Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 29, 2018 to Sunday, September 30, 2018:

Bedford Audubon
August 25, 2018 through November 27, 2018, 9am to 4pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Chestnut Ridge Rd., Bedford Corners, NY
The fall Hawkwatch starts Saturday, August 25! Join us at the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners every day from 9 am to 5 pm, weather permitting, to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats.
See more details

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 8:00am - 11:30am
Larchmont Reservoir
Join birder Doug Bloom and Naturalist Tait Johansson for an outing focused on fall migrant birds. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Register with Susan Fisher at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 7:15am
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Prospect Park: Birdwatching for Beginners
Leader: Cyrus Baty Birdwatching for Beginners meets at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at The Boathouse at 12 noon. Bring binoculars if you have them; otherwise, binoculars are available for loan.

Sunday, September 30, 2018
South Brooklyn Coastal Loop
Leaders: Bobbi Manian and Dennis Hrehowsik
Focus: passerines, sparrows, marsh species, grassland species
Car Fee: $10.00
Registrar: Dennis Hrehowsik email deepseagangster@gmail.com
Registration Period: Sept 22nd – Sept 27th
Note: trip sequence is Marine Park, Plumb Beach, and Floyd Bennett
Field Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10:00am to 11:00am
Birding by the Bay
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fees: Free
View Details

**********

Hudson River Audubon
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Tibbett’s Brook Park
7am Fall Foliage and Bird Walk
Late fall migrant bird walk around the two lakes in full autumn color.
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/tibbetts.html

Saturday, September 29, 2018
Lenoir Nature Preserve
Hawk Watch
19 Dudley St. Yonkers
Meet at 10 AM behind the Lenoir Mansion
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 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
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Fall Bird Walks
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.

Sunday, September 30, 2018, 8am – 4pm
Migration Along the Barrier Islands, L.I.
Guide: Tod Winston
Look for migrating raptors and songbirds as they stop and rest along Long Island's barrier islands. We'll venture to some of the best spots in the vicinity of Jones Beach to find what surprises the north winds have brought us. Bring lunch, water, and binoculars. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $122 (85)
Click here to register

Sunday, September 30, 2018, 10am – 4pm
Pollinator Party and Monarch Festival at Jamaica Bay
Learn about the amazing journeys of butterflies such as the Monarch, along with many different species of moths, bees, and other pollinators at the first-ever Pollinator/Monarch Festival at Jamaica Bay. Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center for a fun day of activities, including indoor presentations, children’s programs, walks around the refuge, and a trip to Fort Tilden, Queens, to see the Monarch Butterfly migration. Contact American Littoral Society at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com for more information and to register. Free
The Pollinator/Monarch Festival is a NYC Audubon partnership program with American Littoral Society and Gateway National Recreation Area.

Sunday, September 30, 2018, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, September 8, September 15, October 6 and October 27, 2-3pm
Sundays, September 9, September 30, October 14 and October 28 2–3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

**********

North Shore Audubon
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 8am – 12pm
Bird banding demo JFK Preserve at Tobay Beach
Peggy: (516) 883-2130

NOTE EARLY START TIME
JFK Preserve at Tobay Beach (west of Jones Beach)
Park here: 40.611281, -73.440968
This special parking lot is accessible by heading west from the southwest corner of the Tobay Beach parking lot.

To get to Tobay Beach, take "Ocean Pkwy" that runs from Jones Beach to Captree. Turnoff to Tobay is from WESTbound Ocean Pkwy. If going eastbound, you will need a U-turn about .2 mile past the Tobay Beach entrance. The U-turn is here: 40.610494, -73.425280

Apply for a PARKING PERMIT by mail in advance: http://oysterbaytown.com/wp-content/uploads/JFK-Permit-Application.pdf

Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.

After bird banding demonstration at the JFK Preserve, participants may consider going to Jones Beach Coast Guard Station as a leaderless walk.

**********

NYC Wild!
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 11:00am
Flushing Meadows Park/World's Fair and The Queens Museum Photography and Nature Walk

For the FULL INFORMATION ABOUT EACH WALK click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP !

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Hempstead Lake State Park
From the Southern State Parkway, take Exit 18 (Eagle Avenue) south to Field 3 (use second park entrance and make an immediate left turn.)
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.

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.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Birding: Fall Migrants at Forest Park Visitor Center (in Forest Park), Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in New York City.
Free!

Sunday, September 30, 2018
Birding: Shore Birds at Hylan Boulevard and Edgewater Street (in Alice Austen Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in New York City. Wildlife viewing is a perfect activity for any age.
Free!

The New York City Naturalist Club: Nature Exploration at Anne Loftus Playground (in Fort Tryon Park), Manhattan
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
On our hikes, you may explore nature, discover our city’s urban forests, or just unplug from the world to clear your head.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, September 22, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 21, 2018:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sept. 21, 2018
* NYNY1809.21

- Birds Mentioned

WHITE IBIS+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cory’s Shearwater
Manx Shearwater
Broad-winged Hawk
Virginia Rail
Sora
American Golden-Plover
Upland Sandpiper
Whimbrel
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
BAIRD’S SANDPIPER
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Long-billed Dowitcher
Parasitic Jaeger
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Royal Tern
Red-headed Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Blue-headed Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Purple Finch
Worm-eating Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
CERULEAN WARBLER
Yellow-breasted Chat
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
LARK SPARROW
BLUE GROSBEAK
DICKCISSEL

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, September 21, 2018 at 11 pm. The highlights of today's tape are WHITE IBIS, MISSISSIPPI KITE, MARBLED and HUDSONIAN GODWITS, BUFF-BREASTED and BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS, CONNECTICUT and CERULEAN WARLERS, LARK and CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS, BLUE GROSBEAK, DICKCISSEL and more.

This week’s two most unusual reports both involve rather brief sightings, first an adult WHITE IBIS flying north over JFK Bird Sanctuary at Tobay late Sunday morning and then an adult MISSISSIPPI KITE moving south over Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island Monday morning – neither have been reported since.

A WESTERN KINGBIRD found Saturday at the Alley Pond Environmental Center did stick around for the day, unlike the one only seen in flight at Jones Beach West End Wednesday morning.

Single MARBLED GODWITS last Sunday out in Jamaica Bay and at Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes were followed by five together on the bar east of the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station on Thursday afternoon.

HUDSONIAN GODWITS included one on the sod fields off Route 51 in Centerport Sunday increasing to two by Thursday, these fields just east of Route 111, another HUDSONIAN at Mecox Inlet Wednesday and Thursday, and one in Eastport today.

A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at Heckscher State Park Saturday was followed Sunday by two on the Route 51 sod fields and another briefly at Cupsogue, and a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was spotted out at Breezy Point this morning.

Four WHIMBRELS were out on the Jamaica Bay islands last Sunday, two again today.

Two AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS were at Mecox Wednesday and Thursday, with two more at Heckscher Thursday, and six LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were among the Santapogue Creek shorebirds present off Venetian Boulevard in West Babylon last Sunday.

Last Saturday at Mecox there were six CASPIAN, fourteen ROYAL and four BLACK TERNS, with six more ROYAL TERNS at Brooklyn’s Plumb Beach, and today two CASPIAN TERNS visited Playland Park in Rye.

A MANX SHEARWATER was in Long Island Sound just west of Montauk Point last Monday, with a few CORY’S SHEARWATERS also noted there, and two CORY’S off Mecox yesterday were joined by three PARASITIC JAEGERS.

Two SORAS were at the south end of the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last Sunday, and a VIRGINIA RAIL visited Prospect Park Wednesday.

Among the birds noted during a morning flight on Wednesday at Robert Moses State Park were an UPLAND SANDPIPER and three DICKCISSELS.

Several reports of PHILADELPHIA VIREOS this week included singles last Saturday at Coney Island Creek, Jones Beach West End and Southards Pond in Babylon, with birds also in Central and Prospect Parks this week.

A BLUE GROSBEAK stayed at Jones Beach West End from Saturday to at least Thursday.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was found at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery on Wednesday, and single LARK SPARROWS were noted in Brooklyn at Calvert Vaux Park last Saturday and at Owls Head Park yesterday.

An adult male CERULEAN WARBLER was a surprise in Central Park Thursday, and CONNECTICUT WARBLERS this week were reported at Heckscher State Park Saturday and Floyd Bennet Field Sunday, while the good variety of additional WARBLERS also included WORM-EATING and ORANGE-CROWNED among the more expected species.

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was seen in Central Park last Saturday as well as yesterday and today at the north end.

Besides at Connetquot River State Park, single RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were noted on Wednesday at Fort Tilden and Croton Point Park. Other notable migrants this week featured YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, more PURPLE FINCHES, and a good variety of HAWKS including some BROAD-WINGEDS, with the bulk of these moving well inland this year.

To phone in reports, on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734 4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and leave a message.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Uncommon Sparrow in Green-Wood Cemetery


I spotted this lovely Clay-colored Sparrow yesterday nibbling on grass on the ridge adjacent to the Sylvan Water in Green-Wood Cemetery. Slim and small-billed, this pale colored sparrow is an uncommon visitor around Brooklyn during migration. Migrating primarily through the Great Plains, small numbers occasionally stray into the east coast. I also stumbled on one during one of my Spring migration tours on the opposite side of the Sylvan Water.

Is sparrow ID giving you trouble? Join me for my two part sparrow identification class at Green-Wood Cemetery. Click here for more info or to sign up.

Here's an amazing, straight on close up photo. A big thanks to Sean Sime for tolerating swarms of mosquitoes while lying on his stomach in the grass just to get this shot!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Treehugger.com:

Half-marathon in UK bans plastic water bottles
Katherine Martinko
September 12, 2018

Instead, runners will get edible Ooho water pouches for on-the-go hydration.

When I was in London in February 2017, there was a marathon taking place on a cold Sunday morning. The race was wrapping up by the time I wandered into Trafalgar Square, but there was a still a huge crowd, barricaded streets, and, to my horror, piles of empty plastic water bottles everywhere, heaped in the gutters and sprinkling the pavement. As I walked south along Whitehall, street cleaners were already hard at work, but there was hardly a place to put a bottle, as every trash and recycling bin was overflowing.

So I was happy to hear about the Harrow Half Marathon's efforts to go plastic-free. Organizers of the 13.1-mile marathon, which is set to take place this Sunday, September 16, decided that no single-use plastic water bottles will be allowed. Instead, runners will be handed Ooho pouches for hydration at three different stations along the route. These are small clear bags made from a seaweed-based membrane (brown algae and calcium chloride) and filled with filtered water. You nip the corner and drink the contents, or ingest the whole thing, as it's entirely biodegradable and safe.

Ooho, which has the catchy tagline "Water you can eat!" has been covered before on TreeHugger's sister site MNN. It is a clever invention that's remarkably simple and cheap to make. Ooho has won awards for design and environmental technology, and surpassed its fundraising goals in the early stages of development. It's an idea that could make a real difference in the fight against superfluous plastic waste, which is awesome.

But regarding the Harrow race specifically, a few things concern me. First is the absence of any water bottle refill stations. The Guardian writes, "Runners will not be able to refill their own bottles. Regular water and biodegradable cups will be available but only as a backup in case of exceptionally high demand." I imagine this is to discourage people from bringing single-use plastic water bottles and refilling those, but for those runners who have high quality reusable bottles that they use all the time, it seems inconvenient and even counterproductive.

Secondly, the official directions on the Harrow Marathon site say that runners can either "swallow the sachets as they are edible or simply throw them away – our volunteers will sweep them up – or they will degrade in a few weeks. The choice is yours." This is an oddly nonchalant attitude to littering, even if a product is biodegradable within 4-6 weeks. If I were eating a banana, for example, I wouldn't pitch it on the sidewalk and assume it will disappear. Streets, roads, and trails should be kept as clean as possible, regardless of an item's biodegradability.

Still, it's good to see the public pushback against plastic water bottles and events organizers taking it seriously. Ooho pouches will also feature at the Richmond marathon and a Tough Mudder in West Sussex at the end of September.
...Read more

Monday, September 17, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 22, 2018 to Sunday, September 23, 2018:

Bedford Audubon
August 25, 2018 through November 27, 2018, 9am to 4pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Chestnut Ridge Rd., Bedford Corners, NY
The fall Hawkwatch starts Saturday, August 25! Join us at the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners every day from 9 am to 5 pm, weather permitting, to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Birds and Brews
Leader: Mike Yuan
Focus: Late migrant warblers and early sparrows in the morning at Green-Wood and an afternoon of resident local beers at the nearby Five Boroughs Brewery in Sunset Park. Will include a free brewery tour and a visit to sample offerings in the taproom at the participants’ expense.
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only […]

Saturday, September 22, 2018, 7:15am
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, September 22, 2018, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Prospect Park: Birdwatching for Beginners
Leader: Cyrus Baty Birdwatching for Beginners meets at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at The Boathouse at 12 noon. Bring binoculars if you have them; otherwise, binoculars are available for loan.

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Central Park
Central Park is a wonderful destination for fall birding! Join Katie on the LIRR train leaving from the Ronkonkoma train station at 5:35 am or meet her in the city at West 72nd and Central Park West at 7:30 am. There will be opportunities for coffee, food and bathrooms at The Boathouse in the park. We can plan on taking a 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. train home, but you can leave earlier or stay longer if you wish! In addition to buying a train ticket, you will need to purchase 2 rides for the MetroCard/Subway.
Please email Katie at katiekleinpeter@gmail.com so she knows to look out for you.

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, September 22, 2018, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Autumnal Equinox
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fees: Free
Celebrate the beginning of fall with our annual equinox walk. Look for signs of the changing season and usher in the cozy time of year.
View Details

Saturday, September 22, 2018, 10:00am to 11:00am
Birding by the Bay
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fees: Free
View Details

**********

Great South Bay Audubon
Saturday, September 22, 2018, 8:00am
Robert Moses Hawk Watch and Jones Beach WE
Leader(s): Ken Thompson (631-612-8028) John Gluth (631-827-0120)
Meet at Robert Moses State Park parking Field #5 northeast corner. May require parking fee.

(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Birding in Peace
By September, offspring of this year's nesting birds will be on their own. Returning warblers will be in their less flamboyant fall plumage. Large numbers of blackbirds, flycatchers, sparrows, vireos, and swallows will also be passing through. By October, waterfowl are returning, and we’ll look for raptors heading south. November will bring back our overwintering feathered denizens from the north.

Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Saturday/Sunday morning walking tours to discover the many birds that call Green-Wood home. Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the main entrance on 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Hudson River Audubon
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Lenoir Nature Preserve Hawk Watch
Meet at 10am behind the Lenoir Mansion
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon
Sunday, September 23, 2018, 9:00am
Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch at Greenwich Audubon, CT
A great place to catch the fall raptor migration. One of the easiest hawk watches – just roll out of your car and take a seat! The Center is beautiful and has a wonderful gift shop as well as beautiful grounds for further exploration.

Directions: Hutchinson Parkway North, exit to I-684 North. Take this to exit 3N and head north onto Route 22. At the first light, turn right onto Route 433. Drive 2 miles to the stop sign at the intersection of John Street. The Audubon entrance gate is on your left. Call 631-885-1881 to register.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Green-Wood Cemetery Hawkwatch
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Barbara Saunders — bsaunders002@nyc.rr.com or 646-872-4029
Registration opens: Monday, September 10
Public transportation
Registered participants meet at the corner of 20th Street and Prospect Park West at 8:30am

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 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
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, September 22, 9am – Sunday, September 23, 7pm
Cape May Fall Migration
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Cape May, NJ, is one of the best birding venues in the United States, especially during fall migration. Visit the Cape May hawk watch on two days, once late in the day and then early to get a good variety of hawks. Also visit birding hotspots such as Higbee Beach, Jake's Landing, Cape May Meadows, and Nummy Island. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 10. $350 ($50 single supplement)
Click here to register

Saturday, September 22, 2018, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Fall Bird Walks
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, September 22, 2018, 4pm – 7pm
ALS Trip: Jamaica Bay Sunset Cruise
Guide: Don Riepe with American Littoral Society, Gateway National Recreation Area
Meet at Pier 4 in Sheepshead Bay to board the “Golden Sunshine.” Learn about the Bay and its history, management, and ecology. See migrating hawks, egrets, shorebirds and waterfowl. Includes wine and cheese, fruit, drinks, and snacks. Contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com for more information and reservations. Limited to 140. $55

Sunday, September 23, 2018, 8:00am – 9:30am
Greenpoint Bridge to Calvary Cemetery: Bird Walk in North Brooklyn
Join Heather Wolf, author of Birding at the Bridge and web developer for Cornell Lab of Ornithology's eBird.org, for a leisurely walk from Greenpoint Avenue Bridge to Calvary Cemetery to see fall migrants and breeding bird residents in North Brooklyn. Register on Eventbrite here. Free

Sunday, September 23, 2018, 9:30am – 10:30am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Saturdays September 8 and October 20, and Sundays, September 23, October 7 and 28, 9:30-10:30am
Guide: Corey Finger with Queens Botanical Garden
Explore Queens Botanical Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources that the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Binoculars available. Register for one date or the whole series of five walks (walk-ins welcome). Email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar to register. Each walk limited to 25. Free (with Garden admission)

**********

North Shore Audubon
Saturday, September 22, 2018, 8am – 12pm
NYIT de Seversky Center
NYIT de Seversky Mansion, 1 Northern Blvd, Glen Head, NY 11545, USA (map)
Leader: Steve S. (516) 987-8103‬

**NOTE: EARLY START TIME
Please inform walk leader that you are attending.
Enter from Northern Blvd and West Rd - head south on West Rd. Proceed up the hill, and follow sign to the NYIT de Seversky Mansion on right. Park in big lot across from mansion.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water.

**********

NYC Wild!
Sunday, September 23, 2018, 1:00pm
Manhattan: Inwood Hill Park Photography and Nature Walk

For the FULL INFORMATION ABOUT EACH WALK click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP !

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Jones Beach West End 2
From the Southern State Parkway, exit onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway south. After entering Jones Beach State Park, exit right (west) into the West End. Continue west to West End 2 parking lot; we meet in the northeast corner of the lot.

From the Wantagh State Parkway, travel south. Upon entering Jones Beach State Park, exit at Bay Drive and continue west to West End 2 parking lot; we meet in the northeast corner of the lot.
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.

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.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Bird Watching at the Reservoir at Ridgewood Reservoir, Queens
8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Start your day with an early morning bird watching walk led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.
Free!

Birding: Fall Migrants at Beach 35th Street and Beach Channel Drive (in Bayswater Park), Queens
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best viewing spots in New York City to see fall migratory birds.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Birds of Green-Wood Cemetery

I've spent a lot of time birding in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery over the years and began collecting photos of some of its resident birds. Here are some of those photos (in taxonomic order). Updated as I find them, scroll to the bottom for the latest pics:




























The old world spelling, perhaps.


Not quite a bird, but I liked the name.

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

Here's an update from July 2015:



Here's an update from October 2015:



Here's a Reeve, also from October 2015:



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



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



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



Spotted during my walk on 7/29/18:

This one may be a bit of a stretch, but humor me. Lanius is the genus for a family of birds called shrikes. They can be found in Eurasia, Africa and North America. They are sometimes referred to as "butcher birds". Not surprising, lanius is latin for butcher. My favorite is the Northern Shrike - Lanius excubitor: the butcher sentinel. Perhaps Henry Clay came from a long line of family butchers ... or shrikes.



Here's a western species I came across while wandering around on August 26th. Don't normally see Verdins on the east coast:

...Read more

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website "Mother Nature Network":

These 8 bird species are the first to be declared extinct this decade
Noel Kirkpatrick
September 9, 2018, 11:02 a.m.


The Spix macaw only exists in captivity now, like this couple in a German zoo in 2014. (Photo: Patrick Pleul/AFP/Getty Images)

The rainforests of South America are a little lonelier now, with the highly likely or confirmed extinction of eight bird species.

According to a statistical analysis conducted by BirdLife International and published in the journal Biological Conservation, five of the eight likely extinctions occurred in South America, the result of deforestation. This bucks the trend of small-island birds going extinct due to invasive species or hunting.

"People think of extinctions and think of the dodo, but our analysis shows that extinctions are continuing and accelerating today," Stuary Butchart, the chief scientist for BirdLife International, told The Guardian. "Historically 90 percent of bird extinctions have been small populations on remote islands. Our evidence shows there is a growing wave of extinctions washing over the [South American] continent driven by habitat loss from unsustainable agriculture, drainage and logging."

No longer taking to the skies

BirdLife conducted an eight-year study of 51 critically endangered bird species, weighing three factors: intensity of threats, timing and reliability of records and the timing and quantity of search efforts for the species. They then applied this approach to those species and concluded that their methods not only aligned with the status of many birds on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List, but that some of those birds needed to be reclassified as extinct.

The reclassification of those birds was pending based on the outcome of the BirdLife study. Three of the species were deemed extinct, one extinct in the wild and the remaining four are either incredibly close to extinct if they aren't already.

The three species that were deemed extinct were the the Brazilian cryptic treehunter (Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti), the Brazilian alagoas foliage-gleaner (Philydor novaesi) and the Hawaiian black-faced honeycreeper (Melamprosops phaeosoma), also known as the poo-uli. These species were last seen in 2007, 2011 and 2004, respectively.


A black-faced honeycreeper sits perched on a human hand in this undated photo. (Photo: Paul E. Baker/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)

The Spix's macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) was classified as being extinct in the wild. The bird was featured in the 2011 animated film "Rio." That movie chronicled the story of two fictional macaws, one captive and one wild, breeding together in an effort to save the species (but in a family-friendly way). BirdLife's study indicates that the species like went extinct in the wild around 2000, making the plot of "Rio" a little bit late. Only 70 individuals exist in captivity.

BirdLife has recommended that the remaining birds — the glaucous macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus), the Pernambuco pygmy owl (Glaucidium mooreorum), the New Caledonian lorikeet (Charmosyna diadema) and the Javan lapwing (Vanellus macropterus) — be reclassified as critically endangered (possibly extinct) as none of them has been seen since before 2001.

This classification is considered an extremely cautious one, according to Butchart, since it basically means the birds are extinct. However, classifying the birds as extinct could lead to conservation efforts being abandoned, something that could hasten the birds' demise.

"We've got limited conservation resources so we need to spend these wisely and effectively. If some of these species have gone, we need to redirect these resources to those that remain," Butchart told The Guardian.

"Obviously it's too late to help some of these iconic species but because we know birds better than any other taxonomic class, we know which other species are most at risk. We hope this study will inspire a redoubling of efforts to prevent other extinctions."
...Read more

Monday, September 10, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 15, 2018 to Sunday, September 16, 2018:

Bedford Audubon
August 25, 2018 through November 27, 2018, 9am to 4pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Chestnut Ridge Rd., Bedford Corners, NY
The fall Hawkwatch starts Saturday, August 25! Join us at the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners every day from 9 am to 5 pm, weather permitting, to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - Sunday, September 16, 2018
Cape May, New Jersey
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: peak of fall migration: shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds
Car Fee: $120.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only to 347-622-3559
Registration Period: April 15th 1st – Aug 30th
Note: This is a MEMBERS ONLY weekend trip. This trip leaves Thursday late afternoon/early evening; members who wish to come later can opt for Friday morning departure. Discuss with the registrar.

Saturday, September 15, 2018, 7:15am
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, September 15, 2018, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Prospect Park: Birdwatching for Beginners
Leader: Cyrus Baty Birdwatching for Beginners meets at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at The Boathouse at 12 noon. Bring binoculars if you have them; otherwise, binoculars are available for loan.

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 10:00am to 11:00am
Birding by the Bay
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fees: Free
View Details

Sunday, September 16, 2018, 10:00am to 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Every Sunday Weekly from 05/20/2018 to 09/30/2018
Fees: free
Learn all about the amazing osprey on this guided walk of the West Pond Trail.
View Details

**********

Great South Bay Audubon
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 8:00am
Birding and Breakfast, Connetquot River SPP
Leader(s): Edith and Bob Wilson, Helga Merryman, Ken Thompson, Jack Carlson
Continental breakfast. Reservations required - call Connetquot River State Park Preserve at 581-1072 or fill out the form on our programs page 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.)

**********

Hudson River Audubon
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Lenoir Nature Preserve
7am Walter Chadwick Memorial Bird Walk
Meet at the Nature Center. We will look for birds, butterflies, dragonflies and nature.
10 AM Broad-winged Hawk Migration
We will search the skies for Broad-wing Hawks that will be making their 4,300 mile migration to South America
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Alley Pond Park
Leader: Alan Drogin
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, September 3rd
Ride: $15

Sunday, September 16, 2018
New Jersey Hotspots
Leader: Robert Machover
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, September 3rd
Ride: $40

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 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
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 8:00am – 10:30am
Intro to Birding: Bird Walk in Central Park
Guide: Tod Winston
Are you curious about "birding" but don't have much (or any) experience? Come on a relaxed walk through Strawberry Fields and the Ramble to go over birding basics and see warblers, tanagers, sparrows, waterbirds, and more. Binoculars available. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Saturday, September 15, 2018, 9am – 1pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Clove Lakes Park
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Journey to the "forgotten borough" to discover some of the beautiful forests and incredible birding spots of Clove Lakes Park. Look for ducks and seabirds in New York Harbor on our way across on the ferry ride and then catch a bus to the park. Numerous warblers, vireos, tanagers, and other migratory songbirds can be seen here, as well as nesting Eastern Screech-Owls and Great Blue Herons. We'll even see one of the largest and oldest trees in New York City. Limited to 15. Bus fare ($2.75 each way; please bring your MetroCard or exact change) not included in registration price. $43 (30) per walk
Click here to register

Saturday, September 15, 2018, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Fall Bird Walks
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, September 15, 2018, 12pm – 3pm
Raptor Fest at Van Cortlandt Park
Experience the thrill of viewing New York's premier predators live and up close.Join NYC Parks at the annual Raptor Fest hosted by the Urban Park Rangers, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park and NYC Audubon. The event is free to the public and will include live demonstrations and education/activity tables. Activities are provided by the Urban Park Rangers; live flying demonstrations by Skyhunters in Flight, This event is a great way for kids to learn about birds of prey, get up close and personal with them, and watch them perform amazing aerial feats.
Click here to learn more.

Saturday, September 14, 2018, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, August 18, September 1, September 8, September 15, September 29 and October 27, 2-3pm
Sundays, August 26 and September 9, 2–3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, September 16, 2018, 9am – 4pm
Hook Mountain Hawk Watch
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Part of the Palisades Interstate Park system, Hook Mountain has commanding views of all nearby mountains ridges and the Hudson River. From this inland hawk-watch spot we expect to see many species of migrating raptors, including Broad-winged and Red-shouldered Hawks, Bald Eagles, accipiters, and falcons. Note: this trip requires a 35-minute hike up and down the mountainside. Bring binoculars, water, and a bag lunch to enjoy atop the mountain watching the hawks fly overhead. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $99 (69)
Click here to register

Sunday, September 16, 2018, 9am – 2pm
Fall Migration on Randall's Island
Guides: Gabriel Willow, Christopher Girgenti of Randall's Island with Randall's Island Park Alliance, Inc.
Make your way over the pedestrian 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

**********

North Shore Audubon
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Alley Pond Park
Leader: Jennifer (516) 767-3454
Please inform walk leader that you are attending.
See "Walk Locations" for directions.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.
$10 PARKING FEE per vehicle payable upon entry to Sands Point Preserve.

**********

NYCH2O
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 11am
Ridgewood Reservoir Tour
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 Vermont Place.

**********

NYC Wild!
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 10am
NYC Wild! Essentials: Queens: Fort Tilden Photography and Nature Walk

Sunday, September 16, 2018, 12:30pm
NYC Wild! Essentials:The Bronx: Woodlawn Cemetery Photography and Nature Walk

For the FULL INFORMATION ABOUT EACH WALK click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP !

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Alley Pond
Leader: Eric Miller (917) 279-7530
Meet: Aarya park Parking Lot, 76th Ave, Oakland Gardens, NY 11364 (map)

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Massapequa Preserve
From Sunrise Highway, turn north onto Broadway, Massapequa. Travel under the Long Island Rail Road overpass, then make the first right onto Veterans Boulevard (headed east). Go past the Massapequa train station and into the parking lot at the east end of the station. The preserve is directly east of the parking lot.
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.

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.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Raptor Fest at Stadium Ball Fields (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Experience the thrill of viewing New York's premier predators live and up close. Activities are provided by the Urban Park Rangers; live flying demonstrations are presented by Skyhunters in Flight.
Free!

Sunday, September 16, 2018
Birding: Fall Migrants at Oakland Lake (in Alley Pond Park), Queens
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best viewing spots in New York City to see fall migratory birds.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, September 08, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 7, 2018

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sept. 7, 2018
* NYNY1809.07

- Birds Mentioned

EURASIAN WIGEON
King Eider
Common Eider
Cory’s Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
MANX SHEARWATER
Least Bittern
Sora
American Golden-Plover
Whimbrel
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
Stilt Sandpiper
BAIRD’S SANDPIPER
White-rumped Sandpiper
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
WILSON’S PHALAROPE
POMARINE JAEGER
Parasitic Jaeger
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Common Nighthawk
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Winter Wren
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Hooded Warbler
Cape May Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
LARK SPARROW

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, September 7, 2018 at 9 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are WESTERN KINGBIRD, MARBLED and HUDSONIAN GODWITS, BUFF-BREASTED and BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS, WILSON’S PHALAROPE, EURASIAN WIGEON, POMARINE JAEGER, MANX SHEARWATER, LARK SPARROW, CONNECTICUT and GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

Though shorebirds continue to garner much of the birding attention locally, the inevitable shift is on its way, as exemplified by a WESTERN KINGBIRD that was photographed at the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area last Saturday morning.

At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, despite continuing high water on the East Pond, birders were treated this week to a MARBLED GODWIT at the south end and two HUDSONIAN GODWITS and a WILSON’S PHALAROPE at the north end through the holiday weekend, including Monday. Other shorebirds included a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER spotted on Monday as well as a decent number of STILT and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, a few WESTERN SANDPIPERS, and an occasional PECTORAL SANDPIPER; other highlights featured a SORA at the north end Thursday, up to three CASPIAN TERNS mostly at the north end, especially early in the week, and among a good and increasing variety of waterfowl, a drake EURASIAN WIGEON in transitional plumage spotted Tuesday on the East Pond. Three WHIMBREL were out on Yellow Bar Hassock in Jamaica Bay on Monday.

Out on the sod fields along the east side of Doctors Path north of Riverhead a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER showed up last Sunday, and one was still there today, but a single BAIRD’S SANDPIPER found there was apparently only seen Monday.

An adult AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER continued on the Route 51 sod farm in Centerport, just east of Route 111, at least to Sunday; more should be arriving soon.

Finishing the shorebirds, two MARBLED GODWITS were still at Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes last Saturday, when a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was also seen near the open Mecox inlet, and an HUDSONIAN GODWIT visited Mecox yesterday.

Notably, the Eastern Long Island sites, at least early in the week, were most productive for seabirds. At Mecox Saturday an ocean watch produced a modest 25 CORY’S SHEARWATERS compared to the estimated 300 off there Sunday morning along with a late SOOTY SHEARWATER, but Saturday provided the better JAEGER show with an estimated 10 PARASITICS as well as 1 POMARINE.

Cupsogue had comparable results, with 50 CORY’S SHEARWATERS Saturday and 272 plus a MANX SHEARWATER on Sunday, while the PARASITIC totals were 5 Saturday and 2 Sunday. 6 BLACK TERNS were also offshore Saturday.

Another MANX SHEARWATER was seen sitting off Shinnecock Inlet last Saturday morning, and 65 CORY’S SHEARWATERS and 8 PARASITIC JAEGERS were counted off Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton Sunday.

A changing male KING EIDER was still on the east side of Shinnecock Inlet with COMMON EIDERS as of Tuesday.

A LEAST BITTERN was spotted at Arshamomaque Preserve in Centerport last Saturday, and two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were still at Connetquot River State Park Tuesday.

The Randall’s Island LARK SPARROW was still present last Saturday, when other singles were found on Governor’s Island and at Jones Beach West End, another visiting Floyd Bennett Field on Monday.

The WARBLER highlight was the CONNECTICUT found today around the south side of the Lake in Prospect Park, where a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was photographed last Tuesday. A female-type GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER was noted in Central Park’s Ramble today, perhaps a continuing bird. Both Central and Prospect Parks produced HOODED WARBLER this week, with a reasonable selection but low numbers of other Warblers also moving through.

A Tuesday morning flight witnessed at Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn netted OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, 26 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, WINTER WREN and 12 species of WARBLERS including CAPE MAY.

COMMON NIGHTHAWKS continue to gather in the evenings but will be finishing up soon.

To phone in reports, on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734 4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and leave a message.

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, September 04, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Treehugger.com:

After killing all the wolves in Yellowstone, they finally brought them back – here's what happened next
Melissa Breyer
September 4, 2018

New research finds that the reintroduction of wolves to the National Park is helping to restore the ecosystem to its former glory.

Wolves once roamed the continent freely ... but as more and more humans came along and gobbled up the land, as humans are wont to do, wolf populations began to dwindle. Wolves are not good for livestock – and hence, livestock owners have proven to be not good for wolves. Even in places like National Parks, their numbers suffered. In Yellowstone, because of federal and state efforts to reduce predators, the last of the park's gray wolves (Canis lupus) were killed in 1926.

Decades later – once people woke up, hello – the species became one of the first to be listed as endangered. At that point, Greater Yellowstone was named as one of three recovery areas and from 1995 to 1997, 41 wild wolves were released in the park. As of December 2016, there were at least 108 wolves in the park, according to the National Park Service.

It hasn't been without controversy, but now a new study reveals some wonderful news. The reintroduction of wolves into the park has led to the recovery of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the area – a feat that the National Park Service has been trying to achieve for decades.

“What we’re seeing in Yellowstone is the emergence of an ecosystem that is more normal for the region and one that will support greater biodiversity,” says Luke Painter, a wildlife ecologist at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “Restoring aspen in northern Yellowstone has been a goal of the National Park Service for decades. Now they’ve begun to achieve that passively, by having the animals do it for them. It’s a restoration success story.”

The large-scale study is the first to show that aspen is recovering inside of the park, and in areas around the park as well.

And importantly, is a striking reminder of this: If you add to or remove something from an ecosystem, the domino effect can take its toll.

In the case of Yellowstone's wolves, once they were gone, the animals they eat began to thrive; namely, elk. In 1995, before wolves were reintroduced, there were nearly 20,000 elk in northern Yellowstone; in January of 2018, there were 7,579.

Which may not be good news for the elk as far as they see it, but with elk numbers unchecked, the consumption of aspen skyrocketed. And aspen plays "an important ecological role in the American West," notes the study's authors. Among other things, aspen trees provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. The USDA Forest Service explains that, "the aspen ecosystem is rich in number and species of animals, especially in comparison to associated coniferous forest types."

The study shows that the return of wolves to Yellowstone indeed could have a cascading effect on ecosystems, Painter says. As you can see in the photo above, which shows young aspen trees in the park which have been growing since the wolves were re-introduced. The older trees in the photo date to the last time there were wolves in the park.

“We show that the recovery of aspen is real and significant, though patchy and in early stages, and occurring throughout the region where elk population densities have been reduced,” he says.

“Our findings represent another piece of the puzzle as we’re trying to understand the role of predation in the ecology of the Rocky Mountain region,” Painter adds. “Much of the research ecologists have done has been in the absence of non-human predators. Before the reintroduction of wolves, most experts didn’t think it was going to make much difference for aspen. Wolves didn’t cause aspen recovery all by themselves, but it is safe to say it would not have happened without them.”

The research was published in Ecosphere.
...Read more

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 8, 2018 to Sunday, September 9, 2018:

Bedford Audubon
Saturday, September 8, 2018, 8:00am - 11:00am
North County Trailway at New Croton Reservoir
Join us for a nature walk focused on birds, jointly held with the Hudson River Valley Ramble, near the peak of fall migration. We will be following the Trailway south over the reservoir through woods and shrubland in search of migrants and year-round residents. Meet at the parking lot at the intersection of the Trailway and Route 118 in the Town of Yorktown at 8am - this is just north of where the North County Trailway crosses over New Croton Reservoir. Easy. Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713.
See more details

August 25, 2018 @ 9:00 am - November 27, 2018, 4:00pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Chestnut Ridge Rd., Bedford Corners, NY
The fall Hawkwatch starts Saturday, August 25! Join us at the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners every day from 9 am to 5 pm, weather permitting, to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats.
See more details

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 7:15am - 2:00pm
The Wonders of Fall Migration in Central Park
Join Bedford Audubon Naturalist Tait Johansson to explore Central Park, a truly extraordinary “migrant trap” famous for its impressive concentrations of landbirds in spring and fall. We’ll stop at the boathouse for lunch, or bring your own. Meet at Bylane at 6am, or at 72nd St. and Central Park West at 7:15 am. Cost: Free. Level of difficulty: Easy. Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Jamaica Bay Refuge Early Autumn Migration
Leader Peter Dorosh Focus: early fall passerines, ducks, marsh species, late season shorebirds
Car Fee: $10.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: Sept 1st - Sept 6th
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, September 8, 2018, 7:15am
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, September 8, 2018, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Prospect Park: Birdwatching for Beginners
Leader: Cyrus Baty Birdwatching for Beginners meets at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at The Boathouse at 12 noon. Bring binoculars if you have them; otherwise, binoculars are available for loan.

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon
Sunday, September 9, 2018, 8:00am
Smith Point
Leader: Eileen Schwinn
The Fall raptor, songbird and shorebird migration should be well under way, as we meet at the far western end of the main parking lot at Smith Point County Park. We will walk to the Ranger Station for a view from the upper deck. We will then hike westward, toward the New Old Inlet area, then back to the Ranger Station. If there are any birds of note reported in the area of the boat ramp, we shall visit the marina area – just before the bridge – as well. Please dress for the weather and conditions. Binoculars are a must, and scopes are very helpful. This is an exciting time to be along the barrier beach, and hopefully, we will be there on favorable winds and mild weather! For more details, contact Eileen Schwinn at beachmed@optonline.net or call 516 662-7751.

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, September 8, 2018, 10:00am to 11:00am
Birding by the Bay
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fees: Free
View Details

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 12:30pm to 2:30pm
Beach Plums and Goldenrod at Plumb Beach
Location: Plumb Beach
Fees: Free
Naturalist program.
View Details

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 10:00am to 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Every Sunday Weekly from 05/20/2018 to 09/30/2018
Fees: free
Learn all about the amazing osprey on this guided walk of the West Pond Trail.
View Details

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Saturday, September 8, 2018, 11:00am - 1:00pm
Pollinators in Chief
Stroll through Green-Wood and you will certainly see (and hear) wild bees going about their daily routine. Female bees are collecting nectar and pollen, and males are busily looking for mates. Bee biologist Sarah Kornbluth of the American Museum of Natural History leads this walking tour to highlight how bees live, the resources they need, and where they make their homes across the cemetery. Learn about the diversity of wild bee species (including bumble, carpenter, miner, leaf cutter, sweat, and more) and beecome a bee expert in just two hours. Comfortable footwear recommended. Brightly colored clothes are discouraged; you’ll get mistaken for a source of nectar.

$20 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $25 for non-members

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

Sunday, September 9, 2018
Birding in Peace
By September, offspring of this year's nesting birds will be on their own. Returning warblers will be in their less flamboyant fall plumage. Large numbers of blackbirds, flycatchers, sparrows, vireos, and swallows will also be passing through. By October, waterfowl are returning, and we’ll look for raptors heading south. November will bring back our overwintering feathered denizens from the north.

Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Saturday/Sunday morning walking tours to discover the many birds that call Green-Wood home. Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the main entrance on 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Alive at Green-Wood
There’s a lot more to a cemetery than death. There’s life – a lot of it. In fact, for Green-Wood, the natural environment is a critical part of our future. Join us for this new walking tour to explore the potential of the Cemetery’s 478 acres as a public garden, a distinction that means much more than manicured lawns and azaleas. It means that we work to teach our visitors about Green-Wood’s ecology and environmental diversity. As an accredited arboretum, the Cemetery has over 7,000 trees and a master plan that includes new interpretive panels (signs) across the grounds. You’ll learn so much about the natural beauty and wildlife at Green-Wood that you’ll want to come back and give your own tour to family and friends! Comfortable footwear recommended. Please note, tour route is on grass and uneven terrain.

$15 for members of Green-Wood and BHS/$20 for non-members.

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Fort Tilden 1
Leader: Gordon Lam
Registrar: Lori Lam — glam@nyc.rr.com or 646-673-5418
Registration opens: Monday, August 27
Ride: $15

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 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
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, September 8, 2018, 8am – 11am
Prospect Park Bird Walk
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Join Gabriel Willow for a leisurely walk to get to know the fall migrants of 'Brooklyn's backyard'. Beautiful Prospect Park has a wide variety of habitats that attract 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

Saturday, September 8, 2018, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Fall Bird Walks
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, September 8, 2018, 9:30am – 10:30am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Saturdays September 8 and October 20, and Sundays, September 23, October 7 and 28, 9:30-10:30am
Guide: Corey Finger with Queens Botanical Garden
Explore Queens Botanical Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources that the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Binoculars available. Register for one date or the whole series of five walks (walk-ins welcome). Email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar to register. Each walk limited to 25. Free (with Garden admission)

Saturday, September 8, 2018, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, August 18, September 1, September 8, September 15, September 29 and October 27, 2-3pm
Sundays, August 26 and September 9, 2–3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 8am – 11am
Fall Warblers
Friday, September 7, 6:30-8:30pm (class)
Sunday, September 9, 8-11am (trip)
Instructor: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Identifying “confusing fall warblers” can be tricky, even for the experts. Come study some of the most puzzling species that stop through our area during fall migration with expert Joe Giunta, and then enjoy a second session in the “classroom” of Central Park. Limited to 12. $65 (45)
Click here to register

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 9:00am – 10:30am
Birding Brooklyn Bridge Park
Sunday, September 9 and Saturday, October 6, 9-10:30am
Guide: Heather Wolf
Meet at Pier 1 park entrance at the intersection of Old Fulton Street and Furman Street. Join Heather Wolf, author of Birding at the Bridge, for a picturesque bird walk along the Brooklyn waterfront. Target species include Barn Swallow and Gray Catbird (both of which nest in the Park and will be raising young at this time), Laughing Gull, Common Tern, and more. RSVP preferred. Limited to 19. Free
Click here to register

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 9:30am – 11:30am
Birding Along the Hudson: Wave Hill
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of bird species and their behaviors on these captivating walks. Wave Hill’s garden setting overlooking the Hudson River flyway provides the perfect habitat for resident and migrating birds. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission (see www.wavehill.org for more information)

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, August 18, September 1, September 8, September 15, September 29 and October 27, 2-3pm
Sundays, August 26 and September 9, 2–3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

**********

North Shore Audubon
Saturday, September 8, 2018, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Sands Point Preserve
Leader: Lindy (516) 628-1315
Please inform walk leader that you are attending.
See "Walk Locations" for directions.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.
$10 PARKING FEE per vehicle payable upon entry to Sands Point Preserve.

**********

NYC Wild!
Saturday, September 8, 2018, 9:30am
Staten Island: Mount Loretto Unique Area Photography and Nature Walk

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 1:00pm
Queens: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Photography and Nature Walk

For the FULL INFORMATION ABOUT EACH WALK click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP !

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Hempstead Lake State Park

From the Southern State Parkway, take Exit 18 (Eagle Avenue) south to Field 3 (use second park entrance and make an immediate left turn.)
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.

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.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Fall Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of bird species and their behaviors on these captivating walks.
...Read more

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope