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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From "Earther":

The Best Way to Remove Invasive Species? Greedy Goats
Yessenia Funes
November 22, 2018

Connie Rieper-Estes likes to name her goat babies in batches. There are the cookie goats: Snickerdoodle, Biscotti, Nutter Butter, and Black and White Cookie. Before them came the ice cream-themed names: Neopolitan and Caramel Sundae. What better names to give a bunch of hungry goats?

But Rieper-Estes’ goats are more than your average grazers. The so-called Greedy Goats of Northwest Arkansas are a group of 20 whose job it is to travel around the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and eat invasive species. In Northwest Arkansas, that mostly includes bush honeysuckle and Chinese privet, the goats’ favorites.

“They’re not hungry goats,” Rieper-Estes told Earther. “They’re greedy goats. They’re out in the pasture before we take them to work, and we get them into the transportation by putting oats in there. Then, they eat all day.”

Rieper-Estes launched this business in 2015 after her initial three-goat herd began to multiply. She knew goats were effective at clearing brush and shrubs. (After all, she bought her first three to help clear blackberries from her property.) Out West, goats have become a popular fire suppression tool because they reduce the amount of natural fuel-like shrubs that help wildfire spread. To give you an idea of how in-demand goats have become for all sorts of purposes, HireGoats.com lists “goat service professionals” from around the country.

Still, it took Rieper-Estes some further research before realizing that her hungry friends could be a sustainable solution to removing invasive plants. They eliminate the need for toxic chemicals and energy-guzzling machinery that are often used to kill and remove plants. The goats also help fertilize the land with their droppings.

In Arkansas, the invasive species the goats like to eat can be especially detrimental because there’s no natural shrub layer in the state’s forests to compete with them, said Travis Marsico, the interim chair of Arkansas State University’s biology department. Their existence means fewer resources to sustain native plants on which local wildlife rely. The presence of Chinese privet, in particular, has been linked to slower canopy tree growth and potentially even tree decline and death.

“Possibly because there is no competition at this layer, these invasive species can come in and make a dense thicket, outcompeting native herbaceous plants,” Marsico wrote in an email to Earther. “This represents a huge problem for native species biodiversity.”

Luckily for native species like Virginia creeper and dogwood, this part of Arkansas has got goats on its side. Because goats don’t really eat stems, stalks, or roots, they’re not a one-and-done method of removing invasives. They are, however, an effective first step. Afterward, people must come in to finish the job and remove what’s left.

This is how a job typically goes: Rieper-Estes and her team survey the property a day or two beforehand, checking for any plants that are poisonous to goats, like azaleas. Then, they put up an electric fence that’ll surround the goats. Once it’s time to eat, Rieper-Estes takes about a dozen goats that voluntarily enter a minivan that transports them to the job site.

“There are a couple goats that never go,” she giggles.

The fence keeps them from eating anything they’re not supposed to and also protects them from someone’s annoying pet dog, for instance. These goats typically spend six hours a day working to clear a thousand square feet. Most jobs take about a week. Rieper-Estes likes to describe her job as “bringing her friends over to picnic in your yard.”

Greedy Goats now partners with the City of Fayetteville to remove invasive plants from Wilson Park every year. This was actually the goats’ first invasive-fighting gig in 2015, and it’s continued every year ever since. The goats have gone on to munch on nasty invasives for private homeowners and the University of Arkansas.

Goats as a weapon against invasive species are catching on around the U.S. There’s the Munch Bunch serving the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin that’s been around since 2015. In Maryland, Eco-Goats can come to the rescue. And for Greedy Goats, the work is just beginning. The goats will be back at the University of Arkansas next year to help clear out invasives again.

“The community loves them,” said Janis Partain, the biodiversity coordinator for the university’s Office for Sustainability, to Earther. “So that gives us an opportunity to educate the community and create awareness about invasive species when people stop by and talk to them.”

**********

Note that Brooklyn's Prospect Park has also been using goats.
...Read more

Monday, November 26, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, December 1, 2018 to Sunday, December 2, 2018:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, December 1, 2018
A Staten Island Tour
Leader: Seth Wollney
Focus: early winter species, raptors, ocean ducks, open field species
Car fee: $22.00
Registrar: Donna Evans devansny@earthlink.net
Registration Period: Nov 24th – Nov 29th
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Prospect Park: Birdwatching for Beginners
Leader: Cyrus Baty
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, December 2, 2018, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Prospect Park First Sunday Walk
Meets at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at The Boathouse, the first Sunday of every month except July and August. Leaders are members of the Brooklyn Bird Club. Bring binoculars.

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, December 2, 2018, 7:15am - 8:45am
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.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Rye Playland and Environs
Leader: Tom Burke
Registrar: Louise Fraza — louisefraza@yahoo.com or 212-534-6182
Registration opens: Monday, November 19
Ride: $15 or public transportation

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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

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, December 1, 2018, 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 Teals, Ring-necked Ducks, Northern Pintails, and Redheads. 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. $94 (66) per trip
Click here to register

Sunday, December 2, 2018, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Freshkills Park
Guide: Cliff Hagen
Come with NYC Audubon for a special opportunity to see Freshkills Park in transition from what was once the world’s largest landfill into an expansive park. Currently closed to the general public, the Park is home to rolling grasslands, tidal marshes, successional woodlands and a freshwater pond system, which host an array of breeding birds, butterflies, mammals, frogs, and turtles. Each autumn, migrant species abound as they travel along the Atlantic Flyway. Sparrows, Osprey, a collection of waterfowl, and lingering warblers seek refuge in the park. Overhead, raptors soar along the terminal moraine as they make their way south for the impending winter. Late-blooming flowers attract an assortment of butterflies and dragonflies.
Transport by passenger van from Staten Island St. George Terminal included. Limited to 12. $57 (40) per walk
Click here to register

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, December 1, 2018, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Richmondtown, Old Mill Road
Enjoy a stroll along the multi-use trail overlooking Fresh Kills with Ray Matarazzo. Walk back in time as you pass the famous Hessian Spring as it crosses the path and view Fresh Kills estuary as you work your way toward the remains of Ketchum’s Mill. Along the way observe traces of the past, examine the present woodland ecosystems and search for evidence of present inhabitants especially deer and other mammals.
Meet in the parking lot at the start of Old Mill Road, alongside St. Andrew’s Church.
For more information phone Ray Matarazzo at 718-317-7666.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Montauk Point
Leader: Arie Gilbert (917) 693-7178

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Alley Pond Park
Take the Long Island Expressway west to Exit 29 (Springfield Blvd.). Turn left onto Springfield Blvd. south. Go five blocks and turn left onto 76th Ave. Quickly turn left into the 76th Ave. parking lot. We will meet at the far end of the lot. For a street map that shows the parking lot (and the entire neighborhood), go to www.nycgovparks.org/parks/alleypondpark/map (Google Maps labels it “Aarya park Parking lot"). For online directions, enter "76th Ave 11364" as the location.
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.


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Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Birding: Winter Waterfowl at Brookville Boulevard and Caney Road (in Brookville Park), Queens
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, November 24, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 23, 2018:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 23, 2018
* NYNY1811.23

- Birds mentioned
BRANT
Lesser Black-backed Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
EURASIAN WIGEON
American Bittern
SANDHILL CRANE
MARBLED GODWIT
Short-eared Owl
EVENING GROSBEAK
Purple Finch
RED CROSSBILL
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Grasshopper Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
DICKCISSEL
NORTHERN SHRIKE
Orange-crowned Warbler
Northern Parula
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Ovenbird

- 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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 23rd 2018 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are BLACK-HEADED GULL, SANDHILL CRANE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, EURASIAN WIGEON, "Black" BRANT, MARBLED GODWIT, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, DICKCISSEL and winter finches including RED CROSSBILL and EVENING GROSBEAK.

Certainly the weather this week had an impact on the numbers and quality of rare birds encountered locally.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL, presumed to be a returning winter resident, was spotted Monday morning around the southwest portion of Conscience Bay north of Setauket. Unfortunately lack of public access makes viewing parts of the bay rather difficult.

Six SANDHILL CRANES were spotted Sunday heading west past the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch at the Butler Sanctuary in Bedford these presumably part of the influx noted moving into Westchester County late last week.

An immature NORTHERN SHRIKE was spotted last Saturday morning at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center in Brooklyn, this possibly the bird seen 6 days earlier at Fort Tilden and so may be continuing in the area. A EURASIAN WIGEON seen again at the Salt Marsh Nature Center last weekend was just one of four noted this week. The others, all drakes, including one at Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown last Sunday, one again Wednesday on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and another on Avon Lake in Amityville today. Another interesting waterfowl was a "Black" BRANT seen again at Fort Tilden Thursday. This bird sometimes also on the adjacent Riis Park golf course.

Of the 3 or 4 MARBLED GODWITS recently seen on the bar off the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station at least one was still continuing there today.

A SHORT-EARED OWL paying a surprise visit to Randall's Island yesterday reminds us that as our wintering owls begin moving into the area we should all remember to exercise caution around these vulnerable visitors as continued harassment has all too often caused needless stress on these wonderful birds.

Some LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS continue in the area including 3 Tuesday at both Jones Beach West End and Robert Moses State Park with another at Bush Terminal Piers Park in Brooklyn Thursday.

A AMERICAN BITTERN was photographed in Prospect Park Wednesday.

The anticipation of winter finches this season continues to build and PURPLE FINCHES and PINE SISKINS have already arrived and continue to move through with small numbers of EVENING GROSBEAKS and RED CROSSBILLS joining the movement. Recent GROSBEAKS included one at a Wading River feeder Saturday, a flyover at Jones Beach West End Sunday and one at the north end of Central Park Monday. Jones Beach West End seems to so far have been the best place to see RED CROSSBILLS with up to 14 visiting the pines near the turnaround on Wednesday that same day finding 2 at Floyd Bennett Field. The very few COMMON REDPOLLS reported have been flyovers these including 2 at Fort Tilden Thursday morning but their numbers are quickly building up north of us.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR appeared with Snow Buntings and Horned Larks at Smith Point County Park Wednesday morning and single DICKCISSEL reports featured heard birds at Jones Beach West End Sunday and at Conference House Park on Staten Island Monday. A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was at Playland Park in Rye last weekend.

Joining several ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS lately have been such late warblers as 2 OVENBIRDS in Union Square Park Wednesday with a CAPE MAY there the day before, 2 NORTHERN PARULAS at Jones Beach West End last weekend and BLACK-THROATED BLUE in Central Park.

Recent influxes have included SNOW GEESE and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS.

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

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, November 20, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From Mother Nature News:

7 Reasons Why Arctic Sea Ice Matters
Russell McLendon
November 19, 2018, 11:30 a.m.

The vanishing veneer of frozen ocean isn't just vital for polar bears.

Ice in the central Arctic Ocean has thinned by more than 60 percent since 1975.

The Arctic hasn't been itself lately. Temperatures there are rising at twice the global rate, sparking an array of changes unlike anything seen in recorded history.

One of the most striking examples is the region's sea ice, which is now declining by about 13 percent per decade, with the 10 lowest seasonal minimums all recorded since 2007. In September 2018, Arctic sea ice tied for its sixth-lowest extent on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

"This year's minimum is relatively high compared to the record low extent we saw in 2012, but it is still low compared to what it used to be in the 1970s, 1980s and even the 1990s," says Claire Parkinson, a climate change senior scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in a statement.

Arctic sea ice always waxes and wanes with the seasons, but its average late-summer minimum is now shrinking by 13.2 percent per decade, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And according to a 2017 study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, satellite estimates of Arctic sea ice may have been overestimated by as much as 25 percent, suggesting the meltdown is even more severe than previously thought.

Scientists widely agree the main catalyst is human-induced climate change, boosted by a feedback loop known as Arctic amplification. (Antarctic sea ice, meanwhile, is more buffered against warming.) The basic problem has become well-known even among laypeople, thanks largely to its compelling effect on polar bears.

But while many people realize humans are indirectly undermining sea ice via global warming, there's often less clarity about the reverse of that equation. We know sea ice is important to polar bears, but why is either one important to us?

Such a question overlooks many other dangers of climate change, from stronger storms and longer droughts to desertification and ocean acidification. But even in a vacuum, the decline of Arctic sea ice is disastrous — and not just for polar bears. To shed some light on why, here are seven of its lesser-known benefits:

*Click here to read the entire article*

Monday, November 19, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 24, 2018 to Sunday, November 25, 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, November 24, 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 Park
Sunday, November 25, 2018, 11:00am
Fall Hike and Fort Tour
Location: Fort Wadsworth Visitor Center
Hike the paths of Fort Wadsworth. Bring binoculars and comfortable shoes. Reservations are required, please call 718-354-4655 to make a reservation and for more information.

**********

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, November 24, 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.

**********

NYC WILD!
Sunday, November 25, 2018, 10:00am - 5:00pm
George Washington Bridge Crossing/Palisades Park

For the FULL INFORMATION ABOUT EACH WALK click HERE

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Grand Jones Beach
Leader: Ian Resnick

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Point Lookout Town Park (and Lido Preserve afterwards)

From the Southern State Parkway, exit onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway south. Exit from the Meadowbrook at Loop Parkway (just before the Jones Beach toll booths) toward Point Lookout. The Loop Parkway ends west of Point Lookout at Lido Boulevard. Continue straight across Lido Boulevard into Point Lookout Park. Travel past the ticket booths and curve left into the very large parking lot on the south side of the park. Park in the southeast corner, closest to the private homes of the village of Point Lookout and the beach. We will walk east along the beach toward Jones Inlet. After returning to the parking lot, we will drive west on Lido Boulevard to Lido Beach Passive Nature Preserve on the north side of Lido Boulevard to walk through the bay marsh.

