Prospect Park, 4 & 8 February 2023
Author: Caleb Crain
A few weeks ago, having heard that there was a Northern saw-whet owl in Prospect Park, I went looking for it. Since owls sleep during the day, it’s against etiquette to post their locations online, to prevent a crowd from gathering and waking them up, so I had to guess where it might be. I didn’t guess altogether wrong, as it later turned out, but after looking for two hours, I gave up. It was getting dark, and the owl, wherever it was, would soon be flying off for his nightly hunting. But then, on my way home, I ran into a birder I knew, who was looking up into a tree. He let me in on the secret.
I took a number of photos that day, although the ones I’m posting here were taken on return visits. All were taken with a very long lens, while standing on the pavement of a much-trafficked thoroughfare, and I’ve delayed posting them. Yesterday I was unable to find the owl at its old location, and another birder told me this morning that it has moved on to a new location—which, at my request, he did not tell me, so that I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone who might read this and want to ask. So I feel that I’m in the clear to share the photos—enjoy! Note in the photo above that in its talons the owl is holding a snack, whose tail and rear paw are just visible—probably the reason the owl’s eyes were open during this one visit.
Prospect Park, Jan. 20 and 26, and February 1, 2023
“Sallies,” a new (first) poem
A poem of mine, “Sallies,” is in the 9 February 2023 issue of the New York Review of Books. It’s the first one by me ever published somewhere other than on this blog, I’m pretty sure.