Saturday, December 31, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

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

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

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

- Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Monday, December 26, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

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

**********

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

**********

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

**********

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

**********

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

**********

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

**********

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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke

Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday's Foto

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

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

- Birds Mentioned

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

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke

Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From the Earth Times website:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Monday, December 12, 2016

117th Annual Christmas Bird Count

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

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

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

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

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

**********

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

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

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

**********

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

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

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

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

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

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

**********

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 09, 2016

Short Note

Apologizes for the lack of postings lately, I've been a little distracted with work, the holidays and other issues. I hope to get back to more interesting writings very soon.

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, December 9, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 9, 2016
* NYNY1612.09

- Birds mentioned
PACIFIC LOON+
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
CAVE SWALLOW+
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Rough-legged Hawk
Black-legged Kittiwake
Snowy Owl
Long-eared Owl
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Lapland Longspur
Orange-crowned Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Lincoln's Sparrow
Dickcissel
Baltimore Oriole
Red Crossbill

Other taxa mentioned:
Selasphorus hummingbird
Empidonax flycatcher

- 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 NYS Rare Bird alert for Friday, December 9th 2016.

The highlights of today's tape include PACIFIC LOON, CAVE SWALLOW, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN TANAGER, and a very unseasonal Empidonax flycatcher.

An Empidonax flycatcher found and photographed at Inwood Hill Park on Dec 8 was seen again this morning. Its identity has not been confirmed, but debate has centered on Yellow-bellied and "Western" Flycatchers, the latter comprising the sibling taxa, Pacific-slope and Cordilleran. Field impressions of shape and posture could help to determine the ID, as would additional photos and any information about vocalizations.

This season's run of ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS continued this week. The individual at Lido West Park persisted at least through Dec 4, and another Ash-throated was found at Marine Park, Brooklyn on Dec 5 and was seen to at least Dec 7. In the vicinity of the former was a late BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and of the latter were an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and a very late BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, both seen at least through Dec 6.

On eastern Long Island, a basic plumaged PACIFIC LOON flew east past Camp Hero bluffs in Montauk on Dec 4, and a RED-NECKED GREBE, originally found Nov 23, continued on nearby Fort Pond to at least Dec 4. A dark morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was found hovering over the sand islands north of Cupsogue County Park Dec 4, and a Selasphorus hummingbird was still coming to a private Aquebogue feeder on Dec 5, now apparently accompanied by a second, unidentified hummingbird.

A CAVE SWALLOW at Point Lookout Fireman's Park was discovered Dec 3, spending some time along sandy path south of ball field during the day but not reported again afterwards.

The WESTERN TANAGER at City Hall Park was still present as of Dec 8, and the YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT there was still present at least to Dec 3. The Trinity Church Chat was present to at least Dec 4. Other seasonally unusual birds included a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER at Randall's Island, found Nov 28 and seen again Dec 4, as well as a late LINCOLN'S SPARROW at the much scarified Bryant Park Dec 3.

Highlights among the more regular winter species reported this week included a first-year BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE photographed from the base of the ferry terminal at Staten Island Dec 3, flying toward Bayonne, NJ; reports of SNOWY and LONG-EARED OWL; at least 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS continuing with the Horned Lark flocks at Jones Beach West End, last reported Dec 2; and another flock of four RED CROSSBILLS, suggestive of at least a minor irruption this season. This flock flew into the pines at Midland Beach on Staten Island at the terminus of Father Capodanno Blvd on 7 Dec. In this same area were a DICKCISSEL and a PINE WARBLER.

The compilers for this week's RBA were Shaibal Mitra and Patricia Lindsay.

Tom Burke has returned from his trip to the Southern Ocean and would appreciate reports for next week. To phone in reports on weekdays call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday, December 02, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Thursday, December 1, 2016:
- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 1, 2016
* NYNY1612.01

- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

King Eider
selasphorus hummingbird
Sandhill Crane
Marbled Godwit
Little Gull
Glaucous Gull
Red-headed Woodpecker
Western Kingbird
Yellow-breasted Chat
Red Crossbill

- Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the NYS Rare Bird alert for Thursday, December 1st.

The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE originally discovered at Hendrickson Park, Nassu County on Nov 1, continued to at least Nov 30, and is likely still frequenting the area.

The female KING EIDER at Ransom Beach, Bayville, found 10 Nov, was present to at least 16 Nov.

2 MARBLED GODWIT (S) were sighted from a kayak near Big Egg Marsh, Jamaica Bay on Nov 13, possibly the same birds that have been in the area since September.

A first winter LITTLE GULL was found off Montauk Point Nov 23, and a first year GLAUCOUS GULL was loafing on the beach off Lido Park West on 13 Nov.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was found at Bill Richardson Park, Suffolk Nov 18 and 26, and another, an immature male, was photographed at Sunken Meadow SP on 19 Nov.

A selasphorus hummingbird visiting a private North Fork Long Island feeder in Aquebogue was first reported to the list 22 Nov, but had apparently been around for four weeks. So far there are no diagnostic photos to pin it to species, and no further reports.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD was a one-day wonder at Jones Beach West End Nov 19.

An ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER discovered at Lido West Park in Nassau County Nov 13 was still being reported at least to Nov 27. Another Ash-throat was found at the less accessible Bushwick Inlet Park, Brooklyn Nov 19-20.

At least two YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (S) remain in lower Manhattan NYC parks; one at Trinity Church found Nov 3 and still being reported as of Dec 1, the other near City Hall Park seen at least to the 28th. Other Chat reports come from Fort Pond Cemetery in Montauk 10 Nov, and Greenwood Cemetery 19 Nov.

Two WESTERN TANAGER (S) were discovered within a day of one another -- a female at City Hall Park in lower Manhattan on Nov 23 and remaining through at least Dec 1, and an adult male at Conference House Park on Staten Island found Nov 24 and reported to at least Nov 27.

RED CROSSBILL (S) are appearing in small, sporadic numbers, with 5-6 at Jones Beach West End on Nov 19, one at Lido West Park on the 23rd, and 7 at Jones Beach Nov 27. All were reported to have continued west and did not linger.

In Westchester, 13 SANDHILL CRANE (S) were photographed flying over Playland Park in Rye on Nov 23.

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

The compilers for this week's RBA were Shaibal Mitra and Patricia Lindsay. Tom Burke is away on vacation. Tony Lauro has been ill for the past few weeks and we are looking forward to a complete recovery soon.

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From The Guardian:

Obama Administration Rushes to Protect Public Lands Before Trump Takes Office

Environmental groups hope Utah, Nevada and Grand Canyon will be included in rapid conservation efforts as Trump plans to expand fossil fuel extraction

Oliver Milman
@olliemilman
Thursday 24 November 2016 11.00 EST

Barack Obama’s administration is rushing through conservation safeguards for large areas of public land ahead of Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House, presenting a conundrum for the new president’s goal of opening up more places for oil and gas drilling.

On Monday, the US Department of the Interior banned gold mining on 30,000 acres of land near the northern entrance of Yellowstone national park. This follows announcements last week that barred drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska and a brokered settlement that cancelled 32,000 acres of mining leases on Montana land considered by the Blackfeet tribe as “like a church, a divine sanctuary”.

Obama’s administration has also cancelled 25 oil and gas leases in Colorado since Trump’s election win and further executive action is expected before the real estate magnate takes office in January.

Environmentalists expect some level of protection to be placed upon the Bears Ears landscape in Utah, Gold Butte in Nevada and the greater Grand Canyon area, in order to bar uranium mining in the region. A permanent ban on drilling in the Arctic is also on the wish list, but is considered less likely.

Trump has said that more public land should be opened up for fossil fuel extraction, although he has also said the government should be “great stewards” of the land. In a YouTube address outlining his first 100 days in office, Trump said he would “cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs”..

Obama has protected more land and water – more than 265m acres – via executive action than any other president. Green groups are quietly confident that they would be able to sway moderate Republicans to oppose any dismantling of the reserves Obama set up, citing strong public support for them, but Trump is expected to follow an aggressively pro-fossil fuels approach once in power.

The president-elect has promised to approve the controversial Keystone pipeline and has reportedly shortlisted former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Mary Fallin, the governor of Oklahoma who he met on Monday, as secretary of the interior. Both are strongly in favor of expanded oil and gas drilling, with Fallin recently declaring 13 October as a day of prayer for the oil industry in her state.

