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Thread subject: Robins!!
Name Date Message
Melanie 02/02/07 01:41 pm I went home for lunch and there had to be a flock of a hundred robins having a lovely bathing party in my front lawn (bad drainage from the drainspouts makes for good bird baths in an apartment complex). I've had the odd solitary robin throughout the winter, but this is the first flock I've seen.
Pam 02/02/07 02:23 pm A hundred? wow !! and did you take a PHOTO??
Mickey 02/02/07 02:32 pm Did you name them?
Are they "yours"?
That must have been some sight you lucky lady.
Melanie 02/02/07 02:40 pm Camera was at the office ;-( but they were everywhere - on the lawn, in the trees, in the holly bushes eating berries.... It will be interesting to see if there are any berries left when I get home tonight.

And yes, they're mine, They're all mine!!! Bwaaahaaahaaa!!!
Celeste 02/02/07 05:06 pm I didn't see lovely robins today, and Melanie to see 100 was really something, but something unusual happened today at my Mom's and my home shortly after. This morning my Mom called to say she had a huge hawk in her yard eating "something". Of course I drove there asap (she lives 1/2 a mile away), and found a red tail hawk in her yard eating a pigeon on the ground. It was really something watching this hawk tear at the feathers. He also paused and pondered a baby squirrel who was venturing close to the kill to see if the hawk would share. After a great while the hawk went back to his feed. We watched for a good hour.
When I returned home, about an hour later I happened to glance out my backyard window and saw a huge pile of feathers and "remnants". Once again it appeared to be pigeon feathers. I happened to glance up just in time to see a huge hawk fly away. It must have been another hawk eating his kill in a tree. In all the years I have lived here on Long Island in surburbia, I have never witnessed such a thing in my yard and twice in one day no less. My yard has been extremely quiet today, not a peep of a bird or sighting anywhere. They usually congregate in my bushes and the feeders are emptied by mid-day. Not one seed has been touched!
terryo 02/02/07 07:29 pm Celeste, tks for the story. I also have a hawk (not a rth) that uses our bird population as its own feathery restaurant. I currently have 5 distinct piles of pigeon feathers in the front and back yard. Whenever I hear the blue jays sound the alarm I grab my camera and start searching. I got a pict. of him in the tree across the street but still can't id it. I usually have to fill up the feeders when I get home in the evening but on a few occasions the past 2-3 weeks they've been full so I just figured the hawk had been around or one of the neighborhood cats (never ending problem).
cathy 02/02/07 09:28 pm My impulse is to cheer for the hawks and to agree with them that pigeons are good hawk lunches. Perhaps it is because there is skill and drama involved in catching another bird to eat rather than waddling around eating bugs and crumbs as pigeons do. Perhaps the presence of a hawk in your yard has scared the other birds away. Do you think the hawk population has increased and now is making its presence known in new areas of Long Island?
terryo 02/02/07 09:51 pm Here's a website that can give some decent info on LI hawks/ducks/other types of birds etc. Here
I'm sure when the hawk or cats for that matter are around all other birds retreat/hide. I've been watching blue jay behavior a lot lately and I notice how well they watch out for predators. I have about 15-20 at any time around our feeders. They almost remind me of the Meerkats on A.P. Several birds will settle at the top of 4 or 5 differeent trees around our property and assume a lookout posture. They're extremely alert (and of course very very loud when danger is near).
My neighbor across the street has watched on 2 different occasions one rth chase a bird thru our bushes and around the front yard before it finally got the bird and feasted on it; the other attack was similar he said but this hawk (not a rth) was much more quick and efficient in silencing its prey. It has a long narrow tail and white speckled check. I was thinking a Merlin or Cooper's Hawk. Hope to get a decent pix of it one of these days.
lynn 02/03/07 01:47 am The hawks have been busy lately. I've had two sightings of a Sharp Shinned in my yard in the last two weeks. Once only a few feet from my back window on the clothesline. He "posed" for about five minutes. Never thought to run and get my LOADED camera, I was just so cought up in the moment!
Tim P 02/03/07 09:32 am I agree the hawk population is increasing on long island, at least here in suffolk county.Terryo I count on blue jays & crows to locate birds of prey. Each day between 3pm and 4;30 pm the crows are heading to roost and gather together in lagre numbers.

As they pass my area the always stop to harrass a pair of great horned owls who nest near me. I have located the roosting spot for these crows and estimate to be Hundreds of crows roosting in Pine tress over a water reclaimation point .

Walking into the wooded area at night is totally freaky as they all go on alarm without flying they chatter a grumble while im under them in the woods.Very cool.
The robins have consumed all of the berries on my hawthorn tree.
terryo 02/03/07 11:05 am You're my kind of guy Tim ... sleeps in a washing machine (top or front loading?) and then walks in the woods at night on LI. What? You have a death wish? :)) Assume u carry your 38 special w/you. I guess if you hang out in a large enough group or flock then you can kick anybody's butt (ha). I never knew crows would harass GHO. That must be pretty neat seeing/hearing that many crows harmonize in the trees. Whooops Breaktime....... the blue jays just fini freaking out .... I ran outside w/my camera to check the surrounding trees but didn't see anything again, I'm getting too old going out in this weather to another false alarm. The annual or semi-annual Intl (I think) bird count is coming up in a month or so. One of the hawk species was down on LI last count, only 2 sighted, but I can't remember which one it was. The RTH were about normal numbers as were the SS I believe.
Melanie 02/03/07 11:22 am Terry - some ID cues between a merlin and a coopers - Merlins are much smaller and much darker - an adult's body is roughly 10" and their nickname is the chocolate hawk. A Coopers is 16", has a much lighter breast (creamy with some brown edging) and has quite long tailfeathers.

Jays are also great mimics and will often imitate a hawk to scare birds out of feeders so they can come in a clean the place out.

For whatever reasons, (population or just being more aware) I have seen more hawks this winter hanging around than I have ever seen before - coops, red tails, red shoulders and sharpies. I never go more than a day without a sighting.
terryo 02/03/07 03:03 pm Sneaky little "Jay" boys....I took these 3 pictures last month just before I left for work about 7:30 am, hence still fairly dark. What'cha think Mel, Cooper's or N. Harrier? It's been around here ever since our resident RTH got electrocuted or hit by an errant golf ball about 3-4 months ago. I found him/her at the base of one of the electr. poles it used to hang out on. The golf course fairway is no more than 50 ft away from the pwr lines/telephone lines unfortunately.
terryo 02/03/07 04:19 pm Whoooooops....forgot the link Mel, sorry.

click HERE
Melanie 02/05/07 11:54 am I'm notoriously bad at final ID's on hawks left to my own devices. They are about the same size and have similar markings, but I think the breast scalloping says Harrier
terryo 02/05/07 12:33 pm Can I quote your ID in all my future communications: "According to an unidentified high-level authoritative government source,a previously unknown hawk has been finally identified as a "Northern Harrier." The source goes on to explain... (spent too much time in DC). :))))
Melanie 02/05/07 12:46 pm actually, my puter decided to misbehave and I was trying to give two links - one to the coopers and one to the harrier - I think it is a coopers. Here's the coopers link:

I don't know why but I always seem to have problems creating links on this site and I do this crap for a living!
Tim P 02/06/07 11:58 pm Id go with Northern Harrier.
But we need to see the back and head markings better.
I dont usually see Harriers in woods.
Mostly flying low over a field or a marsh and rarely perched.
Im always alone when stalking birds terry.
Being stealth is important. I'm pretty good at avoiding snaping sticks and crunching leaves while walking in the woods.

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 17, 2007