(6.4) This is not a picture by urban wildlife photographer Peter Green of Providence Raptors. His pictures are way better. This is just another one of my screen grabs taken a few moments ago, following a truly gnarly feeding, but it seems important to remind people how quickly things progress at this stage. The nestlings (or ‘eyasses’ for the Scrabblers — although, you better have a damn good reason for using three esses in one play) are losing their down and frankly look like hell. Compare to Peter’s photo of the chicks on banding day just a little over a week ago!
Better still head downtown on Saturday for the Arcade Art and Style Stroll (indoor sidewalk sales and pop-up shops). Peter will be set up with prints of the peregrines, hawks, owls, eagles, and mammals, as well as his atmospheric shots of the Superman Building.
I recently had a question for Peter about where all the bird carcasses end up, and I sent him a photo of a bird’s head I had found on the sidewalk below the nesting box. Peter identified my ex-bird as a yellow-billed cuckoo which are not all that common in urban settings. Peter suggests that they “. . . love to eat those tent caterpillars that are in abundance this year, so the cuckoos have plenty of food” adding that the peregrines,
. . . mainly eat pigeons and starlings. We find a few decapitated heads up there on banding day. I recently found the entire tail of a juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk on the street below the box (all 12 feathers). Nobody cleans the area, just the rain.
(So . . . shit’s getting real. Don’t tell your aunt and uncle who never come to the city anyway because it’s so murdery and everything. The last thing they need to hear is that half-eaten birds are falling out of the sky. I kinda like it.)
Arcade Stroll, 11am to 6pm, Saturday, June 4, Arcade Providence, 130 Westminster Street, (directions)