Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

During his two terms President Obama created 34 new National Monuments. Here's a piece from Business Insider about those important protected areas:

Here's every piece of land Obama has put under protection during his presidency

Dana Varinsky
Jan. 16, 2017, 12:03 PM 53,012

On January 12, President Barack Obama created five new national monuments, bringing his total to 34 — more than any other president.

In total, the new monuments cover about 55,000 acres. Two of the protected areas — the California Coastal National Monument and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument — are expansions of monuments designated by Bill Clinton. The other three will preserve historic sites related to Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement, including the hotel that once served as Martin Luther King's civil rights campaign headquarters.

Throughout his time in office, Obama has used the Antiquities Act, which Roosevelt signed into law in 1906, to set aside public land for conservation. He has ramped up those efforts as the end of his presidency draws near, furthering his administration's environmental legacy before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. In December, 2016, he created two national monuments in Utah and Nevada, covering over 1.5 million acres of land.

Added up, Obama has protected more than 550 million acres — more than double the amount that the well-known conservationist Theodore Roosevelt did. His preservation agenda has been largely applauded by environmentalists but criticized by some conservatives for placing too much land under federal control.

Read the entire article here.

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, January 21, 2017 to Sunday, January 22, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Winter Wildcard
Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Trip itinerary based upon the week’s birding alert reports
Car fee: TBD
Registrar: Heidi Steiner email heidi.steiner@verizon.net or call before 8 pm 718- 369-2116
Registration Period: Jan 14th –Jan 19th

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Meet at 9:00am (Please note the new date)
Lakes Around Patchogue
John McNeil with Rosemary Valente, Co-Leader
Meet at the parking area at corner Lake Drive and East Main Street in East Patchogue by the side of Swan Lake. We will check out Swan Lake and then visit several other favorite spots for a look at the bountiful water birds that flock to LI in the winter. Always hoping for a few surprises! Dress for the weather!

All levels of naturalists — including beginners — are most welcome on Eastern Long Island Audubon field trips.
Most trips are free to attend, however, sometimes the place we are visiting has a fee.
We try to make a note of it in the notice.

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Pelham Bay Park
Joint trip with Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Meet at Pelham Bay Park at 8 AM; far left corner of the Orchard Beach parking lot.
Pelham Bay Park is known for its wintering owls, such as Northern Saw-whet, Great Horned, and Long-eared. We will also search the woods and water for winter birds. American Wigeon, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser should be in the bays. The woods here are good for Fox Sparrows and other half-hardies.
Directions: http://www.hras.org/wtobird/pelhambay.html

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, January 21, 2017 - 8:00AM
Pelham Bay Owl Prowl Joint Trip with Hudson River Audubon
More than three times the size of Manhattan's Central Park, Pelham Bay Park is the City's largest park property. Visitors to the park enjoy miles of bridle paths and hiking trails, Orchard Beach, the Bartow-Pell Mansion, and a breathtaking 13-mile saltwater shoreline that hugs Long Island Sound. Today we will join up with our friends at Hudson River Audubon to look for resident and visiting wintering owls, as well as waterfowl and late migrants.
Registration: 516-695-0763 or email hobaudubon@gmail.com
Directions: Hutchinson River Parkway to the Pelham Bay Park/City Island/Orchard Beach exit. Continue east farther into the park past the traffic circle then veering left to the parking area on Hunters Island. Meet the group there.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Croton Point Park
Leader: Paul Keim
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, January 9
Public transportation

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Littoral Society
Friday, January 13 - Sunday, January 15, 2017
Discover Montauk: A Winter Coastal Wonderland
Winter is a quiet time but also peak birding and seal-watching time. Hike the bluffs, "Walking Dunes", beaches, Hither Woods, Napeague Dunes, and visit the seal haulout site. The trip cost of $395/person (single room $140 extra) includes 2 nights at the luxurious Manor House (double occupancy), 5 meals, 5 guided hikes, 2 evening programs and star watch plus free pickup at the LIRR station in Montauk.

The Manor House has an indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna, exercise room, and a spacious lobby where we meet. Suites are large with kitchen, living room, bedroom; some are duplex and many have 2 baths, 2 separate entrances.

For more info & reservations call (718) 474-0896 or e-mail American Littoral Society Northeast Chapter Director Don Riepe at: don@littoralsociety.org.

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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8:30am – 10:30am
Eagle Watch and Bird Walk at Inwood Hill Park
Guide: Annie Barry
Meet at the western end of Dyckman Street in front of La Marina restaurant and join Annie Barry for a winter hike through the various landscapes and habitats of Inwood Hill Park. Located at the northern tip of Manhattan where the Harlem River meets the Hudson, Inwood Hill Park offers shoreline vistas, mature forest, and the last natural salt marsh in Manhattan. We will begin on the Hudson shore in search of the bald eagles that have been sighted there frequently in recent winters, then move into the forest to search for wintering and year-round birds, and finally to the salt marsh to look for wintering ducks. Some hilly walking required. Limited to 15 $36 (25)
Click here to register

Saturday, January 21, 2017, 9am – 4pm
The Freshwater Ponds of Long Island's South Shore
Guide: Tod Winston
Visit up to seven South Shore freshwater ponds that provide refuge to a surprising variety of wintering waterfowl—and great viewing opportunities to birders. Possible sightings include hooded mergansers, green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks, northern pintail, and redhead. We’ll also make a short stop or two by the bay to look for loons, grebes, and sea ducks. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $93 (65)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Winter at Freshkills Park
Guides: Cliff Hagen with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the Staten Island Ferry. Winter at Freshkills Park is an exciting time for birding. The grass-covered slopes offer birds plenty of seed and shelter to huddled flocks of horned larks, snow buntings, and sparrow species, as rough-legged hawks soar overhead. Down below the mounds are a crisscross of tidal creeks filled with a variety of waterfowl. Grebes, geese, and coots swim alongside over a dozen species of ducks including teal, mergansers, and pintails. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included. Limited to 12. $57 (40)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 9am – 4pm
Winter Eagles on the Hudson
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet at Grand Central Terminal and join NYC Audubon in seeking out one of the most incredible avian spectacles in New York: bald eagles wintering along the frozen Hudson River by the dozens or even hundreds. We will travel in comfort by Metro North to Croton Point Park, where we will look for eagles before hiking up to Croton Point Park to seek out wintering short-eared and snowy owls, snow buntings, horned larks, and other cold-weather specialties. The walk is about two miles over easy terrain. Limited to 20. Round-trip Metro North fare ($20.50) not included in trip price. $53 (37)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Weekly on Sunday, until Mar 12, 2017
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

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North Fork Audubon Society
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Birdwalk with Rick
8AM Meet in the Orient Point County Park lot opposite the Ferry entrance — not the State Park (map)
Winter Birding – Sea Ducks
Many species of duck that breed in the Arctic make their winter home here in Orient’s Plum Gut. Join Rick Kedenburg for a stroll out to the point to see some of them.
Dress warmly and for wind. Rain/snow cancels.
Info: 631-734-7144 or kedenbird@optonline.net

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, January 22, 2017 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Mt. Loretto North
We will search the winter forest for signs of wildlife while also examining the geologic history and effects of human influence of this diverse area on the south shore. Meet at the parking lot for North Mt. Loretto on Amboy Road in Richmond Valley.
For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Birding: Super Winter Bird Walk at Grand Army Plaza Arch (in Grand Army Plaza), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.
Free!

