Big, small, fierce, or cute, the birds of prey that live out their lives in the northeast are an uncommon cadre of sharp-eyed hunters, though seldom seen by your average park wanderer. Here in the New York Botanical Garden, our most popular visitors are definitely the Red-tailed Hawks that patrol the skies around our grounds, as well as the occasional Great-horned Owl, but the many local species that you might not always see are equally fascinating! And I admit they’re also pretty adorable if you’re not a squirrel or a chipmunk.
As part of our Fall Forest Weekends events and activities, which kicked off this past weekend and run through the next, our friends from the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary Audubon Center stopped off at the Garden with a few clever companions in tow, among them an American Kestrel, an Eastern Screech Owl, and a Barred Owl—some of which you can see hunting around our grounds if you’re lucky. Many of the birds in the Audubon Center’s care are rescues, brought in to be rehabilitated after sustaining injuries that won’t allow them to survive back in the wild. But they do plenty of good in their downtime, educating people about the importance of raptors for a healthy, diverse ecosystem.
Pat Gonzalez, our Visitor Services Attendant, raptor enthusiast, and lifelong Garden friend, stopped in over the weekend to record some of these birds, and was kind enough to share her video with us.
There’s one more chance to catch these feathered aces up close and personal. Join us this coming weekend on November 9 and 10, daily at 1 and 3 p.m. across from the Native Plant Garden entrance. And don’t forget that it’s just one small part of our big fall celebration, with tree-climbing and woodcarving demonstrations, canoe trips, Forest tours, beer tastings, and a bunch more to toast the colors of the peaking fall foliage. Check out our Fall Forest Weekends page for the full schedule.
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