American Robin nests are the easiest to see, not least because there are so many of them. This one was in Inwood Hill Park. When we walked by again coming down the hill, it wasn’t filled by the parent bird. Sometimes the birds will dart off, but that does leave the eggs vulnerable. The day before we watched as three Crows each took a turn eating the eggs in a high nest in Prospect Park. A bit of blue egg was seen. Other thrushes have blue eggs, so it may not have been a Robin, but it probably was.
So Crows are notorious for raiding nests, but their reputation here is much overblown. This may surprise you, but this species actually takes more bird eggs than Crows: Yes, the adorable Eastern Chipmunk. Which just goes to show you that moral views of nature should always be suspect.
Published April 28, 2016
Tags: flowers, Great Swamp
Published April 27, 2016
Tags: Great Swamp, mammals
Published April 25, 2016
Tags: Great Swamp, plants
Published April 24, 2016
Tags: Great Swamp, reptiles, turtles
You’ve been waiting patiently all winter long for some serious insect life to liven things up. This was the week!
Two color variations of the Spotted Lady Beetle (Coleomegilla maculata).These are in the Coccinellidae family of ladybugs, but clearly not the usual rounded shape of the classic VW. Sure are spotty, though: another common name for them is Twelve-Spotted Lady Beetle. I wasn’t familiar with these.The first damselfly I’ve seen this season is our old friend the Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita). There was another smaller species flitting about that eluded my lens.These were tiny and, presumably, larval. But larval what is the question.Seen at a distance yet still identifiable with that Comma (Polygonia comma) mark!
Bonus: All of the above were spotted in Great Swamp NWR. Here in the city, massive Carpenter Bees are buzzing around wood (houses, benches, telephone poles, etc.) now looking for a place to nest. On the desolation called 4th Avenue, there’s a tiny patch of ground behind the 36th subway entrance, between fences (Green-Wood is beyond), that seems to be attracting some ground nesters as well.
A tiny butterfly with lovely blue wings — on the inside, anyway, meaning you only see the color when they fly.Here’s a pair making more. Quite a complicated taxonomy, evidently.
So that was last week. This week I saw only a few of the Azures flitting about. That precious blue!
But this week, there were plenty of Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica) to be had.Had in the optical sense, of course.