Puffins near Portland

Puffins, one of the oddest, most charming and hardest to see birds to see in the United States, but it’s getting easier because their numbers on Eastern Egg Rock, a southern Maine island hit a record 148 pairs in 2014. Warming water temperature threatened the efforts of Project Puffin to bring the cartoonish seabird back to its lost colonies.

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Nest Quest in Prospect Park: wood ducks, herons, swans, cardinals, swallows and, of course, robins nest in the park

Wood duck mother and duckling

Something is going on with nests in Prospect Park this season. They’re everywhere. You can’t walk 50 feet in the park bumping into some adorable tableau of chirping baby birds. Half the trees in the park seem to be brimming with exhibitionist robin families. The big unusual nests this year are green herons and wood ducks (which are living somewhere near dog beach–but where they nested, I don’t know.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green herons are nesting on the lullwater and near the less-fancy bridge by the boathouse.

Green heron on nest by the boathouse. Babies are tucked under her wing.

Green heron feeds her creepy-looking babies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swans in the park, as if in defiance of a potential plan to wipe them out, are multiplying. They have two nests, one helpfully placed on an island by the ice rink to make for easy viewing.

The father swan normally spends his days chasing off other waterfowl, but he came and sat on the eggs with his wife. Apparently he was alarmed by a mommy mallard and her ducklings nearby.

Baby Swans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I havent’ seen barn swallows build nests on the boathouse yet, just in the tunnels.

Barn swallow nest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These robins are so desperate for attention they build nests at eye level, sometimes

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Two peacocks escape zoo, wander through Brooklyn's Prospect Park and delight kids

Two peacocks walked and flew around Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Botanic Garden after escaping from the zoo. The naughty birds had just been given free range of the zoo and took their freedom a little too far.

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Wildlife Rehabbers share their owls with Brooklyn at Raptorfest 2013 in Prospect Park

Wildlife rehabbers let Brooklynites get close to the hawks, owls and eagle they’ve saved. We got to touch an owl!

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Googa Mooga drives off nesting green herons

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosyfinch/6945114442/

Green herons annoyed off their nest by Googa Mooga, a celebration of hipster food, loud music and the selling out of public park land.

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NYC's top wildlife rehabber may be shut down by suburban politics

The town of Oyster Bay wants to shut down Bobby Horvath, the wildlife rehabilitator you call when you’ve got a coyote, owl, hawk, or pelican problem in NYC.

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Yellowstone Sanctuary, home to bears, cougar, Ted Turner's magpie, may close

Mountain lion peers out from lair.

MT’s only wildlife sanctuary may close because it’s not meeting federal regulations, but it won’t say which ones.

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Birders v Dog People in Hurricane Sandy

Dog people are the only people out on the street and worry about dogs separated from their family. Birders are routing for petrels and other exotics get blown off course to pad out their life lists.

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Gifts of the Crow: brain scan proof these birds are devious, silly and smart

Biologists use brain scans (and entertaining experiments and anecdotes) to show that crows, ravens and other corvids think like people.

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Natives and non-natives mix it up at Green-Wood Cemetery

an egret walks into a bar

Great egrets hunt Japanese koi at Green-Wood Cemetery, where a South American monk parrot may have gotten sick from a raccoon.

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