Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rare Sparrow in Central Park has a close escape

Karen Fung posted the first report of Central Park's latest "star" bird on eBirds at 11:50 a.m:

Adult Lark Sparrow currently at N End in the newly created field
north of the Balancing Rock which is at the south end of the Great
Hill. Found by Tom Perlman.

Among the birdwatchers who showed up was Malcom Morris, a North Woods Regular, who sent in the following dramatic report:

and I were watching the lark sparrow at the base of a small black cherry tree around 12 today from a distance of perhaps 15 yards when a kestrel came swooping over my shoulder and flew right at the lark sparrow. It wasn't clear whether there was contact or not but the sparrow ended up going right into the nearby brush and the kestrel up and around and then to a nearby high perch. Starr and Tom Perlman had mentioned seeing an active kestrel about a half hour before when we were all looking at the lark sparrow. The sparrow eventually came back to the edge of the fence along the south side of the field near a stump, but only ventured about six inches away from the fence. The kestrel stayed for a least a half hour more watching. We lost the sparrow in the brush behind the stump around 12:30 or so and when I left at 12:40, it hadn't been refound. The perils of migration right before our eyes Malcolm Morris

PS The photo above, by LLOYD SPITALNIK was taken at Jones Beach State Park on 11/6/10