Sunday, February 5, 2017

Superb Owl Weekend

     I got in an hour or so of birding this weekend, with colder temperatures, it was about all I could stand. But in the time I was out, I enjoyed some quiet moments with some birds I enjoy seeing and enabling me still to build my year list.
     While, I had no owls this weekend, I put together my Superb Owl cookies for the game on Sunday and distributed my little cookie owl army to my family, so all can enjoy an owl treat. These cookies were super easy to whip up, if you want to make some, following this recipe and using an owl cookie cutter and piping melted white chocolate for eyes and beaks and using semi-sweet chocolate chips for their pupils.
     As for the real birds, I visited Green-Wood Cemetery and Bush Terminal Piers Park:
Found this red tail hawk basking in the morning sun, and she sat and watched, from above the grave of Henry Bergh- the founder of the ASPCA.
I am assuming she is female as she was perched with another, smaller than her. Female raptors are significantly larger than the males.

Binocular vision gives these birds so amazing and acute eyesight.


I also came upon a large flock of sparrows that included a lot of white-throated sparrows (above), as well as dark-eyes juncos and one of my favorite species of sparrow...

One chunky fox sparrow was in the flock!
And he also sat, in the sun and posed... how perfect is this little bird?!
I love when you can truly see their eyes are more than just little black beads. You can truly see their dinosaur lineage in those eyes.

It seemed like the sun really helped in grabbing some nice pictures of these normally flighty little sparrows. Normally Juncos do not stay still for long, but quite a few seemed to be napping off their breakfast in the very strong morning sun.
You know it's a bit colder out when all the birds fluff up like this. Creating a layer of air between their bodies and their feathers this air warms and keeps them warm.
I got in one decent shot at Bush terminal, the sun lit up this female bufflehead, but the wind was blowing, the air was cold, and my time there was short. So one bufflehead is all there is to show for my trip.