Saturday, August 27, 2005

Trump Parc family news

Bruce Yolton, faithful hawk reporter, just sent in the latest communique about the maturing fledglings from the south:

This evening, the young Central Park South hawks were harder to find than usual. The playground, where they normally are found in the evening, was empty and showed signs of major construction work along its paths. On the other days, where there has been heavy machinery or pruning in the playground area, the young hawks have ventured a few blocks north.

So, I widened my search and eventually found them both at the Carousel. Just after I arrived, one of them flew off across that path to hunt rats near the underpass that goes under that Northbound drive near the Carousel, and then disappeared from view. The other jumped around the Carousel roof, unsuccessfully tried to catch a black squirrel, and then flew back towards the playground area as nightfall approached.

Attached is a photo of a young hawk with the Carousel weathervane in the background. Other photos from the last few days are on my website.
I'm going to Martha's Vineyard for a long weekend tomorrow, so I won't be reporting on the hawks for a few days.

photo by Bruce Yolton

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Today's birds

Jack Meyer, who leads bird walks during the Spring and Fall migrations, sends out daily bird reports to e-birds. Here's today's:
P.S. I've reprinted below information about the walks I posted on August 11

DATE: Thursday, 25 August 2005
LOCATION: Central Park
OBSERVERS:Ellen Meyer, Marty Sohmer, Jack Meyer

Canada Goose
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel (West 72 st entrance.)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Ramble.)
Downy Woodpecker (Ramble.)
Northern Flicker (Strawberry Fields, ramble.)
Blue Jay
American Crow
Swainson's Thrush (Just south of Maintenance Field.)
Hermit Thrush (Ramble.)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Magnolia Warbler (Swampy Pin Oak.)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Ramble.)
Black-and-white Warbler (Swampy Pin Oak.)
American Redstart (Several.)
Ovenbird (Strawberry Fields.)
Northern Waterthrush (3 or 4, upper lobe, ramble.)
Canada Warbler (Swampy Pin Oak, Azalea Pond.)
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole (Swampy Pin Oak.)
House Sparrow

A message from Jack Meyer about his Fall Migration Birdwalks:

My fall birdwalks in Central Park will begin Thursday, August 18. Here are
the details:

Walks will be Thursday through Sunday, from August 18 to October 30.

Walks leave at 7:30 AM from 72 Street & Central Park West. (NE corner.)

The cost is $6. No reservations are needed.

If there are any questions, you can reach me at:
212-563-0038 (Not after 8 PM please)

Looking forward to seeing all my birding friends again.
Jack Meyer

Royalty passing through

Since Lloyd Spitalnik, the photographer who recently e-mailed me the splendid photo above, only sends me Central Park pictures, I'm assuming the Monarch Butterfly is one of our Central Park migrants, passing through on its way to winter quarters in Mexico.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Redtail Activity: The babies are branching out

Here 's a report I just received from long-time hawkwatcher  Ben Cacace

August 20, 2005

A sequence of RT activity seen
from the reservoir, lake and Belvedere Castle:

At the reservoir I followed a 1st year (born in 2004)
Red-tailed Hawk that has apparently established a
territory around the reservoir. It often perches on
the El Dorado and is frequently seen on the west side
of the reservoir. Today I watched it move to very low
perches just north of the reservoir from 2:45p-3:15p.

Later on, from the lake, I spotted two RTs flying just
south of the Beresford calling. A few minutes later I
saw a RT perched on the tall reddish building a few
buildings south of the San Remo at 3:55pm. At 4:06pm
this bird headed south circling before the Time Warner
building then stooping to a spot just east of Columbus
Circle as seen from the top of the lake. The 5th Ave.
RTs were doing the calling and the intruder appeared
to be one of the south end Red-tailed's - probably the
male due to the lightness of the head. Another RT was
perched on the north side of this building at the time
and remained there when I left the lake at 4:30pm.

. . .

All the best.


Also, from an earlier report Ben sent to e-birds:

DATE: Friday, 19 August 2005 (1:30p-6:10p)
LOCATION: Central Park - reservoir, lake to Turtle

One of the south end juveniles (from the Trump Parc
nest) was seen kiting for awhile over the Ramble/Lake
around 5:00p. I was standing at the base of Belvedere
Castle. The 5th Ave. adults were giving out their
territorial calls from the trees at the same time -
near the castle. Later on at 5:10p-5:13p the juvenile
was seen again in the same area this time attended by
the 5th Ave. adults. The territorial calls were given
as the adults dove on the young hawk with talons down.
No contact was made and after a minute or two the
young hawk decided to head back to its territory at
the south end of the park.


In case you're using a bug zapper, here's news

The bug zapper has been employed by people for many years to battle probably the most reviled insect, the mosquito. But, studies have shown that this device does not kill mosquitos! Mosquitos are not attracted to lights, they are attracted to body heat, therefore, bug zappers, which employ black lights, have no effect against them. Other insects, however, are being killed in vast numbers by this device, such as mosquito predators and moths, which are responsible for 80% of the world's pollination. In a survey, out of 10,000 insects killed, only 8 mosquitos were taken out. In another survey, for every 1 mosquito knocked out, 250 mosquito predators were killed.
If you are presently using one of these zappers, unplug it (or use it for mothing with the zapper grid disabled. this is a simple process of snipping the wire connected to the zapper grid, these wires are located under the top of the unit). If you continue to run it, you're only doing the mosquitos a favor.


Sunday, August 21, 2005


Cape Cod for a week. Lots of great birds and moths out here to say nothing of a beautiful pond within walking distance of the ocean! I'll post Central Park News when it comes in via e-mail [that's the way it often comes in anyway], and I promise to finish my Perseid/robins story [including bats, mockingbirds and the space shuttle] before the week is over.