Directions to Point Lookout Park via Google Maps | Directions to Lido Beach Passive Nature Preserve 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, November 24, 2018
Animal of the Month Club: Turkey Vulture at Arthur Kill Road and Brookfield Avenue (in Brookfield Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

Sunday, November 25, 2018
Birding: Owls at Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Lottery registration begins on Wednesday, November 14.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, November 17, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 16, 2018:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 16, 2018
* NYNY1811.16

- Birds mentioned
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER+
GRAY KINGBIRD+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Parasitic Jaeger
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
Lesser Black-backed Gull
LITTLE GULL
Harlequin Duck
American Bittern
Cattle Egret
SANDHILL CRANE
Marbled Godwit
NORTHERN GOSHAWK
Rusty Blackbird
Evening Grosbeak
Purple Finch
Red Crossbill
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
BLUE GROSBEAK
NORTHERN SHRIKE
Worm-eating Warbler
Cape May Warbler
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (western subspecies "Audubon's" form)

- 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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 16th 2018 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are GRAY KINGBIRD, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, NORTHERN SHRIKE, LITTLE GULL, SANDHILL CRANE, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, Audubon's form of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, BLUE GROSBEAK and some winter finches.

Last Saturday morning a GRAY KINGBIRD was found and photographed near the park entrance booth at Jones Beach West End. Those who could get there quickly were able to see the KINGBIRD but with the heavy winds the bird disappeared shortly thereafter and could not be subsequently be relocated.

Given its rarity locally, a SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER Saturday morning at Point Lookout Town Park across Jones Inlet from the GRAY KINGBIRD received surprisingly little notoriety and also could not be re-found once word starting getting spread. Four HARLEQUIN DUCKS were around the Point Lookout jetties Saturday.

A great coastal flight Sunday morning after Saturday's winds abated somewhat was documented nicely at Fort Tilden and at Robert Moses State Park. A highlight at Fort Tilden was an immature NORTHERN SHRIKE hanging around the Battery Harris observation site for awhile before disappearing at midday. Also notable there were various winter finches including single EVENING GROSBEAK and COMMON REDPOLL among over 95 PINE SISKINS and 125 PURPLE FINCHES, 79 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were also counted and 2 RED-NECKED GREBES were seen offshore with a few other RED-NECKEDS also noted this week. At Robert Moses State Park Sunday there were around 1,000 PINE SISKINS as well as an EVENING GROSBEAK and a few RED CROSSBILLS with 5 RED CROSSBILLS also found feeding in the conifers at the inner Jones Beach West End turnaround. The hedgerow by the West End Coast Guard Station Sunday provided an Audubon's form of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER as well as a CAPE MAY WARBLER. A second immature NORTHERN SHRIKE also appeared Sunday at Heckscher State Park near field 6 but it too flew off around midday.

On Thursday a large offshore congregation of gulls at Moses Park featured an immature LITTLE GULL and attracted a PARASITIC JAEGER. A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was seen off Moses Wednesday morning.

Among some widely dispersed EVENING GROSBEAKS this week was one at Jones Beach West End yesterday while a few sightings of RED CROSSBILLS included one each at Green-wood Cemetery Sunday and Floyd Bennett Field Monday, these in Brooklyn, 6 more at Jones Beach West End Tuesday, 6 at Moses Park Wednesday and 5 at Tobay Beach today.

At the hawkwatch site at the Greenwich Audubon Center in northwestern Greenwich a flock of about 30 SANDHILL CRANES past high over the site Wednesday morning followed by another much lower group of 12 Thursday morning both flocks moving southwest into Westchester County. The Wednesday group was seen approaching the Hudson River near Ardsley but the Thursday dozen were not sighted again.

CATTLE EGRETS included one over Point Lookout and 2 at Wainscott Pond last Saturday as well as one at Southaven County Park on Tuesday. This latter one presumably the same one seen today in the Route 27 median just west of the park.

NORTHERN GOSHAWKS, all immatures, were reported this week from Pelham Bay Park Saturday, from Tobay and West Gilgo Sunday, presumably the same individual, and at Moses Park Wednesday. At least 4 MARBLED GODWITS continued at Jones Beach West End to Thursday and up to 12 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were in the Jones Beach West End parking lot to Saturday.

Single AMERICAN BITTERNS were seen today at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center in Brooklyn and at Tobay. A BLUE GROSBEAK was found at the Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers last Sunday and among some late warblers was a WORM-EATING Monday in Gardiner County Park in West Bayshore.

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

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, November 13, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From Mother Nature Network:

Woodland Hawks Lured to the Big City by Cornucopia of Backyard Birds
Noel Kirkpatrick
November 10, 2018, 11:09 a.m.

Many people put up bird feeders in hopes of attracting avian wildlife. It turns out those backyard birds are attracting even bigger birds.

As birds come to cities for the feeders, woodland hawks are flocking to the "urban buffet" they create, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The hunting is so good, in fact, that many hawks are now city-bred.

"For hawks, the secret is out: There is a hyperabundance of prey" in the city, Benjamin Zuckerberg, a University of Wisconsin–Madison professor of wildlife ecology and a senior author of the study, said in a statement.

A new concrete perch

In the past, hawks struggled to survive as habitat loss, hunting and the pesticide DDT reduced their populations. Eventually regulations were put into place, including stronger protections for migratory birds, and hawks staged somewhat of a comeback. Habitat loss, however, wasn't easily undone, and as the woodland hawks' population rebounded, they had to find new hunting grounds. Luckily, cities and bird-loving humans provided some assistance.

"Bird feeders are like buffets," Zuckerberg said, "It is an easy meal."

Researchers looked at 20 years of data collected by participants in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Project FeederWatch. This citizen science project covered backyard birding information in Chicago from 1996 to 2016. What they found was a steady increase in the hawk population in the city's center, flying away from rural areas.

"Project FeederWatch is the perfect program for this kind of research because you can use that information not only to document hawks, but also their prey," Zuckerberg said.

The researchers published their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Two things surprised the researchers as they studied the data. The first was that the birds seemingly adapted to life in the big city quickly. Woodland hawks, like the Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii) and the sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus), are considered "perch-and-scan" predators. They sit still on a branch, hiding in tree cover, and then swoop onto their prey once it comes within striking distance. Branches, it turns out, weren't a deal breaker for these hawks; food was.

"I was surprised that tree canopy cover was not important in colonization by these woodland hawks," Jennifer McCabe, a postdoctoral fellow at Wisconsin-Madison who led the study, said. "However, they aren't nesting in the winter, meaning they are more concerned about their own survival and not raising young. So, it makes sense that food availability would be so important."

The second surprise was related to food availability. The hawks didn't seem to care how large or small the prey was. They just wanted a bird snack.

"Prey biomass wasn't an important driver of colonization or persistence," McCabe explained. "Much of the literature states, at least for Cooper's hawks, that they prefer larger-bodied prey like doves and pigeons. Perhaps these hawks are cueing in on the sheer number of birds and not particular species."

The biggest takeaway is that urban areas are now an important wildlife habitat, a place where nature has adapted to urban life.

"Don't discount urban areas as habitat," Zuckerberg said. "The more we know about which species and what landscape factors allow those species to colonize and persist in urban areas, the better we can manage wildlife in an ever-developing world."
...Read more

Monday, November 12, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 17, 2018 to Sunday, November 18, 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, November 17, 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 Society
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 9am
Autumn Birding at Hallockville and Hallock State Park
Leader: MaryLaura Lamont
Sponsored by the Hallockville Museum Farm this walk is about two miles and goes through fields and into the woods of Hallock State Park. We will be looking for a variety of migrants, and wintering birds.
Bring binoculars. Dress for the weather. There is a $7 charge for this walk, $5 for members of Hallockville Museum Farm. The fee benefits the Museum’s education fund. Please call the Museum for reservations, 631-298-5292

Sunday, November 18, 2018, 9am
Old Mastic Autumn Bird Walk at the William Floyd Estate
Leader: MaryLaura LaMont
William Floyd Estate has a variety of habitats featuring fields, creeks, woods and marsh so it brings in a rich variety of birds as they migrate through the 613 acres. Situated on beautiful Moriches Bay we can observe shorebirds, ducks, hawks and possibly Bald Eagles as well as sparrows, woodpeckers and some warblers.
Join us for this late autumn bird walk of about 3 miles. Please use the main Entrance Gate at 245 Park Drive, Mastic Beach Call 631-399-2030 for more info or directions. No reservations necessary.

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Ramapough Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp

**********

Gateway National Park
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 10:00am
Winter Waterfowl Workshop at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee: Free
Join us for a slide presentation on waterfowl followed by a walk around the ponds to look for many species of ducks and geese. Leaders: Don Riepe, Tod Winston.

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, November 18, 2018, 9:00am
Elizabeth Morton NWR
Leader(s): Bob Grover (516-318-8536) Ken Thompson (631-612-8028)
Sunrise Highway east past Shinnecock Canal. Look for a North Sea Road Noyack sign and bear left on CR52. Stay on CR52 and then turn left at light onto CR38. After 1.4 miles on CR38, turn right onto Noyack Road after 5 miles turn left onto refuge.

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

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, November 18, 2018, 6:30am - 8:00am
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.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Joe DiCostanzo
Registrar: Pearl Broder — pbroder3@nyc.rr.com or 212-924-0030
Registration opens: Monday, November 5
Ride: $15 or public transportation

**********

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, November 17, 2018, 9am – 3pm
Van Trip to the Winter Waterfowl Workshop
Register for our van trip to the Winter Waterfowl Workshop and get to Jamaica bay the easy way--by passenger van! Bring lunch and water. Limited to 12. $53 (37)
Click here to register

Saturday, November 17, 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.

**********

North Shore Audubon
Saturday, November 17, 9:30am – 12:00pm
"Duck Walk" starts at Whitney Pond
Leader: Jennifer (516) 767-3454
Where: 40.786853, -73.703315 (map)

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.

