I’m happy to report that for the second year in a row, a pair of red-tailed hawks have nested here at The New York Botanical Garden. This year there are three hatchlings! Here are some entries from my journal about this amazing family of raptors.
Great Egret (Ardea alba) at Twin Lakes – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez
Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) at Twin Lakes – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez
Grackles are noisy and rambunctious birds, but have you ever really stopped to appreciate them? In the springtime sunlight, their iridescent feathers capture blacks, blues, purples, and everything in between.
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez
On Wednesday, February 21st, it seemed as if mother nature forgot that summer doesn’t officially begin until June. The temperature peaked at 78° F. Nearly 2,000 visitors decided to enjoy the glorious weather that day, and I was curious as to how the warmth would affect the Garden’s wildlife. I decided to try my luck and see if any animals we don’t normally see in winter might come out for a bit. I was not disappointed.
In addition to the usual suspects (a pair of wood ducks and two pairs of mallards), I spotted a sizable red-eared slider having a look-see in the wetlands.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the green frog in the Native Plant Garden. Yes, a green frog. In February.
Wildlife Wednesday indeed.
Some of my more interesting wildlife encounters happen in the mornings before my shift starts. I was recently walking the pathway between the top of Wamsler Rock and the fencing of the Native Plant Garden, when I spotted a Cooper’s Hawk perched on a rock further down. I couldn’t help but notice that it looked like it was waiting for a cab! I just had enough time to get one shot before it flew off.
A Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) in the Garden – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez
A Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) in the Steinhardt Maple Collection – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez
A Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) in the Perennial Garden – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez
A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at Twin Lakes – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez
Today we take a look back at just a few of the animals that have made themselves known—especially in the Perennial Garden—over the last few months. The transition from summer to fall brought out all sorts of characters!