Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Treehugger Tuesday

Moby Talks About Saving Bees



Join Moby, the award-winning musician, DJ and activist, as he takes us on a tour of his four-acre property atop the Hollywood Hills to share his special connection with the 30,000 bees that call it home. We have bees to thank for one out of three bites of food we eat, but they’re dying and need our help. Here Moby offers simple, concrete actions for how you can reverse this trend and save our bees.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of October 4, 2014 to October 5, 2014:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 8 a.m.
Early Morning Bird Walk: Hawk Watch
October is Hawk Month!

Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

Raptor Fest
Sunday, October 5, 2014, 12 – 3 p.m.
Learn about the amazing birds of prey known as raptors.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, October 4, 2014
"Leader's Choice"
Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Best birding activity cluster or rare birds will be determined by the week's listserve reports for Brooklyn area
Car fee: TBA by leader
Registrar: Heidi Steiner-Nanz, email heidi.steiner@verizon.net
Registration period: Sept 23rd - Oct 2nd

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City Island Bird Walks
Sunday, October 5, 2014, 8:00 AM SHARP!
Fall Migration Walk
Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
All Walks are Free!

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Linnaean Society of New York
Sunday October 5, 2014
Conference House Park and Mount Loretto
Leader: Howard Fischer
Registrar: Sandra Maury – sandramaury39@gmail.com or 212-874-4881
Registration opens: Monday, September 22
Ride: $20

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, October 4, 2014
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

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk
Guide: NYC Audubon, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 8:30am – 11:00am
Birding Gems of Queens: “THE WATERHOLE” IN FOREST PARK Guide: Jeff Kollbrunner Meet at the corner of Park Lane South and Metropolitan Avenue. Visit "the waterhole"—a veritable migrant magnet when wet that is known for rarities, and where dark-eyed juncos, red-breasted nuthatches, pine siskins, and a variety of thrushes and warblers may be seen. Also look for birds of prey like great horned owls, eastern screech owls, and red-tailed hawks.
Limited to 15. $50 (35) per walk
Click here to register

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 8am – 10am
Fall Migrants of Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
Guides: Tod Winston, Joseph McManus With Woodlawn Conservancy Meet at the Jerome Avenue entrance of Woodlawn Cemetery. Join us for a morning bird walk and tour of beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery: Tod Winston and Joseph McManus will look for fall migrants and year-round residents on the expansive, wooded cemetery grounds, while a Woodlawn Conservancy docent shares fascinating stories about Woodlawn’s history and the interesting mixture of individuals interred there.
Bring water. Limited to 15. $35 (24)
Click here to register

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 10am – 1pm
Hawk Watch at Fort Tilden
Guide: Don Riepe With American Littoral Society Meet at 10am at Bldg. 1 in Fort Tilden for a hike to the hawk watch platform to view falcons, hawks, ospreys and other migrating raptors. We'll also hike along the beach and dunes to look for song- and shorebirds.
For more information, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com. No limit. Free

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 10am – 11am
Birding for Families in Central Park
Guide: NYC Audubon Offered by the Central Park Conservancy
Meet at the Dana Discovery Center (inside the park at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues).
Bring the kids and visit one of New York City’s richest bird habitats. As a family, learn how to spot and identify our feathered neighbors in their natural surroundings. Binoculars can be borrowed from the Dana Center.
For weather cancellation information, call 212-860-1370.
Limited to 20. Age 5 and up.
Free

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Newtown Historical Society
Sunday, October 5, 2014, 9am
Nature and history tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir
On Sunday, October 5, Newtown Historical Society will be offering a special nature and history tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir starting at 9am in the main parking lot on Vermont Place at Highland Park. We will view the historic structures in the recently renovated park, observe the natural world and discuss its future.

You can take public transportation to Highland Park. The B13 bus stops along Cypress Hills Street and the Q56 stops along Jamaica Avenue. The Cleveland Street stop on the J train is 3 blocks from the park. Or, you can drive or bike.

This tour will be led by special guest Rob Jett, author of The City Birder.

This tour is 100% FREE and will be a great experience for children and adults alike. For more info or to RSVP, write to NewtownHistory@gmail.com or call 718-366-3715.

It is suggested that you bring sunblock and water. You may also wish to bring binoculars and cameras.

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday October 4, 2014, 8 A.M. to 10 A.M.
Mount Loretto Unique Area
Join birder, Anthony Ciancimino, for birding at Mount Loretto Unique Area. This spot is ideal for migrating sparrows, which will be the focus for this walk. Possibilities include white-crowned, lincoln’s, swamp, field, and chipping sparrows.
Meet at the parking lot along Hylan Boulevard, opposite the CYO center.
E-mail Anthony Ciancimino at sibirdwatcher@yahoo.com for more information.

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 1 P.M. to 3 PM
Old Mill Road
Park at the end of Old Mill Road, behind St. Andrew’s Church. We’ll stroll along the multi-use trail next to Fresh Kills, below the hills of LaTourette Golf Course and return along the Blue Trail. From the remains of colonial structures to the Hessian Spring and the remains of Ketchum’s Mill we will take a look into the influence of man and nature on the ecosystems bordering the Fresh Kills estuary.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327.