**********

NYC H2O
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 12pm
Ridgewood Reservoir ​​​Community Tour

Sunday, November 18, 2018, 1pm
Wastewater and Nature Walk Tour

**********

NYC WILD!
Sunday, November 18, 2018, 9:00am - 6:00pm
Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Tarrytown

For the FULL INFORMATION ABOUT EACH WALK click HERE

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Prospect Park
Leader: Arie Gilbert (917) 693-7178

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
November 18, 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, November 17, 2018
Fort Tryon Park Bird and Tree Walk with Naturalist Gabriel Willow at Margaret Corbin Circle (in Fort Tryon Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
The park is home to a diverse bird population, with 20 bird species that live here year-round and over 60 more that visit during certain seasons.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, November 10, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 9, 2018:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 09, 2018
* NYNY1811.09

- Birds Mentioned

SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER+
VARIED THRUSH+
HARRIS'S SPARROW+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

EURASIAN WIGEON
Common Eider
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Red-necked Grebe
Great Shearwater
MANX SHEARWATER
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
Northern Gannet
Cattle Egret
Piping Plover
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
Parasitic Jaeger
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Royal Tern
Downy Woodpecker
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Orange-crowned Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Vesper Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
DICKCISSEL
Purple Finch
RED CROSSBILL
Pine Siskin
EVENING GROSBEAK

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

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

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

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 9, 2018 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are HARRIS’S SPARROW, VARIED THRUSH, SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, pelagic trip results including MANX SHEARWATER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, EURASIAN WIGEON, MARBLED and HUDSONIAN GODWITS, DICKCISSEL, EVENING GROSBEAK, RED CROSSBILL and more.

Perhaps the best of the exceptional birds this week was Central Park's first HARRIS'S SPARROW, an immature found last Sunday by the North Meadow in the northern part of the park; nicely photographed, the Sparrow could not be relocated on Monday or following days.

Also very noteworthy was a VARIED THRUSH found Sunday at 57th Street and 8th Avenue in central Manhattan, apparently a window strike victim; taken to the Wild Bird Fund for rehabilitation, the Thrush was released later in the week at an undisclosed location.

Presumably due to its remote location and lack of seekers, the SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER at the Deep Hollow Ranch east of the town of Montauk has only been reported on the initial weekend of October 20th and 21st, then not until Sunday the 28th, and now again on Sunday November 4th. Look for the bird along the fences on the south side of route 27 - it may still be around.

Another notable flycatcher, a WESTERN KINGBIRD, was seen as a fly-by during last Sunday’s morning flight at Robert Moses State Park.

A pelagic trip last Sunday aboard the Brooklyn VI, sponsored by See Life Paulagics, went out about 70 miles along Hudson Canyon. Seabirds encountered included 3 PARASITIC JAEGERS, 5 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, 2 MANX and about two dozen GREAT SHEARWATERS, 4 WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS, a few LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, an apparent distant RAZORBILL, and over 1,000 NORTHERN GANNETS, most of the latter around a spectacular feeding frenzy stirred up by active Fin and Humpback Whales and several dozen Common Dolphins. Notable among about 14 species of land birds appearing around the boat way out in the Canyon were DOWNY WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, MARSH and WINTER WRENS, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, PURPLE FINCH and PINE SISKIN, as well as a DARK-EYED JUNCO clever enough to stay with the ship, taking advantage of seed and a roosting plant brought on board for just such an occasion.

A EURASIAN WIGEON was still on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Saturday, and two HARLEQUIN DUCKS were around the Point Lookout jetties Wednesday. Some local COMMON EIDER included 110 at Shinnecock Inlet today.

Of the up to 5 MARBLED GODWITS visiting the bar off the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station, at least 4 were there today, and an HUDSONIAN GODWIT was at Georgica Cove in East Hampton Wednesday.

The 2 CATTLE EGRETS still at Timber Point Golf Club Saturday were likely the same 2 at Bellport Country Club on Sunday.

Two RED-NECKED GREBES were off the Mount Loretto Unique Area on Staten Island last Sunday, a PARASITIC JAEGER was off Fort Tilden Monday, 7 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were still visiting Jones Beach West End Field 2 to Thursday, 5 ROYAL TERNS were still at Floyd Bennett Field Saturday, and 2 PIPING PLOVERS Wednesday were among the many shorebirds lingering at Jones Beach West End.

A DICKCISSEL flew by Robert Moses State Park along with 130 PURPLE FINCHES and 225 PINE SISKINS last Sunday. Other winter Finches featured 6 RED CROSSBILLS photographed at Jones Beach West End Wednesday, while EVENING GROSBEAKS included about a dozen moving over Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden yesterday and singles at Hempstead Lake State Park Thursday and in northern Westchester County today.

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was seen again in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park Monday, and among the various late WARBLERS were a few more seasonal ORANGE-CROWNEDS as well as NORTHERN PARULA, CAPE MAY, MAGNOLIA, and others.

VESPER SPARROWS were seen at Floyd Bennett Field and Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn last weekend.

