• Robert DeCandido PhD

Christmas Owls - Central Park

Updated: Feb 28

12 December 2018

Bird Notes: Saturday 15 December looks like a rainout...and Sunday morning is not looking good for the 7:30am walk either. So remember to check the web site for announcements regarding cancelled walks. Probably we will do the 9:30am Sunday morning walk and later, the 4pm owl walk. Remember, there are no Monday walks until March and this Friday (14 December) is the last Friday walk until March as well. As always, email/call for more info...

This is the greatest season EVER for owl number and diversity in Central Park that we can remember or find in the historical literature. This past weekend, 7-9 December, there were two Northern Saw-whet Owls, one Great Horned Owl and five Barred Owls in Central Park. Barred Owls have also been seen in several other parks in NYC including the Bronx (Pelham Bay Park, Van Cortlandt Park and Bronx Park [NYBG and the Zoo]) and upper Manhattan (Fort Tryon). There are likely more - the upcoming Christmas Bird Count will reveal additional owls. The increased number of Barred Owls that we have been seeing in the last few years in NYC strongly suggests that their numbers are up overall in the northeast. On the other hand, gone are the winters of seeing 3-5 Long-eared Owls in Central Park as we did from approx. 1993-2000. More owls could be on the way to our area especially if heavy snow blankets upstate New York, New England or southern Canada.

Subject: 'tis the season for owls - hoo hoo hoo [Massachusetts] Date: Sun 16 December 2012 I've finished two CBCs, one all day and one just the nighttime portion, and have to report that the owls are doing very well in Westport and Hatfield [Massachusetts]. On the two sections of the counts I did, my fellow owlers and I found 49 owls (almost all along Horseneck Road in Westport) and 67 owls (all in one half of Hatfield). Thanks to them and thanks to this great program for getting us all into the field.....even at ungodly hours. Brian Cassie, Foxboro (Massachusetts)

Deborah Allen sends raptor photos from Central Park all taken on Sunday, 9 December: Barred and Great Horned Owls; Red-tailed Hawk and even a Chipping Sparrow.

In our Historical Notes we send (a) Christmas Bird Count results from 1908 including Central Park (three counts in two days!); Prospect Park in Brooklyn; Bronx Park and New Rochelle...and New Haven and South Norwalk, Connecticut. There were some interesting birds seen: Thick-billed Murre in the waters off the Battery; 15+ Meadowlarks on Staten Island; two Carolina Wrens in Central Park; Bobwhite Quail at Bronx Park (NYBG - they nested at NYBG until 1920 or so); and look for mentions of Crossbills, Redpolls and Pine Siskins on various counts - but no Evening Grosbeaks. Historical Note (b) is an Owl walk summary from 6 January 2013 when Superman (yes we get Supermen occasionally on our walks) burst onto the scene complete with red cape to save the evening with the discovery of a Barred Owl in the Pinetum.

An Artist's Rendition of the Bob Owl Walk on Sunday night 9 December

Good! Here are the bird walks for mid-December - each $10***

All Bird Walks in Central Park

1. Friday, 14 December - 9:00am Conservatory Garden at 105th st and 5th Ave.

2. Saturday, 15 December - 7:30am/9:30am - the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park.

3a. Sunday, 16 December - 7:30am/9:30am - the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park.

3b. Sunday Afternoon, 9 December - 4:00pm - Meet Boathouse Restaurant in CP.

Directions to All Meeting Locations can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/ya65n5a8

Any questions send them our way: rdcny@earthlink.net or call: 718-828-8262 (home) ***NOTE: on MORNINGS when two walks are scheduled (e.g., 7:30/9:30am), you can do both walks for $10/person...you get two for the price of one.

