Saturday, September 20, 2008

Studying Hummingbirds

On Thursday, 9/18, photographer David Speiser spent some hours photographing hummingbirds. Those of you who have ever tried to immobilize these swift little sprites with a camera-- a hummingbird's flight speed can average 25-30 mph, and it can dive up to 60 mph.-- will recognize what it took to get the pictures below:

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Jewelweed
Photos by David Speiser

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rowdy Bunch at Turtle Pond

Murray Head writes:

I haven't been in the Park for a while, but was there yesterday [9/16/08] and photographed these quackers at The Turtle Pond.

They were a rowdy bunch (about 20)... would you identify them for me?

Here is one of his "rowdy bunch". Can you identify it?

I was less than certain and sent the photo to Lloyd for an expert ID.
The answer: The bird above is a Gadwall. I don't know about all the other rowdies. They might have been mallards...

Murray also sent me a photo of a bird he photographed the same day. I had no trouble identifying this one. It's Pale Male, on a fixture atop the Metropolitan Museum.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And now for the fall portraits

David Speiser must have paid these birds huge modeling fees to get them to pose for the amazing photos below.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Jewelweed

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Northern Parula

Wilson's Warbler

American Redstart [male]

Eastern Wood-pewee

Black-crowned Night Heron in duckweed
All photos taken on September 16, 2008

And don't forget there are more photos on David's website:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ardith's birds today and a PS

Ardith Bondi is one of the most faithful of Central Park's regular birdwatchers, when, that is, she's not on a trip to Iceland or the West Indies or some other exotic clime. She's also a notable flutist and a good photographer. She keeps meticulous records and sends her daily list to e-birds for all to enjoy. Below is Ardith's list of sightings today -- a good day! -- and some of her photographs taken last spring -- all species seen today.

Mourning Warbler -- May 24, 2008

Ovenbird -- April 26, 2008

Cedar Waxwing eating a Sephora pod -- April 9, 2008

Magnolia Warbler May 9, 2008

All photos by Ardith Bondi
Other photos are on her website at

From e-birds:
Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Location: Central Park: Strawberry Fields (SF), Falconer Hill (FH), Lower Lobe (LL), Upper Lobe (UL) Also, behind the cafe near Falconer Hill are some decorative potted flowering plants which were attracting hummingbirds. Above them, in the oaks, was a mixed flock of warblers
Observers: Alice Deutsch, Ray Slyper, Ardith Bondi and various friends met en route
Reported by: Ardith Bondi

Green Heron (UL)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (UL)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (FH)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (several, in each place)
Belted Kingfisher (LL)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (FH)
Northern Flicker (Sheep Meadow)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (several)
Eastern Phoebe (1, UL)
Warbling Vireo (FH)
Red-eyed Vireo (several, each location)
Blue Jay
Carolina Wren (SF)
House Wren (FH)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (UL)
Veery (several)
Swainson's Thrush (several)
Wood Thrush (1,Sheep Meadow)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird (Maintenance)
Brown Thrasher (several, different places)
Cedar Waxwing (multiple flocks, flyovers)
Northern Parula (multiple, each place)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (SF)
Magnolia Warbler (several, each place)
Cape May Warbler (fir tree on FH seen when standing on the rocks and facing east)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (LL)
Black-throated Green Warbler (FH, LL)
Prairie Warbler (LL above the viburnum, sticking around)
Palm Warbler (FH and other places)
Bay-breasted Warbler (SF)
Black-and-white Warbler (multiple)
American Redstart (multiple)
Ovenbird (FH)
Northern Waterthrush (2, LL)
Mourning Warbler (LL under viburnum)
Common Yellowthroat (multiple)
Wilson's Warbler (FH,LL,UL)
Canada Warbler (FH)
Scarlet Tanager (SF, UL)
Lincoln's Sparrow (2, under viburnum at LL)
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (each place)
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole (UL)
House Sparrow

PS from Marie: I've been absent from my Central Park reporting duties for the last few days because I've started on a new project. Hard to get back to work! I'll tell you more about it soon.