Saturday, July 30, 2011

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, July, 29, 2011:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jul. 29, 2011
* NYNY1107.29

- Birds mentioned

GRAY-HOODED GULL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

LEAST BITTERN
WHIMBREL
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
Western Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
GLAUCOUS GULL
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Royal Tern
Summer Tanager
Grasshopper Sparrow

- Transcript

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

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc3 [AT] nybirds.org.

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

Jeanne Skelly - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
420 Chili-Scottsville Rd.
Churchville, NY 14428

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, July 29th 2011 at 10pm. The highlights of today's tape are a report of a GRAY-HOODED GULL, shorebird migration, LEAST BITTERN, WHIMBREL, HUDSONIAN GODWIT and GLAUCOUS GULL.

A GRAY-HOODED GULL was found today at Coney Island in Brooklyn. It was seen on the beach associating with Laughing Gulls between the Ferris Wheel and Nathan's. The origins of this bird are uncertain. There is a Florida record in 1998. The literature notes that the bird has limited migratory movement.

Last Saturday 17 species of shorebirds were notes at the Cupsogue / Pike's Beach area highlighted by 2 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS and 1 WESTERN SANDPIPER. Also seen at this location were 4 ROYAL TERNS, 2 BLACK TERNS, a ROSEATE TERN and a GLAUCOUS GULL.

The water level at Jamaica Bay East Pond remains high and the personnel at Jamaica Bay are lowering the water level. An average of 14 species of shorebirds were seen through the week highlighted by a HUDSONIAN GODWIT through Wednesday along with 30 to 40 STILT SANDPIPERS and a WESTERN SANDPIPER.

Today at North Line Island in South Oyster Bay near Seaford [...] shorebirds were counted highlighted by hundreds of SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS.

The family of LEAST BITTERNS previously reported at the Massapequa Preserve continue through the week with the count of fledgling birds up to 4.

A flight of 14 WHIMBRELS were seen at Mecox Bay last Saturday and 2 BLACK TERNS were at this locale today.

An apparent locally bred SUMMER TANAGER was reported from East Hampton last Sunday and a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was seen last Saturday at Napeague.

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, July 29, 2011

Friday's Foto

The Black Skimmer is one of three species of tern-like birds in the skimmer family. It can be seen around NYC's coastline in the summer. Characterized by a lower mandible which is longer than the upper mandible, they forage by flying low over the water with their lower bill skimming through the surface, snapping shut on any prey they encounter. A large breeding flock found annually at Breezy Point, in Queens, heads south in the late-fall. Over the years I've noticed many birds flying low over the Brooklyn Cyclone's stadium at night, presumably to feed in the adjacent Coney Island Creek or Gravesend Bay. I hope they can dodge fly balls.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Treehugger Tuesday

Using information compiled mainly from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Marine Conservation Society, FishWatch, and the Greenpeace Red List, "Which Fish" is a simple, easy to read website which helps one decides which fish are safe and responsible to consume.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Upcoming Nature trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips within NYC's five boroughs for the weekend of July 30th - July 31st, 2011:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Introduction to Birdwatching
Every Saturday, 12 - 1:30 p.m.
Explore the Park's natural areas and learn how to look for amazing birds.

Macy's Fishing Clinics
Saturdays in July and August, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Learn how to fish at Prospect Park!

Sunday, July 31, 2011
Discover Tour
Every Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m.
Discover the Prospect Park you never knew! Meet birds and other wildlife on this walk, guided by a naturalist

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, July 31st, 2011
Early Shorebirds at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Trip Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: early Shorebirds and waterfowl; butterflies, wildflowers
Registrar: Peter Dorosh, Email Prosbird [AT] aol.com or TEXT Message 347-622-3559
Registration period: July 18th- July 28th
Note: High Tide is 9:36 am when the freshwater ponds are most productive

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, July 30, 2011, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks
Guide: Andrew Baksh or Urban Park Rangers. With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and Urban Park Rangers. 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 migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, please call 718-548-0912. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Sunday, July 31, 2011, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Sunset Eco-Cruises to Harbor Heron Islands
Guide: Gabriel Willow With New York Water Taxi Meet at South Street Seaport's Pier 17. Experience the wonders of New York's famous harbor at sunset and see some of the three thousand herons, egrets, and ibis nesting on islands around the harbor. Register with New York Water Taxi online by clicking here, or by phone at 212-742-1969. Limited to 100. $35 for adults, $25 for children under 12.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, July 30, 2011, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Page Avenue Beach
We’ll begin with a look at the local geology then move to examining the flotsam and jetsam accumulated at the high tide lines to see what nature's debris has to tell us. As the water recedes with the tide we'll move into the intertidal zone to find out what sorts of living things survive in this challenging environment. A variety of crabs, snails, clams, oysters, shrimp, worms and small fish are likely to be discovered. It's going to be muddy so dress appropriately. Meet at the parking lot at the bottom of Page Avenue below Hylan Blvd.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Basic Canoeing
11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Few truly unique experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The...
Location: The Harlem Meer, outside of Lasker Pool (in Central Park), Manhattan
Cost: Free

Basic Canoeing
11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Few truly unique experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The...
Location: Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
Cost: Free

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Birding
8:00 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. From falcons and salamanders, to...
Location: West 100 Street and Central Park West (in Central Park), Manhattan
Cost: Free

Advanced Canoeing
11:30 a.m.
Few truly unique experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The...
Location: Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Cost: Free
...Read more

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Foto

Sorry about the lack of postings lately. Between work, the recent heatwave and entertaining our 11 year old niece who is staying with us for 2 week, there hasn't been much time (or desire) for birds or butterflies. This photo says it all ... if you can get to the beach tomorrow, do it because it will be another scorcher in NYC. My favorite is Jacob Riis Park. Check out my endorsement in the summer issue of "New York Magazine". I'm on the third page of the article.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Treehugger Tuesday

The following story was recently broadcast on National Public Radio:

Mapping (Almost) Every Tree in Central Park
by Margot Adler

There are more than 20,000 trees in New York City's Central Park and an author and birdwatcher have mapped almost every one of them.

Edward Barnard and Ken Chaya's map, "Central Park Entire," took them two and a half years to finish. Chaya walked thousands of miles in the park, mapping every tree and dirt trail.

Click here to listen to the entire story.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips within NYC's five boroughs for the weekend of July 23rd - July 24th, 2011:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Introduction to Birdwatching
Every Saturday, 12 - 1:30 p.m.
Explore the Park's natural areas and learn how to look for amazing birds.

Macy's Fishing Clinics
Saturdays in July and August, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Learn how to fish at Prospect Park!

Sunday, July 24, 2011
Discover Tour
Every Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m.
Discover the Prospect Park you never knew! Meet birds and other wildlife on this walk, guided by a naturalist

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Friday EVENING June 24th, 2011
Prospect Park's Bats and evening denizens
Meet 7:30 PM at the 9th St (Lafayette) Prospect Park entrance
Trip Leader: Paul Keim
Focus: Bats galore and birds of the evening.
http://www.batcon.org/

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, July 23, 2011, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks
Guide: Andrew Baksh or Urban Park Rangers. With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and Urban Park Rangers. 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 migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, please call 718-548-0912. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Saturday, July 23, 2011, 9am – 2pm
Explore the Mysteries of the Meadowlands by Canoe, Secaucus, NJ
Guide: Mike Newhouse With NJ Meadowlands Commission Come explore the Meadowlands' Mill Creek Marsh, a 225-acre restored wetland off the Hackensack River. See this rich tidal ecosystem up close by canoe, and observe the first wave of shorebirds stopping by on their way south. We'll also find resident egrets, night-herons, and belted kingfishers--along with blue and fiddler crabs and diamondback terrapins. Then, we'll enjoy a picnic lunch in this expansive preserved space, with the NYC skyline as a backdrop. Bring sunscreen, lunch, water, and binoculars. Transport by passenger van provided. Limited to 12. $65 Click here to register!

Sunday, July 24, 2011, 9:30am – 11:30am
Inwood Hill Park: Birding Along the Hudson
Guide: Gabriel Willow With Wave Hill Explore the Hudson River’s avian ecology starting at the tip of Manhattan and migrating north. Ideal for ages 10 and up. Registration recommended: online, by calling 718.549.3200 x305 or at the Perkins Visitor Center. All necessary information, including meeting location details, will be included in your registration confirmation email from Wave Hill. Severe weather cancels (For weather-related updates, call 718.549.3200 x245 by 8am the day of the walk). $10 for Wave Hill or NYC Audubon members/$18 non-members. (Members of other host organizations also enjoy member prices when walks take place at their location.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Sunset Eco-Cruises to Harbor Heron Islands
Guide: Gabriel Willow With New York Water Taxi Meet at South Street Seaport's Pier 17. Experience the wonders of New York's famous harbor at sunset and see some of the three thousand herons, egrets, and ibis nesting on islands around the harbor. Register with New York Water Taxi online by clicking here, or by phone at 212-742-1969. Limited to 100. $35 for adults, $25 for children under 12.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, July 23, 2011

Advanced Canoeing
11:00 a.m.
Few truly unique experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The...
Location: Fort Totten Park, Queens
Cost: Free

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Van Cortlandt Park Bike Tour
11:00 a.m.
Are you staycationing in New York City this summer? A cycling tour of one of New York...
Location: Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
Cost: Free

Basic Canoeing
11:00 a.m.; 2:00 p.m.
Few truly unique experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The...
Location: Salt Marsh Nature Center (in Marine Park), Brooklyn
Cost: Free

Basic Canoeing
11:00 a.m.; 2:00 p.m.
Few truly unique experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The...
Location: Martling Avenue and Brooks Pond Place (in Clove Lakes Park), Staten Island
Cost: Free
...Read more

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday July 15, 2011:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* July 15, 2011
* NYNY1107.15

- Birds Mentioned:
White Ibis+ (Orange County)
ARCTIC TERN+
SANDWICH TERN+
SOUTH POLAR SKUA+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

CORY'S SHEARWATER
GREAT SHEARWATER
MANX SHEARWATER
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Sandhill Crane (Orange County)
MARBLED GODWIT
Red Knot
Pectoral Sandpiper
Dunlin
Short-billed Dowitcher
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL
Glaucous Gull
GULL-BILLED TERN
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Royal Tern
Parasitic Jaeger
Common Raven
Sedge Wren (Orange County)
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 nysarc1 AT nybirds.org .

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

Jeanne Skelly - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
420 Chili-Scottsville Rd.
Churchville, NY 14428

~ Transcript ~

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

To report sightings call:
Tony Lauro (631) 734-4126

Compilers: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
Transcriber: Karen Fung

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, July 15th, at 7:00pm. The highlights of today's tape are SOUTH POLAR SKUA, ARCTIC and SANDWICH TERNS, MANX SHEARWATER, CORY'S SHEARWATER, GREAT SHEARWATER, MARBLED GODWIT, GULL-BILLED TERN, and even more LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

A sea watch Monday morning from Robert Moses State Park field 2, with good south winds blowing, was highlighted by the appearance of a dark SOUTH POLAR SKUA, seen a decent way out harassing shearwaters and interacting with an immature PARASITIC JAEGER. Among the 150 or so shearwaters, mostly all CORY'S, were also one MANX and two GREAT SHEARWATERS. On Thursday about 20 CORY'S SHEARWATERS were seen offshore from Moses.

Cupsogue County Park in West Hampton Dunes continues to produce interesting birds. An immature ARCTIC TERN sat on the flats north of the parking lot for most of Saturday, while on Monday a SANDWICH TERN dropped in briefly. Other terns on the flats this past week included up to five BLACK TERNS, one in full breeding plumage, and a few ROSEATE TERNS. Seasonal southbound shorebirds have also been gathering at Cupsogue, the most unusual being a PECTORAL SANDPIPER Saturday and a MARBLED GODWIT reported from Tuesday. Good numbers of SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS have been passing through, joining such non-breeding summering species as DUNLIN and RED KNOT. GLAUCOUS GULL with an injured foot was seen around the inlet and outer beach Monday to Wednesday. Two immature LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were on the flats Saturday, while a ROYAL TERN was at nearby Pike's Beach on Saturday.

Sea watching from the Cupsogue boardwalk Saturday produced two GREAT and two dozen CORY'S SHEARWATERS and a small number of WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS. Some CORY'S were also off Shinnecock Inlet Saturday, and at least four COMMON RAVENS were still around the water tower just south of the Hampton Bays train station on Saturday.

At Nickerson Beach off Lido Boulevard, west of Point Lookout last Sunday, a thorough count of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS gathered primarily at two gull roosts, one on each side of the westernmost of the two tern nesting areas, compiled an amazing 70 LESSER BLACK-BACKEDS, of which 56 were in one-year-old plumage, the rest somewhat older up to subadult.

Two GULL-BILLED TERNS were flying around the dunes at Jones Beach West End and resting on the Coast Guard Station bar last Sunday.

A male BLUE GROSBEAK found yesterday at Southampton was seen again today near the skateboarding facility that is part of the Southampton town recycling center complex. This site is along a road labelled "Joe Andreassi Way", but appearing on maps as Elkgrove Road.

Interesting birds around the Oil City Road section of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge near Pine Plains in Orange County recently have featured an immature WHITE IBIS and a SEDGE WREN Thursday and Friday, and a SANDHILL CRANE on Wednesday.

We have no recent reports of the HOODED CROW around Crooke's Point in Great Kills Park on Staten Island.

For the next two weeks Tony Lauro will handle the Rare Bird Alert. Please call Tony with your reports at (631) 734-4126.

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

[~END TAPE~]

~ End Transcript ~
...Read more

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's Foto

Late-June through mid-July is generally a slow time for birds. Conversely, it is a very good time for spotting butterflies. I spotted this tiny hairstreak butterfly feeding on butterfly weed in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery. I'm still not 100% certain of its identity but am fairly confident it is an Edward's Hairstreak. If you know where to look, Green-Wood Cemetery is a good place for butterfly watching. I'll post a map with locations in the near future.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Treehugger Tuesday

The Summer is here and people like me spend lots of time at the shore. In recogition of that annual "migration" radio show host Leonard Lopate's dedicated an entire episode of "Please Explain" to our friends the jellyfish. Check it out:

Monday, July 11, 2011

June Birds

During the month of June the northbound migration of birds usually comes to an end, so it was no surprise that I only added one new species for the borough of Brooklyn for 2011. I took a day trip with Heydi to the breeding grounds of some of the Atlantic Flyway's migrants just a short drive north of NYC. There we found a few more new species for the state.

My final Brooklyn bird for June was unexpected and I didn't even have my bins with me. While enjoying the sunset and a glass of wine on Friday the 10th, I heard the unmistakable "peent" call of a Common Nighthawk nearby. Neither a hawk nor common, this relative of the Whip-poor-will used to nest in Brooklyn. With falcon-like wings they swoop and dive for insects usually at dusk. The individual I heard was hunting for insects in the sky over Prospect Park's Long Meadow.

Sterling Forest State Park is about 50 miles north of Prospect Park, Brooklyn (as the crow flies) and a great place to look for breeding songbirds. It is the newest  park in the state system. One of those birds that we were hoping to locate there is the Golden-winged Warbler. This neotropic songbird has been in decline throughout most of its range and, in fact, it has been many years since I've spotted one in NYC. I haven't birded in Sterling Forest in several years and had to dig through my notes to remember all the best birding hotspots.

Sterling Forest didn't disappoint and we quickly located Golden-winged Warblers on territory. Other breeding warblers seen or heard were Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat and Hooded Warbler. In all, we tallied 59 species of birds during our hikes around Sterling Forest. In addition to the Golden-winged Warbler, we spotted three other year birds - Wild Turkey, Pileated Woodpecker and Broad-winged Hawk.

**********

New York State total: 226
Kings County total: 214

222) Golden-winged Warbler (Sterling Forest--Ironwood Drive and environs, 06/05/11)
223) Wild Turkey (Sterling Forest--Ironwood Drive and environs, 06/05/11)
224) Pileated Woodpecker (Sterling Lake Loop Trail, 06/05/11)
225) Broad-winged Hawk (Sterling Lake Loop Trail, 06/05/11)
226) Common Nighthawk (Prospect Park--Long Meadow, 06/10/11)

Below is a short slideshow of some Sterling Forest images:

...Read more

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips within NYC's five boroughs for the weekend of July 16th - July 17th, 2011:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Introduction to Birdwatching
Every Saturday, 12 - 1:30 p.m.
Explore the Park's natural areas and learn how to look for amazing birds.

Macy's Fishing Clinics
Saturdays in July and August, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Learn how to fish at Prospect Park!

Sunday, July 17, 2011
Discover Tour
Every Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m.
Discover the Prospect Park you never knew! Meet birds and other wildlife on this walk, guided by a naturalist

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Friday, July 15, 2011
Prospect Park Bat Walk
Leader: Paul Keim
No registration. Meet at 9th St. & Prospect Park West (near F Train station at 7th Avenue & 9th St.) at
7:45 p.m. NOTE EVENING START. Public transportation.

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, July 16, 2011, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks
Guide: Andrew Baksh or Urban Park Rangers. With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and Urban Park Rangers. 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 migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, please call 718-548-0912. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Saturday, July 16, 2011, 10:00am – 11:15am
City of Water Day eco-cruise
Guide: Don Riepe With Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance Meet at Circle Line Cruises, at Pier 83 in Manhattan (12th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets). As part of City of Water Day, a celebration of the waterways and harbors of New York City, NYC Audubon is offering a special eco-cruise past Hoffman and Swinburne Islands exploring the natural history of the area. The tour leaves from Pier 83 in Manhattan and ends at Governor's Island. Limited to 150. Free; registration required. Click here to learn more.

Sunday, July 17, 2011, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Sunset Eco-Cruises to Harbor Heron Islands
Guide: Gabriel Willow With New York Water Taxi Meet at South Street Seaport's Pier 17. Experience the wonders of New York's famous harbor at sunset and see some of the three thousand herons, egrets, and ibis nesting on islands around the harbor. Register with New York Water Taxi online by clicking here, or by phone at 212-742-1969. Limited to 100. $35 for adults, $25 for children under 12.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, July 16, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Forest Restoration Workshop at Egbertville Ravine
Meet at the side of Meisner Ave. (toward the Eger Home) close to the intersection of Meisner and Rockland. We will follow the White Trail south to Nevada Avenue and uproot Multi-flora Rose, Oriental Bittersweet and; perhaps, Garlic-Mustard. If you don't have your own, Protectors will supply gloves, loppers and pruners (& refreshments). After a two hour work session (our 181st workshop), we will take a short walk over nearby trails.
For more information call Don Recklies at (718) 768-9036 or Chuck Perry at (718) 667-1393 for more information.

Sunday, July 17, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Clay Pit Pond Park
This ecological wonderland hosts a variety of habitats. And among the woodlands and native flowers we will search for dozens of butterflies utilizing the park’s flowers, trees and shrubs. Meet in the Nature Center parking lot.
For more information call Cliff Hagen at (718) 313-8591.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, July 16, 2011

Basic Canoeing
11:00 a.m.; 3:00 p.m.
Few truly unique experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The...
Location: The Harlem Meer, outside of Lasker Pool (in Central Park), Manhattan
Cost: Free

Basic Canoeing
12:00 p.m.
Few truly unique experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The...
Location: Van Cortlandt South and Major Deegan Expressway (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
Cost: Free

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Seining the Shores
2:00 p.m.
We connect children with nature to encourage active exploration of the natural world....
Location: South Beach, Staten Island
Cost: Free
...Read more

Saturday, July 09, 2011

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Sorry for the lack of postings this past week. I was out of town.

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, July 8, 2011:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jul. 8, 2011
* NYNY1107.08

- Birds mentioned

ARCTIC TERN+
SANDWICH TERN+
HOODED CROW+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cory's Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
BROWN PELICAN
Willet (subspecies "Western Willet")
Lesser Yellowlegs
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Bonaparte's Gull
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Royal Tern
Black Skimmer
Parasitic Jaeger
Common Raven

- 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 nysarc3 AT nybirds.org.

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

Jeanne Skelly - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
420 Chili-Scottsville Rd.
Churchville, NY 14428

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, July 8th 2011 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are a HOODED CROW update, BROWN PELICAN, ARCTIC TERN, SANDWICH TERN, some pelagic birds and an impressive number of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

The HOODED CROW reestablished its routine in time for last weekend and was still moving around Crooke's Point in Great Kills Park on Staten Island as of today. To look for the crow enter Great Kills Park from Hylan Boulevard, follow Buffalo Street to the end of the pavement, park in the lot on the left and walk on the gravel road to Crooke's Point. At the end of this road is a permit required parking lot for fisherman and the crow has been around this lot and adjoining woods or feeding along the nearby beach often near the jetty at the tip of Crooke's Point. Also on Thursday and today the bird was also seen along Hylan Boulevard visiting a diner parking lot near Heinz Avenue a different but probably not as predictable venue. Eleven or more BONAPARTE'S GULLS also remain along the beach at Crooke's Point.

A good variety of unusual birds have been found recently at Cupsogue County Park in West Hampton Dunes. Last Sunday an immature ARCTIC TERN visited the flats north of the parking lot briefly joining a collection of terns that during the day featured 3 ROYAL TERNS, ROSEATE TERN, 2 BLACK TERNS, plus some FORSTER'S TERNS, COMMON TERNS, LEAST TERNS as well as a few BLACK SKIMMERS.

Joining the summering non-breeding shorebirds on the flats were some southbound migrants including numbers of SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 5 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, a few LEAST SANDPIPERS, 2 "Western" WILLETS and an apparent non-breeding WESTERN SANDPIPER.

A seawatch from the Cupsogue boardwalk Sunday produced over 80 CORY'S SHEARWATERS and a few WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS plus a distant Jaeger that was presumed to be PARASITIC JAEGER. The surprise at Cupsogue though was a brief appearance of a BROWN PELICAN on the bar in Moriches Inlet just west of the flats on Tuesday.

Up to 5 COMMON RAVENS were also still recently around the water tower in nearby Hampton Bays that is just south of the railroad station.

At Mecox last Sunday a SANDWICH TERN was seen a couple of times on the flats where the ocean inlet is periodically cut open.

Last Saturday at Nickerson Beach, located off Lido Boulevard just west of Point Lookout, birders noticing a number of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS among the gathering of over 100 gulls on the beach between the 2 tern breeding colonies methodically counted the Lessers by age classification and came up with an impressive 43 birds, 38 in 1st or 2nd year plumage and 5 subadult to almost full adult. Other moderate numbers of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS have also recently been scattered along the Long Island coast indicating an unprecedented number are present locally raising questions as to what has brought about this phenomenon.

Also of note at Nickerson last Saturday 2 GULL-BILLED TERNS feeding in the dunes around the westernmost of the 2 tern colonies were actually swooping down and stealing fish from incoming COMMON TERNS. Two GULL-BILLED TERNS were also on the bar at Jones Beach West End today.

A seawatch off Robert Moses State Park this morning produced 30 plus CORY'S SHEARWATERS, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL and ROYAL TERN.

Around 18 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS were noted off Fort Tilden Sunday.

A COMMON RAVEN was spotted at Wildwood State Park in Wading River on Tuesday.

The 1st of a summer series of whale watching trips from Montauk sponsored by Cresli aboard one of the Viking ships recently noted among the birds 1 SOOTY SHEARWATER, 10 CORY'S SHEARWATERS, 400 GREAT SHEARWATERS and 40 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS.

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.

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday's Foto

Throughout NYC's five boroughs, juvenile Red-tailed Hawks have left their nests and are exploring their territory. Some are starting to learn to hunt. This very young hawk in Green-Wood Cemetery is easily differentiated from the adults by his buffy breast and long, banded tail.

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