“I would love the current administration to go further and protect places in California, Utah, Texas and the Grand Canyon,” said Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America.

“One of the vulnerabilities of executive action is that the next executive can act. But no one can work so fast that they can reverse all the action we’ve had over the past eight years. I’m worried, yes, but the public is with us, the science is with us and we will mobilize support for this.”
...Read more

Monday, November 28, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, December 3, 2016 to Sunday, December 4, 2016:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, December 4, 2016, 8am – 9am
Early Morning Bird Walk: 12 Birds of Winter
Not everyone flies south for the winter. Join the Prospect Park Alliance and spot Prospect Park’s most common winter birds during their busiest time of day. Tour leaves promptly at 8 am. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Breezy Point, Rockaway Queens
Leader: Mike Yuan
Focus: Coastal waterfowl, open space birds, dune relevant species, raptors
Car fee: $12.00
Registrar: Bob Washburn nyc_bob@earthlink.net
Registration Period: Nov 26th - Dec 1st

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Croton Point Park
Meet at 8AM in the large parking lot
We will search the meadow for American Pipit and other grassland birds such as Savannah Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlark. American Tree Sparrow should be common along the wooded edges. This will be a long walk with hills as we circle the meadow.
Directions: http://hras.org/wtobird/croton.html

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, December 4, 2016 - 9:00AM
Birding Jones Beach
Who says beach going is a summertime activity? There is no better place to be birding than the barrier beaches in late fall. We'll look for flashy ducks, rare gulls, roosting owls, surprise migrant songbirds, snow buntings, longspurs, and seals.
Registration: 516-782-0293
Directions: take the Meadowbrook south and take exit for the West End, heading west. Continue past the little tollbooth (no charge!) for a half mile and make a right toward the Coast Guard Station. Shortly make another right and park by the restrooms.
Registration is a must as group size is limited to 15.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Massapequa, Capri Pond, Coastal Areas
Leader: Gabriel Willow
Registrar: Louise Fraza — louisefraza@yahoo.com or 212-534-6182
Registration opens: Monday, November 21
Ride: $35

**********

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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, December 3, 2016, 10am – 1pm
Winter Birds at Jamaica Bay
Guide: Don Riepe with American Littoral Society and Gateway NRA
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for a slide program and a hike around the pond and gardens to look for late migrants and winter birds arriving. Learn to identify many species and how birds and other wildlife survive winter.
For info and reservations, contact Don Riepe at (718) 474-0896, donriepe@gmail.com
Free

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, December 3, 2016 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Richmond town, Southwest Latourette Park @ Old Mill Road
Participants will walk back in time during a stroll along an old country road below the serpentine hills. We will explore Ketchum’s Mill pond, brook and wetlands with naturalist Ray Matarazzo. Analyze the impact of white-tailed deer on our local flora and search for wintering waterfowl in the Richmond Creek.
Meet in the parking lot at the start of Old Mill Road, beside St. Andrew’s church.
For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at (718) 317-7666

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Montauk Point
Leader: Rich Kelly - 516-509-1094
Where: Montauk Point Lighthouse (map)

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Alley Pond Park

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, December 3, 2016
Birding: Owls at Isham Street and Seaman Avenue (in Inwood Hill Park), Manhattan
5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots.
Free!
...Read more

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday's Foto

Native to North America, the Wild Turkey is far different from the selectively bred, white bird that people are accustomed to eating on Thanksgiving. The domestic turkey is actually originally derived from a southern Mexican subspecies of wild turkey.

Living primarily in mature forests, particularly ones with nut trees such as oak, hickory, or beech, interspersed with edges and fields, they can also be found in grasslands and swamps where they feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and salamanders. Wild Turkeys were overhunted and by the early 20th century had disappeared from much of their traditional range. In the 1940s efforts were made to reintroduce them with birds being captured and relocated to areas where populations had been decimated but woodlands were recovering. It was so successful that Wild Turkeys now live in areas where they may not have occurred when Europeans first reached the Americas. Today, flocks are also found in Hawaii, Europe, and New Zealand. Around New York City small flocks can be found in Staten Island and the Bronx. For 10 years a single turkey given the name "Zelda" resided in Manhattan's Battery Park City.

The IUCN Red List lists this species conservation status as “Least Concern”.

The Wild Turkey’s scientific name, Meleagris gallopavo, means guineafowl peacock (“Gesner’s (1555) name for the Wild Turkey, because its overall appearance is that of a fowl but in its size and bright tail it resembles a peacock.”) There is speculation that the English name of the bird may have come about from early shipping routes that passed through the country of Turkey on their way to delivering the birds to European markets.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Low Carbon Birding

New York City Audubon has an excellent resource for birding around the five boroughs by public transportation. It's called "NYC Audubon Map & Guide to Birding by Subway". It is available as a download here or from below.

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website "Treehugger":

Big news: Canada to virtually phase out coal by 2030

Sami Grover
November 21, 2016
Share on Facebook

Goodness me. Climate news is a roller coaster ride these days.

Just as much of the world languishes in uncertainty over the future of a low carbon transition, the Globe and Mail reports that Canada steps up and announces an almost complete phase out of coal for electricity by 2030 at the latest. And this comes just a week after the UK confirmed its coal phase out plans, and France does too.

True, the Canadian plan doesn't actually amount to a complete phase out. Provinces still heavily reliant on coal would be allowed some flexibility if similar emissions reductions can be achieved elsewhere, or if they get serious about Carbon Capture and Storage. Still, this is not a good sign for the coal industry. And given the fact that there are already serious question marks about the viability of President Elect Trump's promises to put coal miners back to work, such an unequivocal market signal from our neighbor to the North should give coal boosters even more pause for thought.

At some point, the world moves on from outdated technologies. And when it does, those who would slow our progress are eventually forced to move on too. They just cede the leadership position to nations who better understand, or are more willing to accept, which way the world is moving.
...Read more

Monday, November 21, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 26, 2016 to Sunday, November 27, 2016:

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Joe DiCostanzo
Registrar: Kathleen Howley — kathleenhowley@gmail.com or 212-877-3170
Registration opens: Monday, November 7
Ride: $15 or public transportation

**********

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

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 3-November 26, 8-9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Guides: 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

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Grande Jones Beach
Leader: Ian Resnick - 917-626-9562
Where: US Coast Guard, 1 West End Boat Basin, Freeport, NY 11520, USA (map)

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Jones Beach West End #2

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 26, 2016
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
About 230 different bird species have been recorded in Van Cortlandt Park and over 60 species breed here!
Free!
...Read more

Monday, November 14, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 19, 2016 to Sunday, November 20, 2016:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Jones Beach State Park, Nassau County
Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Coastal waterfowl, dune relevant species, raptors
Car fee: $25.00
Registrar: Heidi Steiner email heidi.steiner@verizon.net or call before 8 pm 718-369-2116
Registration Period: Nov 12th - Nov 17th

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, November 19, 2016 – Meet at 9:00am
Hallock Farm Museum Fields and Hallock State Park
Trip Leader: MaryLaura Lamont
The walk is sponsored by the Hallock Museum Farm on Sound Avenue in Riverhead and led by ELIAS board member MaryLaura Lamont. The roughly 2 mile walk goes through Museum fields and 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.

Sunday, November 20, 2016 – Meet at 9:00am
William Floyd Estate
Trip Leader: MaryLaura Lamont
Come to Mastic for the last walk of the season at The William Floyd Estate. This 613 acre estate includes mowed fields, woods, creeks and salt marshes. With this variety of habitat we should find wintering hawks, ducks, sparrows, and perhaps bluebirds and eagles. Round trip walk is about 3 miles. Bring binoculars. The main entrance is 245 Park Drive in Mastic. Call the trip leader MaryLaura Lamont at the Estate at 631.399.2030 for details. This walk is sponsored by the National Park Service, led by ELIAS Board Member, MaryLaura Lamont. There is no charge for this walk.

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

**********

Freshkills Park
Sunday, November 20, 2016, 11:00am
Nature Hike
Explore normally closed sections of Freshkills Park and learn about the history and ongoing progress of the landfill-to-park project. NYC Parks staff will guide visitors through the park and lead a discussion on the many topics surrounding Freshkills Park, including urban ecology, waste management, and park design.
The group will meet at Schmul Playground (at the corner Wild Avenue and Melvin Avenue) and shuttle into Freshkills Park from there.
Sign Up at EventBrite

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 10:00AM to 1:00PM
Winter Waterfowl Workshop
Fee Information: FREE
Learn about the behavior, biology and where to find waterfowl in winter in NYC. Slide presentation followed by hike around East and West Ponds. Leader: Don Riepe. To reserve call 718-474-0896 or email donriepe@gmail.com. (2.5 miles) Bus Q53,Q52, A train to Broad Channel station.

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday November 19, 2016, 8:00am
Wertheim NWR
Leaders: John Gluth (631-827-0120) Vera Capogna (516-639-5430)
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 proceed to make a right into Wertheim Visitor Center. There are signs both on Montauk Highway and on Smith Road at the turnoff into Wertheim.

Sunday, November 20, 2016, 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.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Joe DiCostanzo
Registrar: Kathleen Howley — kathleenhowley@gmail.com or 212-877-3170
Registration opens: Monday, November 7
Ride: $15 or public transportation

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

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 3-November 26, 8-9:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Guides: 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, November 19, 2016, 9am – 3pm
Van Trip to the Winter Waterfowl Workshop at Jamaica Bay
Register for our van trip to the Winter Waterfowl Workshop (see description below) and get to Jamaica bay the easy way - by passenger van! Bring lunch and water. Limited to 12. $53 (37)
Click here to register

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, November 19, 2016
North Shore Duck Walk
Meet at Macy's in Manhasset
Leader: Jennifer 767-3454

Walks are for beginners and experienced birders alike. Weather permitting, walks start at 9:30 AM unless indicated.
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. We would like to encourage carpooling, where possible.
Please note there is a $10 per car fee at Sands Pt. Call leader for parking ideas.
Schedule note: *** indicates 8 am official start time
*indicates new parking location

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, November 19, 2016 @ 10:00am – 2:00pm
Forest Restoration Workshop
Cost: Free
Contact: Don Recklies 718-768-9036/ Chuck Perry 718-667-1393
Meet in the parking lot at the dead end of Staten Island Blvd. (south of Petrides School). We will ascend the trail toward the Butterworth Avenue entrance where we will uproot Japanese barberry and burning bush – and wisteria for the brave and hearty (our 242nd workshop). If you don’t have your own, Protectors will supply gloves, pruners & refreshments. After the work session we will take a short walk over nearby trails. For more information call Don Recklies at (718) 768-9036 or Chuck Perry at (718) 667-1393. (Service credit is available.)

Sunday, November 20, 2016 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Goodhue Woods
Cost: Free
Contact: Clay Wollney 718-869-6327
Seeking to complete the purchase of the Goodhue Woods, Protectors is working with the Children’s Aid Society to advocate for the preservation of this open space. Come explore the woodlands and fields of the Goodhue property and help save these woods. We will look for evidence of the area’s geologic history, observe its present ecosystems, and discuss its relation to adjacent areas in the same watershed. During the 1980s and 1990s, Clay Wollney worked at Goodhue as an environmental educator in the summer camp administered by the Children’s Aid Society and he is excited about revisiting his favorite natural area on the North Shore. Meet at the corner of Clinton Avenue and Prospect Avenue. For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
About 230 different bird species have been recorded in Van Cortlandt Park and over 60 species breed here!
Free!

Birding at Bartow at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (in Pelham Bay Park), Bronx
8:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
With winter approaching, we’ll be on the lookout for woodland species, raptors, waterfowl, and a possible owl.
Free!

Ranger's Choice: Green-Wood Cemetery Bird Walk and History Tour at Green-Wood Cemetery
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Learn about the famous New Yorkers buried here as well as the diverse bird population that thrives in the rolling acres that surround the graves, tombs, and mausoleums.
Free!

Sunday, November 20, 2016
Birding: Owls at Orchard Beach Nature Center (in Pelham Bay Park), Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots.
Free!
...Read more

Friday, November 11, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 11, 2016:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 11, 2016
* NYNY1611.11

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
EURASIAN WIGEON
KING EIDER
CATTLE EGRET
Red Knot
Long-billed Dowitcher
Parasitic Jaeger
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Blue-headed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
CAVE SWALLOW
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Orange-crowned Warbler
Northern Parula
Black-throated Blue Warbler
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (“AUDUBON’S” form)
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Vesper Sparrow
Nelson’s Sparrow
Baltimore Oriole
Pine Siskin
EVENING GROSBEAK

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

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

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke, 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 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, CAVE SWALLOW, KING EIDER, EURASIAN WIGEON, “AUDUBON’S” form of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, CATTLE EGRET, some YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, and EVENING GROSBEAK.

