Welcome to BirdingAroundNYC
A birding digest, blog, information and photographs about the birds in or around NYC
Click on any button above to see photographs and learn more about birds
Debbie Becker lives and works in the New York City area. Her work has been published in
The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, WildBird Magazine, The Daily News,
The New York Post, New York City Audubon and The New York Botanical Garden's Blog.
Debbie leads bird walks for The New York Botanical Garden
and teaches photography and creative writing classes.
"I became obsessed with bird watching many years ago and began studying birds and
their behavior using photography, video and journal/blog writing."
All the text and photographs on this site were written and photographed by Debbie Becker. ç
No reproduction without permission. © Copyright 2012, Debbie Becker. All rights reserved.
FREE BIRD WALKS AT
THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN
(with Garden Grounds Admission)
Meet 11am at The Reflecting Pool
Click On Blog for Photos of
"People" on my bird walks.
Imagine my surprise walking down 6th Avenue in New York City and spotting a Scarlet Tanager sprawled out on the sidewalk- an apparent victim of a window collision. Its eyes were closed and it looked dead. People were brushing by the bird as I dove on it like a fumbled football at the Giants' game! I have found migrating birds before, some dead, some still alive. I quickly retrieved the bird and began massaging its body looking for a sign of life when its eye opened just a bit, giving me the hope I was searching for. I held it cupped in my hands to keep it warm and began looking for a place to keep it safe as I was expected in school. A nearby park looked quite promising. By the time I walked to the park–the bird was almost, fully recovered. I brought it over to a shrubby area where the leaves bared a resemblance to the Tanager's feathers. I held out my hand and with a burst of energy it flew to a nearby branch, blending in quite nicely.
I ran late to where I was headed, but my encounter with the Scarlet Tanager was quite worth it!
10/16/13- Randall's Island
A tour around parts of Randall's Island, searching for sparrows, proved a bit disappointing. At the salt marsh area a single quick sparrow darted into the brush never to resurface again. Yellow rumped warblers were abundant on the north side of the marsh. Several mallards were on shore. The tide was out and could have attributed to the lack of sparrow activity in the marsh. Walking to the south side of the island near fields 80-60 we were treated to a large mixed flock of warblers; pine, palm, and yellow rumped foraging with chipping sparrows. Also mockingbird, hairy and downy woodpecker were spotted in the wooded area. Other than 1great cormorant and several immature double crested cormorant we did not spot any other water fowl. It's a beautiful island accessible by foot bridge from 103rd St and FDR Drive in Manhattan.
10/15/13 - Sora - Bryant Park!
A small rail- like bird, Sora remains in Bryant Park darting through the bushes in the beds adjacent to the lawn area. Why this marsh bird has chosen to set down in Bryant Park remains a mystery but to the birder who spotted the Sora, thank you for the life bird!
10/14/13- Pelham Bay Park
I attempted to find Jack Rothman's Red headed woodpeckers at Pelham Bay Park. I had tried on Saturday without much success - but did have a palm, prarie, savannah, many song, swamp, clapper rail and belted kingfishers as consolation birds.
Today, I followed the directions given to me by Jack and while on the trail received a call from Joe Morales (he had observed the woodpecker earlier) who guided me closer to the bird but I still could not locate it. I eventually gave up and returned to Turtle Cove -which was way less birdy than it had been on Saturday. While on the path I heard footsteps and ran into Steve and Joanne who were also looking for the RHW. We decided to look together and tried following the driving range path Joe advised. When we came to the clearing with two paths we took the lower path that Jack's directions called for - but actually traveled further down the path when we saw the unmistakable white, black and red colors fly past us. We spotted 3 adult RHWs!! They were flying back and forth over the path giving us outstanding views! It was quite a sight! Thank you Jack Rothman and Joe Morales!!
Beautiful birding day at NYBG. A three hour tour of the Garden produced the following birds;
Black throated blue-1
Yellow rumped -2
Sparrows (all spotted in new Native Plant Garden)
White crowned -3
Scarlet Tanager-1 female
Red tailed hawk-1
Rose breasted grosbeak -1
Ruby crowned kinglet-3
Yellow bellied sapsucker-3
Red bellied woodpecker -1
•••Thank you to the people who responded to my email about the "stunned" bird. The Scarlet Tanager was revived and released. Picture below.
The Saturday morning bird walk had 18 birders and we enjoyed a rather birdie day at NYBG. The new Native Plant Garden at NYBG continues to be a superb birding area for sparrows. Clay colored, Field, Song, Chipping, white throated, Fox and LARK sparrow (another birder we met along the way found the Lark). The best point of lookout is under the pavilion adjacent to the tall grasses behind the waterfall. Also spotted throughout the Garden: Yellow rumped warbler-6 Black throated blue-2 Magnolia-1 Northern waterthrush-1 Common yellowthroat-4 Black and white -2 Brown thrasher-1 Rose breasted grosbeak-1 Ruby crowned kinglets-3 Wood ducks-2 Mallards-4 Catbird-6 Bluejay-12 Mockingbird-1 Eastern phoebe-2 American goldfinch-many White breasted nuthatch-1 Chickadee-2 Northern flicker-4 Hairy woodpecker -1 Downy woodpecker-2 Yellow bellied sapsucker-3 Red bellied woodpecker -3 Sharp shined hawk -1 American robins-many in assorted maturity. Great blue heron -1 Junco-1 Red tailed hawk-1
9/28/13- Turtle Cove
Off of the path leading to the steel bridge I picked up the following birds in about 30 minutes. Clapper Rail (finally!- first heard and then observed) Great blue heron-1 Great egret-4 Snowy egret-8 Black and white warbler-1 Eastern phoebe-1 Song sparrow-2 Belted kingfisher-1 Osprey Cormorant -3 Mallards-6 Killdeer -3 Catbird-1 Marsh wren-1
Beautiful day at NYBG! The 31 birders on my Saturday morning bird walk observed the following birds: Purple finch - 2 FOS Chipping sparrow-10 White crowned sparrow-4 Song sparrow-1 Clay colored sparrow-1 Ruby crowned Kinglet-1 Eastern phoebe-4 Eastern wood peewee-2 Northern waterthrush-1 Common yellowthroat-2 Red tailed hawk-2 Cooper's hawk-1 American goldfinch-16 Catbird-5 Bluejay-2 Chimney swifts -6 Brown thrasher-1 American robin-many Cedar waxwings-14 Scarlet tanager-3 Ruby throated hummingbird-4 Yellow bellied sapsucker-1 Red bellied woodpecker-3 Downy woodpecker-1 Hermit thrush-1 Northern flicker-23
They say if you build it, they will come. NYBG created a Native Plant Garden, last May, and on today's bird walk we spotted a LARK SPARROW in the new garden! Martin Carney - you were right! Also at the Native Plant Garden; Chestnut sided and Common Yellowthroat.
Spotted in ONE large tree over the Bronx River:
Eastern wood peewee-1
Rose breasted grosbeak
Great crested flycatcher-1
Red eyed vireo-3
Red bellied woodpecker -2
Black and white warbler-2
White breasted nuthatch-2
Scarlet tanager -1
The bird watchers called the tree "magic" and so it was!
On Twin Lakes
Solitary Sandpiper -2
Belted kingfisher -1
There were Ruby throated hummingbirds (8) on every patch of Jewel Weed.
We were limited in the flyway because of southern winds but managed to find;
Red tailed hawk-4
9/19/13 - Manhattan
I decided to see how the local parks were doing in terms of migration. Wednesday, certainly turned out to be flycatcher day. Birding midtown to lower Manhattan 8:00am- 1pm.
Central Park @ 59th
Rose breasted grosbeak-1
Black and white -1
Scarlet Tanager -1
Bryant Park @ 40th and 6th
Common yellowthroat -16
Union Square Park (14th St.)
Northern Waterthrush wading in a pool of water from a broken pipe -1
Black throated blue-1
Common yellowthroat -1
Eastern Wood peewee-2
Stuyvesant Park (2nd and 15th)
Eastern Wood peewee-2
Red eyed vireo-1
Stuyvesant Town Oval (1st Ave & East River)
Eastern Wood peewee-2
East River @ 23rd St
8/27/13 - I had the pleasure of participating with Jack Rothman on a walk he organized with three birding clubs. Click on the link for photographs and bird list. It was a great walk! Thanks Jack!
7/27/2013- Central Park
We birded Central Park from 2:30-6pm covering the area around and including the Ramble. A possible Yellow billed Cuckoo in the Maintenance Meadow along with a Ruby throated hummingbird being chased by an Eastern Kingbird over Turtle Pond, highlighted our day. Baltimore Oriole-1 Eastern kingbird-6 Eastern wood peewee (heard) Marsh wren- Turtle Pond Wood duck-1 Mallard with 4 ducklings Red tailed hawk-2 Chimney swifts-many Barn swallow-2 Cedar Waxwing-1 immature Hairy woodpecker -1 Red bellied woodpecker -1 BC Night Heron-1 Catbird, House finch, Cardinal, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, Grackles, American Goldfinch.
Butterflies: Snout nosed, Question Mark, Red Admiral, Tiger Swallowtail, Swallowtail, Meadow Fritillary, Hairstreak
With Debbie Becker, Zach, Joanne, Steve, Todd, Joan, Ettie, Camille, Maisy, Cheryl, Ruth, Ira and Norma.
7/14/13- Pelham Bay Park
After reading Jack Rothman's post on Turtle Cove I decided to drive over and take a look. Unfortunately, the weather was hotter than hot and the birds appeared to be cooling somewhere in the shade. I did get to see two Warbling Vreos feeding their young, a Great Crested Flycatcher, Tree Swallows, Osprey in their nest, Chipping Sparrow, Cedar Waxwings, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Killdeer and Willow Flycatcher (heard).
7/12/2013- Central Park
Yesterday's bird walk at Central Park - although wet - was very productive for a rainy mid- July day. Highlights include: Olive sided flycatcher calling from a tree top in the Upper Lobe. Immature Cedar waxwings, Warbling Vireo and (3) immature Eastern Kingbirds (very quietly sitting on a top branch as their mom went back and forth bringing them tasty morsels) by Bow Bridge. Barn swallows, Black crowned Night Heron and Chimney Swifts at Turtle Pond. Willow flycatcher and a Black crowned night heron (in breeding plumage) at the Oven. The usual suspects include; Grackles, Blue jay, Cardinal, Catbird Mallard, Canada goose, American Robin (many still on nests and lots of immature speckled birds), Hairy woodpecker, Red bellied woodpecker, Northern flicker, and Tufted titmouse (heard). Checked ponds and lake for skimmers - but came up empty.
Last bird walk for the 2012-2013 Season. Bird walks resume September 7, 2013.
Thank you to all the wonderful birders who join me, every Saturday, in the rain, snow, sleet or sunshine, to walk the beautiful trails at NYBG, looking for birds. It has been a pleasure to guide you through the Garden. I will begin my 29th year of leading walks for NYBG September 7th. I hope you will be there to join me.
A beautiful and productive day of birding at NYBG. My walk had 30 birders. We ran into a puzzling sight at Azalea Way. A house wren, song sparrow, chipping sparrow and catbird were all trying to feed an immature cowbird perched in a tree. The cowbird had initially been spotted on the birdhouse where the wrens were nesting. Highlight include; cedar waxwings, warbling vireos, a rusty blackbird and Carolina wrens nesting in the forest. Great egret-1 Cedar waxwing-4 Chimney swift-1 Barn swallow-1 Warbling vireo-3 Hairy woodpecker-3 Red bellied woodpecker (heard) Northern flicker-2 Wood thrush (heard) Rusty blackbird-1 Red tailed hawk-2 Carolina wren-1 House wren-2 Red winged blackbird-3 Mallard-4 Eastern kingbird-1 American goldfinch-4 Blue jay-2 Catbird-7 Mockingbird-1 Mourning dove-3 Cardinal-4 House sparrow-many Field sparrow-1 Chipping sparrow-4 Song sparrow-2 Cowbird-1 European starling- too many American Robin-many
On the Saturday morning bird walk 27 birders watched a male and female Baltimore Oriole feeding their newly fledged chicks. Quite a sight to see the young birds in a crabapple tree as flashes of orange and yellow feathers quickly flew from branch to branch gathering worms, spiders and other insects to deposit into their gaping mouths.
On the other side of the garden a male and female House Wren were working equally as hard to feed their brood chirping from a nearby bird house.
Chipping sparrows were chipping,
Cardinals were calling, Red winged black birds were flashing their red epaulets in territorial defense, immature grackles were chasing their parents begging for food and warbling vireos were working the treetops gathering insects for their young. It was a very busy birding day!
Red bellied woodpecker-1
Northern flicker (heard)
Red winged blackbird-4
6/19/13- Pelham Bay Park
PURPLE MARTINS! A pair were hunting on Turtle Cove at sunset. A very unusual sighing. I have spotted Purple Martins on Long Island, but never in the New York City vicinity. I also observed nesting Oriole, Osprey and Yellow Warbler along with Marsh Wrens, Red winged black birds, Black Crowned Night Heron and Great Egret.
6/15/2013- Pelham Bay Park
The Marsh Wrens are back! Those noisy little birds who speckle the reeds over by Turtle Cove are singing their song and jumping up and down. Great Egrets were also spotted, along with a Baltimore Oriole.
A beautiful morning for a bird walk after a rainy week. Nesting birds include; House Wrens, Baltimore Orioles, Warbling Vireos and American Robin. Also observed: Hairy Woodpecker-1 Northern Flicker -1 Catbird-2 Bluejay-3 Cardinal-2 Song Sparrow-1 Grackle-many Red winged blackbird-4 Wood thrush (heard) Green heron - 2 Cooper's hawk-1 Cormorant-1 Mallard-1 Black capped chickadee (heard) Cedar waxwing-6 American Goldfinch-2 Eastern Kingbird-1 (finally)
Friday's rain storm turned the Bronx River into an amazing sight as it rushed through NYBG. The rain filled the forest with babbling brooks and turned the waterfall into a spectacular rush of water. Even though a small iron fence separates you from the waterfall the motion of the water, spray and sound were breathtaking. Anyone who wants to see nature in action should go to NYBG today or Tuesday before the fury subsides.
Highlights from my Saturday morning bird walk: we saw a Catbird chasing a chipmunk in a crabapple tree; Cedar waxwings were everywhere; a Bald Eagle soared over the Bronx River while an Eastern Peewee continuously called from a branch above the water.
Bald eagle - immature
Cedar waxwings- many & everywhere
Warbling Vireo-4 nests w birds
Red bellied woodpecker -2
Red winged blackbird-1
Red tailed hawk-3
House Wren-2 nesting
There appears to be an absence of Eastern Kingbirds at NYBG and an increase of Warbling Vireos. Usually Eastern Kingbirds nest in the Sycamore trees along the Bronx River. Yesterday, we spotted four Warbling Vireo nests in the Sycamores but not one Eastern Kingbird.
6/1/13- The New York Botanical Garden
The following birds were observed on the Saturday morning bird walk. Cedar waxwing-9 Eastern Peewee-(heard) Wood thrush-(heard) Warbling Vireo-2 Red eyed vireo-1 Chimney Swifts-13 Tufted Titmouse-1 Hairy woodpecker-1 Red bellied woodpecker -1 Baltimore oriole-1 Green heron-1 Great blue heron-1 Mallard-2 Song sparrow-1 Grackle-4 Red winged blackbird-2 American Robin-many Red tailed hawk-2 Mockingbird-1 Northern Flicker-2 House Wren-1 Cardinal-1 Blue Jay-3 American Goldfinch-1
The warblers were with us at NYBG - always the best place to bird. The diverse habitat makes NYBG the perfect place to increase your birding numbers and see really good birds.
The following birds were spotted on my Saturday morning and afternoon bird walk.
14 Species of Warbler
Swainson's Thrush Wood thrush Veery HOODED Warbler Chestnut sided Bay breasted Blackpoll Black and white Northern Parula Yellow rumped Black throated green Black throated Blue Yellow Oven Bird Magnolia American Redstart Common Yellowthroat Yellow throated Vireo Warbling Vireo Great crested flycatcher Wood ducks w 12 ducklings Mallard Baltimore Oriole Scarlet Tanager Eastern Kingbird Great Blue Heron American Goldfinch Grackle Catbird Red winged blackbird Song sparrow Rough winged swallow Chimney swift
Thanks to Joann, Steve and Martin
5/9-5/10/13 Central Park and Bryant Park - 24 Hour Count
24 Hour Bird Count
Central Park 5/9 4-6:30pm
Bryant Park- 5/10 8-10am 1:30-3pm
Central Park- 5/10 4-6:30pm
16 Species of Warbler
Black Throated Blue
Black Throated Green
Black and white
Great Crested Flycatcher
White throated Sparrow
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Golden Crowned Kinglet
Red tailed hawk
Red bellied Woodpecker
Northeast winds persist and the warblers were few and far between. I had two bird walks today, to celebrate the opening of the Native Plant Garden. After birding NYBG for 6 hours we saw the following birds: WORM EATING WARBLER PRAIRIE WARBLER Yellow warbler Palm warbler Yellow rumped warbler Black and white warbler Great blue heron Cormorant Wood duck Mallard Eastern Phoebe Northern Cardinal Blue Jay White throated sparrow Song sparrow Chipping sparrow House sparrow American Goldfinch Downy woodpecker Red bellied woodpecker Northern Flicker Red winged blackbird Cowbird Chimney Swifts Rough winged swallow Grackles Tufted titmouse White breasted nuthatch Red tailed hawk Snapping turtle Red eared sliders Beavers are making progress taking down a large tree on Bronx River.
