Monday, October 31, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 5, 2016 to Sunday, November 6, 2016:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, November 6, 2016, 8am – 9am
Early Morning Bird Walk: Feathered Friends
Join the Prospect Park Alliance and observe some of the Park’s feathered friends including chickadees, early winter residents such as Northern Shovelers and species of ducks that spend the winter in the Lake. Tour leaves promptly at 8 am. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday November 5, 2016
An Autumn Rarity Quest
Leaders Bobbi Manian and Dennis Hrehowsik
Focus: Pursuit of good or rare birds to locations based on the week’s birding alert reports
Registrar: Dennis Hrehowsik email deepseagangster@gmail.com
Registration Period: Oct 29th - Nov 3rd

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Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, November 5, 2016, 8:30PM to 10:00PM
Stargazing
Fee Information: Free
Join the Staten Island Chapter of the Amateur Astronomer's Association for public stargazing at Great Kill's main parking lot, Lot A. Binoculars and telescopes are provided, you may also bring your own. Inclement weather will cancel this event.

Sunday, November 6, 2016, 3:00PM to 4:30PM
Fall Hike and Fort Tour
Fee Information: Free
Join a NPS ranger to hike the overlook loop at Fort Wadsworth. Bring binoculars and comfortable shoes. Reservations are required, please call 718-354-4655.

Sunday, November 6, 2016, 1:30PM to 3:00PM
Owl Prowl
Fee Information: Free
Kid ages are invited to join a park ranger to earn their very own Junior Ranger badge, and to get started on the way toward earning their Junior Ranger patch! Junior Rangers will go on an owl adventure to learn about these beautiful birds and their diet by investigating owl pellets. Be prepared to take a hike along the west pond trail to search for owl habitat. Bus: Q52, Q53; A Train to Broad Channel.

Multiple Days: 11/06/2016, 10/02/2016 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Walking Tour of Fort Tilden
Fee Information: Free
Join a Park Ranger for a walking tour of historic Fort Tilden, and its role in the 20th century coastal and air defense.

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Hudson River Audubon
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Jones Beach – Late Fall Migrants
Meet at 8AM at the Coast Guard Station in West End IIThis is a good time for a rarity or a western stray to show up such as winter finches, Western Kingbird or Lapland Longspur. A variety of birds should be seen from seabirds, ducks, hawks, shorebirds and late land migrants. If time allows we will head over to Point Lookout in search of Purple Sandpipers and Harlequin Ducks. Bring lunch and expect to return midafternoon.
Directions: http://hras.org/wtobird/jonesbeach.html

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Prospect Park in November
Leader: Peter Dorosh — information only prosbird@aol.com
No registration
Public transportation: F Train to 15th Street Station, Prospect Park. Meet at the Bartel Pritchard entrance at 8am

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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 5, 2016, 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 6, 2016, 8-11am
Morning Fall Migration Walk in Prospect Park
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet under the arch in Grand Army Plaza. Join Gabriel Willow for a leisurely walk to get to know the fall migrants of 'Brooklyn's Backyard', beautiful Prospect Park. Prospect Park has a wide variety of habitats that attracts a number of both breeding and passage migrant bird species, with even more recorded than in Central Park. We will explore the park's meadows, forests, and waterways in search of migratory warblers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers, waterfowl, and more. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Sunday, November 6, 2016, 9:30am-7pm
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

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Kissena Park
Leader: Rich - 509-1094

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 5, 2016 @ 9:15am – 3:15pm
10-Mile Fall Greenbelt Walk
Cost: Free
Protectors of Pine Oak Woods invites everyone to join us a Staten Island adventure. Everyone is encouraged to enjoy the crisp air and bright sun of autumn. Colors should be at peak though some contrasting green leaves remain. Wear comfortable boots and long pants. We walk ten, moderate miles in all weather. Participants will gather at the Greenbelt Nature Center and enjoy a measured hike throughout the surrounding areas of the Greenbelt. Bring lunch and adequate beverage. For more information call Dominick Durso at (917) 478-7607, or Don Recklies at (718) 768-9036.

Saturday, November 5, 2016 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
High Rock Park and Pouch Camp
Cost: Free
Join Ray Matarazzo for a fall foliage hike to Stump’s Pond. Investigate this unique corner of the Greenbelt with one of Staten Island’s finest environmental educators. The walk will focus on the identification of trees, some of the most colorful species, Hickory, Maple, Sweetgum and Tupelo. Participants will meet in the parking lot at 200 Nevada Avenue. For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at (718) 317-7666.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Kissena Park w/ SMR Aud.
Leader: Eric Miller - 917-279-7530
Meet by 7:45
**If a rarity shows up, we will chase it**

Trip Etiquette Notify the leader well in advance so they can coordinate car pooling and notify you of last minute meeting time or location changes. Be on time. We depart promptly.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Mill 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

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, November 5, 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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, October 28, 2016:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Oct. 28, 2016
* NYNY1610.28

- Birds Mentioned

Snow Goose
CACKLING GOOSE
EURASIAN WIGEON
Hummingbird – possible Selasphorus
Black-bellied Plover
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
Red Knot
Pectoral Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Royal Tern
Red-throated Loon
Great Cormorant
CATTLE EGRET
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Merlin
Eastern Bluebird
American Pipit
Snow Bunting
Orange-crowned Warbler
MOURNING WARBLER
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
American Tree Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Nelson’s Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
DICKCISSEL
Pine Siskin

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, October 28, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are CACKLING GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, CATTLE EGRET, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, MOURNING WARBLER and DICKCISSEL.

Perhaps the week’s most unexpected occurrence was the modest influx of CATTLE EGRETS, though, given their mobility, the exact number involved would be difficult to determine. The one found Thursday the 20th at Van Cortland Park in the Bronx was last seen on Saturday, chased from the parade ground by a dog. One was also found Saturday at Floyd Bennett Field, and for the next few days that area of Brooklyn and Queens hosted at least 2 individuals. With 1 seen to Wednesday at Floyd Bennett, a 2nd was noted there Tuesday, and 2 were seen together near the Marine Parkway Bridge Tuesday. Also Fort Tilden provided 1 on Tuesday and Wednesday, while another flew over the Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park Wednesday. One was also spotted at Bush Terminal Piers Park in Brooklyn Monday. So, how many were there?

