Sunday, September 28, 2008

How come??

Often asked question: How come we never see baby pigeons? We do, but don't know it. That's because when pigeons leave the nest they look like adults except for a subtle difference in the shape of their bills. And the young may trail after the adults, but for the uninitiated the young look like adults.

A couple of weeks ago a neighbor called frantically, "There's a nest on the ground on the path behind the building. Two babies". A nest in September????? It's very late for nesting. Certainly not robins or cardinals or starlings or bluejays. On the ground???? There's only one possibility in a city. Somebody found a pigeon nest on their terrace, didn't want the mess, and removed the nest. With luck the parent pigeons would hear the babies call and come feed them. But NOT on the sidewalk. We placed the nest in the bushes. The plan was to wait 24 hrs., and then if necessary take the messy nest with babies to a rescue center where the babies could be hand fed. Before that ran its course the nest vanished. Hopefully, someone rescued the babies. I would hate to think the opposite. Hopefully, these two will survive and grow up to settle on some fine statue in the neighborhood.
This is what pigeon nestlings look like. They were capable of walking around in the nest and mewling for food.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More friends

Some days are totally discovery delights. I'm seeing things I've never seen before and if I don't know who's in my face, then I try for the best picture and match picture up later with the bird book. There's one path in the park where the bees and wasps come to suck nectar from new plantings. Where there are bugs there will be bug eaters and they don't care if humans are watching. Food first, danger concern later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Relaxing day

It's such a pleasure to wander in the park and come upon a "friend". The first time I became aware of the brown thrasher the bird was up in a tree singing. It was a misty day, all quiet in the park. I had never before heard such vocalizing. Operatic. I didn't even know what was singing. A more experienced birder identified this vocal marvel. Since then I've always adored seeing the thrasher. I don't think they sing in the autumn, but I've heard them in springtime. Pure, gorgeous singing. This thrasher dropped by Tanner's Spring for a drink, my smile for the early morning.
Later on I met the wild turkey. At least this lady is easy to photograph, stands still, looks at the camera. Take two pictures and you have two pictures.
The hummingbirds are a different challenge. Try 100 pictures and get three, but I'll never see too many hummingbirds. I don't know when they'll leave town. Certainly there were fewer in the park today. As long as they're here I'll go for my "happiness fix".

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Patience, lots of patience

I came around the path and met a juvenile cardinal sitting on the fence. It didn't mind that I was in its space, whispering to it, taking its picture. Tourists strolled by, admired it and also took its picture and it continued to perch. It had a reason for this patience even though I didn't know it. In a split second it turned and the next thing it had was a tasty big bug, I think a moth. It crunched it. I heard the crunch sound. It flew to the ground and crunch more. And then for whatever reason, the cardinal opened its beak and the moth tumbled off. I know that bug was injured, but it got away. Meanwhile, in the Shakespeare Garden the goldfinch was not having such problems. Berries don't fly.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Turtle Photo Op

Gorgeous subject. Have camera. Will do a portrait.
Turtle: What are you doing? I don't want my picture taken. I told you DON'T TAKE MY PICTURE. I'M HAVING A BAD FACE DAY.

Tutle Photo Call

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More hummers

There were "Tinkerbells" all around the park today. Even the groundskeepers were stopping work to watch the action. This will be a last hummingbird entry for a bit as I will be busy shooting opera for the next few days. But you know where my heart will be,- IN THE PARK!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yesterday was overcast, my favorite kind of light, subdued. Goal: see more hummingbirds. There are lots of jewel weeds in Strawberry Fields, a hummingbird favorite. I got to the park at 8:45am and started looking and didn't have to wait long. Two hummingbirds checked me out, Tinkerbell face-off, hovering right in my face. Feisty little things. I watched for hours as they zoomed around, sipped, rested, groomed, chased each other, ignored larger birds, checked me out again, displayed beautiful acrobatics. Think tinkerbell. They are VERY hard to photograph. It's one second per blossom. Get it, or miss it. There were lots of other birds in the park. They'll get posted another time. Yesterday was Hummingbird Heaven.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Early Birder

I've waited my whole life to get this. Total heaven, the female ruby-throated hummingbird,.... zipped by my face like a bullet and I reacted automatically, point and shoot. I may never see this again..... 8:45a.m. around the statue of Daniel Webster.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mmmmmmmm, pizza crust

West 69th Street. People walking by, but nobody noticing the little drama going on by the fence. One young rat. One piece of pizza crust too big to fit through the fence. Tug of war. Rat had to eat most of crust before it would fit through fence. There's construction going on around here. Dig, dig, dig and the rats appear. This is the civilized world.