Posts Tagged 'Sunset Park'

New Perch

Raptor Wednesday

It seems like there are American Kestrels everywhere. But how many? Without banding or electronic tracking, I can’t say for sure. But:

There were three individual males, a new record, seen together from the windows here recently. There was much tail-pumping amongst the trio as they perched near each other on building and tree.

The male pictured above may have been the same one that dive-bombed a perched Cooper’s Hawk the same morning this picture was taken. The Cooper’s was unmoved. (Picture from before the breaking news.)

Over in Green-Wood, fifteen blocks away, more small falcon activity. Two separate males have been spied within a short distance from each other on several occasions. A male and female have now been seen together atop the main entrance to Green-Wood twice, four days apart. The female has perched on top of the lighting rod each time. During the second sighting, a Merlin was perched nearby on a tall pine.This male kestrel was spotted plucking and eating some songbird prey.

American Kestrel News

On Thursday, the first snowfall of the winter caught the city off-guard. Unprotected by congestion pricing, Manhattan, flooded with prowling car service vehicles, came to a traffic standstill. In the boroughs, lots of limbs were sheared off trees from the wet heavy snow and wind. The pictures above are from Wednesday. The male American Kestrel was keeping an eye on the sky. If you’ve followed our #BrooklynKestrels adventures, you will recognize this knob of a perch. It’s an upright arm of a London Plane tree right across the street from the #ViewFromTheMoraine, a.k.a our apartment.

This branch came down in Thursday’s storm. I noticed that it was missing Saturday. The branch, which was dead, is now hanging upside down further down in the canopy. I thought, oh, no, it’s the end of an era! You couldn’t have asked for a better view, well, ok, except for the fire-escape or a lamp post. As I was tweeting the news out to a waiting world of kestrel fans, I heard a kestrel calling. Yes, there he was in the tree across the street, just using another part of it to perch on. Those smokestacks in the distance, by the way, are where two Peregrines have been seen, either one at a time or in a pair, for several week now.


I assume you’re all voting tomorrow. Hopefully you’ll take friends and relatives along with you…

Kestrels, As In Plural

Well, well, well! Thursday morning, male and female American Kestrels perched on the building down the block.The male.The female.The male flew back and forth from the rail atop the bulkhead to this ailanthus several times. Both falcons disappeared for a while, then their calls returned us to the windows. They were circling each other overhead. They landed on a nearby antenna, nearly side-by-side, then flew off again. Reunion? Courting?This time the male landed on the pipe the female had been on earlier, but only for a second. They were not noticed again that day, but on Friday, he showed up in in the afternoon.

The Return

Look who showed up on the knob perch across the street! It’s a male American Kestrel. I think it is the male American Kestrel, the pater familias of the falcon family who nested on the corner. I’ve seen a male a few times over the last few months; I don’t think he went anywhere. This is his territory. But this was the first time in months that I’ve seen him here.And here! Another old perch. This was Thursday, the coldest morning so far of the fall: this perch is out of the wind and in the sun. Friday, he was up on the chimney pot and roof post he used to favor in late winter.on Thursday I saw two male American Kestrels perched within a 100 yards of each other in Green-Wood. One was being harried by two Blue Jays.Friday: I spotted a male on a distant antenna across the street from Green-Wood. Another Blue Jay was policing the situation.

Blue Waves

The other day, I counted a hundred Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) streaming past the apartment over ten minutes. The birds were on the move above 5th Avenue. I’ve had similar experiences in the last two weeks: clumps and waves and straggles of jays, heading south. The green places have been full of their strident cries and calls, too. None of our other east coast birds make so much raucous noise. And when I hear a particularly unique sound, it often turns out to be a Blue Jay.

These images were taken with my new camera, a Sony RX10 IV, which I purchased thanks to the help of some wonderfully generous contributors to this blog. I am still getting the hang of the camera, but these pictures turned out well on a gloomy day. For such an omnipresent bird, jays can be pretty elusive.

Trump inherited almost a half billion via tax fraud. I’ll bet he and his pirate crew have already looted us of much more in the two years since a majority of us voted for somebody else. And his dumb-fuck fans cheer him on.


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