Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From Engadget:

Ireland votes to stop investing public money in fossil fuels
It'd be the the first country to officially cut ties with coal and oil.

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
01.29.17 in Green

Ireland just took a big step toward cutting coal and oil out of the picture. Its Parliament has passed a bill that stops the country from investing in fossil fuels as part of an €8 billion ($8.6 billion) government fund. The measure still has to clear a review before it becomes law, but it would make Ireland the first nation to completely eliminate public funding for fossil fuel sources. Even countries that have committed to ditching non-renewable energy, like Iceland, can't quite make that claim. The closest is Norway, which ditched some of its investments back in 2015.

The bill was put forward by Deputy Thomas Pringle, who sees this as a matter of "ethical financing." It's a message to energy companies that both deny human-made climate change and lobby politicians to look the other way, he says.

Ireland's decision won't have the greatest environmental impact given its relative size, but this is still an aggressive move when many other countries aren't ready or willing to drop their support for conventional energy. It's a particularly sharp contrast to the US, whose new leadership is already going to great lengths to suppress climate change science and protect the fossil fuel industry.

Source: Independent

Monday, January 30, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, February 4, 2017 to Sunday, February 5, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, February 5, 2017, 10am – 11am
Early Morning Bird Walk: Backyard Birds
Join the Prospect Park Alliance and learn about the Great Backyard Bird Count and search for your favorite “backyard bird.” Find woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches eating from feeders along Prospect Park’s nature trails.
Please note this tour leaves promptly at 10 am. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday February 4, 2017 – Meet at 8am
Montauk
Leader: Eileen Schwinn
Always cold and exciting, a field trip to Montauk Point, Camp Hero and other Points of Interest in the Montauk area, is planned. We will meet at 8 am at the closed Concession Stand at the Lighthouse - The End - and work our way back west! Dress in multiple layers and dress WARMLY (The Restrooms are open - and heated) We will be checking our recent reports for the rare birds which sometimes appear in the general area, and as always, view Block Island Sound from the Camp Hero Bluffs for great rafts of seabirds. Contact Eileen Schwinn, beachmed@optonline.net for more info, and 516-662-7751 the day of the Field Trip.

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Gateway National Recreation Area
Sunday, February 5, 2017, 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Experience the Winter Beach at Fort Tilden
The sun, moon and earth are in position today to create a notable low tide. Explore the intertidal zone and walk the sea floor with American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen, author of "Adventures at the Beach" to observe the usually-hidden biological treasures from beyond the tides. This is an American Littoral Society partnership program.
Location: Fort Tilden, Building 1
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, February 4, 2017, 8:30am
Jones Beach West End
Leaders: Mike Cooper (516-523-2369), Bob Grover (516-318-8536)
Meet in the parking lot near the Coast Guard Station at West End.

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Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Thompson Pond Preserve
We will search for wintering Golden Eagles
Meet at the preserve at 9 AM
Directions: Take the Taconic Parkway to the exit for Route 199.
Go east on Route 199 to Route 82;
Follow Route 82 south to Pine Plains.
Turn right onto Lake Road, and follow 1.6 miles to the parking area and preserve entrance on left.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, February 4, 2017 — Rain date February 5
Coney Island Creek to Coney Island Pier
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Regina Ryan — reginaryan@reginaryanbooks.com or 212-787-5589
Registration opens: Monday, January 23
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
Saturday, February 4, 2017, 9am – 3pm
Winter Waterfowl of the Brooklyn Coast
Guide: Kellye Rosenheim
Join Kellye Rosenheim on a tour of Brooklyn’s most productive coastal winter waterfowl sites. We’ll visit Bush Terminal Piers Park, Gravesend, and Calvert Vaux in search of saltwater species such as common goldeneye, long-tailed ducks, loons, and horned and red-necked grebes. Transport by passenger van included.
Limited to 12. $86 (60)
Click here to register

Saturday, February 4, 2017, 10am – 3pm
Hoot and Howl at Wave Hill
Did you know that owls and coyotes are thriving in the Bronx? Find out how these reclusive creatures adapt to life in the big city at Wave Hill’s Hoot & Howl Weekend. Listen to presentations by scientists and naturalists, talk to students who are studying these urban animals and meet live owls. Families can make their own owl and coyote projects and enjoy storytelling at the Family Art Project. NYC Audubon members enjoy 2-for-1 admission.

Sunday, February 5, 2017, 10am – 3pm
Hoot and Howl at Wave Hill
Did you know that owls and coyotes are thriving in the Bronx? Find out how these reclusive creatures adapt to life in the big city at Wave Hill’s Hoot & Howl Weekend. Listen to presentations by scientists and naturalists, talk to students who are studying these urban animals and meet live owls. Families can make their own owl and coyote projects and enjoy storytelling at the Family Art Project. NYC Audubon members enjoy 2-for-1 admission.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Black Dirt
Leader: Arie Gilbert (917) 693-7178

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Hempstead Lake State 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, February 4, 2017
Winter Waterfowl at Baisley Pond Park Parking Lot (in Baisley Pond Park), Queens
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
This program will focus on the different species of waterfowl that reside in our parks during the colder winter months.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, January 28, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 27, 2017:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 27, 2017
* NYNY1701.27

- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
TRUMPETER SWAN+
ROSS'S GULL+
MEW GULL+
GYRFALCON+
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE+
PAINTED BUNTING+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Ross's Goose
Cackling Goose
Tundra Swan
Eurasian Wigeon
Green-winged Teal (Eurasian form "Common Teal")
King Eider
Barrow's Goldeneye
Black Vulture
SANDHILL CRANE
Dovekie
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-headed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Red-headed Woodpecker
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Evening Grosbeak

- 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, January 27th 2017 at 8pm. The highlights of today's tape are MEW GULL, TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, PAINTED BUNTING, SANDHILL CRANE, a mostly New Jersey GYRFALCON and of course the Adirondacks ROSS'S GULL and much more.

Today a MEW GULL, perhaps the bird noted in Brooklyn on December 12th, was seen at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4 at the end of 58th Street on the Hudson River and the TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE on Long Island's north fork was still being enjoyed at least to Wednesday though it has made extended moves recently. Eventually so far it has returned fairly regularly to the vicinity of the blue house number 1625 North Sea Drive where it does feed in the feeders around there. The female plumaged PAINTED BUNTING also continues at its seaside location in Annadale on Staten Island but it's been staying in the denser vegetation along the beach at the end of Arden Avenue. Look especially near the feeder at the western end of the lawn area adjacent to the dead end Ocean Driveway. Unlike the two of those species the SANDHILL CRANE on eastern Long Island was last seen last Saturday not on Wainscot Pond but in a field on Wainscot Hollow Road and has eluded birders since.

Of note is a gray GYRFALCON seen since last Saturday generally across the Hudson River at the State Line Lookout in Alpine New Jersey but it may've ventured over to New York today and then there's the immature ROSS'S GULL visiting the Tupper Lake area in the Adirondacks recently first noted Wednesday and still there today.

For the rarer geese the PINK-FOOTED was still visiting Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream at least to Wednesday and the BARNACLE has recently been most reliably found at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale with a few ROSS'S GOOSE reports featuring one at St. Charles Saturday and at the nearby private golf course Sunday, one at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx last Saturday and one in the Cutchogue area on eastern Long Island along Oregon Road Tuesday and off Alva's Lane Wednesday. Some CACKLING GEESE include 5 identified on Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton Sunday. A drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was just west of the Sands Point Preserve last Saturday but not Sunday and a female has appeared again on Staten Island on the pond at Moravian Cemetery in New Dorp first noted Wednesday. An immature male KING EIDER was reported Saturday off Centre Island east of Bayville and 2 KINGS were present off Montauk Point last Saturday these an adult and immature male, 2 females were also in Fire Island Inlet this week. Also at Montauk a DOVEKIE was reported off the town of Montauk Thursday and good numbers of RAZORBILLS have been off the point where 4 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were seen Tuesday. Two TUNDRA SWANS were still on Lake Ronkonkoma Monday and 6 were noted moving northwest over Brooklyn Wednesday morning. A TRUMPETER SWAN of unknown origin continues in the vicinity of Nyack Beach State Park in Rockland County. A EURASIAN WIGEON was in Setauket Harbor Tuesday with the Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL on the Setauket Mill Pond Saturday. Other EURASIAN WIGEON include a drake continuing in Eastport at Pepperidge Lake or the Mill Pond and another on Fresh Pond in Fort Salonga Wednesday with the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center bird also seen today.

The adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was still at Cammann's Pond in Merrick last Saturday, another appeared at Southards' Pond Park in Babylon Sunday and a third adult visited the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4 Monday. The latter site also featured a GLAUCOUS GULL Sunday with others noted Saturday in North Bellport, Sunday off Sands Point and at Sagg Pond. A RAZORBILL was off Brighton Beach in Brooklyn Sunday.

At least 9 BLACK VULTURES were seen together in Brooklyn Wednesday these over Green-wood Cemetery where perhaps an additional 5 have been seen earlier in the morning. RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were still present during the week in central Kissena and Hendrickson Parks.

Unusual passerines included a few ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at Floyd Bennett Field Wednesday and an EVENING GROSBEAK stopping briefly by a feeder in a Stony Brook yard last Saturday morning.

To phone in reports 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, January 24, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From the Miami Herald:

Famed snake trackers from India latest weapon in Florida war on pythons
By Jenny Staletovich
January 23, 2017 2:47 PM

What Judas snakes, snake-sniffing dogs and even hunters from around the globe have struggled to accomplish may finally be pulled off by a pair of singing snake catchers from India: solving the riddle for finding Burmese pythons in Florida's Everglades.

In just two weeks this month, the two tribesmen from Southern India, working with the University of Florida, caught 14 pythons. That included a monster 16-foot female holed up in the ruins of the old Nike missile base on Key Largo.
Irula trackers and biologists discovered this 16-foot female python, along with three other snakes, holed up in a 27-foot long, 18-inch wide shaft at the old Nike missile base in Key Largo last week. Courtesy of Joe Wasilewski

For perspective, consider last year’s second Python Challenge, an annual contest to draw attention to Florida’s python problem. The hunt attracted 1,000 hunters, most of them amateurs. Over a month, they managed to bag just 106 snakes. The year before, hunters snagged 68.

“If we fall anywhere in that range, I’m going to be really happy,” said UF biologist Frank Mazzotti, who heads a team of researchers investigating pythons and other wildlife.

The pilot project, being funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is also relatively cheap: just $68,888 for two tribesmen and two translators for two months.

Since arriving in early January, Masi Sadaiyan and Vadivel Gopal, both in their 50s and members of the Irula tribe, India’s famed snake hunters, have headed into the Everglades almost daily. Armed only with tire irons to punch through dense burma reed and sharp limestone rock and trailed by biologists, the pair are on the lookout for the sparkle of snakeskin in the bush. They’re also searching for what the snakes left behind: a ripple in the sand, a tunnel through grass or scat.

All these signs can alert them to the presence of the snake, the malai pambu, a snake far bigger than any the men have encountered in India.

