Friday, May 07, 2010

Brooklyn Wildlife

It was the end of the day and we had about an hour of light left to find some more birds. Paige and I were standing on the rustic, wooden bridge that spans the stream, scanning for birds coming down to bathe or drink at the water's edge.

Earlier we had seen a Blue-winged Warbler nervously approaching the water. Nearby were robins and Yellow-rumped Warblers. At one point, a Black-and-white Warbler, White-throated Sparrow and Black-throated Blue Warbler lined up side-by-side, dipping into the water then shaking off their plumes.

We returned to the bridge after looping around through the Ravine, Rick's Place and the Vale of Cashmere. There were less birds this time, but another animal was probing under the stream's boulders and rocks.

video

The young raccoon seemed oblivious to our presence and continued foraging for food. He found an acorn and carefully removed the shell before eating it. Several couples with children passed by and we pointed out the hungry mammal. Like an idyllic scene from a rural town somewhere in Upstate New York, this cropped image was narrow and deceptive. Prospect Park's 526 acres of maintained nature is a mere postage stamp within an urban setting of concrete, asphalt and throngs of humans. This individual raccoon will likely live out its entire life unaware of the complex gauntlet of barriers just a few hundred yards from his patch of forest.

video

2 comments:

Silversalty said...

I had to laugh at your sense of raccoons being fooled into thinking they live in some isolated world like M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village." It was more than 15 years ago that I saw a racoon in my then garage. There was no "green" park in the area. About 4 or 5 years ago, while riding my bike home late one night, I saw a pair of raccoons run across Ocean Avenue (near Avenue S) just in front of me. A pair! And there's no mistaking their pudgy bodies and bandit faces.

Rob Jett said...

Not all raccoons, just the ones born in the center of the park, where there is plenty of food. I've also seen some of the "street" bandits in my backyard.

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