On the waterfowl front, with numbers increasing regularly and the 1st skeins of SNOW GEESE moving by overhead, the more unusual featured a CACKLING GOOSE at Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan Sunday and at least 3 EURASIAN WIGEONS: one was still present today at the Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park, another drake was on Miller’s Pond east of Maple Avenue in Smithtown Monday, and another was spotted on Fresh Pond off Fresh Pond Road in Salonga Wednesday.

An AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was still in with BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS on the runways at Floyd Bennett Field during high tide last Saturday, the flock also including 2 RED KNOT and a DOWITCHER that appeared to be SHORT-BILLED.


A PECTORAL SANDPIPER was at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn Sunday, where some NELSON’S SPARROWS also continue. An impressive gathering at Plumb Beach early Tuesday morning featured 88 ROYAL TERNS and an estimated 3,000 LAUGHING GULLS, and 22 AMERICAN PIPITS were counted moving by.

Also interesting were 14 ROYAL TERNS up at Goldsmith Inlet on Long Island Sound in Peconic last Tuesday.

Small numbers of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS continue to visit south shore parking lots like those at Jones Beach West End field 2 and Tobay.

Nine LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were counted along Santapogue Creek in Lindenhurst on Tuesday.

Very interesting was a Hummingbird seen very briefly at Robert Moses State Park last Sunday that appeared to be a SELASPHORUS type and not a Ruby-throated, but it disappeared too quickly to confirm an identification.

A couple of RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS have been present in Central Park during the week, and another was spotted at Robert Moses State Park Wednesday.

A hawk watch in Central Park last Sunday produced 120 TURKEY and 6 BLACK VULTURES, 8 BALD EAGLES, a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, and 2 MERLINS among other raptors. Inland watches have also noted a good variety when the winds have gone northwest.

Among the passerines, single DICKCISSELS were spotted at the Chandler Estate in Miller Place Wednesday and at Mill Dam Park in Huntington today.

An apparent CLAY-COLORED SPARROW in Central Park Tuesday was identified subsequently from photos but not seen again.

Some VESPER SPARROWS locally have included 1 at Robert Moses State Park Sunday, another at Jones Beach West End Tuesday and Wednesday, and multiples at Croton Point Park in Westchester.

Among the WARBLERS, a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was present in Central Park near the Great Lawn Monday and Tuesday, and an ORANGE-CROWNED was also in the park last Monday, with 2 reported there today along with several other species of lingering Warblers.

A very accommodating MOURNING WARBLER was along the hedgerow by the Coast Guard Station at Jones Beach West End last Sunday.

Other recent migrants have featured RED-THROATED LOON, GREAT CORMORANT, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, SNOW BUNTING, and FOX and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, and keep an eye out for PINE SISKIN.

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, October 28, 2016

Friday's Foto

If, like me, you are a fan of nature documentaries, no doubt you have seen lots of footage of Cattle Egrets following around zebras, wildebeest and other ungulates in Africa. An Old World species, this bird reveals an incredible story of how one species successfully expanded into the New World and beyond making it the greatest natural expansions of any bird species! Believed to have originated in central Africa, it began to expand its range through that continent eventually appearing in northeastern South America in the 1870s and 1880s. In 1953 it spread north with the first breeding pair established in Florida that year. By 1962 they had made their way into Canada. Cattle Egret can now be found throughout North America.

Unlike the similar looking Snowy Egret or Great Egret who feed primarily in littoral zones, the Cattle Egret forages in open country associating with large grazing mammals that flush insects as they move. In Africa they feed along with elephants, rhinos, and Cape Buffalos. In the Americas they associate with cattle and horses. Though rare around NYC, the best place to look for one around Brooklyn is Floyd Bennett Field.

The IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as “Least Concern

Its scientific name, Bubulcus ibis, means cowherd ibis.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, October 29, 2016 to Sunday, October 30, 2016:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, October 30, 2016
A Bird Haunting at Greenwood Cemetery
Leader: Bobbi Manian
Focus: Peak of late fall migrants, sparrows and early winter songbirds
Meet: 8:00 am at the main entrance 25th Street/5th Avenue (Nearest subway: R train 25th stop; walk south one block)

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Freshkills Park (Staten Island)
Sunday, October 30, 2016, 10:00am
Bus Tour
Learn about the past, present and future of Freshkills Park development during a guided bus ride through the park. Stops at the top of the park’s hills offer beautiful panoramic views of Staten Island. This tour departs from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George.
Sign Up at EventBrite

Sunday, October 30, 2016, 1:00pm
Bus Tour
Learn about the past, present and future of Freshkills Park development during a guided bus ride through the park. Stops at the top of the park’s hills offer beautiful panoramic views of Staten Island. This tour departs from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George.
Sign Up at EventBrite

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Gateway National Park
Sunday, October 30, 2016, 7:30PM to 8:30PM
Lantern Tour of Fort Tilden
Fee Information: Free
Join a Park Ranger to experience and learn about historic Fort Tilden, in a different way. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather.
Space is limited- Call (718) 338-3799 for reservations.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, October 29, 2016
New Jersey Hotspots
Leader: Robert Machover
Registrar: Karen Asakawa — avocet501@gmail.com or 347-306-0690
Registration opens: Monday, October 17
Ride: $40

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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

Classes: Thursdays, October 20, October 27, and November 3, 6:30-8:30pm
Beginning Birding
Trips: Saturdays, October 29, 8-11am, and November 12, 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. Two fun and educational in-class sessions and field trips to Central Park and Jamaica bay (transport to Jamaica bay included). Limited to 12. $179 (125)
Click here to register

Saturday, October 29, 2016, 9:30am-4pm
Fall Foliage Hike in the Greenbelt, Staten Island
Guide: Gabriel Willow
With NYC Parks and the Greenbelt Conservancy
Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the S.I. Ferry and join us as we journey to Moses Mountain, which provides a panoramic view of Staten Island and points beyond. We'll look for migrating hawks, warblers, and other songbirds—with crimson sumac and other autumn foliage as a backdrop. Bring lunch and water. Transportation on Staten Island provided. Limited to 18. $43 (30)
Click here to register

Sunday, October 30, 2016, 9am-1pm
Fall Migration on Randall's Island
Guides: Gabriel Willow, Christopher Girgenti of Randall's Island
With Randall's Island Park Alliance, Inc.
Meet on the N.W. corner of 102nd Street and FDR Drive. We'll walk across the foot bridge to Randall's Island, an under-explored location in the East River that hosts restored freshwater wetlands and salt marsh. We'll look for fall migrants as we explore the results of recent restoration efforts. Two miles of walking and some modest climbs. Limited to 20. $40 (28)
Click here to register

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North Fork Audubon Society
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Special Event/Birdwalk, Fire Island Hawkwatch with Pat Hanly

Each fall season since 1974, HMANA (the Hawk Migration Association of North America) has monitored the various organized hawk-watches to count migrating hawks and keep a database of species trends. The Fire Island Hawkwatch is the only formal HMANA hawkwatch on Long Island.

