Monday, March 22, 2010


Once again I couldn't see so much as a feather in the M County Rd. nest, but Rob Schmunk of had better luck with the Highbridge pair, George and Martha-

Last weekend's weather delayed my trip up to Highbridge
Park to check on the red-tail nest near George Washington
High School. I was able to to get up there today and found
last year's nest was completely gone and the area seemingly
deserted. The general area looked like it took a hit in the big
storm last August, and although the 2007/2009 nest tree is
still there, it lost some limbs.

But... I did find Martha and George were still around and had
built a new nest. (No big surprise about that. They've built
a new nest at least three years in a row now.) They have moved
several blocks north and are now right across Harlem River Dr
from PS 5, about a block south of the intersection of Dyckman
St and Tenth Ave and almost directly over the park path.

Although the new nest is easy to spot, it is 60-70 feet up and
there are no good vantage points to look into the nest from a
sideways angle. It is shallow enough that you can often see
Martha's head sticking up.


The slight warming the day after the drop in temperatures and snowfall, brought in a whole new group of the smaller birds. Suddenly the Nuthatches were back, both the Red-breasted and the White-breasted.

A Song Sparrow foraged in the snow melt under the glider.

Again today I went out hoping for a glimpse of the M Red-tails. No movement I could see on the nest. Neither were they on the number of power poles they hunt from. But way way over there, to the left of the silo, I could just see a large bird circling and then quickly disappearing in a descent. Could that be one of Ms? Are they hunting around Mud Lake?

That would be a big no. Once I hiked down the steep path below the carpark, what did I see? A rather large congregation of gulls standing around on the frozen lake for no particular reason I could see. But then again I'm not a gull.
Back in town the Black-capped Chickadees had become very active. This one nips a sunflower seed from the pot and as is usual behavior for Chickadees, she doesn't eat it on the spot.

Rather she flies up into a tree, and begins eating it. Being dinky she doesn't swallow it shell and all like a Jay or even get the kernel in her beak and deal with it as many finches do. The chickadee technique is to hold it with a foot, get to the kernel, and take numerous bites. While she eats hers, a second chickadee goes down to grab a sunflower seed. No two Chickadees at a feeder at the same time. It seems to be a rule.

The second bird also flies up into a tree to eat it.

And the cycle begins again.

For whatever reason, male Junco who seems perfectly healthy, active, and on top of things, didn't leave with the others when they began making their migration.

Perhaps free spirited individualists can appear in any species.

The Pussy Willows have popped their catkins.

And the Robins?
The Robins are just everywhere.
Donegal Browne

2 comments: said...

we are seeking a response to your blog from australia which we found while following the samantha raven story. it included photos of a fawn hiding in wheat. we have lost it and can't re-locate it. can you assist us? thank you. we're in san francisco and love to follow make new york truly new.

Donegal Browne said...


We'll give it a try! Hope to be back to you soon.