Birds


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Blue Jay

Wingspan: 13-17”
Mating Habits: They form monogamous bonds for life; both sexes build the nest and rear the young. 
Diet: omnivorous (insects, injured or dead vertebrates, nuts, fruits, grains, and acorns)
Clutch Size: 2-7 eggs
Did You Know: Sometimes blue jays mimic the calls of hawks when approaching feeders to deceive other birds into scattering, allowing the jay to take over the feeder.

 

Northern Cardinal

Wingspan: 10-12”
Mating Habits: Cardinals practice mate-feeding, in which the male feeds the female through the egg-laying and incubation phases of breeding. This gives the female a sense of how well the male will provide food to their eventual young.
Diet: omnivorous (mostly seeds and fruit, supplemented with insects like beetles, crickets, cicadas, flies, centipedes, spiders, and butterflies)
Clutch Size: 2-5 eggs
Did You Know: Male cardinals are such fierce defenders of their breeding territories that when a cardinal sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it may spend hours fighting the imagined intruder.

 

Red-Tailed Hawk

Wingspan: 45-52”
Mating Habits: The male goes to great heights before plunging into a deep dive and then performs a subsequent steep climb back to circling height. The birds then grab hold of each another with their talons and fall spiraling toward earth.
Diet: carnivorous (voles, mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, starlings, blackbirds, and snakes)
Clutch Size: 1-5 eggs
Did You Know: The thrilling, raspy scream of a red-tailed hawk is a favorite of filmmakers. When a hawk or eagle appears onscreen, no matter what species, the strident cry is almost always a red-tailed hawk.

 

Bald Eagle

Rare find!
Wingspan: 80”
Habitat: lakes, reservoirs, rivers, marshes, and coasts (e.g., Croton Point Park, Echo Canoe Launch in Croton, New Croton Dam, George’s Island County Park in Montrose, Steamboat Riverfront Park in Verplanck, and Peekskill Riverfront Green)
Mating Habits: An eagle pair engages in a death spiral — soaring up to high altitude, locking talons, and cartwheeling together downward, only letting go before reaching the ground. That’s what you call true love!
Diet: carnivorous (mostly fish, some stolen from other hunting birds and mammals, but also mammals, gulls, and waterfowl)
Clutch Size: 1-3 eggs
Did You Know: Benjamin Franklin derided the national bird’s tendency to steal other animals’ food and wrote, “I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly.” Franklin instead championed the wild turkey to symbolize the US.

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