I spent Saturday bird-watching and exploring Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens. It's a beautiful protected bird sanctuary not far below JFK International Airport. It is owned and run by the National Park Service. It took about an hour and a half to reach from Manhattan by subway and bus but was worth the trip!
Tree Swallow in its nesting box:
To me, the most exciting park birds are the two resident nesting pairs of Ospreys. They built nests atop man-made towers provided for them. Both adult Ospreys were on the first nest I came across (which reportedly had four eggs in it).
I saw two nestlings' heads poking up from the rim of the nest. I don't know if the other two eggs in the first nest hatched.
You can just see one of the babies' heads poking up between the adults:
Since May 2nd of this year the male adult has had a GPS transmitter harnessed around its back for research and tracking purposes. You can follow the whereabouts of the Osprey online at http://jamaicabayosprey.org/ when it becomes live next month.
Two babies. The male adult is on the right (transmitter on his back):
Baby seen more clearly:
Tree Swallows nearby:
While I was photographing the Tree Swallows, the male Osprey had left the nest and disappeared.
I'll have to look this bird up but it might be a Black-crowned Night Heron:
Canada Geese making their way to a pond:
Empire State Building in the distance:
Empire State Building and other buildings of the Manhattan skyline:
One World Trade Center, or the "Freedom Tower", still under construction:
Family of Canada Geese approaching:
Having a drink or just missing a fish:
Another Goose family:
Huge apartment complex:
Geese sorting out their hierarchy formation:
All figured out:
Part of the walking trail:
Second Osprey nest:
One of the adults in flight:
A harassing gull:
Osprey in the nest:
Another Gray Catbird to cap the day: