great Blues, these are of a much more uniform color; this slate blue actually blends into the foliage well. The bird favors this horizontal stance while hunting, it’s head in near constant motion as it stalks. We saw it snag a frog and a fish, both flipped down the gullet without ceremony.There was a Green Heron in the mix, too.Saw this in Brooklyn before heading out to Staten Island. Didn’t pose the butt. Tobacco-junkie numbers are down, but their butts are still one of the most common forms of toxic litter.

Agelaius phoeniceus

This nest may never have been used, but Red-winged Blackbirds definitely bred along this lakeside. Here’s one of this year’s models, still getting some help with feeding. The feather pattern is not without interest.

Plathemis lydia

Male Common Whitetail.Female.

The male above is actually a young one. He won’t get his chalky white “tail,” or abdomen, until he gets a little older. When that happens, they do stand out. Here, from the archive of summers past, are some of the males in all their obviousness:

This of course assumes that our dragonfly will make it to old age (or September). Fast and highly maneuverable, dragonflies are great predators, but they are also predated. These Northern Rough-wing Swallow fledglings (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) are being served up with a female Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) by one of their parents.


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