Many American Robins returned to Inwood Hill Park this week. They gave the appearance of being a little dazed, as if they had suddenly been transported from another space and time to this wild hilly place of tall old trees adjacent to a big river. The robins were singing their song not heard here in recent months of winter.
Harbingers of spring, the robins explored the park paths and the limbs of the trees to look out at great distances. Their instincts guided them to wander around for anything to eat, frequently scavenging any sort of berry under fallen leaves in the forest understory.
The weather is not settled yet – cold and windy one day with a hint of spring the next. Northern Manhattan can at times experience snowfall greater than in Lower Manhattan, some twelve miles to the south. It may snow late tonight. We can forgive the robins for looking a little unsure about this place.
In a short while, the American Robins will locate suitable ranches for their tightly woven nest cups and the laying of their characteristically blue eggs. When the weather warms by late spring, they will tease earthworms out of the ground. By then, they will have assumed their favorite places and routines, establishing a formidable presence in the park.
A Gallery of American Robins
Little Birds of the Winter Forest
Deep into the old-growth forest of Inwood Hill Park, the Black-capped Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, and Tufted Titmouse cling to the bare tree limbs of late winter. As the tree buds and athletic fields begin to show green, as befitting the work week ending with St. Patrick’s Day, these small active birds have yet to disperse…
The Office Hours of an Eastern Screech-Owl
Many regular walkers in Inwood Hill Park enjoy taking a stroll through the Clove, a small picturesque valley between the two prominent hills in the park, and stopping to look for a little owl that resides way up high in a hole in a tree. The owl is an Eastern Screech-Owl, a small gray-colored owl…
An Early Morning Photo Session with a Red-tailed Hawk
A few days ago, as I started my morning walk to the park, a guy practicing his tennis strokes on the courts next to the 207th Street entrance to Inwood Hill Park noticed my camera and then pointed to a large hawk perched on a low branch nearby. The next day, I saw the same…
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