Posts Tagged 'Inwood'

Mammal Monday

Directly above this very cautious squirrel was a
A Red-tailed Hawk (and some obstreperous Blue Jays).
The hawk had a very full crop. So digesting and chillaxing.
In the same tree as the hawk, another squirrel.

Recent Birds

Eastern Willet.Red-winged Blackbird female.Tree Swallow male.The male was perched above this nest box with a female boldly covering the entrance.Red-breasted Mergansers.Yellow-crowned Night-heron.

House Wren.

Pothole

IMG_6951Seemingly drilled into the schist of Inwood Hill by some kind of large-bore drill, this is actually a glacial pothole, scoured out by the mighty power of swirling water and abrasive stones during the heady days of the Wisconsin glaciation. The diameter is a little over a foot and a half.

The heights of Inwood, very like a whale from the vantage point of the Hudson, are the northern prong of the Fort Washington Ridge. Geologically, this rock is known as the Manhattan Formation, made of mica and hornblende schist. (“Manhattan’s gneiss, but full of schist” goes the immortal line.) This is the good, hard stuff, the serious, no-nonsense rock, but everything has its weaknesses, and time grinds it all up, as in the mills of the gods.

But Let’s Not Get Too Sentimental

Turdus migratoriusAmerican Robin nests are the easiest to see, not least because there are so many of them. Turdus migratoriusThis 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: Tamias striatusYes, the adorable Eastern Chipmunk. Which just goes to show you that moral views of nature should always be suspect.

Home, Sweet Home

XylocopaXylocopaA Carpenter bee (Xylocopa) in the wood of a Parks Department sign at Inwood Hill.

At top, there are holes for birds at both gable ends, and House Sparrows, of course, have moved in.Passer domesticus

Building

Cyanocitta cristataA Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) shapes a growing nest with its body. “Its” because this could be either male or female, as both work on the nest. Cornell’s All About Birds does say that on average males do more gathering of nesting materials and females more actual nest-building. Note the ribbon: our cast-offs are finding some use.

Inwoodwood

redrockLooking geological, an old tree slowly returns to the elements.


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