Sunday, May 27, 2018

Tompkins hawk hatch confirmed

As I suspected on May 25, there has been a hatch at the Tompkins Square hawk nest. This was confirmed the following day when food was seen being delivered to the nest and a feeding took place.

Visibility of the nest is extremely limited.  This is all I could see of Amelia on Friday evening:

Amelia in the nest

And, again on Saturday evening:

Amelia in the nest

Amelia in the nest

It's not yet possible to know how many chicks there are, but I hope we can see some fuzzy white heads appear over the rim of the nest in the next couple of weeks.

Check out Urban Hawks for video of a feeding on Saturday afternoon (during the Undead punk show!).

Friday, May 25, 2018

Possible hawk hatch in Tompkins Square?

It's possible there has been a hatch for hawks, Christo and Amelia, in Tompkins Square.

They were both in the nest for about an hour at sunset this evening.  Christo perched on a branch at the edge of the nest and Amelia stood up a couple of times and stared down into the nest.  They both put their heads way down in there, but I couldn't quite see what they were doing.  Amelia suddenly pulled up what looked like the remains of a pigeon.  Had they been feeding a chick?  It's possible.

Around 7:45pm, Amelia flew off with the food and left Christo in the nest. Visibility was difficult as leaves block most of the view of the nest and the sun was almost down. We'll know more in the next few days.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Springtime beauties

Below are more highlights from springtime bird migration through NYC.  All of these birds were found on Governors Island within the last week.

Blackpoll Warbler:

Blackpoll warbler

These guys are pretty amazing. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
"Blackpoll Warblers are long-distance athletes and they hold the record for the longest overwater flight for a songbird. During the fall, these half-ounce warblers fly nonstop for up to 3 days, covering on average over 1,800 miles over the Atlantic Ocean to reach their wintering grounds in Puerto Rico, the Lesser Antilles, and northern South America. Such a journey requires that they eat enough before they leave to double their body mass."
We are seeing them now on their way back north.

Blackpoll warbler

Yellow Warbler:

Yellow warbler

I love these birds as they resemble drops of sunshine.

Yellow warbler having lunch

Bay-breasted Warbler:

Bay-breasted warbler

Bay-breasted warbler

Magnolia Warbler:

Magnolia warbler

Magnolia warbler

Canada Warbler:

Canada warbler

Summer Tanager:

Summer tanager

This guy landed right in front of me in a blaze of red. Some other people were approaching on the path and were in danger of scaring him away, so I pointed him out to them and we were all able to just stand there and enjoy his presence for a few minutes.

Summer tanager

Great Crested Flycatcher with prey:


And a Warbling Vireo with prey. I've learned to look forward to insect hatches as it means all the insect-eaters will be out in force.

Vireo with lunch

Wood Thrush:

Wood Thrush

You can see more recent bird photos on my Flickr page.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More springtime visitors

It's been a great springtime bird migration, with a lot of interesting visitors passing through the city.  Below are some recent highlights from Battery Park, Central Park and Governors Island.

A Black-and-white warbler sizes up its next meal.

Black and white warbler sizing up breakfast

A Common Yellowthroat.



A Yellow warbler.

Yellow warbler

A Myrtle warbler.

Myrtle warbler

A Northern Parula.


You know spring is here when the Tree Swallows return to nest.

Tree swallow

Tree swallow

Black-throated Blue warbler.

Black-throated blue warbler

As blue-colored birds go, there's nothing quite like an Indigo Bunting.  I saw this one for about two seconds before some loud people scared him away.

Indigo bunting

An American Redstart. They always seem to lurk in the shadows.


An Ovenbird.


A male Scarlet Tanager.

Scarlet tanager

The female Scarlet Tanager.

Scarlet tanager

One of my all-time favorites, the Gray Catbird.  You can listen to some of their "cat calls" here.


A Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

A Northern Flicker.



This particular Flicker shares an apartment house with a squirrel.  The squirrel didn't seem to have a problem napping while the Flicker hammered away on the wall. 

Sleeping despite all the hammering on the wall

Finally, it's time to take the kids to the pool...


I've seen so many different birds lately, there's more to come!


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Boring Tompkins Hawk Update

There's not much of an update on the Tompkins Square hawks other than to say they are still brooding eggs and seem to be doing well.

The trees in the park have bloomed and the leaves now obscure the view of the nest.  The photo below shows what we can see from the 7th Street park entrance.  That's Amelia preening on top of the nest.

And this is her on a break from nest duties.  She's looking good.


This is Amelia atop St Brigid's church where she probably has a clear view of the nest across the street.




Christo is around, but now that the leaves hide some of his perching places, I have a difficult time finding him.  Hawk activity should pick up once the eggs hatch, which I am estimating to be May 17-24.  We'll know hatching has happened when Christo starts bringing food up to the nest.  His hunting activity will probably increase as well.

For those interested in seeing what goes on in a red-tailed hawk nest, I recommend checking out the Cornell live web cam in Ithaca, New York. They currently have three cute and fuzzy nestlings.