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

Saturday, June 15, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 14, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jun. 14, 2019
* NYNY1906.14

- Birds mentioned
ARCTIC TERN+
BRIDLED TERN+
BROWN PELICAN+
WHITE-FACED IBIS+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Lesser Black-backed Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Roseate Tern
Black Skimmer
Cory's Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Hooded Merganser
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK
Glossy Ibis
Least Bittern
SANDHILL CRANE
Bald Eagle
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Alder Flycatcher
Pine Siskin
BLUE GROSBEAK
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
KENTUCKY WARBLER
Red-breasted Nuthatch

- 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, June 14th 2019 at 8pm. The highlights of today's tape are BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, BRIDLED TERN, BROWN PELICAN, SANDHILL CRANE, WHITE-FACED IBIS, ARCTIC and other terns, YELLOW-THROATED and KENTUCKY WARBLERS, BLUE GROSBEAK, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, pelagics from shore and more.

At least 10 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS continue in the area this group lately spending much of its time at Nickerson Beach where from Monday afternoon through today they have been loafing on the grassy lawn next to Lido Boulevard a little west of the main Nickerson parking lot. Last Saturday at least 8 were still in the cloverleaf pond at the Jones Beach West End and Meadowbrook Parkway intersection but for now Nickerson seems to be the best place to look for them. At least until the weekend crowds start to gather.

An adult BRIDLED TERN has returned for a 4th summer to Great Gull Island where it roosts on the northeastern end of the island with some of the nesting Common and Roseate Terns. Great Gull, located between Plum Island and Fisher's Island in Long Island Sound, is a tern research island with no shore landings permitted but boating near the island can provide views of the tern.

Last Saturday 2 BROWN PELICANS were spotted flying east over the bay off Heckscher State Park. There has been no further report of the pelican in the Northport area. The SANDHILL CRANE was still along Cranberry Hole Road in the Napeague area last Monday. An adult WHITE-FACED IBIS was present in the marsh north of Captree Island Thursday afternoon.

An immature ARCTIC TERN at Nickerson Beach Sunday was followed by 2 reported there Wednesday this site also continuing to provide GULL-BILLED and ROSEATE TERNS around the tern and Black Skimmer colonies. An adult ARCTIC was also found Saturday at Democrat Point at the western end of Fire Island. Other terns this week featured 2 CASPIAN at Heckscher Monday and a ROYAL TERN at Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga Tuesday. Decent numbers of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS also continue at certain sites like Robert Moses State Park and Jones Beach West End.

Various pelagic species began showing up along Long Island's south shore recently especially when winds feature an easterly component though southeast and southwest can both be favorable. Seen yesterday off Robert Moses State Park field 2 were small numbers of SOOTY, GREAT and CORY'S SHEARWATERS and WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS and there were also a few off Shinnecock Inlet.

Both RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER were noted this week along the Paumanok Trail off Schultz Road in Manorville. Another RED-HEADED continues at Connetquot River State Park and the YELLOW-THROATED remains at Bayard Cutting Arboretum and KENTUCKY WARBLER was still singing at Floyd Bennett Field today. Two BLUE GROSBEAKS were still around the Calverton Grasslands this week and another was found at Connetquot also good habitat for them.

The Captree Summer Bird Count last weekend netted 130 species besides several species noted above like BROWN PELICAN and ARCTIC TERN the count also featured a LEAST BITTERN, 3 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS and a NELSON'S SPARROW.

The Greenwich-Stanford Summer Bird Count including much of Westchester County recorded 122 species including GLOSSY IBIS, HOODED MERGANSER with 5 young, several BALD EAGLE nests, BLACK SKIMMER, a few YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, ALDER FLYCATCHER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and 2 PINE SISKINS in Bedford.

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, June 11, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Mother Nature Network:

Renewable energy is quickly becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, report finds
Russell McLendon
June 20, 2019

The costs of renewable energy fell to a record low in 2018, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable sources are already the cheapest way to generate electricity in many parts of the world, the intergovernmental agency reports, and they're rapidly outpacing the affordability of fossil fuels on a global scale.

Within the next year, electricity generated by onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies will be consistently cheaper than electricity generated by any fossil-fuel source, the report forecasts. On top of the "hidden" costs of fossil fuels — from dangerous mining and drilling operations to the greenhouse gas emissions that are now disrupting climate patterns all over the planet — this is further boosting the economic case for a global shift to renewable energy.

"Renewable power is the backbone of any development that aims to be sustainable," IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera says in a statement released May 29. "We must do everything we can to accelerate renewables if we are to meet the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. Today's report sends a clear signal to the international community: Renewable energy provides countries with a low-cost climate solution that allows for scaling up action."

The biggest cost reduction in 2018 was for concentrated solar power (CSP), which saw a 26% drop in its global weighted-average cost of electricity generation, according to IRENA. This was followed by a 14% drop for bioenergy costs, 13% for solar PV and onshore wind, 11% for hydroelectricity, and 1% for geothermal and offshore wind. These reductions are being driven by technological improvements as well as increased production, Reuters reports.

Hydroelectricity remains the cheapest form of renewable power overall, at a global weighted-average cost of just under $0.05 per kilowatt hour (kWh), but several other sources are now commonly below $0.10 per kWh, according to IRENA. That includes onshore wind, at a little more than $0.05 per kWh, and solar PV, which averages less than $0.90 per kWh globally. Even CSP, the most expensive renewable source, increasingly rivals fossil fuels at about $0.19 per kWh. (For comparison, developing a new power plant based on fossil fuels like oil or gas tends to range from $0.05 to $0.15 per kWh, according to Forbes.)

These are global averages, so the costs are still higher in some countries. But they're also even lower in others — solar PV, for example, has recently fallen as low as $0.03 per kWh in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

This trend shows no signs of slowing down, IRENA adds. Costs of renewable energy are expected to continue falling into the next decade, especially for solar- and wind-power technologies. More than 75% of onshore wind and 80% of solar PV projects due to be commissioned next year will generate power at lower prices than the cheapest new fossil-fuel options, according to the report. On top of that, IRENA points out, they're on pace to achieve this milestone even without financial assistance.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, June 15, 2019 to Sunday, June 16, 2019:

Feminist Bird Club
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Let's Go Birding Together
Help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a riot of birds! Let's Go Birding Together walks are a way for folks who love birds and the outdoors to come together during Pride month. This walk is for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, their families, and allies.This Central Park bird walk is co-presented by NYC Audubon, National Audubon Society and the Feminist Bird Club. Meet at 72nd Street and Central Park West. Free.

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

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Freshkill Park Alliance
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 10:00am
Family Nature Walk
Lace up your shoes for a family-friendly nature walk at Freshkills Park! Learn about the different plants and animals found in the park.
Read More

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Gateway National Park
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 2pm — 3pm
Hummingbird Hide-and-Seek
View Details

Sunday, June 16, 2019, 10:00am — 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Day(s): Every week on Sunday until September 29, 2019
View Details

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, June 16, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Summer Birding Late-June and July we should see the offspring of our resident red-tailed hawk bravely preparing to leave the nest. Warbler songs will be replaced by chirring Cicadas and the tweets of fledgling birds. Butterflies and dragonflies are abundant. By late-July, expect the arrival of the first southbound migrants.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

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.

For this program you will check in at the Gothic Arches, right at the main entrance. Click here for our inclement weather policy.

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, June 16, 2019, 8:00am
Connetquot River State Preserve
The Preserve maintains 3,473 acres of land and water for the protection and propagation of game birds, fish, and animals. Deer and waterfowl are numerous and there are numerous rare plants, such as trailing arbutus and pyxie moss in their natural habitats. The Preserve is a waterfowl hang-out as well as many resident birds. There may be some surprises at the bird feeders!
Registration: Call (585) 880-0915 to register.

Directions: From the west, get off Sunrise Highway at Oakdale-Bohemia Road, cross over Sunrise, head west and watch for the Park entrance on the right.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, June 15, 2019 (Rain date, June 16)
Ward Pound Ridge for Butterflies
Leader: Rick Cech
Registrar: Lenore Swenson — lenoreswenson@gmail.com or 212-533-9567
Registration opens: Monday, June 3
Ride: $30

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Birding Brooklyn Bridge Park with Heather Wolf
Guide: Heather Wolf
Meet at Pier 1 park entrance at the intersection of Old Fulton Street and Furman Street. Join Heather Wolf, author of Birding at the Bridge, for a picturesque bird walk along the Brooklyn waterfront. We'll look for breeding and nesting birds like the Gray Catbird, American Robin, and Song Sparrow, and more. Limited to 19. Free
Click here to register

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Saturdays, April 27-July 20, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon 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 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, call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 10am – 1pm
Birds and Plants: New York Botanical Garden in Springtime
Guides: Gabriel Willow
The New York Botanical Garden is home to a large tract of East Coast old-growth forest. During the peak of spring migration, the beautiful gardens come alive with migrating songbirds. Limited to 15. Entrance fee to NYBG not included. $39 (27) per walk
Click here to register

Sunday, June 16, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walk Series
Sundays, March 24-June 30 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
Before May 20th: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
May 20th-June 30th: Meet at Rodman's Neck 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 spring migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, June 16, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Sundays, June 9 and June 16, 2-3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

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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, June 16, 2019, 12:00pm
Old Croton Aqueduct - Part 8 (of 8) Central Park Great Lawn to Bryant Park

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Mount Loretto Unique Area (Botany, Birds and Butterflies)
Kenny Road and Hylan Blvd., Staten Island
Walk along the trails through the meadows, the wetlands and shoreline and into the Butler Woods. Explore the diversity of habitats in this south shore parkland system which Protectors helped to have preserved in the mid-1990s. Now home to eagles and deer, orchids and a rich variety of butterflies no one could have anticipated just how special the Mount Loretto property would have become once preserved. Participants will investigate the area for birds and butterflies, horseshoe crabs and even fossils buried among the layers of detritus at the beach.
For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at (718) 317-7666.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 7:30am
Nickerson Beach Park
Leader: Mike Zito (516) 507-9419
Where: 40.588552, -73.603587 (map)
A perennially great place for Terns! Common, Roseate, Least, Black, Arctic and Sandwich have been seen on this trip.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join us in the park as we focus on wildlife happenings in the park on a walk led by NYC Audubon experts.
Free!

Flora and Fauna Walk at Highbridge Park with Leslie Day at W 158th Street and Edgecombe Avenue (in Highbridge Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Come on a morning nature walk through Highbridge Park, an ideal spot to see many species of animals, insects, and birds.
Free!