The fine print: On Saturdays and Sundays, our walks meet at 7:30am and again at 9:30am at the Boathouse Restaurant (approx. 74th street and the East Drive). Please note: the Boathouse is not one of the buildings that surround the nearby Model Boat Pond - people make this mistake all the time!. Our home phone is 718-828-8262...and Deborah's cell is: 347-703-5554. Email is (rdcny@earthlink.net). On Mondays we meet at 8am and again at 9am at Strawberry Fields (the benches near the "Imagine" Mosaic. Enter the park at 72nd street and Central Park West and walk about 1 minute due east on the main, paved path and find the Mosaic - we are sitting nearby. On Fridays we meet at Conservatory Garden located at 105th street and 5th Avenue. Enter through the main gates and walk down the steps - head straight ahead along the long, grassy area - we meet by the giant water spout between the men's room and the women's room. If in doubt about whether a walk will take place or not the morning of the walk: check the main landing page of this web site as well as the "Schedule" page - if the walk is cancelled, information will be posted there by 6am the day of the walk, and usually by 11pm the night before. If still confused and as a last resort, call us at home - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk! We end all our weekend and Monday Central Park walks at the Boathouse at about noon; you can get a cup of coffee and a muffin there (around $6 total). For our Friday walks, we usually end up at (or very near) Conservatory Garden, most often at 106th street and 5th Avenue. Walks last about 3 hrs (less if hot or rainy), and you can leave at anytime - we won't be offended. If you need directions/help to your next destination, just ask someone on the walk - we are a helpful group.

Barred Owl photographed just east of the Sheep Meadow by Deborah Allen, one of five Barred Owls seen this past weekend in Central Park - an unprecedented number of Barred Owls for the park.

Here is what we saw last week

(selected highlights; the full list for each day is available at the links below):

Friday, 7 December (Conservatory Garden at 105th st and 5th Ave at 9am only) - as the morning temperatures are now in the low 30s, it is getting more difficult for me to haul myself outa bed at 5am to get to the park by 7am in order to scout around for some birds. And it is getting light at 6:50am (later if cloudy)...so I get on the train in the dark and arrive as the sun is just turning the sky from dark blue to pink. As for birds today, I scouted and soon realized that a lot of diversity had headed south. Nevertheless a male/female pair of Purple Finches at Conservatory Garden was a fine highlight at the outset of the walk, especially since they almost landed next to me (and on my head) - thank you tape. Along the Loch we added a Rusty Blackbird as I was playing sparrow alarm calls; nearby we all had great looks at a Barred Owl, the one Deborah discovered in the same area a week ago. Seeing that the group liked owls, we decided to head south to the Ramble via the Reservoir finding Pied-billed Grebe, American Coots, Buffleheads...lots and lots of waterfowl (see Deborah's list). And then almost as an anti-climax we arrived at Shakespeare Garden to get the Barred Owl (#2 for the day), and also the Northern Saw-whet Owl that no one wanted to leave. On the other hand, when we did pull ourselves away, we searched sans luck for another Barred and Saw-whet Owl in the locations where they had been reported in the prior few days...and missed the easy to find Great Horned Owl perched very high above the bird feeders.

Deborah's list of birds for Friday, 7 December: https://tinyurl.com/yce2ykdt

Saturday, 8 December (NYBG in the Bronx at 9:30am) - Andrew Greller PhD, one of the greatest botanists to grace the Bronx (as a kid) and then Queens/LI was with us today, and he recounted some of his memories of Roy Latham and Sam Yeaton early 20th century naturalists of Long Island. As for birds, we had Rusty Blackbirds in the Swale along with 30+ Red-winged Blackbirds, and five Brown-headed Cowbirds. In the pine grove were lots of Red-breasted Nuthatches: we sampled one area and easily found two who wanted to land on us in response to the calls I was playing from my tape. Other seed eating "irruptors" from the north were found as well: Pine Siskins (Swale) and Purple Finches (crabapples). But no sign of Great Horned Owls - once a mainstay of our winter walks...something has happened at NYBG and management of the forest (and nearby buildings)...

Deborah Allen's list of birds for Sat. 8 December: https://tinyurl.com/y7m5mr9v

Sunday, 9 December (Boathouse Restaurant at 7:30am and 9:30am; + a 4:15pm Owl Walk) - having owls around means easy birding for me as a guide. People love to spend time looking at owls...which gives me a chance to tweet a lot. So on the early morning (7:30am) walk we had two Barred Owls, and then watched as a pair of adult Red-tails dive-bombed a perched Great Horned Owl, driving it from their area along the lake. The owl came to rest further east near Azalea Pond where a dozen American Crows spent the rest of the day harassing the owl - and calling in reinforcement crows to escalate the offensive. For really good birds we had a flock of five Pine Siskins (thanks tape) come in close at the southwest corner of the Great Lawn; and a large group of Cedar Waxwings at Shakespeare Garden (thanks Sandra Critelli).

On the night walk for owls, it began pretty blandly with a Barred Owl high up and its back to most people. By dusk with a lot of people assembled it could have been better: yes the owl was stretching and preening, but it was likely to head away from everyone. So when it launched off I was sorta happy that the Barred Owl landed within the confines of Delacorte Theater along Turtle Pond. This started a mad rush/run for the Dock on Turtle Pond - an 8 year old passed me 2/3rds of the way there. At one point, the kid turned around to laugh at me...ultimately everyone arrived at the Dock in the dark...and after some close looking through binoculars a few folks saw the owl perched low over the water on the other side of the small island. My feeble attempts at playing Barred Owl calls resulted in nothing. Just as I was about to apologize to everyone about the less than stellar performance someone asked that the tape be played again. Reluctantly I agreed...it was now completely dark...I played the "who cooks for you?" call a couple of times, and who should come in and land next to the Dock on a low branch (perhaps 12 feet above us in full view)...the Barred Owl. Had its hearing suddenly recovered? Why respond so well now but not at all just five minutes ago? Anyway, the appearance of the owl set off a frenzy of movement and noise from the amazed crowd...I was certain we would soon see the Barred Owl sail off into the distance, but no it stayed above us. I kept playing the calls (tape), and then the owl swooped down and crossed over landing in the open on the Bald Cypress trees on the east side of the Dock. Here it perched for some time, then deciding it wanted to get closer...it literally flapped twice and landed in the tree right over the Dock looking down at us - maybe twelve feet up. Lots of ooohs and aaahs. For my part I moved around the Dock explaining to people that I bumped into that so long as the sound moved, the owl would stay interested and remain. This proved to be true. After a couple of minutes of this, the owl flew toward the Far Side. I then switched the call to a juvenile begging for food - and the Owl flew back to perch even closer...and making repeated swoops over our heads causing many people to duck. I did not see any signs of distress or fear, but then again I am not an owl and I am interpreting its body language in human terms. What I can say is that the owl did not fly away...it seemed quite interested in us and especially the calls (but of a juvenile owl begging for food?). One would think that if the owl was upset at what I was playing it would fly away...or at least the noise/movement of the assembled would scare it off. After another five minutes of having the owl right over our heads and calling to the tape (the owl singing its own version of "who cooks for you?"), people started getting tired, cold...not quite bored but most folks seemed to have had enough. That was 5:35pm...Someone asked me if we had prevented the owl from getting its dinner tonight. "No, that owl has more time to get dinner than I do." It would be dark for the next 12 hrs...that Barred Owl even had enough time to get breakfast and lunch too.

Deborah Allen's list of birds for Sunday, 9 December: https://tinyurl.com/yb6ymyuk

Red-tailed Hawk (adult) near Bethesda Terrace of Central Park by Deborah Allen


Christmas Bird Count Results [1908]

