Friday, May 09, 2008

Peak of Migration - 2008!

The park has been hopping for the last few days. Here are some examples of what you might have seen, taken by a great birder and photographer--DAVID SPEISER

Blackburnian Warbler--May 8, 2008

Nashville Warbler [about to bathe] May 8, 2005

Magnolia Warbler - May 8, 2006

Parula Warbler [with bug] --May 7, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Male & female created He them

Scarlet Tanager - male

Scarlet Tanager - female

Black-throated Blue Warbler - male

Black-throated Blue Warbler - female

Rose-breasted Grosbeak [without the rose breast] female

No wonder Audubon thought some of these males and females were different species of birds when he first encountered them!

All photos were taken by DAVID SPEISER on May 7 2008

Note: For more of David's beautiful photos, check out his website

PS -- a bonus from David, seen at the Lower Lobe in Central Park on May 8, 2008:

Solitary Sandpiper - 5/8/08

[Note: More David Speiser spring migrants to come soon]

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Redtail report - Part I

The Riverside Park pair

Photo by Bruce Yolton
[Please note: a third chick was discovered after this photo was taken]

One of the Riverside Park hawkwatchers, Eleanor Macdonald, sent in a report yesterday 5/7/08:
[This nest is in the park around 81st Street.]

Dear Marie,

I spent a bit less than two hours at the 79th Street Riverside Park nest from 2:15 to 4:00 pm this afternoon. There was the usual treat of three fuzzy heads popping up to be fed, a few trips by the formel to gather bark strips and twigs to build up the nest, the bringing of a meal (pigeon?) to the nest and the killing and eating of a squirrel by the tiercel.* At about 3:45 the formel * gave two piercing alarm cries from the nest which were echoed from elsewhere in the Park, and suddenly there were three Red Tailed Hawks in the air over the nest area. The resident pair seem to have driven off the intruder in a short time; the formel soon returned to the nest to feed her brood and she then resumed twig gathering. What an afternoon!

* tiercel and formel are falconry terms for male and female hawks

The Fordham [Bronx] redtails Rose and Hawkeye:

Rich Fleisher, a professor of political science at Fordham, wrote on May 5:
Hawkeye and Rose clearly have at least two healthy chicks (see picture). They were clearly sticking their heads above the top of the nest and I saw Rose feed them on several occasions.

[Other redtail nests throughout the city are active. More reports soon.]

Avians and others, plain and fancy, currently on view in Central Park

More of what I missed the week I was away

Some common nesters:
American Robin among unfolding leaves - 5/4/08- photo by Murray Head

Red-winged Blackbird - photo by Eleanor Tauber

Fancy migrants who do not nest in Central Park:

Common Yellowthroat - 5/4/08

Blue-winged Warbler 5/4/08

Prairie Warbler 5/3/06

A lovely migrating species that nests here:

Baltimore Oriole bathing - 5/3/08
4 photos above by David Speiser

And in the interest of class biodiversity:

American Bullfrog in the Gill--photo by Eleanor Tauber

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Catching up

I missed a great 5 days of the spring migration during my trip to the Czech Republic. I did see nesting storks, however, and a community of storkwatchers not unlike our Central Park hawkwatchers at the model-boat pond.

Here are some of the flashy Central Park warblers seen by many, and photographed by DAVID SPEISER:

Yellow Warbler 5/4/08

Black-throated Green Warbler 5/4/08

Worm-eating Warbler - 5/4/08

Cerulean Warbler 5/3/08

Tomorrow -- more songbird pictures, some lovely photos of unflashy but beautiful birds, and a nesting hawk catch-up