Monday, November 30, 2015

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, December 5, 2015 to Sunday, December 6, 2015:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 12–1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club

Sunday, December 6, 10 am – 11 am
Early Morning Bird Walk: Twelve Birds of Winter
Not everyone flies south for the winter. Spot Prospect Park’s most common winter birds during their busiest time of day. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club, this tour leaves promptly at 10 am.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Prospect Park
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Focus: winter migrants, waterfowl, ducks, and raptors
No registration necessary. Meet at 8:00 am at the "Pergola ," Ocean and Parkside Avenues park entrance http://binged.it/1UiffD1 . Nearest train stop: "Q" local stop at Parkside Avenue; otherwise express "B" stops at Prospect Park, walk south along Ocean Avenue

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, December 6, 2015 - 9:00 AM
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walk
Today we will look for resident and visiting owls, as well as waterfowl and late migrants.
Directions: Hutchinson River Parkway to the Pelham Bay Park/City Island/Orchard Beach exit. Continue east farther into the park past the traffic circle then veering left to the parking area on Hunter Island. Meet the group there.
Registration: 631-885-1881

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Rye Playland and Environs
Leader: Tom Burke
Registrar: Louise Fraza — louisefraza@yahoo.com or 212-534-6182
Registration opens: Monday November 23
Ride: $25

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, December 5, 2015
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
Sunday, December 6, 2015, 10am – 1pm
Central Park Winter Walk
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet at the entrance to Central Park at Central Park West and 72nd Street. Some of the best sightings await hardy nature-lovers willing to venture out in winter! Several species of owls can be seen in Central Park for example, but generally only in the colder months. "Winter finches" such as Pine Siskins, Redpolls, and Crossbills have also been found at the feeders or in conifers in the park. Observing the adaptations for cold-weather survival among Blue Jays, Titmice, and other resident species is fascinating as well. Warm up after the walk with a hot chocolate by the fireplace at the Loeb Boathouse. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Old Mill Road
Contact: Clay Wollney 718-869-6327
Park at the end of Old Mill Road, behind the church. We will 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.

Saturday, December 5, 2015, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Acme Pond
Contact: John Paul Learn 718-619-5051
Acme Pond is a diverse ecosystem, located on the north side of Hylan Boulevard across from Wolfe’s Pond Park. This walk will take us through hiking trails in some of the most idyllic woodlands in all of New York City. The trail offers views of the freshwater pond and assortment of small swampy areas. We will meet at the corner of Seguine Avenue and Herbert Street. Street parking is available on Herbert Street and in parking lots at the end of Herbert Street (http://goo.gl/maps/59dvC).

Sunday, December 6, 2015, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Buck’s Hollow and/or Heyerdahl Hill
Contact: John Paul Learn 718-619-5051
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 will meet at the stone wall on Meisner Avenue, located by the intersection of Rockland Avenue and Meisner Avenue (http://goo.gl/maps/YP1HI).

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 7:30am – 6:00pm
Montauk Point
Leader: Rich Kelly (516) 509-1094

Be sure to CONTACT LEADER to confirm meeting time/place

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

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

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Birding: Owls at Seaman Avenue and Isham Street Entrance (in Inwood Hill Park), Manhattan
5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
As the leaves fall and temperatures drop, its a great time of year to spot owls which are migrating south, and might spend the winter in NYC Parks.
Free!

Sunday, December 6, 2015
Early Morning Bird Walk: Twelve Birds of Winter at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Not everyone flies south for the winter. Spot Prospect Park’s most common winter birds during their busiest time of day.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, November 28, 2015

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 27, 2015:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 27, 2015
* NYNY1511.27

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
WHITE-WINGED DOVE+
“WESTERN” FLYCATCHER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
ROSS’S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
Eurasian Wigeon
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN
Western Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
DOVEKIE
Black-legged Kittiwake
SABINE’S GULL
Bonaparte’s Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Red-headed Woodpecker
Great Crested Flycatcher
Orange-crowned Warbler
‘AUDUBON’S” YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER

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, November 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are “WESTERN” FLYCATCHER, SABINE’S GULL, AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, DOVEKIE, PINK-FOOTED, BARNACLE, ROSS’S and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, TUNDRA SWAN, “AUDUBON’S” YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and more.

Of the two unidentified Flycatchers in Central Park last Friday, the Myiarchus was confirmed as a late GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER, but the Empidonax was indeed a great one, a “WESTERN” complex FLYCATCHER, either a PACIFIC SLOPE OR CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER. However, as these two very closely related and almost identical species are extremely difficult to separate away from their breeding ranges, the exact specific identity of the Central Park bird may not be determinable. New York’s only previous record of this complex, from Fire Island in 1995, was netted and measured but unfortunately not sufficiently to confirm either species. The Central Park “Western” was seen nicely Saturday and Sunday, and also on Monday, with calls recorded and even some droppings collected, so on-going analysis might provide some more specific evidence, though some folks do question whether these two actually deserve separate species ranking.

Other exciting birds this week included an adult SABINE’S GULL Sunday moving east offshore passed Dolphin Lane off Dune Road west of Shinnecock Inlet – this bird couldn’t be later relocated.

An AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge up to Saturday morning was joined by a 2nd Pelican as of mid-day Saturday, and both have continued there at the north end of the pond. Interestingly, at 8 am Saturday morning a Pelican was spotted flying west by Sherwood Island on the Connecticut coast, presumably the bird winding up at Jamaica Bay.

A WHITE-WINGED DOVE was spotted around the northwest side of the capped landfill at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx on Monday but could not be found Tuesday.

On Wednesday, a DOVEKIE was reported flying east passed the Montauk harbor inlet.

A nice selection of Geese this week featured a PINK-FOOTED GOOSE found in Riverhead Thursday on the east side of Route 105 north of the Northville Turnpike and south of Sound Avenue, but it was not seen there today.

Also north of Riverhead on Thursday and today a ROSS’S GOOSE was present off Reeves Avenue just west of Roanoke Avenue and the Buffalo farm, this most likely the same Ross’s spotted Tuesday off Oakleigh Avenue north of Sound Avenue in Calverton.

A BARNACLE GOOSE was still visiting Marratooka Lake off New Suffolk Avenue in Mattituck last Saturday, presumably the same one present Tuesday on a field off Alvah’s Lane in Cutchogue.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was on Short’s Pond off Scuttle Hole Road in Watermilll Wednesday, and a few CACKLING GEESE have also been noted on eastern Long Island.

Four TUNDRA SWANS were back visiting Hook Pond in East Hampton as of Wednesday and were still present today.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was a good find in Brooklyn last weekend, frequenting Gravesend Bay near Coney Island with some BONAPARTE’S GULLS.

A female “AUDUBON’S” form of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was discovered last Sunday around the eastern parking lot at Sunken Meadows State Park, this the 3rd year in the last four that this subspecies has been seen at Sunken Meadows.

A nice coastal flight of BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES was noted moving east off Hither Hills State Park last Saturday morning, with 25 counted in less than an hour

Up to 12 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were still along Santapogue Creek in Lindenhurst during the week, and 1 was Saturday still on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, where 2 EURASIAN WIGEONS were noted last Sunday, at least one regular there; another EURASIAN was off Route 25A in Centerport Monday.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continue in Central Park and Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery, and 2 were in Willowbrook Park on Staten Island last Saturday.

Among a few reports, 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were at Jones Beach West End today, along with WESTERN SANDPIPER on the bar.

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, November 27, 2015

Friday's Foto

The Black-headed Gull is a rare, but regular visitor to coastal New York City and Long Island. The most abundant gull across Europe and Asia, flocks can typically be found scavenging in parks. They nest along bogs, coastal marshes, grasslands, lakes and rivers. Around coastal Brooklyn they are primarily found associating with large flocks of Bonaparte's Gulls. First recorded in North America in the 1920s, a pair was found nesting in Newfoundland in 1977. The IUCN lists this specie's conservation status as "Least Concern". Its scientific name, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, means "stain headed", "laughing". In breeding plumage, this gull's dark hood is actually not black, but dark brown.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Treehugger Tuesday

The following article about the plight of North America's Piping Plover was from the ScienceDaily website:

Piping Plovers Losing Breeding Habitat to Wetland Drainage
November 19, 2015
Source: United States Geological Survey

Summary: Piping plovers, a federally threatened species of shorebirds, are likely losing wetland breeding habitat in the Great Plains as a result of wetland drainage, climate change or both.


Piping plovers (adult pictured), a federally threatened species of shorebirds, are likely losing wetland breeding habitat in the Great Plains as a result of wetland drainage, climate change or both, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Credit: Susan Haig, USGS

Piping plovers, a federally threatened species of shorebirds, are likely losing wetland breeding habitat in the Great Plains as a result of wetland drainage, climate change or both, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

"Our findings suggest that if drainage continues, there will be continued declines in the amount of breeding habitat for piping plovers at wetlands in the Great Plains," said Lisa McCauley, who led the study as a USGS postdoctoral student and currently works at The Nature Conservancy. "Managers can use information from our study to better restore and conserve valuable wetland ecosystems for the protection of this species."

The USGS scientists analyzed piping plover survey data from 1979 to 2011 for 32 wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. They found that consolidation drainage, or the drainage of smaller wetlands into another wetland--typically for agricultural purposes -- results in fewer and fuller wetlands with less shoreline nesting space for piping plovers.

According to the study, the probability of plover presence was 99.6 percent greater for wetlands located in undrained watersheds when compared to wetlands where 10 percent of the watershed was drained.

Piping plovers breed on wetland or reservoir shorelines and river sandbars in the northern Great Plains of the United States and Canada. Climate varies across this area, so when river or reservoir shorelines are flooded, unflooded prairie wetlands can provide habitat and vice versa. Consolidation drainage contributes to habitat loss for plovers by making wetlands fuller and shorelines smaller.

Like consolidation drainage, the fate of plover habitat is also tied to potential changes in climate. If precipitation increases in this region, the amount of wetland habitat for plovers could continue to decline.

"High and stable water levels resulting from consolidation drainage threaten biodiversity, wildlife habitat and flood storage in the northern Great Plains," said Michael Anteau, a USGS scientist and team leader for the project. "This work on a federally listed species provides managers with a more complete view of ecosystem services affected by consolidation drainage."

Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by United States Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
...Read more

Monday, November 23, 2015

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, November 28, 2015 to Sunday, November 29, 2015:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, November 28, 2015, 12–1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, November 28, 2015
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, November 28, 2015, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Guides: NYC Audubon 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.


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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, November 28, 2015, 8:00am – 10:00am
Mount Loretto Unique Area
Cost: Free
Join birder Anthony Ciancimino for a guided walk through the fields of Mount Loretto Unique Area. The focus on this walk will be a search for wintering songbirds in the fields and thickets and waterfowl on the ponds as well as in the bay. Meet in the parking lot along Hylan Boulevard, opposite the CYO Center.
Contact: Anthony Ciancimino

Sunday, November 29, 2015, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point, Great Kills Park
Cost: Free
Join Paul T. Lederer for a “Talk and Walk” at Crooke’s Point. Mr. Lederer has played an active role in working to protect the ecology of Crooke’s Point from National Park Service’s plan to “restore” Crooke’s Point. The natural history, as well as updates on the Crooke’s Point restoration project, will be highlighted. Meet at the Beach Center parking lot at the beginning of the dirt road leading to Crooke’s Point.
Contact: Paul T. Lederer 718-987-1576

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 28, 2015, 8am – 12pm
Grand Jones Beach
Leader: Ian Resnick 917-626-9562

Be sure to CONTACT LEADER to confirm meeting time/place

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Hempstead Lake State Park

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

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Park at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!
...Read more

Friday, November 20, 2015

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 20, 2015:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 20, 2015
* NYNY1511.20

- Birds Mentioned

BARNACLE GOOSE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Eurasian Wigeon
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN
SANDHILL CRANE
Long-billed Dowitcher
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
WESTERN KINGBIRD
CAVE SWALLOW
Lapland Longspur
Orange-crowned Warbler
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 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, November 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, SANDHILL CRANE, CAVE SWALLOW, WESTERN KINGBIRD, BARNACLE and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, 2 Central Park Flycatchers, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and DICKCISSEL.

Ah, we do like November - nice assortment of rarities this week began Saturday with an AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN seen flying over the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge; it wasn’t until Tuesday noon, however, that the Pelican was relocated on the East Pond, where it has continued through today, usually way up in the north end, where it is best viewed with a telescope from the Big John’s Pond overlook. A good variety of waterfowl is also on the pond, and 2 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were spotted flying in to the south end Wednesday.