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 3 P.M. to 5 P.M.
Wolfe’s Pond and Lemon Creek
Join Mike Shanley and survey Wolfe’s Pond and the surrounding areas at low tide. The pond is currently in a state of transition after recent storms have affected the berm, drastically altering the character of the pond and surrounding areas. We will discuss the history of the area, how the character of the pond has changed over time, and proposed remediation plans. We will also be keeping an eye out for seasonal birds such as Black and Royal Tern. Meet at the corner of Holton Avenue and Purdy Place.
For more information call Mike Shanley at 917-753-7155.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Bird Walk at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.
NYC Audubon experts lead the way as we marvel at quirky but logical bird behavior and delicate feathers in exquisite patterns. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear sturdy…
Free!

Highbridge Hawk Watch at West 172nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue (in Highbridge Park), Manhattan
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Bring the whole family and roam the winter woods in search of hawks with expert naturalist Mike Feller.
Free!

Sunday, October 5, 2014
Birding: Fall Migration at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
10:00 a.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in New York City.
Free!

Birding for Families at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Experience the coming of fall in Central Park when it becomes a precious bird habitat and migration hot spot!
Free!

Raptor Fest at Peninsula (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Experience the thrill of viewing New York's premier predators, live and up close with the Urban Park Rangers and the Prospect Park Audubon Center.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 26, 2014:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sep. 26, 2014
* NYNY1409.26

- Birds mentioned

EURASIAN WIGEON
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Red-necked Grebe
GREAT BLUE HERON (white morph "Great White Heron")
American Golden-Plover
Whimbrel
MARBLED GODWIT
Western Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Long-billed Dowitcher
Caspian Tern
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Yellow-throated Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Tennessee Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Worm-eating Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Lincoln's Sparrow
DICKCISSEL
Purple Finch
PINE SISKIN

- Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, September 26th 2014 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are WESTERN KINGBIRD, EURASIAN WIGEON, "GREAT WHITE HERON", BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, MARBLED GODWIT, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, DICKCISSEL and PINE SISKIN.

A decent week for landbirds, finally, was highlighted by the Fall's first WESTERN KINGBIRD appearing last Saturday at Brooklyn's Calvert Vaux Park also known as Drier-Offerman Park. The bird apparently disappeared during the afternoon and the season's first EURASIAN WIGEON was found Sunday among increasing numbers of arriving waterfowl on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge where the West Pond, usually a waterfowl haven, remains a disaster.

But perhaps the weeks most unusual find was a "GREAT WHITE HERON" spotted Saturday along the ocean side edge of Georgica Pond in East Hampton. Currently considered taxonomically a form of GREAT BLUE HERON with only very few New York records for this southern bird. This individual was last seen flying off towards the north end of Georgica Pond and it has not been relocated.

A reasonable variety of shorebirds continues in the region. The sandbar next to the Coast Guard Station at Jones Beach West End produced 2 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS and a MARBLED GODWIT at high tide last Sunday these among a good assortment of expected species. The sod fields along Route 105 just south of Sound Avenue in Riverhead hosted 2 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS Saturday to Tuesday with an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER also there Tuesday and another GOLDEN-PLOVER was a Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton last weekend. Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes, still closed due to the beach house fire, did produce a WHIMBREL and a CASPIAN TERN by boat on Monday. Also out east the lingering RED-NECKED GREBE was still at Mecox Saturday with a CASPIAN TERN there Sunday and Monday. A BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was at Miller Field on Staten Island last weekend and back at Jamaica Bay's East Pond shorebirds still present last weekend included a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, a STILT SANDPIPER plus a few PECTORAL, WESTERN and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS. Waterfowl also now features some AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, BLUE-WINGED TEAL and NORTHERN SHOVELERS.

This past Tuesday produced a seemingly long awaited influx of landbirds into the city parks with nice variety and decent numbers throughout the region. Single CONNECTICUT WARBLERS were spotted in the Ramble in Central Park and at Alley Pond Park in Queens with another the day before at Southold on the north fork of Long Island. Other warblers, most seen on Tuesday with much diminished numbers after that day, included a MOURNING in Prospect Park plus some TENNESSEE, CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED, WORM-EATING, HOODED and WILSON'S as well as the many more expected species. Among the other migrants were single RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS in Central Park and Robert Moses State Park Tuesday and at Crocheron Park in Queens on Wednesday. Also noted at Moses Park near the golf course there Tuesday were a DICKCISSEL and 3 flyby PINE SISKINS. There have been a couple of other Siskin reports recently as well. Also on Tuesday several PHILADELPHIA VIREOS were noted and several were also reported back on Sunday in Prospect Park. Other notable recent migrants have featured both YELLOW-BILLED and BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, OLIVE-SIDED and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BROWN CREEPER, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, LINCOLN'S SPARROW and PURPLE FINCH.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or weekdays call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday's Foto

As their common name suggests, the Western Kingbird in not typically found in Brooklyn, let alone New York State. This individual, discovered hawking for insects at Calvert Vaux Park, was only the second record for Kings County. The first was spotted in Prospect Park in 2012. You can see an interactive map of Western Kingbird sightings on the Cornell eBird website here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Treehugger Tuesday

Huge Push in Global Renewable Energy Generation

From a recent article in The New York Times:

"Electric utility executives all over the world are watching nervously as technologies they once dismissed as irrelevant begin to threaten their long-established business plans."

**********

Sun and Wind Alter Global Landscape, Leaving Utilities Behind
By Justin Gillis

HELIGOLAND, Germany — Of all the developed nations, few have pushed harder than Germany to find a solution to global warming. And towering symbols of that drive are appearing in the middle of the North Sea.

