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Friday, February 10, 2006

Snow Goose update

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens ) in Prospect Park

(Photo credit - Steve Nanz)

I walked across the park this morning on my way to an appointment. Near the Peristyle, on the south side of Prospect Lake, was a flock of Canada Geese nibbling on the grass. The lone Snow Goose was in the center of the flock. To my knowledge, Snow Goose have never over-wintered in Prospect Park. I had assumed that this bird was injured and couldn’t fly, especially since he seemed to prefer walking across the roadways. Today I saw him fly a short distance with the other geese. The secondary feathers on his right wing looked like they had been pretty damaged by something. His six week respite in Brooklyn has allowed him to begin molting in some new feathers. Come spring, he’ll probably join up with a flock heading north. Unfortunately, the fate of the injured Snow Goose in Green-Wood Cemetery is less promising. Without capture and treatment he’ll probably never fly.

It’s been almost a month since I found the Long-eared Owl. He is still around and nearly invisible high up in his roost. Had the Blue Jays not showed me where he was hiding he probably could have gone unnoticed all winter. It makes me wonder how many have been overlooked during the annual Christmas Bird Count.

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Prospect Park, 2/10/2006
Pied-billed Grebe (2, Prospect Lake.)
Double-crested Cormorant (1, Prospect Lake.)
Snow Goose (1, with Canada Geese.)
Northern Shoveler (~250.)
Bufflehead (2, Upper pool.)
Ruddy Duck (~75-100.)
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull (3.)
Long-eared Owl (1.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Black-capped Chickadee (Fairly common.)
Tufted Titmouse (Fairly common.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (3, Breeze Hill.)
Fox Sparrow (1, Ravine.)
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
American Goldfinch

Other common species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan (4.), American Black Duck, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow (6.), American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Song Sparrow, House Sparrow


Omar said...

Hi there,

New birder here, I just saw about 10,000 SG in Merril Creek Reservoir today, what a sight!

I do a lot of Central Park birding and have not spent any time in Prospect, etc, etc.

I hope to run into yo some day.

Nice pic

Marge said...

Hi Rob..That is promising news for the Prospect Park Snow Goose. I agree with you about the Greenwood Cemetery snow goose. I dont think he will ever fly again due to his serious break. If his health prevails, he just might become a regular on the pond. If I see his health declining, we can send for the rehabilitator. I often wonder what happened to those two snow geese as they came down at the same time, one in Greenwood & one in Prospect park. I have seen Brant geese, along the side of the Belt Parkway, when spooked almost crash into oncoming cars. I wonder if this could have happened to the snow geese in question. Something to ponder. Also, the Greenwood snow goose walks in the road as well like the Prospect Park snow goose. Could either one or both of them been swiped by a car while they were in a flock somewhere near traffic? Another thing to ponder.

I am keeping a close eye on the snow goose and for any red tail activity.

I have noticed red tail activity in Greenwood Cemetery over the past two weeks but no signs of nest building. I counted the one lone red tail that has been hanging around for the past couple of months, a pair and another loner.

The great blue heron is still at dell & sylvan water. He has become a fixture. Im sure the ponds goldfish are keeping him there.

After todays blizzard, Im anxious to get to Greenwood and check up on everything. I do enjoy checking and identifying the animal tracks in the fresh snow. If I can dig out my car, Ill try to get there on Monday, if not Wednesday, those are my days off.

PS: The snow drops are up in Greenwood too!. I love them!

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