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devil duck

Ornithology

So last month as I was walking Thing One home from the chiropractor (long story....), I saw a couple of guys pointing and staring up into a small tree. When I followed their lead, I saw a bright green parrot (well, some kind of psittacid -- I don't know them all apart). And another. And another. They took off and were joined by at least half a dozen more from other trees. I had heard there were parrots in Brooklyn, but didn't know they had moved to Queens. December in New Yawk....

Yesterday as I was taking the Things on a routine walk to excrete and check their p-mail, I saw a red-tailed hawk in the top of a tall tree in the front yard of a house. It flew away, and another flew into the same tree. At least one of them seemed to be carrying a stick in its mouth; nesting pair? In retrospect, I don't know why it was surprising: we live two blocks from a square mile of forested park, but I've never seen hawks here in my residential neighborhood.

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I've seen hawks in our neighborhood. (Manhattan, lots of trees and grass - and pigeons and squirrels.) It's startling the first time you realize that fly by wasn't quite the pattern you're used to... and the bird seems... why, it's a hawk! I knew they were up in Central Park, but it hadn't occurred to me that they'd spread.
I had that "HUH!" feeling a few (okay many) years ago -- at that time, there was a nesting pair of peregrine falcons up here in Hartford. I was stuck in traffic on the bridge and saw a flock of pigeons coming in fast -- with a falcon coming in faster. I'd only seen my first peregrine a few months before, and that fighter-jet was unmistakeable. So very very cool.

It may be extra-snowy here in the river valley, but it makes for great birds.