Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website "New Scientist":

Fish recorded singing dawn chorus on reefs just like birds
By Greta Keenan
Daily news 21 September 2016

The ocean might seem like a quiet place, but listen carefully and you might just hear the sounds of the fish choir.

Most of this underwater music comes from soloist fish, repeating the same calls over and over. But when the calls of different fish overlap, they form a chorus.

Robert McCauley and colleagues at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, recorded vocal fish in the coastal waters off Port Headland in Western Australia over an 18-month period, and identified seven distinct fish choruses, happening at dawn and at dusk. You can listen to three of them here:



The low “foghorn” call is made by the Black Jewfish (Protonibea diacanthus) while the grunting call that researcher Miles Parsons compares to the “buzzer in the Operation board game” comes from a species of Terapontid. The third chorus is a quieter batfish that makes a “ba-ba-ba” call.

“I’ve been listening to fish squawks, burble and pops for nearly 30 years now, and they still amaze me with their variety,” says McCauley, who led the research.
New Scientist Live: Book tickets to our festival of ideas and discovery – 22 to 25 September in London

Sound plays an important role in various fish behaviours such as reproduction, feeding and territorial disputes. Nocturnal predatory fish use calls to stay together to hunt, while fish that are active during the day use sound to defend their territory. “You get the dusk and dawn choruses like you would with the birds in the forest,” says Steve Simpson, a marine biologist at the University of Exeter, UK.

The recordings were captured by two sea-noise loggers: the first positioned near the Port Headland shore and the second 21.5 kilometres away in offshore waters.

“This is a method that allows us to understand what’s happening at Port Headland 24/7 for a year and a half,” says Simpson. “I don’t know any scuba diver that can stay down there that long!”

Listening to choruses over a long period of time allows scientists to monitor fish and their ecosystems, particularly in low visibility waters, such as those off Port Headland.

“We are only just beginning to appreciate the complexity involved and still have only a crude idea of what is going on in the undersea acoustic environment,” says McCauley.

Journal reference: Bioacoustics, DOI: 10.1080/09524622.2016.1227940
...Read more

Monday, September 26, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, October 1, 2016 to Sunday, October 2, 2016:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, October 2, 2016, 8am – 9am
Early Morning Bird Walk: Hawks
October is Hawk Month! Join the Prospect Park Alliance to search for hawks along the Park’s waterways and in the woodlands. Tour leaves promptly at 8 am. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, October 1, 2016
An October Day at Coney Island Creek Parks
Leader: Chris Laskowski
Focus: Beginning of sparrow migration and typical seasonal songbirds, raptors
Meet: 7:25 am at the Stillwell Ave/Coney Island terminus stop (D,F,Q, and N train lines); Walk to Dunkin Donuts facing Surf Ave
Registrar: No Registration needed.
Note: The two primary locations are Kaiser Park and Dreier Offerman/Vaux Parks

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, October 1, 2016 – Meet at 8:00am
Robert Moses State Park and Hawk Watch
Trip Leader: Eileen Schwinn
The fall brings many interesting birds to the barrier beach, and Robert Moses SP is one of the best! Our walk last year to the Fire Island Lighthouse showed us migrating warblers, other song birds, and an occasional hawk overhead. We will stop at the Hawk Watch to check out the action! Meet at the far eastern end of Parking Lot 5, which is a 3/4 mile walk along a boardwalk, to the lighthouse. Dress for the weather - it can be cool and windy at this time of the year - and bring a light snack and water. There is, most likely, a parking fee of $8 per car. For information, please contact Eileen Schwinn at beachmed@optonline.net, or by cell phone on the day of the walk, 516-662-7751. She will try to set up some shared rides, if requested early enough!

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Hawk Day
Lenoir Nature Preserve
19 Dudley St. Yonkers
10:00 AM to 12:30 PM - Hawk Watch. Look for hawks heading south
1:00 PM - Live Hawks! Meet hawks from Pace.
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

Hudson River Audubon Society field trips are free. Non-members/ newcomers are welcome and are encouraged to join us as members ($20 introductory offer).

Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them. Some are available for loan for those who need them. Dress appropriately for the weather. For more information call Michael Bochnik at (914) 237-9331

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 9:00AM
Jones Beach Bird Walk
We will look for fall migrants that take shelter on the barrier beach before continuing south. These could include many of our rarer shorebirds, neotropical songbirds, and plenty more. You never know when a rarity may pop up!
Registration: 516-433-5590.

Directions: Take either Meadowbrook Parkway or Wantagh Parkway to Ocean Parkway. Follow signs for the Coast Guard Station at the West End of Jones Beach. Meet at the parking lot by the restrooms.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Alley Pond Park
Leader: Alan Drogin
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, September 19
Ride: $15

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 3-November 26, 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, September 3–September 24, 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 recommended. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

Saturday, October 1, 2016, 9:30am-6pm
Raptor Trust and Great Swamp, NJ
Guides: Don Riepe, Tod Winston
Enjoy a private tour of the Raptor Trust rehabilitation center and see many owls and hawks up close. Afterwards, we’ll hike the boardwalk trails of the beautiful Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to look for raptors, waterfowl, reptiles, and amphibians. Bring lunch. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 11. $115 (80)
Click here to register

Sunday, October 2, 2016, 7:30am-1:30pm
Birding Gems of Queens: Evergreens Cemetery and the Ridgewood Reservoirs
Guide: Kellye Rosenheim
Explore the delights of historic Evergreen Cemetery and its fall migrants. The trip continues with a long stop at Ridgewood Reservoir, where we will search the treetops and basin for more birds. Moderately strenuous with a great deal of hills and stairs. Bring lunch. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $96 (67)
Click here to register

Sundays, September 4–October 2, 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 recommended. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 8am
Jones Beach Coast Guard Station
Leader: Stacy and Kurt Meyerheinrich

Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated.
If in doubt, please call the trip leader.
Please note: all phone numbers are area code 516 unless otherwise indicated. In most cases, the contacts are also leaders for the respective walks. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.
Please note there is a $10 per car fee at Sands Pt. Call leader for parking ideas.
Schedule note: *** indicates 8 am official start time
*indicates new parking location

**********

NYC H2O
Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 11am
Neversink Reservoir Paddle
​Cramer's Cove
Click here to register

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, Oct 1, 2016
Kissena Park
Leader: Eric Miller - 917-279-7530
Mee: 7:45am in velodrome lot
Please contact leaders at least 2 days before trip to let them know you are attending

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, October 2, 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.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
About 230 different bird species have been recorded in Van Cortlandt Park and over 60 species breed here!
Free!

Birding Basics for Families: The Ramble at Belvedere Castle (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Experience Central Park as a precious bird habitat and migration hot spot! Bring your family on a guided walk led by Central Park Conservancy staff and NYC Audubon Society.
Free!

Sunday, October 2, 2016
Birding: Fall Migration at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.
Free!

Birding Basics for Families: North Woods at Belvedere Castle (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Experience Central Park as a precious bird habitat and migration hot spot! Bring your family on a guided walk led by Central Park Conservancy staff and NYC Audubon Society.
Free!
...Read more

Friday, September 23, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 23, 2016:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sept. 23, 2016
* NYNY1609.23

- Birds Mentioned

AUDUBON’S SHEARWATER+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+
LONG-TAILED JAEGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Great Shearwater
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
Broad-winged Hawk
Peregrine Falcon
Virginia Rail
Sora
Common Gallinule
MARBLED GODWIT
Red Knot
Stilt Sandpiper
Dunlin
White-rumped Sandpiper
BAIRD’S SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
Common Nighthawk
Red-headed Woodpecker
Philadelphia Vireo
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Wilson’s Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
LARK SPARROW
BLUE GROSBEAK

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

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

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke, 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 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are pelagics including AUDUBON’S SHEARWATER, LONG-TAILED JAEGER and RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, plus MISSISSIPPI KITE, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, MARBLED GODWIT, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BLUE GROSBEAK and LARK SPARROW.

Last Saturday a private fishing boat ventured out well south of Shinnecock, and partial results of the birds encountered included single GREAT and AUDUBON’S SHEARWATERS, 12 WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS, 6 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, and 3 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS.

Closer to home the most unusual report involved an adult MISSISSIPPI KITE flying west over the Bronx Zoo mid-day on Wednesday. A NYSARC report would be welcomed.

Among the lingering shorebirds, last Saturday 3 MARBLED GODWITS were seen in Jamaica Bay south of the Wildlife Refuge around Big Egg Marsh and another was spotted mid-day west of Oak Beach on a mud flat along the bay edges.

At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge itself a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER with physical issues, including a missing left eye, was last Saturday no match for a pair of PEREGRINE FALCONS cruising the East Pond. After the first passed over, the flushed Sandpiper was easily picked off by the 2nd Peregrine, which climbed up to 30 feet and dropped the Sandpiper, the other Peregrine catching it deftly and carrying it off as both birds vocalized in unison. Other shorebirds on the East Pond this week included 1 or 2 WESTERN, PECTORAL and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, up to 4 STILT SANDPIPERS, and a couple of juvenile DUNLINS, 1 quite richly colored. CASPIAN TERNS, seen regularly on the pond, peaked with 4 Tuesday, while 3 ROYAL TERNS and a decent group of RED KNOTS were among the birds out in the Bay south of the former West Pond.

PEAKS of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, now gathering along the coast, include 8 at Robert Moses State Park Saturday and 10 Tuesday in parking lot 2 at Jones Beach West End.

Ninety-six ROYAL TERNS were at Cupsogue County Park Saturday.

A VIRGINIA RAIL has continued in Prospect Park at least to Thursday, a SORA was seen Sunday along Dune Road near Dolphin Lane, and 2 COMMON GALLINULES have been present recently at Massapequa Preserve on Massapequa Lake north of Merritt Road.

An adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still around the Ramble in Central Park last weekend.

Among the passerines, as the Warblers continue to diminish in numbers, Sparrows have slowly been increasing, including a LARK SPARROW continuing near the hawk watch at Robert Moses State Park at least to Thursday, with another in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery last Saturday.

A BLUE GROSBEAK was found at Robert Moses State Park last Sunday.

Following last week’s push, PHILADELPHIA VIREOS included 2 in Prospect Park Saturday, 1 at Hempstead Lake State Park last weekend, 1 at Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River Wednesday, and reports from Central Park this week.

Among the Warblers, CONNECTICUTS seen this week have included singles in Central Park Tuesday and Wednesday, 1 near the Pelham Bay landfill Wednesday, and 1 in southern Manhattan by the World Trade Center Memorial Thursday.

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was out on Long Island last Saturday on the North Fork, and other WARBLERS noted this week have included CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED and WILSON’S.

Other migrants still include a few BLACK-BILLED and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS and COMMON NIGHTHAWKS.

At the local hawk watches, if BROAD-WINGED HAWKS are to make any sort of major push this year, they will do it soon.

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's Foto

The Yellow-breasted Chat is the largest of the New World Warblers...or is it? Given its large size and other characteristics unusual for a warbler, the chat has long been considered an aberrant wood-warbler species. From Wikipedia:

"The yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens) is a large songbird, widely considered the most atypical member of the New World warbler family, though the long-standing suspicion is that it does not actually belong there. Its placement is not definitely resolved. It is the only member of the genus Icteria."

