Date: 2/28/17 7:55 am From: Todd Olson <gothamdweller...> Subject: [nysbirds-l] Lower Manhattan, also Bronx (Zoo) late winter notes
No chase-able rarities in this note, but hopefully of interest... Yesterday, after many months absence I saw again an unusually colored American Kestrel - male bird with a very dark slate-colored ventral side. It was accompanied in flight by a normally plumaged female. This seen as flyover at the newly minted NYC AIDS Memorial Park at 76 Greenwich Avenue in West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. I understand that melanism is rare in American Kestrel, and I hope to get an opportunity to photograph this individual should it remain.
From the Bronx Zoo, numbers of Rusty Blackbird dwindling of late. For many weeks they have been in reliably good numbers from areas near Tiger Mountain, Northern Ponds, and wet wooded drainage areas near Children's Zoo and Bison Range. Numbers of Common Grackle and Red-winged Blackbird now increasing, though generally the Rusties are keeping to themselves as they forage on wet leaf litter and sing from associated riparian growth.
The Zoo has hosted overwintering Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Towhee, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Fox Sparrow are beginning to sing, and a Swamp Sparrow persists from the saltmarsh fleabane covered island in Bronx River near the Fordham Road entrance. Curiously the Zoo's conifer patches are devoid of Red-breasted Nuthatch which birders have been reliably finding just across Fordham Road in the New York Botanical Garden.