NF Audubon member Pat Hanly will be serving as the official hawk counter on Saturday, October 29th, 8am – 4pm. Come out to the hawk-watch to view migrating hawks, learn about hawk migration, go for a bird walk around the Fire Island Lighthouse or just to enjoy the day. Travel on your own to the hawk-watch platform, Robert Moses State Park, parking lot #5. The platform is at the end of the road, west of the lighthouse. (map)

Contact Pat at pat@mattpres.com or call 312-0284 for more information.

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Jamaica Bay NWR
Leader: Lenore 718-343-1391

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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NYC H2O
Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 10am
Ridgewood Reservoir Community Tour

NYC H2O is offering free tours of the Ridgewood Reservoir to community members and the public.

The Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a 50+ acre natural oasis that straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water, it became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950’s and was decommissioned in the 1980’s. Since then, nature took its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin.

Join us to explore this incredible natural resource in the heart of NYC. Please make a reservation.

We will meet in the parking lot at 1 Vermont Place.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Caumsett State Park
Leader: Rich Kelly - 516-509-1094
Where: Caumsett State Park, 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd, Huntington, NY 11743, USA (map)

Trip Etiquette Notify the leader well in advance so they can coordinate car pooling and notify you of last minute meeting time or location changes. Be on time. We depart promptly.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Point Lookout Town Park and Lido Preserve

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, October 29, 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!

Sunday, October 30, 2016
Birding: Raptor Migration at Gateway Drive and Erskine Street (in Spring Creek Park), Brooklyn
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.
Free!

Moses Mountain Hike at 200 Nevada Avenue (in High Rock Park), Staten Island
1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Join us for a jaunt to Moses Mountain to experience the forest in its full fall glory. Enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view, and look for birds of prey.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, October 22, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, October 21, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Oct. 21, 2016
* NYNY1610.21

- Birds mentioned
EURASIAN WIGEON
Horned Grebe
American Bittern
CATTLE EGRET
Virginia Rail
MARBLED GODWIT
Red Knot
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Common Nighthawk
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
LARK SPARROW
Nelson's 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, October 21st 2016 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are EURASIAN WIGEON, CATTLE EGRET, MARBLED GODWIT, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, LARK SPARROW, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, DICKCISSEL, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.

In a week with interesting but not extraordinarily unusual birds the EURASIAN WIGEON, perhaps a returning bird, was spotted Saturday at the Salt Marsh Nature Center section of Marine Park in Brooklyn.

A CATTLE EGRET, now a rather unusual bird in our region, appeared Sunday near the Mount Loretto Unique Area on Staten Island this followed by perhaps the same bird visiting the Parade Ground with Canada Geese at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx on Thursday.

On Sunday 3 MARBLED GODWITS were spotted by a kayaker on Ruffle Bar out in Jamaica Bay these perhaps the same 3 out in the bay on September 17th. Other birds noted in Jamaica Bay included 10 HORNED GREBES, 26 RED KNOTS and a ROYAL TERN. CASPIAN TERN was still at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Sunday. Today another MARBLED GODWIT appeared at Jones Beach West End on the spit off the Coast Guard Station lurking among the large flock of American Oystercatchers.

Other shorebirds included 2 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS along Santapogue Creek off Venetian Boulevard in Lindenhurst Tuesday and WHITE-RUMPED and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS among the birds in the pool east of parking lot 2 at Jones Beach West End last Saturday. Also Saturday at Jones Beach a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW spent the day with other sparrows along the outer turnaround and a LARK SPARROW frequented the short grass around the temporary entrance to field 6 plus a DICKCISSEL was heard moving by West End early in the morning.

NELSON'S SPARROWS are also currently visiting appropriate salt marsh habitat now.

With a number of warblers still lingering in the region among the more unusual were a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at Ridgewood Reservoir in Queens Saturday and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island Monday. Among the other lingering warblers have been one or more of OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE, TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, AMERICAN REDSTART, CAPE MAY, NORTHERN PARULA, MAGNOLIA, BAY-BREASTED, BLACKBURNIAN, YELLOW, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACK-THROATEDS BLUE and GREEN, PRAIRIE and WILSON'S.

With AMERICAN BITTERNS now showing up in coastal marshes including 2 at Tobay Sanctuary Sunday. More unexpected was one by the lake in Prospect Park Wednesday. Prospect also produced a VIRGINIA RAIL in that area late in the week and in Central Park an adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER appeared in the Ramble Tuesday and was still present there today while an immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER has also been residing less openly along the western side of the Great Lawn.

Late COMMON NIGHTHAWKS featured one in Northport and 2 in Setauket Monday.

Hawk variety should now be reaching its peak at local inland hawk lookouts with the added benefit of some nice Fall foliage. Worth a visit.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From the Washington Post:

In Scotland, gusts of wind usher in a quiet energy revolution

More than half of Scotland's electricity now comes from zero-carbon sources such as wind, hydro and solar, and the latest target of 100 percent by 2020 may be within reach.
By Griff Witte October 15

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Even by the blustery standards of this notoriously squall-swept land, Aug. 7 was a particularly gusty day.

Bursts of rushing air swept across the green expanse of the Highlands, felling trees, submerging boats and forcing wind-whipped organizers to cancel food festivals and concerts.

But amid the gale-force havoc, the day also brought a critical milestone in a quiet energy revolution: For the first time ever, the army of spinning white turbines that has sprouted across the lush countryside generated enough electricity to power all of Scotland.

