A Travellerspoint blog

The Owls of Inwood

Inwood Hill Park, NYC

sunny 34 °F

Back to NYC after a nice week with family! This morning while practicing voice, I was surprised to see a stream of TURKEY VULTURES migrating over the Hudson River adjacent to the Manhattan School of Music. So, I raced to my room and grabbed a few pics! I would say over twenty of these guys were migrating today, as well as two distant raptors which I’m guessing were Bald Eagles. Here are the vultures:

Then, with classes ending at 1:50 on tuesdays, I took advantage of my free afternoon to go birding at a place I have always wanted to bird since moving to Manhattan: Inwood Hill Park. The park is a beautiful mosaic of woodland and hills at the far northern tip of Manhattan Island and the “big ticket” bird species it has year-round is the Eastern Screech-Owl, the only breeding owl on Manhattan. I figured that with this free afternoon and a beautiful day, it was as good a day as any to try to find these mighty little beasts.

Much of my time spent in the park was bushwhacking and inspecting all of the old, wide trees with cavities that could contain owls. Birds were few and far between on this chilly day, but a couple of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS did pose for me:

The scenery at Inwood Hill Park is spectacular. Here is the view of the Hudson from the Inwood Hill Lookout, facing north:

As its name suggests, the terrain is very hilly.

So nice to see MOURNING DOVES instead of the usual Manhattan pigeons (which are probably the reason why my late Grandma from Brooklyn referred to all birds as “dirty birds” with her thick Brooklyn accent).

Unfortunately, no Screech Owls were found today, despite a thorough effort. It is important to remember that birding is like a fickle scavenger hunt: sometimes, even with one’s best efforts, the bird just cannot be found. The mystery is part of the fun of it, though!

I will have to return for one of the evening owl walks which are occasionally held here. Bird-of-the-day to the migrating Turkey Vultures.

Good birding,
World Life List: 978 Species

Posted by skwclar 21:38 Archived in USA

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