Self Isolating in the Wild-Eagle Watching

What travel restrictions do we currently have in New York? They want us to stay at home as much as possible and only go out for essential items like food, business at home related purchases, pharmacy trips, and we are also allowed to go to parks and wildlife refuges to exercise. I decided to see if I could catch the eagles after working at home a couple of days ago.

These eagles live quite close to me. In fact there are more and more nests near me. I found another one near a walking trail this week. However, for some reason they restrict the land around the nest of that one more than any of the others. Out of respect for what they ask I did not get close to that nest. The pictures below show one nest one afternoon in order.

One parent in the nest. At least one egg has hatched. The parent keeps looking down and appears to feed little bits of food to an unseen youngster. So the guesstimate is the youngster hatched in the past week or so. We won’t know how many babies until they are big enough to see the heads popping above the top of the nest.
The other parent arrives to switch places babysitting.
The parent who had been in the nest flew out to a neighboring tree for a bit. Then decided to fly off.
Lift off!!!
The eagle then flies off towards the Hudson River. Possibly it was on its way to get a fish for the family.

It is always fun to watch the eagles after the babies hatch. There is a lot more activity coming and going from the nest. They bring in more grass, and they bring in fish or other land animals like squirrel. If you are working at home and self isolating, go out to observe nature. It can bring joy to your day.

Self- Isolating in the Wild Fox Hunting

I went to hunt eagles, not literally. I am an eagle fan or eagle paparazzi. I like trying to capture any animal that is not dangerous to try to capture with my camera. I went after working at home to try to catch the eagles. It was a gloomy, gray day with not an optimal amount of light. On my way into the park, I caught sight of a fox.

The eagle watching did not pan out. After a little while I decided to leave, when low and behold on the way out I saw the fox again at a distance near the outside edge of the park. He was very interested in this deer. He was also very interested in seeing what I was doing.

Do fox eat deer? It appeared he was. He took a bit that could have been his entrails and ran off into the woods. Did you know fox would eat a deer? I certainly did not. It appears they may go after a live fawn, but otherwise they would eat on a deer carcass.

Self Isolating in the Wild

It is the act of separating oneself from others. Self isolation is the new norm. Physically separating oneself is necessary in these times, however, remaining connected to others through social media, phone conversations etc. is important as well.

I would love to have been doing day trips to places farther away, but that is not prudent right now. The best thing to do is self isolate in nature. Parks are open and wildlife preserves are still open. It is a great way to maintain adequate distance and get some needed fresh air. Here are some animals I saw recently in nearby parks still open.

At a nearby park with a lot of open space. I think this one is a bluebird. They had a birdhouse on a pole near this tree. I suspect this one may live there.
This one appears to be an eagle with some white feathers coming in on its head. A sub adult? It was putting on an aerial show around a local nest that was not his/her nest. Could this be a juvenile from a previous spring checking up on the nest he came from?
This blue jay was an area I drop seed. If you feed them they will come. I don’t do that all year, but in winter and early spring.
Late afternoon-early evening lift off. It took a few days to catch the father eagle coming back to the nest. I usually only go down to watch for 30 minutes or so.

Everyone keep in contact with friends and family, follow what they ask you to do, stay safe and stay healthy. Keep a positive attitude. Clean or organize your house if you now find yourself with extra time. Put on positive music. I am in different What’s App groups with different people who meet regularly to stay positive and stay in touch. Watch a church service online. Think of others. We shall all get through this together.

Self Isolating at State Line Lookout

What animal is an aerial acrobat? It travels at lightning speeds and you are amazed it does not crash when it lands on a cliff? The animal I speak of is the peregrine falcon. A great spot to view them is the State Line Lookout in New Jersey.

When I heard New Jersey might limit movement in the state, I decided to run down across the New York border and go to State Line Lookout. This park is a scenic spot to visit.

Location

State Line has its own exit off the Palisades Parkway. It is not far south of the NYS border. There is a nice parking area and a restaurant and gift shop. Both the restaurant and gift shop are closed though currently due to Corona Virus. To set the GPS the street is State Line Lookout in Alpine, NJ. The park is at the highest point of the Palisades. It is 532 feet above the river. There are updrafts along the cliffs that attract raptures.

I found out about this park through a couple of bird enthusiasts. The park is popular with serious photographers. The big guns were there. My equipment is only worth a small fraction of their equipment. These photographers were a friendly bunch and helped direct this first time visitor to good viewing spots.

The stone walls are close to the cliffside and not too high, so be careful.
This appears to be Yonkers, NY on the other side of the river. New York City is just south of Yonkers.

The park is along the Hudson River where it divides New York and New Jersey. Westchester County, New York is viewable on the other side of the River.

Falcons

The star attraction are the peregrine falcons that nest cliffside. They frequently put on aerial shows. Sometimes they land in neighboring trees or on the walls. From the viewing areas you can often find them perched on an outcrop or tree. One caught a bird with dark gray feathers and landed just below where we were standing. Feathers from their prey drifted up to us in the updrafts.

A tree was between where the falcon was and where I was standing. This was actually the closest I got to one of them. It was still a distance away.
Here one is perched on a branch of a tree sticking out of the cliff. Look toward the middle of the photo on the cliff.
This is a pair that is currently mating. I missed the show. A half hour prior they mated in a tree.

Other Attractions

Other attractions are hawks. In autumn 14 species of hawks pass through on their way south. Red tailed hawks and Cooper hawks fly around the park. They also have hiking trails.

If you are a bird enthusiast or are on a long trip and want a spot to take a break, stop by the State Line Lookout in New Jersey. The views are worth the trip.