Monday, March 30, 2009


The weatherman lied. He said it would be warm today. It was freeeeeeezing down by the river. There were white caps on the Hudson. Mama Hawk stayed huddled in her nest. I wore winter layers and was glad of it. An hour was all I could stand. The next time the weatherman should stick his finger out the window for a reality test. Nevertheless, it was lovely talking to robins, seeing Papa Hawk soaring and finding the deepest purple patch of crocuses I've ever seen.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Signs of Spring, right on target

I went to the park determined to see signs of spring, especially a spring bird, hopefully a phoebe. The flowers are blooming, goldfinches turning gold, robins finding worms and after walking for two hours I finally saw the Eastern Phoebe. Spring is here!
The fun part is that in entering the phoebe into my data base there's the previous phoebe entry, March 28, 2007 !

Think Hitchcock, feeding frenzy

There's a guy who lives on 72nd street, always brings down crumbs for the birds. He drops the crumbs at the corner and every pigeon in Manhattan flies in. Think Times Square on New Year's eve. Think Grand Central at rush hour,....... and as intense as it becomes it all ends in a flash. Crumbs gone, pigeons gone. A few of the birds follow the guy to his building, but most are not that savy.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A balanced diet- R Rated

Duh...... how do I put this...... on family blog site.... ?????? Hmmmmmmmmm, well, ........ it's like this: Nutrition is where you find it. And if you eat manure (shit) be sure and follow up with salad. This "food delivery" was totally consumed in half an hour.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The oh-oh Titmouse

I arrived at one of my favorite observation spots, was standing holding my camera on the ready when a titmouse landed on my lens. Now what was I supposed to do?! Titmouse on lens looking me in the face. Very slowly I reached into my fannypack, got some nut bits into my hand and moved my open palm next to the lens. Titmouse took a look and stepped into my hand. And sat there. Looked at nut bits, but didn't try to eat. Very strange behavior. I moved my hand near to a branch and the bird flew to the branch. Next I got out a peanut in the shell and held that out. Titmouse came back and stared at peanut, but clearly didn't want that either. On to nut halves. I prepared those and titmouse pecked at them. This titmouse was determined to have human company. It sat on the lens, sat in my hand, walked up my sleeve and back. I was praying for another birder to come along. A tourist saw this, took some pictures and thought it was magic. I felt it was problematic. This is not normal titmouse behavior. Normal behavior is to snatch food and dash off. Later in the morning a few of us were back at this observation spot and the titmouse flew to another person's hand. Good! Now I could get pictures. You could have shoved a macro lens into this bird's face and it would not have been scared off. It ate and stayed put. It didn't have the fear gene. The general consensus was that this is not a healthy bird, that most likely a hawk or kestral will capture it. When I came home I washed my hands very well in a special sterilizing soap. What looks and feels enchanting is not always that. Poor little titmouse.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poor Goosey

Oh.... bad things happen in nature. Poor goosey has lost a foot. Swims lopsided. Walks lopsided. Eats fine and scratches with ease, but poor Goosey!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's time

Mama Hawk is now incubating. It was frigid down by the river this morning and she was hunkered down in the nest. No sign of Papa Hawk, but I didn't stick around. Too cold.


It's that time of year, territorial. Two male grackles facing off. Fierce body language. But nearby the redbelly woodpecker and chickadee were just doing their thing.... food hunting.