Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day Hawk

After having a cold for Christmas Eve and Christmas, I was very ready to go out on a walk today!  We went up to the AMNH to try to see the hummingbird again, but missed it.  A few folks were there with quite impressive cameras, they said they had been seeing the bird, but we decided not to stand around waiting for it.  To the park!

Almost right away once we got into the park I saw this gorgeous Cooper's hawk.

I guess I spotted a grackle too, but my focus was really more on the hawk.........

We went around as much as we could in the ramble (a big section is still closed from storm damage) and spotted a pretty big group of house finches.

What a beauty!  Sadly, we did not find the barred owl.  We headed over to the model boat pond to figure out some tree types from the Central Park Conservancy Tree Walk, and had great views of two red-tailed hawks in that area.  Presumably Pale Male and his lady friend, but I still cannot identify individuals, so I can't say for sure.  These are wise and canny hawks that know how to perch and fly such that the camera is incapable of focusing on them, even though we had great views.  Damn you autofocus!

We went around looking at trees and trying to guess what they were from the CPC brochure but it's very hard to tell them apart in the winter.  It was interesting though and if we stick with it I'm sure we'll be able to tell them apart at some point.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twitching a Hummingbird

Although I don't really think of myself as a twitcher, or a bird-chaser, or a rarity-seeker, I must admit that I was happy to go to the American Museum of Natural History to see this gorgeous hummingbird.  What a treat during winter!  Apparently it is probably a rufous hummingbird, although it is a bit of an open question.  

After spending some time with the hummingbird I went into the park and by Tanner's Spring saw this red-tailed hawk hunting.

It looks like a juvenile from the tail.

This pair of northern shovelers were circling around each other in a very tight little circle.  My guess is that they are pair-bonding.  Duck flirting!  :-)

I found the pet memorial Christmas tree in the ramble, but there were too many people around to get a decent picture.  I love that tree!

Okay, I have seen squirrels beg from tourists many times, but this is ridiculous!  I don't thing the squirrel even wants some of the hawk's pigeon.........

This was a different hawk, an adult.

It's a great day that starts with a hummingbird and includes two perched hawks.  This brown creeper coming right over was a nice way to end the walk!