Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blakeman on redtail fights

Karen Kolling wrote in about the various territorial disputes posted recently on Http://

Photos on make me wonder about territorial fighting. How serious is it in terms of potential damage to the intruder or PM or Lola, or is it primarily making territory known? Some photos look a little hair-raising,



Blakeman replied:

As disconcerting as the photos might be, there is virtually no physical threat involved. It's essentially all show, with talons extended, etc.
Notice, not a photo shows any real physical contact. That very seldom occurs, and when it does, the residents really nail the intruder.
The intruders are just spring migrants on their way north. They aren't hanging around for any time.
So, it's a all just a show. Enjoy it. It's an aerial dance of wings and talons that none of the dancers with celebs can approach with their mere two-dimensional movements across a dance floor. Pale Male and the others have the entire sky, and when passing migrants drift by the nest area, they use it in an ancestral choreography of territorial defense.
--John Blakeman

Monday, March 19, 2007

EXTRA! Today's woodcock

Lloyd Spitalnik

Woodcocks everywhere and Monk Parakeets near Meer

Lloyd Spitalnik photographed these two in the park yesterday.

Ardith Bondi saw four woodcocks at the Loch in the North Woods yesterday
and someone else reported one of these large woodlands-loving shorebirds on highway 187 near Yonkers, in the center strip. Hope someone rescued it.

PS Rebekah Creshkoff sent in a report for a new park bird yesterday.

Around 10:00 am or so today, I was in the north end of C.P., at the south end of the path that parallels the ridge, when I heard Monk Parakeet squawking. Sighted three parakeets flying E over the Meer, moving fast

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Woodcocks and Fox Sparrows everywhere

Fox Sparrow - photo by Lloyd Spitalnik

Today Jack Meyer saw 4 woodcocks. Others report woodcocks in the North Woods, at the Ravine. And, most exciting [to me]: Jack reports hearing a Fox Sparrow
singing. It's one of the loveliest bird songs of all.