Sunday, January 22, 2017
Birding: Winter Waterfowl at Forest Avenue and Silver Lake Park Road (in Silver Lake Park), Staten Island
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
This program will focus on the different species of waterfowl that reside in our parks during the colder winter months.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, January 14, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 13, 2017:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 13, 2017
* NYNY1701.13

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE+
PAINTED BUNTING+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
ROSS’S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan
TUNDRA SWAN
Eurasian Wigeon
HARLEQUIN DUCK
SANDHILL CRANE
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Snowy Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Orange-crowned Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
RED CROSSBILL
EVENING GROSBEAK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, January 13, 2017 at 6:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, PAINTED BUNTING, SANDHILL CRANE, PINK-FOOTED, BARNACLE, ROSS’S and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED and GLAUCOUS GULLS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RED CROSSBILL, and EVENING GROSBEAK.

With most of this week’s rarities holdovers from earlier, one that wasn’t was a male PAINTED BUNTING appearing briefly at a Yonkers feeder last Sunday morning, its visit presumably prompted by the weekend’s storm. Then today a female PAINTED BUNTING was spotted on Staten Island at the end of Arden Avenue, which is in Annadale, reached from Hylan Boulevard.

The TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, first spotted on the north fork last Friday, was still feeding in the cedars along North Sea Drive northwest of Southold as of today. Look for the bird around the cedars usually on the Long Island Sound side of the road in the vicinity of a blue house #1625 N. Sea Drive – it does range along the road and occasionally to the other side and can sit quietly, sometimes hidden, for awhile. Please park carefully; this is a narrow road.

A SANDHILL CRANE has been present on Wainscott Pond recently, at least through Wednesday, and is best viewed from Wainscott Main Road at the north end of the pond. Three other SANDHILLS were noted flying southwest over Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers late Monday morning, these likely the three moving north over Fort Tryon Park back on the 5th.

For the GEESE, the PINK-FOOTED was still frequenting Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream yesterday, and the BARNACLE has been most regularly seen in the morning at Belmont Lake State Park before the geese fly out towards the Pinelawn and St. Charles cemeteries and adjacent golf course west of Belmont Lake. ROSS’S GEESE continue to pop up in the area, with 1 at Hendrickson Park, 3 visiting Elda Lake off Phelps Lane in north Babylon and another flying over Aquabogue, all last Sunday, with 4 off Alvah’s Lane in Cutchogue Thursday and noted flying by there today.

Among the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE reports were singles at Southard’s Pond Saturday and nearby Elda Lake Monday, 1 at Georgica Pond in East Hampton Monday, 1 on Agawam Lake in Southampton, and 1 back on Playland Lake in Rye at least Monday and Tuesday, this bird flying out early.

CACKLING GEESE are sometimes found in the local CANADA flocks, and the 2 TUNDRA SWANS were still on Lake Ronkonkoma today.

A drake EURASION WIGEON was still visiting the Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park Brooklyn to Tuesday, with 1 on Pepperidge Lake in Eastport Wednesday, 1 still on Staten Island, off Arthur Kill Road Thursday, and 1 near Fresh Pond in Northport today.

Look for HARLEQUIN DUCKS along the Jones inlet and Shinnecock inlet jetties.

Adult BLACK-HEADED GULLS continue on Cammans Pond in Merrick and at Five Islands Park in New Rochelle.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was spotted at Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn, Wednesday, another continues at Shinnecock Inlet, and a couple remain in Bellport, often on ponds in the Atlantic Point Apartments complex in North Bellport, where up to 4 ICELAND GULLS have also been reported. Another ICELAND visited Prospect Park Lake Monday and 1 or more have been along the Brooklyn waterfront between Bush Terminal Piers Park and the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4.

The arrival of wintering SNOWY, NORTHERN SAW-WHET, LONG-EARED and SHORT-EARED OWLS in our area once again prompts us to remind birders to please keep a respectful distance from roosting OWLS – do not in any way hinder their ability to survive with irresponsible disturbances.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS have recently been in Central and Hendrickson Parks and at the Makamah Preserve in Fort Salonga.

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER were along the fisherman’s road at Jones Beach West End this week, with other ORANGE-CROWNEDS also elsewhere.

Last Saturday on Staten Island the female RED CROSSBILL was still at Midland Beach and an EVENING GROSBEAK was reported flying over Wolf’s Pond Park.

The provenance of a TRUMPETER SWAN recently off Nyack Beach State Park in Rockland County has not been determined, its origin possibly questionable.

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

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Monday, January 09, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, January 14, 2017 to Sunday, January 15, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Eagles of the Delaware River Valley, Port Jervis area, NJ
Leaders: Alan Baratz and Janet Zinn
Focus: Primarily Eagles in their environment. Ducks, woodpeckers, common winter passerines
Car fee: $45.00
Registrar: Janet Schumacher janets33@optonline.net or 718-594-7480
Registration Period: Jan 7th –Jan 12th
Note: This trip is all day, returning in early evening; limited to 12 participants (3 cars). Little walking, primarily a driving stop-and-go trip.

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Meet at 9:00am (Please note the new date)
Lakes Around Patchogue
John McNeil with Rosemary Valente, Co-Leader
Meet at the parking area at corner Lake Drive and East Main Street in East Patchogue by the side of Swan Lake. We will check out Swan Lake and then visit several other favorite spots for a look at the bountiful water birds that flock to LI in the winter. Always hoping for a few surprises! Dress for the weather!

All levels of naturalists — including beginners — are most welcome on Eastern Long Island Audubon field trips.
Most trips are free to attend, however, sometimes the place we are visiting has a fee.
We try to make a note of it in the notice.

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sunday, January 15, 2017, 2:30PM to 3:30PM
Owl Prowl
Calling all Junior Rangers to participate in an owl adventure. Learn about owls and their habitat through and an owl pellet. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, January 14, 2017, 8:00am
Connetquot River SPP Breakfast and Birding
Leaders: Bob & Edith Wilson, Ken Thompson, Helga Merryman
Continental breakfast hosted by Friends of Connetquot. Reservations required - click here or call Connetquot River State Park Preserve at 631-581-1072 to register. Registration fee $4. plus $8 parking fee per car - unless you have yearly Empire pass.
(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, January 15, 2017 - 9:00AM
Capri Lake and Captree State Park Birding
An assortment of winter waterfowl and maybe even some monk parakeets should be found at this little known hot spot in West Islip. Later, a short drive to Captree to see what winter visitors await in the State Park.
Registration: 631-885-1881 or aveblue@gmail.com
Directions: Take either Robert Moses Parkway or 231 south to Montauk Highway. Capri Lake is about a mile west of Robert Moses or a mile east of 231. We will meet in a small office parking lot on the northwest corner of Montauk Highway and Barberry Road

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Linnaean Society of New York
January 14, 2017 — Rain date January 15
Jones Beach
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Miriam Rakowski — miriamrakowski@hotmail.com or 212-749-7376
Registration opens: Monday, December 26, 2016
Ride: $25

**********

Littoral Society
Friday, January 13 - Sunday, January 15, 2017
Discover Montauk: A Winter Coastal Wonderland
Winter is a quiet time but also peak birding and seal-watching time. Hike the bluffs, "Walking Dunes", beaches, Hither Woods, Napeague Dunes, and visit the seal haulout site. The trip cost of $395/person (single room $140 extra) includes 2 nights at the luxurious Manor House (double occupancy), 5 meals, 5 guided hikes, 2 evening programs and star watch plus free pickup at the LIRR station in Montauk.

The Manor House has an indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna, exercise room, and a spacious lobby where we meet. Suites are large with kitchen, living room, bedroom; some are duplex and many have 2 baths, 2 separate entrances.

For more info & reservations call (718) 474-0896 or e-mail American Littoral Society Northeast Chapter Director Don Riepe at: don@littoralsociety.org.

**********

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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, January 14, 9:30am – 4:00pm
Snow Birds of Floyd Bennett Field and Fort Tilden
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Winter brings many rare birds to the City that can’t be found here at any other time. Perhaps most exciting are the “snow birds” of the Arctic tundra, such as snow buntings and snowy owls, that can occasionally be found in tundra-like habitats further south. Look for these and other winter visitors such as horned larks, American tree sparrows, and rough-legged hawks, as well as wintering ducks, grebes, and loons. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $86 (60)
Click here to register

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

Sunday, January 15, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Weekly on Sunday, until Mar 12, 2017
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, January 15, 2017 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Conference House Park
Cost: Free

What do burnt cornflakes, worts, and ski trails all have in common? They are identifying characteristic of tree bark at Conference House Park. Participants will learn to identify trees in the winter using their bark, including the persimmon, a native tree species that is threatened in New York State. We will meet at the parking lot near the Visitors Center, 7455 Hylan Boulevard. For more information contact Will Lenihan at wleni5584@gmail.com.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Jones Beach / Point Lookout
Leader: Arie Gilbert - 917-693-7178
Birding Sites Maps here

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Sullivan County Audubon Society
Sunday, January 15, 2017
2017 Waterfowl Count - It Is What It’s Quacked Up To Be!
This is Sullivan Audubon's 19th year in doing this count for the New York State Ornithological Association who, in turn, works with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This year’s count takes place Saturday, January 14th through Saturday, January 22nd, with Sunday the 15th being the main target day.

“What do we do?” you ask. We count ducks and geese, lots of them, and mergansers, swans and grebes. We even throw in some of those hybrid ducks also. It’s easy, just write down how many of each kind you see, where you saw them and what day and time you saw them. This way when I compile the data no bird will be double-counted. Last year all of our counters tallied 1462 individuals consisting of 9 species. In 20 hours our groups traveled 364 miles within Sullivan County. Hopefully weather will not be a problem so, if you can, jump in the car and take a spin around our county and see what you can spot. The more eyes out there looking the better. You can then report your findings to me at 482-5044 before 7pm, or email your results. Go ahead, try it, I think you’ll like it. It’s fun! – Renee Davis

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Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Birding: Winter Birds at Highland Park Entrance, Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
New York City parks boast a wide variety of bird species throughout the year, and the Urban Park Rangers host the guided tours you need to locate and identify them.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, January 07, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 6, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 6, 2017
* NYNY1701.06

- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greater White-fronted Goose
ROSS'S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
Eurasian Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
KING EIDER
Harlequin Duck
Red-necked Grebe
Eared Grebe
American Bittern
Great Egret
Tricolored Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Virginia Rail
Sora
SANDHILL CRANE
DOVEKIE
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
SNOWY OWL
Short-eared Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
NORTHERN SHRIKE
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Palm Warbler
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (western subspecies "Audubon's" form)
Yellow-breasted Chat
Savannah Sparrow (subspecies "Ipswich Sparrow")
DICKCISSEL
Red Crossbill

- Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, January 6th 2017 at 8pm. The highlights of today's tape are TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, SANDHILL CRANE, PINK-FOOTED, BARNACLE and ROSS'S GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, KING EIDER, DOVEKIE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, SNOWY OWL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, DICKCISSEL and Christmas Count results that include ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and Audubon's YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER.

The Southern Nassau Christmas Count on January 1st recorded an impressive 140 species. Among its highlights were a first record ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER unfortunately only seen briefly at Point Lookout Town Park and not relocated since and CACKLING GOOSE also new to the count and many good finds also featured BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 4 HARLEQUIN DUCKS plus EARED and RED-NECKED GREBES at Point Lookout, VIRGINIA RAIL and SORA, the adult BLACK-HEADED GULL at Cammann's Pond. Among the herons AMERICAN BITTERN, 3 GREAT EGRETS, TRICOLORED HERON and YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, OSPREY, BALD EAGLE, 6 LAPLAND LONGSPURS at Jones Beach West End, 6 species of warblers 2 ORANGE-CROWNED, 2 NASHVILLE, PALM and Audubon's form of YELLOW-RUMPED, a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and 5 Ipswich SAVANNAH SPARROWS.

Today a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was spotted on the north fork along the north shore northwest of Southold. Watch for it along the thickets near a blue house with the address 1625 North Sea Road but please do not cause any form of disturbance for the local residents.

A SANDHILL CRANE spotted Wednesday on Wainscott Pond in Wainscott on the south fork was still present today when it could be seen on the pond as viewed from Main Road. Three other SANDHILLS were reported Thursday flying up the Hudson River by Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan.

Among the waterfowl a PINK-FOOTED GOOSE continues to visit the pond in Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream where a CACKLING GOOSE and an immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER also reside. The 2 ROSS'S GEESE at Robert Moses State Park were last noted on the 1st. Singles have since occurred at Pine Lawn Cemetery off Long Island Avenue in Farmingdale, for a short while Wednesday on Lake Capri on the north side of Route 27A in West Islip. A BARNACLE GOOSE has also been noted between Pine Lawn Cemetery and St. Charles Cemetery off Wellwood Avenue just to the south. The BARNACLE and the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE have also used Belmont Lake State Park as an overnight roost and this is worth checking early in the morning. Besides the WHITE-FRONTED at Belmont others this week include one at Southards Pond in Babylon Saturday, one Sunday at Eastport Lake north of Montauk Highway in Eastport and one at Further Lane in East Hampton Sunday. Two TUNDRA SWANS continue towards the north end of Lake Ronkonkoma through today. Drake EURASIAN WIGEONS have this week been seen on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Monday, at Marine Park in Brooklyn Wednesday, along the west shore of Staten Island and at Eastport Pond.

A KING EIDER was spotted off Montauk Point Wednesday and among the birds noted off the point last Sunday were a DOVEKIE, 75 RAZORBILLS, a RED-NECKED GREBE and 2 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES. Up to 3 HARLEQUIN DUCKS have been along the jetties at Shinnecock Inlet this week but also in that area and along Dune Road have been GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS, SNOWY and SHORT-EARED OWLS and AMERICAN BITTERN. Two GLAUCOUS GULLS were also in North Bellport today and a number of ICELAND GULL sightings have included two along with a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL in a large gathering of gulls along the East River near 51st Street in Manhattan as noted on Wednesday. Besides the Cammann's Pond bird a second adult BLACK-HEADED GULL continues at Five Islands Park in New Rochelle or at low tide on Premium Millpond in Larchmont.

At Midland Beach on Staten Island there have been lingering singles of DICKCISSEL and RED CROSSBILL and a LAPLAND LONGSPUR continues with Horned Larks in the parking lot median at field 5 at Robert Moses State Park.

In northern Westchester a NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen again on the first in Onatru Farm Park in Lewisboro.

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

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website "Mother Nature Network":

The once hopelessly polluted Anacostia River is making a comeback
Krista Schlyer is photographing the people, wildlife and landscapes of America's 'forgotten' river.
Jaymi Heimbuch
January 3, 2017, 7:34 a.m.

The Anacostia River joins the Potomac River and flows into our nation's capital. But despite the prestigious location, it has suffered years of abuse. (Photo: Krista Schlyer)

Among the many rivers that course through the United States, there's one that flows right into our nation's capital as it joins the Potomac River. Yet despite the prestigious location, it has been nicknamed “the forgotten river.”

The Anacostia River has endured centuries of abuse. It runs 8.7 miles from Bladensburg, Maryland, to the District of Columbia. From the time that Europeans first arrived, development has cleared its wetlands, clogged its banks and poured sediment, agricultural waste, industrial pollution and raw sewage into the water.

Once teeming with fish and clear water, the river is but a bedraggled ghost of its former self. But it's a ghost with the potential to come back to life.

Though centuries of neglect have altered it, mere decades of dedicated work may bring it back to the sparkling, life-giving river it once was.

To encourage this conservation and document the complexity of the task, photographer Krista Schlyer has brought her talent for visual storytelling to the front lines. In the process, she reaffirms the importance of looking at one’s own backyard for ways to make a big difference through environmental stewardship.

Click here to read the entire story

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, January 7, 2017 to Sunday, January 8, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, January 7 - Sunday, January 8, 2017
A Jersey Winter Blitz-zer
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Winter species, waterfowl, raptors, ducks, winter songbird residents
Car fee :$85.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: Nov 15th – Dec 30th
Note: Trip begins Saturday morning; Focusing on New Jersey premier winter locations and target species

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Winter Nature Hike
Time: 10:00am to 11:30am
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Join NPS rangers to find out where animals go in the winter.

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Dead Horse Bay, New York's Best Kept Natural Secret
Time: 10:00am to 12:30pm
Location: Floyd Bennett Field- Main Entrance Ranger Station
Join American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen to hike the trails of Dead Horse Bay.

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Winter Woodpecker Walk
Time: 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Join a ranger on a walk on the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's trails as we seek out some beloved woodpeckers!

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, January 7, 9:00am
Montauk
Leaders: John Gluth (631-827- 0120), Ken Thompson (631-612-8028)
Meet at Lighthouse parking lot. Latecomers can still join in the vicinity of the restaurant overlook. Directions Route 27 to 27A to end.
(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Jones Beach
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Miriam Rakowski — miriamrakowski@hotmail.com or 212-749-7376
Registration opens: Monday, December 26, 2016
Ride: $25

**********

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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, January 7, 2017, 9am – 6pm
Winter Birding on the South Shore of Long Island
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Winter in New York brings the excitement of possibility: Will snowy owls appear in the dunes? Will harlequin ducks move westward from Cape Cod and Montauk, and appear in closer waters? Will irruptive northern finches and bohemian waxwings move south from Canada? All of these species and more are possible on Long Island in the winter, along with more expected species such as loons, grebes, scaup, eider, northern harriers, purple sandpiper, and more. Bundle up and brave the cold for some of the best birding our area has to offer. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $93 (65)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Winter at Freshkills Park
Guides: Cliff Hagen with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the Staten Island Ferry. Winter at Freshkills Park is an exciting time for birding. The grass-covered slopes offer birds plenty of seed and shelter to huddled flocks of horned larks, snow buntings, and sparrow species, as rough-legged hawks soar overhead. Down below the mounds are a crisscross of tidal creeks filled with a variety of waterfowl. Grebes, geese, and coots swim alongside over a dozen species of ducks including teal, mergansers, and pintails. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included. Limited to 12. $57 (40)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 9:30am – 11:30am
Winter Birding Along the Hudson: Wave Hill
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. The Hudson River valley hosts an impressive diversity of bird species, even during the winter months. Come explore the beautiful gardens and woodlands of Wave Hill and observe the hardy birds that spend the winter in this urban oasis. Walks run rain or shine. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, January 7, 2017 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Beach and Bluffs @ Mt. Loretto
Enjoy a mid-winter walk to investigate the geology beneath the historic Prince’s Bay lighthouse. Naturalist Ray Matarazzo will discuss storm erosion at the Terminal Moraine. During the walk participants may find fossils. Winter storm action and erosion occasionally reveal glacial drift fossils from the Devonian Period, fossils which are millions of year’s old. Bring a magnifier. Meet in the Hylan Boulevard parking lot across from the CYO Community Center at Kenny Road.
For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at 718 317-7666 Sunday, January 15, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Winter Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Explore Wave Hill’s tranquil gardens and woodlands with naturalist Gabriel Willow to observe birds in their winter habitats.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, December 30, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 30, 2016
* NYNY1612.30

- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
THICK-BILLED MURRE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
ROSS'S GOOSE
CACKLING GOOSE
TUNDRA SWAN
Eurasian Wigeon
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Eurasian form)
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Surf Scoter
Northern Gannet
Black Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Goshawk
Clapper Rail
Virginia Rail
American Woodcock
DOVEKIE
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-headed Gull
Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull
Black Skimmer
Barn Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Merlin
NORTHERN SHRIKE
Common Raven
Marsh Wren
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Chipping Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow
DICKCISSEL
RED CROSSBILL

- Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, December 30th 2016 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are Christmas Count results including PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, CACKLING GOOSE, TUNDRA SWAN, Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, RED CROSSBILL plus ROSS'S GOOSE, BARNACLE GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, KING EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, THICK-BILLED MURRE, DOVEKIE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR and DICKCISSEL.

The Bronx-Westchester Christmas Count Monday recorded 118 species. New to the count were the PINK-FOOTED GOOSE as well as the CACKLING GOOSE both residing recently at Van Cortlandt Park where they, an immature Snow Goose and 100s of Canadas, can usually be found on the Parade Ground along Route 9 / Broadway. Other highlights were 1,200 SURF SCOTERS with other scoters off City Island, 5 NORTHERN GANNETS, the adult BLACK-HEADED GULL at Five Islands Park in New Rochelle, ICELAND GULL, 7 BLACK VULTURES, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, CLAPPER RAIL, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, 9 MERLIN, a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, 12 COMMON RAVENS and 4 RED CROSSBILLS in Rye. The crossbills at Greenwood Union Cemetery have not been seen since.

The Smithtown Count Tuesday netted 103 species including 2 TUNDRA SWANS on Lake Ronkonkoma, a Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL on Setauket Mill Pond, one CLAPPER and 2 VIRGINIA RAILS, BALD EAGLE, 18 NORTHERN GANNETS, BARN OWL, a few MARSH WRENS, NASHVILLE WARBLER and CHIPPING SPARROW. The TUNDRA SWANS were still present today on the lake off Lakeshore Road.

Regarding PINK-FOOTED GEESE the Van Cortlandt bird was still there Thursday and the one in Arthur J. Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream was there today.

Besides the Five Islands Park BLACK-HEADED GULL a second adult has been visiting Cammann's Pond in Merrick through today this pond off Merrick Road less than a mile east of the Meadowbrook Parkway.

Finishing the waterfowl 2 ROSS'S GEESE have been feeding through today in the grass circle around the water tower at the entrance to Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island and another ROSS'S was spotted on Saint John's Pond off Route 25A in Coldspring last Saturday. A BARNACLE GOOSE spotted today in St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale was presumably the bird that is likely still roosting overnight in Belmont Lake State Park east of there. The GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE at Playland Park in Rye departs the lake very early and did not make it onto the Bronx-Westchester Count while another was spotted at Hook Pond in East Hampton Sunday. Among the few reports of this species were 2 CACKLING GEESE together on a sod field off Edward's Avenue in Calverton Wednesday. The EURASIAN WIGEON was noted in Setauket Harbor last Sunday and 2 HARLEQUIN DUCKS were along the jetty at Jones Beach West End Monday.

Out at Montauk Point yesterday in the stormy weather some nice birds featured a drake KING EIDER as well as 3 DOVEKIES and 2 THICK-BILLED MURRES joining about 140 RAZORBILLS and a distant BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE. GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS have been reported during the week at Bush Terminal Piers Park in Brooklyn with ICELAND also at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4 Thursday.

Adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were seen on Sunday at Kissena Park in Queens and Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown and the immature continues at Hendrickson Park. The YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was still at the Plandome railroad station Sunday and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS included one at Drier-Offerman Park in Brooklyn to Wednesday and 2 at Smith Point County Park in Shirley Tuesday. Single LAPLAND LONGSPUR (S) have been present during the week at Jones Beach West End and Robert Moses State Park.

In northern Westchester an immature NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen again Monday and Tuesday at Onatru Farm Park in Lewisboro and a DICKCISSEL was reported again today at Midland Beach on Staten Island.

The Kings County Christmas Count reported last week without complete information actually took place on Saturday the 17th and included among its 119 species previously unmentioned passerines such as 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, single VESPER and NELSON'S SPARROWS. The 3 BLACK SKIMMERS were actually found the day after the count.

To phone in reports on Long Island or in New York please call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Happy New Year!

- End transcript
...Read more

Monday, December 26, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, December 31, 2016 to New Year's Day, Sunday, January 1, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, January 1, 2017, 10am – 11am
Early Morning Bird Walk: Bring in the New Year with Birds
Join the Prospect Park Alliance on New Year's Day to explore the Park’s nature trails and discover the beautiful plumage and fascinating behavior of the Park’s wintering ducks. Please note this tour leaves promptly at 10 am. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
New Year’s Day, January 1, 2017
A walk along the western Brooklyn Coast
Leader: Peter Dorosh (347) 622-3559
Focus: First birds of the new year during an estimated 3 mile walk
Meet: 9 am at the R train 45th St stop, west corner
Note: Locations include Bush Terminal Pier Park; Pier 4 at 58th St; Owls Head Park; Greenwood Cemetery (optional)

**********

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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Sunday, January 1, 2017, 11am – 2pm
New Year's Day Beach Walk, Fort Tilden
Guide: Don Riepe, Mickey Cohen
With American Litoral Society and Gateway NRA
Meet at Fort Tilden in Breezy Point for a brisk hike along the beach, dunes, and woods to welcome in the New Year. Look for saw-whet and snowy owls. Enjoy champagne, coffee, and cookies afterward at the Rockaway Artists Alliance. For more information, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com. No reservations necessary. No limit. Free

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, January 1, 2017 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
27th Annual New Year’s Day Walk to Crooke’s Point @ Great Kills Park
Join NRPA and PPOW for a healthy start to a fantastic New Year. Gather in the parking lot at Hylan Blvd. and Buffalo Street and carpool to the last lot before Crooke’s Point. The group will observe wintering birds and dormant grasses while discussing ideas and concerns for the year ahead. After a half mile walk to the point, we will share treats and tales in celebration of the New Year. We continue to the harbor before returning to the cars. Contact Jim Scarcella at (718) 873-4291 or Cliff Hagen at (718) 313-8591.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Ranger's Choice: Birding Van Tour - Owls at Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Winter is the best time of year to spot owls as the leaves are gone, making it harder for them to hide. The days are also shorter, which is perfect for our nocturnal residents
Free!

**********

Wild Bird Fund
Sunday, January 1, 2017 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
WBF’s New Years Day Bird Walk!
Celebrate the New Year with Alan Messer and WBF! Please join WBF member and artist/naturalist Alan Messer for a bird walk on Sunday January 1st (rain date: Sunday Jan. 2). We will walk into Central Park and scan the reservoir for waterfowl and gulls, and check out the Pinetum for kinglets and raptors. We’ll then navigate the Ramble for sparrows, finches, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other over-wintering species, who have much to teach us about resiliency and persistence in the face…
$10 - $15
...Read more

Saturday, December 24, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 23, 2016
* NYNY1612.23

- Birds Mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
WESTERN TANAGER+
PAINTED BUNTING+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Snow Goose
ROSS’S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Eurasian Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Common Eider
Harlequin Duck
Red-necked Grebe
American Bittern
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Virginia Rail
Spotted Sandpiper
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Laughing Gull
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Black Skimmer
Barn Owl
Snowy Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Merlin
Eastern Phoebe
NORTHERN SHRIKE
Common Raven
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Lapland Longspur
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Chipping Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Boat-tailed Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
Evening Grosbeak

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

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

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke

Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, December 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm. Highlights include PAINTED BUNTING, BLACK-HEADED GULL, PINK-FOOTED, BARNACLE, ROSS’S and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, and Christmas Count results including WESTERN TANAGER plus more.

In an interesting week, a few nice rarities not associated with Christmas Counts included a female PAINTED BUNTING nicely photographed Wednesday during its short appearance at a private feeder in Mastic.

In Westchester, an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL has returned to Five Islands Park in New Rochelle, accessed by Le Fevres Lane off Route 1; look especially around the water treatment facility. Late today at low tide it was at Premium Mill Pond in Larchmont. Another BLACK-HEADED GULL has been seen since Monday at Cammann’s Pond off Merrick Road in Merrick, Long Island

And of course there are the Geese, two of which frustrated Counts by not showing up on Count Day. The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE at Arthur J. Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream took count day off but has been present most days, joined recently by a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.

On Thursday, a 2nd PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was spotted in a large CANADA GOOSE flock on the parade grounds at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and visited there again today along with single CACKLING and SNOW GEESE.

The BARNACLE GOOSE often roosting overnight on the lake at Belmont Lake State Park unfortunately took the Count day off.

Similarly for the Greenwich Stamford Count, a PINK-FOOTED GOOSE departed just before the Count, while a ROSS’S GOOSE appeared just after Count day.

On Tuesday, two ROSS’S GEESE showed up by the water tower at Robert Moses State Park, and they were still being seen there today.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE appeared for the Captree Count Sunday, another was spotted on Town Lane in Amagansett Sunday, an adult returning to Playland Lake in Rye was still there today, and a 4th WHITE-FRONTED was at Southards Pond Park in Babylon Wednesday.

The Christmas Counts held last weekend had to endure some rotten weather, with snow, rain, fog and high winds all in the mix.

On Saturday the Montauk Count record 118 species, highlights including 2 AMERICAN BITTERNS, 3 VIRGINIA RAILS, 34 RAZORBILLS, SNOWY and NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS, EASTERN PHOEBE, a COMMON RAVEN as a new Count addition, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

Also on Saturday, Northern Nassau recorded 100 species, including RED-NECKED GREBE, BALD EAGLE, MERLIN, OSPREY, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, 4 COMMON RAVENS, and a YELLOW-BREASED CHAT at the Plandome railroad station.

On slightly better Sunday, the Kings County Count netted 119 species, featuring 5 WOOD DUCKS and 5 COMMON EIDER, a SPOTTED SANDPIPER new for the count, 5 LAUGING GULLS, 3 BLACK SKIMMERS, SNOWY and NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, EASTERN PHOEBE and BALTIMORE ORIOLE.

The Queens Count came in with 118 species including CACKLING GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, BALD EAGLE, BARN OWL, 2 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS, a WESTERN TANAGER identified at Cedar Grove Cemetery, HOUSE and 2 MARSH WRENS, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, CHIPPING SPARROW and BALTIMORE ORIOLE.

Captree Sunday came in with 113 species featuring GREATER WHITE-FRONTED and CACKLING GEESE, BALD EAGLE, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, EASTERN PHOEBE, 2 MARSH WRENS, 4 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, 3 CHIPPING SPARROWS, a LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and 42 BOAT-TAILED GRACKLES.

Greenwich Stamford Sunday recorded 112 species including 2 TUNDRA SWANS, EURASIAN WIGEON, 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 3 RED-NECKED GREBES, RAZORBILL, an immature BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE on Long Island Sound, NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

The Manhattan section of the Lower Hudson Count Sunday added ICELAND GULL, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, and BALTIMORE ORIOLE.

Among the Rockland Count’s 88 species Sunday were MERLIN and 2 EVENING GROSBEAKS.

A fish kill on the beach at Triton Lane off Dune Road last Friday had attracted GLAUCOUS, 2 ICELAND, and 6 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, and others of each were noted during the week.

Two HARLEQUIN DUCKS were at Shinnecock Inlet last Friday, with 3 at the Jones Beach West End jetty on the 14th.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE has been in Lewisboro in northern Westchester this week.

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

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Have a Happy Holiday!

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

The UK will outlaw plastic microbeads in the coming year. From businessGreen:

Government Plans to Ban Microbeads by October 2017
Michael Holder
20 December 2016

Defra plans to change legislation by October 2017 to end UK sale of toiletry products containing tiny pieces of plastic harmful to marine life

By the end of October 2017 the government aims to have banned the sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing micro beads, according to new plans published today.

The two-month consultation sets out the government's strategy to fulfill its promise earlier this year to ban microbeads, tiny particles of plastic which are harmful to marine life. The document also looks at what more can be done in the future to prevent other sources of plastic from entering the marine environment.

Ahead of any legislative change, however, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is urging Christmas shoppers to avoid products containing microbeads in favour of those which use natural alternatives.

Microbeads - tiny pieces of plastic often added as exfoliators to toiletry products such as face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels - can get into waterways and oceans, potentially causing serious harm to marine life, while there are also concerns surrounding the potential impact on human health.

A single shower can send up to 100,000 beads down the drain, according to the government, which first revealed its intention to ban microbeads back in September.

Many companies have already taken steps to voluntarily phase out microbeads from the products they manufacture or sell, but MPs on Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee earlier this year called for an industry-wide ban, claiming the voluntary approach would not be effective enough.

Announcing the two-month consultation today, Defra Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the proposals showed the UK takes its responsibility to marine life around the world very seriously.

"It's encouraging many retailers and manufacturers are already taking action to phase out microbeads, but today we are making sure that in future they will have no place in personal care products, like shower gels and face scrubs, that end up going down the drain," she said in a statement.

Defra added that products containing no microbeads but with the same exfoliating properties were already "readily available" on the market, with many manufacturers using natural alternatives such as nut shells, salt and sugar instead of plastic.

Commenting on the proposed ban, Dominic Winter, sustainability manager at retailer Neal's Yard Remedies, said the firm had never used microplastics in any of its products. "There are a range of highly effective natural, sustainable options when purchasing personal care products, with ingredients that have a hugely reduced impact on the environment," he said.

Dr Laura Foster, head of pollution at the Marine Conservation Society, also voiced her support for banning microbeads. "This consultation gives an opportunity to show the UK can be a world leader in improving the health of our oceans and reducing microplastic pollution," she said.

The consultation closes on February 28 2017.
...Read more

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday's Foto

The Common Redpoll is one of our "winter finches" that is normally found in the subarctic forests and tundra across northern Canada and much of Alaska. Circumpolar, they also range across the northern reaches of Europe and Russia.

A bit larger than our American Goldfinch males are heavily streaked and have a small, red crown and rosy breast. Females are duller, lack the rosy breast, but do have a red crown. Usually traveling in large, energetic flocks they feed primarily on seeds from birches, alders, willows, pines, elms, basswood and larch. Like chickadees, they are quite acrobatic and often hang upside down as they feed. They will go to feeders in the winter and can be very tame. Common Redpolls can survive temperatures of -65° F. Some individuals tunnel into the snow to stay warm during the night.

Common Redpolls are abundant, so much so that the IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as “Least Concern”. In addition, they rate a 7 out of 20 on the 2016 State of North America's Birds Species Assessment Summary and Watch List.

The Common Redpoll’s genus was recently changed from carduelis to acanthis. According to Wikipedia, “Molecular phylogenetic studies showed that the Arctic and common redpolls formed a distinct lineage, so the two species were grouped together in the resurrected genus Acanthis”. Its scientific name, Acanthis flammea, means “type of finch” (from Greek mythology Acanthis, daughter of Autonous, who was metamorphosed into a type of finch) and flame-coloured.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 15, 2016
* NYNY1612.15

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
MEW GULL+
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD+
“WESTERN” FLYCATCHER+
WESTERN TANAGER+

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greater White-fronted Goose
Cackling Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
EURASIAN WIGEON
GREEN-WINGED TEAL “EURASIAN” form
SANDHILL CRANE
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Red-headed Woodpecker
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Snow Bunting
Ovenbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
DICKCISSEL
RED CROSSBILL
EVENING GROSBEAK

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

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

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke

Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are MEW GULL, a “WESTERN”-type FLYCATCHER, WESTERN TANAGER, SANDHILL CRANE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, PINK-FOOTED and BARNACLE GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, EURASIAN WIGEON and “EURASIAN” form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, DICKCISSEL, RED CROSSBILL and EVENING GROSBEAK.

An adult MEW GULL has again appeared along the Brooklyn waterfront, perhaps the same Common Gull subspecies noted there in previous winters. This bird was nicely photographed Monday as it fed in the Narrows off the Belt Parkway esplanade between the Veterans Memorial Pier and the pedestrian crossover at 80th Street.

An EMPIDONAX FLYCATCHER, believed to be in the “WESTERN” group comprised of Pacific-slope and Cordilleran Flycatchers and first spotted and photographed on the 8th in Inwood Hill Park in northern Manhattan, was last seen there on Saturday. The original and subsequent photographs might aid in its specific identification, but to our knowledge, no other supporting evidence such as recordings or DNA material has been obtained, so the identification issue may remain unresolved.

The WESTERN TANAGER was still present Wednesday in City Hall Park in Manhattan in trees between City Hall and the building to the north; the YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT there was last noted Saturday but OVENBIRD, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET were there Wednesday.

In Westchester 4 SANDHILL CRANES flew low over Rye Brook Saturday afternoon.

Two SELASPHOROUS HUMMINGBIRDS, appearing to both be RUFOUS, have recently been visiting feeders at a private home in Aquabogue, so if you have hummingbird feeders still out, keep them full and unfrozen.

The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was still visiting Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream as of this morning and one was noted at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale last Sunday. Also at St. Charles a BARNACLE GOOSE was present Sunday and Monday, then seen Tuesday and today at nearby Belmont Lake State Park. This lake is a well-used overnight goose roost, worth checking for the BARNACLE, possibly also the PINK-FOOTED, and a few Greater White-fronted Geese as well, as the latter have been regular there in recent years.

A CACKLING GOOSE was at Van Cortlandt Park Monday and has been reported from other local sites as well.

Two TUNDRA SWANS were back on Hook Pond in East Hampton as of last Saturday, this is the most reliable regional site for this species.

A drake EURASIAN WIGEON continues on the Setauket Mill Pond to today, and the also lingering “EURASIAN” GREEN-WINGED TEAL remains there as well.

A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL visited Randall’s Island last Saturday, and an ICELAND GULL was on Staten Island Wednesday.

An adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still in Kissena Park, Queens, Saturday, with an immature at the Makamah Preserve in Fort Salonga Tuesday.

A DICKCISSEL has been present recently on Staten Island in New Dorp at Midland Beach, where a RED CROSSBILL was also noted last Saturday.

Two LAPLAND LONGSPURS continue with SNOW BUNTINGS at Jones Beach West End.

Single ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were spotted at Marine Park’s Salt Marsh Nature Center in Brooklyn Saturday and at Bay Park County Park Wednesday; others should be around.

A YELLOW WARBLER was at the south end of Fort Pond in Montauk last Saturday.

An EVENING GROSBEAK appeared briefly at a Rye feeder this morning.

We’d be happy to announce Christmas Count highlights so please call them in to Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483. Our thanks to Patricia Lindsay and Shai Mitra for their assistance with the RBA during Tony Lauro’s illness, and we wish Tony a very speedy recovery.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From the Earth Times website:

The Endangered Tapaculo Adapts to Fragmentation of its Forest.
By Dave Armstrong


The endangered, recently-discovered and little-researched tapaculo is one of many species at risk as we lose our primary forests. This Ecuadorean Tapaculo is showing some sign of resilience however. Tapaculo image; Credit: © Claudia Hermes

Claudia Hermes with Annika Döpper, H. Martin Schaefer and Gernot Segelbacher, all of the University of Freiburg in Germany, have been studying the effects of fragmentation of South American forests, as the many different types of rainforest are more and more decimated. Nature Conservation’s paper appears this week as Effects of forest fragmentation on the morphological and genetic structure of a dispersal-limited, endangered bird species.

Forest corridors are the fashionable way to go with separate pieces of vegetation over a large area, but the cloud forests in Ecuador are unique and perhaps difficult to regenerate in ways to suit their endemic plants and animals. The use of dispersal corridors by the endangered Ecuadorian Tapaculo were identified and an interesting adaptation of the species to the degree of of cloud forest fragmentation. This would be useful to any such species if extinction were to threaten.

Genetic drift, or the appearance of less-than-useful characteristics in a restricted population, appears in small fragmented communities, so this connectivity is a lifesaver. Migration rates and gene flow seem to maintain a high level of genetic diversity.

With very little known about the many similar Tapaculo species, either genetically or ecologically. This bird has been called El Oro Tapaculo, or scientifically, Scytalopus robbinsi since it was found in 1990, Their insectivorous habits seem to require high quality habitat in the deep, dark undergrowth of mature forest. They rarely cross open glades and are almost unable to fly long distances, hopping or walking instead, among the shrubs. They are endemic to a 1100km2 range in SW Ecuador, but have been declining, possibly to as little as a few thousand individuals.

In the secondary forests of the private Buenaventura reserve and nearby, the tree areas ranged from 15 to 900 hectares. Using mist nets and decoy tape recordings, 28 males were captured and ringed within a 10-minute time limit. This hopefully ensured their rapid return and successful recovery from capture.

Testing for any past decline in population, no decline in diversity was detectable over the last 25 years, but there had been a severe population decline from a maximum of 26,000, probably around 7,000 years ago. With such a poor flier, there were changes in the wing shape as the forest size varied. This seems to be an adaptation to flying, with rounder wings found in larger forests and narrower wings found in small patches of forest. The birds in small forests could therefore fly better and had enhanced mobility. Maneuverability in the larger denser forests was helped by round wings.

Gene flow is not impeded by many barriers in this part of Ecuador, but distance is a factor. One brave individual covered the furthest distance seen in a dispersal event. He established a new territory by moving 245 m across un-forested habitat. It is feasible that gene flow will be restricted in the future, as sub-populations develop into genetically distinct groups with different morphology. The great hope is that the considerable reforestation effort being made can influence selection pressures. With more habitat availability, the sepcies will not require enhanced mobility, so reducing any divergence in wrong morphology and increasing the gene flow to normal levels.

This is real evolution in action, in this particular bird. It remains to be seen whether the natural experiment will continue to progress as expected. The trees have the answer, while their cultivation and conservation is critical to any positive outcome.


Read more at http://www.earthtimes.org/conservation/endangered-tapaculo-adapts-fragmentation-forest/2988/#i0XwHFDIRVIWCZP3.99
...Read more

Monday, December 12, 2016

117th Annual Christmas Bird Count

If you'd like to participate in a local New York Christmas Bird Count, the New York State Ornithological Association has a page here where you can find the teams in your area.

If you'd like to learn more about the Christmas Bird Count I have several postings on the blog here.

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, December 17, 2016 to Sunday, December 18, 2016:

As this is the start of the annual Christmas Bird Count most of the organizations regularly listed here are participating in this important winter survey.

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, December 18, 2016, 12pm – 1pm
Christmas Bird Count
Join the Prospect Park Alliance for this fun Citizen Science project in Prospect Park, an Important Bird Area with more than 250 species of birds spotted each year. Blooming birdwatchers and naturalists of all ages can join a tradition more than 100 years in the making: a nationwide bird census that helps conservation researchers track the long-term health of bird populations. Each checklist submitted helps researchers learn more about the health of birds and how to best protect them!
Please contact Steven Wong, Alliance Supervising Educator at the Audubon Center, for more information.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, December 17, 2016
117th Kings County Christmas Bird Count

The great annual winter event that champions citizen science; it is the longest voluntary bird census on the North American continent. Started in 1909 as a protest against the “holiday side hunts” for the largest kill collection by hunters, ornithologist Frank K. Chapman organized the census with twenty-seven of his friends and volunteers to count birds that garnered much media attention; twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day, tallying 90 species. Since then the Christmas Bird Count has grown to encompasses over tens of thousands of birders of all skill levels, counting birds in all sorts of weather, for the great benefit of science.

Compiler: Rick Cech rcech@nyc.rr.com
Teams organizer: Bobbi Manian email roberta.manian@gmail.com
Dinner/Count coordinator: Heidi Nanz email heidi.steiner@verizon.net or call before 8 pm 718- 369-2116

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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Sunday, December 18, 2016, 8:00am – 1:30pm
Christmas Bird Count in Central Park
8am: Meet at the South Pump Station of the Reservoir (85th Street & 5th Avenue).
12:30pm: Data tally and refreshments at the Arsenal Gallery (3rd floor of the Arsenal at 64th Street & 5th Avenue).
Dress warmly and don’t forget your binoculars!

For more information, contact NYC Audubon at 212-691-7483 ext. 414 or email us at christmasbirdcount@nycaudubon.org.
Free

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Queens County Christmas Bird Count
Coordinator: Corey Finger 518-445-5829
See website - http://www.qcbirdclub.org/qcbc-cbc

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

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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Staten Island Museum
Saturday, December 17, 2016, All Day
Staten Island Christmas Bird Count
Location: Staten Island, New York
Free
For experienced birders.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Birding: Waterfowl at Baisley Pond Park Parking Lot (in Baisley Pond Park), Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots.
Free!

Sunday, December 18, 2016
Christmas Bird Count: Central Park at Central Park, Manhattan
8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Join NYC Audubon, Urban Park Rangers, and the Central Park Conservancy as we count birds in every section of the park.
Free!

Birding: Waterfowl at Salt Marsh Nature Center (in Marine Park), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots.
Free!
...Read more

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