A Surprise Visitor

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You can imagine my surprise to look out our back window and see this big, amazingly-beautiful Red-tailed Hawk on our back deck. I was very happy she didn’t fly away when I slowly slid the door open just enough to capture some photos.

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The reclusive Wood Thrush, photographed this morning, shares a mottled, white and brown breast with the Red-tailed Hawk. This makes for good camouflage as it forages quietly on the forest floor.

Out and About

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A Rose-Breasted Grosbeak seems to be making sure that the coast is clear before venturing out after the rain comes to an end on Saturday morning.

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Canada Geese goslings stay close to their mother at Rockefeller State Park this morning.

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A Great Blue Heron keeps a close eye out for breakfast in Swan Lake at the park today.

Yellow Warbler

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This morning’s flash of vibrant yellow at Rockefeller State Park.

“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.” – Aldo Leopold

 

Stealing the Show

MandarinDuck_wordpress“The male Mandarin duck, native to East Asia, should not be in the middle of Manhattan. And yet, against all odds, he is here. And he is dazzling,” writes Julia Jacobs of the New York Times. This bird, photographed in Central Park today, is a real show-stealer. No one seems quite sure how it arrived but it seems happy to pose for all of us awe-struck onlookers.CedarWaxwing_wordpressA Cedar Waxwing eats ripe berries from a Crabapple tree in the park today.WoodDuck_wordpresUnlike the Mandarin, Wood ducks are native to the United States. They are one of the most stunningly pretty of all waterfowl. Males are iridescent chestnut and green, with ornate patterns on nearly every feather. This one was also at Central Park today – not far from that number one attention-getter.

“Seeing the birds is like touching the hand of God. This is the Church of Many Feathers.” – John Builello

A Delicate Dance

Hummings_wordpressTwo female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds perform a delicate dance among wildflowers.

“… to feel the sun on my back and the wind on my face. I find my peace, my solitude, in the time I am alone in nature.” – Terry Tempest Williams – Refuge

Rainy Day Bird

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“No one knows what they are saying in their small voices, but one might well guess it’s a kind of happiness. Even though all the world offers them is a field of seeds. Sometimes it only takes that much.” – from Goldfinches by Mary Oliver

 

Cool Takeoff

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A Rock Pigeon takes flight from the cool waters of a creek that leads to the Hudson River in Dobbs Ferry, New York. One way pigeons can find their way home from great distances is by sensing the earth’s magnetic fields.