Week 5: Birding Another Patch and Peregrine News!

Patch Observations

This week, we were tasked with doing our bird observations from a different place. As I’m still hesitant to venture out into the city to far from home before I complete my semester–for health and safety reasons, I decided to give the front of my building a try.

I had initially thought that I might be able to make my patch this semester both my front and back yards, but the street traffic (especially at the beginning of the spring when there were fewer birds) seemed to keep most of the birds in hiding. I thought I’d give it a change again this week and did two sessions sitting out front of my building. I saw many more birds than I did the first week trying and even a couple birds I hadn’t seen much of before.

Here’s my count for the week:

Snapshot of my eBird Checklist for this week
Snapshot of my eBird Checklist for this week. I did about 35 minutes on April 28th at 13:45 and 25 min on May 2nd at noon.

It was a very different feeling for me to sit out in front of my building birdwatching… first of all, having only put my street shoes on 11 times this year, it was not only a birdwatching week for me, but a people watching week as well! So many things going on, it was definitely a different experience.

The first way it felt different was that there is a much wider field of view (up and down the street with the street being like an empty channel down the middle of my field of view.) Interestingly, it not gave me many more places to look, but it caused me to look in many more places. See, with my normal patch, there are two surefire places to look if I want to find a bird… in the top of the tree to my left and a top the fire escape behind me. I appreciated being broken out of this rut and hope it will remind me to look in other places when I return to my normal patch.

The other way was in the diversity of birds, though this may be due to the change in the season, but it’s also possible it might be related to where I was viewing them from. Here are the birds that I spotted this week… I’d only logged a couple pigeons the whole time I’ve been watching and I spotted my first laughing gull!

More European Starlings this Week. Picture of eBird app identifying a European Starling by Sound.
More European Starlings this Week. Picture of eBird app identifying a European Starling by Sound.
More European Starlings this Week. Picture of eBird app identifying a House Sparrow by Sound.
More European Starlings this Week. Picture of eBird app identifying a House Sparrow by Sound.
Picture of eBird app identifying a Rock Pigeon by Sound.
Picture of eBird app identifying a Rock Pigeon by Sound.
Picture of eBird app identifying a Laughing Gull by Sound.
Picture of eBird app identifying a Laughing Gull by Sound.
Picture of eBird app identifying a Laughing Gull by Sound.
Picture of eBird app identifying a Laughing Gull by Sound.

Peregrines in New Jersey

I also learned a few things about birds from the news this week. I saw this on the local news and looked into it more:

Photo of TV with News Piece on Peregrine Falcons in NJ. Here the falcon is sitting on her hatchling in the manmade nest on top of the courthouse.
Photo of TV with News Piece on Peregrine Falcons in NJ. Here the falcon is sitting on her hatchling in the manmade nest on top of the courthouse. The rest of this caption should read that the pair has been nesting there for the past 16 years! The hatchling emerged from its shell less than a day and a half before.

It turns out there’s a pair of peregrine falcons that return to nest atop of the courthouse in Union County, New Jersey every year along with other pairs of endangered peregrine falcons. I didn’t know that these falcons mate for life or that they fly over 15,000 miles a year. Also, VERY cool is that they can dive for prey at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour!

Anyway, I thought these beautiful, impressive birds deserved a shoutout! Here are some images I took from the Falcon Cam online of Frida and Mango on April 28th around 16h45m:

Screen shot of the falcon sitting on her hatchling in the manmade nest on top of the courthouse, image from outside the nest. The pair of peregrine falcons have been visiting and nesting here since 2005. Located in Union County, NJ.
Screen shot of the falcon sitting on her hatchling in the manmade nest on top of the courthouse, image from outside the nest. The pair of peregrine falcons have been visiting and nesting here since 2005. Located in Union County, NJ.
Screen shot of the falcon sitting on her hatchling in the manmade nest on top of the courthouse.
Screen shot of the falcon sitting on her hatchling in the manmade nest on top of the courthouse.
Screen shot of the falcon sitting on a perch on top of the building where his pair is sitting on their hatchling in the manmade nest on top of the courthouse. The pair have been visiting and nesting here since 2006.
Screen shot of the falcon sitting on a perch on top of the building where his pair is sitting on their hatchling in the manmade nest on top of the courthouse. The pair have been visiting and nesting here since 2006.

 

 

 

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