They are wind turbines, standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, stretching as high as 60-story buildings and costing up to $30 million apiece. On some of these giant machines, a single blade roughly equals the wingspan of the largest airliner in the sky, the Airbus A380. By year’s end, scores of new turbines will be sending low-emission electricity to German cities hundreds of miles to the south.

It will be another milestone in Germany’s costly attempt to remake its electricity system, an ambitious project that has already produced striking results: Germans will soon be getting 30 percent of their power from renewable energy sources. Many smaller countries are beating that, but Germany is by far the largest industrial power to reach that level in the modern era. It is more than twice the percentage in the United States.

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Read the entire article here. ...Read more

Monday, September 22, 2014

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of September 27, 2014 to September 28, 2014:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 8 a.m.
Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Brooklyn "Wildcard"
Leader: Keir Randall
Focus: Best birding activity cluster or rare birds will be determined by the week's listserve reports for Brooklyn area
Car fee: TBA by leader
Registrar: Dennis Hrehowsik, email deepseagangster@gmail.com
Registration period: Sept 16th - Sept 25th

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Littoral Society
Saturday, September 27, 2014, 3-6pm
Jamaica Bay Sunset Ecology Cruise
Guides: Don Riepe and Mickey Maxwell Cohen
Join us for a three hour cruise of the backwaters of Jamaica Bay aboard the 100' boat the "Golden Sunshine". Learn about the history, ecology, management and wildlife of this 13,000 acre preserve and see egrets, herons, oystercatchers, peregrine falcons, osprey and many more species of birds.
Cost: $55 for adults, $20 for children under 16. Includes wine and cheese, drinks, fruit, snacks. To reserve please send a check to the American Littoral Society, 28 West 9th Road, Broad Channel, NY 11693.
This event is in partnership with NYC Audubon and Gateway National Recreation Area.
Questions: donriepe@gmail.com or call (718)474-0896.

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, September 27, 2014
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, September 27, 2014, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk
Guide: NYC Audubon, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 8:30am – 11:00am
Birding Gems of Queens: Strack Pond in Forest Park
Guide: Jeff Kollbrunner Meet at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Forest Park Drive. Visit "Strack Pond"—a natural kettle pond where herons and a variety of songbirds may be seen including cedar waxwings, white-crowned, swamp, and fox sparrows, thrushes, and warblers. Also look for birds of prey like great horned owls, eastern screech owls, and red-tailed hawks. Limited to 15. $50 (35) per walk
Click here to register

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 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 catamaran “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 wine and other refreshments.
To register, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com. Limited to 140. $55

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 9am – 5pm
Birding by Canoe in Constitution Marsh
Guides: Gabriel Willow, Constitution Marsh Naturalist With Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary Join Gabriel willow and a Constitution Marsh naturalist to explore Constitution Marsh Audubon Sanctuary—a spectacular 271-acre tidal marsh just outside of Cold Spring, NY. Observe marsh birds up close as you canoe through this pristine freshwater habitat—possible sightings include Virginia rails, spotted sandpipers, and bald eagles. Then look for warblers and other spring migrants on the sanctuary's trails and enjoy a picnic lunch while learning more about the marsh's ecology. Bring lunch. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $143 (100)
Click here to register

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 10am – 11am
Birding for Families in Central Park
Guide: NYC Audubon Offered by the Central Park Conservancy
Meet at the Dana Discovery Center (inside the park at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues).
Bring the kids and visit one of New York City’s richest bird habitats. As a family, learn how to spot and identify our feathered neighbors in their natural surroundings. Binoculars can be borrowed from the Dana Center.
For weather cancellation information, call 212-860-1370.
Limited to 20. Age 5 and up.
Free

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Northshore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Alley Pond Park
Leader: Joan Parry (365-7191), Trudy Horowitz (718-224-8432)
Notes:
Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike.
Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated otherwise.
If in doubt, please call the trip leader.
Please note: all phone numbers are area code 516 unless otherwise indicated.
In most cases, the contacts are also leaders for the respective walks.
Go to our website at www.northshoreaudubon.org/ for directions.
We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, September 27, 2014, 1 P.M. to 3 P.M.
Reed’s Basket Willow Park
Discover this hidden natural park in Dongan Hills. We’ll visit the three bodies of water in the park and stroll through the woodlands. Although none of Reed’s basket willow still grow near the swamp from which the park gets its name, the woodlands and stream is still home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Meet at the park enterance atop Spring Street in Dongan Hills.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327.

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Queens County Bird Club
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Kissena Corridor
Leader: Eric Miller 917-279-7530
Meet at velodrome lot 7:45am
Site Maps here

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Bird Walk at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.
NYC Audubon experts lead the way as we marvel at quirky but logical bird behavior and delicate feathers in exquisite patterns. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear sturdy…
Free!

Birding: Brooklyn Road Trip at Salt Marsh Nature Center (in Marine Park), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.
Take a trip in search of early fall migrants with our Rangers.
Free!

Birding at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (in Pelham Bay Park), Bronx
3:30 p.m.
Join naturalist and photographer Debbie Becker on a trail walk as the great fall migration gets under way with hawks, eagles, warblers, and hummingbirds returning to their winter…

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Birding for Families at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Experience the coming of fall in Central Park when it becomes a precious bird habitat and migration hot spot!
Free!

Sneak 'Peak' at Freshkills Park at Freshkills Park Parking Lot, Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Join us to celebrate the potential of the future of Freshkills Park at our annual festival with activities like kayaking, biking, birding, art and more on Staten Island!
Free!
...Read more

Friday, September 19, 2014

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 19, 2014:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sep. 19, 2014
* NYNY1409.19

- Birds mentioned

SABINE'S GULL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Northern Gannet
Bald Eagle
Broad-winged Hawk
American Golden-Plover
Whimbrel
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
Wilson's Snipe
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Royal Tern
Parasitic Jaeger
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
Common Nighthawk
Red-headed Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Worm-eating Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
LARK SPARROW
Lincoln's Sparrow
Purple Finch

- Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, September 19th 2014 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are SABINE'S GULL, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, MARBLED GODWIT, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER and LARK SPARROW.

Certainly this week's highlight was a juvenile SABINE'S GULL spotted moving east off Montauk Point early last Saturday morning. A two and a half hour seawatch also produced 6 PARASITIC JAEGERS, a BLACK TERN and 5 NORTHERN GANNETS while Sunday contributed 3 PARASITIC JAEGERS. This is a good spot to see Parasitics in the Fall especially when terns and Laughing Gulls are present in high numbers off the point.

Shorebird numbers have been declining recently especially at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge where Peregrine and Merlin harassment on the East Pond has been part of the problem. A CASPIAN TERN has been visiting the East Pond periodically and another has been seen several times at Jones Beach West End where 8 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were present in the West End 2 parking lot last Saturday. A West End shorebird gathering on the bar off the Coast Guard Station at high tide has recently featured both HUDSONIAN and MARBLED GODWITS with the latter still there Wednesday. An AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was also on the bar last Saturday and 2 put down briefly at Brooklyn's Plumb Beach on Saturday.

Interesting and unexpected was a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at Nickerson Beach just west of Point Lookout in the rain last Saturday. Also on Saturday a WHIMBREL was spotted at Fort Tilden where an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was also seen. Another ORANGE-CROWNED was among the moderate number of warblers at Alley Pond Park last Saturday while a couple of PHILADELPHIA VIREOS were reported there Sunday and a CONNECTICUT WARBLER was found there today.

A nice Fall find was a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER in Brooklyn's Prospect Park Wednesday and Thursday. Only a moderate number of warblers has been noted in Prospect mirroring the situation in much of the region. The migration generally being slow to quite disappointing depending on where you are. Other reports from Prospect Thursday included ACADIAN FLYCATCHER and PHILADELPHIA VIREO while in Central Park recent highlights featured a WILSON'S SNIPE last Saturday and a continuing immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER to Tuesday. An adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was spotted at Riis Park today. A MOURNING WARBLER was in Queens Sunday morning and other more unusual warblers recently have included WORM-EATING, BAY-BREASTED and CAPE MAY. PHILADELPHIA VIREOS have been noted at several sites during the week and other interesting landbirds have included BLACK-BILLED and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER, various thrushes, YELLOW-THROATED and BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, LINCOLN'S SPARROW and PURPLE FINCH.

Farther east on Long Island a LARK SPARROW was found Thursday at Shirley Marina County Park. A CASPIAN TERN joined two ROYAL TERNS at Mecox on Sunday.

Some decent BROAD-WINGED HAWK flights have taken place at local hawk sites recently but no huge numbers have come through locally. Some BALD EAGLES have also joined these flights and should continue especially on days with good northwest winds. And now most of the COMMON NIGHTHAWKS have pushed through our area by now. Some do remain including 121 that were counted Monday evening over Lattingtown near the border with Glen Cove.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or weekdays call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday's Foto

The American Golden-Plover, while categorized as a shorebird, tends to prefer grassy habitats rather than coastal muddy or sandy areas. For that reason it is often referred to by birders as a "grasspiper". Breeding in arctic tundra, they have one of the longest migrations in the world. During the fall migration, most individuals fly offshore from North America's east coast nonstop over the Atlantic Ocean to South America. Some birds may fly continuously for more than 3,000 miles. Previously considered to be the same species as the Pacific Golden-Plover, the American Golden-Plover is slightly larger, with shorter bill and legs. In breeding plumage, the white stripe around its neck extends only as far as the chest, rather than to the tail as in the former. The IUCN Red list lists them as a species of least concern.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Birds of Green-Wood Cemetery

I've spent a lot of time birding in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery over the past few years and recently began collecting photos of some of its resident birds. Here are some of those photos (in taxonomic order). Be sure to scroll to the bottom as I'm constantly updating with new finds:




























The old world spelling, perhaps.


Not quite a bird, but I liked the name.

I'll add more in the future as I find them.

Here's an update from July 2015:



Here's an update from October 2015:



Here's a Reeve, also from October 2015:



Here's my first "Fish Hawk" for Green-Wood from March 2016:



Here's a new addition I spotted in November 2016:



Spotted in December 2016. I was kind of hoping to read a family member named "Hermit", "Wood" or "Varied":

...Read more

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Treehugger Tuesday

Nearly Extinct Whale Species Recovers

From CBS-News:

California blue whales rebound from near extinction
By Agata Blaszczak-Boxe CBS News

The California blue whale population has rebounded to near historic numbers after being close to extinction decades ago, according to new research.

Scientists estimate that there are now about 2,200 California blue whales, which constitutes 97 percent of historic levels. This is also the only population of the blue whale species that has recovered from whaling and from being near extinction as a consequence.