Our resident great horned owl had two owlets this year and was faced raising them as a single mother. Her mate, Junior, and Rose, the Red tailed hawk, both went missing at the same time a few months ago. Perhaps they had a final deadly altercation after numerous confrontations. No one knows for sure. It was odd that they both vanished in early winter. But, I am happy to say, the owlets have fledged and were observed on today's walk.
(Click On "Ducks" above for Pictures) In addition, we have a wood duck who has nested in a tree above the water. Quite a sight seeing wood ducks in a tree hole. A regular nesting site for them - but may be a first - at the Garden. There were 58 birders on my walk today and although we had a large crowd we all were treated to great sightings of: PRAIRIE WARBLER-1 Black & White-2 Pine-10 Palm-3 Yellow rumped-many Blue headed vireo-1 Ruby crowned kinglet-2 White breasted nuthatch-2 Chickadee-1 Belted kingfisher-1 Northern flicker-5 Red bellied woodpecker-3 Downy woodpecker-1 Northern cardinal-4 Blue jay-3 Mockingbird-1 PURPLE FINCH-1 American goldfinch-3 House finch-1 MERLIN-1 Red tailed hawk-2 White throated sparrow-3 Chipping sparrow-3 Swamp sparrow-1 Song sparrow-2 Brown headed cowbird-2 Mallard-3 Canada goose-4 Wood duck-7 Mourning Dove-1 Chimney Swifts-12 Tree swallow-1 Rough winged swallow-2 Barn Swallow-1 Cedar Waxwing-1 Red winged blackbird-4 Eastern Phoebe-2 Grackles-8
4/26- Central Park
Cardinal Blue jay Grackle Red winged blackbird Ruby crowned kinglet Pine warbler Black And white warbler Northern parula Cormorant Mallard Winter wren White throated sparrow Chipping sparrow Swamp sparrow Mourning doves American goldfinch White breasted nuthatch Cowbird Northern waterthrush Eastern towhee Red bat Raccoon
4/25- The best kept secret or perhaps not at NYBG has been the nesting Great Horned Owls. This year they picked a good sturdy nest in a very visible location. To protect the integrity of the nest and the two owlets we decided to remain "mum" on listing the owls on our posting list. But yesterday, the final owlet fledged and they are both out and with their mom - so I feel its safe to reveal their location and take birders to see them. Our first stop the bird walk, on Saturday will be the owls and hopefully we will have a good look!
4/20 - NYBG
A WHITE EYED VIREO highlighted the Saturday morning bird walk at NYBG. Warblers were abundant as were Blue Gray Gnatcatchers. Palm warbler-15 Pine-8 Yellow rumped-2 Black and white-1 Blue gray gnatcher-6 Ruby crowned kinglet-1 Coopers hawk-1 Turkey vulture-1 Red tailed hawk-1 Cowbird-6 House sparrow-2 Chipping sparrow-2 Song sparrow-2 White throated sparrow-4 Downy woodpecker-2 Red bellied woodpecker-2 N rough winged swallow-6 Tree swallow-1 Great egret-2 Wood duck-2 Cormorant-1 Tufted titmouse-1 Chickadee-1 Northern Flicker-2 American Goldfinch-3 Canada goose-8 Mallard-2 Grackle-7 Red winged blackbird-4 Mockingbird-1 Blue jay-5 Cardinal-3 Snapping Turtle-1 Red eared sliders-15
4/13/13- Pelham Bay Park
Horned Grebe and Red eared Grebe in Eastchester Bay. Great Egrets in Turtle Cove. American Crows, flocking on City Island. Monk Parakeets.
We finally had warblers on the Saturday morning bird walk! Highlights include; Pine, Palm and Yellow rumped along with Kinglets, Hermit thrush, Brown Creeper, Belted King Fisher, Northern Flickers and Eastern Phoebes were a welcomed sight. Thirty- eight birders observed the following: Pine Warbler -4 Palm-4 Yellow Rumped-7 Ruby crowned kinglet-6 Golden crowned kinglet-4 Red winged blackbird-9 Northern Rough winged Swallow-2 Tree Swallow-2 Wood duck-2 Mallard-2 Canada goose-3 Brown Creeper-2 Hairy woodpecker -2 Red bellied woodpecker -3 Downy woodpecker -2 Yellow bellied sapsucker -1 Northern Flicker-3 Eastern Phoebe-2 American Crow-3 Belted Kingfisher-1 Red tailed hawk-3 Hermit thrush-1 American Robin-many White throated sparrow-5 Song sparrow-1 Chipping sparrow-1 Chickadee-2 American Goldfinch Tufted titmouse-3 Northern Cardinal-2 Mourning Dove-1 Blue Jay-7 White breasted nuthatch -2 Grackle-1 House Finch-1 House Sparrow-4 Purple Finch-1 Cormorant -1
4/6/13- NYBG- 41 People on the Bird Walk Enjoyed Birding at NYBG!
Highlights of the Saturday morning bird walk; Twin Lakes, two breeding pair Wood Ducks, Tree swallow-3, Rough winged swallow-3, Red winged blackbird-8, FOS Yellow Rumped Warbler. At the Swale, spectacular views of an adult Rusty Blackbird, 8 Cedar Waxwing. On the Bronx River, breeding pairs of Wood Ducks. Also observed: Rusty Blackbird- immature-1 Winter wren-1 Brown creeper-1 Golden crowned kinglet-2 Eastern Phoebe-2 Yellow bellied sapsucker-1 Hairy woodpecker-1 Pileated woodpecker (heard) Red bellied woodpecker -1 Swamp sparrow-1 Song sparrow-3 House sparrow-5 Dark eyed junco-11 American Goldfinch-3 White breasted nuthatch-2 Northern Mockingbird-2 Cardinal-3 Blue Jay-2 Mourning Dove-2 American Robin - 25+ Red tailed hawk-3 Cooper's hawk-1 Chickadee-4 Tufted titmouse-3 Mallard-10 Canada goose- 4 Mourning Cloak- 1 Muskrat- 1 Red-Eared Slider- 26
Highlights include: American Kestrel, Merlin, Black Vultures, Ring Necked ducks. Also observed: Brown Creeper-1 Eastern Phoebe-4 Ruby crowned Kinglet-1 Cormorant-1 Canada Goose-flock Wood Duck-6 American Coot-1 Mallard-4 Northern Mockingbird-2 Northern Cardinal-1 Tufted Titmouse-1 Chickadee-4 White breasted nuthatch-5 Song Sparrow-2 House Sparrow-6 Red bellied woodpecker -4 Downy woodpecker -1 Yellow bellied sapsucker-2 Winter wren - singing Turkey Vulture-1 Red tailed hawk-3 Red winged Blackbird-2 Grackle-6 Blue Jay-3 American Robin-15+ Mourning Dove-1 Mourning Cloak -2 Snapping Turtle-1 Red eared sliders-22 Muskrat-1 Two birders observed the beaver during the week.
Highlights of the Saturday morning bird walk include: American Coot Ring Necked Duck - Male & Female Eastern Phoebe Also observed: Turkey Vulture-2 Red tailed hawk-6 Cooper's Hawk -1 Fox Sparrow-2 Song sparrow-4 White throated sparrow-6 Yellow bellied Sapsucker-2 Downy Woodpecker -1 Red bellied woodpecker -2 Dark eyed junco-4 White breasted nuthatch-2 Chickadee-6 Tufted titmouse-3 Mourning Dove-1 Blue Jay-3 Cardinal-4 Great blue Heron-1 Red winged Blackbird-1 Grackle-8 Mallard-15 Wood Duck-8 Hooded Merganser-2 Black Duck-1
3/21/13- NYC Birds
I was able to relocate the American Woodcock, in front of the restrooms in an ivy patch, at Bryant Park. The bird is closest to the light pole in the middle and best viewed facing east or north. It cannot be observed from the front of restroom. Also at Bryant Park, A vocal Kestrel and a timid FOS Hermit Thrush. I will post pictures of the Woodcock, later today, on my website. At 23rd Street and East River; 8 Red breasted Mergansers, 1 Bufflehead, 2 Black Ducks, 4 Brant, 2 Canada Geese, 1 Greater Black Backed Gull, 2 DC Cormorant and 2 Mallards. Union Square Park remains quiet with a continuing Swamp Sparrow, White Throated Sparrows and 1 Fox Sparrow.
