Posts Tagged 'Jamaica Bay'

Savannah Toes

Passerculus sandwichensisThe touch of yellow between eye and bill here is telling, but did you know that Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) are also notable for their long toes? Passerculus sandwichensisThose nails look a little long, too. What do you think?

Red-breasted Nuthatches

Sitta canadensisA good number of Red-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta canadensis) have been seen in the region this migration, an irregular occurrence for this tiny species of song bird. I heard some a few weeks ago at Green-Wood, but I hadn’t seen any in the feather until Sunday at Jamaica Bay. Sitta canadensisTwo of them were wheedling pine nuts from cones and taking them to nearby hardwood snags, where they wedged them into crevices in the bark to batter them open with their chisel beaks for the nutmeat within.Sitta canadensisLook in coniferous trees, and if the pines aren’t very big also, obviously, in neighboring hardwoods with bigger branches/anvils.
Sitta canadensis

I must say, as reds go, this is definitely subdued, albeit quite handsome. More fiery was the juvenile Norther Harrier we also spotted that trip; when it rocked in flight towards the afternoon sun, its belly was like a flare.

More Crow

Corvus ossifragusFish Crow, Corvus ossifragus.

Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceusAgelaius phoeniceus.


Zenaida macrouraHere’s a variation on a common sight: a young Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). Zenaida macrouraNote how much darker it is than an adult. You might almost want to make it another species, although there aren’t really any other options on this end of the country.


Colaptes auratusWe’ve been lucky enough to catch the changing of the guard at this Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) nest a couple of times. Parent flies to hole, perching outside. Other parent bird flies out. First parent scoots in hole.Colaptes auratusThat black mark, the malar, on the cheek means this is the male. He spends a minute looking out before tucking deeper inside. Soon there should be some frantic shuttling of food to the nest by both adult birds.



Troglodytes aedonJamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge bakes in the summer sun, with only a few shady areas in the north and south “gardens” along the eastern edge of the West Pond trail, but there is so much wildlife activity out there right now it’s worth putting on a big hat and lots of sun-screen. Corvus ossifragusI’ve been blogging recently about the things seen on trips out there. Colaptes auratusSome sights I didn’t get worthwhile pictures of: a fledgling Waxwing begging for food; a Great Egret snagging and swallowing some kind of snaky creature out of the bay; a Tricolored Heron waving its wings as it hunted; Glossy Ibises gliding into the grasses; Black Skimmers cutting through the water with their longer lower bills. Crows and raptors crossing the marsh lands are frequently intercepted by territorial Red-winged Blackbirds. This one in the distance was irritating an Osprey, which was right next to its own nest. Pandion haliaetusThere are four Osprey nests visible from the West Pond trail, two at the limits of one’s optics, but one with very good views of three youngsters. Only one has its head up at the moment.Colaptes auratusThere’s lots of nesting and post-nesting activity going on.Troglodytes aedonThis nest box has a House Wren going in — but not via the front door; note the cut-out in the corner on the side.Troglodytes aedonHere’s another House Wren on another box. That stick will not fit into the hole. Nycticorax nycticoraxAnd so many herons: Black-Crowned and Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Snowy and Great Egrets; Little Blue and Tricolored Herons. Haven’t see a Great Blue on recent trips… but one flew by the apartment recently.


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