Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16th Prospect: "Survival of the Fittest"

Evolutionist scientist Charles Darwin , in his famous Natural Selection treatise, spoke about "survival of the fittest" ( see if you want to read the fine points  , click here )
which was observed today. Hear my account with this :

I got into the park this early afternoon--blame it on the party effects of last nite's wedding party--when Bobbi Manian saw me at my street corner of PPSW Ave.. She mentioned that birders mentioned to her a Hooded Merganser was stuck in the ice. Of course, if a bird is stuck way out, there isn't much to be done. It's dangerous and crazy to walk on the ice ( that's why today there was a Park Enforcement Patrol car by the Well house for that reason). While surveying the whole frozen lake except for a few west shore spots, I saw no Hoodie but a Great Black Backed Gull eating a carcass on the ice.

Here's a note I received from Kathy Toomey. It shows that winter is a hard time for birds and Nature has her own way of providing or dictating its terms.


Early today, Emily and I saw the female hooded merganser
apparently stuck in one position far out on the ice in the middle of
the Lake, all by itself. It was still alive, because we saw it moving
its head (but not its body). We were hoping that later in the day,
when it warmed up, it might get free. Unfortunately, when we were
leaving at about 1:00, we saw a greater black backed gull eating the

date = 2012/01/16
site = Prospect Park
observers = Kathy Toomey and Emily Goldstein

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Northern Shoveler
American Black Duck
Canada Goose
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Mute Swan
American Coot
Great Black-backed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Gray Catbird near lamp post 249
Orange-crowned Warbler in brush by side of the road near the feeders
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Fox Sparrow near lamp post 249
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle large flock, like yesterday
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


On a positive note, like " three men in a tub ", make that five , 5 PIED--BILLED GREBE in a close tight group on a water opening barely 2 feet wide. To my right I saw two more PBGrebes coming out of the Phragmites, making it a lucky & magnificent 7 ! 

During that timeframe, all the numbers of gulls flushed up , caused by a low fast flying COOPERS HAWK  from the lakeshore south , across the lake, towards its target it spotted , a pigeon that swooped across the north shore, charging hard to get away as the Coopers breathed down its tail feathers; and as luck had it, Pigeon lived ! ( till next was "fit to survive for today")

The Cooper's broke off and perched in one of the Ginko trees there on the Peninsula lawn


Prospect Park--Feeders, Kings, US-NY
Jan 16, 2012 2:45 PM - 3:05 PM
Protocol: Stationary
5 species

Mourning Dove  5
Downy Woodpecker  2
Black-capped Chickadee  1
White-throated Sparrow  2
House Finch  17

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (
Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Jan 16, 2012 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
Comments:     frozen lake ~95%
15 species

Canada Goose  X
Mute Swan  5
American Black Duck  2
Mallard  X
Northern Shoveler  39 lake tight group
Ruddy Duck  3
Pied-billed Grebe  7     clustered from lack of open water, possibly a record high
Cooper's Hawk  1 fly over
American Coot  12 lake
Ring-billed Gull  1200 lake
Herring Gull  X
Great Black-backed Gull  3 Lake , one eating a carcass presumably when I saw it Hooded Merganser
Rock Pigeon  1 (escaped!)
Hermit Thrush  1  Pools
Song Sparrow  3 Breeze Hill

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (