Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

This week's posting is literally about "hugging" trees, or at least appreciating them more. From the website Treehugger:

20 Random Reasons to Really Love Trees
April 29, 7:00 AM by Melissa Breyer in Natural Sciences

…here are just some of the many many reasons why it’s imperative to respect and celebrate the trees; the fact is, humans need trees much more than trees need humans! Consider the following:

1. Trees work hard to right our wrongs
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the trees around the world removed about one-third of fossil fuel emissions annually between 1990 to 2007.

2. They help keep our houses clean
A study from Lancaster University found that trees by the road reduced the presence of airborne particulate matter (pollution from cars) inside nearby homes by 50 percent.

3. They ease the workday
Office workers who can gaze upon trees from their windows report less stress and more satisfaction, according to a study from Chungbuk University, South Korea.

4. Trees feed us, they give us pie!
Trees provide food for people and wildlife beyond what we likely imagine. A single apple tree alone can produce up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year. Apples, pie, important!

5. They provide shelter and support
Three hundred million people across the globe live in forests and 1.6 billion depend on them for their livelihoods, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Forests also provide habitat for a mind-boggling array of plants and creatures, many of which we don't even know about.

6. They show us how to age gracefully
Seriously, talk about respecting your elders. The world’s oldest tree is an ancient bristlecone pine named Methuselah that lives at 10,000 feet above sea level in the Inyo National Forest, California. Methuselah is as old as Stonehenge and older than the Egyptian pyramids.

7. Trees keep cities cool
Trees lower urban temperatures by up to 10°F by shading and releasing water vapor into the air through their stress-soothing leaves.

8. They are giant humidifiers (kind of)
In a single day, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air.

9. They keep buildings comfortable
Of course shade trees produce shade; a lot. Strategically placed trees can cut down air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save up to 50 percent in energy required for heating.

10. Trees are social beings
"They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the 'Wood Wide Web' – and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots." That's not me being woo-woo, but a very poetic tree expert. Read more here: Trees are social beings

11. They devour carbon dioxide
Biology 101 tells us that trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air – but the amount is remarkable. In a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 equivalent to a car driven 26,000 miles.

12. Likewise, they give us breath
Four people can get a day’s worth of oxygen from one large tree.

13. And water
In the United States, watersheds protected by forests provide water to more than 180 million people.

14. Trees fight crime
A study by the University of Vermont and U.S. Forest Service found that in Baltimore alone, a 10 percent increase in tree canopy corresponded to a 12 percent drop in crime.

15. They fight grime
In outdoor spaces with trees, there is less graffiti, vandalism and littering in comparison to place without greenery, says a study from the University of Washington.

16. They give us something to look up to, literally
The tallest living tree is a towering 379.1-foot coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in California's Redwood National Park in 2006. Called Hyperion (above), it miraculously survives on a hillside, rather than the more-typical alluvial flat, with 96 percent of the surrounding area having been logged of its original coast redwood growth.

17. They pay us back
For each dollar spent on planting a tree in the city, they pay us back by up to five times in terms of cleaner air, lower energy costs, improved water quality and stormwater control and increased property values.

18. They're ersatz war heroes
Sure, we’ve long had a national anthem and bird – and we’ll always have apple pie and baseball – but what about a national tree? We got one in 2004, and it’s the oak. Oak trees have long been prized for their attributes as well as their place in U.S. history, from Abraham Lincoln’s use of the Salt River Ford Oak as a marker in crossing a river near Homer, Illinois, to Andrew Jackson taking shelter under Louisiana’s Sunnybrook Oaks on his way to the Battle of New Orleans, notes the Arbor Day Foundation. "In the annals of military history, 'Old Ironsides,' the USS Constitution, took its nickname from the strength of its live oak hull, famous for repelling British cannonballs." See how well trees take care of us?

19. They are unassuming in their vastness
There are more than 23,000 different kinds of trees in the world; altogether, there are three trillion trees on the planet. Yet they just humbly stand by, working hard and never making too much of a fuss.

20. Trees keep us young and rich
And when all else fails, there's this: They may keep us young and rich! Research found that people who live on streets with high tree density are less likely to report a number of health complaints; and specifically, trees improve health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 or being seven years younger. You can never be too rich or too thin, and you can never live among too many trees. End of story.
...Read more

Monday, May 02, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, May 7, 2016 to Sunday, May 8, 2016:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, May 7, 2016, 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Take a tour and learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by Brooklyn Bird Club.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Greenwood Cemetery
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Peak of spring migrants and songbirds
Meet: 8:00 am at east gate entrance, 20th Street/Prospect Park West Ave
(Nearest subway: F train Prospect Park /15th St station, walk 3 blocks west)
Location gate photo: http://tinyurl.com/EastGateGWC

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City Island Bird Walks
Saturday, May 7, 2016, 8:30AM
1st Spring Migration Walk
Hunter Island- Turtle Cove
All Walks are Free!

The migration should be in full swing next week and we need to get out there and find birds.
Let’s meet at Hunter Island. Park in the Orchard Beach Parking lot, close to the beach, near the left side as you enter. We’ll be looking for everything! I will check Turtle Cove a day earlier and if that area is particularly good, we may start there.

Basic Information:
Our walks are free, informal, friendly and fun. The walks usually last about 4 hours, depending on many variables, which include weather, birds, and fatigue. If you want to leave early, there are no hard feelings.

Please come prepared! Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have one. I will bring a spotting scope but feel free to bring your own if you have one.
Beginners especially welcome!
No dogs!

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, May 7, 2016, 9am
William Floyd Estate
Leader: MaryLaura Lamont (631) 399-2030
The William Floyd Estate offers a variety of habitats to walk through and offers an excellent chance to observe various species of birds, particularly neotropical migrants such as thrush, tanagers, grosbeaks , vireos and numerous warblers. Bald eagles as well as shorebirds may be seen. Three mile walk, bring tick repellent. The Estate entrance is located at 245 Park Drive, Mastic Beach. From the entrance, proceed to the parking area.

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday May 7, 2016, 7:00am
Central Park
Leaders: John Gluth (631-827-0120), Steve D’Amato (631-264-8413), Nick Laviola (631-678-7866)
Meet at 7 a.m. on Central Park West at 77th Street (opposite the Museum of Natural History). One of the best trips!

Sunday May 8, 2016
Connetquot River SPP, 8:00am Birding and Breakfast
Leaders: Bob & Edith Wilson, Ken Thompson Helga Merryman
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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Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Hillside Woods, Hastings-on-Hudson
Meet at 8am in the tennis court parking lot. http://hras.org/wtobird/hillside.html

Sunday, May 8, 2016
Mother’s Day Warbler Walk
Lenoir Nature Preserve 8am
19 Dudley St. Yonkers
Meet us for our 25th year of this Audubon tradition. Spring migrants will be searched for; followed by refreshments at the nature center. http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, May 8, 2016 - 8:00am
Central Park Warbler Madness Ramble
As we ramble around the Ramble and other hotspots at Central Park, we will explore one of the finest spots around the metropolitan area for warblers and other spring migrants.
Registration: 631-885-1881 or aveblue@gmail.com.
Directions: Meet at the Boathouse, easily accessed from the pedestrian entrance on Fifth Ave near 76th St. Walk downhill veering left past the Alice in Wonderland statues, by the right side of the sailboat pond toward the right, up the hill, cross the roadway and to the Boathouse.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Bashakill Marsh and Environs
Leader: John Haas
Registrar: Dale Dancis — ddancis@gmail.com 212-724-3269
Registration opens: Monday April 25
Ride: $45

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, May 7, 2016, 7am-3pm
Sterling Forest Warblers, Orange County, NY
Guides: Don Riepe, Tod Winston
Explore the woodland and pond habitat of the 20,000-acre Sterling Forest preserve during peak spring migration. Look for nesting warblers (including golden-winged, cerulean, hooded, prairie, and blue-winged) as well as spring wildflowers, reptiles, and amphibians. Visit the rustic visitor center. Trip involves 4-mile hike and some rocky terrain. Bring lunch, water, and binoculars. Transport by passenger van. Limited to 12. $115 (80)
Click here to register

Saturdays, May 7-July 30, 8-9:30am
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

Saturdays April 9, May 7, June 4, and Sundays April 24 and May 22, 9-10am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Guide: NYC Audubon with the Queens Botanical Garden
Register for one or the series of five free nature walks in partnership with the New York City Audubon Society! The tours will introduce visitors to the feathered friends of the Garden like warblers, blue jays and robins as well as our favorite, the red-tailed hawk! Spot these creatures of flight, and learn about how QBG offers valuable resources for birds and other wildlife in the region. Binoculars available. Limited to 25. Appropriate for all ages. Free with Garden admission. To register, email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar

Saturdays, April 30–May 28, 10-11am
Birding Basics For Families: The Ramble, Central Park
Guides: NYC Audubon, Conservancy Discovery Guides
Offered by the Central Park Conservancy
Meet at the Belvedere Castle (inside the Park, mid-Park just north of the 79th Street transverse). Experience Central Park’s precious bird habitat and migration hot spot with Conservancy Discovery Guides and NYC Audubon. Witness firsthand how the Conservancy’s work has made the Park a sanctuary for birds. Binoculars available. Free: pre-registration is recommended as space is limited. Ages 5+. Families only: maximum of three children per parent or guardian; no groups For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

Class: Friday, May 6, 6:30-8:30pm
Trip: Sunday, May 8, 8-11am

Spring Warblers (trip)
Instructor: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
First learn to identify the 30-plus species of warblers that migrate through our area each spring, using field marks and other techniques. Then go out in the field and reinforce what you’ve learned. Field trip to Central Park. Limited to 15. $72 (50)
Click here to register

Sundays April 10, May 8, and June 12, 9:30-11:30am
Spring Birding at Wave Hill, The Bronx
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of bird species and their behaviors on these captivating walks. Wave Hill’s garden setting overlooking the Hudson River flyway provides the perfect habitat for resident and migrating birds. Walks run rain or shine. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission. For more information, visit https://www.wavehill.org/events/spring-birding-10/

Sundays, May 1–May 29, 10-11am
Birding Basics for Families: North Woods, Central Park
Guides: NYC Audubon, Conservancy Discovery Guides
Offered by the Central Park Conservancy
Meet at the Dana Discovery Center (inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues). Experience Central Park’s precious bird habitat and migration hot spot with Conservancy Discovery Guides and NYC Audubon. Witness firsthand how the Conservancy’s work has made the Park a sanctuary for birds. Binoculars available. Limited to 20. Age 5 and up. Free: pre-registration is recommended as space is limited. Ages 5+. Families only: maximum of three children per parent or guardian; no groups. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-860-1370

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, May 7, 2016
BIG DAY
Meet: Alley Pond Park 76th Ave. **6:30 am start time meet in parking lot.
After lunch, you can choose to continue to Jamaica Bay.
QCBC Leader Ian Resnick 917-626-9562.

Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike.
Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30am unless indicated.
BIG DAY starts at 6:30am.
Please note: all phone numbers are area code 516 unless otherwise indicated. In most cases, the contacts are also leaders for the respective walks. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, May 7, 2016
BIG DAY
Leader: Ian Resnick 917-626-9562

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Nature Walk and Bird Watching at Ridgewood Reservoir's Vermont Place Entrance (in Highland Park), Queens
8:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Catch the warbler wave. Welcome warblers back to the park at this spring bird-watching workshop led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.
Free!

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? Take a tour and learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, April 30, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 29, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 29, 2016
* NYNY1604.29

- Birds mentioned
WILSON'S PLOVER+
RUFF+
SWAINSON'S WARBLER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Clapper Rail
Virginia Rail
Common Gallinule
Semipalmated Plover
Solitary Sandpiper
Willet (subspecies "Western Willet")
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Lesser Black-backed Gull
CASPIAN TERN
Red-headed Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Veery
Wood Thrush
Ovenbird
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Vesper Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

- 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, April 29th 2016 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are SWAINSON'S WARBLER, RUFF, WILSON'S PLOVER, CASPIAN TERN and other Spring migrants.

While Spring migration remains somewhat spotty one or two decent days of movement surrounded by periods of northerly and easterly winds are keeping numbers down at least variety continues to improve and this week some nice rarities were also uncovered.

Seen by literally hundreds of birders in Central Park all day Thursday was a male SWAINSON'S WARBLER found next to Strawberry Fields first heard singing as it foraged in a small but dense area of barberry bushes the SWAINSON'S would periodically walk through an opening and provide decent views for the gathered throng with some nice photos taken. This location just east of the West 72nd Street entrance to the park unfortunately did not produce the SWAINSON'S today.

Back on Tuesday a RUFF in fairly advanced breeding plumage visited the marsh at the East Marina at Timber Point Golf Course in Great River but its stay was brief with the bird soon flying off to the northwest it has not been reported since.

Last Saturday afternoon on a rising tide at Shinnecock a male WILSON'S PLOVER was spotted on the bay side just west of the Ponquogue Bridge feeding on a sand flat with a large flock of Dunlin and a few Black-bellied Plover and Sanderling. The flocks of predominantly Dunlin continuing to move west past the site the flock with the WILSON'S also soon took off in that direction and could not subsequently be relocated.

Out at Mecox a CASPIAN TERN present late last week was joined by two others by Wednesday and on Tuesday a single CASPIAN put in a rare appearance at Southards Pond in Babylon.

The larger regional parks like Central and Prospect have been producing reasonable numbers of warblers lately some perhaps a little sooner than expected though it's likely global warming could push the arrival dates gradually earlier.

Including the SWAINSON'S and a few YELLOW-THROATED one of which lingered in Central Park Monday about 27 species of warblers have already visited the region. Some arrivals this week have included a CAPE MAY in Central Park from Sunday and BLUE-WINGED, MAGNOLIA, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and BLACKBURNIAN noted Monday with Tuesday adding CHESTNUT-SIDED and a BLACKPOLL reported in Central. A few more WORM-EATING arrived this week and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH now outnumbers LOUISIANA. Also increasing have been OVENBIRD, BLACK-AND-WHITE, NASHVILLE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, YELLOW, PRAIRIE and BLACK-THROATED GREEN. An ORANGE-CROWNED was still being seen in Prospect Park at least to Wednesday. A couple of HOODEDS included one at Jones Beach West End Wednesday evening and some CERULEANS are among the several species already on territory to our north. Still moving through are PINE, PALM and the ubiquitous YELLOW-RUMPED.

Five species of vireos are also now present with RED-EYED, WHITE-EYED, WARBLING and YELLOW-THROATED still in low numbers.

GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS were noted this week at Inwood Hill Park last Saturday and at Drier-Offerman Park and nearby Six Diamonds Ballfields in Brooklyn from Wednesday on. Other sparrows have included some WHITE-CROWNED, SEASIDE, VESPER and LINCOLN'S while flycatchers have featured EASTERN KINGBIRD, GREAT CRESTED and a LEAST FLYCATCHER in Central Park Monday. CLIFF and BANK SWALLOWS also appeared this week along with VEERY and more WOOD THRUSHES.

Shorebird arrivals have included SEMIPALMATED PLOVER and SOLITARY, LEAST and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and a Western WILLET was present today at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS included one in Riverdale Park Sunday, one in Forest Park Queens Wednesday, one in Maple Swamp County Park in Flanders from Tuesday on and two at Muscoot Farm in northern Westchester Wednesday.

An adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was on a field off Mill Lane south of Oregon Road in Mattituck Tuesday and other regional arrivals have included CLAPPER RAIL and VIRGINIA RAILS and COMMON GALLINULE.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or weekdays 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, April 29, 2016

Friday's Foto

Unlike most of north america's vireos, who have subtle coloration, the Yellow-throated Vireo is brightly plumed and fairly easy to spot as it forages slowly in the canopy. Similar in markings to the Pine Warbler, it can usually be separated by its thicker, hooked bill and complete yellow spectacles. Generally heard before they are seen, their song is a slow, burry up-down "3a, 3a". Listen:



Wintering in the tropical lowlands of Central America, Bahamas, and Caribbean to northern South America, this trans-Gulf migrant usually arrives in the New York City area in mid to late April before continuing north to their breeding grounds.

Despite population declines the IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as "Least Concern".

Their scientific name, Vireo flavifrons, means small green migratory bird, yellow-fronted.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

Leonardo DiCaprio produced a documentary about the solar energy industry called "Catching the Sun". From the film's website:

"Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, Catching the Sun captures the global race to lead the clean energy future. Over the course of a solar jobs training program, Catching the Sun follows the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers seeking jobs in the solar industry. With countries like China investing in innovative technologies and capitalizing on this trillion-dollar opportunity, Catching the Sun tells the story of the global energy transition from the perspective of workers and entrepreneurs building solutions to income inequality and climate change with their own hands. Their successes and failures speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will the U.S. actually be able to build a clean energy economy?"

Monday, April 25, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, April 30, 2016 to Sunday, May 1, 2016 (WBF trip added 4/29):

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Take a tour and learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by Brooklyn Bird Club.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, May 1, 2016
From Shore Road Park to Greenwood Cemetery
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Peak of spring migrants and songbirds
Meet: 7:25 am at the R train terminus stop, upstairs 4th Ave and 95th Street, west corner
Meeting spot: http://tinyurl.com/Rtrain95thst

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 7:30am
Quogue Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Gigi Spates (631) 765-1436
Our Eastern LI Audubon Home is also home to many nesting birds and ducks. Our morning walk along well-groomed trails will take us past ponds, streams and both pine and oak woods. We will meet in the parking lot of the Refuge, located at 3 Old Country Road, Quogue. If you need more information call Gigi at (631) 765-1436

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Freshkills Park
Sunday, May 01, 2016, 8:00am
NYC Audubon Tour
Led by NYC Audubon with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Meet at the Staten Island Ferry and start your trip with a journey across the Upper Bay! From wetlands to woodlands to rich, rolling grasslands, Freshkills Park offers a diverse collection of habitats and wildlife. Each spring, the migration is magnificent at Freshkills Park. On any given day over 100 species of birds and a variety of butterflies can be enjoyed within the borders of the park. Join local naturalist Cliff Hagen and the NYC Parks Department on this special opportunity to explore the deep, secret places of the City’s latest, greatest park. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included.
Sign Up at EventBrite

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 8:00am
Valley Stream SP and Jones Beach West End
Leaders: John Gluth (631-827-0120), Steve D’Amato (631-264-8413)
Southern State Parkway to exit 15S, North Corona Ave. No Corona Ave to Hendrickson Ave (.07 mi) turn right at Hendrickson Ave. Hendrickson Ave. to Fletcher Ave (.3 mi) turn right on Fletcher Ave. Fletcher Ave North to Valley Stream State Park entrance on right (.2 mi). Park at far end of lot.

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 9:00am
Jamaica Bay Bird Walk
Join us today as we visit Jamaica Bay, a premier birding spot.
Registration: 631-885-1881 or aveblue@gmail.com.
Directions: Southern State Parkway to Cross Bay Blvd South, exit 17S. After crossing the bridge, look for parking lot entrance on right side 1.25 miles from bridge. Turn right at the traffic light. Meet in the parking lot.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, April 30, 2016
New Jersey Hotspots — Wetlands, Woodlands, and More
Leader: Bob Machover
Registrar: Karen Asakawa — avocet501@gmail.com or 347-306-0607
Registration opens: Monday April 18
Ride: $40

Sunday, May 1, 2016
Great Swamp NWR and Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Barbara Saunders — bsaunders002@nyc.rr.com or 646-872-4029
Registration opens: Monday April 18
Ride: $30

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 9am–Sunday, May 1, 7pm
Cape May Spring Migration Weekend, NJ
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Welcome the spring in lovely Cape May, NJ, the East’s capital of birding. On good spring migration days, the area’s forests and marshes are swarming with warblers in breeding plumage. We’ll visit Cape May Point, Higbee Beach, Cape May Meadows, and more in search of returning songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, and terns—as well as lingering winter visitors such as sea ducks and gannets. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 10. $330 ($30 single supplement)
Click here to register

Saturdays, April 30–May 28, 10-11am
Birding Basics For Families: The Ramble, Central Park
Guides: NYC Audubon, Conservancy Discovery Guides
Offered by the Central Park Conservancy
Meet at the Belvedere Castle (inside the Park, mid-Park just north of the 79th Street transverse). Experience Central Park’s precious bird habitat and migration hot spot with Conservancy Discovery Guides and NYC Audubon. Witness firsthand how the Conservancy’s work has made the Park a sanctuary for birds. Binoculars available. Free: pre-registration is recommended as space is limited. Ages 5+. Families only: maximum of three children per parent or guardian; no groups For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

Sunday, May 1, 2016, 8am-3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Spring Migration at Freshkills Park
Guides: Cliff Hagen, Tod Winston
With NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Meet at the Staten Island Ferry and start your trip with a journey across the Upper Bay! From wetlands to woodlands to rich, rolling grasslands, Freshkills Park offers a diverse collection of habitats and wildlife. Each spring, the migration is magnificent at Freshkills Park. On any given day over 100 species of birds and a variety of butterflies can be enjoyed within the borders of the park. Join local naturalist Cliff Hagen and the NYC Parks Department on this special opportunity to explore the deep, secret places of the City's latest, greatest park. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included. Limited to 12. $68 (47)
Click here to register

Sundays, May 1–May 29, 10-11am
Birding Basics for Families: North Woods, Central Park
Guides: NYC Audubon, Conservancy Discovery Guides
Offered by the Central Park Conservancy
Meet at the Dana Discovery Center (inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues). Experience Central Park’s precious bird habitat and migration hot spot with Conservancy Discovery Guides and NYC Audubon. Witness firsthand how the Conservancy’s work has made the Park a sanctuary for birds. Binoculars available. Limited to 20. Age 5 and up. Free: pre-registration is recommended as space is limited. Ages 5+. Families only: maximum of three children per parent or guardian; no groups. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-860-1370

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
April 30, 2016 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Richmond town, Old Mill Road
Cost: Free
Contact: Ray Matarazzo 718-317-7666
Enjoy a stroll along the multi-use trail overlooking Fresh Kills with Ray Matarazzo. Walk back in time as you pass the famous Hessian Spring as it crosses the path and view Fresh Kills estuary as you work your way toward the remains of Ketchum’s Mill. Along the way observe traces of the past, examine the present woodland ecosystems and search for evidence of present inhabitants especially deer and other mammals. Meet in the parking lot at the start of Old Mill Road, alongside St. Andrew’s Church. For more information phone Ray Matarazzo at 718-317-7666.

Sunday, May 1, 2016 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point
Cost: Free
Contact: Paul Lederer 718-354-9200
Maritime spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic typographical features which were formed and sculpted by water and wind action. Join naturalist Paul T. Lederer in a talk and walk where he will discuss the geology and human history of the site as well as the plants and animals that call this place home. Meet at the Beach Center Parking Lot in Great Kills Park near the dirt road leading out to Crooke’s Point. To get to the Beach Center Parking Lot, follow Buffalo Street to just before it turns into the dirt permit road. For more information or directions contact Paul at 718-354-9200.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Cape May
Leader: Arie Gilbert 917-693-7178

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Massapequa Preserve

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

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, April 30, 2016
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? Take a tour and learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Sunday, May 1, 2016
Early Morning Bird Walk: Marvelous Migrants at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Join the Prospect Park Alliance to search for some of the dazzling birds that visit the park before flying to northern breeding grounds.
Free!

Birdwatching at the Ridgewood Reservoir at Ridgewood Reservoir, Queens
8:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Start your day off with an early morning bird-watching walk around the Ridgewood Reservoir.
Free!

Birding: Ospreys at Fort Totten Visitor's Center (in Fort Totten Park), Queens
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

Bird's Eye Tour of the Heather Garden at Heather Garden (in Fort Tryon Park), Manhattan
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Take a tour with Leslie Day, author of Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City, and learn about the abundant and beautiful birds that make Fort Tryon Park their home.
Free!
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Wild Bird Fund
Saturday, April 30, 2016 @ 9:00AM - 11:00PM
Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Join us with WBF member, artist and birder, Alan Messer for our spring walks series in Central Park. We’ll visit the Reservoir checking for migrant waterfowl, then checkout the pines for creepers and kinglets. We’ll search the Ramble for thrushes, sparrows, warblers, thrashers and hopefully find the adorable blue-gray gnatcatchers.
Saturday April 30, 2016. Raindate Sunday May 1.
Reservations required: events@wildbirdfund.org
...Read more

Saturday, April 23, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 22, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 22, 2016
* NYNY1604.22

- Birds mentioned

American Bittern
Black Vulture
Willet
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Bonaparte's Gull
Iceland Gull
Forster's Tern
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Short-eared Owl
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Wood Thrush
Ovenbird
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Vesper Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

- 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

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, April 22nd 2016 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are Spring migrants.

As is often the case this time of year our area this week has seen a decent influx of migrants but no unexpected rarities. Finally on Thursday the winds turned from the north to a southwesterly flow and this morning throughout much of the region the seasons best variety and numbers so far were present. Warbler variety for instance has increased to about 18 species mostly all species from more northerly wintering ranges as one would expect. Among those appearing this week in Central Park for instance have been OVENBIRD, a WORM-EATING WARBLER today, the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES joining the LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES already moving through, more BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, a singing NASHVILLE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, NORTHERN PARULA, YELLOW and BLACK-THROATED GREEN all today and a few PRAIRIES all joining the earlier arriving PALM, PINE and YELLOW-RUMPED. AMERICAN REDSTART has also been reported elsewhere.

Otherwise an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was still being seen today in Prospect Park the bird lingering along Well Drive often on the south side of Lookout Hill near the same lamppost #249. Is this the same one present around the turn of the year when the Painted Bunting was the major attraction there? Recent HOODED WARBLERS have featured singles today at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn and Strack Pond at the western end of Forest Park in Queens with another in Valley Stream State Park Wednesday and Thursday and one still at Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Monday and besides the bird at Connetquot River State Park single YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS featured one seen only briefly at Prospect Park last Saturday and one lingering at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River at least to Sunday.

Among the other migrants appearing this week have been among the shorebirds WILLET, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER and LEAST SANDPIPER all along Long Island's south shore where FORSTER'S TERN numbers have been increasing.

Other reports include a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO in Central Park today, some CHIMNEY SWIFTS and a couple of RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS since Tuesday and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER in Central Park today along with an EASTERN KINGBIRD or two. The first of the WOOD THRUSHES have also arrived while vireos this week have included WHITE-EYED, BLUE-HEADED and WARBLING plus an early RED-EYED in Central Park today.

Additional arrivals have featured some HOUSE WRENS especially today. More BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS, SCARLET TANAGER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, a few INDIGO BUNTINGS and ORCHARD and BALTIMORE ORIOLES all noted today and such sparrows such as VESPER, GRASSHOPPER, LINCOLN'S and WHITE-CROWNED. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was photographed in Riverdale Park last Sunday and two were still in Willowbrook Park on Staten Island this week.

Other lingering birds include an ICELAND GULL along Brooklyn's Gravesend Bay at least to Monday, an AMERICAN BITTERN on Dune Road west of Shinnecock Inlet last Saturday and a SHORT-EARED OWL still on the former Grumman airport grasslands in Calverton last Saturday. A BLACK VULTURE was spotted over Prospect Park Tuesday and a BONAPARTE'S GULL paid a rare visit to the Central Park reservoir on Wednesday.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or weekdays 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, April 22, 2016

Friday's Foto

Most of the New World Warblers can be found flitting about in shrubs or other vegetation in the mid and understory or hawking for insects in the trees. However, much like us humans in the Big Apple, the Kentucky Warbler prefers strolling on the ground. This relatively large, ground-dwelling warbler with bright yellow underparts and olive-green upperparts prefers moist, leafy woodlands, where it spends most of its time walking around in the leaf-litter and thickets searching for insects. Discovered in 1811 by ornithologist Alexander Wilson it was named for the state in which it was identified. A somewhat short distance migrant, they winter in lowland forests of Central America from southern Mexico to Panama. A rare but regular Spring overshoot around NYC, they breed from southern Iowa and eastern Kansas east to New Jersey, and south from eastern Texas to Georgia. They are surprisingly difficult to see in the forest and are more often heard, making a loud, rolling "churry, churry, churry, churry" song which is somewhat similar to the Carolina Wren. Listen to their song:



Their IUCN Red List status is "Least Concern", however their numbers are declining and they are included on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List as a species in need of significant conservation action.

Their scientific name, Geothlypis formosa, means "Beautiful Ground Warbler".

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From Mother Nature Network:

Los Angeles is Launching the World's Largest Urban Wildlife Study
April 20, 2016
Jaymi Heimbuch

Coyotes in Griffith Park Los Angeles, Photo: National Park Service
In the photo above, two coyotes in Griffith Park visit a deer kill made by P-22, the famous mountain lion. Two bobcats also visited the site. It's amazing to think about mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats live in one of the most urban parks around, but what about all the critters that live in the backyards, golf courses and even within the nooks and crannies of Los Angeles streets?

From frogs to flies, from snails to spiders, scientists are eager to find out about the biodiversity of Los Angeles. So the Natural History Museum is launching a huge project -- so huge that they actually named it the SuperProject.

The SuperProject enlists the help of citizen scientists to survey their yards and take pictures of every species they discover there. By pulling in this information along with everything the researchers find, they hope to get a thorough understanding of all the life a city can hold.

“There’s often a misconception that Los Angeles is a concrete jungle, when in reality the city is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world,” Brian Brown, the museum’s curator of entomology, told the Los Angeles Times.

Everyone can follow along with what the city residents discover on NHM's site, which shows the latest findings sent in from citizen scientists. Visitors can also browse an interactive map to see what was discovered in various locations around L.A.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, April 23, 2016 to Sunday, April 24, 2016:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Take a tour and learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by Brooklyn Bird Club.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Local Spring Sparrows
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik and Bobbi Manian
Focus: Locations of Brooklyn and perhaps Queens frequented by the Emberizidae species
Car fee: $12.00
Registrar: Bobbi Manian email roberta.manian@gmail.com
Registration Period: April 16th – April 21st
Note: Random locations and itinerary of this themed trip is decided by the leaders.

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Freshkills Park
Sunday, April 24, 2016, 10:00am
Kayak Tour
Join the Freshkills Park Team and Kayak Staten Island for a kayaking experience like no other! Kayak along the Fresh Kill and see the site from a different perspective. This excursion will take you into the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge and up close to some of the varied wildlife that calls Freshkills Park home.

Kayaks, life vests, and brief safety training will be provided. Kayak tours are limited to participants ages 16 and over, in good health and with basic swimming skills. Be prepared to get wet! Space is very limited.

REGISTRATION OPENS SUNDAY APRIL 10th

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 8:30am
Connetquot River SPP
Leaders: Bob Grover (516-318-8536) Ken Thompson (631-612-8028)
Meet in parking field. Entrance is on the westbound side of Sunrise Highway (Rte. 27) west of Pond Road. If coming from west to east, Take exit 47A and go to the next overpass, Oakdale Bohemia Rd. to cross over bridge, then head westbound and stay in right lane to entrance.

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, April 24, 2016 - 9:00am
Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Prospect Park Bird Walk

Rich in birdlife, Prospect Park is a designated Important Bird Area. Today we will explore the park, looking for early migrants. You can take an electric boat ride if you like!

Registration: 631-885-1881 or aveblue@gmail.com.

Directions: Jackie Robinson Parkway to Bushwick Ave exit. Turn left on Eastern Parkway and stay on until Grand Army Plaza. Go around Plaza onto Flatbush Ave. (The Brooklyn Public Library will be on your left and the Park on your right.) After you pass the Zoo and Lefferts Historic House, turn right at the traffic light at Ocean Ave. Follow Ocean Ave to the next major intersection which is Parkside Ave. Make a sharp right into the Park. Proceed to the flashing light and turn left into the Wollman Rink parking lot. If it is not open, you have to park on the street. Follow signs to Audubon Center, a 5-minute walk from the parking lot.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, April 23, 2016 (rain date Sunday April 24)
Pine Barrens for Early Spring Butterflies and More
Leader: Rick Cech
Registrar: Sandra Maury — sandramaury39@gmail.com or 212-874-8441
Registration opens: Monday April 11
Ride: $45

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 10am-1pm
Birds and Plants: New York Botanical Garden in Springtime, The Bronx
Guides: Gabriel Willow
Meet by the ticket booth just inside the Garden’s Mosholu Gate on Southern Boulevard. The New York Botanical Garden is home to a large tract of East Coast old-growth forest. During the peak of spring migration, the beautiful gardens come alive with migrating songbirds. Limited to 15. Entrance fee to NYBG not included. $39 (27)
Click here to register

Sunday April 24, 2016, 8am-11am
Spring Migration Morning Walk in Central Park
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet at the entrance to the Park at 72nd Street and Central Park West and join Gabriel Willow for a Spring morning walk in Central Park to welcome the arrival of warblers, vireos, tanagers, cuckoos, and other species stopping off in the park for a rest and a snack on their way north. We will explore the Ramble and surrounding environs and stop for a rest and a snack ourselves at the Boathouse. Limited to 15. $39 (27)
Click here to register

Sunday, April 24, 2016, 8-10:30am
The Birds of Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
Guides: Tod Winston, Joseph McManus, Friends of Woodlawn Docent
With The Friends of Woodlawn
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 look for spring migrants and year-round residents on the expansive, wooded cemetery grounds, while a Friends of Woodlawn docent will share fascinating stories about Woodlawn’s history and the interesting mixture of individuals interred there. Limited to 15. $35 (24)
Click here to register

Saturdays April 9, May7, June 4, and Sundays April 24 and May 22, 9-10am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Guide: NYC Audubon
With the Queens Botanical Garden
Register for one or the series of five free nature walks in partnership with the New York City Audubon Society! The tours will introduce visitors to the feathered friends of the Garden like warblers, blue jays and robins as well as our favorite, the red-tailed hawk! Spot these creatures of flight, and learn about how QBG offers valuable resources for birds and other wildlife in the region. Binoculars available. Limited to 25. Appropriate for all ages. Free with Garden admission. To register, email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, April 24, 2016 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point
Cost: Free
Contact: Paul Leaderer 718-354-9200
Maritime spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic typographical features which were formed and sculpted by water and wind action. Join naturalist Paul T. Lederer in a talk and walk where he will discuss the geology and human history of the site as well as the plants and animals that call this place home. Meet at the Beach Center Parking Lot in Great Kills Park near the dirt road leading out to Crooke’s Point. To get to the Beach Center Parking Lot, follow Buffalo Street to just before it turns into the dirt permit road. For more information or directions contact Paul Leaderer at 718-354-9200

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Hempstead Lake State Park

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

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Sullivan County Audubon Society
Sunday, April 24, 2016, 8:00am
Birds and Butterflies of Fir Brook
Meet leaders Ruth McKeon and Renee Davis at the parking lot opposite the Citgo Station in Parksville. Exit 98 off Rte 17, left at second stop sign. Parking lot is 1.3 miles on left. If weather is questionable please call Ruth at 434-4629 or Renee at 482-5044 before 7 pm.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Birding: Raptor Nests at East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle
Free!

Little Hell Gate Salt Marsh Tour at Little Hell Gate Salt Marsh (in Randall's Island Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Join us for a tour of our flagship salt marsh! Learn about the ecology of the space, view wildlife up-close, and learn how the island’s history has shaped our natural areas.
Free!

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? Take a tour and learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Little Hell Gate Salt Marsh Tour at Little Hell Gate Salt Marsh (in Randall's Island Park), Manhattan
2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Join us for a tour of our flagship salt marsh! Learn about the ecology of the space, view wildlife up-close, and learn how the Island’s history has shaped our natural areas.
Free!

Sunday, April 24, 2016
Bird Walk with New York City Audubon at Queens Botanical Garden, Queens
9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Spot and identify creatures of flight and learn how Queens Botanical Garden provides important resources for birds—like seeds and insects to eat, water. and shelter.
...Read more

Friday, April 15, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 15, 2016:

RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 15, 2016
* NYNY1604.15

- Birds Mentioned

Blue-winged Teal
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Green Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Broad-winged Hawk
UPLAND SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Bonaparte’s Gull
LITTLE GULL
Forster’s Tern
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
House Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Black-and-white Warbler
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER
Hooded Warbler
Northern Parula
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Louisiana Waterthrush
LARK SPARROW
BLUE GROSBEAK
Rusty Blackbird

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

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

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke, 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, April 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are LITTLE GULL, UPLAND SANDPIPER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLUE GROSBEAK, YELLOW-THROATED and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, LARK SPARROW and RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.

A little more progress towards spring was highlighted by another LITTLE GULL sighting off Staten Island, this adult moving west passed Lemon Creek Pier with BONAPARTE’S GULLS last Sunday just after noon.

Last week’s UPLAND SANDPIPER was still providing excellent views as it remained along the Ocean Parkway median strip usually just east of the entrance to Oak Beach through today. Best to view the bird from your car.

Not totally unexpected was a BLUE GROSBEAK appearing Sunday at a private home in East Quogue, a good yard bird.

After last week’s appearance of YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER at High Rock Park on Staten Island, where one was still being seen at least to Saturday, others were also uncovered in City Parks; 1 visited Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn from Saturday to Monday, and one was found Thursday in Central Park in the Ramble area and was still present there today. A Long Island YELLOW-THROATED was found today in the Bayard Arboretum in Great River near the carriage house. Also, at least 2 YELLOW-THROATEDS that have bred in recent years in Connequot River State Park in Oakdale were back on territory near the park’s entrance as of last weekend. These birds can be easily enjoyed as they sing and forage around the area between the entrance and the nearby buildings, but please to not use any tape or otherwise disturb these birds—this is one of extremely few nesting sites within the entire state.

The Jones Beach West End LARK SPARROW was still around the outer turnaround on Wednesday. Another LARK SPARROW was present at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn from Saturday to Monday and, belatedly, 1 was also seen back on the 6th at Captree State Park, while the Croton Point Park LARK SPARROW was still present Sunday.

A drake HARLEQUIN DUCK off Great Kills Park on Staten Island at least to Wednesday was somewhat late and rather unusual there.

Two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were still at Willowbrook Park on Staten Island last Monday, with another continuing at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island as of Wednesday.

Among the increasing number of WARBLERS on the move, single ORANGE-CROWNEDS were spotted yesterday, 1 in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and 1 photographed at Oakland Lake in Queens. The HOODED WARBLER found last Friday at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge was still present yesterday, and other early WARBLERS besides the PINES and PALMS have featured a few LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES and NORTHERN PARULAS plus BLACK-AND-WHITE since early in the week.

WHITE-EYED and lately BLUE-HEADED VIREOS have also been noted, as have such other passerines as EASTERN KINGBIRD, with 1 at Robert Moses State Park as of yesterday, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, HOUSE WREN in Central Park Tuesday and some scattered RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.

Non-passerines have featured a TRICOLORED HERON at Captree last Saturday, a couple of LITTLE BLUE HERONS and YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, GREEN HERON in Central Park today, single BROAD-WINGED HAWKS noted locally since Sunday, and some FORSTER’S TERNS arriving coastally.

Last Saturday, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER and 4 BLUE-WINGED TEAL were noted at Tobay, and a PILEATED WOODPECKER was spotted at Riverdale Park in the Bronx.

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's Foto

Every year in early to mid-April, before the onslaught of colorful northbound warblers, birders around NYC scan the sparsely leafed trees with the hope of spotting a rare Yellow-throated Warbler. Unlike most of the wood-warbler species, this bird has a fairly restricted range, breeding farther south and wintering farther north than the others. Breeding in riparian woodland, sycamore-bald cypress swamp and pine forest from Illinois, Ohio, and New Jersey south to Missouri, Texas, the Gulf Coast, and northern Florida, they now appear to be expanding their nesting range northward. A pair was found successfully breeding on Long Island in 2015. Look for them creeping along branches, foraging for insects in bark and crevices, similar to a Black-and-white Warbler, nuthatch or Brown Creeper.

The IUCN lists their conservation status as "Least Concern".

Their scientific name, Setophaga dominica, means - moth eater of the West Indies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From The Guardian online:

Number of Tigers in the Wild Rises for First Time in More than 100 Years

There are now 3,890 animals roaming the forests of Asia but the increase may be down to improved survey methods

Sunday 10 April 2016 22.43 EDT
Last modified on Tuesday 12 April 2016 06.55 EDT

The number of tigers in the wild has risen for the first time in more than a century, with some 3,890 counted in the latest global census, according to wildlife conservation groups.

The tally marks a turnaround from the last worldwide estimate in 2010, when the number of tigers in the wild hit an all-time low of about 3,200, according to the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum.

India alone holds more than half of them, with 2,226 tigers roaming reserves across the country, from the southern tip of Kerala state to the eastern swamps in West Bengal, according to its last count in 2014.
But while experts said the news was cause for celebration, they stopped short of saying the number of tigers was actually rising. In other words, it may just be that experts are aware of more tigers, thanks to the fact that survey methods are improving and more areas are being included.

But this is the first time tiger counts are increasing since 1900, when there were more than 100,000 tigers in the wild.

“More important than the absolute numbers is the trend, and we’re seeing the trend going in the right direction,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation at WWF.

The census, compiled from tiger surveys in countries from Russia to Vietnam, as well as the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was released a day before ministers from 13 countries meet for three days in New Delhi as they work toward doubling the world’s wild tiger population from the 2010 low by 2022.

Not all nations are seeing progress, though. While Russia, India, Bhutan and Nepal all counted more tigers in their latest surveys, south-east Asian countries have struggled. They are also behind the others in conservation measures, and do not yet conduct a tiger census on their own.

“When you have high-level political commitments, it can make all the difference,” Hemley said. “When you have well-protected habitat and you control the poaching, tigers will recover. That’s a pretty simple formula. We know it works.”
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Cambodia is looking at reintroducing tigers after recently declaring them functionally extinct within its borders, meaning there are no longer any breeding tigers in the wild. Indonesia has also seen a rapid decline, thanks to having the world’s highest rate of forest destruction to meet growing demand for producing palm oil as well as pulp and paper.

Tigers are considered an endangered species, under constant threat from habitat loss and poachers seeking their body parts for sale on the black market. They are also seeing their habitats rapidly shrinking as countries develop.

The tiger count is based on data from 2014. Here is the tally broken down by country:

Bangladesh, 106; Bhutan, 103; Cambodia, 0; China, more than 7; India, 2,226; Indonesia, 371; Laos, 2; Malaysia, 250; Myanmar, no data available; Nepal, 198; Russia, 433; Thailand, 189; Vietnam, fewer than 5.

The experts said the Myanmar government’s count of 85 tigers in 2010 was not included because the data was considered out of date.
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Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, April 16, 2016 to Sunday, April 17, 2016:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Take a tour and learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by Brooklyn Bird Club.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Tenafly Nature Center and Palisades Stateline Hawk Watch
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Woods birding, early songbirds and warblers, raptors; location debut
Car fee: $20.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: April 9th – April 14th
Site profile: http://www.tenaflynaturecenter.org

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Gateway National Recreation Area
Every Saturday Weekly from 03/19/2016 to 08/27/2016
Canarsie Walk-up and Paddle
Location: Canarsie Pier – Brooklyn
Time: 1:00PM to 3:30PM
Fee Information: FREE
Contact Name: Ryan Visitor Center Contact Phone Number: 718-338-3799
Try kayaking! Open to the public, ages 6 and up with an adult. No reservation required.
Dress to get wet; bring sunscreen, a snack and water.

Sunday, April 17, 2016, 10:00am to 12:00pm
Fort Tilden Historic Walking Tour
Fee Information: Free
Join a Park Ranger for a walking tour of historic Fort Tilden, and its role in the 20th century coastal and air defense.
Contact Phone Number: 718-338-3799

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 8-10:30am
Beginning Birding (Central Park trip)
Classes: Wednesdays, March 30-April 13, 6:30-8:30pm
Trips: Saturday, April 9, 8am-2pm and Saturday, April 16, 8-10:30am
Instructor: Tod Winston
Learn the keys to identifying the spectacular variety of birds that migrate northwards through New York City every spring. Even if you’ve never picked up a pair of binoculars, you’ll soon be identifying warblers, thrushes, waterbirds, and more—both by sight and by ear. Three fun and educational in-class sessions, paired with field trips to Jamaica Bay and Central Park (van transport to Jamaica Bay included). Limited to 12. $179 (125)
Click here to register

Saturday, April 16, 2016, 9am-4pm
Spring Migration in Pelham Bay Park, The Bronx
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Explore the lovely coves and rocky outcroppings of NYC’s largest park, Pelham Bay Park, seeking out migrating songbirds, late-wintering birds, ducks, and a breeding pair of great-horned owls! The rich and diverse habitat makes this park an urban gem and a great home for wildlife. Past rarities include a northern goshawk and a purple sandpiper. Bring lunch, water, and binoculars. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $90 (63)
Click here to register

Saturday, April 16th, 2016, 10am-1pm
Spring Bird Migration
Guide: Don Riepe with American Littoral Society and Gateway NRA
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Refuge for a slide program and hike around the gardens and ponds. Learn about the mystery of bird migration and look for warblers, thrushes, ibis, and other recent arrivals. For reservations, call Don Riepe at (718) 474-0896 or e-mail donriepe@gmail.com.
Free

Sunday, April 17, 2016, 9:30am-3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Spring Hike in the Greenbelt
Guide: Gabriel Willow with NYC Parks and the Greenbelt Conservancy
Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the Staten Island Ferry and begin your tour on water as we cross the Upper Bay. Explore trails within the 3,000-acre Staten Island Greenbelt and visit High Rock Park, Walker Pond, and the Pouch Camp property: 143 acres of unspoiled woods and wetlands. Look for spring migrants and learn about the Greenbelt’s ecology. Trip involves approximately 3.5 miles of hiking. Transportation on Staten Island included. Limited to 19. $43 (30)
Click here to register

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, April 16, 2016 @ 10:00am – 2:00pm
Forest Restoration Workshop
Cost: Free
Contact: Don Recklies, 718-768-9036 / Chuck Perry, 718-667-1393
Meet in the Nevada Avenue parking lot of High Rock. We will uproot the Oriental Wisteria that has gotten a foothold on the slope of Loosestrife Swamp close to the park entrance. If you don’t have your own, treatment Protectors will supply gloves and pruners (& refreshments). After a two hour work session (our 235th monthly workshop), we will take a short walk over nearby trails.
For more information contact Don Recklies at (718) 768-9036 or Chuck Perry at (718) 667-1393.

Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Sharrott’s Avenue Beach
Cost: Free
Contact: Clay Wollney 718-869-6327
Beachcomb the spring shoreline of the Prince’s Bay and Mt. Loretto beach and discover what the tides have brought in. Take a look at the characteristics of the shoreline as the warm season approaches. With any luck we are likely to see signs of life in the form of ducks and other waterfowl and search the intertidal zone for the invertebrates that are present at this time of year. Dress appropriately; wear water-proof footwear and be prepared for sand and mud. Meet at the parking lot at the end of Sharrott’s Avenue at Hylan Boulevard by the fishing pier.
For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 8am – 1pm
Marine Nature Study Area, Oceanside
Leader: Pat Aitken - 516-857-7567

Trip Etiquette
Please register for trips

1 - Register. Let leaders know you're coming!
2 - Car pooling or skipping requires planning
3 - Be advised if there are last minute changes or cancellations. These cannot be communicated to unknown persons.
4 - Be on time! Most trips begin birding by 8am!
5 - Please arrive before the starting time so we do not waste precious early morning bird activity.
6 - Plan your travel time.

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Staten Island Museum
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Spring Bird and Wildflower Walk
Location: Wolfe's Pond Park
Free/Donations Welcome
Discover the ephemeral beauty of spring wildflowers at Wolfe’s Pond Park (map), including: trout lily, Canada mayflower, and spring beauty. Spring migratory birds are also likely to abound. Bring sturdy shoes, binoculars, and field guides for a walk with Ray Mattarazo

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Birding: Spring Migration at Prospect Park Picnic House (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

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? Take a tour and learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

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Young Birders Club
Sunday April 17, 2016
Central Park - New York County (Manhattan)
Trip Leader: Isaiah Sigman
NYSYBC member Isaiah Sigman, who is very familiar with birding and birders at Central Park, will lead our walk. Central Park is one of the best birding spots in the United States, attracting birders from all over the world. Birds migrating, spring and fall, along the East Coast find Central Park a welcoming place to rest and stoke up energy for the next leg of their journey. For more details about birding in Central Park, visit nycaudubon.org/manhattan-birding/central-park.

Watch your Inbox for directions and details on meeting time and location.
Bring binoculars and a camera.
Permission form due by 4/8/16.
...Read more

Friday, April 08, 2016

Friday's Foto

Like the related Pine Warbler, the Louisiana Waterthrush is one of the early arriving new world warblers to our area in spring. This songbird's subtle, understated color and pattern is fairly uncommon among the mostly brightly plumed species in this family. This is no doubt how it got the name "waterTHRUSH". They can be found walking along the edge of wet areas foraging for insects, bobbing their tail as they pick insects from the water's surface or from under leaves. Wintering in Central America and the West Indies, the Louisiana Waterthrush breeds in eastern North America from southernmost Canada and south through the eastern United States, excluding Florida and the coast. Departing as early as July, they are one of the earliest warblers to leave the breeding grounds, almost all will have left by late August.

Very similar in appearance to the Northern Waterthrush, David Sibley writes, "Most waterthrushes are readily identified simply by the whiteness of the underparts. If you encounter a confusing individual pay special attention to the width of the eyebrow stripe, and the pattern and extent of streaking on the breast and flanks. Many other features, such as bill size, can offer supporting clues for experienced birders." He has an excellent comparison page here.

The IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as "Least Concern".

Their scientific name, Parkesia motacilla, means: Parkesia refers to US ornithologist Dr. Kenneth Carroll Parkes (1922–2007). Motacilla - wagtail.

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