Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.
Celebrate your inner nerd with my new t-shirt design! Available on my Spreadshirt shop in multiple colors and products.

Friday, December 20, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, December 20, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 19, 2019
* NYNY1912.19

- Birds Mentioned

BARNACLE GOOSE+
COMMON MURRE+
THICK-BILLED MURRE+
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Brant
EURASIAN WIGEON
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Red-necked Grebe
American Oystercatcher
Long-billed Dowitcher
American Woodcock
Wilson’s Snipe
Razorbill
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Black Skimmer
Northern Gannet
GOLDEN EAGLE
Northern Goshawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Eastern Phoebe
NORTHERN SHRIKE
House Wren
Marsh Wren
European Starling
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Vesper Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Eastern Meadowlark
Baltimore Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Common Grackle
Ovenbird
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Wilson’s Warbler

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, December 19, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are COMMON and THICK-BILLED MURRES, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, BARNACLE and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, EURASIAN WIGEON, HARLEQUIN DUCK and KING EIDER, GOLDEN EAGLE, NORTHERN SHRIKE, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and more.

Fortunately for the Captree Christmas Bird Count last Sunday, the weather conditions prompted a nice flight of large alcids offshore during the early morning; counters at Robert Moses State Park were treated to over 630 RAZORBILLS and were able to also identify single COMMON and THICK-BILLED MURRES as the birds moved westward just offshore.

Out in the Calverton area the female-type YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was still around to last Sunday, at least, in a large flock of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, COMMON GRACKLES, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS and EUROPEAN STARLINGS – the flock was usually found off Sound Avenue near the Lewin Farm, located at 812 Sound Avenue.

The BARNACLE GOOSE roosting at Belmont Lake State Park was noted there as recently as Wednesday, while a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE in lower Westchester was on its Rye Brook Pond recently but also visited Playland Lake in Rye yesterday.

A EURASIAN WIGEON appeared on Cooper’s Neck Pond in Southampton Sunday and Monday, and another was spotted Wednesday in Cold Spring Harbor north of Route 25.

Three HARLEQUIN DUCKS were still off Orient Point Wednesday, and a drake was seen at Shinnecock Inlet Sunday.

Unusual was a female KING EIDER on Sterling Lake in Orange County’s Sterling Forest State Park last weekend.

An immature GOLDEN EAGLE was seen being mobbed by RED-TAILED HAWKS over the Riverhead sod fields near Sound Avenue and Northville Turnpike last Sunday.

The adult NORTHERN SHRIKE at Heckscher State Park was seen last Saturday but did not appear for the Christmas Count Sunday.

An immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still in Central Park’s north end Wednesday, and an adult found Monday at Pelham Bay Park was still at Hunter’s Island Wednesday.

An immature ICELAND GULL and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were spotted along the East River Monday off 51st Street in Manhattan, and a RED-NECKED GREBE was off Breezy Point Wednesday.

A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was spotted in Prospect Park Sunday, while another was still at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye Wednesday.

Last Sunday the Brooklyn Christmas Count recorded a nice 129 species , with their highlights including ICELAND and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, BLACK SKIMMER, 11 AMERICAN WOODCOCKS, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, EASTERN PHOEBE, HOUSE WREN, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, LINCOLN’S and VESPER SPARROWS, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and, among the WARBLERS, OVENBIRD, BLACK-AND-WHITE, ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE, and WILSON’S.

The Captree Count Sunday netted 127 species; besides the alcids and BARNACLE GOOSE noted above, other notables featured LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, ICELAND GULL, the ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK recently along Ocean Parkway, EASTERN PHOEBE, MARSH WREN, AMERICAN REDSTART, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS and 3 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS.

The Queens Count on Sunday totaled 118 species including AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, 5 WILSON’S SNIPES, 12 RAZORBILLS and HOUSE WREN. Unfortunately, the prior week’s Ash-throated Flycatcher was last seen on Friday the 13th and did not make the Count.

The Greenwich-Stamford Count, including parts of Westchester County, recorded 106 species Sunday, including 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, ICELAND and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, NORTHERN GANNET, 10 RAZORBILLS, EASTERN PHOEBE and HOUSE WREN, while among the Rockland Count’s 87 species Sunday were BRANT and a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.

To phone in reports please 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, December 17, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, December 21, 2019 to Sunday, December 22, 2019:

Feminist Bird Club
Saturday, December 21, 2019
Prospect Park

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

**********

Gateway National Recreation Areas
Saturday, December 21, 2019, 3:30pm — 5:00pm
Jr. Ranger Owl Prowl
View Details

**********

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

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, December 22, 2019
Jones Beach Coast Guard Station Parking Area
From the Wantagh State Parkway, travel south. Upon entering Jones Beach State Park, exit at Bay Drive and continue west. Turn right (north) at entrance for Coast Guard Station and West End Boat Basin; turn right again for parking.
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, December 21, 2019
New York City Naturalist Club: Bald Eagle Watch at Henshaw Street and Dyckman Street (in Inwood Hill Park), Manhattan
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Winter is a great time to spot bald eagles. Our park rangers will guide you to the best viewing spots.
Free!

Winter Solstice Walk at Conference House Museum (in Conference House Park), Staten Island
12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Join NYC Parks arborists for a Winter Solstice Walk at New York's southernmost park. Explore and learn about the unique trees, natural habitats, and shoreline found within the park.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, December 07, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, December 6, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Dec. 6, 2019
* NYNY1912.06

- Birds mentioned
BROWN PELICAN+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Razorbill
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
EURASIAN WIGEON
HARLEQUIN DUCK
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
SANDHILL CRANE
American Woodcock
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK
Red-headed Woodpecker
Baltimore Oriole
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Lincoln's Sparrow
Nashville Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Wilson's Warbler
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Wood Thrush
Veery

- 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

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

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, December 6th 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are BROWN PELICAN, SANDHILL CRANE, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, BARNACLE GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, HARLEQUIN DUCK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and more.

