Posts Tagged 'Brooklyn'



Sliding into Monday…

This is good snail weather. Near sunset, the great wall holding up Sunset Park was awash these guys/gals.

Raptor Wednesday

Since a November snow storm blew down the dead, upright branch on this London plane tree across the street, the American Kestrels have rarely been in this tree. That branch, with its knobby top, provided a perfect perch. Much of the kestrel activity has lately taken place on a TV antenna behind this tree. Now that the tree has leafed out, it’s even harder to see. But last week, for a change of pace, the female alighted briefly in the LP.

Your #BrooklynKestrels watchers were away for four days. Yesterday, we returned to kestrel calls in the afternoon. Around 7:30 pm, the male was on the antenna with prey, making the trilling sound that seems to signify food. He flew off in general direction of the corner nest…

Gavia immer

Common Loons are not uncommon in our waters in winter. But they’re usually way off shore and the wind is blowing you down! And they’re not in their breeding finery like this one, in Gravesend Bay recently. Shouldn’t it be up in the north country loooooooooooning?The knobby head makes me thing of a sock puppet, or a hand shadow. The binomial Gavia immer is made up of words meaning gull/mew and diver. When I was in Scotland some years ago, our group — I was the only non-Brit — was excited about a seeing Great Northern Diver. What, I asked, was a GND? Turned out to be just another name for G. immer, the bird I first heard as a kid in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario (and the bird on the Canadian dollar coin, known as a loonie).You can just see the bird’s paddle-like feet extending behind. Set so far back, these legs are great for diving after prey, but not much use on land.

Laughing into Monday

Good to see the Laughing Gulls back in town. I heard them overhead for a couple of days before seeing any. These were out at Gravesend Bay and Floyd Bennet Field.An immature Ring-billed Gull, a mature Greater Black-backed Gull, and a Brant let you know that Laughing Gulls are on the smaller size. (The GBBG is the largest gull in the world, bigger even then a Red-tailed Hawk).
Leucophaeus atricilla, means, strictly translated, white-dusky black-tail. The stunning black head is breeding finery.

Some Birds

Migration is thickening. Here a few recent sightings:Yellow-rumped Warbler.Palm Warbler.Blue-eyed Vireo.

Raptor Wednesday

American Kestrel male way up there looking for lunch.Ditto this Merlin. Even higher, for this bird is near the top of the reputed tallest tree in Green-Wood, a tuliptree (yellow poplar). Same day as the kestrels above and below.This is the local #BrooklynKestrels male.He has prey.The pair cache prey on this roof, under the solar panels.Female is stretching. There were three food transfers this day: male to female.In the last week, this pair has been very noisy. Up until Monday, the female was going off like an alarm. Last couple of days, not nearly as much.

On Sunday, these two, two more hunting Floyd Bennett’s grasslands, and one perched over the Belt Parkway made for a five American Kestrel day.

Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Eastern Towhee, often more heard than seen because they like the shadows of the shrubs and the woodland floor and the thickness of the scrub. “Pipilo” comes from the Latin for to peep or to chirp. This is a male, seen in Green-Wood.In the southeast, you can find them with white eyes. Up here they have red eyes. The species epithet, erythrophthalmus, means red-eyed. The light wasn’t quite right for revealing that very well.But check out the different patterns and shadings on this vent-view. Of course, this is breeding season. Out at Fort Tilden on Sunday, several males were seen and heard with a vengeance. The throat feathers fly when these boys sing out.There was not a warbler to be seen in that barrier beach scrub (not yet nearly as green as inland Brooklyn, which really started glowing this weekend). But, being in the middle of concurrent towhee, wren, and thrasher songs certainly made up for that.


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