Posts Tagged 'Sunset Park'

Doublewhammy

This Common Grackle with both a broken lower bill and a piece of string stuck onto its foot.
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By The People a new impeachment campaign. Because we can’t depend on politicians.

Raptor Wednesday

I’ve wrapped up the #BrooklynKestrels season on the pages of the Clapper Rail, the publication of the Brooklyn Bird Club. Check it, as the kids say, out.It’s a double-raptor issue.

Raptor Wednesday

Anticlimactic: that’s what the post-fledgling scene was for the #BrooklynKestrels. Two months of cornice work, followed by two weeks of sightings of a trio of fledglings. Then nada. Well, not quite true. The male parent has been spotted sporadically on the large car service antenna one long avenue block from the nest site. This is his old k-perch, but he rarely used it during nesting. The female parent was been sighted a few times in July, too, but I suspect she’s moved to her own territory. One or two of the female fledglings were spotted, too. Afraid we’ll never know where they went… or if they survived. Odds are not good. One statistic I’ve seen is that two of three raptors don’t live to their first birthday. But that’s an average.

Six months of American Kestrels outside our windows! Often right across the street, perching atop a raised fist of London Plane. Half a year of flying, screaming, killing, copulating, and killing some more (my goodness, they scythed through the local songbird population). Also hovering over passing Fish Crows; driving Red-tailed Hawks from the scene; stashing prey on a rooftop lined with solar panels and inside a hollowed knot in the Plane tree across the street (tiny little songbird feed sticking out it). What a glorious experience.

Keep your eyes on the sky. And the local cornices.

AMKE Saturday

The male of the #BrooklynKestrels pair. I don’t know why he has this gape in his chest feathers. It’s gotten bigger and more noticeable over time. Some commenters on Twitter suggested it was a brood patch for a second round of eggs, but it seems high up on the body for that. Also, as far as I can tell, this male did diddly on the brooding front first time around. And I’ve seen no copulation activity locally (doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, but this spring it was front and center). Interestingly, the Friend of the Falcons reports that the Chinatown Kestrel pair have been copulating now that their fledglings are out and about. He’s been perching on the tall car service antenna down the avenue a lot again. This was his old perch from his bachelor days in January. He was rarely spotted here during courting and nesting. Conversely, he’s only been spotted once here on “the perch” atop the London Plane across the street (these pictures are from last weekend).

Every bird species is given a four letter code for banding/ringing record-keeping. Most are made up of first two letters of their official common name: AMerican KEstrel.

One More Time

Five #BrooklynKestrels outside the window can be overwhelming, even though I’ve never seen more than four at a time. The young ones don’t perch as long as the adults, at least not that I’ve seen. They’re much more, uh, flighty. This is one of the two female fledglings. Why yes, that’s right: she’s got a beetle. (It might be Paul?)Looks like a Green June Bug (Cotinis nitida), one of the big scarabs found this time of year in gardens and the like. Hundreds of them were flying low to the grasses at Bush Terminal yesterday.Did she catch it or was it given to her by one of the adults.

Continuing KWIR

Apres le bain, the sisters nipped at each other’s feathers, clawed each other, and bit each other’s bills.One was rather vocal, but in a much more subdued way than the parents. Now, another school of thought here is that the bird on the left is the adult female, the mother bird. But I don’t think so. Because a third female was perched in the distance at the same time. I think this is the mother. She’s gone back to old haunts on the solar building. The male adult seems to be on the big antenna again a lot, too.But back to these two. Note the pale feet; they get darker with age.
Sitzplatz.And fledgling calls.

KWIR

Yesterday, all three youngsters went for a dip in a roof-top puddle. Birds bathe to keep their feathers in good order. Where they bathe is a good question. The water shouldn’t be too deep.  There should be some seclusion, since a waterlogged bird is more vulnerable than a dry one. Here’s one answer.I’ve always suspected urban birds of use roofs for their baths.


Note how one of the females snags the male’s tail with a talon. They are very nippy with the bills. too.


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