Another good flyover Saturday was a SANDHILL CRANE moving west passed Venetian Shores Park in Lindenhurst, photographed as it continued high overhead.

Observers were at Venetian Shores and elsewhere along the coast looking for any of last Friday’s Franklin Gull’s, which apparently disappeared very quickly, but the consolation prize was CAVE SWALLOW. The very strong northwest weekend winds pushed decent numbers of CAVE SWALLOWS to coastal locations - on Saturday up to 9 were counted at Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn, with 7 at Venetian Shores, and smaller numbers included some on Staten Island, at Breezy Point and Fort Tilden, plus Broad Channel and Captree State Park, and Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx and in Rye on the Westchester coast. Sunday added some CAVE SWALLOWS again at Coney Island, Breezy Point and Venetian Shores along with sightings at Edgemere Landfill in Queens and at Mount Loretto Unique Area on Staten Island. A nice flight that disappeared once the winds changed.

Another highlight at the Edgemere Landfill Sunday was a WESTERN KINGBIRD.

And speaking of Flycatchers, Central Park has had two intriguing sightings recently - on Wednesday, a Yellow-bellied or “Western” type Empidonax Flycatcher was seen briefly and finally relocated in the Ramble area today, and also today near the Great Hill in the north end a Myiarchus Flycatcher, quite possibly an Ash-throated Flycatcher, was spotted. Both birds have been photographed, and hopefully analysis of the photos and subsequent follow-up can put a definite species tag on both of these birds. A DICKCISSEL was also up near the Great Hill at least through last Sunday, and an immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues in Central Park in the Ramble area.

Out on Long Island, a BARNACLE GOOSE was present on Marratooka Lake off New Suffolk Avenue in Mattituck last weekend, and a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was seen Saturday at the Avalon Pond East Farm Preserve in Stony Brook. CACKLING GOOSE was also noted at both locations.

A EURASIAN WIGEON was on Mill Pond in Setauket Saturday.

Up to 7 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS remain along Santapogue Creek in Lindenhurst, the creek just east of Venetian Shores Park.

Other recent highlights have included an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Cow Meadow Park in Freeport Sunday and 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS at Fort Tilden last Saturday.

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

Last Weekend's Birds

Last Friday evening I had been talking and texting with a few friends about the possibility of some interesting birds showing up the next morning. Weather forecasts called for a cold front moving into the northeast with strong northwest winds. I planned on being at Brooklyn's coast first thing in the morning. The predictions were pretty spot on.

Sometimes the best plans are disrupted by NYC's mass transit system. Actually, change "sometimes" to "frequently". The F train to Coney Island dropped all passengers at Kings Highway, that's five stations short of Coney Island. From there they were running shuttle buses, which more often than not are infrequent and slow. By the time I got to the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue it was close to 8am, at least an hour later than I had intended. I quickly set up my scope and began scanning the water for seabirds and waterfowl. With the strong winds coming from behind and to my right, the structures on the north side of the boardwalk offered a nice windbreak. There were dozens of Northern Gannets diving for fish about a 1/4 mile out and across the entire horizon. It was the most I've seen this year. From the end of the fishing pier I counted a few Common Loons, but not much of anything else. I headed down to the edge of the water and started walking west towards the W. 37th Street jetty.

Laughing Gulls appeared to have increased in numbers since the previous week as they prepare for the push south for the winter. Earlier in the week there was an incursion of Franklin's Gulls along the coast and I hoped some had stuck around. No luck. Among the expected Laughing, Ring-billed, Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls I noticed a flock of Black Skimmers still hanging around. Later in the morning I observed 3 more trying to cross the harbor towards Staten Island, but the wind held them back.

As I stood next to the jetty at W. 37th Street scanning the whitecaps on the harbor, I began questioning my sanity. Without the benefit of a windbreak, the 40 mph driven sand particles felt like a facial administered by the Marquis de Sade. I lasted about 5 minutes before throwing my tripod over my shoulder and heading north across W. 37th Street. My thought was that any southbound migrants would have to cross the open water between Brooklyn and Staten Island. Norton Point is at the western end of Coney Island, so perhaps I'd be able to see some interesting birds from that vantage point. It turned out better than I expected.

As I walked along the edge of Gravesend Bay towards Norton Point the northwest gusts hit me full on and, at times, almost knocked me over. A few minutes into the walk I noticed a huge flock of blackbirds, balled up like a school of herrings, fighting their way into the powerful wind, attempting to cross the water at the narrows. Some split off and turned around, landing at a small park behind Norton Point. Once at the point I set up my scope close to a retaining wall and slightly out of the wind. Within a few minutes I realized that my focus for the next 90 minutes would not be on the open water, but rather on the sky above the neighborhood of Seagate, behind Norton Point.

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was built at the closest point between Brooklyn and Staten Island. This fact, apparently, is obvious to southbound migrating birds. From my perch at the edge of the Coney Island peninsula I watched in amazement as large flocks of songbirds, mostly dominated by blackbirds, flew in from the east, over the last few homes at the edge of the bay, then out and over the water towards the narrows. Early on in my watch I received a message from my friend Dennis that there was a Cave Swallow flying over the jetty at W. 37th Street. I quickly trained by bins in that direction and a minute or two later spotted an incoming flock of Common Grackles, with a single Cave Swallow trailing behind them. This was not only an extreme rarity for Brooklyn, but a life bird for me. I shouted out in excitement to an empty beach and the wind roared back in appreciation.

My friend Keir called a moment or two later asking if I thought the swallow was still around and would I recommend Norton Point to catch a glimpse of one. He and Josh joined me there about 10 minutes later. The mass movement of songbirds attempting to cross the water continued. In addition to the songbirds, we spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk trying unsuccessfully to cross the bay, a Northern Harrier flying west only a couple of feet above the swells, a Merlin effortlessly making the trans-bay trip and an American Kestrel that surrendered to the gusts after about 3 seconds into the crossing. Throughout, we continued to receive tweets about Cave Swallow sightings near the boardwalk and W. 25th Street. We decided to pack up our gear and head back to the boardwalk.

I drove with Keir and he quickly found parking right at the end of W. 24th Street. As Keir rushed up ahead of me he joked, "You can tell which person already saw a Cave Swallow and which didn't". At that point I noticed a bird circling above his head and shouted, "Look up!" There were two Cave Swallows flying between a large apartment building and a nursing home directly above him. Unlike the punishing wind at the point, these two building created a huge windbreak and the midday sun made it feel nearly spring-like on the boardwalk. Josh caught up with us a few minutes later and the three of us watched in awe as first two, then four, then six and finally, nine Cave Swallows darted back and forth in the air above the boardwalk.

Cave Swallows are locally common in Texas and Mexico. Occasionally they will get carried on unusual wind systems into the northeast. This was the case for last weekend's event. As they turned around and began to move back south fairly large numbers of them were seen along the coast of Long Island and New York City. They were reported in all five of New York City's boroughs on Saturday and several even stayed around W. 24th Street in Coney Island until Monday. As I mention in a previous tweet Coney Island was probably the only place in North America where one could take the subway to go see Cave Swallows. These cooperative birds were seen and photographed by lots of people, but this photo by my friend Sean Sime of a Cave Swallow in front of the iconic parachute ride is by far my favorite.

**********

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Conditions: WNW winds 16 mph, gusting to 45 mph. Temperature 44º to 53º.
Locations: Coney Island; Coney Island--Norton Pt.; Coney Island-Boardwalk and W 25th St.
Species: 33

Brant
Canada Goose
Red-throated Loon (1.)
Common Loon (4.)
Northern Gannet (125.)
Double-crested Cormorant
Northern Harrier (1.)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (1.)
Bonaparte's Gull
Laughing Gull (82.)
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull (12.)
Black Skimmer (10.)
Rock Pigeon
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel (1.)
Merlin (1.)
Blue Jay
Horned Lark (1.)
Tree Swallow (1.)
CAVE SWALLOW (10.)
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing (40.)
Snow Bunting (20.)
Red-winged Blackbird (approx. 1,200)
Common Grackle (approx. 800.)
Brown-headed Cowbird (approx. 500.)
Pine Siskin (4.)
American Goldfinch (50.)
House Sparrow
...Read more

Friday's Foto

Roger Tory Peterson described the Purple Finch as looking like a "sparrow dipped in raspberry juice". Not all birds have this rich color, though, the individual in this photo could be either a female or an immature male. In the east they have erratic fall migrations but this year they seem to be fairly abundant around NYC. Listen for their low, short "pik, pik, pik" call as they feed in sweetgums, ash or tulip trees. Declines in eastern population are attributed to the more aggressive House Finch. You can see a comparison of the two finches here. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists their conservation status as "Least Concern", although populations have been decreasing. The scientific name, Carpodacus purpureus, means: Carpodacus Gr. karpos fruit; dakos biter / purpureus L. purpureus purple-coloured (purpur purple).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

116th Audubon Christmas Bird Count

It's that time of year again. The winter of 2015/2016 will be the 116th Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The largest wildlife census in the world, it runs from December 14 to January 5 each year.

The Audubon Society has a page of Christmas Bird Count information here. You can read about last years summaries here.



Participating in the CBC is a great opportunity to contribute to citizen science and a good cause. You'll join people of all skill levels scouring your area for every bird species ... sometimes with unexpected results. You'll end your day of counting birds at a compilation dinner where you get to compare anecdotes and bragging rights for the best bird of your county. This year the Brooklyn count will be happening one month from today on Saturday, December 19th.

You can find an interactive map of count circles in your area here.

My Count Circle



Every year for the past 20 years I've been part of the team that covers the Brooklyn coastal areas of Floyd Bennett Field, Dead Horse Bay and Four Sparrow Marsh. It's a huge area with lots of potential as it includes a variety of habitats from marine to coastal to grasslands. If you'd like to join my team, contact me here for more information.

...Read more

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Treehugger Tuesday

More Advances in Wind Generated Power

The following is from the website Gizmag:

World’s First Floating Wind Farm to be Built off Scottish Coast
John Anderson
November 12, 2015

In a deal between the Scottish government and Norwegian oil company Statoil, five wind turbines with a capacity of six megawatts each will be set on floating structures some 15 miles (25 km) off the northeast coast of Scotland near Peterhead. The Hywind pilot park, as it's named, is claimed to be the first floating wind farm in the world, and will generate enough power for 20,000 homes with operations expected to start in late 2017.


The 30-MW Hywind park will take advantage of average local North Sea wind speeds of around 19 knots and cover an area of around 1.5 sq mi (4 sq km) at a water depth of 310 to 395 ft (95-120 m).

Floating wind turbines can be placed away from the coast in deeper water as they don't need to be anchored to sea floor-mounted towers, which are typically limited to a water depth of up to 260 ft (80 m). The optimal water depth for fixed turbines is 65 to 165 ft (20-50 m), however two-thirds of North Sea waters are between 160 and 720 ft (49 and 220 m) in depth.

There are several advantages to locating away from shore, including reduced visual pollution – meaning they won't spoil anyone's view, which is a common complaint by some coastal residents. They can also reap the benefits of stronger and more consistent winds typically found farther out at sea since they aren't impeded by land features.

Floating wind farms are also less likely to interfere with fishing or shipping activity, and by stringing the turbines together in a farm, they can share a common infrastructure, such as power cables and transmission facilities.

The Hywind floating wind turbine technology has been in development for six years, with a 2.3-megawatt prototype installed in 720 ft (220 m) of water 6.5 miles (10 km) from the Norwegian island of Karmøy in 2009. It was the first large-capacity floating wind turbine to be put in use. The turbine generates 7.3 GWh, and has ably survived 36 ft (11 m) waves.

Like the turbine off Karmøy, the Hywind Scotland pilot park turbines will be moored by catenary cables to a single floating cylindrical spar buoy. The ballasted catenary adds 60 tons (54 tonnes) of weight hanging from the midpoint of each anchor cable for added tension.

Statoil believes its Hywind floating wind turbine technology will enable greater exploitation of offshore wind resources by allowing expansion into new deep-water areas around the world.

The video below gives an overview of the Hywind pilot park project.

Source: Statoil

...Read more

Monday, November 16, 2015

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, November 21, 2015 to Sunday, November 22, 2015:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 12–1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Hiking the Long Island Greenbelt: Heckscher State Park and Bayard Arboretum
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: waterfowl, winter species, raptors, rarity potential
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell # 347-622-3559
Registration Period: November 14th - November 19th
Note: This is a Long Island Railroad trip. The registrar will inform participants of the train departure time from the Atlantic Ave terminal. There is extensive walking, likely 5 plus miles. Wear comfortable shoes or light hikers; bring lunch and water. Site profile http://www.ligreenbelt.org/

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Sunday November 22, 2015, 9:00am
Morton NWR
Leaders: Bob Grover (516-318-8536), Ken Thompson (631-612-8028)

Sunrise Highway east past Shinnecock Canal. Look for A North Sea Road Noyack sign and bear left on CR52. Stay on CR52 and then turn left at light onto CR38. After 1.4 miles on CR38, turn right onto Noyack Road after 5 miles turn left onto refuge.

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 9:00 AM
Birding Montauk and the South Fork
Winter waterfowl abound including scoters, eiders, loons, gannets,and numerous pond ducks. This is an all day trip.

Directions: LIE to exit 70, Manorville. Go south on Route 111 to Route 27. Take Route 27 east all the way to Montauk Point Lighthouse. There may be a parking fee. Meet by the restaurant opposite the parking lot.
Registration: 516-433-5590

Sunday, November 22, 2015 - 9:00 AM
Bayard Cutting Arboretum Bird Walk, Great River
We will explore this former estate looking for birds along the numerous trails amidst the spectacular trees and other plants. Open water should reveal winter resident waterfowl.

Directions: Take Southern State Parkway to exit 45onto South Country Road. Head east until you come to entrance on your right. There may be an entrance fee.
Registration: 631-885-1881

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Jones Beach and Point Lookout
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Karen Asakawa — avocet501@gmail.com or 347-306-0690
Registration opens: Monday November 9
Ride: $25

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, November 21, 2015
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, November 21, 2015, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Guides: NYC Audubon 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.


**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, November 21, 2015
North Shore Duck Walk
Leader: Jennifer Wilson-Pines
Meet: Macy's in Manhasset

Notes: Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated. 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 http://northshoreaudubon.org/for directions. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Forest Restoration Workshop – Willowbrook Park
Cost: Free
Contact: Don Recklies 718-768-9036 / Chuck Perry 718-667-1393

Sunday, November 22, 2015, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point, Great Kills Park
Cost: Free
Contact: Paul T. Lederer 718-987-1576

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 8am – 12pm
South Shore Potpourri
Leader: Ian Resnick 917-626-9562

Be sure to CONTACT LEADER to confirm meeting time/place

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Point Lookout Park

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

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Park at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds.
Free!

Ranger's Choice: Green-Wood Cemetery Bird Walk and History Tour at Green-wood Cemetery
11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Learn about Greenwood Cemetery and the birds that thrive among its grounds. Participants are chosen by lottery: enter at nyc.gov/parks/rangers/register on Wednesday, November 11th.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Sunday, November 22, 2015
Birding: Owls at Orchard Beach Nature Center (in Pelham Bay Park), Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. This birding program fill focus on owls, and beginners are welcome. Free!
...Read more

Saturday, November 14, 2015

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 13, 2015:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 13, 2015
* NYNY1511.13

- Birds mentioned

FRANKLIN'S GULL+
CAVE SWALLOW+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Eurasian Wigeon
Golden Eagle
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Black Skimmer
Great Horned Owl
SNOWY OWL
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
WESTERN KINGBIRD
NORTHERN SHRIKE
Eastern Bluebird
American Pipit
LARK SPARROW
DICKCISSEL
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
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, November 13th 2015 at 6pm. The highlights of today's tape are FRANKLIN'S GULL, CAVE SWALLOW, WESTERN KINGBIRD, NORTHERN SHRIKE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, SNOWY OWL, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, LARK SPARROW and DICKCISSEL.

Presumably unprecedented, at least in New York, has been the incursion today of numerous FRANKLIN'S GULLS into the northeast visiting states from Massachusetts to Maryland. Both adult and first winter birds are involved but they probably won't stay around long so don't wait to look for them. Birds today were seen in the Hudson River off Riverside Park and Battery Park but most have been along the coast. Brooklyn provided one or more at Plumb Beach, Coney Island Creek and Floyd Bennett Field with others at Riis Park in Queens and on Staten Island. Malibu Beach west of Point Lookout added one and further east other Franklins visited Robert Moses State Park and Captree State Park as well as Venetian Shores in Lindenhurst and Sayville. Certainly many others were also in the area.

Two of this week's top rarities were found on Long Island found just minutes apart last Sunday at the same north shore location at McAllister County Park in the village of Belle Terre. First a WESTERN KINGBIRD appeared just long enough for a few flight shots to be taken and the subsequent search to relocate the Kingbird produced an immature NORTHERN SHRIKE. Though the Kingbird was not refound the Shrike continued for most of the day near the tip of this sandy peninsula which forms the eastern side of the entrance into Port Jefferson Harbor. We have no subsequent information on the Shrike's presence there. The small parking lot for this relatively newly accessible park is at the end of Anchorage Road. To reach the tip where the Shrike was requires a fairly long walk around the cove just north of the lot and then west towards the harbor mouth.

Another WESTERN KINGBIRD was reported today at Sunken Meadow State Park near the old footbridge.

As waterfowl continue to arrive a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was spotted Sunday on Hook Pond in East Hampton a traditionally productive site for this species. Single CACKLING GEESE were noted at Sunken Meadow State Park on Tuesday and along Reeves Avenue north of Riverhead Wednesday. The drake EURASIAN WIGEON was still being reported on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last weekend.

Ten LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were still present Saturday along Santapogue Creek in Lindenhurst joined by a single late SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER as well as 22 lingering immature BLACK SKIMMERS.

A LARK SPARROW was seen Saturday around the golf course just west of parking lot 2 at Robert Moses State Park.

In Central Park a DICKCISSEL continued in the north end through last weekend and unusual for the park was a GREAT HORNED OWL in the Ramble from Sunday to today. An immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER has remained in Central around the Ramble area to today and another was still being seen in Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn as of Monday.

Last Sunday many birders got to witness a strong migratory push along the south shore of Long Island. The flight consisted of mostly RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and COMMON GRACKLES. A sustained count conducted at Fort Tilden Sunday morning recording approximate totals of 42,000 Red-wingeds and 16,000 Grackles. Among the other species involved in the flight were modest numbers of EASTERN BLUEBIRD, AMERICAN PIPIT, PURPLE FINCH, PINE SISKIN and RUSTY BLACKBIRD. The flight was also rewarding inland in a different capacity as the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch at the Butler Sanctuary in Bedford recorded 3 GOLDEN EAGLES and 5 Goldens passed by the Quaker Ridge Hawkwatch at the Audubon Center in northwestern Greenwich.

A couple of things to watch for are SNOWY OWLS reported along the south shore of Long Island sometime last week and CAVE SWALLOWS are now appearing along the Great Lakes as well as in good numbers at Cape May and just in 5 were reported today at Miller Field on Staten Island.

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, November 13, 2015

Friday's Foto

The American Pipit is an arctic and alpine tundra breeding songbird found not only in North America, but also from the high mountains of Europe and central Asia to Scandinavia and Great Britain. Outside of North America it is referred to as the Buff-bellied Pipit. They can be found walking along grassy habitats feeding on insects, continually bobbing their tail. Frequently overlooked around Brooklyn during migration, they can be easily identified as they fly overhead making their distinctive, high-pitched "pip-it, pip-it, pip-it" flight call. David Sibley points out on his website that this specie's plumage is extremely variable. Due in part to their extremely large range the IUCN lists this species as "Least Concern". Its scientific name, Anthus rubescens, means "small grassland bird with a reddish blush".

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Treehugger Tuesday

US Government Passes Wildlife Trafficking Initiative

From Mongabay News website:

In landslide vote, Washington says yes to anti-wildlife trafficking measure
5th November 2015 / Shreya Dasgupta

Voters in Washington state passed the anti-wildlife trafficking initiative I-1401 with a resounding 71 percent votes in favor of the initiative.
Published underCreative Commons BY-NC-ND

• I-1401 makes it a crime to sell, purchase, trade, or distribute parts and products of any wildlife species covered under the initiative.
• Endangered animals covered by this initiative include elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays.
• Violations are punishable either as a gross misdemeanor, or a Class-C felony.

On Tuesday, an overwhelming majority of Washington voters — around 71 percent — passed an anti-wildlife trafficking initiative called Initiative 1401 (I-1401) that bans trade in wildlife parts and products.

Initiative 1401, backed by Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen, makes it a crime to sell, purchase, trade, or distribute parts and products of any wildlife species covered under the initiative.

The animals included under this initiative are elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and ray species listed in Appendix I or II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Treaty, or listed as as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) red list.

“This is an enormous momentum-builder for the movement in the United States to shut down the commerce in trinkets, powders and pelts that are driving some of the world’s most iconic creatures to the precipice of extinction,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement. “The animals need their tusks, horns, heads and hides more than we do, and Washington voters have given our movement a shot in the arm with this resounding vote.”

Violations are punishable either as a gross misdemeanor, or a class C felony, which could result in a maximum penalty of five years in prison or a $10,000 fine, depending on the value of the wildlife products being traded. There are certain exceptions — such as antiques that are over 100 years old with less than 15 percent ivory, or musical instruments with less than 15 percent of banned wildlife products in them.

Last month, California governor Jerry Brown signed the AB 96 bill, “making it illegal to sell almost all elephant ivory and rhino horn, including most antiques.”

States of New York and New Jersey too, have banned trade in elephant ivory and rhino horns, with some exceptions.

“Washington voters have spoken out for elephants by overwhelmingly passing I-1401, which bans the trade in parts of elephants and other wildlife,” John Calvelli, Executive Vice President for the Public Affairs Division of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), said in a statement. “Washington now joins California, New York and New Jersey, which have already enacted ivory bans.”

Article published by Shreya Dasgupta on November 5, 2015.
...Read more

Monday, November 09, 2015

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, November 14, 2015 to Sunday, November 15, 2015:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 12–1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 14, 2015
"BQ Wildcard"
Leaders: Bobbi Manian and Dennis Hrehowsik
Focus: the latest Rare Bird Alert reports and listserve postings for quality birds in Brooklyn & /or Queens
Car Fee: $12.00
Registrar: Dennis Hrehowsik deepseagangster@gmail.com
Registration Period: November 7th - November 12th

**********

City Island Bird Walks
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, 8:30 AM - Noon
Fall Migration Walk/ Birding at Bartow

Meet at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
All Walks are Free!
Basic Information:
Our walks are free, informal, friendly and fun. The walks usually last about 4 hours, depending on many variables, which include weather, birds, and fatigue. If you want to leave early, there are no hard feelings.
Please come prepared! Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have one. I will bring a spotting scope but feel free to bring your own if you have one.
Beginners especially welcome!
No dogs!

Driving to Bartow- Pell is the easiest way to travel here. Public transportation is possible but arduous. Be sure to leave extra time on weekends.
Here’s directions by car and bus.
Birds are coming, lets go find them! Meet in the Bartow Pell Mansion Museum lot. This is our second walk there and who know what we might find.

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 9:00am
Hallock Farm Museum Fields and Hallock State Park
Trip Leader: Mary Laura Lamont

​The walk starts at the Hallock Museum Farm on Sound Avenue in Riverhead. The roughly 2 mile walk goes through Museum fields checking the hedgerows and into the woods of the new Hallock State Park. Walking into the park we will reach dunes with spectacular views of Long Island Sound. We are hoping for a variety of migrants, and wintering birds. Bring binoculars. Dress for the weather. There is a $7 charge for this walk, $5 for members of Hallock Museum Farm. The fee benefits the Museum’s education fund. Please call the Museum for reservations, 631-298-5292.

**********

Fresh Kills Park (Staten Island)
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 1:00pm
Nature Hike
Enjoy a guided nature hike through Freshkills Park and learn about habitats, wildlife, and research projects at the site.
This 1-2 mile trek includes moderate to steep elevations. Water, bug spray, and comfortable shoes recommended. Space is limited, ages 10+.
Free.
Meet shuttle into the park at Schmul Park (Wild Ave and Melvin Ave)
Sign up at EventBrite

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Winter Waterfowl Workshop
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Time: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Fee Information: FREE
Contact Name: Don Riepe
Contact Phone Number: (718) 474-0896

Learn about the behavior, biology and where to find waterfowl in winter in NYC. Slide presentation followed by a hike around the ponds. Leader: donriepe@gmail.com. (2.5 miles) Bus Q53,Q52, A train to Broad Channel station.

Sunday, November 15, 2015
Explore the Mysterious Back Woods at Fort Tilden
Location: Building 1 at Fort Tilden - Queens
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Fee Information: FREE
Contact Name: Ryan Visitor Center
Contact Phone Number: 718-338-3799

The leaves have fallen and the mysteries of the "back woods" at Ft.Tilden are now revealed. Walk the woods with American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen to search for signs of winter wildlife and little-known historic fortifications of World War II. An American Littoral Society/Gateway partnership program.

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, November 15, 2015, 8:00 am
Wertheim NWR
Leaders: Alice Heller (631-827-6561), John Gluth (631-827-0120)

From the intersection of Montauk and William Floyd Highways in Shirley, proceed West on Montauk Highway 7/10 of a mile to traffic light (Smith Road) turn left, go over the railroad tracks and make first right into Wertheim. There are signs both on Montauk Highway and on Smith Road at the turnoff into Wertheim.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Joe DiCostanzo
Registrar: Kathleen Howley — kathleenhowley@gmail.com or 212-877-3170
Registration opens: Monday November 2
Ride: $15 or public transportation

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, November 14, 2015
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, November 14, 2015, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Guides: NYC Audubon 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, November 14, 2015, 10am – 1pm
Winter Waterfowl Workshop
Guides: Don Riepe, Tod Winston with American Littoral Society
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Refuge Visitor Center for a slide presentation and walk along the trails and ponds to look for waterfowl and other birds. Learn about the many species of ducks and geese that spend the winter in New York City and how to identify them. For more information and to register, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com. Limited to 25. Free

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Stehli Beach (west end of Bayville)
Leader: Lindy Nielsen 628-1315

Notes: Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated. 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 http://northshoreaudubon.org/for directions. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
November 14, 2015, 9:00am – 11:00am
Charleston/Clay Pit Pond Discovery
Arthur Kill Rd and Sharrotts Rd
Staten Island, NY 10309
Cost: Free

November 15, 2015, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
North Mt. Loretto State Forest
North Mt. Loretto State Forest
Amboy Rd
Staten Island, NY
Cost: Free
Contact: Clay Wollney 718-869-6327

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Jones Beach West End 2

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

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Park at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds.
Free!

Birding: Raptor Migration at Shore Parkway and Rabbi Block Street (in Calvert Vaux Park), Brooklyn
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Sunday, November 15, 2015
Birding at 110th Street and Morningside Drive (in Morningside Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Our birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, November 07, 2015

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending November 6, 2014:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 6, 2015
* NYNY1511.06

- Birds mentioned

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Eurasian Wigeon
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Northern Gannet
Sora
Red Knot
Purple Sandpiper
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Royal Tern
Black Skimmer
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Cliff Swallow
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
Grasshopper Sparrow
DICKCISSEL

- Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 6th 2015 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are WESTERN KINGBIRD, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and DICKCISSEL.

A fairly average week including some expected arrivals and late lingering species with perhaps the rarest bird being a WESTERN KINGBIRD photographed last Sunday at the end of Lazy Point Road in Napeague and certainly on the unexpected list was a female HARLEQUIN DUCK spotted Sunday in Dead Horse Bay just west of Floyd Bennett Field. Also among the waterfowl two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE appeared in local Heckscher Park north of Route 25A and east of Prime Avenue in Huntington Tuesday. A CACKLING GOOSE visited Caumsett State Park with Canada's last Sunday and we assume EURASIAN WIGEONS continue at some of the locations noted in previous weeks.

Central Park has hosted a number of interesting species recently including the injured SORA still noted at the Loch at the north end through Wednesday and an immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continuing at least through Thursday while passerines featured a DICKCISSEL north of the Great Hill in the north end from Sunday apparently there through Thursday. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at the north end Sunday and a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW reported Tuesday also at the north end. Another RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Tuesday.

Interesting has been a group of up to 6 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS seen along Santapogue Creek in Lindenhurst recently. This location also holding a flock of BLACK SKIMMERS that numbered over 50 last weekend.

At Jones Beach West End a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was near the rest rooms by the Coast Guard Station Saturday and one sweep along the ocean front from the swale tallied over 370 NORTHERN GANNET so they are certainly moving now.

A CLIFF SWALLOW at Robert Moses State Park last Sunday was somewhat late but carefully distinguished from a hoped for Cave Swallow.

Other ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER reports this week have come from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Smith Point County Park last Saturday and Oakland Lake in Queens on Wednesday.

A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was on Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton on Sunday and a few ROYAL TERNS are still scattered along the coast from Mecox to Plumb Beach in Brooklyn.

Some RED KNOTS lingering around the Jones Inlet area included 34 on the Jones Beach West End sandbar off the Coast Guard Station Thursday and a couple of PURPLE SANDPIPERS were on the West End jetty as of Sunday.

Among the quickly disappearing warblers recently have been one or more sightings of NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, BLACKPOLL and BLACK-THROATED BLUE.

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, November 06, 2015

Friday's Foto

Brooklyn's Plum Beach during the fall migration is the Big Apple's (and possible NYS) best place to find Nelson's Sparrows. Formerly considered the same species as Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow (and known as the "Sharp-tailed Sparrow"), their different songs, subtle plumage differences, different breeding ranges, as well as, distinct genetics ultimately had the AOU split the two into Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sparrows. This is a sparrow of freshwater marshes, wet meadows and brackish marshes.

Three separate subspecies are recognized based on regional distribution (Ammodramus nelsoni nelsoni, Ammodramus nelsoni alterus and Ammodramus nelsoni subvirgatus). One population resides around Hudson Bay in Canada. The other two inhabit both Canada and the United States: one population ranges along the north Atlantic Coast from Quebec down to Maine and the other is in the center of North America, ranging over Minnesota and northwest North Dakota to Alberta and southern Mackenzie River basin in Canada. Identifying the different subspecies is difficult, but not impossible. Here is a good identification essay from the ABA website.

The IUCN lists the Nelson's Sparrow status as Least Concern.