Central Park, New York City. 24 December 1908. 9.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m. Cloudy; wind southeast, light; ground snow-covered; temp., 25f to 30f. Herring Gull, 20; Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 4; Crow, 1; Starling, 50; Goldfinch, 4; White-throated Sparrow, 40; Junco, 5; Song Sparrow, 9; Fox Sparrow, 4; Towhee, 1; Cardinal, 5; Carolina Wren, 2; Brown Creeper, 2; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 6; Hermit Thrush, 2. Total, 16 species, 156 individuals. Anne A. Crolius. Central Park, New York City. 25 December 1908. 8.35 to 10.35 a.m. Mostly cloudy; ground partly snow-covered, slushy; wind southwest, moderate; temp., 40f. Herring Gull, 300 (estimated); Downy Woodpecker, 2; Starling, 9; White-throated Sparrow, 10; Junco, 3; Song Sparrow, 3; Fox Sparrow, 1; Cardinal, 1; Carolina Wren, 2; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 11; Hermit Thrush, 3. Total, 11 species, 345 individuals. George E. Hix. Central Park, New York City. 26 December 1908. 1.45 to 4.25 p.m. Weather partly cloudy; light, westerly winds; ground partly covered with snow; temp., 38f to 41f. Herring Gull, 7; Starling, 6; Goldfinch, 2; White-throated Sparrow, 16; Junco, 2; Song Sparrow, 3; Fox Sparrow, 2; Cardinal, 2; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1; Hermit Thrush, 1. Total, 10 species, 42 individuals. Charles H. Rogers. West One Hundred and Thirtieth Street Ferry, Edgewater, Palisade Park, Leonia and Nordhoff, N.J. 26 December 1908. 1.45 to 5 p.m. Fine, occasionally cloudy; ground muddy, partly snow-covered; wind west, very strong; temp., 45f. Herring Gull, 100; Red-tailed Hawk, 3; Downy Woodpecker, 1; Starling, 3; White-throated Sparrow, 25; Tree Sparrow, 7; Junco, 8; Song Sparrow, 10; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2. Total, 9 species, 159 individuals. George E. Hix. Battery, New York City, to and at the Farms (10 A.M. off Seabright, N. J.) and back. 27 December 1908. 8.30 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. Weather partly cloudy; brisk, southwest wind, temp., 33f to 37f. Brunnich's [Thick-billed] Murre, 10; Kittiwake, 15; Herring Gull, 4,000; Ring-billed Gull, 1; Bonaparte Gull, 500; Gannet, 1; American [Black] Scoter, 25; White-winged Scoter, 5 or 6; Crow, 8; Pine Siskin (?), 1. Total, 10 species, about 4,670 individuals. R. E. Stackpole and C. H. Rogers. Rockaway Park to Point and back, New York City. 28 December 1908. 9.10 a.m. to 4.10 p.m. Weather fine; brisk to light southwest wind; ground mostly bare of snow; temp., 35f to 40f. Horned Grebe, 70; Loon, 1; Herring Gull, 300; Old Squaw, 100; White-winged Scoter, 20; Horned Lark, 16; Crow, 20; Pine Siskin, 500. Total, 8 species, about 1,025 individuals. Charles H. Rogers. Prospect Park, Brooklyn, N.Y. 21 December 1908. 11.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunshine; ground partially covered with snow; thin ice on parts of the shallow ponds; wind west, light, increasing to brisk; temp., 40f. Hawk, 1; Redpoll, 1; Pine Siskin, 7; White-throated Sparrow, 5; Song Sparrow, 1; Hermit Thrush, 1. Total, 5 species, 15 individuals. Mrs. Charles S. Hartwell. Brooklyn, N.Y. (Prospect Park). 25 December 1908. 8 to 11 a.m.; 1.30 to 4.30 p.m. Partly cloudy, clear between 10 and 11 a.m.; two inches of snow; wind south, light; temp. 35f to 45f. Black-crowned Night Heron, 3; Downy Woodpecker, 5; Starling, 82; Purple Finch, 1; Pine Siskin, 11; White-throated Sparrow, 27 (some singing); Song Sparrow, 3; Fox Sparrow, 1; Carolina Wren, 1; Brown Creeper, 2; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 6; Hermit Thrush, 1; Robin, 1. Total, 13 species, 144 individuals. Edward Fleischer. Prospect Park, Brooklyn, N.Y. 25 December 1908. 