Hee’s Over Here

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This Eastern Towhee was a lifer for me. Though about the size of a large sparrow, it’s not easy to see in the brush–however you can’t miss its call of Tow-HEE; hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee.

Prospect Park,

Brooklyn, New York

The Swan Whisperer

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The young girl was extraordinarily patient with the swan, gently cooing and making slight flapping movements of her arms as if she, too, were a bird. She continued to make little gestures to welcome the swan who, in a trusting manner, gradually approached more and more closely. The girl and the swan were in direct communication with each other. All of the other strangers watching this close encounter, including myself, were mesmerized. When eventually the young girl walked off with her mother, her mother turned to her and said with amazement, “I didn’t know you could talk Swan.”

Marine Park Salt Marsh

Brooklyn, New York

Truly Tule

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Tule Elk

Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Wikipedia says the Tule (Too-Lee) elk is only found in California, and there used to be a half a million of them, but by 1870 they were thought to have been exterminated. A single breeding pair was found in 1875 at the marshes of Buena Vista Lake and steps were taken to breed them; now the number of Tule Elk stands at more than 4000. This guy was part of a herd that roamed through Point Reyes National Seashore Park.

Pheasant-Under-Grass

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I’ve been looking for this guy all year! A year ago, I caught a fleeting glance of him, but way too briefly to get a photo. With the advent of autumn, however, the Marsh bushes where he hides have been cut back–and this week I saw him running across his former stomping grounds to some still remaining bushes further off.

Ring-necked Pheasant

Marine Park Salt Marsh

Brooklyn, New York

Small, But Plucky

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This beautiful bird is an American Kestrel, sometimes called a sparrow hawk. It is part of the falcon family and it is the smallest of the raptors, about the size of a blue jay. It will eat, well, sparrows as well as mice, lizards and insects, and even starlings.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Jamaica, Queens