Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Friday Miscellany-M Nest, Peregrine, Cockatiel, Pasta Preparing Crows, and the Dove

Photo: Donegal Browne
This is the view of the nest site used by the M Red-tailed Hawks last season from the far side of County M. In the last few days I've gone by several times a day and scanned the area. I haven't seen the M hawks, in fact I haven't seen any hawks anywhere since the last big snow storm.

The snow has drifted but even so there are very few bare spots in open areas beyond that plowed beside thoroughfares. The least depth in open areas is about 8 inches and the drifts can be several feet. I did notice due to crow tracks, that in the lees of large trees in woody areas without much understory that there are bare spots so perhaps the hawks have changed their hunting habits for the moment. Or perhaps they've gone even further and decided to try their luck with a late mini-vacation slightly further south.

Yes, the crows are still around. But being adaptable omnivores they aren't tied to the availability of the rodent populations like the raptors are in Wisconsin. Therefore the crows are the largest diurnal birds I've been seeing. But even they have slim pickings as the tracks in Threasherman's Park declare. The crows are walking from lee to lee checking the bare areas under the trees for possible food. Another clue is that I have to clean out the bird bath once a day in order to keep it reasonably free of pasta particles. The crows are back to putting dry and/or frozen pasta in the bath to make it more to their taste. But for whatever reason they are also back to being incredibly wary. I haven't been able to photograph them tending the pasta in the bowl this time round.

Photo: Dongegal Browne
Here is a slightly closer shot of the M's previous (and we hope current) nest.
The nest held together well since last season and there have been changes but it is hard to tell if they've been managed changes by the hawks or whether the changes are weather and tree movement adjustments to the "weaving" of the nest.

The nest across the field and on the other side of the RR tracks that may have been an alternate site for last season is no longer visible. It appears to have completely disintegrated.

Photo: Francois Portmann

From photographer and birdwatcher, Francois Portmann--

I stumbled on these pics of an immature Peregrine at Jamaica Bay from back in August. Nothing exceptional except that the prey is not native!
Looks like a Cockatiel from Australia!!


Indeed it is not native and Francois is right, it is a cockatiel originally from Australia. Someone was careless with a pet and the bird escaped.

It perhaps was for the best that the young peregrine gave it a quick death and had lunch rather than having it perish from hunger and cold as winter came on. Cockatiels are not adapted for New York's weather.

Sitting in the last rays of the sun, a Mourning Dove who may or may not be Doorstep, perches amongst the twigs in the Maple tree before flying off to her roost for the night.

Donegal Browne

1 comment:

Sally said...

Poor Cockatiel looks to be protesting- so much for a quick kill. Those juveniles...:)