NYC Raccoons and Red-tails in Winter
Snow frosted the city yesterday.
The water towers wore white skull caps.
Esau was on the alert for wildlife
but the park was quiet
The retaining wall is always beautiful, and especially so with a dusting of snow.
The entrance to the large raccoon den is once again piled with snow.
It’s been over a month since I’ve seen a raccoon here, and I’m starting to worry. Raccoons in northern climates pack on the fat in autumn so that they can spend less time foraging in the coldest days of winter and more time curled up in their den. They don’t actually hibernate, but they may sleep away several weeks of bitter weather, living off their fat stores and waiting for milder days. It’s been a cold and snowy winter, so maybe my Riverside Park raccoons are just dozing away the cold and dreaming of spring. But still I worry. (Check back soon for an update on raccoon rabies in NYC.)
Sledders were out
as were walkers
and a single cross-country skier
as well as a passel of happy dogs.
No birds to be seen yesterday.
Unlike Sunday, when a hawk devoured a songbird on the bare ground beneath the retaining wall
The snow had finally melted in parts of the park
and the hunting was good
After a few minutes, the hawk soared over my head, so low that I ducked to avoid contact with the carcass gripped in his talons. He swooped up to a branch high above the ground in search, perhaps, of privacy from paparazzi like me
And there, finally taking the hint, I left him to his meal.Explore posts in the same categories: 2011, Birds, February, Hawks, In the City, NYC Parks, raccoons, Riverside Park, Wildlife/Natural History, Winter comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.