Posts Tagged 'Green-Wood'

Old Nests

The nesting season is already upon us, especially for such early nesters as owls, some raptors, doves. So, here’s one last look at some of the previous year’s nest. These have all made it through the winter, in one form or another. Above, the rough pottery suggests American Robins, who line the inside of their nests with mud.It’s remarkable that these dangling woven bags made by Baltimore Orioles manage to hold eggs, adults, and squirmy youngsters. And then make it through the winter. More and more artificial fibers (rope, fishing line, ribbon) turn up in these things: will some be re-purposed this year? Not that this is necessarily a good idea! Fishing line, for instance, can easily choke nestlings. (On this note: I gather well-meaning people are giving various fibers to the birds, thinking this is a good idea: it isn’t.)Very twiggy in a shrub. Mockingbirds?About two feet above the water, this one looks brand new. Red-winged Blackbird? Another woven affair, about fifteen feet up in a maple. Perhaps the product of one of the locally breeding vireo species.

Rebecca Solnit on the problem with heroes.

At the end of the bath…

And so our saga comes to an end. I had walked around a corner and there was this Red-tailed Hawk on the edge of the water. A large weeping willow was near by, so I used it as cover to get a bit closer. I got this look. It wasn’t as if the bird didn’t know I was there. But it didn’t give a fig (leaf?) for my presence and went about its ablutions. The whole sequence can be seen here.

Allow me to call your attention to this excellent short essay on humor in our dark age.

How To Bathe, Part 5

Grooming.Never forget your surroundings.Air dry.
Part 4.
Part 3.
Part 2.
Part 1.

How To Bathe, Part 4

And repeat:

P.S> the 55 Water Street Peregrine nest camera is back on. (Two eggs yesterday.)

How To Bathe, Part 3

You have, I hope, noticed this.This Red-tailed Hawk has a single red tail feather. The bird is less than a year old, and with luck will celebrate its birthday this summer. Right now, it’s maturing, a process that includes losing its old tail feathers and growing new and rather different ones. By its first birthday, it should have the full complement of these rufous tail feathers, source of the species’ common name. For obvious reasons, molting — the transitional replacement of feathers throughout the year — can’t all happen at once.

How To Bathe, Part 2

Birds may bathe everyday, and some passerines have been recorded bathing five or more times a day. In winter and in arid locations, access to water can obviously limit this frequency. “In order to make the flow of water efficient, the movement of the feather tracts is combined with other movements in the following sequence: (1) Fluffing the feathers, combined with flicking the wings, (2) ducking the head and forebody under water, (3) rolling the head and body in water, and (4) lifting the forebody out of the water,combined with the lowering of the rearbody. Then follows a pause and the whole cycle is repeated.” ~ M. Slessers, “Bathing Behavior of Land Birds” The Auk, Vol. 87, No. 1 (Jan., 1970), pp. 91-99.Who, really, likes water in the eyes?Dip.Roll to port.Starboard. (This oddly reminded me of the SS Normandie, which capsized on the North River in 1942 as it was being converted into a troop ship.)


From Dead Horse Bay to Marine Park to Green-Wood.

From the top, springtime is icumen in: American Oystercatcher, Osprey, Killdeer, Pine Warbler, Golden-crowned Warbler.


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