The latest checklist of North and Middle American birds from the American Ornithologists' Union, however, still places this unusual songbird among the warblers.

Hidden in the understory, this skulking, secretive bird usually gives up its location through a series of loud squawks, whistles and clucks. They sound more like a mockingbird than the subtle vocalizations of other warblers.

While infrequently seen, they are quite widespread, breeding in dense shrubbery throughout much of the US. Most overwinter in coastal lowland Mexico to western Panama. A half-hardy species, some individuals stay through the winter as far north as New England. Like other warblers they are insectivores feeding on a variety of spiders, moths, beetles, ants, bees, grasshoppers, caterpillars and praying mantises. They also feed on berries and other wild fruit.

The IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as "Least Concern" due to their extremely large range and stable population trends.

Their scientific name, Icteria virens, means "yellow bird" and "green". Yellow, no doubt for their bright yellow underparts and green for their olive green upper parts.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

It's time to Break Free from Plastic. The vision from their website begins:

"We believe in a world where the land, sky, oceans, and water is home to an abundance of life, not an abundance of plastic, and where the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat is free of toxic by-products of plastic pollution.

In this world the principles of environmental justice, social justice, public health, and human rights lead government policy, not the demands of elites and corporations."

Read more about their vision and principals here.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Labor Day weekend - Saturday, September 24, 2016 to Sunday, September 25, 2016:

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, September 24, 2016, 8:00am
Robert Moses Hawk Watch and Jones beach WE
Leaders: John Gluth (631-827-0120), Steve D’Amato (631-264-8413)
Meet at Robert Moses State Park parking field #5 northeast corner.

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Lenoir Nature Preserve Hawk Watch

19 Dudley St. Yonkers
Meet at 10 AM behind the Lenoir Mansion
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html
Hudson River Audubon Society field trips are free. Non-members/ newcomers are welcome and are encouraged to join us as members ($20 introductory offer).

Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them. Some are available for loan for those who need them. Dress appropriately for the weather. For more information call Michael Bochnik at (914) 237-9331

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, September 25, 2016 - 9:00 AM
Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch at Greenwich Audubon Center

A great place to catch the fall raptor migration. One of the easiest hawk watches – just roll out of your car and take a seat! The Center is beautiful and has a wonderful gift shop as well as beautiful grounds for further exploration.

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

Directions: Hutchinson Parkway North, exit to I-684 North. Take this to exit 3N and head north onto Route 22. At the first light, turn right onto Route 433. Drive 2 miles to the stop sign at the intersection of John Street. The Audubon entrance gate is on your left.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Hook Mountain Hawk Watch
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Miriam Rakowski — miriamrakowski@hotmail.com or 212-749-7376
Registration opens: Monday, September 12
Ride: $25

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 3-November 26, 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, September 3–September 24, 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 recommended. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

Saturday, September 24, 2016, 4-7pm
Jamaica Bay Sunset Ecology Cruise
Guides: Don Riepe with the American Littoral Society and Gateway National Recreation Area
Join us aboard the 100 ft. boat “Golden Sunshine” out of Pier 4, Sheepshead Bay for a 3-hour cruise into the backwater marshes of Jamaica Bay. Learn about the history, ecology and wildlife of this 13,000 acre preserve and see nesting osprey, terns, egrets, herons, oystercatchers, and more. Includes narrated tour plus wine & cheese, drink, fruit, and snacks. To reserve, call (718) 474-0896 or email donriepe@gmail.com. $55"

Sunday, September 25, 2016, 8-10am
Fall Migrants of Woodlawn Cemetery
Guides: Tod Winston, Joseph McManus 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 look for fall migrants and year-round residents on the expansive, wooded cemetery grounds, while a Woodlawn Conservancy docent 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

Sundays, September 4–September 25, 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 recommended. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 24, 2016, 8am
Deserversky Center - NYIT campus
Leader: Elizabeth 516-404-1984

Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated.
If in doubt, please call the trip leader.
Please note: all phone numbers are area code 516 unless otherwise indicated. In most cases, the contacts are also leaders for the respective walks. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.
Please note there is a $10 per car fee at Sands Pt. Call leader for parking ideas.
Schedule note: *** indicates 8 am official start time
*indicates new parking location

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, September 24, 2016 @ 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Bloomingdale Park
Cost: Free
Contact: Clay Wollney 718-869-627
Fifty years ago this area was sandy pine-oak woodlands littered with everything imaginable. A hike through the woodlands of Bloomingdale Park will reveal the effects of a half century of time and human intervention.
Meet at the corner of Maguire Avenue and Drumgoole Road West.
For more information contact Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327

Sunday, September 25, 2016 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Mount Loretto Unique Area
Cost: Free
Contact: Ray Matarazzo 718-317-7666
Enjoy the early autumn in the meadow searching for wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies and migrating birds. Along the bluffs beside the lighthouse, participants will discuss and search for marine life in the Raritan Bay.
Meet at the parking lot on Hylan Boulevard across from the CYO Community Center, 6541 Hylan Boulevard.
For more information call Ray Matarazzo at 718-317-7666

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Marine Nature Study Area

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

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
About 230 different bird species have been recorded in Van Cortlandt Park and over 60 species breed here!
Free!

Birding: Fall Migrants at Alley Pond Park Adventure Center (in Alley Pond Park), Queens
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!

Ranger's Choice: Birding Road Trip at Prospect Park, Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
In honor of 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Urban Park Rangers will offer this expedition to a variety of Brooklyn Parks in search of early fall migrants.
Free!

Sunday, September 25, 2016
Birding: Fall Migrants at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

**********

Young Birders Club
Sunday September 25, 2016
Rockefeller State Park Preserve (North Tarrytown, Westchester)
Sponsoring NYSYBC Partner: Saw Mill River Audubon
Trip Leader: Anne Swaim

This September, we're heading to a migration hotspot that NYSYBC has never visited before! With 180 recorded species of birds and its IBA (Important Bird Area) designation by the National Audubon Society, the Preserve is a great place for us to explore with our knowlegeable local hosts from Saw Mill River Audubon.

Walking the preserve is easy and pleasant, due to the system of carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Designed to complement the landscape, these scenic paths wind through wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and fields and past streams, rivers, and lakes while traversing wood and stone bridges.

Watch your Inbox for directions and details on meeting time and location.

Bring binoculars and a camera.

Permission form due by 9/16/16.
...Read more

Saturday, September 17, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 16, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sep. 16, 2016
* NYNY1609.16

- Birds mentioned
American Bittern
Virginia Rail
American Golden-Plover
UPLAND SANDPIPER
WHIMBREL
Red Knot
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
American Woodcock
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
Common Nighthawk
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Peregrine Falcon
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Philadelphia Vireo
Ovenbird
Worm-eating Warbler
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER
Black-and-white Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
Lincoln's 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

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, September 16th 2016 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are a light show spectacular including CONNECTICUT WARBLER and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT plus BUFF-BREASTED and UPLAND SANDPIPERS, WHIMBRELS, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, DICKCISSEL and CLAY-COLORED SPARROW.

It seems this week's highlight, given a reasonable but otherwise unspectacular amount of migratory activity, was provided by an event, namely the September 11th Tribute in Light Memorial in lower Manhattan. The powerful lights aimed skyward from just after 9pm on the 11th to after 5am the next morning attracted many thousands of birds during an apparently heavy night for migration. The distracted migrants, often hundreds at a time, were seen swirling about the beams which were fortunately turned off for short periods so the birds could reorient and continue south. The overall volume was estimated at close to 20,000 or more birds the large majority of which were wood warblers. Highlights among the non-warblers featured a calling UPLAND SANDPIPER, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, a snipe, presumably WILSON'S, a few cuckoos and a couple of opportunistic PEREGRINE FALCONS. Of the warblers able to be identified the larger numbers involved OVENBIRD, BLACK-AND-WHITE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, NORTHERN PARULA, MAGNOLIA, YELLOW, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and the most plentiful AMERICAN REDSTART. Among the more unusual were a few each of CONNECTICUT, HOODED and WILSON'S WARBLERS and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. Hopefully the birds continued on their journey not too much the worse for wear.

Thursday brought a nice influx of PHILADELPHIA VIREOS into the area with about 4 noted in Central Park, at least 2 in Prospect Park and singles at several other city, Long Island and Westchester parks with over 15 noted.

Among the rarer warblers a male GOLDEN-WINGED was spotted in Prospect Thursday and single CONNECTICUTS were enjoyed in Central Park last Saturday and in Prospect and Alley Pond Parks yesterday. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was in Central Saturday with singles seen Monday at Robert Moses State Park and at Montauk. Other warblers moving through this week have included WORM-EATING, TENNESSEE, MOURNING, HOODED, CAPE MAY and BAY-BREASTED.

This week DICKCISSELS have also appeared along the coast with one at Robert Moses State Park from Saturday to Tuesday and one at Jones Beach West End during the week to yesterday. CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was reported from Moses last Saturday and Drier-Offerman Park in Brooklyn Sunday with 2 BLUE GROSBEAKS noted in Manhasset yesterday. These all species to keep an eye out for.

Other interesting birds in the city parks this week featured an AMERICAN BITTERN in Central last weekend, VIRGINIA RAIL in both Central and Prospect, both cuckoos and still a few COMMON NIGHTHAWKS plus OLIVE-SIDED, YELLOW-BELLIED and other flycatchers and LINCOLN'S SPARROW. An adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER has been around the Ramble in Central Park since Monday.

On the shorebird front about 50 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS and up to 11 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS were on the sod fields on the east side of Osborn Road just south of Sound Avenue early in the week and another BUFF-BREASTED was at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn Saturday. WHIMBRELS included one at Nickerson Beach Saturday and one at Cupsogue County Park Sunday and 2 on Monday, 2 at Moriches Bay Monday and 1 at Jones Beach West End Thursday. Other Cupsogue shorebirds last Sunday included 158 RED KNOT and 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS among the 17 species there while ROYAL TERNS reached 56 there Saturday with others continuing along the coast. CASPIAN TERNS have included up to 3 at Mecox and 2 at Breezy Point Monday. Single LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were spotted at Nickerson Beach Saturday and Cupsogue Sunday and others should be around the coast.

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, September 16, 2016

Friday's Foto

A small, secretive marsh bird, the Virginia Rail is more often heard than seen. Their loud, grunting "kuk-kuk-kuk" vocalization carries a surprising distance through their preferred habitat of freshwater marshes with cattails, reeds, and deep grass. Probing mud and shallow water with its long bill, their diet is primarily small aquatic invertebrates, such as beetles, spiders, snails, and true bugs. In the winter they also eat aquatic plants and seeds.

With the exception of migration, they rarely fly, escaping danger instead by running through marsh vegetation. According to Cornell's 'All About Birds' website, "The Virginia Rail can swim under water, propelling itself with its wings. It swims in this way probably only to flee predators."

IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as “Least Concern”.

The Virginia Rail’s scientific name, Rallus limicola, means “bird” “mud-dweller”.

During migration, they frequently end up in decidedly less than ideal surroundings. Check out my postings about it here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From the Mother Nature Network:

NYC turns to recycled toilets to revive its once-thriving oyster population
Crushed commodes provide breeding ground for beneficial bivalves.
Matt Hickman
September 9, 2016, 2:56 p.m.

There are only so many things you can do with 5,000 outdated toilets. That is, other than establish the world’s largest public commode-planter garden.

New York City, as it turns out, has been hoarding them. Over the past several years, the New York City Department of Public Education has slowly but surely gone about retiring old — some likely really old — toilets at schools across the five boroughs. (Oh, the stories those toilets could tell!) New, more water-efficient models have taken their place.

Now, in lieu of being unceremoniously being hauled off to out-of-state landfills after decades of public service, 5,000 of these porcelain fixtures are being incorporated into an ambitious marine life restoration project that aims to bolster the Big Apple’s oyster population — a population that in the 17th century was spread out across a staggering 220,000 acres of reefs but had all but vanished by the early 1900s.

You see, the benefit of reintroducing oysters to New York City, once a top shellfish destination, doesn’t necessarily involve tiny forks, a dash of lemon or a deep fryer. Along with dredging, raw sewage disposal and unchecked industrial pollution, decades of over-harvesting for culinary purposes is what helped lead to the bivalve’s decline and "functional extinction" with New York Harbor in the first place.

Now, instead of being gobbled up en masse, the oysters — reintroduced as part of the New York Harbor School’s Billion Oyster Project — will help to naturally clean New York Harbor. What’s more, oyster reefs serve as a first line of defense against catastrophic storm surges much like the surges unleashed on the city during Superstorm Sandy.

This is where the old toilets come in.

Jamaica Bay, a 31-square-mile body of water once teeming with oysters, will be the site of a large-scale oyster habitat composed of a "central donor bed" along with a quartet of smaller reefs or “receiving beds” made from clam and oyster shells and a few thousand crushed porcelain toilets. In all, 50,000 breeding oysters will be planted in the new in the new installation — the largest single installation of its kind in New York City history.

As a press release issued by the Office of the Mayor explains, once the installation is complete, the “hope is that the oysters will become self-sustaining, spawning seasonally and providing new recruits.”

“This oyster bed will serve multiple purposes — protecting our wetlands from erosion, naturally filtering our water and providing a home for our sea dwellers are just a few. More broadly, this oyster bed is a small but necessary step in our broader OneNYC commitment to create a more sustainable and more resilient city,” says Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Again, the reintroduced oysters will not be farmed for food as they were in the past. So don't hold your breath for any toilet-to-table NYC oysters, folks.

The installation is funded by a $1 million grant from the Department of the Interior along with a $375,000 contribution from the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Students and faculty from the Harbor School, located on Governors Island, will monitor the new beds as well as provide assistance in their installation.

Referring to restored oyster reefs as the “foundation of an ecologically robust estuary,” Katie Mosher-Smith, restoration manager of the Billion Oyster Project,” goes on to note that the “participation of skilled young vessel operators and aquaculture technicians from New York Harbor School expands the reach of this environmental effort, building a stronger community that understands the need and has the know-how to sustain restoration of their own heavily urbanized coastline.”

The project comes on the heels of two, four-year pilot studies conducted in different parts of Jamaica Bay to see if oysters could survive and most importantly, reproduce, in the same waters where they once went extinct due to human activity. As the press statement explains, the pilot studies “also measured how effective the bivalves are at filtering various pollutants that affect the Bay, such as nitrogen, other nutrients, and particulate organic matter.”

The pilot studies panned out — reintroduced oysters both survived and reproduced. Ideally, the new, larger installation will demonstrate whether or not the recruitment of new oysters can also occur in a previously mollusk-barren body of water. The Harbor School will also monitor for improved water quality and keep tabs on erosion within an estuary that the Billion Oyster project describes as once being “one the most biologically productive, diverse, and dynamic environments on the planet.”

The 5,000 toilet/50,000 oyster scheme gives the Billion Oyster Project a nice bump in its ultimate goal: a New York Harbor that’s home to 1 billion water-filtering, storm-buffering mollusks by the year 2030. Only then, will the harbor be able to reclaim its previous title of “oyster capital of the world."
...Read more

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Labor Day weekend - Saturday, September 17, 2016 to Sunday, September 18, 2016:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Fort Tilden Park, Gateway NP, Queens
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Focus: Peak of songbirds, swallows, terns, early raptors
Car fee: $12.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh, Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: Sept 10th – Sept 15th
Location checklist: http://tinyurl.com/FortTildenbirds

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, September 17, 2016 – meet at 8:00am
North Fork Preserve
Trip Leader: Eileen Schwinn
Migrating song birds will be, hopefully, using the fields and water spots of this hidden gem of a park, to refuel on their journey south. The warblers will be a challenge to spot and ID with no helpful songs to give their presence away, and their fall plumages are usually more subdued - but we may find it to be an interesting walk! Ticks are always a problem, year-round, so be sure to dress accordingly, and bring insect spray. We will meet along the driveway entrance - near the open field, and begin our walk. For information, please contact Eileen Schwinn at beachmed@optonline.net, or by cell phone 
on the day of the walk, 516-662-7751.

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Freshkills Park (Staten Island)
Sunday, September 18, 2016, 11:00am
Discovery Day
Experience Freshkills Park’s unique landscape and spectacular views at the last Discovery Day of the year. During this free event, 700 acres and eight miles of trails in the normally closed site will be open, with opportunities to explore and learn about the landfill-to-park project.

Visitors of all ages can bring a bicycle or borrow one at the park to bike across paved roadway, including a three-mile loop along meadows and wetland ponds. NYC Audubon, the Staten Island Greenbelt, NYC Sanitation, and others will lead educational walking tours and activities. Due to tide restrictions, kayaking will not be available at this event.

Free yellow shuttle buses will make trips to and from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George between 10:30am and 2pm. Shuttles leave from Ramp E, Taxi Stand. Parking will also be available just outside Freshkills Park in the lots near 350 Wild Avenue. From there, visitors can take a shuttle bus or walk or bike one mile to the main event area.

Presented by NYC Parks, NYC Department of Sanitation, and the Freshkills Park Alliance. Art programming at this event has been generously supported by the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation Art and Social Justice Grant Program.

At 2,200 acres, Freshkills Park is almost three times the size of Central Park and the largest park to be developed in New York City in over 100 years. It also has a significant history as the site of the former Fresh Kills Landfill, which was the largest landfill in the world before closing in 2001. Since then, the landfill has been covered with layers of soil and infrastructure, and the site has become a place for wildlife, recreation, science, education, and art. As the park is built in phases, free tours and events provide early access for learning and exploration opportunities.

Join the mailing list and follow @freshkillspark on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more details. For information about volunteering at the event, email fkpvolunteers@parks.nyc.gov.

Sign Up at EventBrite

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Gateway National Park
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 1:00PM to 2:30PM
Creepy Crawlies
The itsy bitsy spider is fun to learn about, and insects are too! Hear all about creepy crawlies during this interactive family-friendly program which includes a short walk.
You may wish to bring water and sun and insect protection.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee Information: Free

Saturday, September 17, 2016, 7:30PM to 9:00PM
Full Moon Hike
Experience the park after dark and learn more about the nocturnal residents at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge! A flashlight and bug spray are recommended.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee Information: Free

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Hudson River Audubon Society
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Lenoir Nature Preserve
8 AM 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
10 AM 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

Hudson River Audubon Society field trips are free. Non-members/ newcomers are welcome and are encouraged to join us as members ($20 introductory offer).

Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them. Some are available for loan for those who need them. Dress appropriately for the weather. For more information call Michael Bochnik at (914) 237-9331

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 3-November 26, 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, September 3–September 24, 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 recommended. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

Sunday, September 18, 2016, 9am-4pm
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 18, 2016, 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

Sundays, September 4–September 25, 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 recommended. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

Sunday, September 18, 2016
Freshkills Park Discovery Day
Join NYC Audubon in a celebration of the birds of Freshkills Park! From wetlands to woodlands to rich, rolling grasslands, the diverse habitats of Freshkills Park host a wide variety of migratory and resident songbirds, waterbirds, and birds of prey. Come along on a free guided bird walk with an NYC Audubon naturalist to experience the benefits that the restoration of Freshkills Park is having on local wildlife. Walks start at the NYC Audubon table at noon, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm.
Click here for more info

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North Fork Audubon Society
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Birdwalks with Rick
8:00 AM - Meet at the Red House at Inlet Pond County Park (map).

Join Rick Kedenburg for a late summer walk looking for late migrants and other species. Due to limited parking, we will meet at the Red House and carpool to Arshomomack Preserve on Chapel Lane. Rain cancels. For info, call 631-734-7144 or kedenbird@optonline.net

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Alley Pond Park
Leader: Lenore 718-343-1391

Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated.
If in doubt, please call the trip leader.
Please note: all phone numbers are area code 516 unless otherwise indicated. In most cases, the contacts are also leaders for the respective walks. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.
Please note there is a $10 per car fee at Sands Pt. Call leader for parking ideas.
Schedule note: *** indicates 8 am official start time
*indicates new parking location

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, September 17, 2016 @ 10:00am – 2:00pm
Forest Restoration Workshop at Sharrott Beach and Staten Island Beach Cleanup at Sharrott and Mr. Loretto Beaches
Cost: Free
Contact: Don Recklies 718-768-9036 / Chuck Perry 718-667-1393
Meet in the NYC Fishing Pier parking lot opposite the intersection of Hylan Boulevard and Sharrott Avenue to take part in the International Coastal Cleanup.

We will collect, separate, and record trash from the beach (and enjoy the view on the Raritan Bay!) Data from this clean-up will be used to monitor the cleanliness of the beaches and the health of our shoreline waters.
Protectors will provide gloves, bags and refreshments.
This will be the 240th Restoration Workshop and the 13th consecutive year that we have participated in removing hundreds of pounds of trash from our beach!
Community Service Credits are available.
For more information call Don Recklies at 718-768-9036 or Chuck Perry at 718-667-1393

Sunday, September 18, 2016 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Discover Dragonflies with Paul Lederer
Where: Pouch Camp
Cost: Free
Contact: Paul Lederer 718-354-9200

Dragonflies have been a part of the fauna of this planet long before dinosaurs roamed the earth. Learn about the identification, behavior and biology of these fascinating insects. Bring binoculars if you have them. Participants will meet at the Greenbelt’s Pouch Boy Scout Camp at 1465 Manor Road by the totem poles in the parking lot. For more information contact Paul at his cell phone 718-354-9200.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Alley Pond
Leader: Eric Miller 917-279-7530
Meet at 76th Avenue lot before 7:45
Please contact leaders at least 2 days before trip to let them know you are attending

Sunday, September 18, 2016
Hook Mountain
Leader: Bob Dieterich 848-468-7207
Where: 592 US-9W, Valley Cottage, NY 10989, USA (map)

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 11, 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, September 17, 2016
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
About 230 different bird species have been recorded in Van Cortlandt Park and over 60 species breed here!
Free!

Bird Watching at the Reservoir at Main entrance across from the Vermont Place Parking Lot
8:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Start your day with an early morning bird-watching walk led by the Brooklyn Bird Club
Free!

Green Neighborhoods: Richmond Hill at Lane S at Myrtle Avenue (in Forest Park), Queens
9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Come volunteer for a special Richmond Hill Green Neighborhood event with the Natural Areas Conservancy!
Free!

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Wild Bird Fund
September 17, 2016 @ 9:00am - 11:00am
Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Fall Edition

It’s time again to venture outside and see who’s flown back in town!
Please join WBF member and artist/naturalist Alan Messer on Saturday, September 17 (or rain date: Sunday 18th), to see the fledged young of our local nesting birds species, and the early fall migrants. Walk with Alan to Central Park through the Pinetum to the Ramble for warblers, thrushes, fly-catchers, herons, and early raptors including falcons and possibly Bald Eagles.

We’ll be meeting at the Wild Bird Fund (565 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024) at 9am SHARP.
The walk is $15; for members of WBF, it is $10.
RSVP required: events@wildbirdfund.org
...Read more

Saturday, September 10, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 9, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sep. 9, 2016
* NYNY1609.09

- Birds mentioned
BLACK-CAPPED PETREL+
BROWN BOOBY+
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER+
SANDWICH TERN+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cory's Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Northern Gannet
American Golden-Plover
Hudsonian Godwit
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Red-necked Phalarope
Pomarine Jaeger
Parasitic Jaeger
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Royal Tern
Common Nighthawk
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Philadelphia Vireo
Worm-eating Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Connecticut Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
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

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, September 9th 2016 at 6pm. The highlights of today's tape are Hermine related specialties like BLACK-CAPPED PETREL and much more.

Many of this week's big sightings were provided by Tropical Storm Hermine as birders on Monday staked out various coastal locations along the south shore of Long Island. As is often the case with these storms the farther east the better for unusual species. Observation conditions were generally far from ideal with birds often distant and constantly disappearing into huge wave troughs making positive identification a definite challenge.

Quite unique from shore and unexpected were Monday reports of BLACK-CAPPED PETRELS from one early off Amagansett to one just after noon off Shinnecock Inlet. As noted by the observers identifications mainly relied on general impressions of plumage and flight characteristics but given the 16 BLACK-CAPPEDS reported just a week earlier, though 140 miles out on the ocean, a storm relocation certainly could be possible.

Three other very intriguing Monday reports from single observers involved species that, especially under those conditions, could be an identification challenge, given the presence of very similar and more expected species. Mentioned were a BROWN BOOBY off Southampton, a POMARINE JAEGER off Jones Beach and a SANDWICH TERN off Fort Tilden. Hopefully NYSARC reports will be provided for review.

The shearwaters seen were much more expected though the few SOOTY SHEARWATERS noted from Tiana Beach east to Amagansett would be considered somewhat late. CORY'S SHEARWATERS were the most frequently noted with 16 earlier off Mecox and others east to Amagansett and west to Tiana Beach and MANX SHEARWATER put on a pleasant run with peaks of 4 both off Shinnecock Inlet and Tiana Beach. Many unidentified shearwaters were also seen. But it was interesting that no STORM-PETRELs were noted.

Decent numbers of PARASITIC JAEGERS were seen as far west as Jones Beach though most again were out east. Singles at various sites culminated with 6 late in the day off Tiana Beach one robbing a ROYAL TERN catch and a late push of 5 including a striking dark individual.

A good number of BLACK TERNS also occurred with the mostly Common Terns along the shore including around 20 off Tiana Beach where 5 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were roosting in the parking lot these following a fresh juvenile LESSER BLACK-BACKED on the beach there earlier. A late COMMON NIGHTHAWK and an early BAIRD'S SANDPIPER were other Tiana highlights and some NORTHERN GANNETS were also participating in the Monday flight.

Also presumably storm related were an immature SANDWICH TERN appearing on Great Gull Island Wednesday and an HUDSONIAN GODWIT visiting Mecox Bay Tuesday and Wednesday. A RED-NECKED PHALAROPE also appeared in the dune pools at Jones Beach West End Wednesday and 3 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS were in the swale later that day.

On the Riverhead sod fields AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS reached 70 plus along Osborn Avenue just south of Sound Avenue last Saturday with a peak on 10 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS there including one that was earlier that day 4 miles east along the Route 105 and Doctor's Path fields. The latter had about 30 Goldens and 2 Baird's Saturday and other Baird's included 2 at Breezy Point and one at Sagg Pond Monday. BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS also included two at Nickerson Beach and singles at Miller Place in Mecox Saturday.

There have been widely scattered lists of BLACK-BACKED GULLS, CASPIAN TERN and ROYAL TERN.

Among the passerines a male GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER visited Central Park Saturday, a female on Sunday and a CONNECTICUT WARBLER was on that park's east side on Tuesday. Other warblers have featured BAY-BREASTED, CAPE MAY, WORM-EATING and HOODED and PHILADELPHIA VIREO was noted in Central last weekend. Prospect Park highlights have included OLIVE-SIDED, YELLOW-BELLIED and ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS plus an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER Thursday and a DICKCISSEL was photographed at Robert Moses State Park Thursday.

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, September 09, 2016

Friday's Foto

The Royal Tern is our second largest tern after the similar Caspian Tern. Adults in breeding plumage are pale gray above and whitish below, palest on head and neck with a black cap. In flight they have a dark upper surface to outer primaries and dark-edged wingtips seen from below. Their relatively heavy, slender bill is orange, but ranges from yellow to reddish. Non-breeding adults and immature birds are similar, but shows only remnant of dark cap on nape.

Worldwide they have a very large range. Found in the Americas and the Atlantic coast of Africa. In Africa they breed from Mauritania to Guinea, ranging in winter from Morocco to Namibia. In the Americas they breed from southern California to Sinaloa, Mexico, from Maryland to Texas, through the West Indies to the Guianas and possibly Brazil, on the Yucatan Peninsula, in south Brazil, Uruguay and north Patagonia (Argentina). It winters from Washington south to Peru on the western coast, and from Texas to south Brazil on the eastern side (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Due to their extremely large range and large populations the IUCN lists their conservation status as Least Concern.

Over the past few years small numbers of adult and juvenile Royal Terns have been observed through the summer at coastal locations around Brooklyn. In the final edition of "Bull's Birds of New York State" Michael F. Cooper writes, "As its breeding range has crept northward in recent decades, local observers eagerly await the first NY nesting. Adults are often seen feeding flying juveniles, but terns are notorious wanderers and continue to feed their young even in winter quarters, far in time and place from breeding sites. These sightings are not proof of breeding in our area." I'm guessing that somewhere on one of New York Harbor's island nesting colonies a Royal Tern nest is waiting to be discovered.

The Royal Tern’s scientific name, Thalasseus maximus, means greatest fisherman.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From the Mother Nature Network website:

FDA bans triclosan and 18 other ingredients in antibacterial soap
Manufacturers have 1 year to remove the ingredients or products.
Mary Jo DiLonardo
September 2, 2016, 3:42 p.m.

We've become a nation of germaphobes, washing regularly with antibacterial soap, but the Food and Drug Administration has finally said knock it off.

Not only do consumers not need to use antibacterial soaps, the agency announced, but some of the ingredients found in those products may be dangerous. On Sept. 2, the FDA issued a rule banning 19 specific chemicals in liquid and bar soaps, including triclosan (commonly used in liquid soap) and triclocarban (used in bar soap). The agency says manufacturers have not shown that these products are any more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness or stopping the spread of certain infection. In addition, there is some evidence that some of these ingredients could lead to problems such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects, according to the FDA.

"Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water," Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. "In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term."

Manufacturers have one year to either remove these ingredients from their products or take the products off the market. The rule doesn't apply to hand sanitizers or wipes, or antibacterial products used in health care settings.

Many companies had already started phasing out these ingredients after the FDA issued a proposed rule in 2013 that required manufacturers to provide additional data on the safety and effectiveness of certain ingredients in the antibacterial products.

The FDA encourages people to use plain soap and water instead.

“Following simple handwashing practices is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness at home, at school and elsewhere,” says Michele. “We can’t advise this enough. It’s simple, and it works.”
...Read more

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Labor Day weekend - Saturday, September 10, 2016 to Sunday, September 11, 2016:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Discovering Governor’s Island (new BBC trip location)
Leader: Sean Zimmer
Focus: Migrating songbirds, terns, debut location
Meet: 9:30 am at the Governor Island’s Ferry, ferries run from Brooklyn Bridge Park and lower Manhattan: http://www.govisland.org/html/visit/directions.shtml
Meeting location: http://tinyurl.com/GovIslFerry ; http://tinyurl.com/GovIslFerbldg
Site profile/bird September list: https://govisland.com/; http://tinyurl.com/GovIsl9list

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, September 10, 2016, 8:00am
Connetquot River SPP Breakfast and Birding
Leaders: Ken Thompson Edith and Bob Wilson, Helga Merryman
Continental breakfast hosted by Friends of Connetquot. Reservations required - call Connetquot River Park Preserve at 581-1072 to register. Registration fee $4. plus $8 parking fee per car - unless you have yearly Empire pass. Register using the form on the programs page (Registrations will be accepted starting two weeks before the event.)

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Linnaean Society of New York
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Fort Tilden
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Sandra Maury — sandramaury39@gmail.com or 212-874-8441
Registration opens: Monday, August 29
Ride: $15

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 3-November 26, 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, September 3–September 24, 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 recommended. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

Saturday, September 10, 2016, 8-10:30am
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 10, 2016, 8-11am
Morning Fall Migration Walk in Prospect Park
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet under the arch in Grand Army Plaza. 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

Sundays, September 4–September 25, 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 recommended. For weather cancellation updates and pre-registration information, call 212-772-0288.

Sundays June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11, 9:30-11:30am
Summer Birding at Wave Hill
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/

Friday, September 9, 2016, 6:30-8:30pm (class)
Sunday, September 11, 8-11am (trip)
Fall Warblers
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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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Garvies Point Park
Leader: Lindy 628-1315

Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated.
If in doubt, please call the trip leader.
Please note: all phone numbers are area code 516 unless otherwise indicated. In most cases, the contacts are also leaders for the respective walks. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.
Please note there is a $10 per car fee at Sands Pt. Call leader for parking ideas.
Schedule note: *** indicates 8 am official start time
*indicates new parking location

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, September 11, 2016 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point
Cost: Free
Contact: Paul Lederer 718-354-9200
Maritime sand spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic topographical features 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.
We will meet at the Beach Center Parking Lot in Great Kills Park. To get to the Beach Center Parking Lot take Hylan Boulevard to Buffalo Street and drive down Buffalo Street to just where the dirt permit road begins.
For more information or directions contact Paul at his cell phone 718-354-9200.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Mill Pond Park

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

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
About 230 different bird species have been recorded in Van Cortlandt Park and over 60 species breed here!
Free!

Cabrini Woods Bird Migration Walk at Cabrini Woods, Manhattan
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join Mike Feller, expert naturalist, to learn about birds that visit Fort Tryon.
Free!

Sunday, September 11, 2016
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.
Free!

Birding at Fort Greene Park Visitor Center (in Fort Greene Park), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Come join the Urban Park Rangers on a birding walk through Fort Greene Park!
Free!
...Read more

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