Posts Tagged 'Green-Wood'

Breeding Birds

The third edition of the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas project is underway. So far I’ve submitted observations to ebird of American Kestrels mating and Common Ravens carrying nesting material.

One of them, anyway.
I almost always hear these big corvids before I see them. One of their most common calls is a “ha-rupp” grunt-like noise that makes me thinks of pigs (admittedly, I haven’t been around too many pigs). Then I’m all ears, looking all around.

A historical note: it was January 1, 2015 that I first saw a pair of Common Ravens canoodling here in Brooklyn. They’ve have nest here ever since. Well, so we think. They’ve been observed gathering nest material, gathering food, and flying with their young. Nobody, to my knowledge, has ever found the nest. Which is damn surprising.

Class of ’19.
Class of ’16.

Prunus serotina

There are still, after all these years, parts of Green-Wood I’ve never been. I came across this massive black cherry only recently.
It was after a big wind and bits of the scaly bark and branches were scattered about.
The mature bark is very different from the younger stuff from way up there.
Turning over the loose pieces on the ground, I found a Nabis genus damsel bug.
And a springtail! (And something even smaller I can’t tell what).

February Blooms

Crocus.
Prunus.Veronica.

What Colors!

I can’t believe there are still fish in the Dell and Crescent Waters, since this male Belted Kingfisher has been around all winter dipping into the stock here.

Here he has a goldfish. Usually they just scarf their prey down PDQ, flipping it so it’s head first and then sluuuurrrppppp! This bird, however, just chortled and rattled from tree to tree, carrying the fish with him.
He was up pretty high in a tree here. And he dropped the fish. What?
About 12 seconds after my last shot of fish-in-bill, I caught this image of the Kingfisher in the act of spitting up a pellet! I guess he couldn’t have the external thing meeting the internal thing half-way, so the fish had be sacrificed to get that bundle of scales and tiny fish bones out of the gullet…
I was chatting with a passerby for a few minutes, so didn’t find this before the fleshfly was on the job already.

More Galls

I found a mother-of-gall tree! A red oak, Quercus rubra, in Green-Wood. This tree was probably brought in as a sapling a few years ago. I wonder where it was raised? Could it be that the gall-making species came in with the tree, as we’ve seen with lichens transported into the city on saplings destined to be street trees?
Everything pictured in today’s post was on this one oak — two very nearby red oaks, both looking like they were planted this year or last, were devoid of this diversity. They only had one type of gall on them.
How many gall-makers are seen here? Three, four?
Is this, for instance, one or two gall species at work?
Oops, here’s another.
And another.

Getting very little traction on iNaturalist with identification for these things. There are too many galls and not enough people interested in them.

And yet, consider the fascinating relationships of insect (wasp, mite) and plant. (And not just insects!) The plant forms these structures, which are unlike anything else they produce in the normal course of events, in response to the animal. The animal uses the plant for shelter and food, and some other animals may use the first animal, parasitizing the egg or larva inside the gall. And around and around it goes.

Raptor Wednesday

Aren’t you glad you’re not an inch tall, or, conversely, that these things aren’t forty feet tall?
This young Red-tailed hawk, the same bird seen nearly an hour earlier, flew into a corner of Green-Wood that is sometimes patrolled by a male American Kestrel. The falcon was there! He set up a hue and cry, dive-bombing the buteo, but to no avail. The big hawk flew from tree to tree before descending down to the ground. Jump-flying around, trying to capture something. Didn’t seem to catch whatever it was, however.
When it took to a tree again, the Blue Jays arrived. The big bird ambled away to a couple of other perches before settling here:

Didelphis virginiana

How sad to run across an opossum stiff with death and cold.
This one was the size of a very large cat. I hope he or she was a great fount of progeny.
The tail is finely haired.
Magnificent and remarkable creatures with bad press. They snarl when cornered, they’re vicious in a cage. But then, aren’t we?
Our only marsupial. As they’re nocturnal, I’ve only seen them a few times here in Brooklyn. Long ago in Prospect; once here in Green-Wood; and once a few blocks away on a residential street.
Did you know they hoover up ticks like there’s no tomorrow? They’re also immune to rabies.
***

Come on, Iowa, you can do it!


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