Interestingly BROWN PELICANS continue locally. In Brooklyn an immature BROWN PELICAN was spotted last Saturday from Manhattan Beach Park and then on Sunday in the Narrows north of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Out in the Montauk area there have apparently been 3 young BROWN PELICANS recently. Due to deteriorating weather conditions, especially as regards to the continuing well being of these pelicans, local rehabilitators captured single pelicans on Tuesday and Wednesday. These banded birds, as it turns out, were both from Beacon Island in North Carolina's Ocracoke Inlet. A third immature pelican has so far apparently eluded capture near Lake Montauk.

Yesterday morning a SANDHILL CRANE was spotted at Mill Pond Park in Bellmore the bird seen flying off with a Great Blue Heron. This park has also recently hosted a COMMON GALLINULE at least to last Saturday and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT still present today in the southwest portion of the park.

Two sightings of ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER last weekend involved one Saturday in the Riverhead area along Doctor's Path near Reeves Avenue and one Sunday at Conference House Park at the southern tip of Staten Island. Neither was reported thereafter.

Last Sunday's storm finally produced some rarer geese locally preceded on Saturday by thousands of SNOW GEESE moving overhead in large skeins. On Tuesday a BARNACLE GOOSE was spotted with Canada's on Belmont Lake State Park in Babylon and was there Wednesday as well. When not roosting here the BARNACLE historically has joined other geese feeding on golf courses or at St. Charles Cemetery to the west. Also on Tuesday a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was spotted on a pond off Bowman Avenue in Rye Brook this an historic site for this bird. Also present today these geese are usually off feeding on local golf courses. Another adult WHITE-FRONTED visited Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx yesterday and today in the Thomas Pelham Marsh area. Out at Schmidt's farm in Melville an adult GREATER WHITE-FRONTED and 2 accompanying apparent Canada X WHITE-FRONTED hybrids, presumably this adults offspring, had been present there for a few days. This site is east of Pine Lawn Road. Several CACKLING GEESE were reported this week.

A EURASIAN WIGEON was spotted Saturday at a traditional spot along Deep Hole Creek off New Suffolk Avenue in Mattituck and a HARLEQUIN DUCK was back off Shell Beach on Shelter Island as of Monday.

An ICELAND GULL on Staten Island Saturday was followed on Sunday by one at Battery Park on Manhattan and Brooklyn sightings at Coney Island Creek and Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4. Two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at Robert Moses State Park Monday when a RAZORBILL was also spotted offshore there. Single RED-NECKED GREBES were noted Saturday off Coney Island Creek and Plumb Beach in Brooklyn and off Staten Island was one seen Sunday off Battery Park.

This Thursday a light phased ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was photographed along Ocean Parkway just east of Zach's Bay. An influx of AMERICAN WOODCOCK has taken place recently due to the latest weather events. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still in Central Park's north end today and a LAPLAND LONGSPUR was reported last Saturday near Icehouse Pond in the town of Montauk.

With Christmas Counts coming up rather soon more interest is turning to some lingering passerines these including recent VEERY and WOOD THRUSH, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, LINCOLN'S SPARROW, BALTIMORE ORIOLE and various warblers including ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and WILSON'S.

To phone in reports 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

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, December 7, 2019 to Sunday, December 8, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 8:00am - 12:30pm
Read Sanctuary/Marshlands Conservancy
How would you like to polish your birdwatching skills with birds thatactually cooperate?
If this sounds good,then you won’t want to miss our Field Trip to ReadSanctuary/Marshlands Conservancy. We’re sure to see waterfowl which often stayput and allow for sustained observation. This is a favorite birding trip amongmembers – main targets are waterfowl and loons on the Sound, Great Horned Owls,and lingering songbirds.
Depart Bylane at 7:15am or meet us at the boathouse on Playland Lake at 8:00am.
Cost: Free
Level of difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Waterfowl and Waterways of Southern Nassau County
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Ducks, geese and seabirds
Car fee: $20.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com (or backup Prosbird@gmail.com)
Registration Period: Nov 30th Dec 5th
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, December 7, 2019, 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 Areas
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 10:00am - 11:30am
Late Fall Nature Hike - Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Where do they go? Have you ever won-dered where all the animals go in the win-ter? Search for cardinals, yellow-rumped warblers, white-throated sparrows, and more. Learn about the birds that make their winter home here and the techniques they use to survive the cold.
View Details

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 9:00am
Montauk
Leader(s): Bob Grover (516-318-8536) Ken Thompson (631-612-8028)
Meet at Lighthouse parking lot. Latecomers can still join in the vicinity of the restaurant overlook.
Directions: Route 27 to 27A to end.
(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, December 8, 7:15 am - 8:45 am
Birding in Peace
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the birds that make Green-Wood their home – some at least temporarily.

Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that there aren’t interesting birds to discover in Green-Wood. For some bird species that migrate south after the breeding season, Brooklyn is their Miami during the cold months. Spend the early morning exploring the cemetery, looking for overwintering waterfowl, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and any half-hardy birds that decided to stick around. By February we’ll see some of the early north-bound birds beginning to trickle back into the area.

All walks are at a slow pace on easy to moderate terrain, but proper, close toed footwear is suggested.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members
Click here for our inclement weather policy.


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.

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Westchester Winter Waterfowl Potpouri
Meet at 8 AM at Five-Island Park in New Rochelle. Then work our way north to other productive Westchester waterfowl locations. Look for arriving winter ducks. Gadwalls, northern shovelers, canvasback, wigeon, ring necks, scaups, mergansers, long tailed, goldeneye, bufflehead, ruddy ducks and grebes.

Hudson River Audubon Society field trips are free. Non-members/ newcomers are welcome and are encouraged to join us as members ($20 introductory offer). Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them. Some are available for loan for those who need them. Dress appropriately for the weather. For more information call Michael Bochnik at (914) 237-9331

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Rye Playland & Environs
Leader: Tom Burke
Registrar: Louise Fraza — louisefraza@yahoo.com or 212-534-6182
Registration opens: Monday, November 25
Ride: $20

Sunday, December 8, 2019
Jones Beach and Point Lookout
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Kathleen Howley — kathleenhowley@gmail.com or 212-877-3170
Registration opens: Monday, November 25
Ride: $20

**********

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, December 7, 2019, 8am – 3pm
The Freshwater Ponds of Long Island's South Shore, NY
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. $100 (70) per trip
Click here to register

Sunday, December 8, 2019, 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 that 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 per walk. $57 (40) per walk
Click here to register

Sunday, December 8, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walks
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
September 8: Meets at Rodman’s Neck Parking Lot
September 15-December 8: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
Join us to explore some of the best birding NYC has to offer. Come discover Pelham Bay Park's diverse habitat that attracts a variety of fall migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

**********

North Fork Audubon Society
Saturday, December 7, 2019 8:00am
Dune Road Open!
Since we couldn't do Dune Road last month due to storm damage, let's give a try in December.
Should see ducks, winter shorebirds and other good stuff!
Meet at the Riverhead Staples parking lot at 8 am. We'll carpool from there.

Please register for this trip by calling or texting Tom at 631 275-3202 or email tdamiani3@optimum.net. There is a $4 suggested donation for nonmembers

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 9:00am-11:00am
Fort Wadsworth
The Lower New York Bay and its surrounding waterways are quickly being recognized for their importance to wintering waterfowl, particularly sea ducks. As climate changes, these species may spend their winter months in the area, in larger numbers than they ever have before. Join us for a walk at Fort Wadsworth where we will look for waterfowl, gannets, and other winter specialties.
Warm clothes and gloves highly recommended as we will mostly be at a coastal locality where the wind chill can be significant.
Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Center at 220 New York Ave.
For more information email Jose Ramirez-Garofalo at jose.ramirez.garofalo@gmail.com.

Sunday, December 8, 2019, 1:00pm-3:00pm
Seaside Wildlife Nature Park
Though only 21 acres in size, the Seaside Wildlife Nature Park includes a natural beach, an open field, playgrounds and an overall relaxing environment for humans and wildlife. The walk is scheduled for an incoming tide, so participants will be able to sample the fish and invertebrate life as well as observe the potential for expansion during this hour-long stroll.
Meet at the park entrance at the end of Nelson Avenue.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 7:30am – 4:30pm
Montauk
Leader: Arie Gilbert (917) 693-7178
Where: Georges Lighthouse Cafe, 1999 Montauk Point State Pkwy, Montauk, NY 11954 (map)
We will start the trip viewing from the back of the restaurant specified by the map. If you have a scope, it will be useful here. Razorbills and gannets are possible here, and you will definitely see Common Eider and scoters.
We will proceed to various birding spots in the Montauk area.
We usually end the trip with a visit to the Shinnecock Inlet and dinner at a restaurant near there.
Bring lunch.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, December 8, 2019
Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve
From the Meadowbrook Parkway, use the Merrick Road M9 east exit. Enter the Department of Sanitation entrance immediately on right (if you’re driving west on Merrick Road, make a U-turn after Central Boulevard and before the Meadowbrook Parkway). Look for signs to Levy Park and Preserve 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
Sunday, December 8, 2019
Bald Eagle Watch at Palisade Avenue and Spaulding Lane (in Riverdale Park), Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:30 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!
...Read more

Saturday, November 30, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 29, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 29, 2019
* NYNY1911.29

- Birds mentioned
THAYER'S GULL+
BROWN PELICAN+
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
BLACK GUILLEMOT
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
TUNDRA SWAN
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
WESTERN KINGBIRD
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Vesper Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
NORTHERN SHRIKE
White-eyed Vireo
Nashville Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Ovenbird
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Wilson's Warbler

Escaped: Emperor Goose

- 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

Compiler: Tom Burke
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 29th 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, BLACK GUILLEMOT, BROWN PELICAN, WESTERN KINGBIRD, NORTHERN SHRIKE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, TUNDRA SWAN, ICELAND GULL, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and more.

We've received no reports of the GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW visiting Brookside Park in Sayville since last Monday. This park is at 59 Brook Street across from Sayville High School and the feeders are behind the park building where the GOLDEN-CROWNED and accompanying White-throated Sparrows were seen most consistently. It still might be fruitful checking there for this bird.

Last Saturday morning a winter plumaged BLACK GUILLEMOT flew into Shinnecock Inlet and then floated back out again. Unfortunately the only time it was seen.

The immature BROWN PELICAN was still present Wednesday around the inlet to Montauk Harbor often sitting along the west side of the inlet or on sand beaches just inside the inlet.

Also in the Montauk area a NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen this morning at the Theodore Roosevelt County Park on the north side of Route 27 just west of the Deep Hollow Dude Ranch.

The WESTERN KINGBIRD at Jones Beach West End was last reported last Saturday near the Coast Guard Station.

Three TUNDRA SWANS, 2 adults and a young bird, were first spotted last Saturday on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and were still present today around the mid point of the pond. An immature GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was found in a Canada Goose flock Tuesday in Dix Hills the flock frequenting a field at Half Hollow Hills High School West near the intersection of Wolf's Hill Road and Melrose Road. Vagrant geese, except for a few Cackling types have been scarce so far this fall. Though an escaped EMPEROR GOOSE in White Plains recently has raised hopes that more vagrants are on the way perhaps to be pushed down by the upcoming storm.

Last Saturday single ICELAND GULLS were at Playland Park in Rye and along the northeastern shore of Staten Island with 2 at Shinnecock Inlet Sunday when 7 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were also present along the Shinnecock beaches. Two LESSER BLACK-BACKEDS were also at Smith Point County Park Monday with another on with Central Park Reservoir Wednesday. A possible THAYER'S ICELAND GULL at Argyle Lake in Babylon last Saturday unfortunately got away before all salient field marks could be documented.

During the week COMMON GALLINULES were present at Mill Pond Park in Bellmore through today and on Lotus Lake in Sayville at least to Monday and a RED-NECKED GREBE was seen off Mount Loretto Unique Area on Staten Island Sunday.

An immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER found Saturday in Central Park's north end was still present yesterday and an adult was spotted at Pelham Bay Park's Hunter Island on Tuesday.

A group of 9 LAPLAND LONGSPURS were identified Wednesday as they flew around the Riverhead sod fields off Route 105 just below Sound Avenue.

The YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was present yesterday and today at Mill Pond in Bellmore and another continues at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye.

A VESPER SPARROW was still at the recently opened Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn last Saturday and other interesting late species have featured WHITE-EYED VIREO, LINCOLN'S SPARROW and various warblers including OVENBIRD, NASHVILLE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and a WILSON'S lingering in Prospect Park.

To phone in reports 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 26, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

A little bit of good news (for a change) from BirdLife International:

10 vital bird habitats saved through conservation action
BirdLife International
November 26, 2019

Since the late 1970s, the BirdLife Partnership has worked collectively to identify, document and protect the places of greatest significance for the conservation of the world’s birds. We call these vital places Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). BirdLife Partners and other experts have, to date, identified and documented more than 13,000 of these sites in over 200 countries and territories worldwide, and in the oceans, too. These sites provide the BirdLife Partnership, and other organisations, with focus to their conservation action, planning, and advocacy.

This is because birds and other wildlife are not evenly distributed across the world. IBAs cover about 7% of the terrestrial and 2% of the global sea area. Thus, concentrating our efforts on these areas is a cost-effective and efficient way of ensuring the survival of a large number of species.

However, currently around 33% of IBAs lack formal protection, and a further 45% are only partially protected. While these stats are cause for worry, they only serve to highlight the value of documenting these vital habitats so we can mobilise action to protect them.

Our IBA Programme brings focus to our efforts both at local and global levels, and means that while it is impossible for us to protect every last bit of nature in existence, we can at least throw our energy and collective influence behind saving those that will have the greatest impact to the persistence of biodiversity on the planet. Here are just a few examples…

1. Cousin Island, Seychelles

© Styve Reineck / Shutterstock
What makes it so special?

Encircled by white-gold sands and thriving coral reefs, this 27-hectare jewel of an island is blanketed in verdant native woodland, with areas of mangrove and a rocky outcrop protruding from the southern half.

Who lives here?

Seychelles Magpie-robin Copsychus sechellarum (Endangered), Seychelles Warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis (Near Threatened), Hawksbill Turtle (Critically Endangered)

How was it threatened?

Cousin Island had been cleared completely of native vegetation and planted from coast to coast with coconut trees. Restoration became a priority on discovering it was the last refuge of the Seychelles Warbler.

Our response:

In 1968 (thus predating IBAs themselves), BirdLife (then ICPB) launched a worldwide campaign to purchase the island outright. In 1975, it was declared a Special Reserve. The island is now 80% native forest, with ecotourism supporting its upkeep.

Read the entire piece here.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 30, 2019 to Sunday, December 1, 2019:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 30, 2019, 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, December 1, 2019, 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.
Note: Meets at 8 a.m. except in the winter months of December, January, and February when the walk starts at 10 a.m.

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, December 1, 7:15 am - 8:45 am
Birding in Peace
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the birds that make Green-Wood their home – some at least temporarily.

Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that there aren’t interesting birds to discover in Green-Wood. For some bird species that migrate south after the breeding season, Brooklyn is their Miami during the cold months. Spend the early morning exploring the cemetery, looking for overwintering waterfowl, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and any half-hardy birds that decided to stick around. By February we’ll see some of the early north-bound birds beginning to trickle back into the area.

All walks are at a slow pace on easy to moderate terrain, but proper, close toed footwear is suggested.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members
Click here for our inclement weather policy.


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.

**********

New York City Audubon
Sunday, December 1, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walks
Sundays, September 8-December 8, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
September 8: Meets at Rodman’s Neck Parking Lot
September 15-December 8: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
Join us to explore some of the best birding NYC has to offer. Come discover Pelham Bay Park's diverse habitat that attracts a variety of fall migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

**********

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

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, December 1, 2019
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
Sunday, December 1, 2019
Heather Garden Birds & Tree Tour at Heather Garden (in Fort Tryon Park), Manhattan
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Learn more about the winter birds and the importance of native plant species within Fort Tryon Park on this tour.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, November 23, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 22, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 22, 2019
* NYNY1911.22

- Birds Mentioned

ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
KING EIDER
Common Eider
Red-necked Grebe
BROWN PELICAN
Common Gallinule
MARBLED GODWIT
BLACK-HEADED GULL
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Vesper Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Baltimore Oriole
Ovenbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Wilson’s Warbler
Indigo Bunting

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 22, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, BROWN PELICAN, BLACK-HEADED GULL, KING EIDER, MARBLED GODWIT, ICELAND GULL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and more.

Late last week a Sparrow photographed at the bird feeders maintained at Brookside County Park in Sayville was subsequently identified as a GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, and since Sunday it has been seen consistently at that location, keeping company with a small flock of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. The address of Brookside County Park is 59 Brook Street, almost directly across from a large parking lot at Sayville High School. Proceed up the entry way to the feeders behind the park building, which has a viewing deck overlooking the feeders.

Regarding last Friday’s ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center off Yaphank Avenue, there was a single report from Saturday morning but no other known sightings despite the efforts of a number of birders.

Much more accommodating, a WESTERN KINGBIRD present at Jones Beach West End since November 2nd was still being seen yesterday, now very often present along the bike path that goes west from the parking lot at the now-under-construction Roosevelt Nature Center. The Kingbird has been reasonably faithful to that area this past week but could range further afield.

A BROWN PELICAN hanging around the inlet to Lake Montauk recently was noted yesterday again along the west side of the inlet. It does range into the harbor up to the Coast Guard Station and was apparently joined by a second immature BROWN PELICAN last Tuesday, perhaps the one visiting the Southampton commercial fishing docks last Sunday.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL was photographed Tuesday from the Frank Melville Memorial Park and Mill Pond in Setauket, this pond north of Old Field Road.

A decently plumaged drake KING EIDER was spotted Monday in a COMMON EIDER flock at Shinnecock Inlet, but there may still be issues reaching the inlet from the west side due to road washout.

CACKLING GEESE were reported from at least 6 different locations this week, so just a note that care should be taken in separating CACKLING from the smaller forms of CANADA GOOSE.

Single RED-NECKED GREBES were noted this week from Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn, off Mt. Loretto on Staten Island and from the Sands Point Preserve.

At Jones Beach a MARBLED GODWIT was still visiting the West End island off the Coast Guard Station Wednesday, and 4 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were counted at Field 6 last Sunday.

Two immature ICELAND GULLS appeared at Playland Lake in Rye last Monday, joining a gull feeding frenzy there, and one was still on the lake today.

Single COMMON GALLINULES were noted this week at Baisley Pond in Queens, at Hempstead Lake State Park and on Lotus Lake in Sayville.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR flew by Fort Tilden Wednesday morning, and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT has been present at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye recently.

This week also produced a few reports of VESPER SPARROW and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER as well as latish records of EASTERN PHOEBE, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, INDIGO BUNTING and such WARBLERS as OVENBIRD, NASHVILLE, NORTHERN PARULA and a male WILSON’S in Prospect Park last Sunday.

To phone in reports please 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 19, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website mnn.com:

Wind and solar plants rise in the shadow of Fukushima's nuclear meltdown in Japan
Starre Vartan
November 14, 2019, 8:27 a.m.


Cherry trees in bloom can be seen behind the gate of an area evacuated in the town of Tomioka after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. In the spring, the government arranged buses for former residents to visit the zone for the first time in nine years to see the blossoms. It's a good metaphor for the next phase of the site's story, which will see renewable energy options bloom on the site. (Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

In March 2011, a chain of events led to the most complicated nuclear accident that has ever occurred. It began with a magnitude-9.0 earthquake, followed by a tsunami that caused a meltdown of the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan. It was an event that experts say is comparable to Chernobyl. People in a 20-mile radius of the plant were eventually evacuated, some of them never to return to their homes.

But now the former nuclear power plant site will have a new life as a hub for renewable energy. The Japanese government along with private investors has put $2.75 billion into developing 11 solar plants and 10 wind-power plants on former farmland that's now unusable. And that work has already begun in earnest: "More than a gigawatt of solar-energy capacity has been added — the equivalent of more than three million solar panels," according to the Wall Street Journal. (WSJ stories are paywalled).

This is all part of the plan for the northeastern Fukushima prefecture to generate 100 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2040. In addition to the solar and wind power, the plan includes a large hydropower project, geothermal power and a hydrogen fuel plant. (The video below goes into more detail. The most interesting part starts around 18:42. For most users, the video will begin there automatically but it if doesn't for you, scroll to that moment manually.)

In what seems like an unexpected statistic, areas hit by disaster that also receive adequate recovery financing can end up growing faster than unaffected areas. When Kobe, also in Japan, suffered an earthquake and devastating fires in 1995, the city built a now-very-successful biomedical industry. Fukushima, with its host of clean-energy technology, may now have the chance to do something similar and become a leader for the rest of Japan in this area.

"The grass-roots energy movement you see in Fukushima — changing the perspective of how electricity can be generated — that really sets in motion the transition that you have seen in places like Germany," Fitch Solutions analyst David Brendan told the WSJ.

The energy produced at the Fukushima site will be sent to the Tokyo metropolitan area. Additional power will be up and running to power the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

It's not just the Fukushima prefecture that's investing in solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power: Japan as a whole plans to generate a quarter of its power from renewable sources by 2030. (It gets about 17 percent of its energy from renewables currently.) The country has already done some pioneering work in that respect, including large-scale solar arrays on waterways, and serious grassroots energy conservation.

Japan once relied heavily on nuclear power, with 54 reactors providing 30% of the country's power before the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Now, after vigorous counterterrorism and earthquake rules for reactors, there are just nine reactors left, and the future for those is uncertain. Meanwhile, solar, wind and other power are getting serious investment for the future.

Wind and solar plants rise in the shadow of Fukushima's nuclear meltdown in Japan

A $2.5 billion investment in a renewable energy hub will bring about 2/3 of the power that the nuclear plant once did.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 23, 2019 to Sunday, November 24, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
August 25, 2019 through November 25, 2019, 9:00am-5:00pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Bedford, NY
Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season.

Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch 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.

Registration not necessary.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 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, November 24, 2019
Rockaway Peninsula tour, Queens
Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Open space species, peak seabird, geese and duck migration
Car pool fee: $12.00
Registrar: Heidi Steiner email heidi.steiner@verizon.net or call before 8 pm 718- 369-2116
Registration Period: Nov 16th Nov 21st
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, November 24, 2019, 9:00am
Jones Beach State Park
Get ready to see winter waterfowl as well as many resident birds. There may be some surprises!
Registration: (631) 885-1881
Directions: Take either Meadowbrook Parkway or Wantagh Parkway to Ocean Parkway. Follow signs for the Coast Guard Station at the West End of Jones Beach. Meet at the parking lot by the restrooms.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 23, 2019
South Shores of Jamaica Bay
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, November 11
Ride: $15

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 7-November 23, 9-10:30am
Guides: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Meet at the southeast corner of the Mosholu Avenue park entrance. 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. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, November 24, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walks
Sundays, September 8-December 8, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
September 8: Meets at Rodman’s Neck Parking Lot
September 15-December 8: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
Join us to explore some of the best birding NYC has to offer. Come discover Pelham Bay Park's diverse habitat that attracts a variety of fall migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

**********

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 WILD!
Sunday, November 24, 2019, 11:30am
Now Get Out: Staten Island: Clove Lakes Park

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 !

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 9:30am – 1:00pm
"Duck Walk"
Starts at Whitney Pond
Leader: Jennifer - cell (516) 941-7434 or home (516) 767-3454
Where: 40.786853, -73.703315 (map)

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

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 8:00am – 3:00pm
Grand Jones Beach
Leader: Ian Resnick (917) 626-9562
Where: Boat Basin West End - Jones Beach State Park NY, Jones Beach Island, Point Lookout, NY 11569 (map)
We will start this field trip at Jones Beach West End - the gazebo at the boat basin adjoining the Coast Guard Station - see map. We will proceed both on foot and by vehicle to other locales in the Jones Beach area.
Please bring lunch.
If you have a scope, please bring it to the first location; it may be useful in others as well.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 24, 2019
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, November 24, 2019
Birding: Waterfowl at Salt Marsh Nature Center (in Marine Park), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels. Beginners are welcome.
Free!

Birding: Shorebirds and Fall Migrants at Lemon Creek Pier (in Lemon Creek Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our park rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Appropriate for all skill levels.
Free!
...Read more

Sunday, November 17, 2019

120th New York State Christmas Bird Count

The 120th Annual Christmas Bird Count begins Saturday, December 14, 2019. If you'd like to participate with one of the many groups of birders in our area (of all skill levels) here is an abbreviated listing of the local counts. Below only includes the team coordinator information for the 5 boroughs of New York City, as well as, Long Island. A comprehensive listing for New York State can be found here.

Count
Code
Count Name
Contact
Email
Phone
Saturday, December 14, 2019
NYBR
Brooklyn L.I.
Bobbi Manian
roberta.manian@gmail.com
Sunday, December 15, 2019
NJLH
Lower Hudson NJ/NY
Kaitlyn Parkins
kparkins@nycaudubon.org
NYQU
Queens County
Corey Finger
10000birdsblogger@gmail.com
NYQW
Quogue-Water Mill L.I.
Steven Biasetti
sbiasetti@eastendenvironment.org
516-767-3454
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Friday, December 20, 2019
Saturday, December 21, 2019
NYMK
Montauk L.I.
Jennifer Wilson Pines
jwpines@gmail.com
NYNN
North Nassau
Angus Wilson
Brent Bomkamp
oceanwanderers@gmail.com
bbomkamp@gmail.com
Sunday, December 22, 2019
NYBW
Bronx-Westchester Region
Michael Bochnik
http://www.hras.org/bwcbc.html
914-237-9331
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Thursday, December 26, 2019
Friday, December 27, 2019
NYCS
Central Suffolk County L.I.
Eileen Schwinn
beachmed@optonline.net
NYSM
Smithtown L.I.
Richard Gostic
631-219-3836
Saturday, December 28, 2019
NYSN
Southern Nassau County L.I.
Pat Lindsay &
Shai Mitra
pjlindsay@optonline.net
631-666-7624

Friday, November 15, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 15, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 15, 2019
* NYNY1911.15

- Birds Mentioned
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER+
WESTERN MEADOWLARK (possible)+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cackling Goose
HARLEQUIN DUCK
BROWN PELICAN
GOLDEN EAGLE
Common Gallinule
MARBLED GODWIT
Long-billed Dowitcher
American Woodcock
Parasitic Jaeger
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Royal Tern
WESTERN KINGBIRD
NORTHERN SHRIKE
Vesper Sparrow
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
SUMMER TANAGER

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 15, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are BROWN PELICAN, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, NORTHERN SHRIKE, a possible WESTERN MEADOWLARK, GOLDEN EAGLE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, MARBLED GODWIT, ICELAND GULL, and a late SUMMER TANAGER.

A BROWN PELICAN seen soaring over Coney Island Creek Park early last Saturday morning may have been the same one spotted later that day at 2 different locations on Staten Island, while the BROWN PELICAN out in Montauk was still present yesterday around the inlet to Lake Montauk, often seen on the west side of the inlet but sometimes venturing in as far as the Coast Guard Station.

A couple of ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS this week began with one Monday only at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, followed by one found today out in Yaphank at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center. The Yaphank Flycatcher was frequenting the southern border of the park near the railroad tracks; this park is located off Yaphank Avenue south of Exit 67 on the Long Island Expressway.

Of the 2 WESTERN KINGBIRDS present last week at Jones Beach West End, both were noted up to last Sunday, and one was still near the now-under-construction Roosevelt Nature Center yesterday.

An adult NORTHERN SHRIKE was photographed yesterday morning at Caumsett State Park, found by the salt marsh near Lloyd Point at the north end of the park.

Last Saturday morning a birder had a brief but very intriguing encounter with a Meadowlark at Crab Meadow Beach in Northport, during which the call note of the Meadowlark was recorded. The lower pitch of the call note coupled with certain field marks suggested that WESTERN MEADOWLARK was a possibility, but given the overlap and variability of field marks within the Meadowlarks and the possibility even of hybrids, this bird’s identity remains uncertain.

A highlight of any hawk watch, GOLDEN EAGLES appearing locally included 2 last Saturday, 1 at Brookfield Park on Staten Island and another at Laurel Ridge Setauket Woods Nature Preserve; the latter site also produced 4 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, now fairly widespread in our area.

Local increases in waterfowl featured a female HARLEQUIN DUCK briefly visiting Coney Island last Sunday before continuing east. CACKLING GEESE were reported from 5 Long Island sites this week, including a returning bird at Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream.

An immature ICELAND GULL appeared last Sunday along the Hudson River near Croton Point Park.

Two MARBLED GODWITS were still frequenting the bars around the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station at least to Monday, and 4 or more LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS continue along Santapogue Creek off Venetian Boulevard in West Babylon. A few AMERICAN WOODCOCKS have been noted lately.

Two PARASITIC JAEGERS were spotted off Jones Beach last Sunday, with 6 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and 38 ROYAL TERNS also counted there.

A COMMON GALLINULE was at Mill Pond Park in Bellmore early in the week.

Certainly unexpected was the female SUMMER TANAGER reported in Central Park earlier today, an interesting late date.

Among the SPARROWS, a few VESPERS continue to be seen locally, while late lingering WARBLERS this week featured BLACK-AND-WHITE, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and WILSON’S.

To phone in reports please 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

Monday, November 11, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 16, 2019 to Sunday, November 17, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
August 25, 2019 through November 25, 2019, 9:00am-5:00pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Bedford, NY
Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season.

Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch 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.

Registration not necessary.
See more details

Saturday, November 16, 2019, 8:00am - 1:00pm
Leader’s Choice with Naturalist-in-Residence Tait Johansson
Do you like surprises?
If so, save the date for a very Special Field Trip: Leader’s Choice with Naturalist-in-Residence Tait Johansson. November is the best month for rarities – while we may not be chasing a Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Tait will scout out the latest and greatest for the group to see.
Time and location to be determined! Will be within 1 ½ hrs. drive of Westchester.
Cost: Free.
Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate.
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713.
See more details

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Exploring New Horizons and Adventures in Brooklyn and Queens
Leader: Ryan Goldberg
Focus: discovering newly opened preserves and trails in Brooklyn and Queens, including Marine Park (Seba Avenue trailhead on Gerritsen Ave), Shirley Chisholm State Park and Sunrise Cove Park (Broad Channel)
Car Pool Fee: $10.00
Registrar: Janet Schumacher email - janets33@optonline.net
Registration Period: Nov 9th - Nov 14th
Links: https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2019/05/20/a-new-trail-shows-off-marine-parks-wild-side/; https://www.nycgovparks.org/park-features/hiking/marine-park; https://parks.ny.gov/parks/200/maps.aspx; https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/sunset-cove-park/map
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, November 16, 2019, 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.

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Gateway Nation Parks
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 10am — 1pm
Winter Waterfowl Workshop
View Details

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 9:00am
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.)

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 6:30am - 8:00am
Birding in Peace
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the birds that make Green-Wood their home – some at least temporarily.

By September, offspring of these 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.

All walks are at a slow pace on easy to moderate terrain, but proper, close toed footwear is suggested.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members
Click here for our inclement weather policy.


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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 9:00am
Sunken Meadow State Park
We will investigate the trails, ponds, and seashore to see what birds are leftover from the fall and which birds have arrived for the winter.
Registration: (585) 880-0915
Directions: Take Sunken Meadow State Pkwy north to end, meet in the northwest corner of field 1.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Joseph DiCostanzo
Registrar: Pearl Broder — pbroder3@nyc.rr.com or 212-924-0030
Registration opens: Monday, November 4
Ride: $15 or public transportation

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Littoral Society
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Hike the Trails of the North Forty Natural Area
Floyd Bennett Field
Ryan Visitors Center
It’s almost winter, the perfect season for discovering the hidden secrets of the North Forty Natural Area at Floyd Bennett Field. Join American Littoral Society naturalist Gordon Lam and NYC Botanist Zihao Wang to look for flora, fauna, and maybe even a bit of history. Participants will carpool from the Ryan Visitors’ Center to the North Forty trailhead.

DIRECTIONS TO FLOYD BENNETT FIELD:
• Subway: IRT #2 to Flatbush Ave. Check Sunday train schedules ahead of time. Take the Q-35 bus south to Floyd Bennett Field, last stop before the Gil Hodges Memorial (Marine Pkwy.) Bridge.
• By Car: Belt Pkwy. to Exit 11S. Take Flatbush Ave. south to park.  Bus: B41 to Nostrand Ave. then Q35 to the park entrance.  Proceed to the Ryan Visitors’ Center to meet the group.

Zihao Wang is a botanist inspired by the local flora of NYC. He found his love for native plants while exploring the natural areas of the five boroughs. The surprisingly diverse community of rare plants hidden in the city motivated him to study field botany. He then went on to become a botanical consultant and gain a deep understanding of the ecological communities of the New York metropolitan area. He can't wait to share his passion for wild plants and explore the wonderful wilderness with more people.

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 9am – 3pm
Van Trip to the Winter Waterfowl Workshop at Jamaica Bay
Register for our van trip to the Winter Waterfowl Workshop (see description above) 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 16, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 7-November 23, 9-10:30am
Guides: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Meet at the southeast corner of the Mosholu Avenue park entrance. 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. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, November 17, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walks
Sundays, September 8-December 8, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
September 8: Meets at Rodman’s Neck Parking Lot
September 15-December 8: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
Join us to explore some of the best birding NYC has to offer. Come discover Pelham Bay Park's diverse habitat that attracts a variety of fall migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

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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 WILD!
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 9:30am
Now Get Out: Tarrytown, NY: Rockefeller State Park Preserve

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 !

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Nassau County Museum of Art
Leader: Peggy - 516-883-2130
Where: Nassau County Museum of Art, One Museum Dr, Roslyn, NY 11576 (map)

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

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Sunday, November 17, 2019, 1:00pm-3:00pm
Acme Pond and the North Forest
Hylan Blvd and Holton Avenue, Staten Island
The woodlands and ponds of this little known area will be explored during an approximately two mile hike. Once heavily farmed, the Acme Pond area has developed into a nicely wooded forest over the past 150 years with sweetgum, white oaks and hickories as the dominant trees. The pond is reputed to be the home of large bass and provides a secluded location for many birds as well as snakes and turtles.
Meet at the corner of Hylan Boulevard, and Holton Avenue.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Jones Beach Coast Guard Station Parking Area
From the Wantagh State Parkway, travel south. Upon entering Jones Beach State Park, exit at Bay Drive and continue west. Turn right (north) at entrance for Coast Guard Station and West End Boat Basin; turn right again for parking.
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
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Queens Park of the Month: Kissena Corridor Park at 56th Road and 146th Street (in Kissena Corridor Park), Queens 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
The Queens Park of the Month series features some highlights of some local favorite parks.
Free!

Birding: Owls at Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Be wise and join this Urban Park Ranger-led hike, as we look for this bird of prey. Participants are selected by lottery. Lottery registration begins on Wednesday, November 6.
Free!
...Read more

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Mother Nature Network:

Ocean Cleanup mission takes aim at rivers
Mary Jo DiLonardo
October 28, 2019, 4:04 p.m.

Boyan Slat's plastic-free dream is taking shape.

The group behind the mission to rid our oceans of plastic has opened a second front in the war by pulling plastic from the world's most polluted waterways before it gets to the ocean.

The Ocean Cleanup team unveiled a group of Interceptors, which are currently in operation on two rivers in Malaysia and Indonesia. By their estimate, roughly 80% of the world's plastic reaches the ocean through 1,000 rivers. The goal is to clean up those rivers by 2025, pulling in roughly 50,000 kilograms of plastic a day with each river Interceptor.

"To truly rid the oceans of plastic, we need to both clean up the legacy and close the tap, preventing more plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place," said founder Boyan Slat.

The river element was unveiled less than a month after the team successfully collected plastic in the ocean after a rocky few months.

The ocean element is back on track

"Our ocean cleanup system is now finally catching plastic, from one-ton ghost nets to tiny microplastics! Also, anyone missing a wheel?" announced Slat. It was a buoyant moment for a project that has had its ups and downs.

Slat became the poster boy for entrepreneurship when he quit university and launched the project at 18. He had come up with the idea after diving in Greece as a teenager, recognizing the scope of the problem — and coming up with a potential solution. He has been the face of the project ever since, through good times and bad.

The Ocean Cleanup was redeployed in June after spending four months in the shop and has been in testing mode for the last few months. The second deployment was a quieter affair than the first, when the much-lauded cleanup system began trolling the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to collect plastic waste. However, the Ocean Cleanup was forced to return to port in Hawaii just a few months after being launched because the passive floating system was catching plastic, but it wasn't necessarily retaining it and an 18-meter end section had broken away from the main frame.

Undeterred by their critics, the team behind the Ocean Cleanup said the mishap was all part of the process.

The basic principle behind the iterative design process is to test, learn, and repeat until you have a proven concept. We do not know with certainty that these proposed options will solve the issues we have encountered. In fact, there may still be further unknowns, as is the nature when doing something that has never been done before. What we do know, is that every day we are not yet operational the plastic pollution problem is not getting better.

How it works (and why it didn't before)

Ocean Cleanup is a Netherlands-based group of about 80 engineers, researchers, scientists and computational modelers. Dubbed 001/B or Wilson, it consists of a 2,000-foot (600 meter) U-shaped boom with an attached woven skirt. It acts like a floating artificial coastline. The boom prevents plastic from flowing over it, while the skirt stops debris from escaping underneath it. It's set up to collect everything from big items like massive fishing nets as well as microplastics, all without disturbing marine life below.

It was the system's finally realized ability to capture the tiniest of plastic pieces that signaled the team had rounded the corner.

"After beginning this journey seven years ago, this first year of testing in the unforgivable environment of the high seas strongly indicates that our vision is attainable and that the beginning of our mission to rid the ocean of plastic garbage, which has accumulated for decades, is within our sights," Slat said in a news release and the video above.

However, with the Ocean Cleanup's success comes a new question: If you clean up the plastic, are your endangering the health of the neuston, an ecosystem that lives at the top surface of the water? This question about the neuston — which is comprised of bacteria, protozoans, certain species of fish, jellyfish, sea anemones, vellela and crabs — has come up several times this year, as the linked story explains. In response, the Ocean Cleanup has been communicating with the biologist who originally raised the question and that they are adjusting the system and its environmental impact as they go. (There's some continued back-and-forth on Twitter on the best way to do this.)

Learning from mistakes

The bumps and ongoing adjustments are part of the process. In fact, it was the problem that sent them back to port in December that helped them solve a deeper issue. The offshore crew noticed on Dec. 29 that the section was detached and after some debate, determined that the boom must return to port because both end sections contained sensors and satellite communication had been compromised.

Late last year, the boom was struggling in places to hold on to plastic that it gathered.

"It has been four weeks since we deployed System 001 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). In this time, we have observed that plastic is exiting the system once it is collected, so we are currently working on causes and solutions to remedy this," Slat wrote on the group's website in late November. "Because this is our beta system, and this is the first deployment of any ocean cleanup system, we have been preparing ourselves for surprises."

"Although we are not harvesting plastic yet, based on the current results, we are positive we are close to making it work," Slat said at the time.

One reason the system didn't work as hoped has to do with speed. To catch the plastic, the system typically has to move faster — or in some cases, slower — than the plastic it's hoping to catch, Slat said. The fix put in place — one inspired by sailing — ensured that the the system will not travel at the same speed as the plastic.

There are still obstacles to be overcome and problems to be solved, but the team is making progress and building momentum as this BrightVibes video explains:
...Read more

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