Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Red-tails, Raccoons, Screech Owls, Pigeons, and Lots of Creepy Crawlies Part I

Triborough's Athena on the lamppost.

Hi All
I watched the family this morning from 7 - 8:15. They seemed to survive the fireworks no worse for wear. Both Trib and Houston were in the pool area. Trib was jumping around and chasing sticks and flinging them up into the air and flapping around and calling out for breakfast- basically he seems to be where Houston was a few weeks ago.

When I got there Athena was on the railing, Trib was on the platform, and Houston was on the arm of the flood light in the shade. He was perched upright but still fairly still. Athena perched at different locations - first on the railing then the second tier then on the other flood light in view of Houston and then finally she perched on the flood light above Houston. She looked down on him for a good solid two minutes. She seemed concerned? She stayed for a few minutes but then flew off to hunt in the london planes shading the pool's viewing terrace.

Atlas flew in from the direction of the river and brought a starling to the high diving board and Trib was on it in seconds. Houston was neither the least bit interested in any of this activity nor enjoying the attention of his parents. Atlas stayed for a bit and then also continued into the london planes to hunt.

Meanwhile, Houston flew out of the pool area into the trees where he was released (about 30 yards) and perched in a shady oak tree.
I was on my way to the train so went over there and could see that he had his eyes closed and seemed to be squinting a little.

I wish I had more time to observe but I won't see them tonight - I have an Astoria Park Alliance meeting tonight.


Hi there,
Just wanted to let you know that my partner and I went for a patrol yesterday afternoon in Astoria Park. We saw both parents quietly sitting way up on some rails jutting out from the north side of the Triborough Bridge, pretty much directly above Shore Boulevard.

A food vendor told me that they'd been sitting there ever since he set up at 0900 hours. I also came across Trib on the diving platform. He was jumping from rail to rail and looking very playful. It's really nice that that area is separated from the craziness of the pool. He then came down and perched on a tree branch about 15 feet off the ground and tolerated me gawking at him and the angry robins for a solid twenty minutes.

We took a couple of loops around the park but couldn't find Hous. I won't be able to swing by there tomorrow, but Thursday is looking good.

The Park Manager of Astoria Park is a very nice man and he'll reach out to us if any of the hawks are in trouble. Your best bet of tracking him down is by stopping by the park house right next to the track. But of course, we're all hoping that it will never come to that.

I have some nice photographs, so when I finally upload them onto my computer maybe I can send some your way if you are interested.
Take care.
Ranger X

While the Saturday Night Owls waited for the last of the party to arrive at the entrance to the Park, rehabber Carol Vinzant looked up and pointed. There was a raccoon perched above us, mostly obscured by foliage. Carol dug around in her backpack and came up with something wrapped in cellophane. Crinkle, crinkle. He looked down with a little more interest. I'm betting most animals in Central Park know that the sound of cellophane means food.

As if to keep himself from being tempted. He began to bat at a branch. Part of a chicken sandwich was produced and stuck on the fence below him.

Suddenly his nose went into the air and he became acutely alert.

Drat, they're still there.

Sniff, sniff. Then he disappeared behind the trunk of the tree.
Rustle, rustle.

Ah ha! Here he comes.

Something seems to have fallen out of the sandwich. I suspect the chicken. Whatever it is, it's going over very well. Munch, munch, munch. The bread is still hanging forlornly above him on the fence.
Proceed down to Part II. Blogger is being picky again about the number of photos.


Anonymous said...

A few years ago, I saw a large raccoon in Central Park (near E. 108th St.) contentedly munching on a candy bar. Yes, they definitely know the sound of cellophane.

Flood Light manufacturer said...

From China, i never see that wild animals could play in front of my house. i hope one day we can be real friends of wild animals.

Donegal Browne said...

Hello China,

Glad to hear from you.
Why is it that you don't see wild animals? Do you live in a city without much in the way of green space?

Yes, to be friends with animals is a grand thing unfortunately they are often right not to trust humans.

Donegal Browne said...

In NYC at times cotton candy is sold in long plastic bags. One of my favorite raccoon sighting occurred one evening when I watched a rather chubby raccoon attempt to take an entire unopened bag of cotton candy up the tree with her. This was a very delighted raccoon without a doubt but she was having a problem She had the bag in her teeth but as she climbed her tummy wouldn't allow the bag to travel smoothly up the tree with her. It keep getting caught between the raccoon and the tree, draggng her head down while her body went up. Eventually, she was able to figure out that if she her legs straighter as she climbed, ie making more room for the ultimate raccoon deligt, she was able to get herself and the goodie up at the same time. Somehow she must hve known not to "wash" it. Prior experience?