Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nesting season notes

In early Summer, the migration is over, and the main points of interest are the nesting birds. There are twenty or so species nesting in Central Park. In early June, my attention was held by the Warbling Vireo nest I mentioned in an earlier post.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Warbling Vireo feeding nestling

That's one of the probably three nestlings getting what looks like a whole moth all his own, just a couple of days before they fledged. They did it on a weekend I was away, and a week before I thought it would happen. The nest must have been there well before I first saw it.

Right after the Vireos, I noticed a Baltimore Oriole nest near the bathrooms in the Ramble.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Baltimore Orfiole mama and nestling

This photo, too, was only a day or so before fledging. I don't know how I missed this very obvious nest right over the path, but I didn't see it until I was standing under another tree nearby and Mama Oriole came out and scolded me.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Baltimore Oriole

She didn't like anyone anywhere near her nest tree.

One species that has had a hard time nesting in the Park lately is the Canada Goose. The Central Park Conservancy has been on a goose eradication campaign for some years, which has included paying "experts" to go and oil or break eggs and destroy nests.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Goslings, Central Park Reservoir

Despite the efforts of the Goosestapo, one or two pairs do manage to breed every year. I found these lazy half-grown goslings hanging out at the edge of the Reservoir the other week.

On the other hand, everybody loves ducklings. Remember the gang of young Mallards at Turtle Pond that I posted a photo of some time back? They're growing into fine young ducks.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Mallard ducklings

At least the survivors are, anyway. There were ten originally, and it looks like four have been taken by predators. But not to worry, right after I took this picture, I saw this:

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Mama Mallard and ducklings

That's ten more Mallard ducklings and another busy mama duck.

Elsewhere, the various Red-Tailed Hawk nests have fledged, Ben Cacace reports that the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron on Governor's island has thatched, and I see from photos online that the young Common Terns are doing well.

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