The exceptional output brought the country membership in a small but growing club of nations proving that the vision of a world powered by renewable fuels is closer than many realize. Long derided as a fantasy, a day’s worth of energy harvested purely from the sun and the wind has lately become reality in nations such as Portugal, Denmark and Costa Rica.

In those countries, and others, the gains in renewable production have come quickly and unexpectedly, offering a ray of hope amid dire predictions from scientists about the impact of carbon emissions on the planet.



Scotland over the past decade has set a series of increasingly ambitious renewable-energy targets and has surpassed every one. More than half the country’s electricity now comes from zero-carbon sources such as wind, hydro and solar, and the latest target of 100 percent by 2020 may be within reach.

The United States — with a population 60 times as large and a land mass 120 times greater — is nowhere near that level, hovering at around 13 percent.

But Scotland’s experience with renewables is instructive. For decades, this nation within the United Kingdom floated on a sea of lucrative oil and gas. With those supplies dwindling, however, Scots from across the political spectrum launched a concerted effort to tap another rich vein of energy, one far more obvious than the fossil fuels buried deep offshore.

“We have a great resource,” said Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, an industry association. “It’s Scotland’s terrible weather.”

The struggle to harness Scotland’s desultory climate and turn it into the keystone of the country’s 21st-century energy strategy has been marked by unusually broad agreement about the virtue of renewables.

Unlike in other countries, there was no debate in Scotland over whether human-made climate change is real. Across the political spectrum, parties have lined up to back a shift toward cleaner fuels. As the country’s last coal-fired plants shuttered, authorities sped the approval process for ­clean-energy projects and enabled a boom in installation that led to a tripling of renewable energy capacity in less than a decade.

“So many issues suffer from interparty tribalism,” said Patrick Harvie, the Green Party’s ­co-leader in the Scottish Parliament. “This wasn’t one of them.”
Wind turbines turn at the Braes of Doune Wind Farm near Stirling Castle in Scotland. (Russell Cheyne/Reuters)

The success of Scotland’s strategy can be seen at the Whitelee Wind Farm, the U.K.’s largest, where 215 turbines spin gracefully over 15 square miles of rolling scrubland.

The farm, just a half-hour’s drive from Glasgow, is open to the public; schoolchildren tour it daily and are encouraged by friendly guides to step right up to the giant turbines and “give them a little cuddle.”

“It’s visible from so many places in the city,” said Harvie, who represents Glasgow. “It’s come to be seen as an icon for Glasgow, almost in the way ship building has been historically.”

But amid overall public enthusiasm for renewables, there have also been hurdles, including a lawsuit by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. His company sued over the effect of a planned offshore wind farm on views from one of his golf courses. Trump ultimately lost, and preliminary work on the project is to begin within weeks.

More serious obstacles lie ahead, however, threatening to derail Scotland’s progress entirely. Most notably, the U.K. government has shifted dramatically away from support for onshore wind and solar power as it prioritizes other sources, including nuclear energy and fracking.

The move began last year under then-Prime Minister David Cameron — a former clean-energy champion who abruptly abandoned his support in a bid to rein in public spending on renewables — and has continued under his successor, Theresa May.

May’s government last month green-lighted Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation and this month overrode ­local objections to allow hydraulic fracturing — fracking — under homes for the first time.

Subsidies for solar and onshore wind, meanwhile, have been slashed, with the government insisting that the public can’t continue to bear the cost of technologies that have dropped dramatically in cost and that should be able to compete without help from taxpayers.

The U.K.’s lurch away from the renewable sources that Scotland favors has deepened an already substantial schism between the two governments. Scotland nearly broke from the U.K. in a 2014 referendum and has threatened to renew its push for independence since June’s vote by Britain to leave the European Union, despite Scottish objections.

The widening gap over energy policy, Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said, is just one more reason Scotland needs greater control over its own affairs. “They should allow us to decide which technologies we take forward,” he said.

As it is, subsidies are set at the U.K. level, and the cuts have thrown into doubt whether Scotland can meet its target of 100 percent renewable power within the next four years.

“I don’t want to give up the ghost just yet,” said Wheelhouse, a member of the governing Scottish National Party, which supports independence. “But it’s certainly become much more challenging.”

Brexit, too, has added to the uncertainty. E.U.-wide targets have often been important in pushing Britain toward cleaner fuels. Once Britain is outside the bloc, that impetus will disappear.

Still, companies that have invested in Scotland say the opportunities here may be simply too good to pass up, no matter the broader political climate.

Jason Ormiston, British public affairs manager for the Swedish utility Vattenfall, said his company sees vast potential in Scotland. That’s despite the fact that Vattenfall’s signature project here, an offshore wind farm that will feature some of the world’s most powerful turbines, was held up in litigation for several years while Trump sought to permanently block it.

Now that Trump has lost that battle and work is proceeding on a farm designed to power two-thirds the population of Aberdeen — about 68,000 homes — Ormiston said the company is actively scouting new opportunities.

“Scotland’s one of the windiest places in Europe, and there’s a supportive government here. They will back good wind farms,” he said. “So we’re here to stay.”

Ormiston said the company is particularly intrigued by the idea of floating turbines, which are being tested in Scotland and could help overcome the geological challenges of a sea floor that drops away precipitously just a few miles from shore.

Trials for new wave and ­tidal-energy technologies have also found a home in Scotland, giving the country the chance to become a leader in those ­still-unproven sectors.

Even without them, Scotland has already shown that renewables can be the mainstay of its energy supply, not just a complement to traditional fuels, said Lang Banks, director of the environmental group WWF Scotland.

Since Aug. 7, when the country’s wind production first surpassed total energy consumption for a single day, the feat has been repeated several times.

“Scotland has the potential to produce well more energy than it needs from renewable sources,” Banks said.

The country’s next challenge, Banks and others said, is to figure out how to translate success in electricity production to lagging areas, such as heating and transport.

“We’ve decarbonized much of our electricity system. That’s a big success. But the hard bit is still to come,” said Stuart, the Scottish Renewables chief. “This has to be the beginning of the story. It can’t be the end.”

