Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lots of noise

The goal yesterday was to try and find the young red headed woodpecker. I had been told that the bird was setting up turf at the south east end of Sheep Meadow, so that's where I headed. The trouble with that space is that birds can move back and forth over the 66th street transverse, so to get from one side to the other it's necessary to run around the ends. As I approached I heard crows screaming on the baseball field side. Drats! Stuck on the field side. But I need not have worried, because the action was taking place all over the general space. Caw! Caw! Caw! CAW! Where was what they were screaming at??? That became obvious pretty fast- a Cooper's hawk. It flew into a tall tree at the Meadow edge before being chased further north.

There's a flock of crows, sassy, bossy, social, also anti-social.

I suspect that a bluejay stashed food in this little hollow. The crow spotted the stash.

Winner take all.

More screaming. Another hawk. Go away!!! Caw! Caw! Caw!

Finally, I could get down to trying to find this woodpecker. It also was marking off its space. It chased pigeons and downy woodpeckers. It's voice is distinctive, clicky. Interestingly, it didn't interact with the crows and they left it alone. This little bird does its pecking high in the trees so getting an ideal shot is very hard. It doesn't yet have the red head feathers, but there's a glimmering of what's to come when the sun hits its head.

I stayed in this area more than an hour and behavior was non-stop,- screaming crows, hawk chasing, woodpecker chasing space invaders, small birds on other side of transverse hunting for food near edges of bushes very hawk-aware. When the hawk swoops the tiny birds vanish into the bushes and the squirrels freeze on the side of the tree. Survival. And all the while screaming crows. CAW!!!

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