Kingfisher in Oven
No, the Central Park birdwatchers are not roasting kingfishers for their holiday meals. Today Dan Weaver, who runs the Evodia Field feeding station these days, reported a Belted Kingfisher sighted in the section of the Ramble up the hill from the Boathouse commonly known as The Oven. He writes [in e-birds] that the bird has been seen there by others for at least three days.
This is an unusual sighting for Central Park. According to the New York City Bird Report [which has, alas, suspended operations as of Jan 1, 2008 -- more about this later] the Belted Kingfisher is expected in Central Park between April 1 and May 31, and then again between August 20 and November 30. There have been occasional December sightings, and one sighting on January 15, 2004. But these appearances are rare. It's a stunning bird and a great way to begin a Central Park birdwatching year.
Belted Kingfisher at the Pool, Oct. 3, 2003
Photo by Cal Vornberger