In the nearly two decades since pythons became established in South Florida, finding them has proved one of the thorniest problems for controlling their spread. The cryptically patterned snakes easily disappear into marshes that are nearly impossible to search. Biologists have tried sending out radio-tagged “Judas” snakes to ferret out other snakes, trained dogs and even tried poisoning prey. But the number of voracious snakes, blamed for nearly wiping out the population of small mammals in Everglades National Park, keeps growing. This year for the first time, hatchlings were found in Key Largo. In November, one turned up in Biscayne Bay on a water monitoring station.

The idea of having Irula snake trackers train to target python has been percolating for years among Mazzotti; award-winning herpetologist Romulus Whitaker, a leading conservationist in India and alum of the old Miami Serpentarium; and another Serpentarium alum, South Florida herpetologist Joe Wasilewski. In 1978, Whitaker founded a snake-hunting co-op for the tribe after unregulated snake trading was banned. The tribe now hunts cobras to collect antivenin to battle the nation’s snake-bite problem: about 50,000 die annually and up to 1.5 million are bit.

But almost nobody thought it was possible.

“People said, ‘They know how to hunt in India, not the Everglades, and cobras, not pythons,’” Mazzotti said.

Whitaker was certain the Irula, whose ancestors hunted pythons to the point of extinction in their state, would succeed.

“I pointed out that part of the year, the swamp is quite dry and that’s the time when they would be able to find the things like back home, the tracks of snake,” he said. “This is very big and probably the biggest invasive reptile problem that has ever existed on the planet, so let’s do something.”

Even to South Florida experts, Irula tracking techniques seem mysterious. They move slowly and rather than focus on roads and levees where snakes have typically been found basking, they head straight for thick brush. The Irulas believe the boulders and high grasses that line the levees are more lucrative hunting grounds. That seems to be proving true: UF biologist Ed Metzger has so far determined that seven of the 13 snakes captured would not have been found without the trackers.

And when the going gets slow, everyone must stop to squat for a quick song of prayer — usually an ancient invocation mixed with an ad lib about pythons or the weather — accompanied by a beedi cigarette.

To the surprise of local biologists, the trackers have also been able to detect information critical to snake management: the python’s sex, approximate size and even how long ago it was in the area.

“Our search image is really just the snake, but they’re talking about something else,” said Metzger.

Sadaiyan and Gopal are staying with Wasilewski, who is helping scout out locations while picking up tracking tips.

While the team says it’s too early to tell how successful the partnership will be, this month’s haul at the missile base is a good sign. Wasilewski, who worked as an MP at the base and has been hunting snakes for three decades, suggested the spot, thinking the piles of rubble left behind would probably be good snake hideouts. Since the hatchlings were first detected on Key Largo last year, biologists also think there still may be a chance at containing their spread.

“No one is saying this is a python eradication tool. But on a local scale, I think it can be,” Metzger said.

The Irulas first spotted a tail near the 18-inch opening of a 27-foot long shaft covered by ficus roots. Once they hacked their way through the roots, they spied the fat belly of what they suspected was a large snake and hurried to the other end of the vent — formerly used to run electric cables to the missiles — to block its escape. Instead they found another, smaller tail. For the next five or so hours, the crew wrestled to extract what turned out to be four snakes: the 16-foot female, a 10-footer and two eight foot-long snakes.

Metzger is carefully logging all the catches, which are generally euthanized or used for education, keeping track of how much ground is covered each day, who spots the snakes and conditions.

“We’re going to be calculating python per dollar and python per hour,” he said.

Those numbers will then be compared to other efforts, including the Judas snake project — which cost about $11,000 per snake caught — and a group of volunteer trackers costing about $177 per snake, Metzger said. So far, the Irula effort works out to about $4,920 per snake — but they have more than another month left and it’s hard to put a value on new skills South Florida experts are learning.

“Since the Irula have been so successful in their homeland at removing pythons, we are hoping they can teach people in Florida some of these skills,” Kristen Sommers, chief of FWC’s Wildlife Impact Management Section, said in a statement.

As for the Irulas, they seem to be enjoying only their second trip out of India. Wasilewski has taken them to Arbetters for hotdogs and to his daughter-in-law’s school to talk to her AP environmental science class. On Sunday, they watched the NFL playoffs. But the big draw is clearly the snakes, the largest they have ever captured.

“Coming to America is really fun and interesting, but catching all those snakes, that’s why they’re here,” Sadaiyan told Whitaker in Irula when asked. “They’re hunters and that’s why they’re here.”

Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich
...Read more

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, January 28, 2017 to Sunday, January 29, 2017:

Bedford Audubon Society
Sunday, January 29, 2017, 10am – 12pm
Nature Walk: Winter Tree ID at Muscoot Farm
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson to learn to use a tree’s structure, bark and other clues to ID it even after the leaves have fallen. Level of difficulty: Easy. Dress warm. Please register at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-232-1999.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Waterfowl medley of Brooklyn Coast and Marshes
Leader: Heydi Lopes
Focus: primarily waterfowl, ducks and marsh species; raptors,
Car fee: $10.00
Registrar: Bobbi Manian email roberta.manian@gmail.com
Registration Period: Jan 21st – Jan 26th
Note: likely locations begins with Marine Park Salt Marsh, Plumb Beach and Floyd Bennett Field

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Pelham Bay Park
Leader: Rob Jett a.k.a. The City Birder
Registrar: Ellen Hoffman — ellenh33@icloud.com or 917-903-3486
Registration opens: Monday, January 16
Ride: $15

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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
Saturday, January 28, 9am - Sunday, January 29, 7pm
Winter Waterfowl Weekend at Montauk
Guide: Gabriel Willow
The gatherings of sea ducks around Montauk Point are the largest winter concentrations in New York State; the Christmas Bird Count on Montauk Point consistently tallies from 125 to 135 species, one of the best totals in the Northeast. Species that come to feed on the Point’s rich kelp and mussel beds include common and red-throated loon, common eider, all three scoter species, bufflehead, common goldeneye, great cormorant, and red-breasted merganser. Harlequin duck and king eider also occur here regularly during the winter. Accommodations at Daunt's Albatross in Montauk. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $295 ($55 single supplement)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 29, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Weekly on Sunday, until Mar 12, 2017
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, January 29, 2017 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Crooke’s Point @ Great Kills Park
Maritime spits such as Crooke’s Point are dynamic typographical features which are 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. Participants will meet at the Beach Center Parking Lot in Great Kills Park near the dirt road leading out to Crooke’s Point. To get to the Beach Center Parking Lot, follow Buffalo Street to just before it turns into the dirt permit road.
For more information or directions contact Paul Lederer at (718) 987-1576.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, Jan 28, 2017
Montauk Point
Leader: Ian Resnick - 917-626-9562
Where: Montauk Point Lighthouse, 2000 New York 27, Montauk, NY 11954, USA (map)
Description: Meet by 7:45
Please contact leaders at least 2 days before trip to let them know you are attending
...Read more

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

During his two terms President Obama created 34 new National Monuments. Here's a piece from Business Insider about those important protected areas:

Here's every piece of land Obama has put under protection during his presidency

Dana Varinsky
Jan. 16, 2017, 12:03 PM 53,012

On January 12, President Barack Obama created five new national monuments, bringing his total to 34 — more than any other president.

In total, the new monuments cover about 55,000 acres. Two of the protected areas — the California Coastal National Monument and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument — are expansions of monuments designated by Bill Clinton. The other three will preserve historic sites related to Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement, including the hotel that once served as Martin Luther King's civil rights campaign headquarters.

Throughout his time in office, Obama has used the Antiquities Act, which Roosevelt signed into law in 1906, to set aside public land for conservation. He has ramped up those efforts as the end of his presidency draws near, furthering his administration's environmental legacy before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. In December, 2016, he created two national monuments in Utah and Nevada, covering over 1.5 million acres of land.

Added up, Obama has protected more than 550 million acres — more than double the amount that the well-known conservationist Theodore Roosevelt did. His preservation agenda has been largely applauded by environmentalists but criticized by some conservatives for placing too much land under federal control.

Read the entire article here.

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, January 21, 2017 to Sunday, January 22, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Winter Wildcard
Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Trip itinerary based upon the week’s birding alert reports
Car fee: TBD
Registrar: Heidi Steiner email heidi.steiner@verizon.net or call before 8 pm 718- 369-2116
Registration Period: Jan 14th –Jan 19th

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Meet at 9:00am (Please note the new date)
Lakes Around Patchogue
John McNeil with Rosemary Valente, Co-Leader
Meet at the parking area at corner Lake Drive and East Main Street in East Patchogue by the side of Swan Lake. We will check out Swan Lake and then visit several other favorite spots for a look at the bountiful water birds that flock to LI in the winter. Always hoping for a few surprises! Dress for the weather!

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.

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Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Pelham Bay Park
Joint trip with Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Meet at Pelham Bay Park at 8 AM; far left corner of the Orchard Beach parking lot.
Pelham Bay Park is known for its wintering owls, such as Northern Saw-whet, Great Horned, and Long-eared. We will also search the woods and water for winter birds. American Wigeon, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser should be in the bays. The woods here are good for Fox Sparrows and other half-hardies.
Directions: http://www.hras.org/wtobird/pelhambay.html

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, January 21, 2017 - 8:00AM
Pelham Bay Owl Prowl Joint Trip with Hudson River Audubon
More than three times the size of Manhattan's Central Park, Pelham Bay Park is the City's largest park property. Visitors to the park enjoy miles of bridle paths and hiking trails, Orchard Beach, the Bartow-Pell Mansion, and a breathtaking 13-mile saltwater shoreline that hugs Long Island Sound. Today we will join up with our friends at Hudson River Audubon to look for resident and visiting wintering owls, as well as waterfowl and late migrants.
Registration: 516-695-0763 or email hobaudubon@gmail.com
Directions: Hutchinson River Parkway to the Pelham Bay Park/City Island/Orchard Beach exit. Continue east farther into the park past the traffic circle then veering left to the parking area on Hunters Island. Meet the group there.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Croton Point Park
Leader: Paul Keim
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, January 9
Public transportation

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Littoral Society
Friday, January 13 - Sunday, January 15, 2017
Discover Montauk: A Winter Coastal Wonderland
Winter is a quiet time but also peak birding and seal-watching time. Hike the bluffs, "Walking Dunes", beaches, Hither Woods, Napeague Dunes, and visit the seal haulout site. The trip cost of $395/person (single room $140 extra) includes 2 nights at the luxurious Manor House (double occupancy), 5 meals, 5 guided hikes, 2 evening programs and star watch plus free pickup at the LIRR station in Montauk.

The Manor House has an indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna, exercise room, and a spacious lobby where we meet. Suites are large with kitchen, living room, bedroom; some are duplex and many have 2 baths, 2 separate entrances.

For more info & reservations call (718) 474-0896 or e-mail American Littoral Society Northeast Chapter Director Don Riepe at: don@littoralsociety.org.

