A couple of days ago I found a raptor perched on my terrace rail, right in the middle of Harlem in New York City. I took it to be an owl and posted it on ‘the improvised life’s Facebook page. Since then, a small controversy has been raging, as to whether it is a Hawk Owl or a Kestrel, which is a kind of falcon; I had no idea there are so many bird-o-philes out there, and suddenly find myself poking around The Cornell Lab or Ornithology and Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America.
The little bird looked pretty weary and I’m wondering if it got blown off course or uprooted from the hurricane. Though there are plenty of hawks in the area, it looked like an owl to me, which is possible, though rarer. One reader wrote:
“… he looks like he’s had it with all this shaking and blowing in the actual trees and is considering a roost of a more durable build. Put an “Avian Roommate Wanted” or “Free Terrace Parking” sign in the window and see what happens….
Whatever he is, even in his weariness he’s very beautiful…”
Want to take a guess (and take your mind off Sandy and the election)? Kestrel or Hawk Owl?
Let us know what you think, and tell us your reasoning. Perhaps we will break new ground in crowd-sourced bird identifcation.
With thanks to Kim Sykes.