Sunday, June 10, 2007


Black-crowned Night-herons

Black-crowned Night-heron at the Pond

Recently, Cat Rock has hosted my sunset observing sessions and walking around the Pond is one route I take. I frequently see two Black-crowned Night-herons. It's become a game to find them against a backdrop of trees and shrubs. the stocky bird stands hunched on partially submersed tree limbs or nearby the lip of a drainage pipe (as shogun in this picture). The Black-crowned Night-heron reminds me of a penguin probably because of size. Don't get me wrong you wouldn't mistake one as a penguin but it is my first impression. The two plumes that sprout from their crown will attract your attention, they are so distinctive to this bird. One heron is 1/2 times larger than the other. I make two assumptions: (a) other pair is a male and female; (b)the larger one is the male. I am confident enough to distinguish the two when they're apart, the female heron's legs are more vibrant yellow and I judge her size relative to nearby objects.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk on the London

I understand that the two Red-tailed Hawks, Charlotte and Junior, have taken a new home on 56th & 7th Ave. this is the couple that nested a home precariously on an ornamental ledge on the east side of the trump Pare building.

The other day something caught my eye looking out the living room window. Turns out it as one of the hawks. The hawk approached from the northeast and perched at four different spots in a span of 15 minutes. the last flight from the building, the hawk returned to the northeast. later that evening I walked to the supermarket to see the hawk flying circular patterns above 56th and Broadway. In this great density of steel and mortar, it is amazing that fauna would even consider this a suitable habitat.

Closeup of the Red-tailed Hawk perched on the London.