Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Annual Uptown Hawk Walk in NYC and LET'S PLAY WHAT BIRD IS THAT?

Photograph by Robert B. Schmunk
Isolde and Stormin' Norman do a little bonding through "sky dancing". It's too early for hanging talons but as last season they had to get down to breeding business in a hurry, it's nice they've more time to cement their relationship this year.

Robert Schmunk, and James O’Brien were the raptor watchers who took on the Annual Early Winter Hawk Walk, today, December 6th. It’s something James started a few year’s back and it’s a great way to get an early start on what some of the other hawks, and birds of interest, who aren’t in Central Park and under constant scrutiny, are up to. Here’s Rob’s Update—

James and I, did the annual early winter hawk walk today, starting at
his place at 123rd and working up to Dyckman St., checking the Hudson River side at the start and the Harlem River side at the end. I made 10 possibly 11 red-tail sightings, of at
least 7 distinct birds. James made 10 possibly 12 sightings. These include Isolde and Norman from the cathedral, possibly one of the adults from CCNY, and probably George or Martha from upper Highbridge. There was also one peregrine sighting, one Coopie, a pair of monk parakeets, and probably a kestrel.

Regarding the Highbridge nest, there's a good possibility that it will have moved for next year. The 2008 nest seemed pretty decrepit when we passed by, maybe half the size that it was the last time I saw it in May. Furthermore, it looks like a new nest was started sometime this past year in the same tree that they used in 2007. (I'm not 100% sure that it was the same tree, but James seemed to think so, and I'd agree that it's pretty darn close.) So come March and April, that's two places to try first when
checking if G&M are nesting yet.

About the monk parakeets, we're pretty sure we know where their nest is, so we should
be able to check back on them pretty easily.

Robert B. Schmunk

For the full reports with lots of wonderful photographs go to—
Rob’s site—
James’ site—

Photograph by Francois Portmann,

Today's Catch from the Portmann Hood...


Sooooo, which Accipiter is it? Nice color contrast between the top of the head and the nape. Cooper's?

Photograph by Francois Portmann
And she definitely looks like she has a neck, but wait a sec, that tail looks pretty squared off. Isn't that a characteristic of a Sharpie?

Photograph by Francois Portmann
And those eyes are looking pretty intense. What species is this? I've got my thought, send in your take.

Photograph by Francois Portmann
And now an immature, often even harder to nail down.
Photograph by Francois Portmann
This photograph was taken on a different day. It could be the same bird or a different one from the previous photo.
Photograph by Karen Anne Kolling
Karen sent these photos and asked, who we thought this was? Here's a hint for geographic help. She does live near the water on the east coast. (She also apologizes for the reflection of the window in the photo. My response--documentation, documentation, documentation.)

Photograph by Karen Anne Kolling
Here's a clue for beginners. With that tail it has to be a Wren. But which one?
Photograph by Karen Anne Kolling
Got them yet?
Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Just for folks wondering about that giant orange electrical cord in the background, it's going to a bird bath heater :-)

Sally said...

I vote Coopers-even with the apparently "squared" tail it is hard to tell from those shots and it would be a huge Sharpie, ?sharpie? and carolina wren. Are you giving prizes? :)