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Saturday, January 31, 2004

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

Botanic Gardens and Prospect Park with Karen A., Shale B. and Marty S.

When we located the saw-whet owl she was sleeping in the same Eastern Hemlock that she has been roosting in for over a month. The white splattered walkway and accumulation of dark grey pellets betrayed her attempt to stay hidden. Her body compacted and feathers fluffed up against the cold, she looked like a down-covered baseball. When I put my binoculars on her I noticed that she had a small mouse clutched tightly in her talons. She opened her eyes to thin slits to take a quick look at us then settled back to sleep. We only stayed for a few minutes then left to pick up something hot to drink. On our way back to the car we took one more look and noticed that she had devoured the mouse. She was slowly preening her breast and belly feathers, occasionally lapsing into a momentary nod in the middle of smoothing a plume.
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Botanic Gardens, 1/31/2004
Northern Shoveler
Common Merganser (6, Prospect Lake near Three Sisters Is.)
Ruddy Duck
Red-tailed Hawk (2 immature, 3 adult.)
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Northern Saw-whet Owl (BBG.)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Nethermead Meadow.)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2; Breeze Hill feeder, BBG.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2.)
Northern Mockingbird (BBG.)
Fox Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Purple Finch (5, Center Dr.)
American Goldfinch (3, Center Dr.)

Other resident species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope