Saturday mornings are a lounge around the apartment time for me. But this past Saturday I decide to haul out early for a morning bird walk at New York Botanical Garden in the hopes of seeing a great-horned owl nesting spot. I was somewhat fooled by the sunshine and could have used one more layer, but my focus soon shifted to birds under the great leadership of Deb, our guide for the morning. Her knowledge of birds was incredible, plus she’s a great photographer to boot!
A short walk into NYBG’s forest and we were searching for the tree that was home to the owls. Had a bit of trouble locating the correct tree, but persevered and found the opening in the dead trunk. Eureka! --a little gray fuzzy owlet with parent. The tree was so far off the path, but I couldn’t resist a photo. Trust me – that little gray area is the baby owl.
The walk continued through the woods to the Bronx River where we saw evidence of the beavers that are nesting nearby. Ahh, the nature in our city is incredible!
After breaking away from the group to meander back home, I encountered an inviting scene -- white-throated and song sparrows, grackles, and northern cardinals vigorously foraging in the leaf litter right next to an inviting bench. They hardly took notice of me and were very cooperative models, as you can see!
But perhaps my most special moment of the day came while sitting on that bench after finding some unopened peanuts, most likely left by a fellow birder. Seconds after placing the nut on my open hand, black-capped chickadees darted from nearby branches to grab a snack. While I know this is common with chickadees, I was a first-timer and became even more enamored with these charming birds!