Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birdwatching in Tompkins Square Park

One of the homeless people in Tompkins Square Park called this hawk the "King of the Park." He did look rather regal until he got tangled in a discarded shopping bag......after swooping down from the branch and coming thisclose to catching a squirrel. Luckily he was able to free himself.

Monday, February 21, 2011

City Safari

A friend of mine asked me if I'd been on any new urban adventures lately, like treasure hunting at Dead Horse Bay or urban spelunking. Sadly, no. Just read this article, though, at Coilhouse about a street artist named Roa who makes large-scale paintings of animals. Turns out, Roa's painted a few larger than life creatures in NYC. Guess it's time to plan a city safari to find them.

Seth and I have walked by this stencil art by Dolk a million times (well, almost a million) on our way to Red Hook. Last time we saw it, it was covered over in red paint:

Here's another Dolk, long gone by now:
It's nice to see something unexpected on the side of a building--or completely covering a building. This has probably peeled away or been painted over years ago, but it's my favorite piece of graffiti covering 5Pointz:
Sometimes, you'll spot the same thing hanging on the walls of a gallery as you do on the side of a building on a street near where you live--such as these from Swoon's exhibit at the now closed Deitch Gallery in Long Island City...
...and this, in the neighborhood:
If you want more info, the folks at Brooklyn Street Art could give you more about these than I ever could.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feeding Frenzy

Sunday afternoon at Prospect Park. The ponds are mostly covered in ice so it seems that all the birds in the park--at least the waterfowl and the seagulls--gathered in the one spot that was partially thawed. It's a good idea to stay out of the swans' way, otherwise something like this might happen. Some of the swans looked like they were in a barnyard brawl. Talk about grimy. I wonder what happened to them.

I never noticed this before, but mallard ducks have really cute curly feathers on their undersides, noticeable when they dive underwater for a bite to eat. I'm no bird expert, so I'm still trying to figure out the names of all my new feathered friends--especially the small black ducks with white beaks and the pale reddish and creamy white ducks that are slightly larger than a mallard.

UPDATE: When it comes to birds, I'm a bit of a bird brain. Thanks Matthew aka Brooklyn Bachelor for answering my bird-related questions. Turns out the "barnyard brawl" swans are still in their awkward ugly duckling phase. And the black "ducks" are actually American coots. If you want to explore wildlife in the city Matthew's Backyard and Beyond is a fantastic place to visit.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit in NYC's Chinatown. See many more pictures here.