Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

As a great Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close, a few of New Jersey's wild turkeys see me watching them and mill about nervously. 
And then slip away quietly into the trees. Happy Thanksgiving! Click to enlarge. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Autumn Leaf Edition

The leaves are turning colors and blowing away as the seasons change and the last of the migrating birds pass through. But not all of our New York wildlife goes away for winter. 
There's still lots to see in Central Park -- in addition to the beautiful November colors. 
This gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, for instance, eating something delicious. 
Prospect Park in Brooklyn looks exceptionally pretty in autumn, too. 
This common shelduck, Tadoma tadoma, now paddling picturequely among fallen leaves, will be at the Prospect Park Zoo all winter. 
Brooklyn's Green Wood Cemetery is worth a fall visit just to walk under the fiery maples. 
And the famous Green Wood Cemetery monk parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus, are there year round. They are loud. You cannot miss them. 

Click on the photos to enlarge.  
All the views at Brooklyn Bridge Park are great, but autumn is especially nice. There are birds in the trees and on the water there year round. 
Pigeons like this guy, Columba livia, are available for photo shoots any time at all. I'm planning another batch of pigeon profiles soon. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wreath of Sparrows

Wow -- a bunch of European house sparrows, Passer domesticus, gathering grain. Are they in a wheat field?
Nope. They are systematically taking apart an autumn wreath on the door of a Brooklyn brownstone. Looks a bit bare on the lower left, doesn't it?
A dozen more sparrows sat the on the steps below, waiting their turns on the wreath and snatching up fallen snacks. Clever foragers! No wonder they are such successful urban birds. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


A few weeks ago I saw this little black-and-white warbler, Mniotilta varia,  hunting insects to fuel its long migration south to warmer wintering grounds. Click to enlarge. The migrants passing through, now mostly gone, made me think of this quote... 

“In November, some birds move away and some birds stay. The air is full of good-byes and well-wishes. The birds who are leaving look very serious. No silly spring chirping now. They have long journeys and must watch where they are going. The staying birds are serious, too, for cold times lie ahead. Hard times. All berries will be treasures.” 

                                                               From In November by Cynthia Rylant

It might be a little hard to take this acrobat very seriously. But wait a month or two. 

And all berries will become treasures indeed.