The scientific name is Ammodramus nelsoni. Ammodramas means "desert or sand racer". Nelsoni refers to Dr. Edward William Nelson (1855–1934) US zoologist, collector in US and Mexico, first President of the AOU 1908, and Chief of the US Biological Survey 1916–1927.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Treehugger Tuesday

Plant Trees. Save Lives.

Eden Projects work to reforest parts of the world and at the same time put people in those areas to work. Their latest project is in Madagascar.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for the weekend of Saturday, November 7, 2015 to Sunday, November 8, 2015:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 12–1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Fresh Kills Park and Staten Island Locales
Leader: Seth Wollney
Focus: sparrows, raptors, early winter species
Car Fee: $22.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh, Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: October 31st - November 5th
Note: Fresh Kills Park section partly opened to the public this past summer. Site profile http://freshkillspark.org/

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Fresh Kills Park (Staten Island)
Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 10:00am
Freshkills Park Site Tour

Site tours are approximately an hour and a half long and tell the story of the past, present and future of Freshkills Park development via a guided bus ride through the site. Stops at the top of the park’s hills offer beautiful panoramic views of Staten Island. Space is limited, all ages welcome. Free. Meet at the St. George Ferry Terminal Information Booth (across from Au Bon Pain).
Sign Up at EventBrite

Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 1:00pm
Freshkills Park Site Tour

Site tours are approximately an hour and a half long and tell the story of the past, present and future of Freshkills Park development via a guided bus ride through the site. Stops at the top of the park’s hills offer beautiful panoramic views of Staten Island. Space is limited, all ages welcome. Free. Meet at the St. George Ferry Terminal Information Booth (across from Au Bon Pain).
Sign Up at EventBrite

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturday, November 7, 2015
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, November 7, 2015, 9am – 3pm
Beginning Birding (trip - Jamaica Bay)
Classes: Thursdays, October 22, October 29, and November 5, 6:30-8:30pm
Trips: Saturdays, October 31, 8-11am, and November 7, 9am-3pm
Instructor: Tod Winston
Learn the keys to identifying the spectacular variety of birds that migrate southwards through New York City every fall. Even if you've never picked up a pair of binoculars, you’ll soon be identifying warblers, thrushes, waterbirds, and more—both by sight and by ear. Three fun and educational in-class sessions and two field trips to Central Park and Jamaica bay (transport to Jamaica bay included). Limited to 12. $172 (120)
Click here to register

Saturday, November 7, 2015, 8:00am – 9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Guides: NYC Audubon 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, November 7, 2015, 9am – 3pm
Ducks, Raptors, and More, at Pelham Bay Park, The Bronx
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Come explore the lovely coves and rocky outcroppings of Pelham Bay Park, looking for wintering ducks, migrating raptors, and more. Pelham Bay Park's combination of open water, salt marsh, rocky shore, both young and old growth forest, rare coastal tall grass meadows, and patches of dry and wet oak savanna are not just unique within the City, but also on this continent! Bring lunch and water. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $102 (71)
Click here to register

Sunday, November 8, 2015, 9:30am – 7:00pm
Snow Geese and Tundra Swans of Brigantine, NJ
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Brigantine, part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, is one of the East Coast's premier sites for waterbirds, offering a diversity of species and panoramic views. Bring lunch and water. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $125 (87)
Click here to register

Sunday, November 8, 2015, 9:30am – 11:30am
Fall Birding at Wave Hill, the Bronx
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
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 (see www.wavehill.org for more information). Meet at Perkins Visitor Center at 9:30am

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Massapequa Preserve
Meet: LIRR parking lot
Leader: Joyce Bryk 621-6678

Notes: Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated. 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 http://northshoreaudubon.org/for directions. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Wolfe’s Pond Park
Join birder Antony Ciancimino for a guided walk around Wolfe’s Pond and a stroll along the beach at Wolfe’s Pond Park. Search for and identify migrant waterfowl both on the pond and in the bay. Shorebirds are also possible on the beach and the pond’s sandbars and shallows. Meet at the end of Holten Avenue, near the corner for Purdy Place.

Saturday, November 7, 2015, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Long Pond Park
We’ll explore Long Pond Park, keeping an eye out for the local population of white-tailed deer and particular migrant species of birds and invertebrate species. Long Pond Park hosts an uncommon mixture of woodlands and wetlands which provide a peaceful home to a diverse range of wildlife. Its beauty is easily appreciated and is one of the most pristine natural areas in all of New York, covering over 100 acres. Meet at the corner of Eugene Street and Adelphi Avenue, right by the intersection of Page Avenue and Amboy Road (http://goo.gl/maps/UCsFg). Parking is available on Eugene Street.

Sunday, November 8, 2015, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Late Fall Beach Walk from Lemon Creek to Wolfe’s Pond Park
Beachcomb the autumn shoreline to discover what the tides have brought in and take a look at the characteristics of the shoreline as winter approaches. Watch for ducks and other waterfowl and search the intertidal zone for invertebrates. Dress warmly and wear water-proof footwear. Meet at the Lemon Creek Park parking lot at the end of Seguine Avenue.

Sunday, November 8, 2015, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Wolfe's Pond Park
Containing mature upland woods, swamp forest, open marsh, ponds, and shoreline along the Raritan Bay, Wolfe’s Pond Park is one of the most diverse parks on Staten Island. We will enjoy an investigation of various ecosystems within the park. Meet at the comfort stations at the end of the parking lot. The entrance to the parking lot is located off of Cornelia Avenue (http://goo.gl/maps/n8XBa).

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 7, 2015
APEC and Douglaston Marsh
Leader: Eric Miller 917-279-7530
Meet at APEC parking lot
Birding Site Maps

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Massapequa Preserve

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

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Park at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds.
Free!

Introduction to Bird Watching at Audubon Center at the Boathouse (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird! But what kind of bird is it? Join the Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the magnificent array of birds that call Prospect Park home.
Free!

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Fall Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of diverse bird species and their behavior on these captivating walks through the gardens and woodlands. Observe…

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Young Birders Club
Sunday November 8, 2015
Rockland Lake - Rockland County
Sponsoring NYSYBC Partner: Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club
We will be spending the morning at beautiful Rockland Lake, known as a location where migrating waterfowl congregates to rest and feed. There are also many landbirds in the woods and brushy areas surrounding the lake. The trail is level and paved.

Permission form due by 10/28/15. If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.
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