Birds

McCarren Park’s Insta-Famous Hipster Hawk

The McCarren Park hawk, photo by McCarren Hawk
The McCarren Park hawk, image via McCarren Hawk’s Instagram, photo by keenkenzie

If you’re like many of us, you’ve probably seen a hip-looking hawk roaming about McCarren Park. Whether he’s sunbathing on a Pendleton blanket with a Turkey’s Nest Margarita or simply strutting around the farmers’ market sporting his newest pair of Raybans, this hawk is LIT. And how he has an Instagram account. Check it.

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Kingsland Wildflowers Roof Tour And Earth Day Talk This Saturday!

kingsland-wildflowers-greenpoint-visitors-photo-by-mpenmann

What: NYC Audubon presents “My Yard Is For The Birds: The Things Birds Look For In Urban and Suburban Yards, and Why They Need To Be There”
When: Saturday, April 22, 1pm–3pm
Where: 520 Kingsland Avenue (Kingsland Wildflowers Roof & Community Space)

This Saturday at the Kingsland Wildflowers Roof and Community Space, NYC Audubon is presenting a talk from Joyann Cirigliano, president and Atlantic Flyway projects coordinator at Four Harbors Audubon Society. Learn about the importance of backyard gardens for birds, and the ways in which using native plants in landscape design will attract these feathered friends. The lecture will be followed by a tour of the Kingsland Wildflowers roof. Refreshments will be provided.  This event is FREE and open to the public.

Learn more at Kingsland Wildflowers and RSVP on Facebook

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Help Make McGolrick an “Urban Oasis”

With your help, McGolrick Park could look like this.

When you think of Urban Oasis, McGolrick Park might not come immediately to mind. Although it is much more quiet (and less trampled) than it’s more promiscuous sister (McCarren… ’cause everyone’s been there), it’s not exactly teeming with wildlife.

But the NYC Audubon society is taking action to create a native plant garden for songbirds and other winged species in the park this Spring. They will also be starting an initiative to monitor the park’s biodiversity before and after planting.  Continue reading

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Our Spring Market is for the Birds!

Birds! Bird! Birds! at our Spring Market on 4/13!

When I think of Spring, I think of sparrows chirping, woodpeckers uh… pecking and mockingbirds kicking people’s asses in Transmitter Park! Our Spring Market on 4/13/14 – will not leave out our feathered friends who have migrated home after privileged tropical vacations – little bastards! These creations from our featured vendors are cute enough to undo any lingering cold weather bitterness.

Some editor’s picks include:

• Swallow in Flight Love Card by Fox + Heart Cards – $5

Songbird Skeleton Necklace by J.Topolski – $50

Sea Salt Cushion Cover by M.N. Davis & Son – $32

Bluebird Punch Needly by Harp & Thistle Stitchery – $37

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Great Backyard Bird Count Happening Now – Just Look In Your Yard! (2/14-17)

Cooper's Hawk in Greenpoint, Brooklyn © Jennifer Galatioto

I was so excited to see birds starting to use the new feeders we put up in our new backyard. At first it was just sparrows and starlings with some mourning doves eating the seeds that fell on the ground. Then I spotted gorgeous House Finches!

I will record all of these birds as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, which is happening now through 2/17! Take a look in your yard or nearby park for at least 15 minutes and count the birds you see in that period of time. This is a great activity for the whole family, kids, cats, etc.

Click here to get started here. Even easier – there is an app to record your observations.

The data from YOU citizen scientists is used by REAL scientists to understand where and how many species of birds there are in a specific place at a specific time – this weekend! You can watch all this data being submitted in real time on the GBBC website.

Birds to look out for in Brooklyn: Pigeons, Starlings, Sparrows, House Finches, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Down Woodpeckers, Robins, Red Tailed Hawks, Mourning Doves, Juncos, Seagulls, Cooper’s Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Kestrels, Snowy Owls (for real!)

Last year I made this video with the house finches that lived on our fire escape before our landlord flipped out about the bird feeder…Maybe they followed us to our new home.

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(Updated) Badass Bird: Kestrel on McGuinness Blvd.

Since this posting I have investigated further and believe that the bird pictured is in fact an American Kestrel – which are just as bad ass birds of prey. In fact their call sounds like they are saying Killy-Killy-Killy!A reader sent us this awesome shot of a Peregrine Falcon spotted on McGuinness Blvd and Huron St! These badass birds are bird eaters – watch out pigeons – and they can reach speeds of over 200mph during their notorious a high speed dive to kill prey – making it the fastest animal! And it’s right here in Greenpoint!