"The recovery of California blue whales from whaling demonstrates the ability of blue whale populations to rebuild under careful management and conservation measures," study author Cole Monnahan, a doctoral student in quantitative ecology and resource management at University of Washington, said in a statement.

Blue whales are the largest and heaviest animals on earth, measuring nearly 100 feet long and weighing 190 tons as adults.



According to new data published earlier this summer in the journal PLOS ONE, about 3,400 California blue whales were caught between 1905 and 1971.

"Considering the 3,400 caught in comparison to the 346,000 caught near Antarctica gives an idea how much smaller the population of California blue whales was likely to have been," study author Trevor Branch, a UW assistant professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, said in a statement.

Although the number of blue whales that get struck by ships these days likely exceeds allowable U.S. limits, those strikes do not seem to threaten the animals' recovery, the researchers noted, adding that the current whale numbers are reaching the habitat limit, as the population is growing more slowly.

"Our findings aren't meant to deprive California blue whales of protections that they need going forward," Monnahan said. "California blue whales are recovering because we took actions to stop catches and start monitoring. If we hadn't, the population might have been pushed to near extinction - an unfortunate fate suffered by other blue whale populations."

The new findings were published online Friday in the journal Marine Mammal Science.
...Read more

Monday, September 15, 2014

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of September 20, 2014 to September 21, 2014:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 8 a.m.
Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Staten Island Greenbelt Mt. Moses
Leader: Mike Shanley and Isaac Grant
Focus: Hawk watching. Passerines in flight and woodlands
Registrar: Mike Shanley, email falecore@yahoo.com
Registration period: Sept 9th- Sept 18th
Leaders note: Join Mike Shanley and Isaac Grant as we make our way to the top of Moses Mountain and scan the skies in search of raptors and other migrating birds. We will also target Neotropical migrants as we make our way through the woodlands that lead to the top of the mountain. Site profile: "In the early 1960s Robert Moses, the notorious New York City planner and Parks Commissioner attempted to construct the Richmond Parkway over Todt Hill cutting through what is today's Greenbelt. Earth and rock blasted away for the highway was hauled to a remote area eventually forming a 260-foot-high mound ironically nicknamed "Moses Mountain." The name stuck but the Parkway did not. Intrepid citizen-activists vigorously protested the highway and won their battle. Today, a steep hike up a much greener Moses' Mountain rewards visitors with a panoramic view of the Greenbelt and New Jersey's Atlantic Highlands, 15-miles in the distance."

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Hook Mountain Hawk Watch
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Sherry Felix – info@linnaeannewyork.org or 212-255-0138
Registration opens: Monday, September 8
Ride: $25

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, September 20, 2014
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, September 20, 2014, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk
Guide: NYC Audubon, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 9am – 4pm
Hook Mt. Hawk Watch
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC Part of the Palisades Interstate Park system, Hook Mountain has commanding views of all the mountains ridges in the area and fantastic views of the Hudson River. From this inland hawk watch spot we expect to see many species of migrating raptors, including possible broad-winged and red-shouldered hawks, bald eagles, accipiters, and falcons. Note: this trip requires a 35-minute walk up and down the mountainside. Bring binoculars, lunch, and water.
Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $95 (66) Click here to register!

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 10am – 11am
Birding for Families in Central Park
Guide: NYC Audubon Offered by the Central Park Conservancy
Meet at the Dana Discovery Center (inside the park at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues).
Bring the kids and visit one of New York City’s richest bird habitats. As a family, learn how to spot and identify our feathered neighbors in their natural surroundings. Binoculars can be borrowed from the Dana Center.
For weather cancellation information, call 212-860-1370.
Limited to 20. Age 5 and up.
Free

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, September 20, 2014, 8 A.M. to 10 A.M.
Cemetery of the Resurrection on Sharrott Avenue
Join birder, Anthony Ciancimino, for a birding experience at the Cemetery of the Resurrection and adjacent DEC properties. This location is a fantastic spot for birding on Staten Island, especially in the fall. Many different types of warblers, vireos, and sparrows can be seen.
Meet at the first entrance beside the cemetery’s restrooms closest to Hylan Boulevard.

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 9 A.M. to Noon
Staten Island Beach Cleanup at Sharrott and Mt. Loretto Beaches
Meet in the NYC fishing pier parking lot opposite the intersection of Hylan Boulevard and Sharrott Avenue to take part in the International Coastal Cleanup. We will collect, separate, and record trash from the beach (and enjoy the view on the Raritan Bay!). Data from this clean-up will be used to monitor the cleanliness of the beaches and the health of our shoreline waters. Protectors will provide gloves, bags and refreshments. This will be the 217th Restoration and the 10th consecutive year that we have participated in removing hundreds of pounds of trash from our beach!
For more information call Don Recklies at 718-768-9036 or Chuck Perry at 718-667-1393.

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 1 P.M. to 3 P.M.
Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve
Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve is where Protectors of Pine Oak Woods was formed nearly 40 years ago. Come stroll the trails and enjoy a combination of ecosystems, such as sand barrens, wetlands, and ponds, and a beautiful park to explore in any season. Meet at the Clay pit Ponds Park Preserve parking lot at 83 Nielsen Avenue. (http://goo.gl/maps/N5bcq).
Please call John Paul Learn at 718-619-5051 or e-mail john.paul.learn@gmail.com for more information.

