Forest Park birds and Washington Square Park Hawk - April 7th, 2012

I spent three hours Saturday in Forest Park in Queens. It's a huge 538 acre park. It was almost like being in the woods except for its man-made trails and people walking by every several minutes (most walking their dogs and a couple of people on horseback on the bridle path). It was a nice respite from the city and took only 35 minutes or so to get to by subway and walking. 

It's still a little early in the bird migration season so there weren't too many unusual birds to see. But each day will bring new visitors. Most of the pictures taken below were lucky shots since the birds were very active and high up in the trees or deep in the bushes.

Male Cardinal singing (seen near the entrance):


Palm Warbler (lots of Palm Warblers in the park):

Red-bellied Woodpecker:

Crossing train tracks...

Chickadee dipping into its tree nest (it brought grub to its youngins inside):

Downy Woodpecker:

Palm Warbler:

Tail feathers resting on branch:

Mystery warbler (it might have been a Pine Warbler):

Eastern Phoebe:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker:

Hermit Thrush:


Palm warbler:

Mourning Dove:

Hermit Thrush:

I returned to the city to check on the Washington Square Park Red-tailed Hawks. I spotted Bobby atop One Fifth Avenue:

Sadly, this was the best photo I could get of him flying east:

Nest from below:

The park was full of people engaged in an international pillow fight. It's an annual event. The crowd was dense and for some reason the NYPD thought it was necessary to display a large show of force. There were lots of cops around. 

I have to wonder why they felt the need to have such a large pillow patrol. Maybe because they knew the crowd would be large and they needed to ensure there was order among the pajama-clad kidults.

Cops atop the park arch:

The arch was surrounded by police barricades and a stern-looking gold shield-bearing officer in plainclothes was guarding the arch's side entrance door. 

After twenty minutes, Bobby returned:

He flew off again after perching for twenty five minutes:

He soared high above for a minute before disappearing eastward again:

Beautiful blooms near the southern entrance:

I was pretty tired from my full day of hiking and birding so went home after it looked like Bobby was going to be a while returning.

I later heard that Rosie appeared on the Judson Memorial Church cross then hunted in the trees at the western side of the park. Bobby and Rosie both ate rats in the evening. It was a shame to miss that action but I was happy to be resting at home.