Monday, March 30, 2015

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, April 4, 2015 to Sunday, April 5, 2015:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Prospect Park Spring Series
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Note: this is a new Saturday series walk till middle May (EXCEPT May 9th Birdathon). See the dates at the beginning of the trips page, above.
Meet: 7:15 am "The Pergola" entrance, Ocean Ave and Parkside Ave corner. Nearest train "Q" line to Parkside Ave, across the street or "Prospect Park" stop on the "Q" line as well-requires a 5 block walk south on Ocean Avenue from Lincoln Road exit. ("B" Express train does not run on weekends.)

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, April 4, 2014
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Guides: NYC Audubon, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
North Mount Loretto State Forest
Participants will observe a variety of ecosystems as we search for evidence of animal life, the geologic history and human influence of this diverse area on the south shore.
Meet in the parking lot for North Mount Loretto located at 6723 Amboy Road at the intersection of Cunningham Road and Amboy Road in Richmond Valley.
For more information call Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Alley Pond Park

All walks start at 9:30 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, April 4, 2015
Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Sunday, April 5, 2015
Early Morning Birdwalk: Changing Seasons, Changing Birds at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Join the Prospect Park Alliance to welcome the earliest migrants of the year, and also say goodbye to some of our winter residents. Please note this tour leaves promptly at 8 am.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, March 28, 2015

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 27, 2015:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 27, 2015
* NYNY1503.27


- Birds Mentioned

MEW GULL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
EURASIAN WIGEON
Redhead
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Great Egret
NORTHERN GOSHAWK
Rough-legged Hawk
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
Greater Yellowlegs
American Woodcock
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Eastern Phoebe
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Redpoll

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

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, Tony Lauro
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 27 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of todaya€(TM)s tape are MEW GULL, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS and spring arrivals.

Well things are happening, but slowly a€" signs of the March doldrums.

The elusive first-winter brachyrhynchus MEW GULL put in another Brooklyn appearance last Sunday, this time on the playing fields and parking lot next to the Kohla€(TM)s at Caesara€(TM)s Bay shopping plaza, where it was initially found back on January 21st. Apparently both luck and perseverance are required to see this bird. Also at this site are continuing sightings of a GLAUCOUS GULL to Monday and an ICELAND GULL to Tuesday. Another ICELAND GULL visited Gilgo on the Jones strip Monday. A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was also noted in Brooklyn recently.

Among the lingering waterfowl were four GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE spotted yesterday at Quail Hill Preserve off Town Lane in Amagansett and a nice count of 60 REDHEAD continuing at Baisley Pond Park in Queens Sunday.

Among the EURASIAN WIGEON reported were two still at West Sayville Golf Course Sunday, one found off Miller Place Saturday that was still in Mt. Sinai Harbor Wednesday, one at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx Thursday, one still at Orient Point County Park Tuesday, and one off Lemon Creek Pier on Staten Island today.

Other wintering birds featured the immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK at Jones Beach West End Saturday, where there were also 11 PIPING PLOVERS on the bar off the Coast Guard Station, and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at Floyd Bennett Field Sunday.

Some RED-NECKED GREBES still around included five in Jamaica Bay off Floyd Bennett Field Saturday and three on eastern Long Island at East Quogue on Monday. Numbers of HORNED GREBES now include some in nice plumage.

Also on the winter front, one or two COMMON REDPOLLS were present in Forest Park, Queens, to Wednesday, and another continued in Prospect Park through today.

Among the arriving species, good numbers of AMERICAN WOODCOCKS are now pouring through, a little behind schedule, but they should be putting on nice evening displays now at many open regional sites such as Floyd Bennett Field, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, along the Jones Beach strip and inland at sites such as Croton Point Park.

A run through Floyd Bennett Field and Plumb Beach in Brooklyn Thursday produced a number of the species now appearing or about to appear at many sites in our region, these including AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, EASTERN PHOEBE, TREE SWALLOW, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, PINE WARBLER, and EASTERN MEADOWLARK. Also seen was a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, while other sites have also added GREAT EGRET and SPARROWS such as CHIPPING, FIELD, and SWAMP.

A VESPER SPARROW from last week was still at Southards Pond in Babylon today, while a PURPLE MARTIN appeared off CONEY ISLAND last Sunday.

To phone in reports, on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734 4126, or 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

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday's Foto

The American Oystercatcher is a large, gregarious shorebird breeding on the Atlantic coast from northern Florida to New England. Locally breeding birds arrive relatively early in the migration and can now be found establishing their territories around coastal Brooklyn. The IUCN lists them as being of "Least Concern" as they have a very wide range with increasing populations in the United States. Each year for the last 4 years an individual with the leg band "C6" returns to Plum Beach in Brooklyn to breed. Check out a cool oystercatcher tracking program on Audubon North Carolina's website here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Champions of the Flyway

The Champions of the Flyway bird race is staged as part of the Eilat Bird Festival by The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (BirdLife’s national Partner in Israel) and is a BirdLife International Migratory Birds and Flyways Programme initiative.

My friends Doug Gochfeld and Glen Davis are members of The Cape May Bird Observatory American Dippers team and are raising money and awareness for bird conservation. If you'd like to learn more about their efforts or make a donation just click here.

Treehugger Tuesday

New Protected Ocean Reserve

The following is from the National Geographic website's news page:

World’s Largest Single Marine Reserve Created in Pacific

The area around the Pitcairn Islands is one of the most pristine places on Earth.

By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic
PUBLISHED MARCH 18, 2015

British Prime Minister David Cameron's government announced the creation of the world’s largest contiguous ocean reserve on Wednesday, setting aside 322,000 square miles (830,000 square kilometers) around the remote Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific for special protection.

The new reserve is nearly three and a half times bigger than the landmass of the United Kingdom—larger than the state of California—and is home to a stunning array of sharks, fish, corals, and other marine life, says Enric Sala, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who led a five-week Pristine Seas expedition to the island group in March 2012 that helped establish a scientific case for the reserve. (Explore Enric's posts from the field.)


Announced via the government's 2015 budget, the reserve represents a bid by the U.K. to thwart the illegal fishing that threatens the species in its territorial waters. No fishing or seafloor mining will be allowed in the reserve, except for traditional fishing around the island of Pitcairn by the local population, says Sala.

The reserve's creation is dependent on partnerships with non-governmental organizations and satellite monitoring resources, according to the budget. Those resources are already in place, says Sala.

Thirty percent of the U.K.’s waters around the world are now protected, the highest percentage of any country’s waters on Earth. Although the new reserve will become the largest single marine protected area anywhere, the network of reserves created around the Pacific remote islands by the U.S. in September is bigger in total, at nearly 490,000 square miles (1,270,000 square kilometers). (Learn about how large marine reserves are protected.)

“People know Pitcairn because of the Mutiny on the Bounty, but their real bounty is the rich marine life underwater,” says Sala.

About 60 people live on Pitcairn Island, most of them descendants of the Bounty mutineers from 1790 and their Tahitian companions. In September 2012, in response to the expedition, the Pitcairn Council voted unanimously to create a marine protected area in their entire economic zone, which extends 200 miles (322 kilometers) out from their four islands, three of which are uninhabited. Since the islands are administered by the U.K. as a territory, the new reserve required the support of the British government.

“Pitcairn’s waters contain some of the few pristine coral reefs left on the planet,” says Sala. “They also contain intact seamounts [submerged mountains] and deep-sea habitats that have not been touched by trawling and which harbor many species yet to be discovered by science.”

On the 2012 expedition, Sala and his team discovered several new species of fish by dropping cameras into deep water. A larger effort is likely to discover hundreds of new animals there, he says. (See photos from Sala's expedition showing life on Pitcairn today.)

“The Pitcairn Islands have some of the cleanest waters in the world,” Sala says. “And Ducie Atoll is as pristine as it gets,” he added, referring to the most remote of the islands.

Sala's dive team could see for 250 feet (75 meters) and spied many sharks and a vast garden of pale blue coral that looked like giant roses.

Pitcairn’s residents asked the U.K. government to create the reserve to thwart illegal fishing from foreign fleets, which have been encroaching on their territory. Around the neighboring islands of French Polynesia, many of the sharks have been fished out. By protecting its natural resources, Pitcairn islanders also hope to attract higher numbers of tourists. (Learn how drones fight illegal fishing.)

Sala calls Pitcairn “one of the best-kept secrets of the U.K.” To get there from Washington, D.C., takes five days on boats and airplanes. “That’s longer than it takes to get to the moon, but it was worth the trip,” he says.

Only about one percent of the world’s ocean is protected in reserves that ban fishing. “There is an urgent need," Sala says, "to protect such representative examples of ocean ecosystems.”
...Read more

Monday, March 23, 2015

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, March 28, 2015 to Sunday, March 29, 2015:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, March 28, 2015, 1 pm – 2:30 pm
Introduction to Birdwatching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Carnarsie Park and the Southeast Brooklyn coast
Leader: Bobbi Manian
Focus: early spring migrants, sparrows, coastal species, waterbirds, gulls, returning raptors
Car fee: $12.00
Registrar: Mike Yuan, email mjyuan@gmail.com
Registration Period: March 17th - March 26th