Sunday, June 16, 2019
Birding at Arthur Kill Road and Brookfield Avenue (in Brookfield Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, June 08, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 7, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* June 7, 2019
* NYNY1906.07

- Birds Mentioned

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK+
ARCTIC TERN+
SANDWICH TERN+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Sooty Shearwater
BROWN PELICAN
SANDHILL CRANE
WILSON’S PHALAROPE
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Royal Tern
Black Skimmer
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Northern Waterthrush
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Canada Warbler
SUMMER TANAGER
BLUE GROSBEAK

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, June 7, 2019 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, SANDHILL CRANE, BROWN PELICAN, SANDWICH and ARCTIC TERNS, WILSON’S PHALAROPE, PROTHONOTARY and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK and more.

Following last Friday’s flock of 10 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS at the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area, up to 12 were counted in the flooded area at the cloverleaf connecting Ocean Parkway onto the Meadowbrook as approached from Jones Beach West End through Tuesday, and up to 9 were still being seen at Oceanside as recently as Wednesday, so this group could still be in the area.

Also continuing at least to Thursday is the SANDHILL CRANE out east at Napeague, this individual lingering off Cranberry Hole Road near an old fish factory.

And a BROWN PELICAN first noted off Northport on May 27th has apparently continued in that area, reported Wednesday evening as landing on the beach just west of the four stacks.

Though Nickerson Beach has been generating most of the Tern excitement recently, the most unusual was presumably the same adult SANDWICH TERN seen last Sunday morning at both Plumb Beach in Brooklyn and near the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge – it has not been reported since.

At Nickerson Beach, which is on the south side of Lido Boulevard west of Point Lookout and does charge a substantial entrance fee from about 9 am to 4 pm, the existing COMMON and LEAST TERN and BLACK SKIMMER colonies have attracted a few adult ARCTIC TERNS so far this spring, including at least two Sunday and Monday, the birds resting on the beach in front of the nesting areas. Also occurring have been a couple of BLACK TERNS in addition to a small number of ROSEATE and GULL-BILLED TERNS, and a male WILSON’S PHALAROPE was seen again there on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A second year ARCTIC TERN was spotted today on South Line Island east of the Wantagh Parkway.

Finishing the TERNS, an adult ROYAL was off the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station Wednesday, and today two CASPIANS were reported from Old Inlet on Fire Island west of Smith Point County Park.

Four LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were also at Smith Point County Park Monday, when one of only a very few SOOTY SHEARWATERS so far was spotted offshore. An occasional single SOOTY has also appeared off Robert Moses State Park and other south shore sites, but they seem a little behind schedule.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still present along the Paumanok Trail in Manorville Tuesday.

A PROTHONOTARY WARBLER found at Mashomack Preserve at Shelter Island on Thursday could be a potential nester there, and a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, presumably breeding, remains at Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River. Probably still on the move were a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER at Bensonhurst Park and a KENTUCKY WARBLER at Floyd Bennett Field, both in Brooklyn on Sunday.

Sunday also produced SUMMER TANAGER sightings in Central Park and at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, certainly migrants, while the nesting enclave of BLUE GROSBEAKS continues around the Calverton Grasslands, one of the reasons that large expanse of great habitat should be protected.

The final stage of migration generally produces the best variety of FLYCATCHERS, including this week some OLIVE-SIDED, ACADIAN, ALDER and YELLOW-BELLIED, while WARBLERS featured a decent number of MOURNINGS for June and a smattering of such species as CHESTNUT-SIDED, MAGNOLIA, BLACKBURNIAN, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, CANADA and even YELLOW-RUMPED.

Remember in breeding season to be very mindful and protective of the nesting birds.

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, June 04, 2019

Green-Wood Cemetery Spring Birds Highlights

While it may technically still be Spring until June 21st, the northbound migration in Green-Wood Cemetery is over. There may still be a few birds dribbling through the area, but the peak of Spring migration is behind us. My birding tours (and Brooklyn birding in general) this Spring were very productive. For the months of April and May we totaled 135 species in Green-Wood Cemetery...118 of which were in May alone! We were fortunate to have photographer Evan Rabeck along for many of the walks and I've created a short slideshow video of his photographs to celebrate Spring in historic Green-Wood Cemetery. Enjoy.


Here is the cast of the video (in order of appearance):

Spring crocuses
Eastern Phoebe
Pine Warbler
Ring-necked Duck
Blue Jay
Chipping Sparrow
Palm Warbler
Brown Thrasher
Cherry blossoms
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Great Egret
Summer Tanager
White-eyed Vireo
Common Grackle
American Robin
Black-and-white Warbler
Blue Grosbeak
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Baltimore Oriole
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee (male)
Gray Catbird
Ovenbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Scarlet Tanager
Wood Thrush
Yellow Warbler
Veery
Eastern Whip-poor-will
American Goldfinch
Osprey
Common Raven
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler (male)
Magnolia Warbler
Northern Parula
American Redstart (again)
Blackpoll Warbler
Cape May Warbler (female)
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Towhee (female)
Turkey Vulture
Eastern Kingbird
Willow Flycatcher (?)
Green Heron
Red-tailed Hawk

Treehugger Tuesday

From Earther.com:

How Climate Change May Be Linked to a Puffin Mass Die-Off
Yessenia Funes
Monday, June 3, 2019


Photo: AP

Puffins’ bright beaks and black and white coats make them look like a tropical penguin, but they favor cold coastal waters and cliffs. However, climate change is threatening their chill life by the seashore. A new study published Wednesday in the PLOS ONE journal links a mass die-off of tufted puffins to climate change.

