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Sunday, May 13, 2012

City Birds

Last weekend in Central Park we ran into a few very knowledgeable birdwatchers in the Ramble who pointed out a Chestnut-sided Warbler.  This was at about 3pm and they said they'd been there since 7am!  Early bird gets the worm....or something like that.

Chesnut-sided Warbler

We didn't get a very clear shot of him but you can distinctly see the chestnut flanks on his belly.

Magnolia Warbler

The Magnolia Warbler gets its name from Alexander Wilson, a prominent ornithologist from the late 18th century.  According to Wikipedia, James Audobon was "decidedly ambiguous" towards him and his book of bird portraits.  I wish I knew if that was true, and if so, why?!  Was there some sordid love affair?  Was it jealousy because of the quite extensive list of species bearing Wilson's name?  I suppose we'll never know.  Wilson named the Magnolia Warbler as such because he first spotted it in a Magnolia Tree in Louisiana, although that is by no means its preferred habitat.

Magnolia Warbler Profile

The birdwatchers on the bench were playing the Blackburnian Warbler call to try to attract more birds.  Jury's out on this practice....much like the piles of birdseed in Prospect Park, playing calls seems sneaky and unfair, but I'm sure if done appropriately it doesn't do any damage.

We've got a big post coming up.  We spent the weekend at our favorite camping spot in the Catskills and added a whole roster of new species to our spotted list, including Mr. Red White & Blue himself! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

#WEAREEVERYWHERE (Wood Ducks, That Is)

Guess who makes an appearance on the intro to Parks and Recreation?  That's right, the Wood Duck!  Proud resident of Pawnee, Indiana. 

In other news, we spent a rainy (but thrilling!) Saturday at Jamaica Bay a few weekends ago.  We saw our first Yellow-Crowned Night Heron in the blind at John's Pond.  The Black-Crowned Night Heron was there also in full-on mating mode, and there were two juveniles but we're not sure who they belonged to. 

Canadian Geese were roosting on the eastern shore of the West Pond.  Their mates were aggressively protecting their young, marching up and hissing at us as we passed.

Angry Goose!

At our next trip we'll see the fruit of all his efforts I'm sure.   The babies are-a-hatching!