Friday, September 17, 2010

A brief conversation ---- overheard by Murray Head

When: 9/17/10
Where: in the area known to Central Park birders as
"The Riviera"

Do you know the way to San Tropez? Kidding. Is there any place for me to eat around here?

About 50 yards north, the edge of The Oven...Jewelweed.


You can always rely on a woodpecker.

Photos and captions by MURRAY HEAD

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Urban lepidoptera

The following e-mail arrived yesterday:

Hi Marie,

. . . In addition to Monarchs galore on the butterfly bush on our roof, we also had this visitor (see photos above). Do you know its name?

Many thanks,

John Harris

We live on West 81st St twixt Amsterdam and Columbus Aves.

I replied:

Hi John,

Lovely photos. I'm not much of a butterfly expert, but I do know this one. It's a Buckeye, pretty common throughout the U.S. You can see Buckeyes in Central Park's Shakespeare Garden [just a block or so from your house] fairly often.

Warm regards,


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An uncommon warbler

Golden-winged Warbler [male] -- at Sterling Forest, NY
Photo by LLOYD SPITALNIK -- 6/1/2008

When: TODAY at about 11 a.m.

Where: In the woody field south of the Azalea Pond

Who: A group of birders led by Richard Lieberman, under the aegis of the New York Linnaean Society

What: They had a sighting of a very special bird for Central Park: a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER.

Note: there don't seem to be any photos of this warbler taken in Central Park. Please let me know if you happen to have one.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why the name?

Yesterday photographer MURRAY HEAD saw and captured [on film of course] one of the large number of birds stopping over in Central Park on their way to southern wintering grounds. It was a GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER.


Why is the bird called a Great Crested Flycatcher when it doesn't seem to have any crest at all, great or small? The picture below, posted on 6/29/09 on a now defunct North Carolina blog, provides a clue. Hint: it was windy atop that birdhouse as the bird paused with nesting material in his bill. I think you'll agree that the flycatcher has a great crest indeed.