Adam Welz's Weblog

Eastern Screech Owl release, Central Park, New York city, 18 July 2009

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, birds & birding by adamwelz on July 19, 2009

Hi All

had a fantastic time in Central Park on Saturday with a gang of New York city raptorphiles releasing 5 pint-sized Eastern Screech Owl into the park. They had been rehabilitated by Bobby and Cathy Horvath. Here are some photographs:

Cathy Horvath with one of the young grey-phase birds before release:

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Two more grey-phase ESOs. Note Bobby Horvath’s slightly munched hand on left — they may be small, but they have teeth sharp beaks and claws:

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Me and ‘my’ owl — the one the Horvaths gave me to release. Cathy on bottom left of frame. It didn’t seem to want to fly off in any hurry and sat on my hand for quite a number of minutes while everyone took pics:

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Because the bird did not want to fly, I decided to put it on branch, from which it immediately flew:

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Here it is a coupla minutes later near-silhouetted in a bush next to the path. I really like its unevenly-sized pupils!

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Here’s a pic of the rufous-phase adult that Bruce Yolton released with a green tinge all over everything — the light really is green under that summer deciduous canopy in North America…

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…and another of the same bird a little later:

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What a great thing to do on a Saturday afternoon! You can see more pics of the release at

http://yojimbot.blogspot.com/2009/07/if-you-love-it-let-it-go-part-2-screech.html

and

http://urbanhawks.blogs.com/urban_hawks/2009/07/eastern-screechowl-release.html#more

and

http://www.fotoportmann.com/blog/2009/07/20/eastern-screech-owls-release-central-park/

Cheers

A

spiritual skimming – Black Skimmer at night in Central Park

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, birds & birding, photography by adamwelz on June 18, 2008

Phew

had an extraordinary experience at the Model Boat Pond (just south of the Met Mus of Art) in Central Park, NYC.

22:30, pitch dark, two Black Skimmer going back and forth through the reflections of the city lights… they passed withing 5 metres of me! Got some video footage with small camera in nightshot mode.

One of my most amazing N American wildlife experiences so far!

Frame grab from video footage – added to blog page Fri 20 Jun. These tern-like birds feed by flying very low over the water, their lower mandible dropped down to scythe through it. When they touch a small fish or tadpole or whatever, the bill snaps shut. It’s supposed to be one of the fastest reflexes ever measured in any vertebrate.

Adam