December 27, 2009

12/27, Juvie Red-Tail on the Great Hill

Great Hill Juvenile Red-Tail

Finding a hawk on Sunday proved pretty simple. A brown-tailed youngster was perched in a tree close to the Central Park wall by the West 103rd St. entrance at 1:45, right where I usually enter the park.

December 27

He stayed in this spot for about five minutes.

Great Hill Juvenile Red-Tail

I may have approached a little too close for that last close-up as he quickly took off. But he didn't go far, landing in a tree perhaps 100 feet away.

Great Hill Juvenile Red-Tail

He was doing a lot of head-bobbing and looking around, as if he was hunting. But a side view revealed a full crop.

Great Hill Juvenile Red-Tail

After 5-10 minutes there, he moved to the top of a tree a little closer to the Pool. While maneuvering for a camera angle, I found further evidence that the hawk had recently eaten.

After the Hawk has Gone

The pigeon feathers couldn't have been there more than about six hours, given that yesterday's deluge continued well into the night and wasn't supposed to end until around dawn.

The hawk's new perch didn't allow for a good frontal picture, but the side view was okay.

Great Hill Juvenile Red-Tail

He stayed in this spot for another 15 minutes, ignoring the three kids playing below.

Great Hill Juvenile Red-Tail

Taking off, the hawk headed over the crest of the hill. But with the aid of a squirrel whining right next to a park path...

Hawk Alarm

I found the hawk in a shady spot on the southeast side of the Great Hill. The new spot lasted less than 5 minutes and then he was off again. More squirrel noises suggested he was temporarily on the east side of the hill, but he was not to be seen. Ditto about 30 minutes later in the North Woods overlooking Lasker Rink.

Epilog: The afternoon ended with an attempt to enjoy some owl-watching. Unfortunately, although at least one of the North Woods screech owls was seen, and I even heard her hoot for the first time, the "owl tour guide" was in the area. My hearing may suck, but even at 50 feet I could hear the tape he kept playing. And if it irritated me, I have to believe that it really bothered the owls.

December 12, 2009

12/12, North Woods Screech Owl

December 12

Above, an hour after sunset in Central Park's North Woods. The screech owl wasn't in her usual roost but we found her and her mate when they flew into the area some 15-20 minutes after sunset.

December 7, 2009

12/6, North Woods Screech Owl

December 6

Apparently right about this time of year, Central Park's screech owls go back to roosting in cozy tree cavities. This of course makes them easier to find at sunset. Bruce arrived at the usual spot before I did and got some nice pix while there was a bit more light.