Posts Tagged 'Green-Wood'

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.

How To Bathe, Part 1

First of all, the water can’t be too deep. You have to be able to wade in (and out).Frankly, there are only limited places you can do that in Green-Wood.The Dell Water has lately been overflowing it’s banks on one side. So that looks just right…

Spring Flies In

On Thursday, I saw two Phoebes in widely spaced parts of Green-Wood Cemetery. Clouds of insects were visible, too, so we know what these fly-catchers were hunting. The next day, when the temperature got close to 70, reports of Pine Warblers, usually the first warbler species of the year, came in from the cemetery as well. American Woodcock are crashing into the city, too, although I’ve yet to see one. This big fly was out and about, too.

Raptor Wednesday

A young Red-tailed launches into the air in pursuit of… a Canada Goose? No, really? Yes, really. There were a dozen geese herding up the hill above Crescent Water in Green-Wood. The hawk raised a gaggle and disappeared from my sight. Then it flew back to this tree, making another pass of the geese as it did so. After this, the hawk gave up on that idea, and flew the other way towards a trio of holly trees brimming with fruit and a big flock of American Robins. Suddenly there are two Red-tailed Hawks coming out of those hollies! The birds made more passes at the Robins, and the Geese. Nobody got caught while I was watching, but it wasn’t for lack of effort.The ponds at Crescent-Dell are now brimming with bird-feeders, so there are song birds all over. RTHs general hunt mammals, but they will eat whatever they can catch. Only, being so big, they are not the most agile or subtle of hunters, like falcons or Accipiters, who are more commonly bird-eaters.This RT was eyeballing one of the feeders. About this time, I noticed an adult RT perched above the Dell Water. Before it was all over, I counted three individual juvenile RTs perched above the Crescent Water as an adult circled overhead.

Hatchin’ Still

We began the winter with White-breasted Nuthatches, and as we near the end of it… three of them were working over this old horse chestnut, whispering amongst themselves. This one kept finding tidbits in this tree cave. On an hour’s walk in very chilly Green-Wood recently, I came across around a dozen of these nuthatches, a count surpassed only by the number of Canada Geese.

I have a poem in the Winter 2019 issue of Clapper Rail, the magazine of the Brooklyn Bird Club. It’s about a bird.


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