Saturday, September 23, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 22, 2017:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sept. 22, 2017
* NYNY1709.22

- Birds Mentioned

FRANKLIN’S GULL+
SOOTY TERN+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Sora
Common Gallinule
AMERICAN AVOCET
American Golden-Plover
Whimbrel
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
Stilt Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
WILSON’S PHALAROPE
Parasitic Jaeger
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
Laughing Gull
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Common Tern
Royal Tern
Cory’s Shearwater
Northern Gannet
Red-headed Woodpecker
Philadelphia Vireo
Worm-eating Warbler
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Cape May Warbler
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
LARK SPARROW
DICKCISSEL

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

Compilers: Tom Burke and 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, September 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are reports of SOOTY TERN and FRANKLIN’S GULL, such shorebirds as AMERICAN AVOCET, HUDSONIAN GODWIT and WILSON’S PHALAROPE, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, GOLDEN-WINGED and CONNECTICUT WARBLERS, LARK and CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS, DICKCISSEL and more.

Although former Hurricane Jose has lingered offshore in the Atlantic Ocean, impacting our weather for several days, it has not produced much of interest as far as southern vagrants are concerned. With otherwise no unusual seabirds noted from Cape May to Cape Cod, quite unexpected was the report of an immature SOOTY TERN moving by Midland Beach on Staten Island Wednesday morning in a group of COMMON TERNS. A high count of 241 ROYAL TERNS was also noted there. More typical of Jose were coastal counts such as at Robert Moses State Park Wednesday that featured some CORY’S SHEARWATERS and 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS.

A good find on the north shore of Long Island was a FRANKLIN’S GULL described Wednesday at Cedar Beach in Miller Place east of Port Jefferson, sitting in with a large group of LAUGHING GULLS.

At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge an AMERICAN AVOCET continues to visit the East Pond through today, though it does disappear occasionally, perhaps just moving down below Dead Man’s Cove for a while, as it does spend most of its time at the north end. On Thursday an HUDSONIAN GODWIT hung out at the north end near Dead Man’s Cove, along with 6 STILT, 6 WHITE-RUMPED and single PECTORAL and WESTERN SANDPIPERS, plus 3 CASPIAN TERNS. Earlier in the week on the East Pond a WILSON’S PHALAROPE visited on Sunday, 29 STILT SANDPIPERS were counted Saturday, and on Monday and Tuesday a SORA was seen at the south end.

Out at Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes a sea watch last Sunday featured an immature BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, along with 15 CORY’S SHEARWATERS, 6 NORTHEN GANNETS, 3 PARASITIC JAEGERS, 2 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and 24 ROYAL and 19 BLACK TERNS. At Mecox Inlet the same day were 20 CORY’S SHEARWATERS and 7 BLACK TERNS.

Along the city coasts there were single AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS at Plumb Beach Tuesday and Coney Island Park Wednesday, Plumb Beach also adding a CASPIAN TERN Tuesday and Wednesday and 17 ROYAL TERNS Wednesday, while on Thursday Breezy Point produced 2 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS along with 2 CASPIAN TERNS and 3 ROYAL TERNS.

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS on Wednesday included 13 at Jones Beach West End and 12 at Robert Moses State Park, and 7 BLACK TERNS were counted at Jones Beach Field 6 Tuesday.

An ICELAND GULL was seen again at Smith Point County Park last Saturday, joined by a WHIMBREL and 13 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

Up to 9 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS have been counted recently at their roost along Santapogue Creek off Venetian Boulevard in West Babylon.

A COMMON GALLINULE was found recently at Mill Pond Park north of Route 27 in Bellmore.

Single adult and immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were spotted in Central Park last Sunday.

Wednesday produced a few reports of CONNECTICUT WARBLERS, including singles in Kissena Park and Calvert Vaux Park and 2 in Central Park, with 1 in Alley Pond Park today, while last Saturday male and female GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS were spotted in Alley Pond Park. Other WARBLERS continue to feature such species as MOURNING, WORM-EATING, CAPE MAY, and HOODED.

PHILADELPHIA VIREOS during the week were reported from Central Park and Prospect Park, Greenwood Cemetery, Owl’s Head Park, the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center and Fuch’s Pond Preserve in Northport.

A LARK SPARROW was spotted at Cedar Grove Beach on Staten Island Tuesday, CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were reported from Floyd Bennett Field Saturday and Montauk Point Sunday, and a DICKCISSEL flew by Robert Moses State Park Saturday, with singles at Jones Beach West End and Owl’s Head Park today.

To phone in reports, on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734 4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and leave a message.

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, September 19, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From BBC News online:

Tidal energy site in Orkney in hydrogen 'first'
13 September 2017


Scotrenewables' prototype tidal energy converter - the SR2000 - was involved in the first production of hydrogen
Image copyright Scotrenewables

A Scottish test and research centre has claimed a world "first" by generating hydrogen gas from tidal energy.

The European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) said it achieved the feat at its tidal energy test site in Orkney late last month.

It added that it demonstrated the potential for a clean replacement for polluting fuels.

Emec's investment in hydrogen production capability was backed by the Scottish government.

Funding of £3m was made available through Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The hydrogen gas was produced after prototype tidal energy converters - Scotrenewables' SR2000 and Tocardo's TFS and T2 turbine - fed power into an electrolyser situated next to Emec's onshore substation.

Supplied by ITM Power, the electrolyser used the electricity to split water (H2O) into its component parts - hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).


Tidal energy converters fed power into an electrolyser situated next to Emec's onshore substation
Image copyright Colin Keldie

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "The Scottish government is pleased to be supporting this innovative project, which will help to partially overcome grid constraints in the Orkney Islands by enabling the storage of excess tidal power generated and using that electricity to produce hydrogen.

"The project also adds to our growing understanding of the potential role of hydrogen in Scotland's future energy system - something we have committed to exploring in our draft Energy Strategy."

'Tremendous milestone'

Emec managing director Neil Kermode described the development as a "tremendous milestone".

He said: "The electrolyser was set up to pilot the production of hydrogen fuel from tidal energy - and now we've done just that.

"Whilst the initial driver behind buying an electrolyser was to provide a storage solution to circumvent local grid constraints, the purchase has sparked off other pioneering projects around Orkney looking to use hydrogen in various means.

"So we're now looking towards the development of a hydrogen economy in Orkney."

Surf'n'Turf project

There are plans to use Emec's electrolyser for a number of projects, including one led by Community Energy Scotland in partnership with Orkney Islands Council, Emec, Eday Renewable Energy and ITM Power.

The Surf'n'Turf project will involve the electrolyser producing hydrogen using electricity from Emec's test site as well as power from a 900kW wind turbine owned by the Eday community.

The hydrogen will then be transported to Kirkwall, where a fuel cell installed on the pier will convert the hydrogen back into electricity for use as auxiliary power for ferries when tied up overnight.

The project is also developing a training programme with a view to green hydrogen eventually being used as a fuel source on the inter-island ferries themselves.

Mr Kermode added: "One of the most promising uses of hydrogen is as a fuel for transport as it emits no carbon when it is consumed and, providing it's generated by clean renewable energy sources, it becomes a carbon neutral fuel source.

"Therefore, we could see green hydrogen, over time, replace polluting fuels in our cars, vans and ferries."
...Read more

Monday, September 18, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 23, 2017 to Sunday, September 24, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 12 pm – 1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect Park’s magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

**********

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Peak Migration at Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch
Meet up with the HawkWatch Team for Broad-winged Hawks, joined by increasing numbers of other migrant raptors such as Sharp-shinned Hawks, American Kestrels, Ospreys, and Bald Eagles.
Meet at the parking lot of the Arthur Butler Sanctuary at 9:45am.
Level of difficulty: Easy-moderate (the walk to the HawkWatch is uphill, but there are bleachers at the platform).
Cost: Free. Please register in advance with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Autumn’s Raptors and Songbirds at Jones Beach State Park
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Focus: Raptors peak, swallows, peak of migrating songbirds, early sparrows, shorebirds, and waterbirds
Car Fee: $22.00
Registrar: Chris Laskowski, email celaskowski@yahoo.com
Registration Period: Sept 16th – Sept 21st
Please review our general trip information and guidelines on this page.

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 7:15am
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15am
No registration necessary.

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sunday, September 24, 2017, 11:00am to 12:00pm
Salt Marsh Detective
What makes a salt marsh? Why are they important? Who lives there? Children and their families are invited to step into the shoes of a "Salt Marsh Detective" to investigate these questions.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 8:00am
Robert Moses Hawk Watch and Jones Beach WE
Leader(s): Bob Grover (516-318-8536) John Gluth (631-827-0120)
Meet at Robert Moses State Park parking field #5 northeast corner

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, September 24, 2017
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. By September, all our nesting birds’ offspring will be on their own. Returning warblers will be in their less flamboyant fall plumage. Large numbers of blackbirds, flycatchers, sparrows, vireos, and swallows will also be passing through. By October, waterfowl are returning, and we’ll look for raptors heading south. November will bring back our overwintering denizen from the north.

Grab a copy of our Bird Checklist before you begin. Comfortable footwear is recommended.
$10 for members of Green‑Wood and BHS/$15 for non-members.
Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, September 24, 2017, 9:00am
Hook Mountain Hawk Watch
Just over the Tappanzee, there is the possibility of seeing hawks at eye level at the lovely spot. There is a short, but strenuous hike up the mountain to the hawk watch. If the hawk watch is slow, we will search for migrants on the trails.
Registration: 631-885-1881

Directions: From the New York State Thruway, take exit 11 (Nyack). Proceed to Route 9W. Turn left onto 9W. Continue past the traffic light, past Christian Herald Road to the top of the hill. At about 1.8 miles from the turn onto 9W, look for the unpaved parking and pull off on the right. (Limited parking, rough surface.) Meet by the cars.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Hook Mountain Hawk Watch
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Barbara Saunders — bsaunders002@nyc.rr.com or 646-872-4029
Registration opens: Monday, September 11
Ride: $25

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 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
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 2–November 25, 8-9:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Guides: NYC Audubon 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

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 9am – 1pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Clove Lakes Park
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the Staten Island Ferry and journey to the "Forgotten Borough" to discover some of the beautiful forests and incredible birding spots at Clove Lakes Park. Look for ducks and seabirds in New York Harbor on our way across on the ferry ride and then catch a bus to the Park. Numerous warblers, vireos, tanagers, and other migratory songbirds can be seen here. We'll even see one of the largest and oldest trees in NYC! Limited to 15. Bus fare ($2.75 each way - please bring your MetroCard or exact change) not included in registration price. $43 (30)
Click here to register

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 12pm – 4pm
Kingsland Wildflowers Festival
Enjoy a fun family day at Kingsland Wildflowers. The festival will celebrate the second year of bird monitoring, research, and programming at the Kingsland Wildflowers green roof and community engagement space. Visitors will be able to explore four newly installed green roofs—planted with over 22,000 square feet of native grasses, wildflowers, and sedum attractive to birds, bats, and native pollinators—atop Broadway Stages performance arts studio. Activities include tours of the roof with wildlife and plant experts, family-friendly activities, partner organizations discussing exciting Greenpoint conservation projects, and live music. Food and refreshments will be served.
This is event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 4pm – 7pm
Jamaica Bay Sunset Ecology Cruise
With American Littoral Society and Gateway NRA
Meet at pier 4 in Sheepshead Bay to board the 100ft boat “Golden Sunshine”. Learn about the Bay and its history, management and ecology. See egrets, herons, ibis, terns, laughing gulls, osprey, peregrine falcons, and shorebirds. This narrated tour of the bay’s backwater marshes includes wine & cheese, fruit, drinks, and snacks. For information and reservations call Don Riepe at (718) 474-0896 or e-mail donriepe@gmail.com. $55 (children under 16 $25)

Sunday, September 24, 2017, 9:00am – 10:30am
Hidden Gems: Birding by Subway Series Kissena Park
Guide: Corey Finger
Meet at the Velodrome parking lot off of Booth Memorial Ave, across from Parsons Boulevard. Meet with other birders in Manhattan and travel by subway together, or strike out on your own to this hidden gem. Spend the morning looking for wood-warblers, sparrows, orioles and other migrant birds at this excellent destination for autumn birding. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 8am – 12pm
NYIT de Seversky Center
NOTE EARLY START TIME - 8am.
From Northern Blvd, turn south on WEST ROAD (Glen Head, NY), and follow signs to de Seversky Center/Mansion.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy. Leader - Elizabeth - 516-404-1984

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Massapequa Preserve
From Sunrise Highway, turn north onto Broadway, Massapequa. Travel under the Long Island Rail Road overpass, then make the first right onto Veterans Boulevard (headed east). Go past the Massapequa train station and into the parking lot at the east end of the station. The preserve is directly east of the parking lot.
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.
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.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
Join NYC Audubon on birding walks through Van Cortlandt Park to discover wildlife happenings in the park.
Free!

Ranger's Choice: Birding Road Trip at Salt Marsh Nature Center (in Marine Park), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
The Urban Park Rangers will offer this expedition to a variety of Brooklyn parks in search of early fall migrants. Registration is required. Registration opens on September 13.
Free!

Birding at 138th Place and 11th Avenue (in Powell's Cove Park), Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots. To enhance your experience, we encourage you to bring binoculars and field guides.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a bird-watching walk and learn about Prospect Park's magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!
Free!

Sunday, September 24, 2017
Birding: Fall Migrants at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
The early bird catches the worm! Join the Urban Park Rangers on this morning birding tour as we look for fall migrants.
Free!

Discovery Walks for Families: Beginning Birders - The North Woods at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Why do birds flock to Central Park every spring and fall? We’ll find out as we explore Central Park’s woodlands, and learn the basics of bird identification.
Free!
...Read more

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Green-Wood Cemetery Special Visitors

Forgive my late update. I've been busy with lots of things, including preparing for my two day "Birding Basics" class, which was held at the cemetery this weekend. Anyway, participants on last Sunday's walk were rewarded with lots of warblers heading south, as well as, two rare sparrows.

During the past couple of weekend walks the dominant small songbird in Green-Wood has been the American Redstart. Sunday was no different. I don't recall a fall migration in past years where this small warbler was so abundant. Perhaps they all had a very successful breeding season. Their loud "chip" call was heard the moment we walked into the cemetery. Several were hawking for insects from the trees next to the Valley Water. With few exceptions, they were in their more subdued non-breeding plumage.

One pleasant surprise was hearing the distinctive "pink" call of Bobolink, then seeing a flock of them dropping down and perching near the top of the trees adjacent to the Sylvan Water. A few yards away from them, at the peak of a pine tree, a Baltimore Oriole glowed in the early sunlight. One of the Bobolinks decided to fly over and check him out. Mike Yuan suggested it was merely stopping by to say hello to his Icterid cousin. It was only my second sighting ever of Bobolink in Green-Wood Cemetery ... the first being the day before.

We wound our way up the ridge from the Sylvan Water, up to Samuel B. Morse and then down to the smaller bodies of water, the Crescent and Dell Waters. Around the edges of the Dell we watched many more American Redstarts and Magnolia Warblers, but also added Northern Parula, Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler. Corey, who is relatively new to birding, was hoping for his first Cape May Warbler. The birds (and birding Gods) were very obliging Sunday and handed us not one, not two, but three feeding together in a conifer next to the Crescent Water. One individual was in such dull plumage that, if it were not for the yellow rump, I could have mistaken it for a fall Pine Warbler. By the end of the walk we had 15 species of warbler under our belts.

The day before a rare Lark Sparrow had been reported near the Sylvan Water. Having searched unsuccessfully for it early on in our walk, we decided to go back and try again. We ran into other birders doing the same. About 15 minutes into our second attempt, I got word from a couple of friends up the ridge that they had seen it in a tree above Sylvan Avenue. We dragged our weary butts back up the hill, but it was no longer there. Harumph. Birders began to spread out along the steep ridge above the cemetery's largest pond. Some folks stayed on the road, some walked along Cliff Path. Myself and one other person decided to check the open lawn above Landscape Avenue. Within a minute or two someone relocated it foraging on Cliff Path. Texts were sent out, Tweets were chirped and phone calls were made. Birders were on their way.

As if it wasn't exciting enough to see this striking sparrow of open country west of the Mississippi River, it appeared that he had a buddy of equal local interest. If the Lark Sparrow is a boldly marked, robust, unmistakable species, this other visitor could possibly be described as the complete opposite. The Clay-colored Sparrow is tiny, slight and delicate with a color palate of subtle buff, tan and gray. Unlike the similar (and common in NYC) Chipping Sparrow, this lovely bird has only a partial eyeline giving its face a softer look than the chipping. The Clay-colored Sparrow is common in the northern prairie and Great Plains. As we were leaving three cars of birders had just arrived. A few of my friends we rushing in as we headed towards the entrance and stopped to ask more specific directions.

At least one person on my walk was very new to birding and this was her very first experience with the electricity and excitement of a rare bird sighting. If she wasn't already, I suspect that after Sunday's experience, the birding bug has zeroed in on her and sunk its teeth in.

**********

Location: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Date: Sunday, September 10, 2017
Species: 66 species

Canada Goose (28.)
Green Heron (1.)
Osprey (1.)
Cooper's Hawk (1.)
Red-tailed Hawk (2.)
Ring-billed Gull (1.)
Herring Gull (2.)
Rock Pigeon (3.)
Mourning Dove (4.)
Common Nighthawk (1. Flying/feeding around 9:30am.)
Chimney Swift (5.)
Belted Kingfisher (1.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (1.)
Hairy Woodpecker (1.)
Northern Flicker (3.)
American Kestrel (1.)
Monk Parakeet (1.)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (9. Seemingly all over.)
Great Crested Flycatcher (2.)
Red-eyed Vireo (4.)
Blue Jay (7.)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (1.)
Barn Swallow (2.)
Cliff Swallow (1. Over Dell Water.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (2.)
House Wren (1.)
Carolina Wren (2.)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2.)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1.)
Veery (5.)
Swainson's Thrush (3.)
Wood Thrush (1.)
American Robin  15
Gray Catbird (2.)
Northern Mockingbird (2.)
European Starling (35.)
Cedar Waxwing (10.)

Ovenbird (5.)
Northern Waterthrush (1.)
Black-and-white Warbler (11.)
Common Yellowthroat (2.)
American Redstart (45.)
Cape May Warbler (6.)
Northern Parula (2.)
Magnolia Warbler (5.)
Blackburnian Warbler (2.)
Yellow Warbler (1.)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (2.)
Prairie Warbler (3.)
Black-throated Green Warbler (4.)
Canada Warbler (1.)
Wilson's Warbler (1.)

Chipping Sparrow (7.)
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (1. Above Sylvan Water.)
LARK SPARROW (1. Above Sylvan Water.)
Song Sparrow (1.)
Scarlet Tanager (1.)
Northern Cardinal (8.)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2.)
Bobolink (7.)
Baltimore Oriole (1.)
Brown-headed Cowbird (3.)
Common Grackle (5.)
House Finch (1.)
American Goldfinch (2.)
House Sparrow (30.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 15, 2017

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sep. 15, 2017
* NYNY1709.15

- Birds mentioned
RUFF+
FRANKLIN'S GULL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

AMERICAN AVOCET
American Golden-Plover
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Whimbrel
Stilt Sandpiper
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER
White-rumped Sandpiper
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Royal Tern
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Philadelphia Vireo
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER
Tennessee Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
LARK SPARROW
Lincoln's Sparrow
SUMMER TANAGER
BLUE GROSBEAK
DICKCISSEL

- 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

Compilers: Tom Burke and 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, September 15th 2017 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are such shorebirds as AMERICAN AVOCET, RUFF, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, FRANKLIN'S GULL, WESTERN KINGBIRD, SUMMER TANAGER, DICKCISSEL, BLUE GROSBEAK, LARK SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER and much more.

A wonderful week for variety in our area including a nice array of shorebirds though their numbers continue to diminish. Very interesting was a shorebird photographed Sunday at the Raunt at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's East Pond. The observer suggesting the bird was a female RUFF or Reeve and long distance photos taken from across the pond did not fully confirm but certainly did support the identification but unfortunately the bird could not subsequently be relocated. The East Pond did provide an AMERICAN AVOCET last Saturday and Sunday along with up to 17 STILTS, a few WESTERN and some WHITE-RUMPED and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS as well as up to 3 CASPIAN TERNS Sunday. Another AMERICAN AVOCET was seen on the flats at Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes Saturday but a sod field shorebird not always seen in that habitat an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER were off Doctor's Path north of Riverhead Saturday and on Thursday 2 GOLDENS were on the Mecox Bay flats with 2 BLACK TERNS and 2 more GOLDENS were at Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton with 4 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS. A BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was at Miller Field on Staten Island Saturday through Thursday. This location also providing a very intriguing report of a FRANKLIN'S GULL flying by there Wednesday though details were sparse. A WHIMBREL Saturday at Turtle Pond at Pelham Bay Park increased to 3 on Sunday and another was at Breezy Point Thursday. Up to 4 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS continue at Santapogue Creek off Venetian Boulevard in West Babylon Saturday finding them there with 5 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS and over 70 GREATER YELLOWLEGS.

A CASPIAN TERN was at Jones Beach West End last Sunday with 2 at Gilgo Tuesday and 2 at Calvert Vaux Park also known as Drier-Offerman Park in Brooklyn Thursday. Among the regions ROYAL TERNS were 20 counted at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn Wednesday.

A highlight among the passerines was a WESTERN KINGBIRD spotted Saturday at Robert Moses State Park and presumably the same later in flight at Cedar Beach and then on Sunday and Monday at Jones Beach West End. Much more unexpected by location was the WESTERN KINGBIRD found today at Governors Island photographed on Grassy Hill north of Overlook Hill. Governors Island is reached by ferry from lower Manhattan. Unusual seasonally were SUMMER TANAGER reports from Jones Beach West End Saturday and Pelham Bay Sunday. LARK SPARROWS featured at 2 different locations at Robert Moses State Park Saturday and 1 at Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn Saturday to Monday and 1 in Central Park Sunday while single CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were noted at Green-wood Cemetery Sunday and Monday and at Calvert Vaux Park today. BLUE GROSBEAKS occurred at Robert Moses State Park Sunday and Monday with 2 Tuesday and in the Rockaways on Monday. Following a good incursion into the northeast this summer DICKCISSELS were at Robert Moses State Park Saturday and Monday, Coney Island Creek Sunday and at Jones Beach West End and lower Manhattan on Monday the latter among the many birds pulled into the 9/11 light tribute after dark.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS appeared at Moses Park Saturday, Alley Pond Park at Oakland Lake Sunday and at Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island Wednesday and of course there were the warblers. About 28 species including single GOLDEN-WINGEDS at Alley Pond Park Saturday and Sunday and at Kissena Park Saturday. Several reports of CONNECTICUT including from Central Park, Alley Pond Park and Green-wood Cemetery. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was noted at Jones Beach West End Saturday and even from Great Gull Island last weekend. While continuing to be seen in encouraging numbers have been CAPE MAY, TENNESSEE and BAY-BREASTED and some others, more unusual, also including a few HOODED, WILSON'S and MOURNING. Other recent passerines have featured OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER and various empidonax flycatchers, PHILADELPHIA VIREO and LINCOLN'S SPARROW and get out to a local hawkwatch for hopefully the Broad-winged peak once the weather breaks.

To phone in reports on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922.

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, September 12, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From Forbes online:

Where Do Birds Go In A Hurricane?
Sep 8, 2017 @ 08:50am
GrrlScientist, Contributor

When severe weather hits, humans flee or hunker down and hope for the best. But what about birds? Where do they go? And what happens to migratory birds?

As the southern United States faces a second record-breaking hurricane in less than two weeks, I’ve been asked many times: “What happens to birds in hurricanes? Where do they go?”

Basically, birds have a variety of strategies for dealing with large storms, such as hurricanes, including: leaving the area; flying ahead of, or into the storm; or sheltering in place.

Birds may leave in advance of an approaching storm

Research has shown that birds can hear infrasound (ref) and are sensitive to barometric pressure (ref and ref), so they know when a storm is on its way -- especially when the storm is as large and as powerful as a hurricane. When a large storm approaches, birds in its path may adjust their behaviors within the parameters of their own life histories and according to season. For example, white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis, are migratory songbirds, so if a large storm is approaching during their annual spring or autumnal migration period, they may migrate sooner than they might otherwise do (ref). Interestingly, research has found that sparrows speed up their autumnal migratory departure date in response to falling barometric pressures (but not temperature), whereas they delay their spring migratory departure in response to falling temperature (but not barometric pressure).

Birds may fly ahead of, into, or through, a storm

Some migratory birds may intentionally fly into a large storm. For example, a whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus, named Chinquapin, flew into Hurricane Irene’s dangerous northeast quadrant in 2011. This medium-sized shorebird was part of an ongoing research project and was carrying a satellite tracker, allowing scientists to watch this intrepid bird’s progress in real time as she migrated from Hudson Bay, Canada, to her wintering grounds in South America.
Andreas Trepte via a Creative Commons license

Chinquapin was lucky. Although this same bird successfully flew around the edge of Tropical Storm Colin in the previous year, a second satellite tagged bird flew into that storm and was killed.

But storms are not the worst of what whimbrels and other migratory birds encounter. Several other satellite tagged whimbrels, named Machi and Goshen, survived their flights through hurricanes in 2011. (Like Chinquapin, Goshen also tangled with Hurricane Irene, although she flew through the outer edge instead.) But both Machi and Goshen paused on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and tragically, both were shot dead within hours of their arrival. (This is a common fate for hurricane survivors landing on Guadeloupe.)

In the same year, another satellite tagged whimbrel, named Hope, flew into Tropical Storm Gert off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. Incredibly, she endured strong headwinds for 27 hours straight, and was able to fly at an average speed of only 7 miles per hour (11kph). In contrast, after she successfully emerged from the middle of that storm, she then was pushed by strong tailwinds at an average speed of 90 miles per hour (145kph) and safely returned to her staging grounds on Cape Cod -- after expending a huge amount of effort for no gain.
Jim McCulloch via a Creative Commons license

But migrating ahead of, or during, a hurricane is a strategy that is fraught with dangers and can have unexpected consequences, especially for small birds. For example, in 2005, a large flock of migrating chimney swifts, Chaetura pelagica, was swept up by Hurricane Wilma, and the lucky survivors relocated to Western Europe -- to the delight of bird watchers there.

Other small migratory bird species may become trapped inside a hurricane, as probably was the situation for those migrating chimney swifts. For example, radar images of Hurricane Matthew as it raged across Florida in 2016 showed it had a huge flock of birds trapped in its eye.

These birds were relocated by many hundreds or thousands of kilometers away from where they were, or wanted to be -- again, to the delight of local birders.

Birds may shelter in place and hang on for dear life

Many non-migratory birds seek shelter inside thick bushes or on the leeward side of trees. Trees and shrubs can dramatically reduce wind speeds and can keep birds dry even during a torrential downpour. And since birds adapted to sleeping whilst perched, their feet automatically close when they are relaxed, thereby making it easier for birds to hang on to something solid for dear life.

Birds may also find cover where ever it exists. For example, an injured Cooper’s hawk, Accipiter cooperii, now known as Harvey, took refuge in Willam Bruso’s taxi in Houston during Hurricane Harvey just a few days ago:

Harvey (the bird, not the hurricane) was given to the TWRC Wildlife Center the following day, where it was discovered that she had suffered a broken wing (and was probably in shock from the pain and from fear), thereby preventing the terrified bird from flying. Harvey is expected to make a full recovery.

In addition to taxis, other birds, such as woodpeckers and parrots, may seek shelter in their nest-holes or in other cavities. This works well unless the tree they are sheltering in is uprooted or snapped off at the cavity (typically a tree’s weakest point), or if these birds become trapped by floodwaters — just as people become trapped in their attics and drown.

Birds may die

Remember that flock of chimney swifts that I mentioned? Most of them met a horrible end: at least 727 of these tiny birds’ bodies were found later (ref) -- but how many thousands more died and were never found? Indeed, Hurricane Wilma’s effects on chimney swift numbers were so severe and widespread that, in the province of Québec, Canada, where these birds lived, chimney swifts became quite rare as the direct result of this one tragic event. In the following year, roost counts declined by an average of 62% and the total chimney swift population is estimated to have decreased by half.

Surprisingly, we don’t really have much robust data for how storms affect bird populations -- until they become vanishingly small. But researchers studying sooty terns, Onychoprion fuscatus, which are plentiful in the Atlantic, report a strong positive correlation between “wrecked” individuals found throughout the Caribbean and the number of tropical storms, particularly hurricanes (ref). These data are being used to build computer models that may help to more precisely predict storm-caused mortality for seabirds.

Hurricanes can have serious impacts on sedentary bird species, particularly those that live on islands or that have small populations. For example, already driven to the point of extinction by widespread habitat destruction and poaching for the pet trade, the few remaining Iguaca, or Puerto Rican parrots, Amazona vittata, were then faced with Hurricane Hugo in 1989. This storm pummelled the island of Puerto Rico, destroying much of the habitat in the Luquillo mountains, which is the last refuge for these critically endangered parrots. By the end of that year, it was determined than only 22 Puerto Rican parrots had survived (ref).

The critically endangered Cozumel thrasher, Toxostoma guttatum, was even more seriously impacted: we still are not sure whether this island species survived a double hit by Hurricanes Emily and Wilma in 2005.

Of course, if birds survive a hurricane, and somehow manage to find their way back home, they are then faced with profound habitat destruction that can persist for decades. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo decimated much of the remaining old-growth forest that is vital habitat for endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, Leuconotopicus borealis. According to the National Wildlife Federation, Hurricane Hugo damaged 4.5 million acres of state forest throughout South Carolina (ref), and reduced 477 colonies of red-cockaded woodpeckers to just 100 in the Francis Marion National Forest.

This same hurricane also devastated coastal and dune habitats that a variety of shorebirds and seabirds (at least some of which are endangered or critically endangered) depend upon for food or for nesting sites.

Throughout the millennia, birds have developed a variety of strategies for coping with large, severe storms like hurricanes. But thanks to people and to our bad behaviors, like habitat destruction, hunting, and poaching, birds have fewer and fewer places to flee for safety, and this makes the effects of hurricanes more extreme than they otherwise would be.

Sources:

Creagh W. Breuner, Rachel S. Sprague, Stephen H. Patterson, and H. Arthur Woods (2013). Environment, behavior and physiology: do birds use barometric pressure to predict storms? Journal of Experimental Biology 216:1982-1990 | doi:10.1242/jeb.081067

Jessica Metcalf, Kim L. Schmidt, Wayne Bezner Kerr, Christopher G. Guglielmo, and Scott A.MacDougall-Shackleton (2013). White-throated sparrows adjust behaviour in response to manipulations of barometric pressure and temperature, Animal Behaviour 86(6):1285-1290 | doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.09.033

Mark Dionne, Céline Maurice, Jean Gauthier, and François Shaffer (2008). Impact of Hurricane Wilma on Migrating Birds: The Case of the Chimney Swift, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120(4):784-792 | doi:10.1676/07-123.1

Steven R. Beissinger, Joseph M. Wunderle Jr., J. Michael Meyers, Bernt-Erik Sæther, and Steinar Engen (2008). Anatomy of a bottleneck: diagnosing factors limiting population growth in the Puerto Rican parrot, Ecological Monographs 78(2):185–203 | doi:10.1890/07-0018.1

Ryan M. Huang, Oron L. Bass Jr, and Stuart L. Pimm (2017). Sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) survival, oil spills, shrimp fisheries, and hurricanes, PeerJ | doi:10.7717/peerj.3287
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Monday, September 11, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 16, 2017 to Sunday, September 17, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 12 pm – 1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect Park’s magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

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Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Broad-winged Hawk Migration at the Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch
Join this year’s HawkWatch Team for the peak of Broadwing migration, which can result in seeing thousands of hawks in a single day! Meet at the parking lot of the Arthur Butler Sanctuary at 9:45am. Level of difficulty: Easy-moderate (the walk up to the HawkWatch is uphill, but there are bleachers at the platform).
Cost: Free. Please register in advance with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 16, 2017
A Hawk Watch Wildcard by Public Transportation
NOTE: Depending on winds, this trip may be either Saturday or Sunday; see below for full information.
Leader: Peter Dorosh Focus: Hawk migration sit (location based on the winds)
Bus fee: TBA
Registrar: Peter Dorosh, Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559 Registration Period: Sept 9th – Sept 14th
Reference http://www.hmana.org/ This trip is determined by the weekend wind direction.

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 7:15am
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15am
No registration necessary.

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Introduction to Birdwatching
Find out why Prospect Park is designated an Important Birding Area by the National Audubon Society. Binoculars provided (or bring your own).
NOTE: These walks start from the Audubon Center at the Boathouse, Prospect Park and are led by Brooklyn Bird Club member Michele Dreger. For the latest information check this link: https://www.prospectpark.org/visit-the-park/things-to-do/birdwatching/

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Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Mighty Monarchs
Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fees: free
Join a park ranger to learn about the incredible life cycle and migration of a monarch!
View Details

Sunday, September 17, 2017
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Time: 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fees: free
Every Sunday Weekly from 09/10/2017 to 09/17/2017
Learn all about the amazing osprey on this guided walk of the West Pond Trail.
View Details

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Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Lenoir Nature Preserve
8am - Walter Chadwick Memorial Nature Walk
Meet at the Nature Center. We will look for birds, butterflies, dragonflies and nature. We’ll end up at our hawk watch site at 10 in front of the mansion
10am - Broad-winged Hawk Migration
We will search the skies for Broad-wing Hawks that will be making their 4,300 mile migration to South America
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Alley Pond Park
Leader: Alan Drogin
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, September 4
Ride: $15

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 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
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 2–November 25, 8-9:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Guides: NYC Audubon 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

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 8:00am – 10:30am
Intro to Birding: Bird Walk in Central Park
Guide: Tod Winston
Meet at the entrance to Central Park 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 through Strawberry Fields and the Ramble to go over birding basics and see warblers, tanagers, sparrows, waterbirds, and more. Binoculars available. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 9:30am – 10:30am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 2, September 16, and October 14
Sundays, October 1 and October 29 9:30-10:30am

Guide: NYC Audubon with Queens Botanical Garden
Explore Queens Botanical Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources that the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Register for one date or the whole series of five free walks (walk-ins welcome!). Binoculars available. Limited to 25. Appropriate for all ages. To register, email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org. Free with Garden admission

Sunday, September 17, 8:00am – 10:30am
Fall Migrants of Woodlawn Cemetery, the Bronx
Guides: Tod Winston, Joseph McManus, Susan Olsen with Woodlawn Conservancy
Meet at the Jerome Avenue entrance of Woodlawn Cemetery. Join us for a morning bird walk and tour of beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery: Tod Winston and Joseph McManus will help look for fall migrants and year-round residents on the expansive, wooded cemetery grounds, while the Woodlawn Conservancy's Susan Olsen shares fascinating stories about Woodlawn’s history and the interesting mixture of individuals interred there. Bring water. Limited to 15. $35 (24)
Click here to register

Sunday, September 17, 2017, 9am – 1pm
Hook Mountain Hawk Watch
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Part of the Palisades Interstate Park system, Hook Mountain has commanding views of all nearby mountains ridges and the Hudson River. From this inland hawk watch spot we expect to see many species of migrating raptors, including broad-winged and red-shouldered hawks, bald eagles, accipiters, and falcons. Note: this trip requires a 35-minute hike up and down the mountainside. Bring binoculars, water, and and a bag lunch to enjoy atop the mountain watching the hawks fly overhead. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $99 (69)
Click here to register

Sunday, September 17, 2017, 9am – 10am
Evergreen Cemetery Bird Walk
Guides: Corey Finger with the Cemetery of the Evergreens
Meet inside the Cemetery Entrance at Bushwick Avenue and Conway Street. Explore the delights of this hidden gem by taking a tour of historic Evergreens Cemetery and its fall migrants. Moderately strenuous with many hills and stairs. No limit. Suggested donation.
Click here to register

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Alley Pond Park
See "Walk locations" for directions.
Alley Pond Parking lot on 76th Ave, east of Springfield Blvd, Queens, NY
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.
Leader - Lenore 718-343-1391

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, Sep 16, 2017
Alley Pond
Leader: Eric Miller 917-279-7530
Where: Aarya park Parking Lot 76th Ave Oakland Gardens, NY 11364 (map)
Description: Fall Migrants!

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Mill Pond Park
Use street parking on the westbound side of Merrick Road. The park is four blocks west of the Wantagh State Parkway.
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.
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.


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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
Join NYC Audubon on birding walks through Van Cortlandt Park to discover wildlife happenings in the park.
Free!

Bird Walks with New York City Audubon at Queens Botanical Garden, Queens
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Spot and identify creatures of flight and learn how Queens Botanical Garden provides important resources for birds— like water, shelter, and insects to eat.

Cabrini Woods Migration Walk at Cabrini Woods (in Fort Tryon Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Join an expert naturalist, to learn about birds that visit Fort Tryon, and why they stop here on their way back from breeding grounds.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a bird-watching walk and learn about Prospect Park's magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!
Free!

Raptor Fest at Stadium Ball Fields (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
This event is a great way for kids to learn about hawks, owls, falcons, and other birds of prey, get up close and personal with them, and watch them perform amazing aerial feats.
Free!
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Saturday, September 09, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 8, 2017:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sep. 8, 2017
* NYNY1709.08

- Birds mentioned
BRIDLED TERN+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

AMERICAN AVOCET
American Golden-Plover
Upland Sandpiper
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
Stilt Sandpiper
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER
White-rumped Sandpiper
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
WILSON'S PHALAROPE
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Royal Tern
Common Nighthawk
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Philadelphia Vireo
Worm-eating Warbler
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER
Tennessee Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
BLUE GROSBEAK
DICKCISSEL

- 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

Compilers: Tom Burke and 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, September 8th 2017 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are BRIDLED TERN, AMERICAN AVOCET, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, WESTERN KINGBIRD, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, BLUE GROSBEAK, DICKCISSEL, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and more.

A handsome and unexpected visitor to Great Gull Island, located northeast of Orient Point and Plum Island, was an adult BRIDLED TERN first spotted around the tern colony last Saturday afternoon and subsequently also noted on the island Sunday and Tuesday. It is possible that this may have been the same BRIDLED TERN that had visited Falkner Island off the eastern Connecticut coast to mid August.

The continuing excellent variety of shorebirds in our area got a nice boost this morning with the appearance of an AMERICAN AVOCET at the north end of the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge while the south end of the pond provided reports of AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and BAIRD'S SANDPIPER. The East Pond has also been producing decent numbers of STILT, WESTERN, WHITE-RUMPED and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS and earlier in the week a WILSON'S PHALAROPE visited the north end briefly Tuesday preceded by 2 HUDSONIAN GODWITS found at the south end last Saturday with one HUDSONIAN also present late Sunday and only early Monday at the north end. The larger shorebirds have been quite sparse this year at the north end presumably due to the high water condition and the often present adult Bald Eagle. Two to three CASPIAN TERNS have also been using the East Pond this week.

Three MARBLED GODWITS were still around Old Inlet in Bellport Bay last Saturday. This site on Fire Island west of Smith Point County Park. A nice concentration of birds at Old Inlet Saturday also featured an ICELAND GULL, 9 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and 150 ROYAL TERNS.

BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS out on the Riverhead sod fields last weekend included up to 4 off Doctor's Path, 1 to 3 off Hulse Landing Road to Monday and 2 west of Osborne Road Sunday while single BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS occurred at Doctor's Path and Hulse Landing Road Saturday and at Georgica Inlet in East Hampton Monday with a flyby at Robert Moses State Park today. An UPLAND SANDPIPER was also spotted off Hulse Landing Road Sunday. Two AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS were at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn Sunday joined by 3 BLACK TERNS and 2 CASPIAN TERNS visited Pike's Beach in West Hampton Dunes Saturday. Up to 3 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS have been reported recently along Santapogue Creek in West Babylon seen off Venetian Boulevard near Beachmont Avenue.

It was also a productive week for warblers and other sought after passerines. A GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER found last Friday in Alley Pond Park near Little Alley Pond was still there Monday and a second was located at Southard's Pond Park in Babylon Saturday. A CONNECTICUT WARBLER was found in Prospect Park Monday and noted up to Thursday and 2 reports from today mentioned one at Upland Farms Sanctuary in Cold Spring Harbor and a flyby at the Robert Moses Migratory Watch this morning. Over 2 dozen warbler species this week also featured WORM-EATING, TENNESSEE, MOURNING, HOODED, CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED and WILSON'S.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was reported near Moses Park field 2 Wednesday a day before finding the season's first CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at that same site. A BLUE GROSBEAK was at Coney Island Creek Monday joined by a DICKCISSEL and other DICKCISSELS were noted at the Moses Park Hawk Watch site Monday and at Jones Beach West End Tuesday.

Other notable landbird migrants this week featured OLIVE-SIDED and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS and PHILADELPHIA VIREO and evenings with decent winds have produced some nice flights of southbound COMMON NIGHTHAWKS with counts in excess of 100 both from Long Island and the Westchester coast.

To phone in reports on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922.

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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Friday, September 08, 2017

Friday's Foto

Of the somewhat drab flycatchers encountered around New York City during migration, the Eastern Wood-Pewee rescues confused birders by obligingly making a distinctive, slurred "pee-a-wee" song. This small flycatcher with gray-olive upperparts and pale gray underparts is noteworthy for their long wings and tails, short legs and peaked crown. Virtually indistinguishable from the Western Wood-Pewee (which was once thought to be the same species) it is best identified by range and vocalizations.

Typically seen foraging by sallying out from a dead branch, their diet consists primarily of flies, bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers and crickets. They will also eat smaller amounts of berries and seeds.

Breeding in nearly any type of wooded habitat, their range is the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.

They overwinter mostly in northern South America and possibly Central America, usually below 4,300 feet of elevation.

According to the IUCN Red List their conservation status is "Least Concern".

Its scientific name, Contopus virens, means pole foot and green.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Birding Basics at Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery is offering a two day course in birding basics for beginners. I will be the instructor. From their website:

Birding Basics
Saturday, September 16, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sunday, September 17, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Birding is one of this country’s fastest growing hobbies, and there is no place better to enjoy it in Brooklyn than at Green-Wood! This two-part course will teach the beginner birder the why, where, how, and what of birding. With over 250 species of birds residing in, or passing through, the Big Apple every year, learn where to look for, and how to identify, many of the species in this diverse group of animals. Our second session will end with a walk through the Cemetery, applying some of the lessons learned in the classroom.

$35 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $40 for non-members.
One ticket secures a spot for both sessions, Saturday September 16th and Sunday September 17th from 10am to 12pm.

Click here to register.

Treehugger Tuesday

From Smithsonian Magazine online:

Costa Rica Let a Juice Company Dump Their Orange Peels in the Forest—and It Helped
How a controversial experiment actually bore fruit
By Dan Nosowitz, Modern Farmer
smithsonian.com
August 30, 2017

In 1997, two ecologists from the University of Pennsylvania collaborated with Del Oro, a then-two-year-old fruit juice company based in Costa Rica. Del Oro owned some land bordering the Guanacaste Conservation Area, a national park in the northwestern corner of the country, and in exchange for signing that land over to the national park, the company would be allowed to dump certain agricultural waste in certain areas of the park. In 2013, 15 years after the dumping stopped, a group of Princeton University researchers went back to Guanacaste and found that the dumping area was not only surviving, but thriving.

Costa Rica is an extremely unusual country in lots of ways. It’s the only country in the Western Hemisphere without a standing army, and since the 1980s, it’s been a world leader in environmental preservation. This is partly an economic decision; Costa Rica is a startlingly beautiful and insanely biodiverse country, with only 0.03 percent of the world’s landmass but 6 percent of its biodiversity. Twenty-five percent of the country is federally protected, and they pour money into environmental causes, including the creation of tens of thousands of jobs supported by ecotourism and environmental protection. Costa Ricans are tremendously proud of their status as one of the world’s greenest and most ecologically-minded countries.

So the plan to dump agricultural waste in a national park might seem insane. But it was carefully thought-through: Del Oro, which does not use pesticides or insecticides, would only be permitted to certain waste—namely orange peels and orange pulp—in designated dumping zones marked as degraded, meaning the soil quality was poor and the forest couldn’t rebound like it used to. The national park gets more land, and Del Oro gets free, carefully monitored waste disposal that’s theoretically beneficial to the land. A win-win, right?

Shortly after the project began, a rival fruit company, TicoFrut—"tico" is a casual demonym for Costa Rica—sued Del Oro, claiming that the dumping, which initially created massive piles of rotting peels and flies, was both dangerous and unfair. (Prior to the deal, TicoFrut had been made to revamp its own waste-processing facility.) An elaborate press campaign turned the country against the peel-dumping experiment, and despite testimony from environmental groups like the Rainforest Alliance who asserted that the experiment was ecologically sound, Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ordered the project to be shut down.

Fifteen years later, the hubbub had died down. Nobody knew much about the small portions of the forest that had incited such outrage. So Princeton researchers set out to Guanacaste to check it out. What they found was that the initial projections had proved correct: the 12,000 metric tons of fruit waste had fertilized the land extraordinarily well. The researchers measured trees, canopy growth, and soil health in the dumping region compared with a nearby area in which no dumping had taken place, and found “richer soil, more tree biomass, greater tree-species richness and greater forest canopy closure” in the dumping area, according to a Princeton press release.

The experiment may have ended in controversy, but looking back, the results are encouraging: this was a net positive way to encourage larger protected areas, healthier forest, and even economic benefits for private corporations. With any luck, the results should be influential on policies around the world. Everybody wins! Except maybe TicoFrut.
...Read more

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 9, 2017 to Sunday, September 10, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, September 9, 2017, 12 pm – 1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect Park’s magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

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Bedford Audubon Society
September 10, 2017, 8:00am - 11:00am
Ramble Along the North County Trailway at New Croton Reservoir
Leader: Naturalist Tait Johansson
It’s September, and that means it’s Hudson River Valley Ramble time! Join us for a nature walk focused on birds, near the peak of fall migration. We’ll follow the Trailway south over the reservoir and through the woods and shrublands in search of migrants and year-round residents.
Meet at the parking lot at the intersection of the Trailway and Route 118 in the Town of Yorktown—this is just north of the bridge where it crosses the New Croton Reservoir. Level of difficulty: Easy.
Cost: Free.
Please register in advance with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Shorebirding from Plumb Beach to Jamaica Bay Refuge
Leader: Mike Yuan
Focus: Tail end of shorebird migration, ”grass pipers,” marsh birds, herons, early duck species, songbirds
Car fee: $12.00
Registrar: Janet Schumacher, janets33@optonline.net or 718-594-7480
Registration Period: Sept 2nd – Sept 7th

Saturday, September 9, 2017, 7:15am
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15am
No registration necessary.

Saturday, September 9, 2017, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Introduction to Birdwatching
Find out why Prospect Park is designated an Important Birding Area by the National Audubon Society. Binoculars provided (or bring your own).
NOTE: These walks start from the Audubon Center at the Boathouse, Prospect Park and are led by Brooklyn Bird Club member Michele Dreger. For the latest information check this link: https://www.prospectpark.org/visit-the-park/things-to-do/birdwatching/

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, September 9, 2017, meet at 8:30am
Smith Point County Park
Leader: Eileen Schwinn
The Fall raptor, songbird and shorebird migration should be well under way, as we meet at the far western end of the main parking lot at Smith Point County Park. We will walk to the Ranger Station for a view from the upper deck. We will then hike westward, toward the New Old Inlet area, then back to the Ranger Station. If there are any birds of note reported in the area of the boat ramp, we shall visit the marina area - just before the bridge – as well. Please dress for the weather and conditions. Binoculars are a must, and scopes are very helpful. This is an exciting time to be along the barrier beach, and hopefully, we will be there on favorable winds and mild weather!
For more details, contact Eileen Schwinn at beachmed@optonline.net or call 516-662-7751 the day of the trip.

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 8:00am
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Leader(s): John Gluth (631-827-0120), Bob Grover (516-318-8536)
Southern State Pkwy to Belt Pkwy to Exit 17, Cross Bay Blvd. South. Continue south for about 2 miles. Look for entrance of refuge on the right (west) side. There are signs for park entrance

Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 8:00am
Birding and Breakfast, Connetquot River SPP
Leader(s): Edith & Bob Wilson, Helga Merryman, Ken Thompson, Jack Carlson
Continental breakfast hosted by Friends of Connetquot.
Reservations required - call Connetquot River State Park Preserve at 581-1072 to register. Registration fee $4. plus $8 parking fee per car - unless you have yearly Empire pass.

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, September 10, 2017
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. By September, all our nesting birds’ offspring will be on their own. Returning warblers will be in their less flamboyant fall plumage. Large numbers of blackbirds, flycatchers, sparrows, vireos, and swallows will also be passing through. By October, waterfowl are returning, and we’ll look for raptors heading south. November will bring back our overwintering denizen from the north.

Grab a copy of our Bird Checklist before you begin. Comfortable footwear is recommended.
$10 for members of Green‑Wood and BHS/$15 for non-members.
Click here for our inclement weather policy.

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 8:00am
Blydenburgh Park
Blydenburgh County Park, in Smithtown, occupies 627 acres of richly forested hills and valleys at the headwaters of the Nissequogue River. It is one of the least developed and most picturesque spots on Long Island. Our walk will focus on migrating songbirds.
Registration: 585-880-0915
Directions: Take the Northern Parkway east and merge onto Route 347/454 E (Veterans’ Memorial Highway). Make a U-turn at Ledgewood Drive and enter the park.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Fort Tilden
Leader: Gordon Lam
Registrar: Lori Lam — glam@nyc.rr.com or 646-673-5418
Registration opens: Monday, August 28
Ride: $15

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 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
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 2–November 25, 8-9:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Guides: NYC Audubon 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

Saturday, September 9, 2017, 8am – 11am
Morning Fall Migration Walk in Prospect Park
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Join Gabriel Willow for a leisurely walk to get to know the fall migrants of 'Brooklyn's Backyard', beautiful Prospect Park. Prospect Park has a wide variety of habitats that attracts a number of both breeding and passage migrant bird species, with even more recorded than in Central Park. We will explore the park's meadows, forests, and waterways in search of migratory warblers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers, waterfowl, and more. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Sunday, September 10, 2017, 8am – 11am
Fall Warblers
Friday, September 8, 6:30-8:30pm (class)
Sunday, September 10, 8-11am (trip)
Instructor: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Identifying “confusing fall warblers” can be tricky, even for the experts. Come study some of the most puzzling species that stop through our area during fall migration with expert Joe Giunta, and then enjoy a second session in the “classroom” of Central Park. Limited to 12. $65 (45)
Click here to register

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NYC H2O
Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 11am
Ridgewood Reservoir Community Tour

NYC H2O is offering free tours of the Ridgewood Reservoir to community members and the public.

The Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a 50+ acre natural oasis that straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water, it became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950’s and was decommissioned in the 1980’s. Since then, nature took its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin.

Join us to explore this incredible natural resource in the heart of NYC. Please make a reservation.

We will meet in the parking lot at Vermont Place.

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, September 9, 2017, 6:00am – 6:00pm
The Little Big Day Bird Count
Designed to capture data on the south-bound, fall migration of birds crossing Staten Island, the Little Big Day Bird Count offers participants an opportunity to go afield with like-minded folk seeking to collect consistent field data, the backbone of citizen science. Participants are asked to identify birds and butterflies used to tabulate a snapshot of species seen on the second Saturday of September, the height of the south-bound bird migration here on Staten Island. Now in its 17th year, birders have identified more than 150 species of birds and nearly 40 species of butterflies through the years.
If you are interested and would like to learn more call Cliff Hagen at (718) 313-8591 or email him at chagen72@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 10, 2017, 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Discover Francis Woodlands
Walk 1.3 miles through towering trees and deep hollows. We will also stop at the overlook to take in the 14 mile panoramic view. This is a special place preserved forever. Meet at 12 noon at the end of Morse Avenue at Essex. Morse Avenue is 4 short blocks down Peru Street, which is a right turn off Ocean Avenue 1 block passed Manor Road going towards Richmond Road.
For more information, call Hillel Lofaso at 718-477-0545.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
From the Southern State Parkway, travel west to the Belt Parkway. Exit at Cross Bay Boulevard (Exit 17) south. Continue south on Cross Bay Blvd. through Howard Beach and over the North Channel Bridge (also known as the Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge). The entrance to the refuge parking lot is on the right side of the road, at a traffic light approximately one and a half miles past the bridge.
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.
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.


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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
Join NYC Audubon on birding walks through Van Cortlandt Park to discover wildlife happenings in the park.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a bird-watching walk and learn about Prospect Park's magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!
Free!

Sunday, September 10, 2017
Fall Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of bird species and their behaviors on these captivating walks.
...Read more

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