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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
Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8:30am – 10:30am
Eagle Watch and Bird Walk at Inwood Hill Park
Guide: Annie Barry
Meet at the western end of Dyckman Street in front of La Marina restaurant and join Annie Barry for a winter hike through the various landscapes and habitats of Inwood Hill Park. Located at the northern tip of Manhattan where the Harlem River meets the Hudson, Inwood Hill Park offers shoreline vistas, mature forest, and the last natural salt marsh in Manhattan. We will begin on the Hudson shore in search of the bald eagles that have been sighted there frequently in recent winters, then move into the forest to search for wintering and year-round birds, and finally to the salt marsh to look for wintering ducks. Some hilly walking required. Limited to 15 $36 (25)
Click here to register

Saturday, January 21, 2017, 9am – 4pm
The Freshwater Ponds of Long Island's South Shore
Guide: Tod Winston
Visit up to seven South Shore freshwater ponds that provide refuge to a surprising variety of wintering waterfowl—and great viewing opportunities to birders. Possible sightings include hooded mergansers, green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks, northern pintail, and redhead. We’ll also make a short stop or two by the bay to look for loons, grebes, and sea ducks. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $93 (65)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Winter at Freshkills Park
Guides: Cliff Hagen with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the Staten Island Ferry. Winter at Freshkills Park is an exciting time for birding. The grass-covered slopes offer birds plenty of seed and shelter to huddled flocks of horned larks, snow buntings, and sparrow species, as rough-legged hawks soar overhead. Down below the mounds are a crisscross of tidal creeks filled with a variety of waterfowl. Grebes, geese, and coots swim alongside over a dozen species of ducks including teal, mergansers, and pintails. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included. Limited to 12. $57 (40)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 9am – 4pm
Winter Eagles on the Hudson
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet at Grand Central Terminal and join NYC Audubon in seeking out one of the most incredible avian spectacles in New York: bald eagles wintering along the frozen Hudson River by the dozens or even hundreds. We will travel in comfort by Metro North to Croton Point Park, where we will look for eagles before hiking up to Croton Point Park to seek out wintering short-eared and snowy owls, snow buntings, horned larks, and other cold-weather specialties. The walk is about two miles over easy terrain. Limited to 20. Round-trip Metro North fare ($20.50) not included in trip price. $53 (37)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Weekly on Sunday, until Mar 12, 2017
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

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North Fork Audubon Society
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Birdwalk with Rick
8AM Meet in the Orient Point County Park lot opposite the Ferry entrance — not the State Park (map)
Winter Birding – Sea Ducks
Many species of duck that breed in the Arctic make their winter home here in Orient’s Plum Gut. Join Rick Kedenburg for a stroll out to the point to see some of them.
Dress warmly and for wind. Rain/snow cancels.
Info: 631-734-7144 or kedenbird@optonline.net

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, January 22, 2017 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Mt. Loretto North
We will search the winter forest for signs of wildlife while also examining the geologic history and effects of human influence of this diverse area on the south shore. Meet at the parking lot for North Mt. Loretto on Amboy Road in Richmond Valley.
For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Birding: Super Winter Bird Walk at Grand Army Plaza Arch (in Grand Army Plaza), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.
Free!

Sunday, January 22, 2017
Birding: Winter Waterfowl at Forest Avenue and Silver Lake Park Road (in Silver Lake Park), Staten Island
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
This program will focus on the different species of waterfowl that reside in our parks during the colder winter months.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, January 14, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 13, 2017:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 13, 2017
* NYNY1701.13

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE+
PAINTED BUNTING+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
ROSS’S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan
TUNDRA SWAN
Eurasian Wigeon
HARLEQUIN DUCK
SANDHILL CRANE
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Snowy Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Orange-crowned Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
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 Friday, January 13, 2017 at 6:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, PAINTED BUNTING, SANDHILL CRANE, PINK-FOOTED, BARNACLE, ROSS’S and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED and GLAUCOUS GULLS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RED CROSSBILL, and EVENING GROSBEAK.

With most of this week’s rarities holdovers from earlier, one that wasn’t was a male PAINTED BUNTING appearing briefly at a Yonkers feeder last Sunday morning, its visit presumably prompted by the weekend’s storm. Then today a female PAINTED BUNTING was spotted on Staten Island at the end of Arden Avenue, which is in Annadale, reached from Hylan Boulevard.

The TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, first spotted on the north fork last Friday, was still feeding in the cedars along North Sea Drive northwest of Southold as of today. Look for the bird around the cedars usually on the Long Island Sound side of the road in the vicinity of a blue house #1625 N. Sea Drive – it does range along the road and occasionally to the other side and can sit quietly, sometimes hidden, for awhile. Please park carefully; this is a narrow road.

A SANDHILL CRANE has been present on Wainscott Pond recently, at least through Wednesday, and is best viewed from Wainscott Main Road at the north end of the pond. Three other SANDHILLS were noted flying southwest over Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers late Monday morning, these likely the three moving north over Fort Tryon Park back on the 5th.

For the GEESE, the PINK-FOOTED was still frequenting Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream yesterday, and the BARNACLE has been most regularly seen in the morning at Belmont Lake State Park before the geese fly out towards the Pinelawn and St. Charles cemeteries and adjacent golf course west of Belmont Lake. ROSS’S GEESE continue to pop up in the area, with 1 at Hendrickson Park, 3 visiting Elda Lake off Phelps Lane in north Babylon and another flying over Aquabogue, all last Sunday, with 4 off Alvah’s Lane in Cutchogue Thursday and noted flying by there today.

Among the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE reports were singles at Southard’s Pond Saturday and nearby Elda Lake Monday, 1 at Georgica Pond in East Hampton Monday, 1 on Agawam Lake in Southampton, and 1 back on Playland Lake in Rye at least Monday and Tuesday, this bird flying out early.

CACKLING GEESE are sometimes found in the local CANADA flocks, and the 2 TUNDRA SWANS were still on Lake Ronkonkoma today.

A drake EURASION WIGEON was still visiting the Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park Brooklyn to Tuesday, with 1 on Pepperidge Lake in Eastport Wednesday, 1 still on Staten Island, off Arthur Kill Road Thursday, and 1 near Fresh Pond in Northport today.

Look for HARLEQUIN DUCKS along the Jones inlet and Shinnecock inlet jetties.

Adult BLACK-HEADED GULLS continue on Cammans Pond in Merrick and at Five Islands Park in New Rochelle.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was spotted at Bush Terminal Piers Park, Brooklyn, Wednesday, another continues at Shinnecock Inlet, and a couple remain in Bellport, often on ponds in the Atlantic Point Apartments complex in North Bellport, where up to 4 ICELAND GULLS have also been reported. Another ICELAND visited Prospect Park Lake Monday and 1 or more have been along the Brooklyn waterfront between Bush Terminal Piers Park and the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4.

The arrival of wintering SNOWY, NORTHERN SAW-WHET, LONG-EARED and SHORT-EARED OWLS in our area once again prompts us to remind birders to please keep a respectful distance from roosting OWLS – do not in any way hinder their ability to survive with irresponsible disturbances.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS have recently been in Central and Hendrickson Parks and at the Makamah Preserve in Fort Salonga.

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER were along the fisherman’s road at Jones Beach West End this week, with other ORANGE-CROWNEDS also elsewhere.

Last Saturday on Staten Island the female RED CROSSBILL was still at Midland Beach and an EVENING GROSBEAK was reported flying over Wolf’s Pond Park.

The provenance of a TRUMPETER SWAN recently off Nyack Beach State Park in Rockland County has not been determined, its origin possibly questionable.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483 on weekdays.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Monday, January 09, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, January 14, 2017 to Sunday, January 15, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Eagles of the Delaware River Valley, Port Jervis area, NJ
Leaders: Alan Baratz and Janet Zinn
Focus: Primarily Eagles in their environment. Ducks, woodpeckers, common winter passerines
Car fee: $45.00
Registrar: Janet Schumacher janets33@optonline.net or 718-594-7480
Registration Period: Jan 7th –Jan 12th
Note: This trip is all day, returning in early evening; limited to 12 participants (3 cars). Little walking, primarily a driving stop-and-go trip.

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Meet at 9:00am (Please note the new date)
Lakes Around Patchogue
John McNeil with Rosemary Valente, Co-Leader
Meet at the parking area at corner Lake Drive and East Main Street in East Patchogue by the side of Swan Lake. We will check out Swan Lake and then visit several other favorite spots for a look at the bountiful water birds that flock to LI in the winter. Always hoping for a few surprises! Dress for the weather!

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.

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sunday, January 15, 2017, 2:30PM to 3:30PM
Owl Prowl
Calling all Junior Rangers to participate in an owl adventure. Learn about owls and their habitat through and an owl pellet. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, January 14, 2017, 8:00am
Connetquot River SPP Breakfast and Birding
Leaders: Bob & Edith Wilson, Ken Thompson, Helga Merryman
Continental breakfast hosted by Friends of Connetquot. Reservations required - click here or call Connetquot River State Park Preserve at 631-581-1072 to register. Registration fee $4. plus $8 parking fee per car - unless you have yearly Empire pass.
(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, January 15, 2017 - 9:00AM
Capri Lake and Captree State Park Birding
An assortment of winter waterfowl and maybe even some monk parakeets should be found at this little known hot spot in West Islip. Later, a short drive to Captree to see what winter visitors await in the State Park.
Registration: 631-885-1881 or aveblue@gmail.com
Directions: Take either Robert Moses Parkway or 231 south to Montauk Highway. Capri Lake is about a mile west of Robert Moses or a mile east of 231. We will meet in a small office parking lot on the northwest corner of Montauk Highway and Barberry Road

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
January 14, 2017 — Rain date January 15
Jones Beach
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Miriam Rakowski — miriamrakowski@hotmail.com or 212-749-7376
Registration opens: Monday, December 26, 2016
Ride: $25

**********

Littoral Society
Friday, January 13 - Sunday, January 15, 2017
Discover Montauk: A Winter Coastal Wonderland
Winter is a quiet time but also peak birding and seal-watching time. Hike the bluffs, "Walking Dunes", beaches, Hither Woods, Napeague Dunes, and visit the seal haulout site. The trip cost of $395/person (single room $140 extra) includes 2 nights at the luxurious Manor House (double occupancy), 5 meals, 5 guided hikes, 2 evening programs and star watch plus free pickup at the LIRR station in Montauk.

The Manor House has an indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna, exercise room, and a spacious lobby where we meet. Suites are large with kitchen, living room, bedroom; some are duplex and many have 2 baths, 2 separate entrances.

For more info & reservations call (718) 474-0896 or e-mail American Littoral Society Northeast Chapter Director Don Riepe at: don@littoralsociety.org.

**********

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, January 14, 9:30am – 4:00pm
Snow Birds of Floyd Bennett Field and Fort Tilden
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Winter brings many rare birds to the City that can’t be found here at any other time. Perhaps most exciting are the “snow birds” of the Arctic tundra, such as snow buntings and snowy owls, that can occasionally be found in tundra-like habitats further south. Look for these and other winter visitors such as horned larks, American tree sparrows, and rough-legged hawks, as well as wintering ducks, grebes, and loons. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $86 (60)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 15, 2017, 8:30am – 10:30am
Central Park Winter Walk
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Meet at Central Park West and 72nd Street. Some of the best sightings await hardy nature-lovers willing to venture out in winter. Several species of owls are found in Central Park in the colder months, along with "winter finches" such as pine siskins, redpolls, and crossbills. Observing the adaptations for cold-weather survival among blue jays, titmice, and other resident species is fascinating as well. Warm up after the walk with a hot chocolate by the fireplace at the Loeb Boathouse. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 15, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Weekly on Sunday, until Mar 12, 2017
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Sunday, January 15, 2017 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Conference House Park
Cost: Free

What do burnt cornflakes, worts, and ski trails all have in common? They are identifying characteristic of tree bark at Conference House Park. Participants will learn to identify trees in the winter using their bark, including the persimmon, a native tree species that is threatened in New York State. We will meet at the parking lot near the Visitors Center, 7455 Hylan Boulevard. For more information contact Will Lenihan at wleni5584@gmail.com.

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Jones Beach / Point Lookout
Leader: Arie Gilbert - 917-693-7178
Birding Sites Maps here

**********

Sullivan County Audubon Society
Sunday, January 15, 2017
2017 Waterfowl Count - It Is What It’s Quacked Up To Be!
This is Sullivan Audubon's 19th year in doing this count for the New York State Ornithological Association who, in turn, works with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This year’s count takes place Saturday, January 14th through Saturday, January 22nd, with Sunday the 15th being the main target day.

“What do we do?” you ask. We count ducks and geese, lots of them, and mergansers, swans and grebes. We even throw in some of those hybrid ducks also. It’s easy, just write down how many of each kind you see, where you saw them and what day and time you saw them. This way when I compile the data no bird will be double-counted. Last year all of our counters tallied 1462 individuals consisting of 9 species. In 20 hours our groups traveled 364 miles within Sullivan County. Hopefully weather will not be a problem so, if you can, jump in the car and take a spin around our county and see what you can spot. The more eyes out there looking the better. You can then report your findings to me at 482-5044 before 7pm, or email your results. Go ahead, try it, I think you’ll like it. It’s fun! – Renee Davis

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Birding: Winter Birds at Highland Park Entrance, Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
New York City parks boast a wide variety of bird species throughout the year, and the Urban Park Rangers host the guided tours you need to locate and identify them.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, January 07, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 6, 2016:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 6, 2017
* NYNY1701.06

- Birds mentioned
PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greater White-fronted Goose
ROSS'S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
Eurasian Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
KING EIDER
Harlequin Duck
Red-necked Grebe
Eared Grebe
American Bittern
Great Egret
Tricolored Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Virginia Rail
Sora
SANDHILL CRANE
DOVEKIE
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
SNOWY OWL
Short-eared Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
NORTHERN SHRIKE
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Palm Warbler
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (western subspecies "Audubon's" form)
Yellow-breasted Chat
Savannah Sparrow (subspecies "Ipswich 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, January 6th 2017 at 8pm. The highlights of today's tape are TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, SANDHILL CRANE, PINK-FOOTED, BARNACLE and ROSS'S GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, KING EIDER, DOVEKIE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, SNOWY OWL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, DICKCISSEL and Christmas Count results that include ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and Audubon's YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER.

The Southern Nassau Christmas Count on January 1st recorded an impressive 140 species. Among its highlights were a first record ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER unfortunately only seen briefly at Point Lookout Town Park and not relocated since and CACKLING GOOSE also new to the count and many good finds also featured BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 4 HARLEQUIN DUCKS plus EARED and RED-NECKED GREBES at Point Lookout, VIRGINIA RAIL and SORA, the adult BLACK-HEADED GULL at Cammann's Pond. Among the herons AMERICAN BITTERN, 3 GREAT EGRETS, TRICOLORED HERON and YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, OSPREY, BALD EAGLE, 6 LAPLAND LONGSPURS at Jones Beach West End, 6 species of warblers 2 ORANGE-CROWNED, 2 NASHVILLE, PALM and Audubon's form of YELLOW-RUMPED, a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and 5 Ipswich SAVANNAH SPARROWS.

Today a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was spotted on the north fork along the north shore northwest of Southold. Watch for it along the thickets near a blue house with the address 1625 North Sea Road but please do not cause any form of disturbance for the local residents.

A SANDHILL CRANE spotted Wednesday on Wainscott Pond in Wainscott on the south fork was still present today when it could be seen on the pond as viewed from Main Road. Three other SANDHILLS were reported Thursday flying up the Hudson River by Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan.

Among the waterfowl a PINK-FOOTED GOOSE continues to visit the pond in Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream where a CACKLING GOOSE and an immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER also reside. The 2 ROSS'S GEESE at Robert Moses State Park were last noted on the 1st. Singles have since occurred at Pine Lawn Cemetery off Long Island Avenue in Farmingdale, for a short while Wednesday on Lake Capri on the north side of Route 27A in West Islip. A BARNACLE GOOSE has also been noted between Pine Lawn Cemetery and St. Charles Cemetery off Wellwood Avenue just to the south. The BARNACLE and the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE have also used Belmont Lake State Park as an overnight roost and this is worth checking early in the morning. Besides the WHITE-FRONTED at Belmont others this week include one at Southards Pond in Babylon Saturday, one Sunday at Eastport Lake north of Montauk Highway in Eastport and one at Further Lane in East Hampton Sunday. Two TUNDRA SWANS continue towards the north end of Lake Ronkonkoma through today. Drake EURASIAN WIGEONS have this week been seen on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Monday, at Marine Park in Brooklyn Wednesday, along the west shore of Staten Island and at Eastport Pond.

A KING EIDER was spotted off Montauk Point Wednesday and among the birds noted off the point last Sunday were a DOVEKIE, 75 RAZORBILLS, a RED-NECKED GREBE and 2 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES. Up to 3 HARLEQUIN DUCKS have been along the jetties at Shinnecock Inlet this week but also in that area and along Dune Road have been GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS, SNOWY and SHORT-EARED OWLS and AMERICAN BITTERN. Two GLAUCOUS GULLS were also in North Bellport today and a number of ICELAND GULL sightings have included two along with a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL in a large gathering of gulls along the East River near 51st Street in Manhattan as noted on Wednesday. Besides the Cammann's Pond bird a second adult BLACK-HEADED GULL continues at Five Islands Park in New Rochelle or at low tide on Premium Millpond in Larchmont.

At Midland Beach on Staten Island there have been lingering singles of DICKCISSEL and RED CROSSBILL and a LAPLAND LONGSPUR continues with Horned Larks in the parking lot median at field 5 at Robert Moses State Park.

In northern Westchester a NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen again on the first in Onatru Farm Park in Lewisboro.

To phone in reports 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, January 03, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website "Mother Nature Network":

The once hopelessly polluted Anacostia River is making a comeback
Krista Schlyer is photographing the people, wildlife and landscapes of America's 'forgotten' river.
Jaymi Heimbuch
January 3, 2017, 7:34 a.m.

The Anacostia River joins the Potomac River and flows into our nation's capital. But despite the prestigious location, it has suffered years of abuse. (Photo: Krista Schlyer)

Among the many rivers that course through the United States, there's one that flows right into our nation's capital as it joins the Potomac River. Yet despite the prestigious location, it has been nicknamed “the forgotten river.”

The Anacostia River has endured centuries of abuse. It runs 8.7 miles from Bladensburg, Maryland, to the District of Columbia. From the time that Europeans first arrived, development has cleared its wetlands, clogged its banks and poured sediment, agricultural waste, industrial pollution and raw sewage into the water.

Once teeming with fish and clear water, the river is but a bedraggled ghost of its former self. But it's a ghost with the potential to come back to life.

Though centuries of neglect have altered it, mere decades of dedicated work may bring it back to the sparkling, life-giving river it once was.

To encourage this conservation and document the complexity of the task, photographer Krista Schlyer has brought her talent for visual storytelling to the front lines. In the process, she reaffirms the importance of looking at one’s own backyard for ways to make a big difference through environmental stewardship.

Click here to read the entire story

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, January 7, 2017 to Sunday, January 8, 2017:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, January 7 - Sunday, January 8, 2017
A Jersey Winter Blitz-zer
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Winter species, waterfowl, raptors, ducks, winter songbird residents
Car fee :$85.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: Nov 15th – Dec 30th
Note: Trip begins Saturday morning; Focusing on New Jersey premier winter locations and target species

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Winter Nature Hike
Time: 10:00am to 11:30am
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Join NPS rangers to find out where animals go in the winter.

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Dead Horse Bay, New York's Best Kept Natural Secret
Time: 10:00am to 12:30pm
Location: Floyd Bennett Field- Main Entrance Ranger Station
Join American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen to hike the trails of Dead Horse Bay.

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Winter Woodpecker Walk
Time: 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Join a ranger on a walk on the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's trails as we seek out some beloved woodpeckers!

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, January 7, 9:00am
Montauk
Leaders: John Gluth (631-827- 0120), Ken Thompson (631-612-8028)
Meet at Lighthouse parking lot. Latecomers can still join in the vicinity of the restaurant overlook. Directions Route 27 to 27A to end.
(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Jones Beach
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Miriam Rakowski — miriamrakowski@hotmail.com or 212-749-7376
Registration opens: Monday, December 26, 2016
Ride: $25

**********

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, January 7, 2017, 9am – 6pm
Winter Birding on the South Shore of Long Island
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Winter in New York brings the excitement of possibility: Will snowy owls appear in the dunes? Will harlequin ducks move westward from Cape Cod and Montauk, and appear in closer waters? Will irruptive northern finches and bohemian waxwings move south from Canada? All of these species and more are possible on Long Island in the winter, along with more expected species such as loons, grebes, scaup, eider, northern harriers, purple sandpiper, and more. Bundle up and brave the cold for some of the best birding our area has to offer. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $93 (65)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Winter at Freshkills Park
Guides: Cliff Hagen with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the Staten Island Ferry. Winter at Freshkills Park is an exciting time for birding. The grass-covered slopes offer birds plenty of seed and shelter to huddled flocks of horned larks, snow buntings, and sparrow species, as rough-legged hawks soar overhead. Down below the mounds are a crisscross of tidal creeks filled with a variety of waterfowl. Grebes, geese, and coots swim alongside over a dozen species of ducks including teal, mergansers, and pintails. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included. Limited to 12. $57 (40)
Click here to register

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 9:30am – 11:30am
Winter Birding Along the Hudson: Wave Hill
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. The Hudson River valley hosts an impressive diversity of bird species, even during the winter months. Come explore the beautiful gardens and woodlands of Wave Hill and observe the hardy birds that spend the winter in this urban oasis. Walks run rain or shine. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 12pm – 2pm
Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor
Guide: NYC Audubon guide
Meet at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and come aboard NY Water Taxi’s eco-friendly vessel for a winter adventure in New York Harbor. Look for harbor seals on the rocky shores of Governor’s Island and the more remote Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. Learn about the surprisingly diverse winter birds of New York City, including ducks, geese, loons, and sandpipers, many of which migrate south from the Arctic. See the Statue of Liberty and pass under the Verrazano Bridge. Dress warmly. Limited to 90. To register, contact New York Water Taxi at 212-742-1969 or www.nywatertaxi.com. $35 for adults; $25 for children under 12; $105 for family pack for 2 adults and 2 children

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, January 7, 2017 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Beach and Bluffs @ Mt. Loretto
Enjoy a mid-winter walk to investigate the geology beneath the historic Prince’s Bay lighthouse. Naturalist Ray Matarazzo will discuss storm erosion at the Terminal Moraine. During the walk participants may find fossils. Winter storm action and erosion occasionally reveal glacial drift fossils from the Devonian Period, fossils which are millions of year’s old. Bring a magnifier. Meet in the Hylan Boulevard parking lot across from the CYO Community Center at Kenny Road.
For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at 718 317-7666 Sunday, January 15, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Winter Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Explore Wave Hill’s tranquil gardens and woodlands with naturalist Gabriel Willow to observe birds in their winter habitats.
Free!
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Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope