Thursday, September 13, 2007

Definitely belongs in the evil-eye file

Bob Levy, the red-winged blackbird chronicler who now seems to be solidly in Cardinal Land, wonders which category best describes his photo. The headline above is my answer. What do you think?

Bob writes:

I’m not sure how to file this particular photo. Does it go in the "almost-too-cute-for-words” file or the “evil eye” file? The adult male striking this provocative pose is one I call Papa Meadow because the center of his territory is the Maintenance Meadow in Central Park. Here he seems to be giving me an uncharacteristically intense glare more suited to a raptor than a songbird. The motivation behind it is not a mystery. I confess it had everything to do with the peanut I held up for him between two fingers on my left hand while my left hand pressed the shutter button.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Robins close up

Bob Levy sends in a robin vignette:

This picture is from my almost-too-cute-for-words file. It may be another one of those ho-hum-here-go-again photos of nestlings but how I got this shot will always stay with me. I was standing on a sloping boulder on the far northwest edge of the Ramble in Central Park when I heard the nestlings yelling quite close to me. I turned toward the sound to discover I was nearly eyelevel with a very exposed nest less than fifteen feet away. I took a photo or two after which one of the parents arrived to feed three nestlings. (You can only see two but there was another one in the back that was having a hard time competing with its siblings). When the adult left the nestlings fell silent and snuggled back down to await the next course. They did not have to wait long. A minute or two later the three popped up and started yammering again. I realized that the kids knew a meal was on the way long before I could spot the deliverer. Listening to the nestlings gave me time to get ready to take my next photo. This process was repeated a couple of times and I expected it to continue the same way but then one episode puzzled me. The nestlings popped up and began to vocalize signaling a meal was near but neither parent arrived. I scanned the area but saw nothing until out of the corner of my eye I saw something on the rock at my feet. One adult was standing inches from my shoe with a gooey beak full of I don’t know what. The bird stood for a while then leapt up to the nest and promptly deposited the goo into the open mouths you see in the shot. As a new birder in Central Park I quickly learned what prolific breeders American Robins are and how they often seem to ignore the humans but I never encountered one that was so blasé about my presence as was that particular bird.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rare visitor from outer space?

Numinous photo by David Speiser

A Connecticut Warbler [a red-letter bird] landed at Hernshead on Saturday, September 8 and stayed much of the day. Jack Meyer wrote on ebirds:

Thanks to Tony Lance who found the Connecticut Warbler, and to Richard Zain Eldeen who passed on the information.

And many thanks to David Speiser for sending the above and other great photos of this rare visitor.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Calling all patriots: Let's keep the ball rolling on this great idea

1. Regular correspondent Remy Lipert proposes the "Replace the Bald Eagle with the Red-tail Hawk Campaign" and attaches a caption: The first (and so far, the only) voter, trying it on for size:

2. Just a few days later, on September 3, Bob Levy came up with a similar idea:
He writes: I caught the world famous celebrity Red-tailed Hawk Pale Male in a patriotic mood on one of his favorite perches atop the flagpole at the Castle in Central Park. No doubt he was getting into the spirit of this holiday weekend. Let him be an inspiration to us all. Viva Labor Day. It appears to me the city could find the budget to buy a new flag. This one’s a bit worn around the edges but then some of us may feel the same way but we are still waving, so to speak.

3. Here's one on the same theme, from