Attracting the most attention this week was the PINK-FOOTED GOOSE lingering at Arthur J. Hendrickson Park just south of Valley Stream State Park. The PINK-FOOTED has been present daily in the CANADA GOOSE flock, sometimes on shore, especially near the tennis courts, or between the 2 bubblers on the pond.

At the hawk watch at Robert Moses State Park last Sunday, a passing Swallow appeared to the observers to be a CAVE SWALLOW, and subsequent analysis of photos seemed to confirm the identification - this is a species to watch for this time of year, especially along the coast on days with northwest winds.

Another very interesting bird at Moses Park last Sunday was an “AUDUBON’S” form of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, seen in a “MYRTLE” flock at Field 2.

Two EURASIAN WIGEONS found on Patchogue Lake on November 3rd were still present there at least to Tuesday, and one lingering at the Salt Marsh Nature Center section of Marine Park was noted last Sunday.

A female KING EIDER found in Bayville on Wednesday was still off Ransom Beach or just east of there today, this beach off Bayville Avenue. Other waterfowl have included a CACKLING GOOSE reported from the Bronx Zoo from Monday on and the ongoing arrival of winter ducks.

The continuing influx of CATTLE EGRETS included one at Riis Park golf course last weekend, perhaps the same individual seen at adjacent Fort Tilden Saturday, and another appeared last weekend out in Yaphank at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center off Yaphank Avenue.

A PARASITIC JAEGER was seen off Montauk Point Thursday.

The peak count of 14 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS at Santapogue Creek in Lindenhurst occurred last Saturday, and RED KNOTS roosting in Point Lookout Saturday exceeded 100.

Lingering RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS include one in Central Park north of the 65th Street transverse and an adult in Kissena Park Queens.

A nice occurrence was a male EVENING GROSBEAK appearing Monday at the Sylvan Waters section of Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, joining a NELSON’S SPARROW there.

Lower Manhattan seems to have become a mecca for YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS, with one remaining at Trinity Church from Thursday the 3rd through today, this at Broadway and Wall Street, while another found Tuesday was still at the Millennium Park several blocks north of there at Broadway and Ann Street today. Two other lower Manhattan reports from last Saturday mentioned single CHATS at the Hudson River Greenway and the Battery Park City Teardrop Park. In Brooklyn a CHAT was spotted at the Salt Marsh Nature Center Monday.

At least four scattered ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were noted this week, and other lingering WARBLERS have included NORTHERN PARULA, OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and BLACK-THROATED BLUE.

At Jones Beach West End three LAPLAND LONGSPURS were noted again last Saturday, along with three PINE SISKINS and a VESPER SPARROW, the latter continuing through the week. Other VESPER SPARROWS featured one in Prospect Park Saturday and another in Kissena Park Sunday.

A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was still at Dreier-Offerman Park in Brooklyn Saturday, and among other late migrants have been RED-EYED and BLUE-HEADED VIREOS and BALTIMORE ORIOLE.

For the next four weeks the RBA will be handled by Tony Lauro - please call Tony with your reports at (631) 734-4126.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday's Foto

Last weekend I joined a group of friends on a "wild goose chase" to try and track down a vagrant Pink-footed Goose on Long Island. We were successful in finding, what was for most of us, a life bird.

The Pink-footed Goose is a medium-sized goose, with a short bill that is bright pink in the middle with a black base and tip. They also sport their namesake pink feet. They nest in eastern Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. After breeding season they all migrate across the North Atlantic wintering in Britain and northwestern Europe. Increasingly strays have been found in North America and eastern Canada. There are approximately a dozen records of this goose in New York State. Feeding primarily on grass and aquatic vegetation in summer, they often nest on cliffs close to glaciers to provide protection from predators.

IUCN Red List lists this species conservation status as “Least Concern”. The population appears to be increasing. You can see an interactive range map here.

Its scientific name, Anser brachyrhynchus, means goose with a short bill.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From Mother Nature Network:

6 ways to help elephants
With the elephant poaching epidemic running rampant, experts fear the survival of the species.
Melissa Breyer
November 8, 2016, 12:22 p.m.

Most of the illegal ivory that is sold around the world comes from elephants that have been recently killed. It's not coming from old stashes of ivory, but from elephants that have been poached within the last few years, according to researchers.

Typically, authorities wouldn't know when the ivory was poached, but with new technology researchers used carbon dating to study hundreds of samples of ivory confiscated from around the world. The analysis found that most of the ivory came from elephants killed less than three years ago.

In just the past seven years, African elephant populations in savannahs have dropped 30 percent. Similarly, the number of elephants living in forests have dropped an incredible 62 percent from 2002 to 2013. These deaths, says Smithsonian, are "intimately linked with the illegal global trade in ivory."

This means that poaching may be a more widespread, uncontrolled problem than we think.

In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) passed a moratorium on the international commercial trade of African elephant ivory, except under a few rare circumstances. In the same year, the Bush administration passed the African Elephant Conservation Act (AECA), banning the importation of ivory from the African elephant. Since then, the commercial ivory market in the United States has virtually collapsed.

However, that’s not the case in Asia. As much as 70 percent of the illegal ivory currently being plundered is being routed to China. Revered for millennia as a rare, status-boosting luxury item, ivory has long been out of reach for most. But as China’s economic boom has created a vast middle class, many are now in the market, which has elevated the price of ivory to a staggering $1,000 per pound on the streets of Beijing. The tusks of a single adult elephant can be worth more than 10 times the average annual income for an African worker.

The lust for ivory and the situation in Africa have created what is likely to be the greatest percentage loss of elephants in history. Many fear that the survival of the species is at stake.

What can we do?

If you’re a mercenary, you can strap on your Rambo gear and go to Africa to fight warlords and poachers. If you’re in China and purchase ivory objects, you can decide to stop. But what about the rest of us? None of us can single-handedly stop the ivory trade, but we are not helpless — as much as it may feel like it. Here are six actions we can take to support these grand creatures.

1. Obviously, don’t buy ivory

Or sell it, or wear it. New ivory is strictly banned, but antique ivory can be legally available for purchase. (The regulations are complicated; this is a good overview.) Ivory has traditionally been used for jewelry, billiard balls, pool cues, dominos, fans, piano keys and carved trinkets. Shunning antique ivory is a clear message to dealers that the material is not welcomed, and it's an easy way to show your solidarity with the elephants.

2. Buy elephant-friendly coffee and wood

Coffee and timber crops are often grown in plantations that destroy elephant habitats. Make sure to buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber and certified fair trade coffee.

3. Support conservation efforts

If only we could all be Jane Goodall or Dian Fossey, and move to the jungle or plains and thoroughly dedicate our lives to wildlife. Alas, for most of us that’s the stuff of daydreams. In the meantime, we can support the organizations that are actively committed to elephant preservation. There are many, but here are a few:

International Elephant Foundation
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
African Wildlife Foundation
Amboseli Elephant Research Project

4. Be aware of the plight of captive elephants

Historically, zoos and circuses have offered elephants a life of, basically, indentured servitude. Fortunately, the zoo industry is starting to wake up and is beginning to develop more elephant-friendly environments, yet they have a long way to go. Circuses, even further. Make a difference by boycotting circuses that use animals, and by boycotting zoos that offer insufficient space to allow elephants to live in social groups, and where the management style doesn’t allow them to be in control of their own lives. See ElephantVoices for more information.

5. Adopt an elephant

Who wouldn’t want to take home a cute elephant, protect it from the bad guys, and raise it as their own? OK, so that’s not quite realistic, but there are any number of organizations that offer elephant adoptions so that you get cute pictures of “your” elephant, and they get currency to fund their elephant conservation efforts. World Wildlife Foundation, World Animal Foundation, Born Free and Defenders of Wildlife all have adoption programs and are good places to start looking for that special pachyderm.

6. Get involved with Roots and Shoots

Founded in 1991 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students, Roots and Shoots is a youth program created to incite positive change. There are hundreds of thousands of kids in more than 120 countries in the Roots & Shoots network, all working to create a better world. It’s a great way to get youth involved in conservation and pursue careers to help elephants and other wildlife.
...Read more

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