Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What I saw on MY Spring Break (Part 4)

Raptors and Ospreys. A few of the former (all Red-tailed Hawks) and lots of the latter in all the right places. (Right places being at Forsythe NWR, Cape May Lighthouse SP, The Migratory Bird Refuge (a Nature Conservancy project next door to the Lighthouse SP) and everywhere in between. If they put up a nesting pole, it was occupied.)

I got to see dozens of Ospreys on their nests, mating, hunting, fighting off Herring Gulls--or one another. Hard to believe there were only sixty mating pairs in New Jersey in 1970.

Osprey on the hunt.

Osprey on the hunt.

Osprey on the hunt.


One of many, many mated pairs at Forsythe NWR.

Ospreys are not uncommon here in the Northern Tier. Hammond, Tioga and Cowanesque Lakes--all Corps of Engineers' flood control projects--are home to mating pairs every summer. Hills Creek SP and other locations around Tioga Co. also play host to Osprey pairs.

Red-tailed Hawks are also common in Tioga Co.--and much of the eastern US. But there were a couple of immatures that seemed attracted to the camera. Especially one that hung around the Forsythe headquarters and the start of the dike loop.

This bird seemed totally at easy with folks gathering below to snap its photo. Or even rolling slowly past the speed limit sign upon which it perched.

Red-tailed Hawk (imm) in the parking lot at Forsythe.

Red-tailed Hawk (imm) on the speed limit sign 
at the start of the 8-mile loop.

While not exactly a raptor or bird of prey, there were hundreds of Vultures streaming northward.One morning, while visiting Sunset Beach at the tip of Cape May, I saw them coming from Delaware by the dozens. In just half an hour there must have been 75 that passed over head.

Some of them may have been Black Vultures, but I was too lazy to check them all out. The one in the photo below is clearly a Turkey Vulture as seen by the light area under each wing.

Turkey Vulture

No comments: