Saturday, March 25, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 24, 2017:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 24, 2017
* NYNY1703.24

- Birds mentioned
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

EURASIAN WIGEON
EARED GREBE
NORTHERN GOSHAWK
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK
American Woodcock
BLACK-HEADED GULL
ICELAND GULL
GLAUCOUS GULL
Red-headed Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Pine Warbler
VESPER SPARROW
DICKCISSEL
RED CROSSBILL

- Transcript

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays, during the day)
Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 (Long Island)

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, March 24th 2017 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, EARED GREBE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, EURASIAN WIGEON, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, VESPER SPARROW, DICKCISSEL and RED CROSSBILL.

Hopefully everyone who wants to has by now ventured out to Southold to see the TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE still frequenting the area around blue house #1625 North Sea Drive up to Thursday. But for how much longer?

The EARED GREBE was still present Tuesday in Fire Island inlet off the western end of Oak Beach Road.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL, presumably wintering in Brooklyn, was seen both at Veteran's Memorial Pier and nearby around the water treatment facility next to Owl's Head Park last weekend and up to Wednesday. Also in the city a GLAUCOUS GULL again appeared on Central Park's reservoir Sunday and an ICELAND GULL was still visiting Prospect Park lake last Saturday with another ICELAND at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4 today.

Immature NORTHERN GOSHAWKS continue to linger both in Prospect Park Brooklyn and at Massapequa Preserve. The bird in Prospect Park is frequently encountered in the area of the feeders while the Massapequa bird seems to wander around a larger more unpredictable area.

With very few ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS wintering in our area this year notable have been two seen recently at the Calverton Grasslands at the former Grumman airport at least to Wednesday.

Waterfowl variety has been diminishing lately but still around have been the drake EURASIAN WIGEON continuing at Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center in Brooklyn at least to Sunday and another still at Fresh Pond at Fort Salonga Saturday.

Among the few RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS now in our region were 2 seen recently in the Dix Hills area as well as lingering individuals at Kissena Park Queens Monday and Caumsett State Park Tuesday and in Central Park where one continues just west of East 68th Street. Two have also been at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island recently.

A DICKCISSEL Tuesday at Biltmore Shores on Staten Island was a nice find and does point out that passerines are now moving about and into our area. Besides a further influx of EASTERN PHOEBES 2 PINE WARBLERS were noted in Central Park last Sunday and 3 VESPER SPARROWS were spotted Thursday in Calverton.

Various other species are also now on the move including a very interesting occurrence today of 2 RED CROSSBILLS at the Edgewood Oakbrush Plains Preserve in Deer Park.

This is also now a good time to enjoy the evening antics of AMERICAN WOODCOCKS displaying both at dusk and also at dawn in decent numbers at appropriate open areas in our region. Hopefully most survived the recent snow and subsequent freeze over and can now resume their migration.

To phone in reports, days except Sunday, call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From Popular Science online:

You really can help save bees by planting wildflowers

Flower-rich areas may make bumblebees four times more likely to survive
By Sarah Fecht March 15, 2017

In America and Europe, bees are in trouble. And with politicians looking to gut the Endangered Species Act, it doesn't look like these fuzzy pollinators can expect much help from the federal government. But the good news is, there's something you can do to help.

A study out today in Nature finds that when bumble bees live near a rich array of wildflowers, their chances of survival to the next year increase by up to four times. In particular, it helps to have a mix of plants that flower in both spring and summer.

The findings aren't exactly surprising for ecologists. Humans' tendency to replace meadows and forests with farms thins out the diversity of flowers available to bees, but restoring patches of native wildflowers is thought to help. Using some neat sampling techniques, the new findings suggest that this method really does impact year-over-year survival for bumble bees.

“Measuring survival across generations is very tough,” says Sam Droege, a biologist who runs the U.S. Geological Survey's Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab. (He wasn't involved in the new study.) “Bees are hard to mark in traditional ways, and there are so many of them that its hard to do that thoroughly enough to come up with a good estimate.”

For two years, ecologist Claire Carvell and her colleagues studied three bumblebee species over an area of 20 square kilometers in Buckinghamshire, UK. They used spatial analysis to map out farmed areas, grasslands, woods, villages, and bee-friendly flower and nesting sites—in some places, the landowners had restored wildflowers along the strips and hedgerows between agricultural fields. The researchers also collected DNA samples from more than 2,000 bumblebees to see which families survived into the second year; families that lived within a kilometer of flower-laden foraging habitats fared better.

Using DNA and spatial analysis is a novel approach, says Stephen Buchmann, an entomologist at the University of Arizona at Tucson. “I know of no other team anywhere in the world that has done anything similar.”

Providing strong support for the link between habitat restoration and bumblebee survival could help conservation efforts, although the study needs to be replicated in other species and across a broader range of terrain, population geneticist Jeffrey Lozier noted in a commentary on the new study.

If you're interested in helping the bees, all it takes is a few square feet of lawn or potted plants. It helps to include sand, mud, and patches of bare ground for bees to nest in. And be sure to plant a mix of wildflowers, so that you'll have flowers blooming throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

“Bumblebees, whose pollen palette is very broad, benefit from retaining a wide range of native wild flowers in an environment,” says Droege. “Other bees are much more restricted in their diet, and loss of plant biodiversity simply eliminates some from the landscape completely.”
...Read more

Monday, March 20, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, March 25, 2017 to Sunday, March 26, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, March 26, 2017
“Prospect Park Spring Awakenings”
Leader: Ed Crowne
Focus: early spring passerines, late winter stragglers
Meet: 8:30 am at Bartel Pritchard Park entrance

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Every Sunday Weekly from 03/12/2017 to 05/28/2017
Birding for Beginners
Join us for an introductory nature walk where you will learn the essentials of birdwatching.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee Information: Free

Sunday March 26, 11:00AM to 12:00PM
Early Spring Nature Walk
Come out of your winter hibernation and join us on our first guided nature walk of the spring! Be prepared to walk along the East Pond Trail as we search for signs of early budding plants and keep an ear out and eyes up for early spring birds. More »
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens
Fee Information: free
Contact Name: Don Riepe
Contact Email: e-mail us
Contact Phone Number: (718) 474-0896

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 7:00AM
Birds of Late-Winter and Early Migrants
With the beginning of longer days, we’ll track many of the nearly 40 overwintering bird species at Green-Wood. Be on the lookout for arriving Common Grackles, nest building Red-tailed Hawks, visiting American Woodcocks, several species of waterfowl, and the first appearances of Eastern Phoebes (a harbinger of the spring songbird migration).

"Birding in Peace" series
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the many birds that call Green-Wood home. Copies of our new Bird Checklist will be available to all tour participants. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Brooklyn South Coastal Birding
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Registrar: Kathleen Howley — kathleenhowley@gmail.com or 212-877-3170
Registration opens: Monday, March 13
Ride: $20

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 9/3/2016 - 6/24/2017: 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 5:00pm – 9:30pm
The Sky-Dance of the Woodcock
Guide: Gabriel Willow
The American Woodcock is a remarkable bird: It is in the sandpiper family but lives in woodlands, often far from beaches. The male performs an incredible crepuscular aerial display and song early in the spring, soon after the snow melts in the northern U.S. There are a few places around New York City where they perform this display. Let’s go look for it (and bats and owls and other critters, too) at Floyd Bennett Field. Bring binoculars, comfortable shoes, a headlamp or flashlight, and a snack for a post-woodcock picnic. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $90 (63)
Click here to register

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 9:30am – 11:30am
Kissena Park
Leader: TRudy (718) 224 8432

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point at Great Kills Park
Maritime spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic typographical features which are formed and sculpted by water and wind action. Join naturalist Paul T. Lederer in a talk and walk where he will discuss the geology and human history of the site as well as the plants and animals that call this place home. Participants will meet at the Beach Center Parking Lot in Great Kills Park near the dirt road leading out to Crooke’s Point. To get to the Beach Center Parking Lot, follow Buffalo Street to just before it turns into the dirt permit road.
For more information or directions contact Paul Lederer at (718) 987-1576.
...Read more

Saturday, March 18, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 17, 2017:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 17, 2017
* NYNY1703.17

- Birds Mentioned

TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE+

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

EURASIAN WIGEON
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
EARED GREBE
SANDHILL CRANE
Wilson’s Snipe
American Woodcock
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
NORTHERN GOSHAWK
Great Horned Owl
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Horned Lark
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Orange-crowned Warbler

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

Compiler: Tom Burke
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, March 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are SANDHILL CRANE, TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, EARED GREBE, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, EURASIAN WIGEON, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and LAPLAND LONGSPUR.

In a week stymied by 2 snow storms, most unexpected was the appearance of 2 SANDHILL CRANES flying over the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area last Saturday; the Cranes were not subsequently relocated, and there were also no reports this week of the Wainscott Crane out on Eastern Long Island.

The TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE was noted as recently as yesterday on the North Fork, still in the vicinity of blue house #1625 North Sea Drive in Southold.

In Fire Island Inlet off Oak Beach last weekend the EARED GREBE was spotted again Saturday and the female BARROW’S GOLDENEYE on Sunday, though both have been difficult to locate recently.

Two drake EURASIAN WIGEONS, both still around Wednesday, continue at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park, Brooklyn and on Fresh Pond in Fort Salonga.

The immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK seen lately often near the feeders in Prospect Park was still present there today, and a 2nd immature was noted again at Massapequa Preserve last Saturday.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was still visiting Bellport Bay last Saturday, and on Wednesday single ICELAND and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were sitting on the Home Depot parking lot off Route 58 in Riverhead.

One result of the heavy snow Tuesday was to displace and expose a large number of AMERICAN WOODCOCKS both in city parks and surrounding regions, birds often popping up in rather unexpected locations. They also become a preferred target of raptors such as the Prospect NORTHERN GOSHAWK and GREAT HORNED OWLS. A few WILSON’S SNIPE have also been noted during these grave circumstances, both species now moving regularly through our region.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS, now becoming more colorful, continue in Central Park just west of East 68th Street and at Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was present again with HORNED LARKS on Wednesday at Robert Moses State Park on the oval in Parking Field 5.

An ORANGE–CROWNED WARBLER was in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn last Sunday.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke weekdays at 212-372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Birding in Peace

This past Sunday I led the inaugural "Birding in Peace" dawn birding tour at Green-Wood Cemetery. It was a brisk start to the new series, but the hardy souls that turned out for the morning walk weren't disappointed.



When I left my apartment for the walk over to the cemetery it was still dark. A dazzling Full "Worm Moon" seemed to cast shadows almost as easily as my neighborhood's streetlamps. To say that it was merely cold, would probably be delusional. My phone's weather app said, with the windchill, that it felt like 18° F. In addition, overnight the time was pushed ahead an hour for Daylight Savings Time. I was concerned that none of the 20 people registered for the trip would show up either due to frostbite concerns or because they overslept. My fears were unfounded, though, as one by one people bundled against the cold began arriving at the cemetery's locked entrance gate before the 7am scheduled start time.

When the security patrol let us into the still closed cemetery, it was amazingly silent. This part of the city definitely sleeps. Other than the small security crew, we were the only people in the nearly 500 acres. Not even the garrulous Monk Parakeets above the main archway were making a sound. Among the target species I was hoping to find was a peculiar little bird and early migrant - the American Woodcock. My loop route would include stands of pines as their cryptic plumage allows them to nearly disappear in plain sight within blankets of dried pine needles. More often than not, they are "seen" when inadvertently flushed; you catch a glimpse of something flashing in the corner of your vision and hear the distinctive whistling of their wings. If you're lucky, you follow the brown blur as it drops down a safe distance away where you can focus your bins in on their plump body and freakishly long bill.

It actually felt pretty comfortable once out of the wind, strolling in the wind protected dells or on the leeward side of the cemetery's many ridges. At Cliff Path, overlooking the Sylvan Water, the sun was warming the hillside and treetops. It was bustling with bird activity. We spent several minutes watching a mixed flock of Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and White-throated Sparrow. Overwintering Fox Sparrows are feeling the pull of Spring and have begun serenading the females. Another fairly active area was at a pair of bird feeders between the Crescent and Dell Waters.

Red-tailed Hawks are in courtship mode and we observed two different pairs soaring over the "Flats", as well as, nice close views of a very pale one perched across from the legendary magic tree on Cypress and Vine Avenues. An immature individual was also seen a few times. I assume he/she is one of last year's offspring. We also had great views of a female Merlin perched above Cypress Avenue.

It was on the return leg of the walk along Forest Avenue that we had the aforementioned, typical woodcock experience - zip, blur, whistle-whistle. We twice flushed a "timberdoodle" but I was never able to get good looks for the group. Here's a podcast about the courtship ritual of this interesting bird.

I led the group passed Pine Hill hoping for one last chance for a close look at a woodcock. We didn't find one, but a nice consolation prize was my first Eastern Phoebe of the season. This tail-pumping insectivore is one of the earliest harbingers of the Spring songbird migration. He darted around in front of us for several minutes, moving from shrub to low tree branch to headstone and even a stop sign, in search of bugs to eat. I hope he manages to find enough to eat to survive the snowstorm.

If you're interested in joining one of our dawn walks this Spring you can sign up here. Don't hesitate as they are filling up fast.

Good birding.

**********

Location: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Date: March 12, 2017, 7:00am
Protocol: Traveling
Distance: 4.0 miles
Comments: Inaugural Green-Wood Cemetery "Birding in Peace" tour.
Species: 31

Canada Goose
Mallard
Turkey Vulture (1.)
Red-tailed Hawk (4.)
American Woodcock (1. Flushed from edge of Forest Ave. near Duncan Phyfe.)
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2.)
Downy Woodpecker
Merlin (1, perched above Cypress Ave.)
Monk Parakeet
Eastern Phoebe (1.)
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Fox Sparrow (12.)
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
...Read more

New Local Birding Group

Check out Molly Adams' new Brooklyn birding organization - The Feminist Bird Club. I'm frequently asked by woman who come on my trips if certain areas around NYC are safe for females. Just in time to help answer that question is Molly's group. From her blog:

"A bird watching club dedicated to getting outside in and around NYC and having an ongoing conversation about women's safety/rights."

Treehugger Tuesday

From Science Daily:

Louisiana wetlands struggling with sea-level rise 4 times the global average
March 14, 2017
Source: Tulane University

Summary: Without major efforts to rebuild Louisiana's wetlands, particularly in the westernmost part of the state, there is little chance that the coast will be able to withstand the accelerating rate of sea-level rise, a new study concludes.

Without major efforts to rebuild Louisiana's wetlands, particularly in the westernmost part of the state, there is little chance that the coast will be able to withstand the accelerating rate of sea-level rise, a new Tulane University study concludes.

The study by researchers in Tulane's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and published in the open-access journal Nature Communications shows that the rate of sea-level rise in the region over the past six to 10 years amounts to half an inch per year on average.

"In the Mississippi Delta, about 65 percent of study sites are probably still keeping pace, but in the westernmost part of coastal Louisiana, more than 60 percent of sites are on track to drown," said Tulane geology professor Torbjörn E. Törnqvist, a co-author of the study.

Törnqvist conducted the research with lead author and PhD candidate Krista L. Jankowski and co-author Anjali M. Fernandes, a former postdoc in Törnqvist's group who is now at the University of Connecticut.

The researchers used an unconventional method to measure sea-level change that integrated information from different data sources. They analyzed measurements of shallow subsidence rates at 274 sites across the coast and combined these with published GPS-measurements of deeper subsidence rates. Adding published satellite observations of the rise of the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico, they were able to calculate how rapidly sea level is rising with respect to the coastal wetland surface.

"The bottom line is that in order to assess how dire the situation is in Louisiana, this new dataset is a huge step forward compared to anything we've done before," Törnqvist said.

Justin Lawrence of the National Science Foundation, which provided funding for the study, agreed.

"These researchers have developed a new method of evaluating whether coastal marshes in Louisiana will be submerged by rising sea levels," Lawrence said. "The findings suggest that a large portion of coastal marshes in Louisiana are vulnerable to present-day sea-level rise. This work may provide an early indication of what is to occur in coastal regions around the world later this century."

Story Source:
Materials provided by Tulane University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
Krista L. Jankowski, Torbjörn E Törnqvist, Anjali M Fernandes. Vulnerability of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands to present-day rates of relative sea-level rise. Nature Communications, 2017; 8: 14792 DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS14792
...Read more

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, March 18, 2017 to Sunday, March 19, 2017:

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 8:30am – 2:00pm
Walkill National Wildlife Refuge and Black Dirt Region
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson and the group in search of exciting spring migrants like Rusty Blackbird, Wood Duck, and large flocks of waterfowl that often include hundreds of Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal. Possible stop at Shawangunk Grasslands on the return trip for Rough-legged Hawks and Eastern Meadowlark, among others.
Depart Bylane at 7am
Cost: Free
Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 1pm – 3pm
Vernal Pools at Hunt-Parker Sanctuary
Under the leadership of long-time Bedford Audubon Member Paul Lewis, you'll visit these hidden treasures deep in the forest and learn about the vital importance of these seasonal wetlands as spawning grounds for salamanders and other amphibians.
Family friendly for children 10 years of age and older, must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost: Free
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Meet at Bylane Farm at 12:45pm wearing boots suitable for water
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Ridgewood Reservoir to Jamaica Bay
Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Wetland species, freshwater and salt water ducks, early upland species
Car fee: $12.00
Registrar: Marisa Wohl email marisaw@earthlink.net
Registration Period: March 11th - March 16th

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Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Nurture Nature Retreat and Wild Walk
Learn to live more deeply, more connected, and more in love with nature, including human nature. Through One Earth Conservation's Nuture Nature Program, which aims to inspire, motivate, educate and support people to take care of themselves, their organizations and the biotic community as a whole.
Registration is required: www.oneearthconservation.org
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee Information: Free

Every Sunday Weekly from 03/12/2017 to 05/28/2017
Birding for Beginners
Join us for an introductory nature walk where you will learn the essentials of birdwatching.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee Information: Free

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Spring Peepers Guided Walk
Join a Park Ranger for a guided walk on the East Pond Trail for signs of the coming spring season. If we're lucky, we'll be serenaded by the evening chorus of amorous spring peepers. Discover more about these tiny but fascinating tree frogs on a stroll to Big John's Pond.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee Information: Free

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 9/3/2016 - 6/24/2017: 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Sunday, March 19, 2017, 8:30am – 10:30am
Central Park Winter Walk
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet at Central Park West and 72nd Street. Some of the best sightings await hardy nature-lovers willing to venture out in winter. Several species of owls are found in Central Park in the colder months, along with "winter finches" such as pine siskins, redpolls, and crossbills. Observing the adaptations for cold-weather survival among blue jays, titmice, and other resident species is fascinating as well. Warm up after the walk with a hot chocolate by the fireplace at the Loeb Boathouse. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 9:30am – 11:30am
Massapequa Preserve
Leader: Ralph (516) 785-3375

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, March 19, 2017, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point at Great Kills Park
Maritime spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic typographical features which are formed and sculpted by water and wind action. Join naturalist Paul T. Lederer in a talk and walk where he will discuss the geology and human history of the site as well as the plants and animals that call this place home. Participants will meet at the Beach Center Parking Lot in Great Kills Park near the dirt road leading out to Crooke’s Point. To get to the Beach Center Parking Lot, follow Buffalo Street to just before it turns into the dirt permit road.
For more information or directions contact Paul Lederer at (718) 987-1576.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Hempstead Lake State Park

All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498
For directions to our bird-watching locations, click here

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Birding Bootcamp at Wave Hill House (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
New and experienced birders are invited to join expert birder, naturalist and educator Gabriel Willow to discover the many groups of birds that call NYC their home.

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Wild Bird Fund
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 9:00am - 11:00am
Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Early Spring 2017
Spring is almost here – time to get outside and see who’s around!
Please join WBF member and artist/naturalist Alan Messer for an early spring walk on Saturday March 18 (rain date March 19).
In Central Park, we’ll check the Reservoir for any lingering waterfowl, and as we walk to the Ramble for warblers, finches, sparrows, and thrushes, we’ll keep our “eyes out” for our woodpecker neighbors, hawks, and early migrating phoebes and warblers.
We’ll be meeting at the Wild Bird Fund (address below) at 9am SHARP.
The walk is $15; for members of WBF, it is $10.
(Interested in becoming a member? It’s only $10 a month! Click here for more info!)
RSVP required: events@wildbirdfund.org
...Read more

Saturday, March 11, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 10, 2017:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 10, 2017
* NYNY1703.10

- Birds Mentioned

TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE+
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD+

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

ROSS’S GOOSE
Eurasian Wigeon
KING EIDER
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Horned Grebe
EARED GREBE
Black Vulture
Northern Goshawk
SANDHILL CRANE
Piping Plover
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Red-headed Woodpecker
EVENING GROSBEAK

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

Compiler: Tom Burke
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, March 10, 2017
at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, SANDHILL CRANE, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, EARED GREBE, ROSS’S GULL, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER, GLAUCOUS GULL, and EVENING GROSBEAK.

Perhaps a familiar ring to this week’s tape as we await more variety promised by the upcoming spring, wherever it is.

Two Eastern Long Island rarities were still on territory this week, the TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE continuing to feed and roost near the blue house #1625 North Sea Drive in Southold through today, and the SANDHILL CRANE remaining around the north end of Wainscott Pond or visiting the fields along Wainscott Hollow Road at least through Wednesday.

On Staten Island the female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was reported again Monday in a mixed flock around Oakwood Beach, just north of Great Kills Park, where it had been seen back on the 2nd.

An EARED GREBE appeared on Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn and was enjoyed by many on Tuesday, this following the Oak Beach bird which was still being reported around the western end of Fire Island Inlet near the Sore Thumb to yesterday. This time of year correctly identifying an EARED GREBE becomes more of a challenge, with good numbers of HORNED GREBES now moving through, many in transitional plumage, looking more an EARED than their traditional winter plumage. Of the 51 HORNED GREBES counted off Playland Park in Rye Monday, several were looking rather dusky, so it is important to rely more now on structure than plumage – especially note EARED’s usually fluffy raised rear end, a good long distance mark.

For the still remaining waterfowl, a ROSS’S GOOSE was spotted again on Oregon Road in Cutchogue last Sunday, a drake EURASIAN WIGEON was still present Thursday at the Salt Marsh Nature Center section of Marine Park in Brooklyn, with another on Eastport Lake again last Saturday, the female BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was reported again Sunday off Oak Beach, and a female KING EIDER remained off Orient Point County Park to Wednesday.

Single GLAUCOUS and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were still around Bellport Bay last Sunday, and an ICELAND GULL was still visiting Prospect Park Lake Wednesday.

Separate immature NORTHERN GOSHAWKS were still being seen Thursday both in Prospect Park and at Massapequa Preserve.

Three BLACK VULTURES seen over Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn Sunday, plus a few others locally, indicate these as well as various other raptors are beginning to move back north.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS this week included one still in Central Park just west of East 68th Street and one at Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown Sunday.

A PIPING PLOVER was back at Oak Beach last Saturday, with a few others subsequently arriving, and interesting was a report from last Saturday of two EVENING GROSBEAKS flying west over Jones Beach West End.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke at 212-372-1483 on weekdays.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
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Monday, March 06, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, March 11, 2017 to Sunday, March 12, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, March 11, 2017
“A Woodcock at Greenwood Cemetery?”
Leaders: “The Timberdoodlers Crew”
Focus Peak time for American Woodcock; migrating and resident winter woodland birds
Meet: 8:00 am at the main Greenwood Cemetery entrance at 25th St and 5th Ave, at the Castle Arch. Nearest subway is the “R” train at 25th Street. Note: This walk is led by the BBC Birdathon team “Timberdoodlers” of Bobbi Manian, Dennis Hrehowsik and Kristin Costello.

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, March 12, 2017, 7:00am - 8:30am
Birding in Peace
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the many birds that call Green-Wood home. Copies of our new Bird Checklist will be available to all tour participants. Comfortable footwear is recommended.
The complete schedule of spring trips are here.

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 9/3/2016 - 6/24/2017: 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, March 11, 2017, 10am – 5pm
Winter Birds of Sandy Hook, NJ
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Sandy Hook, a spectacular barrier island at the northernmost point of the NJ coast, hosts a variety of species including Arctic-bound migrants and harbor seals that lie on the beach to warm up in the sun. Other possible sightings include loons, sea ducks, snow buntings, and horned larks. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $103 (72)
Click here to register

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 8:00am – 10:30am
Intro to Birding: Bird Walk in Central Park
Guide: Tod Winston
Meet at Central Park West and 72nd Street. Are you curious about "birding" but don’t have much (or any) experience? Come on a relaxed walk to some of Central Park’s hotspots to go over birding basics and see sparrows, finches, warblers, ducks, and more. Binoculars available. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 9:30am – 11:30am
Winter Birding Along the Hudson: Wave Hill
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. The Hudson River valley hosts an impressive diversity of bird species, even during the winter months. Come explore the beautiful gardens and woodlands of Wave Hill and observe the hardy birds that spend the winter in this urban oasis. Walks run rain or shine. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, March 11, 2017, 9:30am – 11:30am
Stehli Beach
Leader: Lindy, 628-1315

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, March 12, 2017, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Bloomingdale Park
Fifty years ago this area was sandy pine-oak woodlands littered with everything imaginable. A hike through the woodlands of Bloomingdale Park will reveal the effects of a half century of time and human intervention. Meet at the corner of McGuire Avenue and Ramona Avenue. For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Marine Nature Study Area

All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498
For directions to our bird-watching locations, click here

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Spring Birding at Wave Hill, Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Welcome migratory birds back to Wave Hill this spring! Explore the gardens and woodlands on a quest to spot some of our favorite feathered friends.
Free!

**********

Young Birders Club
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge / Black Dirt Region (Orange County)
Wallkill River NWR, Liberty Marsh
Sponsoring NYSYBC Partner: Bedford Audubon Society
Trip Leader: Tait Johansson
This trip will be led by Tait Johansson, a longtime friend of NYSYBC who has taken us on great trips to a number of places in the past. The Wallkill River Refuge was established in 1990 and encompasses 5100 acres. Most of the refuge is located in Sussex, New Jersey but the northern part, Liberty Marsh, is in Orange County, New York.

The 2.75 mile Liberty Loop links with the Appalachian Trail and circles wetlands and mudflats. The marsh attracts migrating shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors. The area is also known for its Black Dirt which is rich in organic matter. Grassland birds, shorebirds and geese feed from the furrows and ditches.

More than 225 brd species have been observed on the refuge throughout the years. It offers excellent viewing opportunities for birds and a variety of wildlife.

Be prepared -- trails may be muddy at this time of year.

Permission form due by 3/3/17. If you have not yet submitted a 2017 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.
...Read more

Sunday, March 05, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 3, 2017:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 3, 2017
* NYNY1703.03

- Birds mentioned
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE+
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

ROSS'S GOOSE
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
EARED GREBE
Osprey
Northern Goshawk
SANDHILL CRANE
American Woodcock
Razorbill
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Red-headed Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Tree Swallow
LAPLAND LONGSPUR

- Transcript

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays, during the day)
Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 (Long Island)

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, March 3rd 2017 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, SANDHILL CRANE, EARED GREBE, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, ROSS'S GOOSE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL and LAPLAND LONGSPUR.

New to the area this week were 2 YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS found on Staten Island. Back on Tuesday an adult male was found at Wolfe's Pond Park in a flock of foraging Brown-headed Cowbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds and then on Thursday a female type YELLOW-HEADED was spotted with a similar flock at Great Kills Park. Neither has been reported on subsequent days.

The TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was still in Southold today look for it in the area of blue house #1625 North Sea Drive. On the south fork check for the SANDHILL CRANE around the north end of Wainscott Pond or in fields along Wainscott Hollow Road. It was still there at least to Sunday.

The Oak Beach EARED GREBE was spotted last Sunday and Monday around the docks in the northwestern corner of the cove near the Sore Thumb. Among the many ducks there the female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was still in the inlet to Monday though the female KING EIDER went unreported. A female KING EIDER was photographed at Point Lookout last Monday and there were 2 female KINGS off Orient Point yesterday with one seen regularly there before that. Also at Point Lookout 8 HARLEQUIN DUCKS were reported Monday near the jetties and another was at Orient Point on Monday.

Of the unusual geese locally only a ROSS'S was reported this on a field off Oregon Road in Cutchogue last Sunday.

The adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was still off Ditch Plains in Montauk last Sunday and another was noted off Coney Island Creek Park Tuesday. A GLAUCOUS GULL was still around Bellport Bay to Wednesday and another was spotted off Montauk Point Saturday and a 3rd today at Great Kills Park on Staten Island. An ICELAND GULL was still in Brooklyn last Sunday and a RAZORBILL was spotted off Fort Tilden Tuesday.

Two reports of immature NORTHERN GOSHAWKS, both photographed, featured birds in Massapequa Preserve last Sunday and after and in Prospect Park on Tuesday near the feeders.

Local RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS included an immature still in Central Park just west of East 68th Street and one at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island. Up to 9 LAPLAND LONGSPURS were counted Saturday around parking field 2 at Jones Beach West End.

Among arrivals reported recently, besides the AMERICAN WOODCOCK now displaying throughout our area, have been OSPREY, EASTERN PHOEBE and TREE SWALLOW.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website BoingBoing:

Pipelines considered pointless: Big oil seems to be (finally) abandoning Canada's filthy tar sands
Cory Doctorow / 4:51 am Tue Feb 28, 2017

Canada's tar sands -- rebranded in this century as "oil sands" -- are the source of some of the world's filthiest and most expensive oil, which can only be extracted by burning tons of already-refined oil to boil tons of sand, producing a product that sells at a global discount because it is so adulterated.

As Bruce Sterling once quipped, oil economies tend to converge on a hole in the ground surrounded by guns, and when global oil prices spiked high enough to produce an Alberta tar sands bubble, that bubble consumed the Canadian political landscape, producing a string of far-right, climate-denying, spying, belligerent, racist, authoritarian governments that turned oil money into a wrecking ball for demolishing beloved Canadian institutions, slashing funding for everything from health care to the CBC (it also pushed up the Canadian dollar, tanking the exports-driven manufacturing sector, which, not incidentally, was largely unionized and relied upon a well-funded public education system to produce its skilled workforce).

The collapse of global oil prices cost the far-right its dominance over Canadian politics -- and also produced a trumpist far-right, xenophobic political movement that is making dangerous inroads as candidates for leader of the crippled Conservative Party vie to outdo one another in racist rhetoric. Canada's trumpists, like their southern counterparts in the USA, are betting on an oil price resurgence to carry them back into power, and oil prices are indeed creeping back up.

But those price increases may be too little, too late for the tar sands. Oil giants like Exxonmobil and Conocophillips have "de-booked" their tar sands holdings from their accounts, meaning that they are telling investors that they don't believe the oil trapped in the sands is an asset any longer -- that the prices will never rebound far enough to make it worthwhile to extract it.

This is hugely significant because the oil sector almost never writes off its holdings. During the depths of the oil price downturn, Exxon was so stubborn about insisting that all of its oil would be economical and should not be written down (which would lower the company's value and the price of its shares) that it was investigated by the US and New York governments for accounting fraud.

In other words: When Exxon writes off your oil, you can be damned sure that they have no plans to take it out of the ground, ever.

When the Canadian Conservative Party imploded and Justin Trudeau's Liberals took power, Trudeau promised to continue funding for major pipelines, including the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. It was only when the Obama administration shut down Keystone that it died, and Trump has revived it, with Trudeau's cooperation -- warm, cuddly Justin has announced that Canada will restart Keystone XL and then build another pipeline for good measure.

But as Big Oil abandons the tar sands, there's simply no case for building pipelines to bring the oil that will never be extracted from them to ports that will never ship it.

But the de-booking is even more interesting because of what it says about Canada’s oil sands. Exxon removed 3.3 billion barrels from its books, admitting that the oil is simply not profitable to produce with today’s prices. It’s a pretty damming admission: the oil will ultimately be left in the ground unless oil prices substantially rebound. The project was equivalent to 15 percent of the company’s entire proved reserve base.

Exxon’s announcement came shortly after ConocoPhillips also removed oil sands reserves from its books. Conoco de-booked 1.15 billion barrels of oil sands a day before Exxon, taking the oil company’s reserves to a 15-year low.

Have The Majors Given Up On Canada’s Oil Sands? [Nick Cunningham/Oil Price]
...Read more

Monday, February 27, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, March 4, 2017 to Sunday, March 5, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, March 5, 2017, 8am – 9am
Early Morning Bird Walk: Gulls Galore
Think all gulls are the same? Join the Prospect Park Alliance and take another look by exploring the Park’s nature trails and discover all the different species of gulls in the Park. Please note this tour leaves promptly at 8 am.
Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Jones Beach State Park, Nassau County
Leader: Joe Giunta
Focus: Migrating seabirds, dune open space species, ducks, shorebirds
Car fee: $25.00
Registrar: James and Amy Cooke email james@jamescooke.net CC amyecooke@verizon.net Home #: (516) 739-0647 (Before 8:30 PM)
Registration Period: Feb 25th - March 2nd

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, March 4, 2017 – Meet at 8am
Morton Wildlife Refuge
Eileen Schwinn, Leader
This walk is a great way to enjoy the last bit of winter weather!! We will meet at the Morton Wildlife Refuge parking lot at 8 am. Not only do the birds eat right out of your hand the minute you get out of your car, but there are frequently pockets of over-wintering birds along the way. The walk is approximately 2 miles. Dress warmly and appropriately. Bird seed will be provided.
Contact Eileen Schwinn, beachmed@optonline.net for more information, and at 516-662-7751 the day of the trip.

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 8:30am
Bob Laskowski Memorial Duck Walk
Leaders: Bob Grover (516-318-8536)
Meet at Brookwood Hall, Islip Town Park in East Islip on Irish Lane between Montauk Hwy and Union Blvd.
(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, March 5, 2017 - 8:00am
Members Only! Sneak Peak at Underhill Preserve
Join us today as we ramble about this hidden gem of a preserve. Underhill is not yet open to the public and access is strictly limited. Today, you will learn about our restoration efforts as we check out the late winter birdlife! There may be some treats in store with regards to rarities!
Please note that this trip is limited to HOBAS members only.
Registration is a Must, Group Size Limited to 15: 516-695-0763 or hobaudubon@gmail.com
Directions: Due to restricted access status, group will meet in front of the Starbucks in Jericho (Whole Foods shopping center) and we will car pool from there.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Central Park Winter Bird Walk 2
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Kathleen Mathews — redkatamat@gmail.com or (650)-823-1239 (changed)
Registration opens: Monday, February 20
Public transportation

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 9/3/2016 - 6/24/2017: 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 9am – 4pm
Winter Birds of Barnegat, NJ
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Explore Barnegat Inlet’s expansive beach to view the winter birds that gather where land, bay, and sea meet. Search for harlequin ducks, horned larks, Lapland longspurs, snow buntings, and snowy and short-eared owls. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $115 (80)
Click here to register

Sunday, March 5, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Weekly on Sunday, until Mar 12, 2017
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Baisley Park
Leader: Lisa Scheppke - 347-531-3019

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Alley Pond Park

All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498
For directions to our bird-watching locations, click here

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Birding: Winter Birds at Park Drive and Clove Road (in Clove Lakes Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Winter is a great time to spot bald eagles, peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks, snowy owls, and many more bird species.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, February 25, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 24, 2017:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 24, 2017
* NYNY1702.24

- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE+

Extralimital:
CLARK'S GREBE+
GREAT GRAY OWL+

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose
ROSS'S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Tundra Swan
Eurasian Wigeon
KING EIDER
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
EARED GREBE
SANDHILL CRANE
American Woodcock
DOVEKIE
Razorbill
BLACK GUILLEMOT
Bonaparte's Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
LITTLE GULL
Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull
Red-headed Woodpecker
Lapland Longspur
Orange-crowned Warbler

- Transcript

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays, during the day)
Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 (Long Island)

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, February 24th 2017 at 4pm. The highlights of today's tape are TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, SANDHILL CRANE, BLACK GUILLEMOT, DOVEKIE, EARED GREBE, PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, ROSS'S GOOSE, BARNACLE GOOSE, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER, LITTLE GULL, BLACK-HEADED GULL and more.

A good week but most birds were holdovers and an even better week for those able to travel north to see the CLARK'S GREBE in Oswego or the GREAT GRAY OWL in Massena.

On eastern Long Island the TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE continues in Southold seen near blue house #1625 North Sea Drive on Thursday when the Wainscott SANDHILL CRANE was still feeding around the north end of Wainscott Pond or in fields along Wainscott Hollow Road.

At Montauk the BLACK GUILLEMOT remained around the north end of Lake Montauk near the inlet at least to Wednesday usually in the vicinity of the docks off the parking lot at the end of Star Island Road by the Coast Guard Station on Star Island. At Ditch Plains a BONAPARTE'S GULL flock, even that a rare sight this winter, did attract the adult LITTLE and BLACK-HEADED GULLS that had been noted earlier in the area. The LITTLE only on Saturday and Sunday. The BLACK-HEADED at least to Wednesday. Also at Ditch Plains a DOVEKIE was spotted just offshore Monday morning but flew off quickly. A female KING EIDER mingling with a few Common Eider was still around Montauk Point Monday. A RED-NECKED GREBE was off Camp Hero Saturday and an ICELAND GULL continues around the west beach at the Montauk Harbor inlet.

Farther west at Fire Island Inlet an EARED GREBE was spotted Saturday and again Sunday in the cove near the Sore Thumb as viewed from the small fisherman's parking lot along Oak Beach Road. A female KING EIDER was viewable from that lot starting with Saturday and on Monday a female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was also picked out in the duck flocks gathered there continuing at least to Wednesday. The drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was still a little west of the Sands Point Preserve on Tuesday and 2 female KING EIDERS were present off Orient Point County Park Sunday.

Regarding the odd geese the PINK-FOOTED was still at Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream Wednesday, the BARNACLE was seen again Saturday on the private golf course off Long Island Avenue east of Wellwood Avenue and a ROSS'S GOOSE visited Marratooka Lake in Mattituck Sunday. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE spotted on the lake in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx Sunday was still there Monday. Another was seen again at Wainscott Pond Monday and one was in a huge Canada flock on the north side of Cook's Lane west of Scuttlehole Road in Watermill with one CACKLING and 2 SNOW GEESE last Saturday. Two TUNDRA SWAN were still on Lake Ronkonkoma today. Continuing EURASIAN WIGEON were at Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center Monday, on Eastport Lake north of Montauk Highway last Sunday and on Fresh Pond in Fort Salonga yesterday.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was spotted on the East River Saturday this off the end of East 51st Street and an ICELAND GULL was still visiting Prospect Park Lake as of Wednesday with others continuing in Brooklyn.

One or two RAZORBILLS have been noted around the jetty at Jones Beach West End recently and 3 LAPLAND LONGSPURS were near the Roosevelt Nature Center there yesterday.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were still in Central Park, Henderson Park and Caumsett State Park this week and a few ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS continue in the area. AMERICAN WOODCOCK are now displaying in decent numbers at suitable locations.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke weekdays at (212) 372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

The following is from a study by the University of St. Andrews:

Dolphin population will take 40 years to recover from Deepwater Horizon disaster

Monday 13 February 2017

Dolphins are struggling to survive in the Gulf of Mexico seven years after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, an international study involving researchers at the University of St Andrews has concluded.

In April 2010 a blowout on the drilling rig resulted in the release of 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over an 87-day period, killing thousands of marine mammals including bottlenose dolphins.

A new study coordinated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) documents the unprecedented mortality rate and long-term environmental impacts of the oil’s exposure and represents a synthesis of more than five years’ worth of data collection, analysis and interpretation.

Scientists from the St Andrews-based Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) played a key role in the study.

The study found that the dolphin population in the Barataria Bay area of the Gulf of Mexico will have reduced by 50% within the decade following the spill and that full population recovery will take 40 years. In addition, the scientists found that 25% of the current population are underweight and 17% are in a poor or grave condition.

Professor Ailsa Hall of the School of Biology at St Andrews and Director of SMRU was an expert advisor on the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). She said: “My assistance was required to provide advice in relation to how assessing the damage to the bottlenose dolphins and large whales that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico and that were exposed to the oil should be tackled.

“My research expertise as a marine mammal epidemiologist and toxicologist was sought to provide independent critical review of the proposed work. I was therefore able to provide analytical input into the scientific approach taken by the NOAA scientists, to overview their research plans and to assist in interpreting their findings.

“The challenges faced by the NOAA scientists in determining whether the oil had caused significant effects on the health and survival of the dolphins and whales in the Gulf of Mexico was immense.”

Dr Len Thomas of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University and Director of CREEM said: “CREEM worked as part of a large team to predict the long-term damage to marine mammal populations from the oil spill. Our first challenge was to integrate multiple sources of information from the relatively well-studied dolphin populations around the Mississippi delta to assess the current population health and predict how this might change in the future.

“The second challenge was how to deal with the many other dolphin populations, and other species in the Gulf, about which much less is known.

“CREEM specialises in the development and application of statistical methods for complex ecological datasets, and this certainly fit the bill.

“Despite all the uncertainties, it is clear that many populations of marine mammal were badly affected by the oil spill, and that these negative effects will persist for many years into the future.”

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Notes to news editors

Abstracts of the papers which contributed to the study can be found on the Endangered Species Research website along with the special issue in which the paper appears.

An extract if the NOAA study can be found on their Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program website.
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, February 25, 2017 to Sunday, February 26, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Coney Island Pier Sea watch
Leader: Peter Dorosh cell # 347-622-3559
Focus: Migrating and “staging” seabirds in a 3 hour count from the Pier (9 am-12 pm)
Meet: 8:20 am inside the Dunkin Donuts outside on the corner of the Surf Ave subway terminus
Note: dress as warmly as possible; Bad weather cancels; see the BBC Facebook/Prospect Sightings Blog for updates if there is a weather issue.

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Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, February 25, 2017, 10:00AM to 1:00PM
Late Winter Thaw Bird Walk
Meet for a slide program and walk along the trails with Don Riepe Learn about the management and ecology of refuge wildlife and look and hear for the very first signs of spring. For info and reservations 718-474-0896 or email don@littoralsociety.org. This is a partnership program with NYC Audubon.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 1:00PM to 2:30PM
Spring is in the Air
Join a National Park Ranger for an investigative tour of the East Pond Trail and look for signs of the approaching spring season.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, February 25, to Sunday, February 26, 2017
Montauk Weekend
Leader: Joe DiCostanzo
Registrar: Dale Dancis — ddancis@gmail.com or 212-724-3269
Ride: $90 – lodging not included

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 9/3/2016 - 6/24/2017: 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, February 25, 2017, 9am – 5pm
Winter Birds of the Barrier Islands
Guide: Tod Winston
Several bird species that nest in the far north spend the winter at Jones Beach, in a habitat similar to their summer homes. We’ll visit Point Lookout and Jones Beach in search of harlequin ducks, common eider, scoters, horned larks, and snow buntings. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $93 ($65)
Click here to register

Saturday, February 25, 2017, 10am – 1pm
Winter Thaw Bird Walk
Guide: Don Riepe with American Littoral Society and Gateway NRA
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for a hike around the ponds and gardens to look for very early signs of spring as well as late winter birds. For more information and to register, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com. No limit. Free

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Weekly on Sunday, until Mar 12, 2017
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
The Arden Heights Woods Park Preserve
Bounded by Arthur Kill Road, Woodrow Road and Arden Avenue the Arden Heights Woods Park Preserve is NYC’s largest forested freshwater wetlands. Participants are going to hike through this forested wetlands system and explore natural features such as Moore’s Brook and Owl Hollow. We will study the winter birds and botany and attempt some animal tracking. We will meet at the DEC entrance along Woodrow Road beside Berry Avenue.
For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at (718) 317-7666.

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point @ Great Kills Park
Maritime spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic typographical features which are formed and sculpted by water and wind action. Join naturalist Paul T. Lederer in a talk and walk where he will discuss the geology and human history of the site as well as the plants and animals that call this place home. Participants will meet at the Beach Center Parking Lot in Great Kills Park near the dirt road leading out to Crooke’s Point. To get to the Beach Center Parking Lot, follow Buffalo Street to just before it turns into the dirt permit road.
For more information or directions contact Paul Lederer at (718) 987-1576.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Mill Pond Park

All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498
For directions to our bird-watching locations, click here

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Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Birding: Owls at Alley Pond Park Adventure Center (in Alley Pond Park), Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Urban Park Rangers will take you out and guide you on your quest to spot winter owls. Registration Required.
Free!
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Friday, February 17, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 17, 2017:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 17, 2017
* NYNY1702.17

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
THICK-BILLED MURRE+

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greater White-Fronted Goose
ROSS’S GOOSE
Tundra Swan
Eurasian Wigeon
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Common Goldeneye
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
American Bittern
Rough-legged Hawk
SANDHILL CRANE
Wilson’s Snipe
Razorbill
BLACK GUILLEMOT
Bonaparte’s Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
LITTLE GULL
Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull
Red-headed Woodpecker
TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH
Baltimore Oriole

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

Compiler: Tom Burke
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, February 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are BLACK GUILLEMOT, THICK-BILLED MURRE, TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, SANDHILL CRANE, PINK-FOOTED and ROSS’S GEESE, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER and HARLEQUIN DUCK, LITTLE and BLACK-HEADED GULLS, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and more.

Last Sunday morning an immature BLACK GUILLEMOT was found just inside the Montauk harbor inlet and it was still there today, diving actively near the Coast Guard Station on Star Island.

Also in the Montauk area an adult winter LITTLE GULL was spotted moving by the Point Tuesday morning with a few BONAPARTE’S GULLS and was off Camp Hero today. A female KING EIDER was still off the restaurant both Saturday and Tuesday mornings, some RAZORBILLS continue off the Point and an ICELAND GULL remains around the Montauk harbor inlet. On Thursday and Friday a BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen with BONAPARTE’S at the south end of Lake Montauk.

Another nice alcid was a THICK-BILLED MURRE seen briefly Saturday before it dove and disappeared off Rocky Point Marsh in Queens. This area is directly across Rockaway Inlet from Plumb Beach, Brooklyn, west of the Marine Parkway Bridge.

The north fork TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE was still visiting the cedars along North Sea Drive in Southold at least to Wednesday – look especially in the vicinity of the blue house #1625 North Sea Drive.

On the south fork the SANDHILL CRANE was again feeding in the fields along Wainscott Hollow Road last Sunday. If not there, check around Wainscott Pond off Wainscott Main Street.

Two TUNDRA SWANS were still on Lake Ronkonkoma Wednesday.

The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE in Valley Stream was still at Hendrickson Park today, and a 2nd revisited Elda Lake in North Babylon last Saturday.

A ROSS’S GOOSE was reported today from Narrow River Road in Orient.

Two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were on the private golf course east of Wellwood Avenue near the often productive cemeteries in the Farmingdale area, these west of Belmont Lake State Park, a presumed overnight roosting area for most of these geese. Another WHITE-FRONTED was back on Playland Lake in Rye Wednesday to today, usually flying out early in the morning.

A drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continues with COMMON GOLDENEYES around Prospect Point just a little northwest of the Sands Point Preserve. Usually you would need to walk out along the beach to view the GOLDENEYES.

Drake EURASIAN WIGEON were seen this week at Brooklyn’s Salt Marsh Nature Center section of Marine Park, at Mill Creek on Staten Island, and on Fresh Pond in Fort Salonga.

Birds at Shinnecock Tuesday included 3 HARLEQUIN DUCKS, AMERICAN BITTERN, and ICELAND GULL.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL was noted again at Cammanns Pond off Merrick Road last Saturday, and another appeared off Orient Point, seen from the New London Ferry Wednesday.

Single GLAUCOUS GULLS were noted in Bellport Saturday and on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan Thursday. A few ICELAND GULLS continue along the Brooklyn shoreline, with one also still visiting Prospect Park Lake to Thursday.

A RAZORBILL was seen off Coney Island Beach and Breezy Point last Sunday, with another off Staten Island the day before.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was spotted at Gilgo Saturday, a WILSON’S SNIPE at Swan Lake in East Patchogue Wednesday.

This week lingering RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were noted in Central Park just west of East 68th Street, at Hendrickson Park and Caumsett State Park and at the Makamah Preserve in Fort Salonga, and another was found in Dix Hills Wednesday.

Certainly unexpected among the landbirds were a BALTIMORE ORIOLE in Brooklyn Monday and, especially, a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH at Southards Pond Park in Babylon last Saturday.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke at 212-372-1483 on weekdays.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
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