Saturday, February 14, 2009

Prospect Park

An early Saturday morning pass through Prospect Park.
Started cold at 7:30 but warmed up by 9 am.
Female downy woodpecker. The male has a patch of red on the back of the head. Note the small bill, probably the best way to distinguish this species from the very similar but larger hairy woodpecker. The hairy's bill is about as long as its head itself.
Red-tail at Grand Army Plaza. Common grackle and red-winged blackbirds were my first of the year birds for the day. Interestingly, there was a female red-wing blackbird at the feeders on Breeze Hill; for all the noise the males make, I rarely see the females, which look like large sparrows with strong breast streaks, nothing at all like the Stendhalesque (Le rouge et noir) males.

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