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Birdwatching On Maspeth Creek Tomorrow (4/26)

Birding season is upon us! Our feathery friends are returning from their winter vacations and making nests and making babies!

Man, I wish I didn’t have to go to dumb work or I’d be checking out birds on the Maspeth Creek (49th St & Maspeth Ave), tomorrow Friday April 26th, 2013 at 1pm hosted by Newtown Creek Alliance and Department of Environmental Conservation.

During the wildlife viewing announcements will be about the release of New York Wildlife Viewing Guide, Newtown Creek Alliance Bird Guide and the 2013 Birdwatching Canoe Trip Season with North Brooklyn Boat Club.

Bring your own binoculars!

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(Not) Forgotten Greenpoint: “Taj Mahal For All The Birds… & Elvis!” – Beverly’s Memories & Karen None Of Your Business

When I first took over Greenpointers, Beverly, an original Greenpointer who now lives in Florida and stays connected through the website, wrote me one of the most inspiring messages about her mother’s Irene’s Social Column that was in the Greenpoint Gazette in the 70s.

Her warm wishes made me feel that I’d made the right decision to work on this amazing blog and serve Greenpointers who don’t even live here anymore – but still love it and want to keep up with the neighborhood.

She recently wrote me to ask a favor, to fulfill her birthday wish by doing what I do best, photography! She asked me to send her a photo of the building she grew up in, which happens to be the home of Acapulco Restaurant on Manhattan Ave and a house her parents owned on Clay St.

With Beverly’s permission I share her special email that gives us some great insight into Greenpoint of the past:

I was born at 1116 Manhattan Avenue on January 20th, 1951. As you are standing on Manhattan Avenue facing the building, I was born on the top floor left apartment and lived there until I was 12 years old.

My Grandparents had the apartment next to us and on the first floor where the other two apartments are (even though it is one flight up), lived an Aunt and Uncle in each apartment.

Although we did not own the building, at one time it was only rented to family members of mine.

There use to be a Bar & Grill downstairs that closed up very early in the 50’s and stayed that way well past the 60’s and if not mistaken into the 70’s.

One unique thing about the apartments in that building, the apartment one flight up and on the left hand side has a unique thing within it. From the kitchen into the bedroom and parlor, you actually had to walk up like 2-3 steps and then walk down 2-3 steps.

My Dad raised Pigeons there and had a huge Pigeon Coop on the roof that he and my Grandpa treated like it was the Taj Mahal for all the birds. Continue reading

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Great Backyard Bird Count Is Back!

You can find dozens of different birds right here in Greenpoint if you look for them.  And this week you can help area researchers by recording what you see.

© Jon Pywell

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4 day event that “engages bird watchers to create a real time snapshot of where birds are across the continent”.

It takes as little as 15 minutes on any day between 2/15- 2/18. Your data helps birds!

How? Just look out your window, or any location in Greenpoint, and count the number and types of birds you observe.

If you need help check out the Kings County bird count list and the bird photo library.

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McGolrick Park Birds: Warblers, Creepers, Sapsuckers

black throated blue warbler
Black Throated Blue Warbler

In a span of a few days we saw some pretty cool birds in McGolrick Park. After we went on an epic birding expedition to Owl’s Head Park in Bayridge, Brooklyn, we took a stroll through McGolrick to pick up veggies at the Farmers Market. Of course, I left the big lens at home.

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

We call that lens the anti-bird lens because when we don’t bring it we end up seeing awesome birds, like the time in Pennsylvania when we saw the Pileated Woodpecker, which is a giant woodpecker. But I’d rather see the bird than take its picture.

yellow rumped warbler
Yellow Rumped Warbler

On Sunday 10/14/12, we saw a Black Throated Blue Warbler pissing off a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker. It seemed as if the sapsucker was trying to stick food into little holes he made in the tree and the little sneaky warbler was just going right up and stealing the food. What a little jerk!

brown creeper
Brown Creeper

Yesterday, 10/17/12, on my morning coffee walk through the park (I have a serious addiction to Variety cappuccinos) I saw a little brown creeper and a yellow rumped warbler.

Keep your eyes open and let us know what interesting birds you spot around Greenpoint this Fall.

We keep track of all our birding at Brooklyn Early Birds.

All photos in this post were found at All About Birds, Cornell School of Ornithology’s Blog.

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