Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Other Nestlings

Last weekend I did some exploring around Prospect Park and observed several other birds preparing to leave their nests.

For the last few years, a pair of Barn Swallows have nested above one of the doorways at the park's nature center. I don't know if it is the same pair each year, but it certainly is a prime location for a swallow. The building is just a few yards from the water, there are many spots for collecting mud for nest building and insects are abundant. The adult swallows seemed wary of my presence below the nest and periodically flew back and forth in front of the narrow ledge that holds their nursery. Each time they passed the nest three heads would instinctively pop up with opened mouths.

A short walk from the nature center, near the start of the Lullwater, was a House Wren nest. The birds had built their nest within a small cavity in a dead tree, the opening of which was only about 7 feet above the ground. The woods surrounding the nest were noisy with the chattering of the adults trying to round-up their brood. One nestling remained in the nest. Each time I attempted to take a photograph of the tiny bird in the hole, he would duck his head back down. Eventually, I was lucky enough to snap one photo, but have about a dozen shots of the empty cavity. There seemed to be about 5 young wrens flitting about in the small forested area along the Lullwater. While I was still watching the nest, the final nestling became a fledgling. The stubby-tailed bird with a still yellow gape bolted from the nest and took off in search of his parents and siblings.

Not far from the House Wren nest, and perched close to the tops of the trees, was a Green Heron nest. These tiny herons are annual breeders in Prospect Park. It has been a few years since I've observed any in the park, so I was very excited to see these goofy-looking youngsters. I had also discovered a pair working on a nest in the Peninsula woods recently. It seems late in the season to be just getting started. Maybe it is their second attempt. The nest in the Lullwater has three occupants. The trio of Green Herons looked very mature, but still had a bit of spiky, white down adorning their heads. Their are nearly the size of the parents and one was already climbing the branches way above the nest. They should probably be fledged by the weekend.

1 comment:

3bluejays said...

Alas, it's true. I stopped by on Sat, July 4, and the nest was all quiet. However, belowstairs, at the Wren's abode, there was a (new?) parent earnestly stuffing nesting material into the entrance. So perhaps before long there will be a new set to play jack-in-the-box with.

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