Karla Adam in London contributed to this report.
...Read more

Monday, October 17, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, October 22, 2016 to Sunday, October 23, 2016:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, October 23, 2016, 11:30am – 1:30pm
A Tree Grows in Greenpoint: Trees and The Built Environment

Do you want to know more about the trees in your parks and neighborhood? Join Audubon New York and Prospect Park Alliance in McGolrick Park, Greenpoint for this FREE hands-on workshop to learn why street trees are important for birds and the people of Brooklyn. Participants will use field guides to ID City trees by their different characteristics and participate in a tree survey to learn how scientists observe trees for health and disease. Don’t miss this opportunity to become a tree expert! Open to adults and families. To register for this FREE program, visit: Audubon-newyork.eventbrite.com

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Floyd Bennett Field
Leader: Rob Jett aka "The City Birder"
Focus: Peak sparrow and winter songbird migration, raptors
Car fee: $10.00
Registrar: Janet Schumacher janets33@optonline.net or 718-594-7480
Registration Period: Oct 15th – Oct 20th

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Freshkills Park (Staten Island)
Sunday, October 23, 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

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Gateway National Park
Saturday, October 22, 2016, 8:30PM to 10:00PM
Stargazing
Fee Information: free
Location: Great Kills Park Parking Lot A
Join the Staten Island Chapter of the Amateur Astronomer's Association for public stargazing at Parking Lot A. Binoculars and telescopes are provided, but please bring your own if you have them. Inclement weather will cancel this program.

Sunday, October 23, 2016, 2:00PM to 3:30PM
Beachcombing Wrack Line Journal Hike
Fee Information: free
Location: Great Kills Park Beach Center Lot G
Join a NPS to investigate the wrack line, the line of debris left on the beach by high tide. Join us for this exploration as we tally and illustrate findings in an effort to understand species and populations that live near our shore. Dress appropriately and bring water and snacks. Wear appropriate footwear, as you may get your feet wet hiking close to the shore. Registrations are required, please call 718-354-4655.

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, October 22, 2016, 8:30am
Caumsett State Park
Leaders: John Gluth (631-827-0120) Ken Thompson (631-612-8028)
Northern State to exit 42N (Route 35). 35 to 25A. 25A west to West Neck Road (right turn). West Neck/Lloyd Harbor Rd. into Lloyd Neck. Entrance to park on left. Meet in Parking lot.

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, October 23, 2016 - 9:00AM
Dune Road Adventure
Late shorebirds, early waterfowl, straggling waders, and migrating raptors will be our targets as we make numerous stops along the way.
Registration: 631-885-1881 or email aveblue@gmail.com

Directions: From Sunrise Highway take exit 65 south to Rte. 24. Make a left onto Montauk Highway then a left onto Ponquoque Rd. Continue south then make a left onto Shinnecock Rd, then right onto Foster Ave. This will eventually lead you over the bridge to Dune Road where a left brings you to our starting point. We'll meet at the east end of the road where it meets the Shinnecock inlet.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Randall’s Island
Leader: Alan Drogin
Registrar: Miriam Rakowski — miriamrakowski@hotmail.com or 212-749-7376
Registration opens: Monday, October 10
Ride: $10 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

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North Fork Audubon Society
Saturday, October 22, 2016 (Rain Date, Sunday, October 23)
“OWLTOBER” Celebration
** NOTE: THERE IS NO 8AM BIRDWALK **

11:00AM – 4PM Open House at the Red House at Inlet Pond County Park (map)
2PM Bird Walk with Rick Kedenburg. Meet at Red House parking lot.
4PM “OWLTOBER” Program with Tom Damiani at Red House. Live owls provided by the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center.

Immediately after Tom’s program in the Red House, he will lead an “Owl Prowl” in Inlet Pond County Park. Let’s see if we can see and hear Great-horned Owls and Screech Owls!

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Oceanside Preserve
Leader: Ralph 785-3375

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, October 22, 2016 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Goodhue Woods
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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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, October 23, 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

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, October 22, 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!

Highbridge River Walk at Dyckman Sitting Area (in Highbridge Park), Manhattan
9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
We'll search for wildflowers, insects, birds, and some of Manhattan's last remaining freshwater seeps and springs.
Free!

Discovery Walks for Families: Belvedere’s Kingdom at Belvedere Castle (in Central Park), Manhattan
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Explore the landscape surrounding Belvedere Castle in full fall glory!
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, October 15, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, October 14, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Oct. 14, 2016
* NYNY1610.14

- Birds mentioned
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
CACKLING GOOSE
EURASIAN WIGEON
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
Lesser Yellowlegs
Red Knot
Short-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
Lesser Black-backed Gull
CASPIAN TERN
BLACK TERN
Royal Tern
Common Nighthawk
Red-headed Woodpecker
American Pipit
Orange-crowned Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
LARK SPARROW
SUMMER TANAGER
BLUE GROSBEAK
Dickcissel
Bobolink
Eastern Meadowlark
Rusty Blackbird

- 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

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, October 14th 2016 at 9pm. Firstly we sadly note the recent passing of Sarah Elliot and Herb Roth. For a long time both have been enthusiastic contributors to the regional birding scene and they will be remembered fondly. The highlights of today's tape are GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, CACKLING GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, BLACK TERN, CASPIAN TERN, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, LARK SPARROW and CLAY-COLORED SPARROW.

Migration this past week while not overwhelming did provide a good variety and some interesting highlights. Among the increasing numbers of waterfowl perhaps the most unusual were spotted during a morning watch last Monday at Fort Tilden when a single GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was picked out in a small flock of Canada Geese moving by the lookout this followed later by a CACKLING GOOSE identified overhead in a flock of 13 Canadas this presumably the same CACKLING noted earlier that morning moving west with the same number of Canadas over Jones Beach West End. Also notable was a drake EURASIAN WIGEON with American Wigeon on the lake at the north end of Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown last Saturday.

Among the shorebirds a single AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was calling as it passed over both Jones Beach West End and Fort Tilden Monday this following 3 at Floyd Bennett Field with some Black-bellied Plovers and RED KNOTS and another at Robert Moses State Park last Sunday. Eight LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER and 3 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS were counted among the shorebirds at Santapogue Creek off Venetian Boulevard in Lindenhurst Wednesday and unexpected was a flock of 20 LESSER YELLOWLEGS coming in off the ocean at Moses Park last Sunday. Another late sighting was a BLACK TERN moving by Fort Tilden Monday and besides a small number of continuing ROYAL TERNS were 2 CASPIAN TERNS at Moses Park Sunday that day also finding another CASPIAN and 2 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS at the Randall's Island saltmarsh. There were at least 14 LESSER BLACK-BACKEDS along the Jones strip and environs last Sunday their numbers slowly diminishing.

Notable among the passerine reports were a SUMMER TANAGER from Central Park's north woods last Sunday and a CONNECTICUT WARBLER videoed on the Trinity Church property in lower Manhattan Tuesday morning. More anticipated were the few BLUE GROSBEAK sightings involving one at Robert Moses State Park Monday, another at Jones Beach West End Tuesday and on Wednesday one in Central Park's north end and the second for the Fall in the field at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye. Among the other birds at Marshlands this week have been a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT since Tuesday and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER today. Another CHAT was at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island Thursday and other ORANGE-CROWNEDS included one in Central Park Monday and one at Alley Pond Park in Queens Tuesday.

Among the sparrows a LARK SPARROW was photographed Thursday in Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and CLAY-COLORED SPARROW reports mentioned 2 at Jones Beach West End today and another in Central Park Wednesday. On the CLAY-COLOREDS remember to note the unmarked buffy lores to rule out very similar young Chipping Sparrows. A DICKCISSEL was noted moving by Robert Moses State Park Tuesday. One or more RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were being noted in Central Park early in the week though the number involved seems uncertain.

Other migrants during the week included some lingering warblers, a variety of hawks, some getting late migrants including COMMON NIGHTHAWK and BOBOLINK and some interesting seasonal migrants such as EASTERN MEADOWLARK, AMERICAN PIPIT and RUSTY BLACKBIRD with 55 of the latter counted at Fort Tilden Monday.

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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From National Geographic:

Climate Change Is Causing Earlier Springs in National Parks

Three-quarters of parks surveyed are experiencing warmer weather earlier in the year, which could hurt their ability to manage invasive species.

By Becky Little
PUBLISHED October 6, 2016

The National Park Service was created to protect and preserve the United States’ natural wonders. But what happens when climate change starts to alter these sites?

On Thursday, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a new report revealing that three-quarters of 276 national parks are experiencing an earlier onset of spring. Half of the parks studied are experiencing “extreme” early springs.

The report authors discovered this by looking at historical data dating back to 1901.

For the parks in the “extreme” category, they found that “the onset of spring is earlier than 95 percent of the historical range,” says Jake Weltzin, an ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey and one of the authors of the report.

“And we’re talking on the order of weeks.”

Good News for Invasive Species

Jewell made Thursday’s announcement in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, one of the sites that has experienced an early onset of spring. Weltzin says that, like many parks, Shenandoah is struggling to manage invasive species like kudzu—a scourge that can be exacerbated by earlier springs.

“Biological invasions are a really big deal in the national parks,” he says. In Saguaro National Park, Arizona, near where Weltzin lives, one of the invasive species that park staff struggle with most is buffelgrass.

“The warmer the winter and the warmer the spring, the sooner it can start growing,” Weltzin says of buffelgrass. “And so a lot of the other native plants are sort of sequestered in place.”

Another problem that earlier springs present for parks is a mismatch between plants and pollinators.

“Not every organism is going to respond the same way to an early spring,” Weltzin says. “Some plants might respond a certain way, but the hummingbirds or other pollinators might not be affected in part because of where the migration routes are taking them or when they start migrating.

“So they may be arriving and it may be too late for certain species,” he says.

Looking Ahead

The Park Service’s new report was actually initiated by the National Phenology Network, a science nonprofit of which Weltzin is executive director. For the report, the network used a tool that it had developed to assess the onset of spring in different locations.

“What we’re doing really is producing maps of spring for the entire nation,” he says. “The national parks is just sort of the first application. As we go along, we hope to be able to apply this to the national wildlife refuges and other protected areas.”

The purpose of the current report is to give staff at individual parks a sense of how climate change is affecting their sites, rather than make prescriptions about how parks should deal with this change. Given the diverse ecosystems among the more than 250 parks surveyed, more research is needed to determine the more specific ways in which climate change is affecting particular parks.

“There’s clearly more work to be done,” says Weltzin. “And you know, we’ve got about a century behind us, and there’s a century ahead of us.”
...Read more

Monday, October 10, 2016

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, October 15, 2016 to Sunday, October 16, 2016:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Fall in Prospect Park
Meet 7 AM at Bartel Pritchard entrance of Prospect Park
Leader: Ed Crowne
Focus: peak of sparrows, raptors, early winter birds
Meeting site: Bartel Pritchard Square entrance: http://tinyurl.com/PPBPent

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Gateway National Park
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Greenbelt to Great Kills Hike
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Carousel at Williwbrook Park (end of Eton Place)
Fees: free
Join the Greenbelt educators and NPS rangers for a hike from forest to field to coastal habitat.

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Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Lenoir Nature Preserve
Hawk Watch
19 Dudley St. Yonkers
Meet at 10 AM behind the Lenoir Mansion
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

Joint Trip with BRSS Audubon
Sunday October 16, 2016

Read Sanctuary and Marshlands Conservancy
Sign up by calling Doug Bloom, 914-834-5206
Meet at 8 AM at Read Sanctuary. We will be looking for late migrants.
http://hras.org/wtobird/edith.html

Hudson River Audubon Society field trips are free. Non-members/ newcomers are welcome and are encouraged to join us as members ($20 introductory offer).

Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them. Some are available for loan for those who need them. Dress appropriately for the weather. For more information call Michael Bochnik at (914) 237-9331

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 9:00 AM
Massapequa Preserve and Wantagh Twin Ponds

We will bird the ponds at Massapequa Preserve, then head east in search of variety of shore ducks and land birds.
Registration: 516-433-5590
Directions: Meet at the Massapequa Preserve entrance at Pittsburgh Avenue and Parkside Blvd.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Floyd Bennett Field
Leader: Rob Jett aka "The City Birder"
Registrar: Monica Berger— monicabergerbklyn@gmail.com or 718-857-2714
Registration opens: Monday, October 3
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, October 15, 8am-8pm
NYC Audubon Day at Hawk Mountain, PA
Guides: Gabriel Willow, Hawk Mountain Education Specialist
Mid-October is the perfect time to visit Hawk Mountain, one of the premier hawk-watching spots in the East. Gabriel Willow and a Hawk Mountain education specialist will introduce us to the variety of raptors that may be seen, including golden eagles, buteos, and falcons The path to the hawk watch site is a 3/4 mile hike through mountainous woodland. Bring lunch. Group program, trail admission, and transportation by van included. Limited to 12. $139 (97)
Click here to register

Saturday, October 15, 2016, 8:30-11am
Fall Migrants of Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Guide: Annie Barry
Meet at the entrance of Inwood Hill Park at the corner of Isham Street and Seaman Avenue. Join Annie Barry for a hike through a mature forest in search of kinglets, warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, thrushes and more, then search the shore of the Inwood Hill Park saltmarshes for herons and ducks. Some hilly walking required. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Sunday, October 16, 2016, 8am-3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Freshkills Park
Guide: Cliff Hagen
Meet at the Staten Island Ferry and start your trip with a journey across the Upper Bay! This is a special opportunity to see Freshkills Park in transition from what was once the world’s largest landfill into an expansive park. Currently closed to the general public, the Park is home to rolling grasslands, tidal marshes, successional woodlands and a freshwater pond system, which host an array of breeding birds, butterflies, mammals, frogs, and turtles. Each autumn, migrant species abound as they travel along the North Atlantic Flyway. Sparrows, osprey, a collection of waterfowl, and lingering warblers seek refuge in the park. Overhead, raptors soar along the terminal moraine as they make their way south for the impending winter. Late-blooming flowers attract an assortment of butterflies and dragonflies as they, too, fly south for the winter. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included. Limited to 12. $57 (40)
Click here to register

Sundays October 9, November 13, December 11, 9:30-11:30am
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). Limited to 20. Meet at Perkins Visitor Center at 9:30am

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NYC H2O
​Saturday, October 15, 2016, 10am
Ridgewood Reservoir Community Tour

NYC H2O is offering free tours of the Ridgewood Reservoir to community members and the public.

The Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a 50+ acre natural oasis that straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water, it became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950’s and was decommissioned in the 1980’s. Since then, nature took its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin.
Join us to explore this incredible natural resource in the heart of NYC. Please make a reservation.
We will meet in the parking lot at 1 Vermont Place.

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, October 15, 2016, 8am
Hoffman Center
Leader: Barbara - 628-9022

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, October 15, 2016 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Conference House Park
Enjoy a fall, natural history tour of Staten Island’s southernmost woodland at Ward’s Point and a discussion of the Lenape Indians. Utilizing stone tools from the Archaic and Woodland periods Ray Matarazzo will demonstrate hunting, building an survival skills.
Participants will meet at the Conference House Park Visitors Center at 7455 Hylan Boulevard. For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at 718-317-7666.

Sunday, October 16, 2016 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Crooke’s Point at Great Kills Park
Maritime sand spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic topographical features formed and sculpted by water and wind action. Join naturalist Paul T. Lederer in a “talk and walk” where he will discuss the geology and human history of the site as well as the plants and animals that call this place home.
We will meet at the Beach Center Parking Lot in Great Kills Park. To get to the Beach Center Parking Lot take Hylan Boulevard to Buffalo Street and drive down Buffalo Street to just where the dirt permit road begins.
For more information or directions contact Paul at his cell phone 718-354-9200.

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Queens County Bird Club
Sunday, Oct 16, 2016
Prospect Park
Leader: Arie Gilbert - 917-693-7178
Meet by 7:45am on Flatbush / Empire Blvd. and Ocean Ave.
Please contact leaders at least 2 days before trip to let them know you are attending

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, October 16, 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

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, October 15, 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!

Bird Watching at the Ridgewood Reservoir at Main entrance across from the Vermont Place Parking Lot
8:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Catch the fall migration at a bird-watching workshop led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.
Free!

Birding: Fall Migration at Union Turnpike Parking Lot (in Cunningham Park), Queens
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.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!

Discovery Walks for Families: Living Laboratory at Chess and Checkers House (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Discover what plants and animals call this secluded park woodland their home!
Free!

Nocturnal Wildlife at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!
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Saturday, October 08, 2016

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, October 7, 2016

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Oct. 7, 2016
* NYNY1610.07

- Birds Mentioned

FRANKLIN’S GULL+
RUFOUS-type HUMMINGBIRD+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

EURASIAN WIGEON
Black Vulture
Bald Eagle
American Oystercatcher
American Golden-Plover
Whimbrel
MARBLED GODWIT
Stilt Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Common Nighthawk
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Philadelphia Vireo
Tennessee Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Eastern Towhee
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
VESPER SPARROW
LARK SPARROW
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW
NELSON’S SPARROW
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
BLUE GROSBEAK
DICKCISSEL
Rusty Blackbird

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, October 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are FRANKLIN’S GULL, a RUFOUS-type HUMMINGBIRD, EURASIAN WIGEON, MARBLED GODWIT, LARK, CLAY-COLORED,GRASSHOPPER, VESPER and NELSON’S SPARROWS, BLUE GROSBEAK, DICKCISSEL and more.

On Tuesday evening a FRANKLIN’S GULL was spotted in a flock of LAUGHING GULLS and 2 CASPIAN TERNS on the shore of Wolf’s Pond Park on Staten Island. The Gull shortly lifted off on the rising tide and headed south towards New Jersey.

A SELASPHOROUS HUMMINGBIRD, referred to as a RUFOUS, was photographed Thursday morning at the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area but has not been seen since - hopefully analysis of the photos can confirm the identification.

The drake EURASIAN WIGEON was still present on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at least to Tuesday, and another drake was spotted Tuesday on the Mill Pond in Setauket. Among the other birds at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last Sunday were a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, 2 STILT SANDPIPERS, 2 CASPIAN TERNS, and a BALD EAGLE plus BAY-BREASTED and CAPE MAY WARBLERS.

Other regional shorebirds featured a MARBLED GODWIT still in the Oak Beach area last Sunday, viewed near Fire Island Inlet from the Oak Beach Road, a WHIMBREL at Jones Beach West End last Saturday, and single AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS last Saturday at Floyd Bennett Field and at Great Kills Park on Staten Island, the latter site also producing another WHIMBREL. Shorebirds at Jones Beach West End Monday included 1 WESTERN, 1 PECTORAL and 2 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS plus hundreds of AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS.

To finish up the non-passerines, a BLACK VULTURE, a very unusual visitor at the Fire Island hawk watch last Sunday, was later seen at Oak Beach, and a count of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS along the Jones Beach strip last Saturday came up with 18.

Among a few lingering CASPIAN TERNS were 2 at Jones Beach West End at least to Wednesday and 1 last Saturday at Brooklyn’s Plumb Beach along with a nice gathering of 29 ROYAL TERNS, 5 still there Monday, when 12 were also still at Cupsogue County Park.

A somewhat late push of COMMON NIGHTHAWKS this week included up to 30 from Sunday to Thursday over the Setauket Mill Pond at Frank Melville Park and over 20 at Caumsett State Park late morning Thursday.

A nice variety of passerines during the week featured single LARK SPARROWS at the Fire Island Lighthouse Saturday and at Gilgo Sunday, with a report at Central Park’s north end Tuesday, while CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were spotted Tuesday in Prospect Park and Coney Island Creek Park. A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was found at Floyd Bennett Field Monday, with a VESPER SPARROW in Central Park Wednesday, and NELSON’S SPARROWS are now appearing in regional salt marshes such as Plumb Beach in Brooklyn and along the south shore of Long Island, though some internet photos seem to indicate the difficulties that do exist in separating the races of NELSON’S from the variable fall plumages of SALTMARSH SPARROWS. LINCOLN’S and WHITE-CROWNED are among the other SPARROWS now moving through.

Three BLUE GROSBEAKS his week included 1 at Inwood Hill in Manhattan Monday, followed by 1 at Jones Beach West End Tuesday and another at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye today.

DICKCISSELS have also been moving through this week, including 2 at Floyd Bennett Field last Sunday, another at Caumsett State Park that day, 1 at Jones Beach West End Monday and Tuesday, another at Coney Island Creek Tuesday, and 1 visiting Kissena Park in Queens Wednesday.

A PHILADELPHIA VIREO was noted on Staten Island Sunday, with another reported from Prospect Park Thursday.

WARBLER variety has been expectedly decreasing, but decent continuing variety has featured such species as TENNESSEE, CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED and WILSON’S.

Other notable migrants this week have included YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER and RUSTY BLACKBIRD, while among those arriving in numbers have been some YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and EASTERN TOWHEE.

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, October 07, 2016

Friday's Foto

The Philadelphia Vireo is a small songbird that can be seen passing through NYC during migration, although more frequently during their south-bound, Fall trip when the route is more easterly. Similar in coloration and size to the Warbling Vireo and Tennessee Warbler, the former has yellowish flanks, but not yellow on breast, and has less distinct facial pattern, the latter is slightly smaller, has thinner, more pointed bill, and a bright green back.

Nearly 90% of the world’s population breeds in the Canadian boreal forest. They winter in southern Mexico and Central America south to Panama.

The IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as “Least Concern” due to its extremely large range and increasing population trends.

The scientific name, Vireo philadelphicus, means "small green migratory bird" of "Philadelphia" (it was first described by John Cassin in 1842 from a specimen collected near Philadelphia).

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Mongabay:

International trade in African grey parrots banned
3 October 2016 / Shreya Dasgupta
Governments have voted to ban international commercial trade in popular pet birds, the African grey parrots, by including the species in the Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

• All cross-border commercial trade in wild-caught African grey parrots is now banned.
• Captive-bred birds can be traded, but only from breeding facilities that are registered with CITES.
• Currently, most African grey parrot exports originate in the Congo basin, according to WWF.

African grey parrots — talented mimics and one of the world’s most trafficked birds — now have a reason to cheer.

At a conservation meeting in South Africa last week, countries voted to ban all international commercial trade in wild-caught African grey parrots by including the species in the Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Captive-bred birds will be allowed to be traded, but only from breeding facilities that are registered with CITES.

Seven range countries Angola, Chad, Gabon, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo, along with the European Union and the United States of America sponsored the proposal at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“If this bird could talk — and it certainly can — the African grey parrot would say thank you,” Susan Lieberman, VP of International Policy at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and head of the WCS delegation at CITES, said in a statement. “Now with the protection of Appendix I, and the enhanced enforcement that is needed, the voice of the African grey parrot will not be silenced across the great forests of Africa.”

African grey parrots are excellent mimics. Alex, a famous African grey parrot for example, could mimic over 100 human words. Unsurprisingly, these parrots are extremely popular as pets.

But these gregarious birds can also be trapped easily from the wild in large numbers, resulting in unrestricted trapping for the pet trade. This unregulated trade, however, has decimated wild parrot populations across Africa. In Ghana, for instance, nearly 99 percent of African grey parrots have disappeared from the country’s forests since 1992, a study published last year found. Most other range countries have also reported a population decline of around 50 percent over three generations. In fact, the species is now extremely rare or locally extinct in Benin, Burundi, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Togo. Following its widespread decline, the African grey parrot was up-listed to Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List in 2012.

Illegal trade in these birds is also rampant under the guise of legal trade, the proposal submitted by the range countries notes, thanks to “falsified or fraudulent CITES permits, clandestine shipments, or through false identification of wild-caught birds as captive-bred.”

According to the proposal, several range countries have reported large exports of captive-bred specimens despite there being no known breeding facilities in these countries. For example, some 7,266 birds were reported as captive-bred specimens by Guinea, Central African Republic, ROC, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo between 2008 and 2013. However, no African grey parrot captive breeding facility is known to exist in these countries.

Currently, most African grey parrot exports originate in the Congo basin, according to WWF.

“Fraud and corruption have enabled traffickers to vastly exceed current quotas and continue to harvest unsustainable numbers of African grey parrots from Congo’s forests to feed the illegal trade,” Colman O Criodain, WWF Global Wildlife Policy Manager, said in a statement. “Banning the trade will make it easier for law enforcement agencies to crack down on the poachers and smugglers, and give the remaining wild populations some much-needed breathing space.”
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