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, November 06, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From Mother Nature Network:

11 Startling Stats about Earth's Disappearing Wildlife
Russell McLendon
October 30, 2018, 2:48 p.m.

Our planet has lost 60 percent of its vertebrate animals since 1970, a new report warns, but there still may be time to save the rest.

Habitat loss is the main threat to many endangered land animals like snow leopards, the WWF warns. (Photo: Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr)

Earth is most likely experiencing its sixth mass extinction. The planet has been through at least five such catastrophes before, but this is the first one in human history — and the first one with human fingerprints.

A new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) offers sobering details about this decline, which has already cut the planet's vertebrate wildlife populations by an average of 60 percent in just 40 years. The 2018 Living Planet Report reveals the troubling extent of this and other environmental crises around the world, but it also sheds light on the ways we can still protect and rehabilitate what's left.

"Science is showing us the harsh reality our forests, oceans and rivers are enduring at our hands," says Marco Lambertini, director of WWF International, in a statement. "Inch by inch and species by species, shrinking wildlife numbers and wild places are an indicator of the tremendous impact and pressure we are exerting on the planet, undermining the very living fabric that sustains us all: nature and biodiversity."

This is the first edition since 2016 of the Living Planet Report, which the WWF releases every two years. The full report spans 140 dense pages in a 15-megabyte PDF, and as WWF chief scientist Jon Hoekstra acknowledged in 2014, these reports "can seem very overwhelming and complex."

Click here to read the entire article.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 10, 2018 to Sunday, November 11, 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, November 10, 2018
Leader's Choice with Naturalist-in-Residence Tait Johansson
TBA
November is the best month for rarities – while we may not be chasing a Forked-tailed Flycatcher, Tait will scout out the latest and greatest for the group to see. Time and location to be determined! Will start in morning; within 1 ½ hrs. drive of Westchester.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 10, 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.

Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8:00am - 11:00am
Prospect Park
Meet 8 am at the Bartel Pritchard Prospect Park entrance. no registration required. Leader Ed Crowne Note: Nearest train stop is the “F or G” lines to Prospect Park /15th Street Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8:30am
Suffolk County Farm
350 Yaphank Avenue, Yaphank
Leader(s): Vera Capogna (516-639-5430) and John Gluth (631-827-0120)
Take Sunrise Highway to exit 57N, Horseblock Rd. Bear right onto County Road 21, Yaphank Ave. Travel approximately one mile to the Cornell Cooperative Extension on left. Turn left onto the entrance road. Take your first right and follow down and meet at the visitors parking area on your left

Note:
Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.


**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, November 11, 2018, 9:00am
Jones Beach Late Migration
November is a strange month for birding. The neotropical migrants are gone and the waterfowl haven’t arrived yet. Jones Beach is one place where it seems there is always something to see and we can’t predict what it will be, so bring your binoculars and a scope (if you have one) and let’s spin the wheel of birds.

Directions: Take the Meadowbrook or Wantagh Expressway until the end and meet at the Field 2 comfort station.
Call 585-880-0915 to register.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Prospect Park
Meet: Bartel Pritchard Park Entrance
Leader: Roberta Manian
Registrar: Mary Beth Kooper — marybeth@nyc.rr.com
Registration opens: Monday, October 29
F train to the 15th Street to Prospect Park station
Meet at the Bartel Pritchard entrance at 8:00 am

**********

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, November 10, 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, November 11, 2018, 9:30am – 7:00pm
Snow Geese and Tundra Swans of Brigantine, NJ
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Brigantine, part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, is one of the East Coast's premier sites for waterbirds, offering a diversity of species and panoramic views. Bring lunch and water. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $125 (87)
Click here to register

Sunday, November 11, 2018, 9:30am – 11:30am
Fall Birding at Wave Hill, Bronx
Sundays, September 9, October 14, November 11 and December 9, 9:30-11:30am
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)

**********

North Shore Audubon
Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8am – 12pm
Point Lookout and Lido Preserve
Leader: Steve 516-987-8103
Where: 40.588320, -73.584722 (map)

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.

**********

NYC WILD!
Sunday, November 11, 2018, 9:30am - 5:30pm
Croton Dam to Ossining

For the FULL INFORMATION ABOUT EACH WALK click HERE

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, November 10, 2018
High Rock Park and Pouch Camp
Join Ray Matarazzo for a fall foliage hike to Stump Pond. Investigate this unique corner of the Greenbelt with one of Staten Island’s finest environmental educators. The walk will focus on the identification of trees, some of the most colorful species, Hickory, Maple, Sweetgum and Tupelo. Participants will meet in the parking lot at 200 Nevada Avenue.
For more information call Ray Matarazzo at (718) 317-7666.

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 10, 2018
South Shore Potpourri
Leader: Ian Resnick (917) 626-9562

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 11, 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, November 10, 2018
Nature Walks: Birds and the Winter Garden at Wave Hill House (in Wave Hill), Bronx
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow and Wave Hill Senior Horticultural Interpreter Charles Day lead a fall walk to see birds and bird habitats that provide food and shelter in the garden.
Free!

Birding: Winter Birding at 68th Street and Colonial Road (in Owl's Head Park), Brooklyn
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

Nature Walks: Birds and the Winter Garden at Wave Hill House (in Wave Hill), Bronx
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow and Wave Hill Senior Horticultural Interpreter Charles Day lead a fall walk to see birds and bird habitats that provide food and shelter in the garden

Sunday, November 11, 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

Saturday, November 03, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 2, 2018:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 2, 2018
* NYNY1811.02

- Birds Mentioned

ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER+
NORTHERN WHEATEAR+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Common Eider
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Red-necked Grebe
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
Parasitic Jaeger
Black-legged Kittiwake
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Royal Tern
Cory’s Shearwater
Northern Gannet
CATTLE EGRET
Purple Finch
RED CROSSBILL
COMMON REDPOLL
Pine Siskin
EVENING GROSBEAK
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Vesper Sparrow
LARK SPARROW
DICKCISSEL

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

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

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

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are NORTHERN WHEATEAR, SCISSOR-TAILED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, BLACK-HEADED GULL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, MARBLED and HUDSONIAN GODWITS, CATTLE EGRET, LARK SPARROW, EVENING GROSBEAK, COMMON REDPOLL, RED CROSSBILL, DICKCISSEL and more.

Most notable among a nice list of rarities this week was a NORTHERN WHEATEAR spotted last Sunday at Heckscher State Park. The WHEATEAR hunted from various perches along the park roadway’s median strip and adjacent road edges through Tuesday, providing wonderful views during its stay near the new cottage construction on the east side of the park.

Then on Wednesday Heckscher produced an ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER; somewhat more elusive as it foraged around Field 6 and the former pool building closer to Field 7 both Wednesday and Thursday. The ASH-THROATED was not uncovered today, but once the strong winds abate it might resurface there this weekend.

The SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER present at the Deep Hollow Dude Ranch out in Montauk on October 20th and 21st was not reported during the week until seen again and photographed there last Sunday. Check the pastures on the south side of Route 27 if in that area.

Last Saturday’s storm produced some interesting avian results, including an immature BLACK-HEADED GULL at Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton and an HUDSONIAN GODWIT along Horsemill Lane in Mecox. At Riis Park, where the rains were less intense, the morning’s totals included 3 COMMON EIDER and a drake HARLEQUIN DUCK, 8 PARASITIC JAEGERS, 3 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, 2 CASPIAN, 2 BLACK and 44 ROYAL TERNS and 642 NORTHERN GANNETS. Enduring more rain, birders at Robert Moses State Park tallied a few PARASITIC JAEGERS and 2 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES as well as 22 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, the latter comparable to the 24 counted on eastern Long Island, where some CORY’S SHEARWATERS were also added to the mix.

A shorebird of note from last Saturday was a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE on Fisher’s Island, where a drake HARLEQUIN DUCK was also present.

Following the storm, a strong flight Tuesday morning, especially along Long Island’s south shore, provided an estimated 10,000 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS passing by Robert Moses State Park, but perhaps more significant were over 2,000 each of PINE SISKIN and PURPLE FINCH – a good year for winter finches looking better and better. More evidence of this were the 2 EVENING GROSBEAKS at Sunken Meadow State Park Sunday, a male lingering to Tuesday, and singles over Moses Park Wednesday and at a Mastic home Thursday. If not yet convinced, single COMMON REDPOLLS were heard over Moses Park Wednesday and in northern Westchester Thursday, and 2 RED CROSSBILLS were reported from Midland Beach on Staten Island Wednesday.

At Jones Beach West End up to 5 MARBLED GODWITS were seen on the island off the Coast Guard Station at least to Wednesday, and single LARK and VESPER SPARROWS were there last Sunday. Other VESPER SPARROWS included 2 on Governor’s Island Sunday and 2 at Brooklyn’s Calvert Vaux Park Tuesday, with several others also about.

On Thursday, of note were a drake HARLEQUIN DUCK at Point Lookout and a RED-NECKED GREBE off Brooklyn’s Plumb Beach.

A small invasion of CATTLE EGRETS featured 2 Monday off Depot Lane in Cutchogue, 1 at Heckscher Park Tuesday, 2 at Timber Point Golf Course Wednesday, and 1 at Wainscott Pond today.

Single DICKCISSELS were at Sunken Meadow Sunday to Thursday and at Moses Park Field 5 Tuesday.

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT stayed in Manhattan’s City Hall Park to Monday, with another in Brookhaven Wednesday, and several ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were seen during the week, along with a nice assortment of other lingering Warblers.

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.

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