Between October 2016 and January 2017, more than 350 dead birds washed ashore on St. Paul Island, Alaska, located in the Bering Sea. Their ranks included puffins, as well as the crested auklet, a stunning black seabird with a signature black mohawk. The team of scientists estimates that up to 8,800 birds actually likely died due to starvation.

The researchers point to warm sea surface temperatures that made zooplankton scarce in the Bering Sea, causing a cascade effect down the food chain. When the plankton disappear, so does the fish and marine invertebrates that the seabirds feed on. And it’s no secret that climate change is warming Arctic waters, which led the team of researchers to partially attribute the mass seabird dieoff to climate change, too.

The study authors relied on citizen science done by tribal and community members on St. Paul Island who helped collect the bird carcasses starting in October 2016. When they were brought in for a necropsy, the scientists realized the birds were emaciated and had begun to lose fat tissue.

Before this mass die-off, beached puffins were a rare sighting in this area, the study said. But as the sea keeps warming, this may become more common as their food source disappears. Tufted puffin population numbers are already declining because they became fisheries by-catch, and the Atlantic puffin is vulnerable because of climate change as well.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, June 1, 2019 to Sunday, June 2, 2019:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, June 8, 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, June 9, 2019, 9:00am - 10:30am
Fort Greene Park, North Brooklyn
Meet 9 am at the Urban Park Rangers Visitors Center https://tinyurl.com/FtGreeneVCtr
Leader: August Davidson-Onsgard AugustDavidsonOnsgard.com
Focus: Spring migration of songbirds at a historical park. The park’s May list is 78 species to date. No registration necessary. Nearest train stations: DeKalb Avenue station; exit and walk 5 blocks east on DeKalb Avenue; Also Fulton Ave A and […]

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Feminist Bird Club
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Fire Island Pines with the Institute for Queer Ecology and BOFFO

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

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Freshkill Park Alliance
Saturday, June 08, 2019 12:00pm
Kayak Tour
Kayak along Freshkills Park’s waterways! This two mile round-trip tour explores the unique engineered landscape while the site is closed to the public.
Read More

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Gateway National Park
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Sunday, June 9, 2019, 10:00am — 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Day(s): Every week on Sunday until September 29, 2019
View Details

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, June 9, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Peak Spring Migration From Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to over 20 species of colorful wood-warblers, our peak migration tours will feature many of the 163 bird species that have been recorded at Green-Wood during the month of May. Beginning just after sunrise, we will experience spring’s dawn chorus at the active time of day for birds.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

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.

For this program you will check in at the Gothic Arches, right at the main entrance. Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Van Cortlandt Park Nature Trip
Leader: Ken Chaya
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, May 27
Public transportation

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Saturdays, April 27-July 20, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon 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 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, call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10am – 1pm
The Parakeets of Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Green-Wood Cemetery
Explore Green-Wood Cemetery, rich in both history and wildlife, in search of spring migrants and its unique avian residents: the huge flocks of brilliant green Monk Parakeets that nest there. Native to South America, these charming immigrants flourish even in our harsh winters. Limited to 15. $46 (32)
Click here to register

Sunday, June 9, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walk Series
Sundays, March 24-June 30 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
Before May 20th: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
May 20th-June 30th: Meet at Rodman's Neck 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 spring migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, June 9, 2019, 9:30am – 11:30am
Birding at Wave Hill
Sundays May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, 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. Walks run rain or shine. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. No registration required. No limit. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission (see www.wavehill.org for more information)

Sunday, June 9, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Sundays, June 9 and June 16, 2-3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

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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

**********

NYCH2O
​Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10am
Ridgewood Reservoir Community Tours
The Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a 50+ acre natural oasis that straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water, it became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950’s and was decommissioned in the 1980’s. Since then, nature took its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin.
Click here for more info

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New York City WILD!
Sunday, June 9, 2019, 12:00pm
Old Croton Aqueduct - Part 7 (of 8) Highbridge to Central Park Great Lawn

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Sunday, June 9, 2019, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Seaside Nature Preserve
Nelson Avenue and Tennyson Drive, Staten Island
Seaside Nature Preserve–Though only 21 acres in size the Seaside Nature Preserve includes a natural beach, an open field, playgrounds and an overall relaxing environment for humans and wildlife. Scheduled for high tide we 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 contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Marine Nature Study Area
From Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre, turn onto Long Beach Road, traveling south. Proceed to Waukena Avenue and turn left. From this point onward, there are brown signs directing visitors to the sanctuary. Turn right onto Park Avenue (at a traffic light), then turn left onto Golf Drive. Continue on Golf Drive to Slice Drive, turn right, and proceed one short block into the sanctuary.
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, June 8, 2019
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join us in the park as we focus on wildlife happenings in the park on a walk led by NYC Audubon experts.
Free!

Biking and Birding Adventure at Ben Abrams Playground (in Bronx Park), Bronx
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
We'll visit a variety of habitats by bike, hoping to see a diverse array of bird species that reside along the beautiful Bronx River Greenway. Registration is required.
Free!

Sunday, June 9, 2019
Summer Birding with Gabriel Willow at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of diverse bird species and their behavior on these walks through the gardens and woodlands.

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Wild Bird Fund
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Focus on the Birds with Charles Chessler
Need to brush up on your bird photography skills? Join WBF and native New York photographer Charles Chessler for a fun couple of hours learning how best to capture the beautiful birds that visit and make Central Park their home. At 10 AM Charles will spend a half hour discussing some basic photographic concepts and best settings for bird photography. Then we'll head into the park to see what we can see...and, hopefully, we'll all go home with some exciting images.
We'll be meeting at the Wild Bird Fund ( 565 Columbus Avenue New York, NY 10024)
Find Out More
...Read more

Saturday, June 01, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, May 31, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* May 31, 2019
* NYNY1905.31

- Birds Mentioned

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK+
PACIFIC LOON+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+
ARCTIC TERN+
SAGE THRASHER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Common Loon
BROWN PELICAN
SANDHILL CRANE
Willet
WHIMBREL
WILSON’S PHALAROPE
Gull-billed Tern
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Bicknell’s Thrush
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
KENTUCKY WARBLER
Yellow-breasted Chat
Grasshopper Sparrow
SUMMER TANAGER
BLUE GROSBEAK
DICKCISSEL
Pine Siskin


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, May 31, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are SAGE THRASHER, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, MISSISSIPPI KITE, BROWN PELICAN, SANDHILL CRANE, PACIFIC LOON, ARCTIC TERN, WILSON’S PHALAROPE and WHIMBREL, PROTHONOTARY and KENTUCKY WARBLERS, DICKCISSEL, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK and more.

This just in – a SAGE THRASHER was photographed today on Fire Island at Watch Hill, which is about at the midpoint of Fire Island and accessible by ferry from Patchogue. Possibly the same bird present at Jamaica Bay May 17 and 18, the THRASHER was described as being near the easternmost ranger house east of Davis Park.

Also this afternoon, following last week’s incursion of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, ten were seen flying into the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area and landing in the marsh. Earlier this week at least two were still at the Meadowbrook and Ocean Parkway cloverleaf at Jones Beach Monday and Tuesday, so these ducks are hanging around.

Last Monday an immature MISSISSIPPI KITE was photographed as it flew over Rockefeller State Park in Westchester County. Then on Wednesday an immature was also seen heading south at the State Line Lookout off the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey just below the New York State line. Others are likely around.

A BROWN PELICAN was spotted Monday morning by a fishing boat captain off Northport in Long Island Sound and then early Tuesday morning was noted flying fairly high west towards Eaton’s Neck – worth watching for if you are in that area.

Following a reasonable number of recent SANDHILL CRANE reports a little north of New York City, one was found Monday out at Napeague on Eastern Long Island. It was still present today off of Cranberry Hole Road, often near the old fish factory before the intersection with Napeague Meadow Road.

A PACIFIC LOON in breeding plumage was spotted yesterday sitting on the ocean with COMMON LOONS off Robert Moses State Park field 2 but could not be relocated today.

Nickerson Beach has hosted a couple of unusual birds this week, starting with a WILSON’S PHALAROPE last Saturday followed by an adult ARCTIC TERN found Monday around the tern colony and still present there today. Also there have been one or two BLACK and ROSEATE TERNS and a couple of pairs of GULL-BILLED TERNS. A “WESTERN” WILLET was photographed there today.

A WHIMBREL visited Breezy Point Sunday.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were noted this week at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx and off the Paumanok Trail by Jones Pond off Schultz Road in Manorville.

With another week punctuated by some bad weather and migration nearing its end, it’s nice to see some good passerines hanging around. A singing PROTHONOTARY WARBLER found Tuesday in Central Park was still near Oak Bridge today, and a KENTUCKY WARBLER appeared in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery last Saturday. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT visited Central Park Sunday, and a decent number of MOURNING WARBLERS have been seen this week.

A SUMMER TANAGER on Staten Island Monday was followed by one in Brookville Park, Queens, yesterday, while a BLUE GROSBEAK was at Calvert Vaux Park Monday and a pair or two are on territory around the Calverton Grasslands, where numbers of GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS also breed.

A DICKCISSEL was photographed at Jones Beach West End by the Coast Guard Station last Saturday.

It has been a good week for FLYCATCHERS, with OLIVE-SIDED, ACADIAN, ALDER and YELLOW-BELLIED all noted, and a BICKNELL’S THRUSH or two have also been heard singing in city parks.

Single PINE SISKINS at Breezy Point Sunday and in Central Park to Wednesday were late.

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, June 1, 2019 to Sunday, June 2, 2019:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Sterling Forest’s Wildcat Mountain and Townsend Trails
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: breeding birds and nature discovery along the trail, wildflowers, butterflies, scenic panoramas
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com (or backup Prosbird@gmail.com)
Registration Period: May 25th - May 30th
Leaders note: This is an estimated 7.5 mile hike, not for the physically challenged. You will need to be in good shape or have hiking experience. Proper []

Saturday, June 1, 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, June 2, 2019, 7:15am - 12:00pm
Prospect Park First Sunday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Sunday, June 2, 2019, 9:00am - 10:30am
Fort Greene Park, North Brooklyn
Meet 9 am at the Urban Park Rangers Visitors Center https://tinyurl.com/FtGreeneVCtr
Leader: August Davidson-Onsgard AugustDavidsonOnsgard.com
Focus: Spring migration of songbirds at a historical park. The park’s May list is 78 species to date. No registration necessary. Nearest train stations: DeKalb Avenue station; exit and walk 5 blocks east on DeKalb Avenue; Also Fulton Ave A and […]

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 8:00am
Eric Salzman Memorial Walk
South Fork Natural History Museum
Cosponsored by the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society (ELIAS) and the South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo)
Leader: Eileen Schwinn
On this joint walk we will explore the avian life of the meadow behind the South Fork Natural History Museum and remember Eric Salzman who led this walk for many years. We will miss his keen ear to ID the bird songs. This walk will provide an opportunity to see and – especially – hear some of our locally breeding birds. The two-hour walk will be followed by a short introduction to the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society.

