The Avian Parade Marches On

A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher zeroes in on an insect at Rockefeller State Park while an 8-week-old Great Horned Owl owlet catches the morning sun at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. Black-capped Chickadees are easy to take for granted but these feisty, little birds can enthrall us with their beautiful yet simple song.

“Gratefulness is possible with the awareness of the fragility of what we have.” – Mike Martin

The Avian Parade

The New York Times recently described spring migration as the “avian parade” and it’s a fitting way to portray the beautiful birds now marching our way.

A Great Egret, two Yellow-crowned Night herons and a Palm Warbler were recent area highlights as we head into our favorite (birding) time of year!

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” – Maya Angalou

Spreading Their Wings

A Great Blue Heron flies toward a perch at Halsey Pond in Irvington, NY while two Bald Eagles fly together at Croton Point Park.
An Osprey displays its fishing skills at Marshlands Conservancy while a Killdeer spreads its wings next to the Hudson River.

“Each day is an invitation to see the world in a new way.” – Marv & Nancy Hiles

A New Season Begins

Killdeer, some of the first birds back to our area, were showing some spring-like behavior at Sherwood Island State Park in CT.
Red-winged Blackbirds have also now returned. This one was establishing his territory at Constitution Marsh in Garrison, NY.
One of our year-round residents, a Mallard drake stretches out at the start of his day on the Hudson River in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

“I photograph birds because they are visual poetry to me. I see them as the truest embodiment of grace, hope and beauty.” – Melissa Groo – Wildlife photographer and Conservationist

A New Day

A Hooded Merganser starts his day by gliding across a lake in Rye, New York.
And he’s off! A new day has begun!

“Once we know that the entire physical world around us, all of creation, is both the hiding place and the revelation place for God, this world becomes home, safe, enchanted, offering grace to any who look deeply.” – Richard Rohr

Beechin’ It

The female Northern Cardinal doesn’t get quite the same attention as those bright red males, especially in the snow but this female looked especially beautiful while surrounded by some winter-worn beech leaves.

“My favorite bird changes depending on the family, the season, the rarity factor, whether I managed to locate the bird myself, whether we locked eyes in the field or not. But in general, unless I’m staring at gulls, or muttering obscenities under my breath while trying to distinguish a Baird’s from a White-rumped Sandpiper, my favorite bird is the one right in front of me.” – Julia Zarankin – Field Notes From an Unintentional Birder

“See That Bird”

A Red-shouldered Hawk kept a close eye on our bird feeder during this past week’s snow storm and, today, a Black-capped Chickadee took a sip of water from an icicle that was melting in the sun.
An American Tree Sparrow hopped onto a stalk of grass at Croton Point Park while foraging. The bird’s weight forced the grass to the ground, dislodging some seeds in the process.

“Sometimes, what I try to get people to do is to disconnect for a moment from the absolute need to list and name, and just see the bird. Just see that bird… in that moment, it’s a beautiful thing, no matter what its name is.” – Drew Lanham

Unknown Journeys

“To understand, to get from some egg in a nest to where it is, to grace you with its presence, that it’s taken, for this bird, trials and tribulations and escaping all of these hazards. And so I try to think about people, as much as I can in that way – that each of us has had these struggles from the nest to where we have flown now.” – Ornithologist Drew Lanham, interviewed by Krista Tippett (On Being).

Snow Day!

Today’s snow day provided a great opportunity to sit in my blind and photograph birds as they took turns visiting our feeder.

Northern Cardinals are always a welcome sight in the snow and you can clearly see where a Red-bellied woodpecker gets its name, as it appears to do a chin-up in the middle photo.

Dark-eyed Juncos are the original “snowbirds.” During these colder months they travel in small flocks from the evergreen forests, further north, to our backyards and feeders.