Highlights of the Saturday morning bird walk:
FOS Eastern Phoebe, the harbinger of Spring, observed in a flurry of snowflakes on Twin Lakes. Blade Eagle - immature Pileated Woodpecker (heard) American Coot-on Twin Lakes Osprey Also observed: White crowned sparrow-1 Fox Sparrow-3 White throated Sparrow-15+ Song sparrow-3 Dark eyed junco-3 American Goldfinch-6 Cardinal-2 Grackles-21 Red winged Blackbird-4 Blue Jay-6 American Crow-2 Chickadee -7 Mourning Dove-3 Tufted titmouse-5 White breasted nuthatch-2 Red bellied woodpecker-2 Downy woodpecker -2 Wood ducks- 6 on the Bronx River- 2 on Twin Lakes Black duck-1 Mallard-4 Red tailed hawk-2 Immature Red tailed hawk seriously chasing a squirrel in a battle of clumsy hawk vs smart squirrel. Sharp shinned hawk - adult male perched in a tree being harassed by Blue Jays.
Twenty-Seven birders joined the Saturday morning bird walk at NYBG. Highlights include Red winged blackbirds and Rusty blackbirds. Red tailed hawk -2 Fox sparrow-3 One Fox Sparrow was singing in the Swale. Song sparrow-2 White throated sparrow-3 House sparrow-8 Chickadee-20+ Tufted titmouse-10+ Blue jay-6 Northern Cardinal-4 Northern Mockingbird-1 Mourning Dove-3 Red bellied woodpecker -1 Downy Woodpecker -2 Yellow bellied Sapsucker -2 Mallard-14 Hooded Merganser-2 Canada Geese-2 American Goldfinch-6 Dark eyed Junco-1 Grackle-4 Red winged blackbirds-4 Rusty blackbirds-4
The beavers are working on a rather large tree on the southern most part of the Bronx River before it flows into the Bronx Zoo. Quite a sight! It looks like this tree will fall across the river -perhaps creating a dam.
A belated report from the Saturday morning bird walk at NYBG. Highlights; PINE SISKIN, and PURPLE FINCH We saw the usual suspects: Chickadee Tufted titmouse Cardinal Blue jay White breasted nuthatch American Robin American Goldfinch White throated sparrow Song sparrow Red tailed hawk Cooper's hawk Mallard House Finch Red bellied woodpecker Downy woodpecker
We had an interesting bird walk yesterday at NYBG. At three different locations we found white wash and pellets in low yew trees indicating the presence of a Saw Whet Owl. But despite the strong indication of an owl- we found nothing. Here is the interesting factor. At all three locations an adult Cooper's hawk was either in the yew or very close by. This is the second time we have found a Cooper's inside of a tree that had impressive amounts of white wash. It appears the Cooper's Hawks have discovered the Saw Whets and are preying on these tiny owls while they roost. At one bush we found feathers, indicating a hawk kill. Also observed; Great blue heron-1 Cooper's hawk-3 Red tailed hawk-4 Red breasted nuthatch-2 White breasted nuthatch-2 Chickadees-5 Tufted titmouse-7 Blue Jay-4 Northern Cardinal-4 Northern Mockingbird-1 Yellow bellied Sapsucker-2 Hairy woodpecker -1 Downy woodpecker -1 Red bellied woodpecker-2 Dark eyed junco-8 White throated sparrow-4 Mourning Dove-2
2/6/13- FDR &23rd Street
Ruddy Ducks- 2 males in breeding blue, 1 immature, 1 female. Common Mergansers, 4. Buffle Head, 3. Cormorant, 3.
Highlights of the Saturday morning bird walk include; RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, PURPLE FINCH and SONG SPARROW. Proving Punxsutawney Phil is right- spring has to be around the corner!
Great Horned Owl-1
Red tailed Hawk-2
Sharp shinned Hawk1
Tufted titmouse- 5
White breasted nuthatch-1
Red breasted nuthatch-1
Red bellied woodpecker -3
White throated sparrow-25+
Dark eyed Junco-25+
RED WINGED BLACKBIRD-1
Fresh fallen snow, 26 birders and owls! We saw the following birds on The Saturday morning bird walk: Great Horned Owls-2 Grey Catbird-1 Red tailed Hawk-1 Northern Mockingbird-1 Chickadees-many Tufted titmouse- many White breasted nuthatch-2 Red bellied woodpecker -1 Yellow bellied Sapsucker-1 Downy woodpecker-1 White throated sparrow-5 House sparrow-13 House Finch-1 Northern Cardinal-2 Blue Jay-4 Mourning Dove-3 Dark eyed Junco-6 American Robin-2 Hooded Mergansers-3
There were 25 bird watchers on the Saturday morning bird walk. We had a very productive day and watched some interesting bird behavior. Highlights include: GREY CATBIRD, Great Horned Owls, Hooded Mergansers and Winter Wren. Red tailed hawks- 4 We observed an immature hawk make a kill, by the Bronx River, swooping low over the Mallards -causing quite a flurry- but his ultimate goal was a pigeon, which he caught and ate while we watched. Cooper's Hawk-1 Sharp Shinned Hawk-1 Great Horned Owls-2 Our GHOs are still courting and we are hopeful they will have a successful nest this year. House Finch- 16 Fox Sparrow-4 Four Fox Sparrows traveling together from brush to shrub then tree. Not a common sight at the garden. White throated sparrow-5 House sparrow-1 American Goldfinch-2 Winter Wren-1 American Crow-2 American Robin-75+ The Robins were out of the trees and on the Conservatory lawn looking for worms. Grey Catbird-1 Tufted Titmouse-8 Chickadee-15+ Downy woodpecker-2 Red bellied woodpecker-2 Northern Mockingbird-2 Northern Cardinal-4 Mourning Dove-2 Dark eyed Junco-12 White breasted Nuthatch-1 Blue Jay-8 Mallards-25+ Hooded Mergansers-2
A misty day at the Saturday morning bird walk. Highlights include Great Horned Owls and White Winged Crossbills. The cloudy day forced most the hawks down and their presence controlled the ground birds from foraging. Cooper's and Red tailed hawks dominated the Garden. A Goshawk, hiding inside an tubular evergreen, gave interesting thought as what he was up to. White winged Crossbill-2 Cedar waxwing-1 House Finch-16 American Goldfinch-6 Red bellied woodpecker-1 Red breasted nuthatch-1 White breasted nuthatch-1 Northern Cardinal-2 Blue Jay-7 Tufted Titmouse-7 Black capped chickadee -12 Dark eyed Junco-4 White throated sparrow-5 Northern Mockingbird -1 Mallard-8 Mourning Dove-1 Cooper's Hawk-3 Red tailed Hawk-4 Goshawk-1 Great Horned Owl-2
Highlights of today's walk;
White-winged Crossbills in the brilliant sun. What a beautiful sight! The Great Horned Owls- still roosting together, a Barred Owl, Gray Catbird and Cedar Waxwing.
Barred Owl -1
Great Horned Owl -2
White Winged Crossbill -4
Cedar Waxwing -1
Grey Catbird -1
House Finch -30+
American Goldfinch -10
American Robin -25+
Northern Mockingbird -2
Tufted Titmouse -13
White Breasted Nuthatch -2
Red Breasted Nuthatch -1
Hooded Merganser -2
Wood Duck -2
Red Tailed Hawk -2
White-throated Sparrow -1
Dark Eyed Junco-8
Red Bellied Woodpecker -3
Hairy Woodpecker -1
Downy Woodpecker -2
Red Winged Blackbird-2
Thanks to Greg, Martin & Paula for their list contributions.
12/29 - NO BIRD WALK AT NYBG - See you January 5, 2012-
HAPPY BIRDING NEW YEAR!!
12/27/12 - Central Park
A brief stroll through Central Park on a rather cold and windy day produced a Red bellied woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, 6 Cardinals, White Throated, House and Song Sparrows, Starlings in Belvedere Castle, Northern Shovelers and Mallards on Turtle Pond a Hermit Thrush in Shakespeare's Garden and a lone Mockingbird on Cedar Hill. All seen without binoculars, just a quick walk from the West end of the park to the east end.
Despite the windy and cold weather birders ventured out on the Saturday morning bird walk to discover the flock of White winged Crossbills we saw last week- were still in the Garden- but now they were joined by Common Redpolls! Despite the cloudy skies we were able to make out at least 2 Red Crossbills as well. COMMON REDPOLL-1 (Martin Carney reported seeing at least two more later in the day) WHITE WINGED CROSSBILLS-16 RED CROSSBILLS-2 House Finch-35 Swamp Sparrow-2 White throated Sparrow-54 Song sparrow-2 Fox Sparrow-3 Dark eyed Juncos-12 Mourning Dove-16 Red bellied woodpecker-3 Northern Cardinal-2 Blue Jay-6 American Goldfinch-15 Tufted titmouse-6 Chickadee-32 Wild turkey-2 Cooper's Hawk-3 Red tailed Hawk-2 White breasted nuthatch-4 Red breasted nuthatch -1 American Robins-86 Reported by Gunda- Great Horned Owls-2 Hooded Merganser-3
From The Birding Blog- Click on BLOG Button above to read more
Barred Owls are everywhere in the NYC area. NYBG has one - maybe two. Central Park-three, Bartow Pell- one or two, Pelham Bay Park-two.
Why the steady stream of Barred Owls? Barred owls are actually native to the area but tend to remain elusive as deep forest dwellers. Even though they are late afternoon hunters they tend to shy away from any intrusion into their roosting areas. Unlike the Great Horned Owl a Barred owl will fly away if Blue Jays or Crows are mobbing it.
They are quite formidable hunters- even attacking and eating long earred owls. Their diet consists of mammals, rodents, amphibians, birds and large insects.
A somber owl with haunting eyes the Barred owl is cousin- or the East coast equivalent of the Spotted Owl. The old growth forests in California are home to the very elusive Spotted owl. Lucky for us the Barred ow isl shy but not impossible to see. They prefer lowland, swampy areas with open grass fields. They often roost in thickets or pines.
Once you have gazed into the dark eyes of this owl you will not soon forget its beauty.
12/15/12- Pelham Bay Park
Cackling Geese mixed in with Canada Geese - Orchard Beach Parking Lot
A decent flock of WHITE WINGED CROSSBILLS with at least (2) RED CROSSBILLS highlighted the Saturday morning bird walk. Twenty-two birders were treated to a high flying flock of CROSSBILLS that kept growing and growing as more birds kept joining them. On one tree we spotted: WW CROSSBILL (16), RED CROSSBILL (2), Red winged blackbird (3), House finch(20), American Goldfinch(10), and Chickadees (30). The CROSSBILLS were primarily feeding on Sweet Gum seed balls. Also spotted: Song sparrow (2) White throated sparrow (5) Swamp sparrow (1) Hairy woodpecker (1) Downy woodpecker (2) Red-bellied woodpecker (2) Red breasted nuthatch (1) White breasted nuthatch (1) Dark eyed juncos (14) Mourning doves (16) Tufted titmouse (17) American Robins (81) Blue Jays (5) Cardinals (3) Mockingbird (1) Red tailed Hawk (1) The lakes were bare except for mallards and (4) Hooded mergansers. Of special mention is the ever growing BARRED OWL population. NYBG now has 2. Our resident Great Horned Owls continue to be in a courtship phase. The group found an immature red tailed hawk sitting in a stream. One talon was bloody and mangled. After calling several rehabs we were directed to 311 and the NYPD who were going to come capture the hawk and bring him to animal control for care. The only downer to this beautiful day was the obnoxious audacity of a person who continues to ruin birders' days when he plays tape recordings of bird songs. Today was our turn to be harassed by this person who was been admonished by most Parks people and birding groups.
The Garden's unofficial Christmas Bird Count (11am-2pm) turned up the following birds on a cloudy Saturday: Barred Owl-1 Great Horned Owl-2 Red tailed hawk-2 Cooper's Hawk-3 American Crow-4 American Goldfinch-24+ Black capped Chickadee-26+ House Finch-35+ Tufted Titmice-7 European Starling-285 (on Japanese Pagoda Tree) White throated Sparrow-14 Song Sparrow-1 Winter Wren -2 Hairy Woodpecker-1 Downy Woodpecker -1 Red bellied woodpecker (heard) Mockingbird-1 Red breasted nuthatch-1 White breasted nuthatch (heard) American Robin-64 Northern Cardinal-4 Blue Jay-12 Hooded merganser-4 Mallard-6 Dark eyed junco-33 Mourning Dove-5 Thank you to all the birders who helped count!
The Saturday morning walk started with the sighting of a Barred Owl flying out of a roost, Blue Jays in hot pursuit. While trying to relocate the owl we were alerted to the sounds of Red Crossbills in the pine area near the main entrance of the garden. Last week, we spotted White winged Crossbills a bit west of the main gate. Today, we spotted a chattering flock of about 16 male and female Red Crossbills feeding on pine cones, in the Japanese Black Pines,by the main gate. After spending time observing and photographing the Crossbills we decided to proceed to the crabapples hoping for Purple Finches or Pine Siskins. On the way, we spotted the Barred Owl being chased by a Cooper's Hawk. The owl flew into the Native Plant Garden where we were able to get splendid looks. We also observed Rusty Blackbirds, in the water, moving leaves around looking for food. Greg found a Pine Siskin in a Sweet Gum and there were female Purple Finches on the crabapples. It was a great day of birding at NYBG. RED CROSSBILLS-16 BARRED OWL-1 PINE SISKIN-1 Rusty Blackbirds-5 Red winged Blackbirds-4 (immature M) Purple Finch-6 House Finch-9 American Goldfinch-7 Brown Creeper-1 House Sparrow-8 White throated Sparrow-6 Song Sparrow-2 Fox Sparrow-2 Red breasted Nuthatch-5 White breasted Nuthatch -2 Black capped Chickadee-4 Dark eyed Junco-2 Cooper's Hawk-1 Red tailed Hawk-2 Mourning Dove-4 Northern Cardinal-6 Blue Jay-8 Grackle-1 American Crow-1 Red bellied woodpecker -1 Downy woodpecker -1 American Robin-12 Mallard-8 Wild Turkey-2 Cedar waxwing-1 Hermit Thrush-1 Tufted Titmouse-8
The Great Horned Owls were the highlight of today's Saturday morning bird walk. Male & female both visible and hopefully getting ready to mate in a month or so. A few Pine Siskins and a mixed flock of Red winged blackbirds; male, female and immature males along with Rusty blackbirds were feeding in the Sweet Gum trees. The hurricane cut quite a path of destruction in the forest and throughout the Garden. Many large and very old trees were down. Pine Siskin Purple finch House Finch House sparrow White throated sparrow Song sparrow Swamp sparrow American goldfinch Hermit thrush Dark eyed Junco Northern flicker Red bellied woodpecker Black capped chickadee Tufted titmouse Northern cardinal Blue jay American crow Gadwall Mallard American Robin White breasted nuthatch Red breasted nuthatch Red tailed hawk Great Horned owls Red winged blackbird Rusty blackbird Grackle Wild turkey
11/7/12- Union Square Park
The Lincoln's sparrow was nowhere to be found. Instead I observed and photographed a Fox Sparrow (red phase) and Chipping Sparrow. Other birds observed: Common Yellowthroat, female Cardinal, many Hermit Thrush, many White throated Sparrows, Song Sparrow, Dark eyed Junco, and American Robin.
11/6/12- Union Square Park
Union Square Park located at 14th street in Manhattan. 9-9:30am Winter Wren-going into a flat ground sewer on the west side of the park. Hermit thrush +20 Tufted titmouse-1 Red tailed hawk, immature-1- making an unsuccessful dive at a squirrel. White throated sparrow- many Song Sparrow-1 Lincoln's sparrow-1 Dark eyed Junco-6 House sparrows-many American Robin-5 Ruby crowned kinglet-1 Brown Creeper-1 Hairy Woodpecker-1 Mourning Dove-1 European Starling-7
The following birds were observed on the Saturday morning bird walk: Eastern bluebird-1 Rusty blackbirds-4 Purple finches (all females)-6 American kestrel catching a Golden-crowned kinglet Pine warbler-1 Wood ducks (4 male, 4 female) Hermit thrush-25+ Winter wrens-2 Ruby crowned kinglet-several Golden-crowned kinglet (several) Cedar waxwings (many) Tufted titmouse Chickadee Eastern Phoebe Yellow rumped warbler Northern Cardinals Blue Jay American Goldfinch House Finch House sparrow Mallard (many) Red-breasted nuthatch Red bellied woodpecker Red tailed hawk -5 Wild Turkey -2
10/20/12- Pelham Bay Park
I am always struck in awe by the beauty of Pelham Bay Park. There are many places to walk, hike and bird. My favorite spots are the Lagoon, Turtle Cove and the Bartow Pell Mansion which borders the park on its northern end. Bartow Pell is a wonderful, peaceful place to bird as not many people know about the grounds nor venture over. It is only accessible by foot or car. Yesterday I watched many different sparrows (white crowned, chipping, song, field and a few Juncos) were feeding on the grass near a bush. A Red tailed hawk passed over and they flew for cover. After a brief while they returned. Just out of my sight another predator silently waited. In an instant a Cooper's hawk swooped down and landed precisely on the spot the sparrows were feeding. Its talons open, it was either hit or miss with this young female. Fortunately for the birds - she missed. Confused and a bit dazed she flew away empty handed (so to speak). The sparrows also seemed a bit shaken up and even though I waited not a single sparrow returned to feed.
A few minutes had passed and I noticed a small rafter of turkeys meandering through the woods. Eight turkeys, 2 males and 6 females pecked gently on the grass. Suddenly their heads went erect and they stood motionless. I looked up to see an Osprey pass over. Lucky for them Osprey eat fish. I couldn't even imagine any hawk would take on a turkey!
Also noted at Turtle Cove; Field Sparrow, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch (large flock), Osprey with fish in talons, Immature Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, and a lonely Killdeer.
What a difference a week makes! Many good birds at NYBG but the quantities were low and movement was nothing compared to last week. Most birds migrated either before or after Friday's storm. The Saturday morning bird walk had 21 people and we observed the following birds: Pine Siskin-2 Song sparrow-3 Field sparrow-1 America tree sparrow-1 White throated sparrow-many White crowned sparrow-1 House Finch Chickadee -2 Tufted Titmouse-8 Cardinal-3 Blue Jay-many Grackle - large flock Brown Thrasher-1 Hermit Thrush-4 American Goldfinch-5 Northern Flicker (heard) Yellow-bellied sapsucker-4 Red-bellied woodpecker-3 Downy woodpecker-1 Mockingbird-1 American Robin-many Red-tailed hawk-3 Wood duck -15 Mallard-10+ Cedar Waxwing-2 Eastern Phoebe-5 Yellow rumped warbler-3 Belted Kingfisher -1 Gray Catbird (heard) Mourning Dove-2 Junco-2- White Breasted Nuthatch 2
10/13/12- Pelham Bay Park
Angel Stabbing Demon - Read Blog - Click Blog button above
After my bird walk at NYBG I decided to try my luck at Pelham Bay Park. Although I had read a Sedge Wren had been found near the picnic area I had no luck in finding it. So I headed to my new favorite place to bird, the little bridge by Turtle Cove. During the summer there are marsh wrens everywhere and now during migration the brackish swampy area is full of sparrows. Migrating sparrows pass through NYC during the month of October. That is it really - just one month to see all different species of sparrow and today I had a sparrow bonanza at the Garden and had hopes of adding more at Pelham Bay Park. As I scanned the mugwort I could see flickering and flitting through the reeds and bushes. Swamp, song - in all different plumages- field, house finch, American Goldfinch and two very agressive Belted Kingfishers passed within view of my binoculars. The Kingfishers put on quite an aerial display, which may have caught the attention of a passing Peregrine Falcon. All of sudden I heard screaming from two different type of birds and I looked up to see the Peregrine had caught the Kingfisher in mid-air. The Kingfisher was screaming and the Peregrine was screaming back at it. To tell you the truth, it was a horrible sight. The sounds of death, the agony of the Kingfisher and the screaming of the falcon were deafening. The Peregrine flew around the Cove three or four times before it carted away its prey. Just as I started to recover from that sight a very large Osprey appeared before me holding a squirming bunker in its talons. It had just picked up the fish from the shallow water of the cove and the fish was desperately wiggling to get free as the osprey also flew around the same area many times. I am guessing the predator uses the time flying to let its prey die before eating it. Even though it is the circle of life - it is hard to bear witness.
There were 23 people on the Saturday morning bird walk at NYBG and birds everywhere. Highlights include a PURPLE FINCH and the invasion of red breasted nuthatches. Pine warbler - 2 Palm warbler - 3 Yellow rumped warbler - 10+ Black throated blue warbler - 1 Orange crowned kinglet - 10+ Ruby crowned kinglet - 1 Red breasted nuthatch - 10+ White breasted nuthatch - 3 Chickadee - 2 Tufted titmouse - 5 Grackle - 1 Blue jay - 4 Cardinal - 2 Canada geese - 15 Northern Mockingbird - 1 Northern Flicker - 6 Red bellied woodpecker - 1 Hairy woodpecker - 1 Downy woodpecker - 1 Yellow bellied sapsucker - 3 American Goldfinch - 2 American Robin - many Gray Catbird - 2 Song Sparrow - 9 White throated sparrow - many House sparrow - many Swamp sparrow - 1 Clay colored sparrow - 1 Chipping sparrow - 1 Field sparrow - 1 Eastern Towhee-1 Cedar waxwings - 17 Purple finch - 1 House finch - 2 Broad winged hawk - 1 Red tailed hawk - 3 Coopers hawk - 1 Sharp shinned hawk - 2 Osprey - 1 Mourning Dove - 2 Eastern Phoebe-2 Eastern Wood Peewee-2 Junco - 10+
There were 32 people on the bird walk and we were treated to a great day of birding!
Black throated blue
Eastern wood peewee
Golden crowned kinglet
Ruby crowned kinglet
Red eyed vireo
Red bellied woodpecker
Yellow bellied sapsucker
Red breasted nuthatch
White breasted nuthatch
Red tailed hawk
Sharp shinned hawk
10/1/12- Central Park
I birded Central Park today, at times with Melanie, looking for the Golden- winged Warbler, a rare bird that has hybridized with the Blue-winged warbler producing the Brewster's or Lawrence's warbler. I have only come upon this bird once in my birding life and that was a long time ago. Unfortunately, we could not relocate the bird, but other birds were observed; Cape May, Blackpoll, Prairie, Palm, Common Yellowthroat, Black and White, Northern Parula, American Redstart, Cedar Waxwing, Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Red -bellied woodpecker, Red -eyed vireo, Yellow -throated vireo, Ruby throated hummingbird, Catbird, Cardinal, Blue jay, Mourning Dove, Grackles, Gadwall, Mallard, Wood Duck, Song Sparrow, White throated Sparrow, White breasted nuthatch, American Robins and Eastern Phoebe.
Northern Flicker -40+ Rose breasted grosbeak-1 Scarlet tanager-1 Cedar Waxwing-4 House Finch-5 Song Sparrow-2 Fox Sparrow-1 White throated sparrow-2 American Crow-3 Northern Cardinal-2 Blue Jays-many American Goldfinch-4 Mockingbird-1 Mourning Dove-2 Common Yellowthroat -4 White breasted nuthatch-2 Gray Catbird-many American Robin-many Eastern Towhee (heard) Red bellied woodpecker-2
The following birds were observed by 24 people on the Saturday morning bird walk.
Red tailed hawk
Common yellow throat
Ruby throated hummingbird
Red bellied woodpecker
Tufted titmouse (heard)
Also -Joanne had a Praying Mantis land on her arm.
9/17/12- Bryant Park and Central Park
I went on a birding trifecta in Manhattan on Monday- trying to find the rarities that had come into the area: Connecticut Warbler, Whip-poor-will and American Bittern.
At Bryant Park, there were many of NYC's best birders, but no CTW. We searched the bushes surrounding the area, but came up empty handed. Bryant Park is very busy with morning rush-hour commuters, but the birds seem oblivious to the crowds, prancing on the lawn and swooping down from the trees. While we waited an overly anxious Peewee called from over our heads and at one point showed us what fly catching was all about- as it swooped out of a high tree branch-grabbed a butterfly on the lawn -and returned to its perch all within 10 seconds! Meanwhile, a lazy Ovenbird, who tricked more than me into thinking it was the CTW, meandered under the hydrangeas picking up insects as it shuffled along. A White -throated Sparrow (FOS) appeared - also doing its shuffling dance. Still no CTW. Female Common yellowthroats- in various stages of maturity -who bear a resemblance to the CTW-were everywhere. Every time we saw an flutter our hearts fluttered too. Finally we were about to break up into birding posses when Katherine exclaimed; "there is a bird walking- not hopping." We turned around and sure enough right behind us - on the lawn-doing its CTW stride - was our bird. Fearless, it walked right up to a couple laying on the lawn and with the barrage of photographers and binoculars the couple must have thought they instantly became famous! It's the bird we yelled as the man sat up puzzled. It was a rewarding look at a very secretive bird (click on Warblers to see the photos). A Winter Wren, Northern Flicker and Catbird were also observed.
My next stop was Central Park where I ran into Miriam who was birding the Upper Lobe. I am not a Central Park birder and am mystified by all the trails. Miriam graciously offered to show me the Whip-poor-wills perch. As we walked along, we were treated to Ruby throated Hummingbirds, Eastern Wood-Peewee,
a young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Brown Thrasher, Cape May Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, American Red Start and finally the bird I had come for - the Whip-poor-will. It was perched high with its head buried in its feathers. It was great viewing a bird that was so often written about in literary tales. William Faulkner made good use out of the Whip-poor-will's song in many of his southern stories. Much thanks to Miriam!
Onward to Turtle Pond where the elusive American Bittern, remained elusive. I met birders at the pond who were also looking for the bird and had seen it on the north side, south side, the small island and even at a point in the small body of water. But, alas, I could not find it anywhere. I did see a Wilson's Warbler and Marsh Wren.
So, I had two out of three - which ain't bad- of NYC's rare birds and made some wonderful new birding friends, as well.
9/15/12 - NYBG
The weekly bird walk at NYBG observed a good selection of migratory raptors. Bald Eagle-2 Kestrel- 3 Merlin-2 Cooper's Hawk- 11 Peregrine Falcon-3 Osprey-6 Broad winged hawk- 1 kettle of 20 /17 singles Red tailed hawk-3 Chimney Swifts 100+ Red breasted nuthatch-2 White breasted nuthatch-1 Chickadee-2 Cedar Waxwings-13 PILEATED WOODPECKER -1 Red bellied Woodpecker -1 Downy woodpecker - 1 Northern Flicker-5 Wood duck-4 Farm duck-1 Hybrid mallards-2 Blue Jays-many American Robin- many Swamp sparrow-1 Cardinals-2 Grackles -3 American Goldfinch-9 Ruby throated hummingbird - 4 Mourning Dove-2 Gray Catbird-10
9/10/12- Bryant Park
A very quiet day produced male and female Common Yellowthroats and a Swainson's Thrush.
9/8 -The Saturday Bird Walk was cancelled because of the wild weather that produced tornadoes in Queens and Brooklyn.
The weekly Saturday morning bird walk -at NYBG -resumed today with 23 birders eager to see warblers and our resident great horned owl. Although the weather was warm - we had a very good birding day.
Great Horned Owl-1
Red-tailed Hawk- 3
Louisiana Waterthrush- 4
Black throated Blue-1
Red eyed Vireo-2
Red -breasted Nuthatch-1
White- breasted Nuthatch-2
Rose Breasted Grosbeak-1
Eastern Wood Peewee-1
Red bellied woodpecker-1
Black crowned Night Heron-1
Wood Duck- 23
8/31/12- Central Park
What a way to end the month of August- RED CROSSBILLS!!!
8/30/12- Central Park'The fall migration is underway. Observed at Central Park
Yellow billed Cuckoo
Ruby throated Hummingbird
8/23- Pelham Bay Park
After reading Jack's post, I ran down to Turtle Cove to see if I could get the Bobolink, a life bird for me. Luckily it was still in the vicinity flying around with its distinct call. While at the Cove I spotted another life bird and a locally uncommon visitor; Yellow Headed Blackbird. It was alone on a branch facing the north side of the marsh with the sun almost whiting out its brilliant head. I later saw it flying towards the south end of Turtle Cove.
Five semipalmated sandpipers were foraging through the marsh. Often a difficult bird to ID, one needs to remember the least sandpiper has yellow legs and the Western sandpiper has a dip at the end of its bill. The semipalmated's bill is stout and straight and it has dark legs. Two Eastern Kingbirds, Goldfinch, Snowy and Great Egrets, Song and Swamp Sparrows, Osprey, Northern Mockingbird, Forster's Terns, and Clapper Rail (heard, but not seen) were observed from 1:30-5:00 pm
8/23/2012- Jack Rothman
A walk to Turtle Cove and vicinity of Orchard beach at 9:00-10:30, yielded the following:
Green Heron (Eastchester Bay)
Clapper Rail (juvenile)
Forster's Tern (few)
Great Egret (several)
Snowy Egret (several)
Greater Yellowlegs (Lagoon at Orchard Beach)
Marsh Wren (few)
Barn Swallow (few)
American Robins (several)
Mourning Doves (several)
8/4/12 - Pelham Bay Park
A tour of Pelham Bay Park with Joanne and Steve, on Saturday afternoon, turned up a Least Flycatcher, Black and white warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, many Osprey and the following birds: American Goldfinch, Ruby throated hummingbird, Song sparrow Swamp,Marsh wren, Immature night heron, White breasted nuthatch, Immature blue gray gnatcatcher, Mockingbird and 3 young, Great egrets, Chimney swifts, Blue jays, Immature American Robins, Northern Oriole, Eastern Kingbird, Female red winged blackbirds, Cormorants, Immature Osprey- still in nest.
On Thursday: Willow flycatcher, Common tern, Killdeer, Semipalmated sandpiper, Least sandpiper ,Spotted sandpiper, Red tailed hawk, Monk parakeets.
7/21- Pelham Bay Park
The month of July is always slow when it comes to birding. This July, with its record heat, is proving to be not much different. On a tour of The Pelham Bay Park area including; Turtle Cove, Bartow Pell Mansion, City Island and Eastchester Bay the following birds were spotted: Willow Flycatcher, Marsh Wren, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Wood Pee Wee, Two nesting pair of Osprey. Monk Parakeets, Common Yellow Throat Warbler, Cardinals, Bluejays, Mockingbirds, Red-tailed hawk,song sparrow, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Night Heron, Greater Yellow Legs, Killdeer, Great Black Backed Gull, and Cormorants.
Last bird walk of the season at NYBG. I am happy to thank all the regular birders who show up rain, snow or shine to bird and to all the new and wonderful birders who I have met throughout the birding season at NYBG. I hope to see all of you September 1 - if not sooner!
The birding tour was treated to the beautiful sight of two black crowned night herons flying in unison around the larger of the Twin Lakes - as the bird walk ended. We had a great walk today and observed the following: Warbling vireos Eastern wood peewee Baltimore orioles Great crested flycatcher Blue jays Cardinals Grackles Red winged blackbirds Wild Turkey Wood thrush Cedar Waxwings American Robin Tree swallow Chimney swifts Black crowned night herons Wood ducks Hairy woodpecker Downy woodpecker Northern flicker Red bellied woodpecker Song sparrow Chipping sparrow White breasted nuthatch Red breasted nuthatch There was also a large adult raccoon begging for food by the Swale. It is advised NOT to feed the raccoon. Please remember that raccoons raid bird nests.
6/27-Turtle Cove, Pelham Bay Park
Marsh wrens galore! Night herons, egrets, great blue herons and a very secretive Clapper Rail.
Most of these birds have been around for the past 3 weeks and will probably continue through June and July. Eastern wood pewee Cedar waxwings Eastern kingbirds Baltimore orioles Chipping sparrows Song sparrows Wood ducks Grackles Cardinals Blue Jays American goldfinch Red-winged blackbirds Warbling vireos Red bellied woodpeckers Downy woodpecker Northern flicker Red tailed hawk Cowbird American robins
Mourning Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Wood Thrush, Oven Bird.
Great crested flycatcher-2 Baltimore Oriole-3 Great Egret-1 Wood duck and ducklings Mallards-2 Black crowned night heron-1 Northern rough winged swallows-4 Barn Swallows-3 Cedar waxwings-22 Gray catbirds-2 American Robin-many on nest Song sparrow-1 Chipping sparrow-1 Swainson's thrush-1 Wood thrush-1 Hermit thrush-1 Red tailed hawk-1 Osprey -1 Cardinals-2 Blue jays-4 Tufted titmouse and young-3 European starlings and young-many House sparrows and young-many Mourning dove-2 Mockingbird-1 Grackles-8 American Crow-1 American Goldfinch-4 Downy woodpecker-2 Red bellied woodpecker-3 Northern flicker-2 Heard but not seen: Pileated Woodpecker Eastern wood peewee Belted kingfisher Warbling Vireo
34 people enjoyed the Saturday morning bird walk at NYBG. Warblers were everywhere and the forest was alive with song. Yellow warbler BLACKBURNIAN Blackpoll Black and white American redstart Canada Yellow rumped Bay breasted Black throated blue Black throated green Magnolia Great crested flycatcher Eastern kingbird Scarlet tanager Cedar waxwings Northern oriole Solitary sandpiper Red winged blackbird Swainsons thrush Hermit thrush Chipping sparrow White throated sparrow Swamp sparrow Warbling vireos Yellow throated vireo Downy Hairy Red bellied woodpecker
PILEATED woodpecker - heard but not seen RAVENS-2 American Goldfinch Gray Catbird Northern Cardinal Bluejay Grackles Chimney swifts Rough winged swallows Mourning doves American Robin Mallards Wood ducks & ducklings
5/2- Bryant Park
A soggy Wednesday produced common yellow throats and palm warblers, oven birds, hermit and wood thrush, swamp, white throated, chipping and song sparrows, brown thrasher, Easter Towhees and gray cat birds.
5/1- The Great Horned Owls at Inwood have fledged the nest.
4/28-Pelham Bay Park
Nesting Great Horned Owls, Greater Yellow Legs, Great Egrets, Nesting Osprey.
