Posts Tagged 'Floyd Bennett Field'

North Forty

Return-a-Gift Pond had one singular sensation of a tree frog last week. I wonder if they emerged early in our warm patch, then beat a hasty retreat in the face of the snow? Because reports are that they’re rockin’ now.
On the other side of the pond, something is taking over, covering over everything, and giving it this weird look of lumpy, alien planet set design for a low budget sf production. There’s some rose in there, but is that the only thing? It’s like some northern kudzu.

“The path of most resistance.” This article on the Women’s March is inspiring. Audre Lorde, quoted here on activism: “It means doing the unromantic and tedious work.” The author of this Harper’s piece continues, “This will never be the stuff of cinematic grandeur. It’s never satisfying, in part because it’s not enough. It should never feel like enough. But involving insufficiency as an alibi is just as dangerous as self-satisfaction or comfortable despair–the very things Lorde warned us against.”

Kestrels, Kestrels, We’ve Got Kestrels!

Falco sparveriusMale Falco sparverius at Floyd Bennett Field, where the grasslands, currently mown, can often be a good place to see this most common of NYC raptors. This one is particularly painterly with those spots (and the cloudy day).Falco sparveriusHere is a female, farther away from the camera. Her wings don’t have the blue of the male birds. Falco sparveriusA different male at the other end of the runway. Falco sparveriusNote the very worn edges of this bird’s tail feathers. Time for a molt? That black band at the near-edge is a good way to distinguish males from females, who don’t have it, up in the air when you can’t see their topsides.

These pictures are a week old. More recently, on Saturday, we saw a Kestrel plucking what looked like a sparrow of some kind in Green-Wood. And on Sunday, another Kestrel was hovering over the mown grasslands at the Salt Marsh Nature Center.

Blue-winged Teal

Anas discorsA drake Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors). Surely one of the most handsome of all ducks.Anas discorsThe species is a long-distance migrant, some heading deep down into South America. They’re also early birds, one of the first to arrive and the first to leave. I rarely see them in NYC.Anas discorsHere’s the hen. The pair were dabbling in Return-a-Gift Pond last weekend. They are rather smaller than the omnipresent Mallards, which are actually quite big waterfowl.Anas discorsThe 2nd Atlas of Breeding Birds in NY State (2008) notes that their decline in the state has been marked. There were no birds breeding in NYC; the first atlas 20 years earlier showed them on Staten Island and Nassau country. Shallow ponds are their preferred habitat. The loss of agricultural land may be one of the reasons they’re doing poorly here. Also, of course, as migrants, they get it at both ends as their wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America are chopped up, polluted, etc. Hunters in the U.S. bagging their “four-bird limit in 15 minutes” don’t help much either.

Brooklyn’s Pine Woods



pine2On a wet day.pine1

Borough Kestrels

Falco sparveriusThis male Kestrel zoomed up to the top of Green-Wood’s Gothic Revival gate while a Red-tailed Hawk circled overhead. Then it made an unsuccessful dive at a Monk Parakeet, a bird roughly its own size. I’ve noted Kestrels up there before.IMG_4706This one found the lights and goal posts of the football field at Floyd Bennett Field good for perching.Falco sparveriusHere the bird has just eaten… something. It must have been a beetle. Whatever it was, it dove down from the lights to pick it off the ground and then brought it up to the goal post (score!) to dispatch it quickly.Falco sparverius

Brooklyn Grasslands

IMG_4691A long-shot of the grasslands at Floyd Bennett Field. The telephoto lens condenses the space, as in a Kurosawa movie, and the grasses and scrubs hide the wide runway between the two separate patches before the woods. These colors were enhanced in their subtleness by the misty day.


Bookmark and Share

Join 504 other followers


Nature Blog Network