Posts Tagged 'Sunset Park'

Raptor Wednesday

The #BrooklynKestrels. Mother and daughters. The young ones tend to look plumper than she does, but I can’t see this in this particular picture. She’s still bringing them food — and this roof is still a larder. They fly down to it, out-of-sight, and come up with a pice of something. There have been some insect transfers: dragonflies and beetles are kestrel snacks.

The father hasn’t been spotted in more than a week. I don’t remember a similar absence last year. Hope the old boy is O.K. He had a very busy season. It’s a wonder there are any House Sparrows in the neighborhood at all.Siblings.

Momma was screaming at a trio of Fish Crows on Monday. She gave chase. The youngsters stayed on their perches. Another time, two Common Ravens passed overhead. They continued unmolested. Red-tailed Hawks in the area are always cause for commotion.

Raptor Wednesday

Monday morning dawned and lo and behold there were two female American Kestrels on the Solar Building! The one on the left had the tell-tale head fuzz of a fledgling. Just like that, voila! So there was another Brooklyn Kestrel in the house!Was there only one?

Within the hour that Monday morning: there were three separate kestrels in the air at the same time. All looked like females from my admittedly brief view.

About 50 minutes before sunset Tuesday, two female fledglings were on the solar building, perched side-by-side on one of the roof pipes. Sisters! The mother, who looks small in comparison after working so hard for these beasties, was also briefly perched up there at the same time.

No activity was seen in the nest this season. Admittedly, last year, I only saw two glimpses of young ones inside. Once, when one of the little air-tigers was grasping at a wind-tossed string somehow jammed into the structure, probably bought as nesting material by Starlings, who seem to have used this cavity before. I think this cavity is deeper than the 5th Avenue one, which had inquisitive faces poking out it this year and last year.

There were three successful fledglings last year, two female and one male. What became of them? The odds were not good for two of the three. Youngsters disperse as fall approaches. The mother bird heads elsewhere. This is the father’s territory. Back to today: no males of any age have seen in the last several days. The #BrooklynKestrels saga.

Sunset Park Chimneys

Chimney Swifts may be heard more than seen. Especially from the sidewalk, with its narrow view of the sky. But that chittering call of their’s is here, there, everywhere.They’re quite a challenge to photograph. Even more difficult is catching one entering or departing the chimney they are roosting/nesting in. Here’s the second Swift-active chimney within two avenue blocks of the homestead.

From last summer. I haven’t yet confirmed that this one is being used this year. A trio around it isn’t proof enough for me; need to see one enter or emerge.

On Swift culture (no Jonathan here).

Raptor Wednesday

The male of the local pair. One hell of an efficient bird-killer. These pictures were taken through the window at some distance, but you get the idea. This is the female kestrel going after a Red-tailed Hawk who made the mistake of cruising through the neighborhood. She chased the big buteo high above the park. Loudly!

On Monday, it rained all afternoon. Both of these falcons were out and about, getting absolutely soaked, but they do have young to feed and neither rain nor whatever else can get in the way of that. So, even after a good soaking Monday, they both bathed yesterday. Apres le bain, grooming. This lintel is out of the wind. When you watch these birds long enough, you see how they get tossed all over by the wind when they perch out in the open. Now add a House Sparrow in the talons to the mix. It becomes quite a dance of balance to hold the prey, maintain a perch on a narrow pipe edge, and pluck.

Sliding into Monday…

This is good snail weather. Near sunset, the great wall holding up Sunset Park was awash these guys/gals.

Raptor Wednesday

Since a November snow storm blew down the dead, upright branch on this London plane tree across the street, the American Kestrels have rarely been in this tree. That branch, with its knobby top, provided a perfect perch. Much of the kestrel activity has lately taken place on a TV antenna behind this tree. Now that the tree has leafed out, it’s even harder to see. But last week, for a change of pace, the female alighted briefly in the LP.

Your #BrooklynKestrels watchers were away for four days. Yesterday, we returned to kestrel calls in the afternoon. Around 7:30 pm, the male was on the antenna with prey, making the trilling sound that seems to signify food. He flew off in general direction of the corner nest…

When Doves Sit

Mourning Doves: one of our earliest local — that is, non-migratory — nesters. Their rudimentary stick nests can be tucked into trees or your windowsill. Here’s another pair on our fire escape recently. One or two has been showing up there or on the roofline a lot lately. (These were photographed though window and screen.)There’s a great view from this fire escape, but it’s awfully exposed for a nest. It’s a good place to throw your coo, though.The eyes are closed while grooming. Safety first!Got to see the familiar cooing up closeThe beak is closed, the throat puffs up, presumably like a resonating chamber. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this before.


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