26 birders enjoyed a rather cool day at NYBG. Highlights include: INDIGO BUNTING, and NORTHERN ROUGH WINGED SWALLOW-3 on the Twin Lakes. Also observed: Yellow rumped warbler-37 Palm warbler-1 Worm eating warbler-1 Ruby crowned kinglet-1 Scarlet tanager - heard but not observed Hermit thrush-2 Wood ducks-4 Mallards-4 Red tailed hawks-4 American crow-1 American Robins-many Swamp sparrow-1 Song sparrow-3 Chipping sparrow-6 Grackles-9 Cardinals-2 Red winged blackbird-15 Blue jays-3 Tufted titmouse-3 House wren-1 American Goldfinch -5 Red bellied woodpecker -3 Hairy woodpecker -1 Downy woodpecker - Northern flicker-3
54 people joined the Saturday morning bird walk. Highlights include: Yellow Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush and American Kestrel. Also spotted: Yellow rumped warbler - 27 Pine warbler - 1 Palm warbler - 11 Great horned owl -1 Red tailed hawk - 2 Great egret - 1 Cormorant - 1 Wood ducks - 9 Mallards - 6 Red winged Blackbird - 8 Grackles- Many Boat tailed Grackle-1 Brown creeper - 3 Hermit Thrush - 4 American Robin- Many White throated sparrow - 1 Song sparrow - 2 Chipping sparrow-3 American Goldfinch - 4 Ruby crowned Kinglet 4 Blue Jay-6 Cardinal - 1 Mockingbird - 2 Morning Dove-2 Northern Flicker-3 Yellow bellied Sapsucker- 1 Downy Woodpecker - Eastern Phoebe.
4/9/12- The East RIver - Combined reports
Red throated loon was spotted near 23rd street. The loon has been up and down the River for the past few months. Also spotted; Buffle head, Ruddy (in breeding blue) Brant, Black Ducks, Cormorants, Black backed gulls, American Crows and Mallards.
4/7/12- Pelham Bay Park
Northern harrier, Red tailed hawk, Cooper's hawk on Landfill. Great egret, great blue heron, Killdeer, Swamp Sparrow at Turtle Cove.
A beautiful day at the Garden. Twenty six birders explored the budding woods and found: Palm warbler-17 Pine warbler-6 Yellow rumped warbler-4 Ruby crowned kinglet-4 Golden crowned kinglet-3 Eastern Phoebe-1 Brown creeper-1 Northern flicker-3 Red bellied woodpecker -2 Hairy woodpecker -1 Yellow bellied sapsucker -1 Red winged blackbirds-18 Grackles-5 Boat tailed Grackle-1 Hermit Thrush-1 Blue jays-3 Cardinals-3 American Robin- many Song Sparrow-4 American Goldfinch-3 White throated sparrow -12 Swamp sparrow-2 Juncos-15 American Crows-3 Great horned owls-2 Red tailed hawk-1 Wood ducks- 8 Mallards-4 Canada geese-5
3/25- Joanne Coco- NYBG
White throated sparrows, Song sparrows, Grackles, American Crows, Red winged black birds, Cardinals Blue jays, Juncos, Tufted Titmouse, Wood ducks (2) Hybrid ducks (2) Mallards, Downy woodpeckers (2 male & 1 female) Red bellied woodpecker (5) Hairy woodpecker Red tailed hawk (2) Great Blue Heron
3/25/12-From Jack Rothman- City Island Birds (Pelham Bay Park area)
We had an exciting walk on Saturday. We visited two owl nests and were successful at both. In the southern zone, we watched both the male and female, that were in a nearby tree when we arrived. They gave us a great show as they flew from tree to tree. In the northern zone, we saw both Mom and tiny furry ball pop up for a second, it was exciting. On the landfill were Northern Harriers, we had some nice views. Common Ravens, probably from Coop City, were in the northern zone of the park. The overwintering Great Egret was near Hunter Island. We had our FOS Osprey as well.
Other species included: American Goldfinch (30+), Mourning Doves (4), Turkey Vulture (3), Blue Jay (8), Bufflehead (4), Mallard (6), Canada Goose (12), Red-winged Blackbird (30+), Tufted Titmouse (2), Red-tailed Hawks, (6) Northern Cardinal. (2), American Crow (6), Common Grackle (6), Downy Woodpecker (4), Red-belied Woodpecker (8).3/18/12- Central Park Reservoir
Buffle head, Hooded Merganser, Pied billed Grebe, Ruddy, Northern Shoveler, Coot, and black backed gulls in great numbers.
Beautiful day for the Saturday morning bird walk. Highlights include: great horned owl, who was unfortunately being harassed by American Crows. A sight we haven't seen,in the Garden, for many years due to the decline of the crow population. Also observed red tailed hawks engaging in high diving mating rituals - a spectacular sight to behold. Wood ducks also performing the head bobbing mating dance. It was a great walk and 33 people observed the following: FOS Eastern Phoebe- 3 Red winged blackbirds-14 Hairy woodpecker-1 Downy woodpecker -2 Red bellied woodpecker -4 Yellow bellied sapsucker-1 Song sparrow-2 White throated sparrow-7 American Crow-5 Blue jays-5 American Robin-10 American goldfinch-11 Juncos-15 Chickadees-2 White breasted nuthatch-1 Red tailed hawks-4 Great horned owl-1 Cooper's Hawk-1 Boat tailed grackle-1 Grackles-3 Wood ducks-14 Mallards-25 Hybrid mallard-2 Farm duck-1 Canada geese-8 Also noted: Garter snakes and muskrats. FOS Cabbage butterfly -3 FOS - Mourning Cloak butterfly - 10
3/9/12- East River and 23rd Street - NYC
Red breasted merganser, buffle head, ruddy, Brants and cormorants
2/18/12- Pelham Bay Park
Lots of Buffle head, Ruddy, Black, Wigeon ducks on the Lagoon at Orchard Beach. A harrier was observed at the Pelham Bay landfill. Eared Grebes were spotted at Eastchester Bay. American Wigeon were noted with one Great Egret that has been around all winter at Turtle Cove.
2/17/12- The New York Botanical Garden
A BLACK VULTURE highlighted a very nice birding day at NYBG. Other sightings included; a second male Great Horned Owl, turkey vultures, a Kestrel, 7 red tailed hawks including Rose who may be building a nest on the Library Bldg again - thanks to Pat! Rusty blackbirds-13 Red winged blackbirds-2 Grackles-6 Red-bellied woodpeckers -3 Downy woodpeckers- 2 BlueJays-8 Cardinals -2 Tufted titmouse -9 White-breasted nuthatch -5 Mourning doves-6 White-throated Sparrows-15 Goldfinch -6 Hooded mergansers - 9 Mallards-26 Hybrid mallards-2 Canadian Geese-16 White farm duck-1 House finch-1 Turtles were basking on a log, beavers had taken down another tree and muskrats were swimming in Twin Lakes.
2/12/12 -The New York Botanical GardenA brief snow did not deter bird watchers from venturing out on the Saturday morning birdwalk. Of special note was a male Great Horned Owl, 28 Rusty Blackbirds, 2 Red winged Blackbirds, 2 Cooper's Hawks, and the usual suspects: Downy woodpeckers Red bellied woodpecker Mourning doves Blue jays Cardinals Mockingbirds Tufted Titmouse Hooded Mergansers Mallards White breasted nuthatch White throated sparrows Juncos American Crows American Robins
2/5/12- The New York Botanical Garden
Junior, the Great Horned Owl who had his picture published in the New York Times (2/4/12) was found sitting alone in a tree. The female owl was a no show and we can only hope she is on a nest. Twin Lakes had 4 hooded mergansers,1 wood duck and 4 Mallards. A Phoebe was heard but not seen. Other sightings include two of the friendliest downy woodpeckers I have ever seen, 2 Red winged blackbirds, 7 Rusty blackbirds, Swamp Sparrow, White throated Sparrows, Song Sparrow, Mockingbird, Chickadees, Tufted titmice, American Robins, 35+ Goldfinch, Red bellied woodpecker, House finch, Blue jays, Cardinals and Juncos. The beavers are back and took down another tree. The downed limb was sitting on the bank of the Bronx River. It appears the beaver may have been startled and left the chewed limb behind.
Great Horned Owl, Immature- NYBG. This is an offspring from the late Junior (son of Louis) and Robusto, the female. She should be looking for a new mate soon, as Junior and Rose (the red tailed hawk) went missing in action about the same time last January. Hawk and Owl fanatics - both agree- a fatal encounter with each other -most likely occurred.
Links to More Birding Information
FREE BIRD WALKS AT
THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN
(with Garden Grounds Admission)
Meet 11am at The Reflecting Pool