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Marine Park Salt Marsh
Brooklyn, New York
We’ve been away in the country, and each day we do a little birding. Even after all these years, I’m still a novice, and Lord knows I still can’t sort out the warblers and vireos, but I greatly enjoy it. We can hardly move an inch from our house without running into all sorts of interesting birds. Here’s what we’ve identified in the last two weeks:
Eastern Bluebird: f.
Wild Turkey: m, f, +8 juvs.
My favorite find so far was the Pileated Woodpecker, a bird I had never seen before. For a few days previous to viewing it, we had come across its huge rectangular nesting holes dug into the trees, and heard its laughing call, but we couldn’t see it. Then a few days ago I heard the call very close by, and turned to see that brilliant Pileated head low on a nearby tree trunk. It was thrilling. I should have gotten a photo of it, but I didn’t—I was too afraid of scaring it away by making any movement. So the picture above is just a stock photo, but it looked exactly like that. Then a day later, a family of Wild Turkeys came tromping through our front lawn and across the street, seven juveniles following their large father and smaller mother, with an eighth straggler, a little runtier than all the rest, pulling up the rear. It was like a Disney movie. For this city dweller, it was a real treat.
The sparrow is quite happy to have the heroic mockingbird protect it from the black snake. Earlier on, there were starlings in the trees above who were emitting warning cries, and a few of flew them down to mob the snake to make it move away from their nests.
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This Red-tailed Hawk was a surprise to the dozens of New York City commuters who spotted it at the crossroads of a busy traffic intersection near the 72nd Street subway entrance. The City had put the owl statue up in the tree to discourage pigeons from pooping on commuters below, but the Red-tailed Hawk thought he had found a companion predator. Notice the diagnostic streaked band across the Hawk’s chest.