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, March 28, 2015 (rain date March 29)
Early Spring Birding in the Greenbelt, Staten Island
Leader: Howard Fischer
Registrar: Judy Rabi – jsrabi@verizon.net or 917-658-1832
Registration opens: Monday, March 16
Ride: $20

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Littoral Society
Saturday, March 28, 2015, 10:00am - 01:00pm
Early Spring Bird Walk!
Join the American Littoral Society at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for a hike around the ponds and gardens to look for egrets, ibis, osprey, and other early returning species.
Location : Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Contact : To RSVP: Call (718) 474-0896, or e-mail donriepe@gmail.com

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, March 28, 2014
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, March 28, 2015, 10am – 1pm
Early Spring Migrants at Jamaica Bay
Guides: Don Riepe With Gateway National Recreation Area
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Hike around the East and West Ponds and gardens to look for returning ibis, egrets, oystercatchers, phoebes, and other migrants. There will be a digital slide program before the hike.
To register, contact Don Riepe at 917-371-8577 or donriepe@gmail.com. Limited to 25. Free

Saturday, March 28, 2015, 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 US. There are a few places around NYC 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 to12. $90 (63)
Click here to register

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Alley Pond Environmental Center
Leader: Trudy Horowitz 718-224-8432

Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike.
Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated by ***, in which case, the walk will start at 6:30 am on BIG Day.
If in doubt, please call the trip leader.
Please note: all phone numbers are area code 516 unless otherwise indicated.
In most cases, the contacts are also leaders for the respective walks.
Go to our website at http://northshoreaudubon.org/for directions.
We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Alley Pond Park

All walks start at 9:30 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 28, 2015
Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Sunday, March 29, 2015
Birding Basics at BRC Senior Center (in Sara D. Roosevelt Park), Manhattan
11:00 a.m.
Let the Urban Park Rangers guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, March 21, 2015

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 20, 2015:

RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 20, 2015
* NYNY1503.20

- Birds Mentioned

MEW GULL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Eurasian Wigeon
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Red-necked Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Osprey
NORTHERN GOSHAWK
Rough-legged Hawk
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
American Woodcock
ICELAND GULL
GLAUCOUS GULL
SNOWY OWL
Eastern Phoebe
Tree Swallow
Orange-crowned Warbler
Pine Warbler
Vesper Sparrow
Lapland Longspur
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rusty Blackbird
Common Redpoll

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

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, Tony Lauro
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 20 at 6:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are MEW GULL, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, KING EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, SNOWY OWL, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS and some spring arrivals.

The combination of lingering winter birds and early seasonal migrants, plus the arrival of spring today accompanied by more snow, produced an interesting but not extremely productive birding week.

The most intriguing bird continues to be the Brooklyn first winter MEW GULL that has been recently seen a few times along the waterfront between the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the original site near the Caesar’s Bay shopping plaza, including being noted today in mid-afternoon between the ballfields and the pedestrian bridge over the Belt Parkway.

Among the waterfowl, five GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE seen on eastern Long Island last Sunday presumably were the birds wintering in that area and often present on Hook Pond in East Hampton; Sunday one was off Daniel’s Lane in Bridgehampton and four were along Beach Lane in Georgica.

At Orient Point County Park Sunday ducks included an immature male KING EIDER and four male HARLEQUIN DUCKS, this park still hosting a EURASIAN WIGEON as of Thursday. Another EURASIAN WIGEON was still in the Arthur Kill Sunday off the Tottenville train station on Staten Island.

CACKLING GOOSE is still being reported among various Canada flocks, and otherwise waterfowl are now generally heading north throughout our area.

Single SNOWY OWLS during the week were spotted at Jones Beach West End last Sunday and on Hicks Island off Napeague on Monday.

GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS were both still being seen along Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn during the week, with another GLAUCOUS again at Bush Terminal Piers Park on Thursday. Other GLAUCOUS GULLS include one at Breezy Point on Sunday and one at Mecox back on the 13th.

A few RED-NECKED GREBES and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS also continue in the region, with both, for instance, seen during the week at Floyd Bennett Field, where a LAPLAND LONGSPUR was also present Sunday and Monday.

The immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK was noted again today at Jones Beach West End, and 12 PIPING PLOVERS were on the island off the Coast Guard Station.

A surprising survivor through this quite difficult winter we’ve had is a female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK at the Bronx Botanical Garden as recently as Saturday, having first been discovered at the Bronx Zoo on the Bronx-Westchester Christmas Count on December 28th. Also continuing is an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Massapequa Preserve in the cattails north of the bridge at the Walker Street entrance.

A single COMMON REDPOLL continues in Prospect Park.

A VESPER SPARROW spotted at Southard’s Pond Park in Babylon on Wednesday was still present today.

Other migrants appearing in the region recently have included WOOD DUCK, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, GREAT BLUE HERON, OSPREY, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER and AMERICAN WOODCOCK; arriving passerines have featured EASTERN PHOEBES Tuesday in Central Park and Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, TREE SWALLOWS, a PINE WARBLER in Ridge Sunday and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.

To phone in reports, on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734 4126, or 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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday's Foto

As the cycle of cold weather winds down and spring migrants begin to arrive in NYC I have one last winter bird to spotlight. A member of the "winter finch" group of birds, the Common Redpoll is an uncommon sight around the five boroughs. This denizen of the far northern reaches of North America will periodically move south of their normal range when food supplies becomes scarce. These are referred to as irruption years. This winter saw a small number of redpolls around NYC and Long Island. One individual spent a few weeks feeding in a single birch tree in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring and Ear Birding

This Friday at 6:45PM marks the arrival of the Spring equinox in New York City. It is also time for my annual reminder to clear your ears and dust off your "Birding by Ear" bird-song identification guides. Longtime followers of this blog understand the importance of listening to the recordings to prepare for the inevitable waves of northbound birds. If identifying birds by their calls and songs frustrates you, then now is the best time to start studying. With the right tools it much easier than you think.

There are several sources available to help you learn how to identify birds by ear, but the best I've found is the Peterson Field Guides series of CDs. These discs are not just reference recordings, but well organized lessons that use groups of similar sounding species, repetition and mnemonics to help you quickly learn sounds. Here on the east coast of North America you should purchase "Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central" and "More Birding by Ear Eastern and Central North America". There are discs available for the west coast, as well.

Below is a list of the tracks on which I recommend you concentrate. Obviously, there are many more common species in our area which you could add as you feel needed.

The colorful wood-warblers are the most important songbirds to learn. Once you've purchased the discs, use iTunes (or similar software) to import the following tracks:

Name Album Disc # Track #
Sing-songers Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 4
Warbling Songsters Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 6
Wood Warblers & a Warbling Wren Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 1
Warblers: Buzzy More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 1
Warblers: Simple More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 2
Warblers: Two-Parted More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 3
Warblers: Complex More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 4
Empidonax Flycatchers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 4

Note that I included the empidonax flycatchers on the list as they are notoriously difficult to separate visually, but have very distinctive vocalizations.

The woodland thrushes are also incredible songsters, so I recommend the following tracks:

Name Album Disc # Track #
Thrushes Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 2
Thrushes More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 7


One family of bird vocalizations that I tend to neglect are the shorebirds. More often than not, during spring migration a group of calling shorebirds passing overhead are noted only as "flock of unidentified peeps". While their calls and songs may not be nearly as melodic as the wood-warblers, they are each unique and easily identifiable if you take a few minutes each day to study the recommended "Birding by Ear" tracks.

Name Album Disc # Track #
Shorebirds: Pairs More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 1
Shorebirds: Plovers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 2
Shorebirds: Whistlers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 3
Shorebirds: Peepers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 4
Shorebirds: Other More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 5

In case you were wondering, I don't make any money promoting the Peterson Field Guide series. I have just found that their systematic approach to learning bird-song to be the best available. Our local populations of birds, as well as, overwintering species have already begun to sing, so don't procrastinate. If you spend even just 20 minutes a day listening during your commute, by the time all the warblers begin streaming through NYC I guarantee you'll be able to find many birds ... even with your eyes closed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Treehugger Tuesday

Killing Waterfowl with Kindness

Most of the ponds and lakes in the city parks around Brooklyn have signs urging people not to feed the ducks. A recent article published in The Guardian outlines the numerous problems associated with feeding bread (and similar foods) to waterfowl.

Don't feed the ducks bread, say conservationists
Karl Mathiesen
Monday 16 March 2015 02.01 EDT

We feed six million loaves of bread a year to ducks in England and Wales causing damage to birds’ health and polluting waterways. Oats, corn and peas are safer for the birds

The seemingly innocent act of feeding ducks with bread is harming waterfowl and polluting waterways, conservationists warned on Monday as they urged people to use more benign alternatives.

A survey by the Canal and River Trust found nearly a quarter of English and Welsh people had together fed six million loaves of bread to ducks last year. Uneaten bread causes algal blooms, allows bacteria to breed and attracts rats and other vermin.

Apart from affecting water quality, the trust and other agencies said the duck feeders may be unwittingly damaging the health of the birds.

A spokesperson for the government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency said: “Large amounts of bread and other human foodstuffs can be harmful to wildfowl, leading to potentially fatal or disabling health conditions. Uneaten food can also cause changes to the chemical and bacteriological content of water, increasing the risk of avian disease.”

A spokeswoman for the RSPB said making large quantities of bread easily available stops ducks from eating a natural, balanced diet.

“White bread in particular has no real nutritional value, so while birds may find it tasty, the danger is that they will fill up on it instead of other foods that could be more beneficial to them,” she said.

“There’s also a risk that ducks and other water fowl could get an illness known as angel wing, which is caused by not getting the right nutrients in their diet. The illness causes a deformity in birds’ wings that can hamper the way they fly or even stop them altogether, which could obviously be fatal.”

Peter Birch, national environment manager for the Canal and River Trust, said the aim was not to discourage people from interacting with wildlife, but to do it in a way that recognised their particular needs.

“Please come and feed the ducks but do it sensibly so your children and future generations can enjoy it too. The charity is asking the public to make a few simple changes. Bread’s not great for a duck’s health as it’s nothing like their natural diet so don’t overfeed them with large quantities of it.
Advertisement

“Try to vary what you give them and swap it for healthier more natural treats like oats, corn, or defrosted frozen peas. And exercise portion control,” he said.

Birch also said that feeding regularly in particular places makes ducks habitually reliant on food from humans and leads to an accumulation of duck faeces in the water, on paths and bridges.

“Don’t follow the crowds, spread the love, and visit a new family of ducks to prevent large quantities of the starchy duck ‘junk food’ from clogging up the same places and potentially damaging the environment.”

Peter Rawson, a resident of Stalybridge in Manchester, said his local waterway had become plagued by Canada geese, despite there being few places for them to graze naturally.

“They are only in Stalybridge because there is a ready, and seemingly endless, supply of bread provided by some of the locals and the output from all this consumption can be seen all over the towpath,” he said.

Sfd (Safe for ducks)

- Cracked corn
- Wheat, barley or similar grains
- Oats
- Rice (cooked or uncooked)
- Birdseed (any type or mix)
- Grapes (cut in half)
- Frozen peas or corn (defrosted, no need to cook)
- Earthworms
- Mealworms
- Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes
- Chopped vegetable trimmings or peels
- Duck pellets

Nsfd (Not safe for ducks)

- Bread
- Chips
- Crackers and biscuits
- Popcorn
- Sugary food - sweets, chocolate
...Read more

Monday, March 16, 2015

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, March 21, 2015 to Sunday, March 22, 2015:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, March 21, 2015, 1 pm – 2:30 pm
Introduction to Birdwatching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Greenwood Cemetery
Leader: Ed Crowne
Focus: early spring migrants, exiting and straggling winter birds
Meet: 8:30 am at the Greenwood Cemetery east entrance, Prospect Park West Avenue and 20th Street. Nearest subway: F train to 15th St/Prospect Park, walk 3 blocks west on Prospect Park West

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, March 21, 2014
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, March 21, 2015, 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 US. There are a few places around NYC 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 to12. $90 (63)
Click here to register

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, March 21, 2015, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Forest Restoration Workshop at Hourglass Pond at High Rock
Meet in the parking lot at High Rock Park located at 200 Nevada Avenue. We will follow the trail along the Cemetery’s edge to Hourglass Pond cutting vines and pulling Multi-flora Rose along the way; at the Pond we will remove invasive shrubs and vines. If you don’t have your own, Protectors will supply gloves and pruners (& refreshments). After a two hour work session (our 223rd monthly workshop), we will take a short walk over nearby trails.
For more information call Don Recklies at 718-768-9036 or Chuck Perry at 718-667-1393.

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Buck’s Hollow and Heyerdahl Hill
Located in the Greenbelt, Heyerdahl Hill is nestled in an impressive stretch of woodland, holding ruins of a stone home built in the 1800s and plants and trees rarely seen in urban woodlands. Participants will meet at the stone wall on Meisner Avenue, located by the intersection of Rockland Avenue and Meisner Avenue (http://goo.gl/maps/YP1HI).
For more information call John Paul Learn at 718-619-5051 or e-mail at john.paul.learn@gmai.com.

Sunday, March 22, 2015, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. NOTE: NEW TIME
Semi-annual Spring Meeting, 40 Years and counting (1975–2015)
Join with Protectors of Pine Oak Woods as we celebrate four decades of successful environmental preservation. Visit with those responsible for the formation of Blue Heron Park, Wood Duck Pond, the Graniteville Quarry and more. Discussions will focus on the various strategies employed to preserve each unique property. Light refreshments will be served before a brief walk through Blue Heron Park.
The semi-annual meeting will be held at the Blue Heron Park Nature Center located at 222 Poillon Avenue.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Birding: Eagles at Payson Center (in Inwood Hill Park), Manhattan
9:00 a.m.
Witness the majesty of the American Bald Eagle as it soars over the Hudson River.

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Owl Prowl at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (in Pelham Bay Park), Bronx
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
We’ll scan for snowy owls, barred owls, saw whets, and long-eared owls.
Free!
...Read more

Friday, March 13, 2015

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending March 13, 2015:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 6, 2015
* NYNY1503.06

- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
MEW GULL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Eurasian Wigeon
KING EIDER
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Goshawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Wilson's Snipe
BLACK-HEADED GULL
ICELAND GULL
GLAUCOUS GULL
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Chipping Sparrow
Lapland Longspur
Common Redpoll

- 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 6th 2015 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are MEW GULL, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, BARNACLE GOOSE, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER and more.

What was presumably the same first year brachyrhynchus MEW GULL that had earlier frequented the Brooklyn waterfront near the Caesar's Bay shopping mall, now perhaps in more advanced or more worn plumage, was photographed Monday along the shore of Gravesend Bay about 1/4 mile south of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was still present north of Riverhead last Saturday spotted in its usual location with Canadas on the sod fields south of Sound Avenue between Doctor's Path on the west and Route 105 on the east this time closer to Doctor's Path. Careful searching is often necessary.

A BARNACLE GOOSE was found in Calverton Sunday off Manor Road west of Twomey Avenue and just north of Route 25 and hasn't been spotted there since.

Besides the female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE continuing on the pond at Moravian Cemetery north of Richmond Road on Staten Island a drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was spotted in Rockaway Inlet in Brooklyn on Tuesday and Wednesday the bird with Common Goldeneye several hundred yards off Manhattan Beach Park.

Out on Long Island's north fork 2 female KING EIDERS were identified last Sunday with 140 Common Eider off Orient Point County Park where a drake EURASIAN WIGEON was present Saturday and Sunday this conjectured to be one of two drakes previously present on nearby Plum Island.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was spotted Sunday off Fort Tilden the bird ultimately moving out to sea. On Wednesday single GLAUCOUS GULLS were reported near the Caeser's Bay Plaza in Brooklyn and in Napeague Harbor west of Montauk while the ICELAND GULL continues in Gravesend Bay often near the Caeser's Bay location.

The immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK was reported a few times this week at Jones Beach West End between Saturday and Wednesday cruising about the various groves.

A continuing freeze north of our area has driven a higher than usual number of RED-NECKED GREBES to our area. Present at numerous locations recent peak numbers have included 10 off Smith Point County Park in Shirley last Saturday and 16 flying by Robert Moses State Park Sunday with 6 also at Oak Beach that day. Other multiples include 4 off Fort Tilden and 3 at Point Lookout Saturday and 3 in Jamaica Bay off Floyd Bennett Field Tuesday [...] was one at Baisley Park in Queens recently.

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS continue especially around marshes and other open areas locally including 3 at Floyd Bennett Field, several along Ocean Parkway from Jones Beach West End to Captree and 5 counted Saturday at the Calverton Grasslands on the former Grumman airport.

COMMON REDPOLLS have been seen recently at the Ramble feeders in Central Park along with a wintering CHIPPING SPARROW and also in Prospect Park. Larger numbers of REDPOLLS along the south shore of Long Island last Saturday included about 45 at Jones Beach West End and 70 estimated at Robert Moses State Park.

Seemingly diminished numbers of LAPLAND LONGSPURS locally include two at Floyd Bennett Field Tuesday and one at Riis Park Sunday.

A WILSON'S SNIPE continues at Saltmarsh Nature Center at Marine Park Brooklyn and reports SHORT-EARED, LONG-EARED and NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS indicate they are still around.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or during the day 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

Friday's Foto

Call him a "Timberdoodle", "Mud Bat", "Bogsucker", "Labrador Twister" or "Mudsnipe", but an American Woodcock by any other name is still one of the oddest of North America's shorebirds. With eyes set so far back on their head they have better vision behind than in front. For a bird who spends most of its time probing for worms with a long, prehensile-tipped bill, this adaptation allows them to keep a sharp lookout for predators while they forage. An early spring migrant through NYC, look for this well camouflaged bird sitting motionless in the leaf litter or feeding under stands of conifers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Treehugger Tuesday

Bird Thought to be Extinct Rediscovered

The following new release was just sent out by the Wildlife Conservation Society:

WCS Re-Discovers "Extinct" Bird in Myanmar
posted on March 05, 2015 08:56

Babbler Rising: Bird thought to be Extinct Re-emerges in Neglected Area

Jerdon’s babbler is re-discovered near abandoned agricultural research station by WCS-led scientific team in Myanmar

- Last confirmed sighting took place in 1941
- Bird once common to Myanmar’s formerly vast grasslands
- Scientists from WCS, Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division - MOECAF, and National University of Singapore made discovery

NEW YORK (MARCH 5, 2015) – A scientific team from WCS, Myanmar’s Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division – MOECAF, and National University of Singapore (NUS) has rediscovered a bird previously thought to be extinct.

Jerdon’s babbler (Chrysomma altirostre) had not been seen in Myanmar since July 1941, where it was last found in grasslands near the town of Myitkyo, Bago Region near the Sittaung River.

The rediscovery was described in the recently published issue of Birding Asia, the magazine of the Oriental Bird Club.

The team found the bird on 30 May 2014 while surveying a site around an abandoned agricultural station that still contained some grassland habitat. After hearing the bird’s distinct call, the scientists played back a recording and were rewarded with the sighting of an adult Jerdon’s babbler. Over the next 48 hours, the team repeatedly found Jerdon’s babblers at several locations in the immediate vicinity and managed to obtain blood samples and high-quality photographs.

The small brown bird, about the size of a house sparrow, was initially described by British naturalist T. C. Jerdon in January 1862, who found it in grassy plains near Thayetmyo.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the species was common in the vast natural grassland that once covered the Ayeyarwady and Sittaung flood plains around Yangon. Since then, agriculture and communities have gradually replaced most of these grasslands as the area has developed.

Said Mr Colin Poole, Director of WCS’s Regional Conservation Hub in Singapore, “The degradation of these vast grasslands had led many to consider this subspecies of Jerdon’s Babbler extinct. This discovery not only proves that the species still exists in Myanmar but that the habitat can still be found as well. Future work is needed to identify remaining pockets of natural grassland and develop systems for local communities to conserve and benefit from them.”

The Jerdon’s Babbler in Myanmar is currently considered as one of three subspecies found in the Indus, Bhramaputra, and Ayeyarwady River basins in South Asia. All show subtle differences and may yet prove to be distinctive species.

Further analysis of DNA samples taken from the bird will be studied at the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science, to determine if Jerdon’s babbler in Myanmar should be considered a full species. If so, the species would be exclusive to Myanmar and be of very high conservation concern because of its fragmented and threatened habitat.

Explained Assistant Professor Frank Rheindt of the Department, who was a key member of the field team and leader of the genetic analysis, “Our sound recordings indicate that there may be pronounced bioacoustic differences between the Myanmar subspecies and those further west, and genetic data may well confirm the distinctness of the Myanmar population.”

This work was carried out as part of a larger study to understand the genetics of Myanmar bird species and determine the true level of bird diversity found in the country. Already Myanmar has more species of bird than any other country in mainland Southeast Asia and this number is likely to increase as our understanding of birds in this long isolated country continues to grow.

WCS’s work in Myanmar which led to this discovery was supported by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
...Read more

Monday, March 09, 2015

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, March 14, 2015 to Sunday, March 15, 2015:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, March 14, 2015, 10 am – 11 am
Family Bird Watching
Looking for a fun way to spend time with your family outdoors? Join the Prospect Park Alliance for its monthly family bird watching tours. After learning how to use binoculars, join our naturalists to identify some of the 250 species of birds that call Prospect Park home. Please note that this tour leaves promptly at 10 am.

Saturday, March 14, 2015, 1 pm – 2:30 pm
Introduction to Birdwatching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Massapequa Preserve Greenbelt Trail by LIRR
Leader: Peter Dorosh (347-622-3559 text only)
Focus: a long casual flat hike on the preserve's Greenbelt trail
Train fee: To be determined at Brooklyn's Atlantic Ave Long Island Railroad station
Registrar: Peter Dorosh, Prosbird@aol.com (preferred) or 347-622-3559 text
Note: the registrar will communicate the train time of departure and instructions to participants. Meet downstairs at the ticket windows.
Registration Period: March 3rd - March 12th
Source: http://tinyurl.com/MassGBT

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, March 14, 2014
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, March 14, 2015, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve
Protectors’ initial project has been feeling the pressures development lately. The approved build-through of Englewood Avenue and the proposed build-through of the West Shore service road have shown that no property is truly protected. Come explore the trails of a combination of ecosystems, such as sand barrens, wetlands, and ponds, and a beautiful park to explore in any season. Meet at the parking lot for the park at 83 Nielsen Avenue (http://goo.gl/maps/N5bcq).
For more information call John Paul Learn at 718-619-5051 or e-mail at john.paul.learn@gmail.

Sunday, March 15, 2015, 10 a.m. to noon
William H. Pouch Camp (1975 – 2015)
When initial discussions to preserve Pouch Camp began, Protectors of Pine Oak Woods was there to share our successful experience shaping strategy for preservation. Protectors was well represented on the Committee to Save Pouch Camp, was the financial sponsor of the committee, published The Greenbelt in Peril: Save Pouch Camp and raised $12,000 for the direct support of the Trust for Public Land and the effort to purchase a conservation easement of the properties, thus ensuring preservation. Join with Dominick Durso to celebrate 40 years of Protectors of Pine Oak Woods, the preservation of Pouch Camp and the continuance of scouting programs. Participants will gather at 1465 Manor Road to explore the property and discuss the importance of scouting for our Staten Island community.
For more information call Dominick Durso at 917-478-7607.

Sunday, March 15, 2015, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Crooke’s Point
Maritime sand spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic typographical features formed and sculpted by water and wind action. Join naturalist Paul T. Lederer in a talk and walk where the geological and human history of the site will be discussed. He will also give an update on the maritime shrub-forest restoration and the Army Corps of Engineer dredging and sand removal operations. The entrance to Great Kills Park is located at the intersection of Buffalo Street and Hylan Boulevard. Participants will enter the park and gather in the Great Kills Park Beach Center Parking Lot near the beginning of the dirt permit road leading out to Crooke’s Point.
For more information call Paul T. Lederer at 718-987-1576.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, March 07, 2015

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, March 6, 2015:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 6, 2015
* NYNY1503.06

- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
MEW GULL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Eurasian Wigeon
KING EIDER
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Goshawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Wilson's Snipe
BLACK-HEADED GULL
ICELAND GULL
GLAUCOUS GULL
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Chipping Sparrow
Lapland Longspur
Common Redpoll

- 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 6th 2015 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are MEW GULL, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, BARNACLE GOOSE, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER and more.

What was presumably the same first year brachyrhynchus MEW GULL that had earlier frequented the Brooklyn waterfront near the Caesar's Bay shopping mall, now perhaps in more advanced or more worn plumage, was photographed Monday along the shore of Gravesend Bay about 1/4 mile south of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was still present north of Riverhead last Saturday spotted in its usual location with Canadas on the sod fields south of Sound Avenue between Doctor's Path on the west and Route 105 on the east this time closer to Doctor's Path. Careful searching is often necessary.

A BARNACLE GOOSE was found in Calverton Sunday off Manor Road west of Twomey Avenue and just north of Route 25 and hasn't been spotted there since.

Besides the female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE continuing on the pond at Moravian Cemetery north of Richmond Road on Staten Island a drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was spotted in Rockaway Inlet in Brooklyn on Tuesday and Wednesday the bird with Common Goldeneye several hundred yards off Manhattan Beach Park.

Out on Long Island's north fork 2 female KING EIDERS were identified last Sunday with 140 Common Eider off Orient Point County Park where a drake EURASIAN WIGEON was present Saturday and Sunday this conjectured to be one of two drakes previously present on nearby Plum Island.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was spotted Sunday off Fort Tilden the bird ultimately moving out to sea. On Wednesday single GLAUCOUS GULLS were reported near the Caeser's Bay Plaza in Brooklyn and in Napeague Harbor west of Montauk while the ICELAND GULL continues in Gravesend Bay often near the Caeser's Bay location.

The immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK was reported a few times this week at Jones Beach West End between Saturday and Wednesday cruising about the various groves.

A continuing freeze north of our area has driven a higher than usual number of RED-NECKED GREBES to our area. Present at numerous locations recent peak numbers have included 10 off Smith Point County Park in Shirley last Saturday and 16 flying by Robert Moses State Park Sunday with 6 also at Oak Beach that day. Other multiples include 4 off Fort Tilden and 3 at Point Lookout Saturday and 3 in Jamaica Bay off Floyd Bennett Field Tuesday [...] was one at Baisley Park in Queens recently.

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS continue especially around marshes and other open areas locally including 3 at Floyd Bennett Field, several along Ocean Parkway from Jones Beach West End to Captree and 5 counted Saturday at the Calverton Grasslands on the former Grumman airport.

COMMON REDPOLLS have been seen recently at the Ramble feeders in Central Park along with a wintering CHIPPING SPARROW and also in Prospect Park. Larger numbers of REDPOLLS along the south shore of Long Island last Saturday included about 45 at Jones Beach West End and 70 estimated at Robert Moses State Park.

Seemingly diminished numbers of LAPLAND LONGSPURS locally include two at Floyd Bennett Field Tuesday and one at Riis Park Sunday.

A WILSON'S SNIPE continues at Saltmarsh Nature Center at Marine Park Brooklyn and reports SHORT-EARED, LONG-EARED and NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS indicate they are still around.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or during the day 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

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope