Wednesday, September 2, 2009



Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Near JFK Airport, this is an oasis for shorebirds and other migrants.

The best bird we saw Monday was a large female peregrine falcon, a hawk that can strike and kill a duck in flight. I saw it fly over the large West Pond twice, trying to spook swimming ducks into taking flight. Marie saw it overhead another time, ten feet above her, gliding slowly for a falcon.

The peregrine is this world's fastest animal - when diving it can go 200 miles per hour.

In Manhattan peregrines nest on bridges, skyscrapers, hospitals and churches. There they mostly dine on city pigeons a la carte.

Marie and I have birded Jamaica Bay over one hundred times and this was our best sighting of a peregrine there.

8 comments:

Mick said...

Serene and beautiful.

n a t s u m i said...

Oh, I am so glad that I could discover your blog! I have never been to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge before ... Looks like it's great place to visit!

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I enjoy the serenity of this shot. I was in Nome Alaska once when the birders were there. I hadn't realized the intensity of the search until then. I took photos of trumpeter swans on the tundra. They were glorious.

jgy said...

Congratulations on an exciting sighting!I didn't know about the refuge or the peregrine falcon when I lived in NY.
Must be thrilling to see one
(as long as you're not a duck or a pigeon:-))

The Artful Eye said...

Beautiful, painterly image. Stunning.

Lovely that you and Marie are out and about enjoying some 'fowl' play.

Jamaica Bay was my backyard in my youth, and what did I know of this sanctuary in my youth? zip

Packing things up, out early in the a.m.

layers said...

Beautiful landscape shots. I live on a cliff overlooking the Puget Sound with a beach down below and we see eagles perching and soaring right above our cliff and once one sat right on my lower deck--- looking at our koi in our pond. It is nice to see a different side as you are usually in the crush of the subway rush.

is it a bird...is it a plane? said...

I sent that bird to you as a symbol of hope and a token of happiness.

I outsmart myself sometimes.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Lovely pics John. So nice to hear your out enjoying the birds and beauty of our earth.

Keep your eye's peeled for nests! lol