There is no charge for this event, but advance reservations are required. Please call SoFo at (631) 537-9735 for reservations and directions to the Museum, if you need them.

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Kissena Park with Akilah Lewis

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

**********

Gateway National Park
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Saturday, June 1, 2019, 2pm — 3pm
Hummingbird Hide-and-Seek
View Details

Sunday, June 2, 2019, 10:00am — 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Day(s): Every week on Sunday until September 29, 2019
View Details

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Peak Spring Migration From Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to over 20 species of colorful wood-warblers, our peak migration tours will feature many of the 163 bird species that have been recorded at Green-Wood during the month of May. Beginning just after sunrise, we will experience spring’s dawn chorus at the active time of day for birds.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

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.

For this program you will check in at the Gothic Arches, right at the main entrance. Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Sunday, June 2, 2019
Eastern Long Island Spring Specialties
Leader: Eileen Schwinn
Registrar: Regina Ryan — reginaryan@reginaryanbooks.com or 212-787-5589
Registration opens: Monday, May 20
Ride: $40

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Saturdays, April 27-July 20, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon 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 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, call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, June 2, 2019, 7:00am – 1:00pm
Breeding Birds of Jamaica Bay
Guide: Tod Winston
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is home to nesting Cedar Waxwings, Brown Thrashers, White-eyed Vireos, Tree Swallows, Yellow Warblers, American Redstarts, Osprey, Willet, and seven species of wading birds. We'll walk the refuge trails and observe these species and many more on their breeding grounds. Bring lunch. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $93 (65)
Click here to register

Sunday, June 2, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walk Series
Sundays, March 24-June 30 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
Before May 20th: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
May 20th-June 30th: Meet at Rodman's Neck 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 spring 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

**********

NYCH2O
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 11:00am
Lemon Creek Walking Tour
Lemon Creek is one of the longest aboveground creeks in New York City, and its route cuts deeply into the history of Staten Island. Once famous for its oysters and oystermen, it was a favorite haunt of author Joseph Mitchell in the 1950s, and is now a Staten Island Bluebelt, harboring eagles, peacocks, and deer. Join writer and photographer Nathan Kensinger on a walk tracing out the lower portions of this fascinating waterway, as it flows through historic neighborhoods and protected parklands, and out to Prince’s Bay.
More Information

**********

New York City WILD!
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 12:00pm
Old Croton Aqueduct - Part 6 (of 8) Van Cortlandt Park, The Bronx to Highbridge

For the full information about each walk click HERE

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Mount Loretto, The North Woods
Participants will search the summer forest for the many signs of wildlife while also examining the geologic history and effects of human influence of this diverse area on the south shore. Meet at the parking lot for North Mount Loretto on Amboy Road at Cunnigham Road in Richmond Valley.
For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Ward Pound Ridge
Leader: Eric Miller
QCBC's annual trip to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in northern Westchester County, followed by a barbecue, free to QCBC members.
Trip contact person is Arie Gilbert 917-693-7178. You MUST call by Thursday, May 30, if you plan on attending the barbecue.
There are two meeting places, depending on your time of arrival.
You must be inside the Ward Pound Ridge entrance prior to 8 am to avoid a vehicle use fee.

Trip Etiquette
• Non members are welcome on our trips and we would appreciate a nominal $5 (or more!) voluntary donation for non-member participation. We prefer if you offer instead of being asked.
• All persons (member or not) are required to offer contribution if they get a ride with another.
• All persons are requested to Notify the leader at least 2 days in advance if they want to go on a trip.
• Be on time. We depart promptly.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, June 2, 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
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Rails to Trails: Conference House Park and Mt. Loretto Edition at MTA Staten Island Railway-Tottenville Station, Staten Island
8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Celebrate National Trails Day! Join us on a 5-mile hike through the "wild and natural" areas of Conference House Park and Mt. Loretto Unique Natural area/North Mt. Loretto Forest.
Free!

Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join us in the park as we focus on wildlife happenings in the park on a walk led by NYC Audubon experts.
Free!

Sunday, June 2, 2019
Bird Watching at the Reservoir at Main entrance across from the Vermont Place Parking Lot
8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Start your day with an early morning bird watching tour led by the Brooklyn Bird Club. The tour starts at the main entrance to the Ridgewood Reservoir located across the Highland Park…
Free!

**********

Wild Bird Fund
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 9:00am - 11:00am
Take a Walk On the Wild Side
Time to see who's at the Reservoir and Pinetum! Join Carine Mitchell, WBF member, educator, and avid birder, for a walk in Central Park’s Ramble to see woodpeckers, flycatchers, thrushes, nesting vireos and robins, and late migrating warblers. Expect to see fledgling sparrows, blue jays, starlings, robins, and grackles being fed by their parents. We'll be meeting at the Wild Bird Fund (address below) at 9 AM SHARP on June 1, 2019. The walk is $15; for members of WBF, it…
Find out more »
Find out more »
...Read more

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From National Audubon Society:

Rapidly Declining Songbird Won’t See Federal Protections Anytime Soon

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has delayed its decision on the Saltmarsh Sparrow’s endangered status to 2023. Scientists say that might be too late.

By Purbita Saha
Associate Editor, Audubon Magazine
May 24, 2019


A Saltmarsh Sparrow caught and released at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. A recent study there shows that the local population could go extinct in the next 20 years due to predation. Photo: Samuel Roberts

Greg Shriver and Chris Elphick have spent the last decade agonizing over the Saltmarsh Sparrow’s extinction. Both ecologists began studying the scrappy, sherbert-faced bird in the mid-2000s to better understand how its nesting habits revolve around the shoreline grasses and ebbing tides of the Atlantic. Both soon realized that their uniquely adapted subject wouldn’t survive the next century, due to intensifying flooding, predation, and development along its East Coast range.

Elphick and Shriver’s analyses showed a yearly 9 percent decline in the sparrow’s population—enough, they believed, to warrant consideration for federal protections. So, in 2017, they took all the evidence they’d amassed with the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program and made their case with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The agency agreed to kick off the decision-making process in 2019; but last month it suddenly switched course and said it would put off reviewing the sparrow for an endangered species listing until 2023, according to scientists present at the announcement.

“The 2023 time will allow us to incorporate additional information about management efforts that are at an early stage,” confirms Meagan Racey, public affairs specialist for USFWS, Northeast Region. She adds that the agency may reconsider the revised schedule if circumstances around the species become more urgent.

The data USFWS is looking for will come from the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, an independent network of federal and state wildlife departments, nonprofits like Audubon, and researchers like Shriver and Elphick focused on protecting marine marshes and their birds. The initiative, which launched back in 2016, is funded by the agency but holds no clout when it comes to endangered species listings, says Aimee Weldon, its coordinator.

This summer the venture will release an action plan that outlines ways to help Saltmarsh Sparrows cope with sea level rise on the most affected parts of the coast. USFWS says it will wrap the venture’s suggestions, which include building tide gates, digging connector creeks to drain floodwaters, and shaping restoration around shifts in the bird’s habitat, along with a pending business plan, into its own work to establish a Saltmarsh Sparrow program. Whether that vision will actually be funded and executed before 2023 still remains a question. “We have had a lot of discussions,” Elphick says. “But in terms of actually spending money to do anything, we haven’t witnessed much.”

Experts like Shriver and Elphick contend that the extended timeline makes the sparrow’s situation more precarious, pointing out that the species is already classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List (a nominal label only). “There won’t be any new information by 2023,” says Shriver, who recently co-authored a paper on how nest predators are wiping out New Jersey's largest Saltmarsh Sparrow population. “We will have just lost more birds.” He thinks the agency is trying to punt the verdict to an administration that will be less hostile to expanding the endangered species list.

The four-year window also has other limitations. For one, Elphick says, it doesn’t give USFWS enough time to weigh outcomes from field testing and pilot projects. “Cutting down trees to see if marshes will migrate inland, raising entire nesting sites—you don’t collect immediate results,” he explains. “Maybe we can wait another decade for that insight, but Saltmarsh Sparrows could be extinct in a decade and a half.”

With so many uncertainties in the pending proposals and plans, the Endangered Species Act, in many scientists’ opinion, is still the clearest answer for the bird’s myriad problems. “While I have confidence in the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, the Saltmarsh Sparrow needs a broader, concerted conservation effort,” says Walker Golder, Audubon’s Atlantic Flyway program director. He notes that a listing will lead to more wherewithal and attention for restoration; without it, conservationists don't have the power to respond quickly to threats such as sea level rise, predation, and habitat loss.

Like in New York City, for example. In 2015 birders discovered that one of the few Saltmarsh Sparrow nesting spots in the area had been flattened by a contractor hired by the parks department. The landscape never was replanted, and the breeding population never returned. “An endangered-species status would protect these kinds of saltmarshes,” Alison Kocek, an ornithologist who was banding the inhabitants at the site, said at the time. “If we lose another one, we don’t know what will happen.”

Weldon agrees that every last stronghold is valuable. “We need to work very fast. Even if we don’t have the time, we’re going to try and throw everything we can at [the Saltmarsh Sparrow’s decline],” she says. Elphick and his colleagues are mobilizing, too, in spite of the USFWS setback: They’re running a species-wide survey in 2021 to learn just how many individuals are left between Florida and Maine.

And if the sparrow is past redemption—what then? “If we aren’t successful in saving the species, our efforts will still be important for other tidal marsh birds,” Weldon says. But knowing there's a law that could prevent that outcome just waiting in the wings will continue to frustrate researchers over these next four years.
...Read more

Saturday, May 25, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, May 24, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* May. 24, 2019
* NYNY1905.24

- Birds mentioned
WHITE-FACED IBIS+
WILSON'S PLOVER+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+
BURROWING OWL+ (from last week)
SAGE THRASHER+
BICKNELL'S THRUSH+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Roseate Tern
Black Tern
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK
Glossy Ibis
Cattle Egret
Red-headed Woodpecker
CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW
BLUE GROSBEAK
SUMMER TANAGER
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Worm-eating Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
KENTUCKY WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Gray-cheeked Thrush

- 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, May 24th 2019 at 10pm. The highlights of today's tape are SAGE THRASHER, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, MISSISSIPPI KITE, WILSON'S PLOVER, WHITE-FACED IBIS, CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, KENTUCKY WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK and much more.

Another excellent week for rarities locally starting with the SAGE THRASHER found last Friday afternoon that stayed around the gardens at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge through Saturday but could not be relocated there Sunday. For John Bull's Birds of New York State and NYSARC records this was New York's fifth record of SAGE THRASHER and the first since 1973. As a note too, the BURROWING OWL near the Refuge on Thursday the 16th would be New York's 7th record.

Out at Cupsogue County Park in West Hampton Dunes a WILSON'S PLOVER, found on the 15th, was still being seen at least through Tuesday usually along the outer beach from the parking area west and occasionally on the bay side at low tide.

Also continuing from the prior week WHITE-FACED IBIS were still being seen among the gathering of Glossy Ibis around the grassy pools at field 6 at Heckscher State Park at least to Monday with 2 different individuals spotted there Sunday.

Also on Monday a MISSISSIPPI KITE was photographed as it flew over Ceasar's Bay Bazaar in Brooklyn and thanks to a quick phone call was also spotted shortly thereafter as it passed by Green-wood Cemetery. Over 60 MISSISSIPPI KITES down in Cape May on Tuesday means we could reasonably expect a few more to head our way.

And then on Tuesday 4 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS were discovered at Cow Meadow Park in Freeport where they spent the day on the lawns adjacent to the pond but not seen Wednesday it could be worth checking the report of 8 at the Jones Beach cloverleaf presumably at the Meadowbrook Parkway juncture from today.

A CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW was a nice find last Saturday in the Ramble in Central Park.

As the warbler migration approaches its end highlights do continue. A PROTHONOTARY was found last Saturday at Strack Pond at the western end of Forest Park and another was still in Prospect Park today. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER in Central Park last Saturday was followed by singles in Prospect Park Monday and at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Tuesday. A KENTUCKY WARBLER was at the Rye Nature Center Tuesday and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT visited Central Park last Saturday. A few MOURNING WARBLERS began appearing from Saturday on and also continuing were such favorites as WORM-EATING, TENNESSEE, BAY-BREASTED, CAPE MAY and more.

Among the thrushes a BICKNELL'S was heard singing in Forest Park Wednesday and others are certainly occurring among the GRAY-CHEEKEDS now moving through.

Last Sunday BLUE GROSBEAKS were noted in both Central and Prospect Parks and during the week at least 7 SUMMER TANAGERS were reported including from Central, Prospect, Forest, Kissena and Inwood Hill Parks, Jamaica Bay and out in East Hampton. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still on territory at Connetquot River State Park today.

At Nickerson Beach on Tuesday there were a ROSEATE and 4 GULL-BILLED TERNS around the Common Tern and Black Skimmer colonies and a BLACK TERN was there yesterday and today.

An ICELAND GULL at Cupsogue Saturday was followed by one Sunday at Oak Beach and some LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS included 11 at Cupsogue and 9 at Heckscher on Sunday and a CASPIAN TERN visited Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn Wednesday and a CATTLE EGRET was noted in Bellport Sunday.

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
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From Earther.gizmodo.com:

An Estimated 414 Million Pieces of Plastic Have Piled Up on Australia's Best Beaches
Brian Kahn
May 20, 2019

Human trash continues to pile up on every corner of the Earth at an alarming rate. And new research published on Thursday in Scientific Reports chronicles yet another frontier in our increasing plastic pollution crisis.

Researchers looked at the Coco (Keeling) Islands, two small islands to the west of Australia with some of the best beaches in the country, and found those pristine locales are smothered in plastic. The researchers estimate that their soft yellow sand is now littered with an astounding 414 million piece of plastic, all of it washed up from far away lands. And with no way to clean up that much debris, the findings show single use lifestyles are rapidly wiping out nature.

Jennifer Lavers, a plastic researcher at the University of Tasmania who led the study, had previously done work on extremely remote atolls. But she told Earther she wanted to look at a place a little closer to home so people could truly understand how big the scope of the plastic problem is. When an opportunity to visit the Coco (Keeling) Islands with activist organization Sea Shepherd arose, she took it as a chance to do some research there.

To get their plastic estimate, Lavers and her team took samples along 15 transects on the beaches from the water’s edge to the start of vegetation. They dug up 10 centimeters (4 inches) of sand at various points along those transects and cataloged how much plastic debris they found. The surveys turned up 23,227 pieces of plastic.

On its own, that’s a lot of plastic. But the researchers then extrapolated out for the islands as a whole and found that the two tiny islands islands are home to an estimated 414 million pieces of plastic. Of that, 383 million pieces sit below the surface, forming a new kind of bedrock.

“In my 15 years working as a marine scientist and traveling to some of the remotest corners of this planet, I sometimes feel like nothing surprises me anymore,” Lavers said. “Certainly, I’ve grown to expect plastic, and lots of it, everywhere I go. But the quantity of plastic on the otherwise remarkable and pristine Cocos (Keeling) Islands is truly devastating. The human footprint is everywhere, and it runs deeper than most of us imagine.”

Lavers said when writing the paper, “we put out a call to other scientists and friends for other remote, sparsely inhabited places with high accumulation of plastic debris.” They found similar stories playing out on islands around the world. While there are plenty of clearly identifiable pieces of junk and single-use items on Cocos (Keeling) Islands and other remote locations, much of the plastic consists of bits and pieces that have been broken down by arduous trips across the ocean. Because plastic can take centuries to degrade, these pieces won’t go away but will instead just get smaller and smaller.

That breakdown means that the tiny bits of plastic can end up nearly anywhere, from tropical islands to the Arctic. It evens up blowing in the air around us and the water we drink.

Cleaning up these bits and pieces is hard to do without disrupting the environment. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do it, but it points to the urgent need to turn away from plastic and disposable lifestyles. There are some signs the tide is turning against plastic like the European Union’s single-use ban, but as the paper notes, half of all plastic the world has produced has been made in the past 13 years alone. So there’s still a long way to go.

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