9 to 11.30 a.m. Partially overcast; light covering of snow; wind southwest, light; temp., 35f. Black-crowned Night Heron, 3; Pigeon Hawk [Merlin], 1; Screech Owl, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 3; Crow, 1; Starling, 24; Pine Siskin, 8; White-throated Sparrow, 30; (5 singing) Junco, 3; Song Sparrow, 2; Fox Sparrow, 3; Brown Creeper, 1; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2; Hermit Thrush, 1; Robin, 2. Total, 15 species, 85 individuals. December 26, Carolina Wren, 1. Kate P. and E. W. Vietor. From the Battery to Staten Island, and New Dorp to Princes Bay, Staten Island, N. Y. 25 December 1908. 9 a.m. to 5.20 P.M. Mild, partly cloudy; about two inches of snow on the ground. Brunnich's (?) [Thick-billed] Murre, 1; Herring Gull, 325; Bonaparte's Gull, 115; Old Squaw, 32; Sparrow Hawk,1; Barred Owl, 2; Downy Woodpecker, 2; Flicker, 2; Crow, 40; European Starling, 44; Meadowlark, 18; Am. [Red] Crossbill, 5; Goldfinch, 2; Pine Siskin, 31; Ipswich Sparrow [ssp. Of Savannah Sparrow], 1; Savanna Sparrow, 2; White-throated Sparrow, 5; Tree Sparrow, 6; Junco, 38; Song Sparrow, 9; Swamp Sparrow, 5; Fox Sparrow, 1; Cardinal, 1; White-breasted Nuthatch, 1; Tufted Titmouse, 8; Black-capped Chickadee (P. atricapillus), 4. Total, 26 species, 691 individuals. James Chapin. New Rochelle, N.Y. 24 December 1908. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Overcast, threatening snow; two inches snow on ground; no wind; temp., 20f at start. Herring Gull, 100; Ducks (could not distinguish kind), 15; Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Cooper's Hawk, 2; Pigeon Hawk [Merlin], 1; Barred Owl, 1; Screech Owl, 1; Kingfisher, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 3; Flicker, 2; Blue Jay, 6; Crow, 30; Purple Grackle, 12; Starling, 50; Meadowlark, 10; Goldfinch, 9; Purple Finch, 20; White-throated Sparrow, 4; Tree Sparrow, 5; Junco, 16; Song Sparrow, 3; Fox Sparrow, 5; Brown Creeper, 3; White-breasted Nuthatch, 4; Chickadee, 12; Winter Wren, 1; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 4; Robin, 2; Bluebird, 1. Total, 29 species, 324 individuals. Ground traversed, Long Island Sound, beach, salt marshes, fresh marshes, cedar groves, hilly and level ground, orchards, plowed fields, first-growth woods, underbush borders and pastures. Francis T. Hunter and Ralph White. Pelham Manor, N. Y. 25 December 1908. 10 a.m. to 12 m. Cloudy; about one inch of snow on ground; no wind; temp., at 9 a.m. 38f. Downy Woodpecker, 1; Blue Jay, 3; Crow, 15; Starling, 10; Cowbird, 1; Goldfinch, 15; White-throated Sparrow, 1; Tree Sparrow, 1; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1. Total, 9 species, 48 individuals. Robert Crane. Bronx Park, through the Hemlock Grove, New York City. 28 December 1908. 10 a.m. to 12 M. Clear; a little snow on the ground; wind light and westerly; temp., 35f. Kingfisher, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 5; Blue Jay, 6; Crow, 3; Starling, 50; American [Red] Crossbill, 5; Pine Siskin, 2; Goldfinch, 5; White-throated Sparrow, 10; Junco, 10; Carolina Wren, 1; Brown Creeper, 5; White-breasted Nuthatch, 2; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1. Total, 14 species, 106 individuals. On December 24, a Barred Owl and a Bob-white, and on December 24, a Barred Owl were seen. Ludlow Griscom and Stanley V. Ladow.

Chipping Sparrow at the Bird Feeders by Deborah Allen on Sunday, 9 December

2013: Sunday, January 6th (Central Park, Ramble) and Owl Walk (evening) - as we arrived at the Boathouse just before 8am, the weather was overcast...foggy almost - and it was dark. Not dark like night-time dark but dark enough to be ominous. An hour later, as we headed up into the Ramble it was clearing - and people's moods were lifting. However, this did not mean that there would be birds. The Common Redpoll that was seen the previous day had moved on (no one sighted it today or since), and there were no American Tree Sparrows, White-winged Crossbills or Pine Siskins around either (all had been seen earlier in the week). However, Ryan and Karen Zucker found a Baltimore Oriole at the Bird Feeders - and called the group back to see it. The rest of the walk proved to be about this fruitful. There were some fun ducks (Hooded Mergansers and a Wood Duck or two), a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and a female Eastern Towhee (thanks Emilie)...quite a difference from the previous week when we were delighted with the number and diversity of birds. And there was NO Barred Owl in the Pinetum - so far as anyone could tell. The missing owl was a problem - we had a late afternoon Owl walk scheduled. Try as I may all day, I could not track down any sign of any owl, anywhere in the park...so this was not a little problem...it was a giant problem. (Folks are obsessed with owls and we better be able to damn well show them an owl if we schedule an owl walk.) Anyway, 4pm rolls around and now there are 30 people at the Boathouse who have been thinking about seeing an owl for the last few days...what to do? We did the only thing possible - tell them the truth ("no one could find an owl today so we can't take you money") - and headed off with 30 people into the Ramble to do a short bird walk at dusk...and see no owl. At approx. 4:45pm we arrive at the spot where we have taken so many other groups - to look for, perhaps, a hidden owl that somehow might have escaped detection. By 5:10pm with many people looking hard high and low...and with dark completely enveloping us, we decided there was no owl hidden in its usual tree. A major disappointment - but then Superman burst onto the scene in the form of Andrew Miller (complete with red cape). He came running (flying?) up to me with a smile and had all of us quickly follow him to another spot. We did as commanded - running most of the way. When we arrived Andrew pointed up to a large bird looking down at us - the Barred Owl! Andrew had single-handedly done what no one else could do that day - found the owl...and just when it mattered most. Everyone's spirits were lifted (girlfriends kissed boyfriends; young sons hugged their moms). But the best was only about to begin: the owl stretched a bit and then gave some hair-raising calls - we listened closely (this was only the second time I have heard my group completely silent); and after another five minutes of perching (with everyone getting great looks), the owl took off making short flights from tree to tree. We followed so that everyone had even better looks. It helped when the owl landed in a tree next to a street light...Finally everyone - even the kids - had enough of owls for the evening. And as we all thanked Mr. Miller, we sent everyone home - richer for the experience that owls and people can co-exist in cities.

Barred Owl Central Park by Deborah Allen

Additional 1908 Christmas Bird Count Results

New Haven, Conn., Edgewood Park and Mitchell's Hill. 21 December 1908. 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 P.M. Clear; three inches snow, with light crust; wind west, light; temp., 40f. Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 3; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 1; Blue Jay, 11; Crow, 19; English Starling, 33,; Goldfinch, 4; Pine Siskin, 44; White-throated Sparrow, 11; Tree Sparrow, 55; Junco, 60; Song Sparrow, 3; Myrtle Warbler, 3; Brown Creeper, 3; White-breasted Nuthatch, 3; Chickadee, 22; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 3; Robin, 1. Total, 18 species, 280 individuals. Clifford H. Pangburn. New Haven, Conn., Momauguin to Lighthouse Point. 22 December 1908. 9.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cloudy; two inches of snow; wind light, northeast; temp., 29f. Horned Grebe, 3; Herring Gull, 42; Golden-eye, 2; White-winged Scoter, 7; Red-tailed Hawk, 1; Red-shouldered Hawk, 2; Blue Jay, 2; Crow, 14; Starling, 7; Red-winged Blackbird, 2: Meadowlark, 28; White-winged Crossbill, 25; Goldfinch, 14; Junco, 1; Tree Sparrow, 38; Song Sparrow, 17; Fox Sparrow, 1; Chickadee, 3; Robin, 2. Total, 19 species, 210 individuals. Albert W. Honywill, Jr., Clifford H. Pangburn and M. B. Pangburn. New Haven, Conn., Lake Saltonstall, Saltonstall Ridge and Foxon. 25 December 1908. 9.45 A.M. to 2 P.M. Clear to cloudy; two inches of snow; wind brisk, southwest; temp., 34f. Herring Gull, 1; Black Duck, 69; Golden-eye, 2; Hairy Woodpecker, 2; Downy Woodpecker, 4; Blue Jay, 8; Crow, 29; Starling, 6; White-winged Crossbill, 12; Goldfinch, 4; Pine Siskin, 110; Tree Sparrow, 11; Junco, 9; Song Sparrow, 4; White-breasted Nuthatch, 5; Red-breasted Nuthatch, 4; Brown Creeper, 2; Chickadee, 4; Golden-crowned Kinglet, 12; Bluebird, 1. Total, 20 species, 299 individuals. Clifford H. Pangburn. New Haven, Conn., Forest Street and West Shore from Sandy Point to Oyster River. 25 December 1908. 9 A.M. to 1.30 p.m. Mostly cloudy; two inches of snow; wind brisk, southwest; distance covered fifteen miles. Horned Grebe, 1; Herring Gull, 127; Black Duck, 5; Golden-eye, 1; Bufflehead, 1; Old Squaw, 15; White-winged Scoter, 20; Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1; Downy Woodpecker, 2; Horned Lark, 5; Blue Jay, 4; Crow, 17; Starling, 11; Meadowlark, 2; Goldfinch, 15; Pine Siskin, 12; White-throated Sparrow, 3; Tree Sparrow, 33; Slate-colored Junco, 2; Song Sparrow, 15; Myrtle Warbler, 2; White-breasted Nuthatch, 3; Chickadee, 25; Robin, 1. Total, 24 species, 323 individuals. D. B. Pangburn. New Haven, Conn., Edgewood Park to Mitchell's Hill. 25 December 1908; 9.30 a.m. to 12.15 P.M. Clear to cloudy: ground partly snow-covered; wind southwest, light; temp., 35f. Sparrow Hawk [American Kestrel], 1; Downy Woodpecker, 5; Blue Jay, 8; Crow, 12; Starling, 32; Purple Finch, 1; Goldfinch, 8; Pine Siskin, 8; White-throated Sparrow, 13; Tree Sparrow, 5; Junco, 7; Song Sparrow, 3; Myrtle Warbler, 5; Carolina Wren, 1; Brown Creeper, 1; Chickadee, 7; Hermit Thrush, 1; Bluebird, 6. Total, 19 species, 130 individuals. The Carolina Wren sang several times, and once it came within six or eight feet of me, and scolded for a minute or two. The next morning D. B. and C. H. Pangburn went over the same ground with me and we added the Red-shouldered Hawk, Phoebe, Rusty Blackbird, Chewink [Eastern Towhee], Northern Shrike, Winter Wren and Golden-crowned Kinglet. We saw the Hermit Thrush again, but could not find the Carolina Wren. These additions make a list of 25 kinds for two days for this territory. Our combined lists show that there were 41 different species in the vicinity of New Haven between December 21 and 26, 1908. A. W. Honywill, Jr. South Norwalk, Conn. 25 December 1908. All day. Partly cloudy; four inches snow, light wind; temp., 30f at 7 A.M. Northern [Common] Loon, 1; Horned Grebe, 7; Pied-billed Grebe, 2; Herring Gull, 60; American Scaup Duck, 100; Merganser, 6; Golden-eye, 6; Black Duck, 3; Old Squaw, 50; Hungarian Partridge (introduced last May), 13; Red-shouldered Hawk, 1; Kingfisher, 2; Red-headed Woodpecker, 2; Downy Woodpecker, 6; Flicker, 2; Horned Lark, 10; Blue Jay, 8; Crow, 30; Starling, 200; Meadowlark, 8; White-throated Sparrow, 2; Tree Sparrow, 30; Junco, 24; Song Sparrow, 10; Titlark [American Pipit], 1; Carolina Wren, 1; Winter Wren, 1; White-breasted Nuthatch, 11; Chickadee, 26; Robin, 2; Bluebird, 1. Total, 32 species, 626 individuals. Red and White-winged Crossbills have been here. Three Red-headed Woodpeckers are wintering here. Norwalk Bird Club.

Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD Follow us on Twitter: @DAllenNYC and/or @BirdingBobNYC

Conifer with Long-eared Owls in Central Park near Boathouse on 1 February 2014

#BarredOwl #GreatHornedOwls