Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Grand Duke arrives

Great Horned Owl -- the Ramble
Photo by Beth Bergman -- 11/06/07

The French once called the bird Le Grand Duc, and small wonder: the Great Horned Owl is way up there in the avian hierarchy. Only a Red-tailed Hawk might stand a chance in combat with the biggest and most ferocious of local owls.

This bird was seen, and photographed by Beth Bergman somewhere between the Azalea Pond and the Oven yesterday. Maybe it's still there today. In any event, Central Park has been visited by royalty. How to find it? Follow the shrieking bluejays, who function as the Royal Announcers: Thieeeef! Thieeef! Thieeef!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Murray's cure for the blues

Eastern Bluebird west of the Great Lawn -- 11/4/09
Photo by Murray Head [With thanks to Beth ]

Be like I, hold your head up high,
Till you find a bluebird of happiness.
You will find greater peace of mind
Knowing there's a bluebird of happiness.
And when he sings to you,
Though you're deep in blue,
You will see a ray of light creep through,
And so remember this, life is no abyss,
Somewhere there's a bluebird of happiness.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


American Woodcock--3/15/05
Photo b y Lloyd Spitalnik

From eBirds three days ago:

Today Sunday Nov 1, 2009 at about 9 am, Sally Weiner, Susan Schulz and I flushed (inadvertently!) an American Woodcock from the Locust Grove.

Reported by Alice Deutsch

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tom Fiore reports on ducks and fall flowers

Hooded Merganser [male] --Central Park, 12/12/07

Hi Marie,

A visit to Central Park's reservoir Monday revealed at least 5 handsome drake Hooded Mergansers, with 50+ N. Shovelers, 12+ Buffleheads, & the "usual gang" of Ruddy Ducks, this Monday (Nov. 2) noon around the reservoir's northeast sector, where the ducks were more sheltered from winds. A Pied-billed Grebe or 3 were also in the area (as were 2 Laughing Gulls - not too uncommon until about late November in recent years).

Fall color has fully arrived in foliage and for those who enjoy it, the Conservatory Garden's autumn Chrysanthemum display is at its brightest now - it will last a week or more if not touched by frost, or pulled out too soon by CPC. The flowers can take a very light frost & used to be allowed to remain but in recent years the display is interrupted so that the tulip bulbs for next spring's display can be planted in the earth while mild enough.


Hooded Merganser [female] Central Park 12/12/07

2 photos by Lloyd Spitalnik

Monday, November 02, 2009

Health News: Central Park Squirrels...

...have apparently been informed as to sneezing etiquette during a flu pandemic.

Photo by Murray Head
Central Park--10/31/09