In The Weeds

(Click to enlarge)

This Glossy Ibis is a lifer for me. If you’ve ever wondered why it has that long de-curved bill-well the photo below illustrates here’s one reason–a reason why I almost didn’t see the bird. The bill looks just like the curved grasses!:

(Click to enlarge)

Marine Park Salt Marsh

Brooklyn, New York

Secret Identity Uncovered

(Click to enlarge)

These little guys had me puzzled–so many sandpipers look alike to me! But when they did a short flight, they gave themselves away: their white rumps in flight marked them as–what else?–White-rumped Sandpipers. A first for me.

Plumb Beach

Brooklyn, New York

One Good Tern Deserves Another

(Click to enlarge)

Terns are tough for me to identify specifically, so while I’ll guess they’re Common Terns, there are some other possibilities.

But I am eating my heart out that there wasn’t another one nearby so that I could title the post, “Tern, Tern, Tern…”

Marine Park Salt Marsh,

Brooklyn, New York

Small Circle of Friends

(Click to enlarge)

Sometimes, from a distance, a Northern Shoveler can look like a Mallard to me. But it’s fun to see the ducks swimming in groups of concentric circles like in the zoomed-in photo above—then I can be pretty sure they’re Shovelers that I’m looking at, as they go round and round sifting the water near the surface for food with their bills.

Prospect Park

Brooklyn, New York

Looking For The Catbird Seat

(Click to enlarge)

This young Grey Catbird was scampering out in the open, rather than hiding out under bushes as they usually like to do. They look a lot like Northern Mockingbirds, but their black caps and mewing sound clearly identify them.

Prospect Park

Brooklyn, New York

Duck Soup

(Click to enlarge)

When the lake freezes over, the birds have to squeeze into a smaller space in the un-iced parts of the lake, but the different species of ducks co-exist surprisingly well considering that they are all after a similar limited food supply of small plants and fish in the constrained area.

In this picture you can see the large Canadian Geese, the male and female Mallards with their wings spread, the small American Coots with their white bills and dark bodies, and lastly, a bunch of Northern Shovelers, standing in the back and floating in the water, dark green head and dark, flat-ended bills, and bodies with white breasts and brown flanks.

It was fascinating to see all these different kinds of birds band together and turn around as one when a few aggressive gulls approached; the gulls were not welcome to this party—perhaps they would not play well with others?—and the ducks soon mobbed the gulls and forced them to go elsewhere.

Prospect Park Lake

Brooklyn, New York