Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rare visitor sticks around for Christmas Eve

Rufous Hummingbird at AMNH -- photo by Jacob Drucker via NY Daily News

Tom Fiore reports today:

Saturday, 24 December, 2011 -

The Manhattan (N.Y. City) RUFOUS Hummingbird is still present, seen feeding in green-flowered shrubs next to the entrance of the American Museum of Natural History's "Rose Center" off West 81 Street, just inside the small park space, which is between Columbus Avenue & Central Park West. There is now a small nectar-feeder nearby, and in 30+ minutes, beginning around 7:50 a.m., the hummingbird was not seen visiting that small feeder, but exclusively in the greenish flowers & flying about a little, including, once, over towards the street but soon back to the building entry's plantings. Four of us watched this early a.m., with air temperatures starting at slightly below the freezing mark of 32 F. The hummer can be quite unobtrusive at times, feeding or sitting, well within densely-leaved shrubs.

Good birding.

Tom Fiore,

And here's an article from the Daily News:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Barred Owl found near Literary Walk

Barred Owl in Central Park -- photo by ALICE DEUTSCH

Judy Jamison, a birder I know from Steve Quinn's bird walks, wrote me this morning:
In CP 9:30 this a.m. between Literary Walk and the Drive, just south of Summerstage, I had no bins but saw large owl being mobbed by 6 noisy crows. Lamp post 6922.

Judy e-mailed another birder, Alice Deutsch, who went forthwith to the given location, identified the owl and took the great photo above.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our local star and PPPS

Yesterday at the entrance to the Rose Center [Planetarium] of the American Museum of Natural History -- I met photographer Beth Bergman. She was photographing the Rufous Hummingbird -- our latest avian star --- and very kindly gave me permission to include any of her photos on this site. Below is a small selection of yesterday's photos.

The hummingbird was first discovered by Noah Burg on December 14. By the next day the local birding world was there, paying obeisance to this amazing little bird.

There's a big collection of shots of the Rufous Hummingbird on Beth Bergman's website -- it out. It's a great blog. Among other things, she provides fascinating observations of the bird's feeding methods.

PS The bird is feeding on a Mahonia bush. This is an evergreen shrub with an abundance of yellow blossoms that are providing sustenance for the hummingbird at the moment.

PPS Note the first photo in which the bird appears to be sitting on a leaf while feeding!

PPPS This posted at 12:18 today [Wednesday] on the NYSBirds blog:
For anyone interested, the hummingbird continues at the entrance to the 81st entrance to the American Museum of Natural History. It is currently flycatching in the flowerbed on the left (east) side of the planitarium entrance and allows excellent study.  Angus Wilson, New York City & The Springs, NY

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last Phoebe of the year?

Eastern Phoebe at Turtle Pond - 10:20am - TODAY [12/18/11] seen flying over the water near the island

Reported, photographed, and posted on eBirds by Anders Peltomaa

As many of you know, every spring I'm a bit obsessed with the first arrival of the Eastern Phoebe in Central Park. It is always one of the earliest spring migrants and come mid-March I'm usually out in the park first-phoebe-hunting. Here are some dates for that auspicious event from my records of recent years: 3/18/05, 3/16/06, 3/11/07, 3/12/08 [Prospect Park], 3/22/09, 3/11/10, 3/14/11. A pretty reliable bird, don't you think?

I've never been as meticulous in recording last sightings. But the bird above may very well be the last Eastern Phoebe Central Park will enjoy in 2011.