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 11 A.M. to 1 P.M.
Willowbrook Park Field Study
This Protectors walk provides an opportunity to study nature closely in the field. Our route takes the small loop of the white trail from the Carousel to the Archery Range and then to the Chimney Ruin. One goal of the walk is to count how many Tulip Trees you can spot. Bring flower and tree guides, loops or magnifying lenses, and lots and lots of questions. Share your knowledge of plant, fern and tree species with us. Meet at the Carousel; enter at Eton Place off Richmond Avenue. If it’s raining at the time of the walk, the event is postponed to Sunday, September 28.
For more information, e-mail Hillel Lofaso at hillel5757@gmail.com or call 718-477-0545.

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 2 P.M. to 4 P.M.
Buck’s Hollow and Heyerdahl Hill
Located in the Greenbelt, Heyerdahl Hill is nestled in an impressive stretch of woodland, holding ruins of a stone home built in the 1800s and plants and trees rarely seen in urban woodlands. We’ll meet at the stone wall on Meisner Ave, located by the intersection of Rockland Ave and Meisner Avenue. (http://goo.gl/maps/YP1HI).
Call John Paul Learn at 718-619-5051 or e-mail at john.paul.learn@gmail.com for more information.

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Queens County Bird Club
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Prospect Park
Leader: Arie Gilbert 917-693-7178.
Meeting 7:30am near Prospect Park Zoo on Flatbush Avenue

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Bird Walk at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.
NYC Audubon experts lead the way as we marvel at quirky but logical bird behavior and delicate feathers in exquisite patterns. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear sturdy…
Free!

Natural Areas Open House at Randalls Island Natural Areas (in Randall's Island Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Join us for our free Natural Areas Open House event, which will include a guided nature exploration, exciting exhibits detailing the in-depth human and natural history of Randall’s Island.
Free!

Sunday, September 21, 2014
Birding for Families at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Experience the coming of Fall in Central Park when it becomes a precious bird habitat and migration hot spot!
Free!
...Read more

Friday, September 12, 2014

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 12, 2014:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sept. 12, 2014
* NYNY1409.12

- Birds Mentioned

Red-necked Grebe
Bald Eagle
Broad-winged Hawk
Sora
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
Whimbrel
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
Stilt Sandpiper
BAIRD’S SANDPIPER
Western Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
POMARINE JAEGER
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Common Nighthawk
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Red-headed Woodpecker
Philadelphia Vireo
Tennessee Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Hooded Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Vesper Sparrow
LARK SPARROW
BLUE GROSBEAK

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]
Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, September 12 at 7:00 PM.

The highlights of today’s tape are POMARINE JAEGER, BUFF-BREASTED and BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS, HUDSONIAN and MARBLED GODWITS, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, BLUE GROSBEAK, LARK SPARROW and a pelagic trip announcement.

In a week similar to the prior one, with good shorebird variety but somewhat disappointing land bird activity, the most interesting report involved a POMARINE JAEGER moving east past Robert Moses State Park Field 2 Wednesday morning. Four LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were also counted there.

At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge two very confiding BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS were present on the east pond through last weekend, joining two HUDSONIAN GODWITS, and a MARBLED GODWIT also appeared on the pond Sunday, with it and one of the HUDSONIANS still present Thursday. Other notables on the east pond included an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER Wednesday, some WESTERN, WHITE-RUMPED and STILT SANDPIPERS, a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER last weekend, a CASPIAN TERN Saturday and a SORA along the pond’s edge Sunday.

Birders checking the low tide mud flats at Plum Beach in Brooklyn encountered a HUDSONIAN GODWIT briefly on Saturday and a WHIMBREL Sunday.

Three GULL-BILLED TERNS were again on the Coast Guard Station bar at Jones Beach West End last Saturday.

Notable landbirds in the New York City area this week included an immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER in Central Park Tuesday to today, a CONNECTICUT WARBLER lingering in Prospect Park last weekend, a few PHILADELPHIA VIREOS in the city parks, a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT in Prospect Park Sunday, and a VESPER SPARROW in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery Sunday, with a LARK SPARROW there today,

A decent variety of warblers, but in low numbers, has also been present, these including some TENNESSEE, CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED, WILSON’S and HOODED.

Moving east on Long Island, a BLUE GROSBEAK was spotted at Robert Moses State Park Saturday, another was at Sunken Meadow State Park Wednesday, and a family group of three was still present Tuesday along Route 51 north of Route 111 in Eastport, where they do nest.

Out in the sod fields north of Riverhead a few BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS have been seen lately, with five Thursday south of Sound Avenue on a field between Osborn Avenue and Horton Avenue, the same number seen Wednesday on the south side of Route 25 in Calverton; other singles were also noted in that area, and the fields west of Route 105 just south of Sound Avenue also featured AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and BAIRD’S SANDPIPER at least through last weekend.

A nice collection of shorebirds Sunday at Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes featured an HUDSONIAN GODWIT, still present Thursday, and two BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS; the 20 species spread between the flats north of the parking lot and the bars in the inlet also included PECTORAL, WESTERN and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS among the more expected species.

Birds on the flats at Mecox included an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and a MARBLED GODWIT Saturday, with an HUDSONIAN GODWIT there Thursday, and the RED-NECKED GREBE also continues there.

An EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILL singing briefly at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye last Saturday evening and prior indicates that they, as well as decent numbers of COMMON NIGHTHAWKS, are now moving through.

And local hawk sites will be enjoying good numbers of migrants, especially BROAD-WINGED HAWKS and BALD EAGLES, in the next week or two with the right winds.

A pelagic trip to Hudson Canyon, leaving 10:30 PM on Friday, October 24 from Freeport aboard the Captain Lou Fleet’s Starstream VIII, will spend Saturday well offshore and return Saturday evening. The cost is $235, and the trip is about half full. Please call the Captain Lou’s office at 516-623-5823 for reservations.

To phone in reports, on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126, or weekdays call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday's Foto

The Whimbrel is a fairly large shorebird that is found within both the eastern and western hemispheres. In North America they breeds in boreal and arctic regions. They winters from the mid-coasts of the United States through parts of coastal South America, coastal Surinam, north central Brazil, and some Caribbean islands. Some migrating Whimbrels fly nonstop approximately 2,500 miles to South America from their breeding grounds in southern Canada or New England. You can see tracking maps of individuals fitted with transmitters here. They are listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Treehugger Tuesday

BPA is a common ingredient in plastics used as protective liners in cans, paper products and dental sealants. Scientists now agree that it poses serious threats to humans, especially women, as an endocrine disruptor.

The following was published in the New York Times:

In Plastics and Cans, a Threat to Women
By DEBORAH BLUM
August 28, 2014 12:33 pm

Deborah Blum writes about chemicals and the environment.

A few years ago, Jodi Flaws, a bioscientist at the University of Illinois, began testing a theory about the risks to women posed by the widely used industrial compound bisphenol A, or BPA.

A series of studies had suggested that it could damage developing ovaries. But nobody knew how. So for a month, Dr. Flaws dosed young female mice with a BPA solution at a level comparable to estimated human exposure in the United States. She then examined their ovaries, focusing on the follicles, which contain the eggs.

The effect of the BPA was immediately obvious.

Compared with normal mice, the follicles of the treated mice were fewer and smaller. Further analysis showed that estradiol, the sex hormone essential for normal reproductive development, was not being produced at normal levels. BPA, it seemed, interferes with enzymes essential in the production of such hormones. Another study published by her laboratory this spring found that treated mice stopped producing viable eggs at an abnormally young age.

Scientists have discovered similar effects across an increasingly broad range of mammals, from sheep to monkeys to, alas, humans. The accumulating research fuels rising concern among scientists that childhood exposure to BPA may well contribute to female infertility, and that adult exposure may result in a shorter reproductive life span.

“I think most scientists working today agree that BPA is an ovarian toxicant,” Dr. Flaws said. A review of research into BPA, published this summer in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, noted that ovarian toxicity is among the most consistent and strongest effects found “in both animal models and in women.”

Discovered in the late 19th century, BPA came into wide commercial use in the mid-20th century. It is an ingredient in products like polycarbonate plastics, thermal coatings on cash register receipts and protective linings in cans and pipes.

Concerns about its health risks didn’t really arise until the late 1990s, when researchers first reported that it appeared to disrupt normal hormone function. Consumer worry led the Food and Drug Administration to ban it in baby products, such as bottles, and manufacturers voluntarily scaled back its use in other goods. But because good substitutes are hard to find, BPA is still used in many materials, and studies have found that a majority of Americans still test positive for exposure.

What that means for our health has turned out to be a complicated subject; manufacturers have pointed out that more than decade of research has produced often inconsistent results. Still many experts worry that the evidence that this chemical damages young ovaries is consistent — and growing.

“There are so many studies of BPA that it’s often difficult to weed out the real effects,” said Tracey Woodruff, the director of the program on reproductive health and the environment at the University of California, San Francisco. “But on this question of ovarian toxicity, all the studies are starting to line up.”

Genetics, lifestyle, and other chemical exposures also play a role in infertility, and scientists are still struggling to figure out where BPA ranks among the risks. “We’re incredibly difficult creatures to study, especially because we’re looking at effects that may take a generation to show up,” said Patricia Hunt, a genetics professor at Washington State University.

She and her colleagues decided to study the compound’s effects in another primate species, the rhesus monkey. They exposed monkeys in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy to levels of BPA comparable to those that humans received. The investigators were looking for the effects on developing ovaries, similar to the changes in rodents. And they found them. The exposure in both trimesters altered follicles and oocytes (the germ cells that develop into eggs). Similar effects might easily occur in developing human females as well, Dr. Hunt concluded.

Researchers at Harvard University have been trying to assess how BPA affects humans through studies of women enrolled at in-vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics. In a recent study, 80 percent of the women tested positive for BPA in urine. Higher BPA levels were linked to a reduced number of follicles — and therefore fewer fertile eggs.

Noting that BPA also turned up in follicular fluid, the investigators also looked at 357 discarded oocytes from more than 120 women visiting the clinics. Higher levels of BPA were linked to stunted human oocytes, as well as indications of chromosomal damage – a finding also found in animals studied by Dr. Hunt. “Together with prior animal studies, the data support the negative influences of BPA on oocyte maturation,” the Harvard team concluded.

Despite the growing body of research, a more complete assessment of BPA’s effects on human reproduction remains a tricky prospect.

“As a species, we tend to have a lot more chromosomal abnormalities anyway than animals like mice,” Dr. Hunt said. “And then people are waiting longer to have children, and that’s also a complicating factor.”

Dr. Woodruff said that a detailed systematic review of BPA was in the works, part of a National Toxicology Program reassessment of chemical risks. It should provide a better sense of how to navigate through recent findings. Her best advice for now? Avoid the compound when possible and, other than that, “don’t drive yourself crazy.”

“We’re still figuring this out, and the burden is on us — researchers, healthcare providers, manufactures — to do that well,” she said.

© 2014 The New York Times Company
...Read more

Monday, September 08, 2014

Upcoming Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of September 13, 2014 to September 14, 2014:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Family Bird Watching Tour
Free
Geared towards families with children ages 8 and older, the Prospect Park Alliance will help young naturalists learn how to observe and identify some of the 200 species of birds that pass through Prospect Park or make it their home.

Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 8 a.m.
Pop-Up Audubon
Saturdays and Sundays, April 5 – October 19, 12 – 5 p.m. / November – December, 12 – 4 p.m.
Free
The Prospect Park Alliance presents Pop-Up Audubon, now in its second season, invites families to directly engage with nature through outdoor learning in locations around the Park.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Prospect Park
Meet 7:00 am at Grand Army Plaza Stranahan Statue park entrance
Leader: Paul Keim

September 12-14, 2014
Three day Weekend: Wissahickon Valley Preserve and the Upper Delaware Watershed
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Diversity of passerine fall migrants
Car fee: $125.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh, email (preferred) prosbird@aol.com
Registration period: August 15th- September 1st
Site profile: http://www.fow.org

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Riis Park and Fort Tilden
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Pearl Broder – pbroder3@nyc.rr.com or 212-924-0030
Registration opens: Tuesday, September 2
Ride: $15 or public transportation

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, September 13, 2014
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, September 13, 2014, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walk
Guide: NYC Audubon, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy With the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free.

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 8am – 1pm
Birding Gems of Queens: Udalls Cove and Ravine Natural Resource Area
Guide: Jeff Kollbrunner
Udalls Cove is tucked right alongside Little Neck Bay in Queens. This small but precious park provides resources for saltmarsh, freshwater wetland, and forest species of birds and other animals. Look for great and snowy egrets, belted kingfishers, common terns, osprey, and even clapper rails.
Van transportation is included. Limit to 11. $75 (52)
Click here to register

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 9:30am – 11:30am
Fall Birding at Wave Hill, The Bronx
Guide: Gabriel Willow With Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of bird species and their behaviors on these captivating walks. Wave Hill’s garden setting overlooking the Hudson River flyway provides the perfect habitat for resident and migrating birds. Advanced registration is recommended, either online at www.wavehill.org, at the Perkins Visitor Center, or by calling 718-549-3200 x251. (Walks run rain or shine; in case of severe weather call the number above for updates.)
Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult.
NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 10am – 11am
Birding for Families in Central Park
Guide: NYC Audubon Offered by the Central Park Conservancy
Meet at the Dana Discovery Center (inside the park at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues).
Bring the kids and visit one of New York City’s richest bird habitats. As a family, learn how to spot and identify our feathered neighbors in their natural surroundings. Binoculars can be borrowed from the Dana Center.
For weather cancellation information, call 212-860-1370.
Limited to 20. Age 5 and up.
Free

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, September 13, 2014, 8 A.M. TO 10 A.M.
Great Kills Park
Join birder, Anthony Ciancimino, at Great Kills Park and search for migrating waterbirds. Great Kills Park has an expansive shoreline, some of which includes spartina mud flats; ideal for migrating species of shorebirds. In addition to shorebirds, other possible species include Common, Forster’s, and Royal Tern, various species of gulls, and sparrows and warblers in the nearby dunes. Meet in the parking lot at the corner of Buffalo Street from Hylan Boulevard.
E-mail Anthony Ciancimino at sibirdwatcher@yahoo.com for more information.

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 10 A.M. to Noon
Monarch Watch
Join naturalist Mike Shanley as he explores Mt. Loretto Unique Area to assess the migration of monarch butterflies. Recent studies indicate that the future of monarch butterflies is not bright, as their numbers are dropping at an alarming rate across Mexico, California and other areas of the United States. Many theories are being proposed for this decline including habitat loss at their wintering grounds in Mexico, decline in their host plant (milkweed) and genetically modified farming. We will explore the fields of Mt. Loretto and conduct an informal survey of the monarchs we encounter. Please bring binoculars. Meet at the main Mt. Loretto parking lot on Hylan Boulevard across from the CYO.
For more information call Mike at 917-753-7155.

Sunday, September 14, 2014, 2 P.M. to 4 P.M.
Conference House Park
Past and present blend at Conference House Park, where history stretches back thousands of years with the seasonal occupation of the Lenape and hundreds of years with the habitation of the Dutch and English. In addition to the local history, we’ll observe the geology of the area and look for what the debris at the high tide line has to reveal. Meet in the parking lot at the end of Hylan Boulevard on the left.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Alley Pond Park
Minitrip with Eric Miller 917-279-7530
7:45 AM meet at 76th Avenue Lot
Note:
MINI TRIPS - Break after lunch +/-
ALL DAY TRIPS - BYO lunch, dinner out. {optl}
WEEKEND TRIPS - Two + days / Overnight

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Bird Walk at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.
NYC Audubon experts lead the way as we marvel at quirky but logical bird behavior and delicate feathers in exquisite patterns. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear sturdy…
Free!
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Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope