Friday, June 29, 2012

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending on Friday, June 29, 2012:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jun. 29, 2012
* NYNY1206.29

- Birds mentioned

PACIFIC LOON+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+ (Orange County, NY)
SANDWICH TERN+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cory's Shearwater
MARBLED GODWIT
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GULL-BILLED TERN
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Royal Tern
Black Skimmer
Bank Swallow
Kentucky Warbler
Summer Tanager
Bobolink

- 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, June 29th 2012 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are PACIFIC LOON, SANDWICH TERN, MISSISSIPPI KITE, MARBLED GODWIT and GULL-BILLED TERN.

Seawatching along the south shore of Long Island has not been very productive lately except perhaps for the winter plumaged PACIFIC LOON reported off Cupsogue County Park last Saturday morning. Once the loon disappeared from sight it was never relocated despite prolonged searching along the Dune Road beaches.

Only a couple of CORY'S SHEARWATERS were seen at Cupsogue last Saturday but on the flats north of the Cupsogue parking lot a SANDWICH TERN did put in a brief appearance joining a BLACK TERN that had flown in from the ocean. Again on Thursday a SANDWICH TERN also in non-breeding plumage visited the flats but was shortly flushed off by a marsh spraying helicopter. Other terns on the flats Thursday featured a GULL-BILLED TERN and 2 BLACK TERNS and a MARBLED GODWIT was reported earlier on Thursday this among a small number of southbound shorebirds now showing up. On Friday 2 SANDWICH TERNS appeared on the Cupsogue flats these like the previous 2 showing up as the tide was getting rather high in mid-afternoon. A ROYAL TERN was also out there then with 1 SANDWICH and 3 ROYAL TERNS also present earlier in the morning. Things do keep changing there.

A GULL-BILLED TERN was seen as recently as this morning over the marsh south of the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and the great news is that the lowering of the East Pond seems to be progressing nicely.

Birds at Mecox Sunday on the now mostly disappeared flats included a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, 2 ROSEATE TERNS and 9 BLACK SKIMMERS.

Up in Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County the pair of MISSISSIPPI KITES continues to be seen but their appearances around the visitors center off Old Forge Road have become much less predictable and no positive nesting activity has been noted recently. It seems now that earlier in the morning is the best time to spot them there as they tend to wander farther afield as the dragonflies become more active.

Among the rarer residents on Long Island the KENTUCKY WARBLER has still been singing recently but less frequently at the DEC property on the south side of Route 25A and Rocky Point Suffolk County. Additionally, and it's good to know, that a pair of SUMMER TANAGERS is back again this year on private property in Northwest Harbor in East Hampton.

Among a smattering of early Fall migrant passerines lately have been BANK SWALLOW and BOBOLINK.

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
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Friday's Foto

The swallow nestboxes along the West Pond trail at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge are still buzzing with activity. Many of the young Tree Swallows have fledged, but remain in the area. Some still have nestlings sticking their heads out and waiting for a parent to arrive with food.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June Birds

By June most of the northbound migrants are gone leaving the local breeding birds and a few stragglers. It should be no surprise that over the past month I only managed to add 4 new species for my Brooklyn year list, making it the slowest month so far.

As the movement of migrating birds diminished I thought that I had missed the opportunity to find an Acadian Flycatcher. I was pleasantly surprised when, on a walk through Prospect Park's Ravine, I heard the unmistakeable explosive "peet-sah" call of one of these diminutive flycatchers as it perched above the stream. I learned later in the month that it was one of a pair that had built a nest nearby for only the second known breeding record in Brooklyn.

I rounded out the month's observations with three wetland species Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Willow Flycatcher and Marsh Wren. I'm still on the hunt for Saltmarsh Sparrow and Seaside Sparrow (aka "Cuteass Sparrows" by Paige). They are known to nest in Brooklyn, so hopefully I'll be able to track some down in July.



**********

NYS total: 216
Kings total: 201

198) Acadian Flycatcher (Prospect Park, 06/07/12)
199) Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Salt Marsh Nature Center, 06/10/12)
200) Willow Flycatcher (Salt Marsh Nature Center, 06/10/12)
201) Marsh Wren (Salt Marsh Nature Center, 06/10/12)
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Village Voice Birding Article

This week I was interviewed by Victoria Bekiempis for a Village Voice article about summertime birding around the Big Apple:

For The Birds: New York City Summer Birdwatching
By Victoria Bekiempis
Published Thu., Jun. 28 2012 at 11:39 AM

A recent post on the Environmental Protection Agency's Greening the Apple blog about seasonal birdwatching in Sandy Hook, New Jersey got us thinking: Do you have to go all the way to a neighboring state to check out the summer's cool birds?

So we hit up two area birders -- Dr. Robert "Birding Bob" DeCandido and "City Birder" Rob Jett -- to find out. Click here to read the entire article.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Treehugger Tuesday

The New York Times just reported that NYC's parks department is experimenting with goats in an attempt to control invasive phragmites:

June 21, 2012
To Tackle an Invasive Weed, Bringing In the Hooved Pros
By Lisa W. Foderaro

On a sweltering afternoon on Staten Island, the New York City parks department unveiled its latest weapon in the war on phragmites, an invasive weed that chokes the shoreline: goats. Twenty Anglo-Nubians, to be exact. With names like Mozart, Haydn and Van Goat, and with floppy ears and plaintive bleats, they did not seem fearsome. But on Thursday they were already munching inexorably through the long pale leaves in the first phase of a wetland restoration at what will soon be Freshkills Park.

Known for their unending, indiscriminate appetites, the goats are being rented by the city for the next six weeks from a farmer in the Hudson Valley. Parks officials are counting on the goats to clear the phragmites across two acres of wetlands that will eventually be cultivated with native grasses like spartina and black needle rush. The hope is that the goats will weaken the phragmites, setting the stage for another series of assaults on their stubborn rhizomes — applying herbicide, scarifying the earth and laying down sand.

In the short term, the goats are part of an unusual experiment to eradicate the pesky reeds, which were introduced from Europe in the late 19th century and which, once rooted, are almost impossible to eliminate. They have fueled brush fires across the region and pushed out other species along the East Coast.

But the farm animals are also being tested for their lawn-mowing prowess, especially at Freshkills Park, which is in transition from its former life as the world’s largest landfill to its future one — as the largest park to be developed in New York City in more than a century.

“We want to introduce the idea of using goats to help in vegetation management,” Eloise L. Hirsh, the administrator of the park, said. “The sanitation department mows us once a year. But this is 2,200 acres. We need help.”

The goats are perhaps the most vivid example of the lengths to which the city is going to turn a symbol of environmental degradation into one of ecological redemption. As Freshkills Park is developed in phases over the next three decades, it will be a laboratory for green practices; there are plans for composting toilets, green roofs, rain gardens and a native seed farm.

The official opening of the park is two or three years off, though it is open periodically for tours. Three of the four giant mounds formed by garbage are now capped, and the parks department will soon solicit bids on the first stage of development — 21 acres with walking paths and a bird observation tower overlooking the wetlands. Already, the landscape looks impossibly bucolic, with dragonflies and swallows darting amid lanky grasses and the occasional tree.

The goats only add to the pastoral image. On Thursday, Beethoven, with long white ears and a black body, and Van Goat, sporting a black stripe down his chestnut back, were contentedly exploring their new territory, plunging their mouths into dense stands of phragmites. Others trotted down to the shore of Main Creek, a tributary of the Fresh Kill. (In yet another act of environmental rectitude, parks workers will soon arrange logs made of coconut fiber along the banks to attract mussels, which prevent erosion.)

“The first test was to see if they would eat the phragmites, and they’re eating it, so they passed,” said Terry Doss, an ecologist with Biohabitats, a company specializing in ecological restoration that is advising the parks department.

The city received a grant of $350,000 from the state for the wetlands project. (The cost of renting the goats from Larry Cihanek of Rhinebeck, N.Y., is $20,625 for the six weeks.) If the goats prove successful, Freshkills Park may one day have a permanent herd. “It’s exciting to be able to replace what would be a carbon-polluting mowing strategy with a more natural approach,” said Andrew Deer, a landscape architect for the parks department.

While goats have been deployed for phragmite duty elsewhere, some ecologists are skeptical.

“I’m not a big fan of goats,” said Bernd Blossey, an associate professor of natural resources at Cornell University. “I understand why people are desperate to try them. But they will eat the leaves but not the stems, and they also don’t like getting their hooves wet.”

Professor Blossey is experimenting with moth caterpillars, which can weaken phragmites. In the 1990s, he was successful in unleashing leaf beetles against another plant invader, purple loosestrife, which is not nearly the scourge it once was.

But as the goats made their debut this week at Freshkills Park, any such doubts were pushed to the background. Ms. Hirsh was already looking ahead to a day when goats not only keep phragmites in check, but also put Staten Island on the artisanal food map. “We would like to have a cheese manufacturer here,” she said. “I know there will be lots of skepticism. But it would be a pretty eloquent statement about how you really can restore land that was formerly very damaged.”
...Read more

Monday, June 25, 2012

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips within NYC's five boroughs for the weekend of June 30, 2012 - July 1, 2012:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Discover Tour
Every Sunday, 3 p.m.
Discover the Prospect Park you never knew! Meet birds and other wildlife on this walk, guided by a naturalist.

**********

Gowanus Dredgers
Saturday, June 30, 2012, 1pm – 5pm
Canoe on the Gowanus Canal
Bring a friend for a self-guided Canoe trip sponsored by the Gowanus Dredgers to raise awareness of Harbor Issues www.gowanuscana​l.org

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, June 30, 2012
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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, June 30, 2012, 8am – 9:30pm
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk
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 residents and 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 1, 2012, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Sunset EcoCruise to the Harbor Heron Islands
Guide: Gabriel Willow With New York Water Taxi Meet at South Street Seaport's Pier 17. We're excited about this summer's ecocruises; we’ve expanded our explorations of the City's island rookeries to three different locations! Depending on which weekend you choose, cruises may visit the fascinating Brother Islands, the large egret and cormorant colonies on Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, or the great expanses of Jamaica Bay. Whichever your destination, you'll experience the wonders of New York's famous harbor at sunset and see some of the three thousand herons, egrets, and ibis nesting on these urban island treasures. To learn about specific cruise dates and register, visit New York Water Taxi online or by phone at 212-742-1969. Limited to 90. Pricing varies by destination.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, June 30, 2012, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Long Pond Park
Evidence of animal life as well geologic history and human influence will be observed as we take an unhurried stroll on a one and a half mile walk through Long Pond Park. Meet at PS 6, on Page Avenue and Academy Avenue, about 3 blocks northwest of Hylan Blvd.
For more information call Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Van Cortlandt Park-Bird Walks
8:00 a.m.
Bird Walks focus on wildlife happenings in the park and are led by NYC Audubon experts and...
Location: Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
Free!

Sunday, July 1, 2012
Hudson River Park Wild!
9:00 a.m.
Hudson River Park is bringing some attention to its vital role in creating one of the...
Location: Hudson River Park's Pier 40
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 22, 2012:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* June 22, 2012
* NYNY1206.22

- Birds Mentioned:

FEA'S PETREL+ (pending NYSARC approval)
MISSISSIPPI KITE+ (Orange County)
CURLEW SANDPIPER+
ARCTIC TERN+
SANDWICH TERN+
LONG-TAILED JAEGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cory's Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Brown Pelican
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Whimbrel
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Glaucous Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Roseate Tern
Royal Tern
Pomarine Jaeger
Parasitic Jaeger
Kentucky Warbler
Grasshopper Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
Blue Grosbeak

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

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc1 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

~ Transcript ~

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

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays)
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, June 22nd at 7:00pm. The highlights of today's tape are pelagic trip sightings including a FEA'S PETREL and LONG-TAILED JAEGER; CURLEW SANDPIPER, BROWN PELICAN, MISSISSIPPI KITES, ARCTIC TERN, KENTUCKY WARBLER, and BLUE GROSBEAK.

A birder on a boat off eastern Long Island on Tuesday cruised from Quogue to Montauk, getting out to about 35 miles offshore, and encountered a nice variety of pelagic birds. Shearwaters included 200 GREAT SHEARWATERS, 6 CORY'S SHEARWATERS, 2 SOOTY SHEARWATERS and 1 MANX SHEARWATER. These were accompanied by 60 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS, and 6 POMARINE JAEGERS, 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS, and 2 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS were also recorded. The surprise came however on the return, about five miles southeast of Montauk Point when, incredibly, an apparent FEA'S PETREL flew by the boat. The petrel was pursued, and a few photos were obtained. If accepted by NYSARC, this would be the first New York State record of this Pterodroma.

The very handsome breeding-plumaged CURLEW SANDPIPER was present through last weekend around Pike's Beach in West Hampton Dunes, but not reported after Monday.

Among the terns on the mudflats at adjacent Cupsogue County Park was a first-year ARCTIC TERN on Saturday afternoon, with up to five ROYAL TERNS there during the week. A few southbound shorebirds appearing Wednesday included 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, and a LEAST SANDPIPER. Seven WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, headed in an unknown direction, were also present. Cupsogue remains a good location to see ROSEATE TERN, SEASIDE SPARROW, and SALTMARSH SPARROW.

Late Thursday morning a BROWN PELICAN was reported sitting on a piling along the Nautical Mile in Freeport, but a subsequent search could not relocate the bird.

Two adult MISSISSIPPI KITES continue at Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County, the birds frequenting the area around the Visitors Center on Old Forge Road, which is accessed from Long Meadow Road as it runs south from Route 17A.

A KENTUCKY WARBLER continues to sing at a DEC property on the south side of Route 25A in Rocky Point, Suffolk County. This bird can be seen with patience and is very likely nesting at this site, so please do nothing to disturb it, ESPECIALLY playing recordings.

The same pertains to a pair of BLUE GROSBEAKS in an historical site in Calverton. These grosbeaks on the west side of Route 25A across from Hulse Landing Road are one of very few pairs on Long Island. Their habitat at this site has been severely altered in the past two years, and it is very fortunate that they still persist here.

Across Route 25 from this area are the very productive Calverton Grasslands at the former Grumman Airport, where a healthy population of GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS and other field birds can be enjoyed.

On Thursday an immature GLAUCOUS GULL was seen on the beach at Smith Point Park in Shirley, this a bird apparently summering at this site.

At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a peak of three GULL-BILLED TERNS visited the marsh, south of the West Pond, on Tuesday, when a WHIMBREL was reported from a bar in the Bay, west of the West Pond.

When at the Bay, make sure you inquire at the Visitors Center about the water level on the East Pond, stressing that it needs to be in good condition for the fall shorebird migration. We don't want a repeat of last year's disastrous season there.

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 TAPE~]

~ End Transcript ~
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday's Foto

New York City's resident Red-tailed Hawk pairs are now fledging this year's batch of offspring in all 5 boroughs. This is "Junior" the adult male who calls Green-Wood Cemetery his territory. Since 2006 he and his mate, "Big Mama", have raised 14 offspring. He began his relationship with Big Mama when he was only a year old and hadn't yet developed the specie's namesake red tail.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Treehugger Tuesday

The Natural Resources Defense Council just released a report on how fossil fuel subsidies are bad for everyone:

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Hurting Global Economic Growth

NRDC: Instead of subsidizing corporations that destroy planet, governments should support clean and renewable energy

RIO DE JANEIRO (June 18, 2012) – Ending fossil fuel subsidies would save governments nearly $1 trillion while also improving environment and economic conditions worldwide, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental and social advocacy groups.

At a press conference at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, NRDC international climate policy director Jake Schmidt made the following statement:

“The only beneficiaries of fossil fuel subsidies are oil, gas and coal companies that are raking in record profits at the expense of the rest of us.

“Instead of subsidizing well-established corporations that destroy our planet, governments ought to be doing more to help support and develop more clean, renewable energy that can actually help our planet, reduce our energy consumption and revive our economies.”

Based on government data from around the world, the new report finds that ending fossil fuel subsidies would:

* Save governments and taxpayers $775 billion each year.

* Reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 6 percent by 2020.

* Reduce global energy demand by 5 percent by 2020.

* Not hurt the poor (if the right policies are adopted) since the vast majority of subsidies mainly benefit only the richest segments of the population.

NRDC created the report with partners Oil Change International, Vasudha Foundation (India) and Greenovation Hub (China) and Heinich Boll Stiftung (Germany).

To read the report in its entirety, see http://www.boell.org/downloads/LowHangingfruit.pdf

For a fact sheet on fossil fuel subsidies, see http://www.nrdc.org/energy/fossilfuelsubsidies.asp

And for more, see:

* NRDC trustee Robert Redford’s blog here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/fossil-fuel-subsidies_b_1605146.html?utm_hp_ref=green

* NRDC president Frances Beinecke’s blog here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/tell_world_leaders_at_rio20_to.html

* NRDC international program attorney Anthony Swift’s blog here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aswift/ending_fossil_fuels_subsidies.html

To schedule interviews or for more information, please contact Bob Keefe at bkeefe@nrdc.org or 202-650-4625.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Brooklyn Hummingbirds

On May 24th Bobbi Manian spotted a Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in Prospect Park. Hummingbirds aren't known to nest in Brooklyn, so this is a very rare event. Over the weekend I went looking for the nest.

The ruby-throated's nest is less than 2 inches across, so it is like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack. I'm amazed that she saw it. Talk about having eagle eyes! Despite a long search Sunday I came up empty. Thankfully Bobbi kindly offered to bring me to see it this morning and we had a great experience.

What we at first thought was the adult female sitting in the nest turned out to be two very large nestlings squeezed into the tiny, lichen-covered nest. We watched in amazement as the nest mates preened and dozed. At approximately 10:40am their mother returned with a crop filled with food. In what looked like a bizarre sword-swallowing act, she jammed her long, thin bill down each of her offspring's throats feeding them regurgitated insects, pollen and nectar. The mother does all the work as the male Ruby-throated Hummingbird's responsibility to the family ends after he makes the sperm donation. It's not inconceivable for the female to have a second brood, but let's just hope her two Brooklyn youngsters survive once they fledge.

Here are a couple of videos from this morning.



...Read more

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips within NYC's five boroughs for the weekend of June 23, 2012 - June 24, 2012:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
Sunday, June 23, 2012
Discover Tour
Every Sunday, 3 p.m.
Discover the Prospect Park you never knew! Meet birds and other wildlife on this walk, guided by a naturalist.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Insectivora of Staten Island
Trip Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Insects, especially dragonflies
Car Pool fee: $22.00
Registrar: Heidi Steiner email heidi.steiner [AT] verizon.net or call before 8 PM (718) 369-2116
Registration period: June 12th-June 21st

**********

Gowanus Dredgers
Saturday, June 23, 2012, 1pm – 5pm
Canoe on the Gowanus Canal
Bring a friend for a self-guided Canoe trip sponsored by the Gowanus Dredgers to raise awareness of Harbor Issues www.gowanuscana​l.org

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, June 23, 2012
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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, June 23, 2012, 8am – 9:30pm
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk
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 residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, please call 718-548-0912. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Saturday, June 23, 2012, 11am – 2pm
Horseshoe Crabs and Terrapins at Jamaica Bay
Guide: Don Riepe With Gateway National Recreation Area With Meet at the the Jamaica Bay NWR Visitor Center for a hike around the West Pond to look for mating horseshoe crabs and shorebirds. We'll also look for diamondback terrapins coming ashore to lay their eggs. Bring boots and binoculars. To register, contact Don Riepe at 718-318-9344 or donriepe [AT] gmail.com. Limited to 25. Free

Sunday, June 24, 2012, 10am – 1pm
The Parakeets of Green-Wood Cemetery
Guide: Gabriel Willow With Green-Wood Cemetery Meet at the cemetery entrance at 5th Ave and 25th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn. While it might seem an odd place to go birding, Green-Wood Cemetery is rich in both history and wildlife. It is also the highest point in Brooklyn, affording marvelous views. We will explore its environs in search of spring migrants and its most unique avian residents: the huge flocks of brilliant green monk parakeets that nest there. Native to South America, these charming immigrants are surprisingly hardy and flourish even in our harsh winters. Limited to 15. $30. Click here to register

Sunday, June 24, 2012, 3pm – 6pm
Jamaica Bay Sunset Cruise
Guides: Don Riepe, Mickey Cohen With American Littoral Society Meet at Pier 2 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Enjoy a three-hour narrated cruise aboard the 100-foot boat “Golden Sunshine.” Visit backwater marshes near JFK Airport, and learn about the 13,000-acre Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. See nesting peregrine falcons, ospreys, egrets, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Includes refreshments. To register, contact Don Riepe at 718-318-9344 or donriepe [AT] gmail.com. Limited to 140. $45

Sunday, June 24, 2012, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Sunset EcoCruise to the Harbor Heron Islands
Guide: Gabriel Willow With New York Water Taxi Meet at South Street Seaport's Pier 17. We're excited about this summer's ecocruises; we’ve expanded our explorations of the City's island rookeries to three different locations! Depending on which weekend you choose, cruises may visit the fascinating Brother Islands, the large egret and cormorant colonies on Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, or the great expanses of Jamaica Bay. Whichever your destination, you'll experience the wonders of New York's famous harbor at sunset and see some of the three thousand herons, egrets, and ibis nesting on these urban island treasures. To learn about specific cruise dates and register, visit New York Water Taxi online or by phone at 212-742-1969. Limited to 90. Pricing varies by destination.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, June 23, 2012, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Crooke’s Point in Great Kills Park
Visit the Point and all its summer glory. Witness the bright greens of summer growth and hear the songs of breeding birds. See too the obvious scars of “restoration.” Speak with Ellen Pratt as she tours Crooke’s Point and rediscover why Crooke’s Point, a sandy peninsula, is exactly the wrong place for “restoration.” Meet in the parking lot closest to Crooke’s Point.
For more information call Ellen Pratt at (718) 948-2662.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Birding
8:00 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. From falcons and salamanders, to...
Location: Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
Free!

Van Cortlandt Park-Bird Walks
8:00 a.m.
Bird Walks focus on wildlife happenings in the park and are led by NYC Audobon experts and...
Location: Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
Free!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Birding
9:00 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. From falcons and salamanders, to...
Location: Conference House Park Visitors Center (in Conference House Park), Staten Island
Free!

Hudson River Park Wild!
9:00 a.m.
Hudson River Park is bringing some attention to its vital role in creating one of the...
Location: Hudson River Park's Pier 40
Free!

Birding by Canoe (Advanced)
10:00 a.m.
Very few experiences compare with being on the open water in New York City. The rhythm...
Location: Marine Park, Brooklyn
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 15, 2012:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* June 15, 2012
* NYNY1206.15

- Birds Mentioned:

MISSISSIPPI KITE+ (Orange County)
CURLEW SANDPIPER+
ARCTIC TERN+
SANDWICH TERN+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Gadwall
Surf Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Horned Grebe
Cory's Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Black Vulture
Bald Eagle
'Western' Willet
Sanderling
White-rumped Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
Gull-billed Tern
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Black Skimmer
Parasitic Jaeger
Barred Owl
Acadian Flycatcher
Common Raven
Purple Martin
Cliff Swallow
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Winter Wren
Northern Parula
Northern Waterthrush
Kentucky Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Nelson's Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
DICKCISSEL


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

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc1@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

~ Transcript ~

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

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays)
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, June 15th at 8:00pm. The highlights of today's tape are CURLEW SANDPIPER, SANDWICH TERN, ARCTIC TERN, MISSISSIPPI KITES, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, and summer count results, including DICKCISSEL.

Thursday afternoon on a rising tide, an adult CURLEW SANDPIPER in full breeding plumage was spotted on the Cupsogue County Park mudflats, the bird ultimately flying off as the water level increased. Late this morning the CURLEW was refound at Pike's Beach, on the tidal bars off the West Hampton Dunes Overlook platform, staying around there till mid-afternoon. The Cupsogue mudflats are on the bay side north of the parking lot, and a fee is charged to park during normal beach hours. Pike's Overlook is a little east of the Cupsogue entrance, and it has its own parking lot. Three WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS were also present at Pike's today, and an early 'WESTERN' WILLET was at Cupsogue Thursday evening.

Even farther east on Long Island, the mudflats at Mecox just north of the outflow from Mecox Bay to the ocean recently attracted a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE as well as up to three WILSON'S PHALAROPES. The RED-NECKED was last noted last Saturday, when an adult SANDWICH TERN also dropped in on the flats briefly. The WILSON'S PHALAROPES were also present, at least to Sunday.

The two MISSISSIPPI KITES, still present near the Visitors Center at Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County, were actively nest-building late in the week. Please enjoy, but do not disturb these birds.

At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Sunday, a GULL-BILLED TERN visited the marsh south of the West Pond, and a few WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS were also at the Refuge.

Another GULL-BILLED has been present recently around the thriving tern and skimmer colonies at Nickerson Beach, this off Lido Boulevard, west of Point Lookout. Last Saturday an immature ARCTIC TERN was also reported from that site.

A KENTUCKY WARBLER has been seen recently at a DEC property in Rocky Point, off Route 25A. Please remember that very localized species such as this, which are attempting to establish a territory, should not be harassed by tape-playing or other thoughtless forms of disturbance.

A sea watch off Robert Moses State Park field 2 on Tuesday morning noted seven GREAT SHEARWATERS, seven CORY'S SHEARWATERS, nine unidentified large Shearwaters, five SOOTY SHEARWATERS, and singles of WILSON'S STORM-PETREL and PARASITIC JAEGER. Four ROSEATE TERNS were also present.

There has been an interesting unexpected influx of RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES into the area recently.

The Greenwich-Stamford Summer Bird Count, which includes much of eastern Westchester County, was conducted last weekend and recorded 134 species. Highlights included a breeding-plumaged HORNED GREBE in Rye; GADWALL, 6 LONG-TAILED DUCKS and a first-ever SURF SCOTER; BLACK VULTURE, 4 BALD EAGLES on inland reservoirs; 9 WILLETS and a SANDERLING; a count period BLACK TERN and 2 BLACK SKIMMERS in Rye; about a dozen BARRED OWLS; 4 ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS, 6 COMMON RAVENS, 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES; decent numbers of CLIFF SWALLOWS and PURPLE MARTINS; WINTER WREN, NORTHERN PARULA, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and HOODED WARBLER; NELSON'S SPARROW, SALTMARSH SPARROW, and SEASIDE SPARROW; and certainly the least expected species: a male DICKCISSEL singing on a North Greenwich field. Unfortunately, this field was mowed shortly after the count, and the DICKCISSEL has disappeared.

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 TAPE~]

~ End Transcript ~
...Read more

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday's Foto

This Eastern Chipmunk in Brooklyn's Prospect Park may look incredibly cute, but don't ever be tempted to pick one up. If you succeeded you'd quickly find that they have very sharp teeth and an attitude to match. They are a frequent prey animal for Red-tailed Hawks, but fortunately are very abundant here. Don't go looking for them in Central Park, however, as the original, natural habitats of that landmark park never contained the hardwood forests necessary for this rodent to survive.

Red-tailed Tale

Two weeks ago I was in New Orleans when I received a call from Bobby. A very young Red-tailed Hawk had fallen from his nest in Brooklyn and Bobby had retrieved the youngster for evaluation. He explained to me that the very small male raptor had a possible injury to his foot and was at least a couple of weeks shy of fledging. At the time of the phone call, my wife and I were walking around the French Quarter with her friend, Jude, who lives in the Big Easy. We had stopped into Tujaques for pre-dinner cocktails when I had my first conversation with Bobby about the situation. Jude is a very laid back guy and seemed completely unfazed by my conversation about baby hawks in Brooklyn.

One of Bobby's concerns was being able to return the young hawk to the nest in a reasonable amount of time, but was unfamiliar with the Brooklyn nest location. I wasn't sure I'd be back in New York in time, so I put him in touch with Paige, who knew all the hawk nest sites. Flash forward to this weekend. Bobby still had the young hawk as he felt the bird needed more time to develop flight feathers, put on some weight and for his clenched foot to open up. We made arrangements to meet at Green-Wood Cemetery and release the little guy back to the wilds of Brooklyn and the care of Big Mama and Junior.

When the hawk was removed from its carrier I was surprised at how small he appeared. Bobby said that, while healthy, he is, in fact, a very small bird. According to Clark and Wheeler's "Hawks", red-tails can range from 1.5 to 3.3 pounds. I assume that this little pipsqueak is at the very low end of that weight scale. For that reason we've decided to call him "Pip". He is also recognizable by his missing central tail feathers.

Pip's first day back in Brooklyn did not go very well. When I went back to check on him the next day he was stuck in the cedar tree in a very awkward spot halfway up the tree. While he did manage to face into the wind, spread his wings and flap a little, it didn't appear like he would be able to launch himself from that spot. It also didn't appear that mom and dad would be able to deliver any food to him. I let Bobby know my concerns and he arranged to come back the next day. Both Marge and I would be working, so Pam (a transplant from the Manhattan hawk watching circle) met Bobby at the cemetery. Here is the email that she sent out on Wednesday night:

**********

From: Pamela Langford
Subject: Green-Wood today
Date: June 13, 2012


All went well while I was at Green-Wood today. I saw two feedings, and there might have been a third -- the [baby's] crop looked really full when I checked in before going home around 7 pm.

Shortly after you left, the parent approached the [baby] with a small bird. The baby seemed startled, and jumped to the end of the branch. The food fell to the ground, and the baby hawk was dangling precariously for a few minutes. The parent sat nearby and watched. The baby eventually moved to a more secure perch -- but the food was still on the ground. After a while, the parent picked up the food and flew to a nearby tree. A few minutes later, the parent brought the food back, put it on the ground just underneath the baby, and again perched about six feet away.

Still nothing happened, so the parent picked up the food from the ground a second time, and flew away again. After a while the parent decided to try once more -- and this time it worked. He or she (I'm not sure which parent) landed near the baby with the food, and finally the youngster had his meal. He apparently ate the entire bird -- I saw nothing on the ground but a few feathers.

All three fledglings were in the same tree most of this time. A little over an hour later, the parent brought more food to the [baby] -- and this time everything went smoothly. I didn't get close enough to see what food the parent brought.

The parent's determination to feed the baby was wonderful to watch (and the baby sitting quietly with a full crop was wonderful as well).

**********

Big Mama and Junior will have their hands full caring for the three fledglings in Green-Wood Cemetery, but they are both very attentive parents in one of the safest raptor territories around the 5 boroughs. I began watching Big Mama in 2002. Over the past 10 years she has hatched 21 offspring. Of those I am only aware of 3 deaths - one from frounce, one fell from the nest and broke its neck and one of undetermined causes. That is a pretty impressive success rate, so I am very optimistic that little Pip will survive the year and hopefully go on to raise his own young.
...Read more

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Treehugger Tuesday

More on Keystone XL:

The Dirtiest Oil on Earth

Monday, June 11, 2012

Upcoming Nature trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips within NYC's five boroughs for the weekend of June 16, 2012 - June 17, 2012:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Discover Tour
Every Sunday, 3 p.m.
Discover the Prospect Park you never knew! Meet birds and other wildlife on this walk, guided by a naturalist.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Far Rockaway breeding birds
Trip Leader: Peter Dorosh
Car Fee: $12.00
Focus: Coastal and dune breeding species in Queens County
Registrar: Peter Dorosh, Email Prosbird [AT] aol.com or TEXT Message 347-622-3559
Registration period: June 5th - June 14th

**********

Gowanus Dredgers
Saturday, June 16, 2012, 1pm – 5pm
Canoe on the Gowanus Canal
Bring a friend for a self-guided Canoe trip sponsored by the Gowanus Dredgers to raise awareness of Harbor Issues www.gowanuscana​l.org

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, June 16, 2012 (rain date 6/17)
Central Park Nature Walk
Leader: Sarah Elliott
No Registration.
Meet at Boathouse at 9:30 a.m.

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, June 16, 2012
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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, June 16, 2012, 8am – 9:30pm
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk
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 residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, please call 718-548-0912. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Sunday, June 17, 2012, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Sunset EcoCruise to the Harbor Heron Islands
Guide: Gabriel Willow With New York Water Taxi Meet at South Street Seaport's Pier 17. We're excited about this summer's ecocruises; we’ve expanded our explorations of the City's island rookeries to three different locations! Depending on which weekend you choose, cruises may visit the fascinating Brother Islands, the large egret and cormorant colonies on Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, or the great expanses of Jamaica Bay. Whichever your destination, you'll experience the wonders of New York's famous harbor at sunset and see some of the three thousand herons, egrets, and ibis nesting on these urban island treasures. To learn about specific cruise dates and register, visit New York Water Taxi online or by phone at 212-742-1969. Limited to 90. Pricing varies by destination.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, June 16, 2012, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Clove Lakes Park
Meet by the Maintenance Building at the intersection of Slosson and Drake Avenues. We will spend two hours removing alien invasive plants from areas chosen by the Natural Resources Group. If you don't have your own, Protectors will supply gloves and pruners (& refreshments). After the work session (our 192nd consecutive monthly 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.

Sunday, June 17, 2012, 12 noon to 2 p.m.
Wolf's Pond Park Ancient Forests
Entrance off Cornelia Avenue off Hylan Blvd. Meet at the farthest reach of the parking lot by the restrooms. Explore this living forest of ancient trees and see re-creation at work Marvel at this wonderful park of seashore a, hills and ridges, streams and cool arboreal woods. Some moderate climbing. We go in all weather.
Contact Hillel at (718) 477-0545

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
All walks start at 9:30 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
Any questions please Call Steve at (516) 987-8103.
For directions to our bird-watching locations, click here.

**********

Staten Island Museum
Sunday, June 17, 2012, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dragonfly Diversity Workshop
Location: Long Pond Park, Staten Island
Free
Join the S.I. Dragonfly Atlas for a workshop at NYC’s dragonfly hot-spot, Long Pond Park. Over 15 species of dragonflies are likely to be observed. Workshop will include field identification techniques, dragonfly biology and close-up looks of a few select species.
Meet at Page Ave and Academy Pl, in front of P.S. 6.
For more information, call or email Seth Wollney, 718.483.7105.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Birding
8:00 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. From falcons and salamanders, to...
Location: Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
Free!

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Hudson River Park Wild!
9:00 a.m.
Hudson River Park is bringing some attention to its vital role in creating one of the...
Location: Hudson River Park's Pier 40
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, June 09, 2012

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 8, 2012:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jun. 8, 2012
* NYNY1206.08

- Birds mentioned

CAPE VERDE SHEARWATER+
LEACH'S STORM-PETREL+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+ (Orange County)
ARCTIC TERN+
LONG-TAILED JAEGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Common Loon
Cory's Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Northern Gannet
White-rumped Sandpiper
WILSON'S PHALAROPE
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Royal Tern
Parasitic Jaeger
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Acadian Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Nelson's 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, June 8th 2012 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are a great on shore pelagic flight including a possible CAPE VERDE SHEARWATER, LONG-TAILED JAEGER and LEACH'S STORM-PETREL, ARCTIC TERN, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, WILSON'S PHALAROPE and MISSISSIPPI KITES in Orange County.

Thanks to the stormy southeast winds along the south shore of Long Island last Saturday morning good numbers of pelagic birds were pushed towards the coast offering nice views and exciting times for birders gathered at Robert Moses State Park field 2 and at Main Beach in East Hampton. Main Beach, possibly due to its more easterly location, produced the larger totals but perhaps the most unusual bird was off Moses Park, this a Cory's type shearwater passing by not too far off shore, that, due mainly to its dark capped appearance and thinnish dusky looking bill gave the impression of a CAPE VERDE SHEARWATER. Photos taken were unfortunately not sufficient to aid in this tricky separation from Cory's.

Another highlight at Moses was an adult LONG-TAILED JAEGER that dropped down to harass a passing PARASITIC JAEGER. This Long-tailed, like virtually all the other migrants, was headed east. A call to the birders at Main Beach alerted them and 3 hours later they did spot an adult Long-tailed moving by. Also most notable at Main Beach was a LEACH'S STORM-PETREL passing by just beyond the surf late in the morning. With the shearwaters certainly the most prevalent was SOOTY SHEARWATER with counts of 2,322 off Main Beach and 716 at Moses. Main Beach also had a couple of loose flocks of MANX SHEARWATERS early on making up most of their 27 for the day while Moses only recorded 2. 77 CORY'S SHEARWATERS were counted at Main Beach, 21 at Moses and GREAT SHEARWATER totals were 10 at Main Beach, 5 at Moses while WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS numbered 78 off Moses, 69 off East Hampton. Moderate numbers of NORTHERN GANNETS were also noted with good numbers of migrating COMMON LOONS, Main Beach counting 132 of the latter and the totals for PARASITIC JAEGER were 15 off Main Beach and 8 at Moses. Among the other birds off Moses were 2 BLACK TERNS and 5 ROSEATE TERNS.

The consistent appearances of ARCTIC TERNS on the mudflats north of the parking lot at Cupsogue County Park in West Hampton Dunes reached a seasonal peak of 6 on Saturday afternoon with 3 adult types and 3 first summer birds. A ROYAL TERN and a few ROSEATE TERNS also visited the flats, 2 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS were present at adjacent Pike's Beach and a late afternoon seawatch off Cupsogue produced 30 SOOTY SHEARWATERS, a couple of WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS and a PARASITIC JAEGER, a far cry from the morning's activity.

On Sunday on the Mecox Bay flats the 2 lingering WILSON'S PHALAROPES were joined by a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE and both species were present through the week with 3 WILSON'S PHALAROPES and the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE there today. Also counted on these flats last Saturday were 22 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS.

Late migrant land birds were still being seen during the week with midtown Manhattan's Bryant Park adding another good warbler to its impressive Spring list this a MOURNING WARBLER present Sunday and Monday and it didn't end there with a WILSON'S WARBLER appearing there Thursday.

HOODED WARBLERS have popped up at a few Long Island sites recently and the YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was still singing yesterday at Connetquot River State Park near the fish hatcheries.

Migrants of note at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye this week included NELSON'S SPARROW Monday, ACADIAN FLYCATCHER Wednesday and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO Thursday.

If you plan on visiting Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County to see the MISSISSIPPI KITES please take care so as not to disturb these birds or the good number of other nesting specialties up there. The kites are located near the visitors center on Old Forge Road and be aware that there is a very healthy population of ticks in the park's grassy areas.

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, June 08, 2012

Some Nesting Birds

Marge and I checked in on the Green-Wood Cemetery Red-tailed Hawk nest this afternoon. The pair of nestlings look healthy, very large and ready to take their maiden flight. In addition to the hawks, we looked in on another local breeding bird and I unexpectedly stumbled on the nest of another.

Today was the first time this Spring that I spent an extended time at Big Mama and Junior's nest in the cemetery. Their return to the old nest site in the cedar tree certainly makes viewing easy as it is about 40 feet lower than the nest in the linden tree. While we were there the two nestlings were briefly hop-flapping at the edge of the nest. The last time the adults used this nest tree the young would climb out onto a springboard-like branch on the Northeast side of the tree. This year's young don't seem to have discovered it yet. In this photo the young raptor is perched at the base of it. I give them a few more days before we start to see them venturing out to the end of that launching point. Their parents were keeping a distant eye on the nest from a usual perch atop the antenna tower at Bishop Ford High School. It is about 1/4 mile Northeast of the nest, but the adult raptors take mere seconds to fly from the top of the tower to their offspring's side.

At the Crescent Water a Great Egret patrolled the edges of the pond periodically stabbing fish and tadpoles at the surface of the water. Nearby a much smaller Green Heron hung his body down the pond's coping wall, stretched his neck all the way out, barely reaching the water, and managed to snatch a small frog. There has been at least one Green Heron in this area for about a month and I suspected that a pair might be nesting in the area. When the Great Egret spooked the heron and he flew into a cherry tree I decided to search the tree's drooping branches. I quickly spotted the heron's flimsy twig nest. Here's a short video of him (or her) working on the nest:



From the Crescent Water Marge took me to see a Baltimore Oriole nest that she discovered on the ridge behind the Sylvan Water. As we walked up the hill towards the nest I could hear the male's chattering, ratchet-like call. Not long after he arrived at the nest tree with a white mulberry in his bill. Our presence may have made him a little nervous as he seemed a little reluctant to fly directly to the nest. After a few moments he slowly made his way to the hanging basket woven with natural fiber and some strands of colored string. A small bill popped out of the opening and took the fruit. A pair of Warbling Vireo appeared to be nesting in the same planetree and harassed the oriole until he flew off ... although I kind of doubt that the tiny, grey birds could do much to intimidate most avian species. Perhaps the oriole found their nasal "eeah" call irritating. Over a period of about 15 minutes both the male and female oriole made frequent visits to the nest. Several times I noticed them removing their offspring's fecal sacs and depositing them far from the nest.

There are dozens of other breeding bird species around Brooklyn. Now that migration has ended I'll be focusing more on these birds, as well as, butterflies in future posts.
...Read more

Friday's Foto

Over the past week this year's offspring of New York City's numerous resident Red-tailed Hawks have begun to fledge. In Prospect Park last week the single nestling at Nelly's Lawn left the nest prematurely and is being looked after by Bobby and Cathy until his is strong enough to be returned to his parents care. The two above are Big Mama and Junior's two nestlings in Green-Wood Cemetery. Both have been actively hop-flapping and should be leaving the nest within days.

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