Sunday, February 27, 2011

Furry observations

It was a quiet day in the park, all the usual winter birds, nothing exceptional, a good day for observing behavior. I've seen this before, a squirrel with possible neurological problems. It had "the tilts", couldn't stand up straight. It could run fine and dig for food fine, but when it came to standing on rump to eat, TILT.

Most squirrels will find food and carry it off to eat.

Not this character. I don't know if squirrel was watching reflection in lens glass or just making sure I would not go away. I had nuts in my fanny pack, but how the squirrel sensed this is beyond me. Maybe the nose knew.

Who's doing the watching?

Finally I backed off a couple of steps or this character could have investigated right into the lens.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big foot

Jan. 2, 2006. Somebody's bottom's up.

Not only bottom's up. Out of water. On the hunt for food. One coot.

Wow! Great feet.

Built-in flippers, almost prehistoric.

Monday, February 21, 2011


February 15, 2005. Look around. Find the chow. Mmmmmm, good. Human-delivered suet.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Back again

Back into the files. December 25, 2005. Sweet owl in tree just off path.

Also hidden in tree corner.

The owl had taken a swipe at the titmouse who had been pestering it. Titmouse mortally injured, in death throes on ground. Very hard to watch. One of the birders finally picked it up and took it to a quiet corner to die in peace.

Older camera, but the images capture what happened that day. Thrilling and sad.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Small observations

I saw movement under an eave before the full bird appeared. Twitch. Who's up there? Oh, sweet! The Carolina wren.

At this time of year the little birds are fearless. Food first. Safe? Absolutely. Come close.

Chickadees, nuthatches, enchanting.

And more to the point.

There's chow for everyone.

Except when the squirrel becomes chow. I have no idea who put this squirrel here. A raptor for future lunch? A park ranger to attract a hawk? A fall from above? I didn't stick around to see who grabbed the meal. Damndest thing I've seen in a while.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More from Monday

Two lumps in the tree. This is not new news. Others have had better views, but for me this was a first, two long eared owls, first well hidden lumps, and then a nice glimpse of those ears. They've been resting in the same trees for a few days. While I was there one of the Park rangers was collecting pellets. I'd love to know what the owls have been eating. Must be lots of available food or they wouldn't be hanging around.

Into the Rambles. Cooper's hawk giving me the beady eye.

Up to the Pine tree area. Chow!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Let free with love

THE BEST!!!!! The raptor rescue people helped heal three young red-tail hawks and today the hawks were released at the Tupelo Meadow. The background details will appear in tomorrow's New York Times. I really didn't listen to everything. I saw gorgeous healthy birds and was enthralled. I'm sure they were stressed, but they were alive. The first bird headed north. The second bird stopped in a nearby tree before heading seemingly to Queens. The third bird seemed headed to Yonkers. Free. Glorious.

It was a thrill to see the birds so close. There were two Park Conservancy people helping, several members of the press and the Raptor Rescue people. The powerful lens let me see detail without getting too close. This was thrilling beyond words.

The hawks are now tagged, so if they get into trouble again their history will be known.