A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Raptor-ous Spring Birding!

Horticultural Interpreter Alison Filosa works with Charles Day and the rest of Wave Hill’s Public Programs Department.

Naturalist Gabriel Willow led his monthly birding walk this past Sunday with 35 adults and three children joining him. We started on an exciting note with the sighting of an immature or juvenile bald eagle, distinguishable from a mature bird by its brown and white coloring and its large, white beak. It turns yellow as it ages. A Cooper’s hawk was seen flying near the Perkins Visitor Center, along with starlings, blue jays and house finches.

Drawn to the Conifer Slope by sound of blue jays, the group experienced the rare sighting of a barred owl, native to eastern North America, in one of the conifers. Gabriel has only spotted a barred owl three times at Wave Hill in the 14 years he’s been leading our birding walks, so it was a special treat for all! Wave-Hill_Raptor-Day_credit-Joshua-Bright-for-blog

This shot by photographer Joshua Bright was taken on Wave Hill’s 2010 Raptor Day, during a demonstration by Volunteers for Wildlife.

Off the owl soon flew, leading the group to spy a red-tailed hawk, perched quietly on a tree along the Shade Border lawn.

High up over the Hudson River, off to the west, a migratory turkey vulture was spotted, its wings upswept. Also spotted over the river was a raven, possibly one of the pair that live on the George Washington Bridge,

Today was obviously a very fine day to see raptors and other migratory birds, not to speak of juncos, robins, sparrows and our local mockingbirds, and our group left enthusiastically anticipating May’s walk, scheduled for Mother’s Day.

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