We walked the Arboretum yesterday in search of spring activity. Despite the gray skies, birds were in spring mode. We were lucky enough to see our first warbler of the year, a palm warbler, near the beech collection on Bussey Hill. The warbler migration has begun!
Tag Archives: red-tailed hawk
Snowy owls have arrived in the New England area en masse this winter. The reason for their southern surge isn’t known, but the population may have exploded following an increase in their favorite prey, the lemming, last summer. Owls are leaving the crowded Arctic to stake out their own territory, finding their way to places such as Boston.
We first attempted to find a snowy owl on Castle Island. While we saw a number of other birds, we did not find an owl. Following e-bird reports of owls at Logan Airport that could be seen from Castle Island, we trained our camera on the edges of the runways. This is what we saw:
We took a walk through Mount Auburn Cemetery Thursday morning. We would go long stretches without hearing any birds and then, suddenly, we’d be in the midst of a birdstorm. One of the easiest birds to find was this wild turkey, whose gobble we could hear at a distance.
We went on an early morning bird walk yesterday led by Bob Mayer and Andrew Joslin. We saw a number of bird species. Two were a first for me, and one a first in the Boston area.
Aside from the aphids, I spotted a number of other creatures in the Arboretum last week. An American bullfrog was spread out lazily in the marsh waters.
Red-tailed hawks have made their nest near the top of the Maxwell Dworkin building on Harvard University’s campus.
We saw one of the hawks yesterday evening but were unable to see any of the chicks from the ground. However, Harvard SEAS has a webcam for that very purpose.
Susan Moses tells the story of the hawks on Harvard’s Campus Update Nature Watch:
“For many years a pair of red-tailed hawks had nested in a nearby tree. Two years ago, they started a new nest on the Maxwell-Dworkin building, but the female was injured so the nest (and eggs) were abandoned. I tracked her down and found out she was being treated at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton. To make a long story short, when she healed I brought her back to Cambridge. She won back her mate who had found another partner when she had ‘disappeared.’ It was too late for them to lay more eggs that year, but last year they built a new nest on Holyoke Center on Mt. Auburn Street. They had two chicks, but I’m not sure what happened to them since I never saw or heard the juveniles once they fledged. This year the pair decided to return to the nest on the Maxwell-Dworkin building and try again.”
A Harvard staff member kept a blog on the hawks in 2010.
A thank-you to Ernest for the tip.
The birds in the Arnold Arboretum are now in the thick of spring. On a cool, sunny morning, I watched them build nests, sing to attract mates, and defend their territory.
Cold and windy, yesterday was not the best day to visit the Boston Public Garden. But the sky was clear, and visitors were sliding along the ice on the lagoon.
A few birds were out. The usual suspects such as the rock pigeons, starlings, robins, and house sparrows. But I also managed to see a blue jay and this red-tailed hawk.
The blue jay was flitting about on a weeping willow that had a hole running clear through one of its branches. I wonder what creature made that happen.