An expert birder and naturalist, Gabriel Willow leads walks and excursions all over the world, yet he has an easygoing and accessible way of encouraging new birders without overwhelming them with information. His walks are a regular feature of each season at Wave Hill.
The walk on Sunday, April 13, was a big hit. We had more than two dozen walkers, at least five of whom were newcomers to Wave Hill. It was once again a gorgeous sunny day, with just a touch of sea-breeze and haze.
We saw some nice birds—an osprey and two turkey vultures soaring over the Hudson, as well as a red-tailed hawk, a ragged “V” of double-crested cormorants heading north, mourning doves singing, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, fish crows, blue jays, cedar waxwings eating maple blossoms, many American robins hopping on the lawns, a flyby pine warbler, a blue-gray gnatcatcher, northern cardinals, song sparrows, white-throated sparrows, common grackles, American goldfinches in song, the ubiquitous house sparrow and European starling and northern mockingbirds, including an amazing dance between two individuals. I took it to be courtship, but upon further research discovered it was a territory-boundary dance.
Jeanne Tao, a regular on our bird walks, blogged about the experience. Many thanks, Jeanne, for the fine bird portrait here.