People often think they have to go to far flung locales like Acadia, Ninigret or Pardon Grey to see some of Rhode Island’s most exotic birds of prey. Not Peter Green, whose favorite place to look for raptors is right in downtown Providence.
Almost every day, he takes a short walk from Burnside Park up to the State House and back looking for some of falcons, hawks, kestrels, merlins, osprey, owls and even the occasional bald eagle who live and or hunt right in the center of the Capital City.
As you can see by the photo he took, his pictures are professional grade – for many more like this, I highly recommend checking out his blog Providence Raptors, which has some of the most amazing bird pictures I’ve seen anywhere, and they are all from either Providence or the surrounding area.
But while he’s easily the most well-known local urban wildlife photographer, when he moved to Providence four years ago he was neither a birder or a shutterbug. But when he moved to a downtown loft that gave him a daily view of peregrine falcons he figured “it was time to invest in a better camera,” as we both lugged our big lenses around downtown the other day in search of birds.
He got a better camera and quickly learned that red-tail hawks would hunt for pigeons right in Burnside Park. “I started getting these pictures and I couldn’t believe they were mine.”
He has pictures of hawks picking off pigeons in Kennedy Plaza, falcons attacking a man on top of the Superman building and some other amazing raptors from in and around the city – a bald eagle over the East Side, a very rare albino hawk in Lincoln and, of course, the snowy owl who was here earlier this year.
If you enjoy the pictures, you spend some time on Tuesday with Green in Burnside Park where he’s leading a raptor spotting/photographing talk as part of Providence’s Public Square Day at 1pm.
It’s not too uncommon for Green to spot birds, too … on the day I went with him he saw a falcon having breakfast and later we saw a falcon on the side of a building and another two soaring up above.