Birding the Woolworth Building -- Please Help!

IMG_8465On Saturday, went with family and friends to visit the Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan.

The tour was led by the great-granddaughter of the building's architect, Cass Gilbert, and it was superb.

What I didn't expect were the ornamental birds beyond the obligatory bald eagle above the entrance on Broadway.

There was the stone owl carved atop the doorway, and then there was an incredible stained-glass vaulted-ceiling mosaic in the lobby by Heinigke & Bowen that featured several colorful (and tropical) birds. (Click to enlarge.)

The question is, are these real birds -- parrots perhaps -- or figments of the artist's imagination?

We figured the final fanciful bird might be a Phoenix.

Would love to hear what you think. Can you I.D. any of the birds?

More about the tours here.

Monday Mystery: We Need Your Help!

John Pastore took this shot of two young buteos in his neighbor's yard (about a block from the Celery Farm) yesterday.

Are they Red-tailed Hawks or Red-shouldered Hawks?

If the latter, it would be great and exciting news since have been unable to find an Red-shoulder nest the past two springs after they had nested (sometimes successfully) near the Celery Farm since 2002. They are an endangered species in New Jersey when nesting.

What do you think, and why?  (Thanks, John!)

Weirdest Monday Mystery -- Answered

On Monday I asked,

What is the critter featured above?

Two things: It's dead, so I was able to photograph it closeup in this odd pose.

I didn't have a quarter for scale, but trust me it's fairly small. 

It is not Sasquatch or a walrus, and it will not cause bad dreams unless you sleep outside near the Butterfly Garden, where this was photographed.

Slightly closer shot below. Gotta love those digits.

Several folks answered correctly: Star-nosed mole! Congrats to all.

You can read more about the world's fastest eater here.


House Wrens at the Butterfly Garden


It appears that the Hosue Wrens have successfully nested in the Part Brotherton nrest box in the Butterfly Garden.

I used a telephoto lens and waited to post the photos until after they had finished.

The birds used that extra little hole at the top of the box that I had wondered about.