A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Birding on a Balmy, Almost-spring Morning

Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of diverse bird species and their behavior once a month on an early Sunday morning. He comments here on the walk he led on March 9.

It was a lovely walk!  I led a group of 12 visitors, of whom a number had never been on my walks before—but all had been to Wave Hill.

It was an almost-spring sort of balmy day, and the obvious standout was an adult bald eagle that flew over just as we were starting, and gave us great views.  Bald eagles, truth be told, are pretty common around Wave Hill, especially in winter, but they’re still always exciting to see!

We also found some interesting evidence of other wildlife in the pine stands on the Conifer Slope north of Wave Hill House: muddy raccoon tracks in the snow, and several clumps of feathers where songbirds met their end at the talons of an owl or hawk—or perhaps a feral cat.  We compared the refractive color of blue jay feathers we found to the pigmentary colors of cardinal feathers.  We also spotted some black-capped chickadees and a red-breasted nuthatch.

By the next walk, spring migration will be underway!


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