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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From Oklahoman.com:

Struggle resumes over whether lesser prairie chicken needs federal protection
by Chris Casteel
Published: Sun, July 28, 2019 1:06 AM
Updated: Sun, July 28, 2019 1:29 AM

Nearly two years after the U.S. government dropped its effort to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species, Oklahoma lawmakers are again pushing back against the prospect of federal protection for the bird.

U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, both Oklahoma Republicans, penned a letter this month urging the Secretary of Interior to consider voluntary conservation measures before making a “rush to judgment” on listing the bird under the Endangered Species Act.

Referring to a five-state, voluntary range plan that includes oil and gas companies, utilities, farmers and other private landowners, the lawmakers said in the letter that “it is imperative that you provide the fullest and fairest opportunity for such private conservation plans to succeed.”

Some fear that listing the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered species could curtail energy and agricultural activities within the bird’s habitat, which includes parts of western Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. The range plan was designed to accommodate the bird and industry.

A report released in March by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies estimated the bird’s population at 38,637, an increase of 29% from the previous year.

The report says the population has been trending upward since the range plan was implemented about five years ago.

The Oklahoma senators’ letter, also signed by U.S. senators from Kansas, Colorado and Texas, says more than 7 million acres have been enrolled in the conservation plan by the private sector.

However, three environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit in June aimed at pushing the Trump administration to evaluate the lesser prairie chicken, a member of the grouse family, for federal protection.

The lawsuit claims the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should have completed a study already.

The lawsuit states, “The species once numbered around a million birds, but today there are fewer than 38,000 lesser prairie chickens remaining. Conversion to agriculture, the introduction of cattle, and the construction of roads, pipelines, powerlines, and drilling pads to support the oil and gas industry have fragmented the bird’s preferred habitat, separated individuals from lek (courtship) sites, and driven a sharp reduction in numbers.”

Jason Rylander, senior counsel at Defenders of Wildlife, one of the groups that sued the Fish and Wildlife Service, said last month, “The iconic lesser prairie chicken could go extinct if we do not take meaningful steps to save it.

“Endangered Species Act protection could make all the difference, but the Trump administration refuses to act. The lesser prairie chicken has waited long enough for a decision.”

Inhofe praises five-state plan

The struggle over the lesser prairie chicken predates the Trump administration by many years. It goes back to the 1990s. It wasn't until the Obama administration that the bird's status was enough of a priority to merit a designation under the Endangered Species Act.

The voluntary range plan was developed while the Obama administration considered listing the lesser prairie chicken as threatened or endangered. Inhofe worked with private companies and wildlife officials from several states to develop the voluntary conservation plan to avoid the federal listing.

Inhofe said this week that the Obama effort was “rushed” and “purely political.”

“I fought them at every turn, and, in 2016 the courts recognized that the local efforts were ignored in favor of federal overreach and delisted the lesser prairie chicken,” Inhofe said.

“Since then, the five-state plan has been successful and we’ve seen population growth of over 50% across the species’ range.”

Inhofe was referring to a federal judge’s ruling in 2016 that the Fish and Wildlife Service had not adequately considered the voluntary range plan when it listed the lesser prairie chicken as threatened. The judge’s ruling effectively delisted the bird, and the Obama administration declined to pursue further action.

Defenders of Wildlife and other groups petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 to restart the process. In its initial response, the service said listing the bird as endangered might be justified.

The lawsuit filed last month by the environmental groups contends the service has exceeded the 12-month limit for making a determination.

In a statement to The Oklahoman, the Fish and Wildlife Service said this week that it will make its 12-month finding regarding the lesser prairie chicken in fiscal year 2021.

The timetable factors in “numerous conservation plans in development with representatives from the agriculture, wind energy, and oil and gas energy sectors,” the service stated.

“When evaluating the status of the LPC, the Service will use the best available information to characterize the current and future condition of the LPC, taking into account both threats and conservation efforts.

“We are currently working with our partners to ensure there are viable conservation options in place for the lesser prairie chicken."

Inhofe said he has been working with the Trump administration “and will keep the pressure on the Fish and Wildlife Service to make sure that they follow the law by putting voluntary conservation efforts first.”

Congress included a provision in the Interior Department spending bill last year, Inhofe said, requiring the Fish and Wildlife Service “to prioritize voluntary state and local conservation over a federal listing” under the Endangered Species Act.

The environmental groups suing the Trump administration say the lesser prairie chicken is also endangered by climate change.

"Overall, global warming is expected to drive a four-fold increase in the number of 100-plus degree days on the Southern Plains," the groups said. "A 2017 U.S. Geological Survey study found that lesser prairie chickens will move closer to extinction as climate change worsens and more habitat is lost."

Jacob Malcolm, with Defenders of Wildlife, said the population increase was driven by a temporary rise in precipitation. The Range Wide Plan didn't increase the amount of habitat significantly — rather, the enrolled acreage is habitat that hasn't been lost, Malcolm said.

**********

Note: The IUCN Red List has assessed this species conservation status as "Vulnerable".
...Read more

Monday, July 29, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, August 3, 2019 to Sunday, August 4, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Sunday, August 4, 2019, 10:00am - 3:00pm
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Where can you see migrating shorebirds such herons and egrets?
On a Field Trip to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge! Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for high tide at the bay at the peak of shorebird migration at the refuge’s East Pond. We are also likely to see Glossy Ibis and many others! Bring binoculars, lunch, sunscreen, plenty of cold drinks, and boots/footwear so you won’t mind getting muddy.
Depart Bylane 8:30am or meet at Visitor’s Center at 10:00am
Cost: Free
Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Early Morning Shorebirds of Jamaica Bay Refuge and Afternoon Butterflies of Shirley Chisholm State Park
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Shorebird species and waterbirds; butterflies and dragonflies
Car Pool Fee: $10.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com (or backup Prosbird@gmail.com)
Registration Period: July 27th - Aug 1st
Note: High tide is 11:08 AM. After lunch the group will visit the brand new park Shirley Chisholm State Park for the BBC’s debut visit, with a focus on butterflies […]

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Gateway National Park
Saturday, August 3, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Sunday, August 4, 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, August 4, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
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 many birds that call Green-Wood home. Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the main entrance on 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

Summer Birding
In 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
Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Central Park Horticultural Walk
Leader: Regina Alvarez — information only regina.alvarez@gmail.com
No registration. Public transportation
Meet at NE corner of 103rd Street and Central Park West, 10 am

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New York City Audubon
Sunday, August 4, 2019, 10am – 1pm
Shorebird Identification Workshop
Friday, August 2, 6:30-8:30pm (class)
Sunday, August 4, 10am-1pm (trip)
Instructor: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Shorebirds are one of the most challenging groups of birds to identify, yet beautiful and fascinating once they can be distinguished. Learn to identify plovers and sandpipers (including "peeps") by learning behavior, field marks, and calls—then take a field trip to Jamaica Bay to practice your new skills. Limited to 12. $65 (45)
Click here to register

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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

**********

New York City WILD!
Saturday, August 3, 2019, 10:00am
NEW! EXPLORE! Save the DATE! Constitution Marsh Audubon Center Canoe Paddle, Cold Spring, NY

Sunday, August 4, 2019, 4:00pm
Bridges of New York Sunset Walk: George Washington Bridge and Fort Lee Park, NJ

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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North Fork Audubon Society
Saturday, August 3, 2019, 8:00am
Shorebird Migration
Cedar beach is "the spot" for shorebird watching. Tom can guarantee you'll see whimbrel on this trip. So come and see one for yourself!
Meet at The Red House at Inlet Pond County Park Greenport at 8AM (The walk will be about 2 hours)
Call or text Tom at (631)275-3202 or email him at tdamiani3optimum.net to register for the walk.
Suggested donation is $4 for nonmembers

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Rocking the Boat: Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden rowboats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways.
Free!

Sunday, August 4, 2019
Queens Park of the Month: Birding at Brookville Park at Brookville Boulevard and Caney Road (in Brookville Park), Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
This park in southeast Queens is a popular landing location for migrating birds.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, July 27, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, July 26, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* July 26, 2019
* NYNY1907.26

- Birds Mentioned

BRIDLED TERN+
BLACK-CAPPED PETREL+
LEACH’S STORM-PETREL+
BAND-RUMPED STORM-PETREL+
GRAY KINGBIRD+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Cory’s Shearwater
Great Shearwater
MANX SHEARWATER
AUDUBON’S SHEARWATER
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
Tricolored Heron
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
WHIMBREL
Stilt Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GULL-BILLED TERN
CASPIAN TERN
Royal Tern
Purple Martin
Cliff Swallow
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Prairie Warbler
SUMMER TANAGER

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

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, July 26, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are GRAY KINGBIRD, BRIDLED TERN, pelagic trip results including BLACK-CAPPED PETREL, BAND-RUMPED and LEACH’S STORM-PETRELS, AUDUBON’S and MANX SHEARWATERS, WHIMBREL and nice mammals, GULL-BILLED and CASPIAN TERNS, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, SUMMER TANAGER, and early fall migrants.

Last Sunday morning a GRAY KINGBIRD was photographed as it briefly perched atop a sign at Smith Point County Park in Shirley. The bird has not been relocated once it flew off towards the bay.

The BRIDLED TERN roosting on Great Gull Island was still present today; favoring the northeast side of the island, the bird can be viewed by boat, but landing on this important tern research island is not permitted.

A pelagic trip sponsored by See Life Paulagics aboard the Brooklyn VI on Monday visited quite warm waters out at the continental shelf, where some great birds and mammals were encountered. Not yet official trip totals featured 3 BLACK-CAPPED PETRELS, 17 BAND-RUMPED, 26 LEACH’S and about 600 WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS, 2 AUDUBON’S, 1 MANX, 4 GREAT, and 6 CORY’S SHEARWATERS, a juvenile LAUGHING GULL, and 11 WHIMBRELS and other migrating shorebirds. Mammal highlights included numerous Atlantic Spotted and Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins riding the bow, a large group of Risso’s Dolphins, and a wonderful pod of Cuvier’s Beaked Whales.

Back on shore, the first wave of the southbound shorebird migration continues, though we are unfortunately missing out on the wonderful opportunities the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge usually provides, as high water there continues to be a problem.

Single WHIMBREL were noted this week at Robert Moses State Park on Monday and at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Three STILT SANDPIPERS were at Wolf’s Pond Park on Staten Island last Sunday, and other shorebirds noted this week have included GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, SEMIPALMATED, LEAST, SOLITARY and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS and other expected species. This early part of shorebird migration, featuring mostly adults, provides the best window for foreign vagrants, but it will be closing soon.

A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was spotted at Breezy Point Monday evening, and among the TERNS, a CASPIAN was off Robert Moses State Park Monday, a GULL-BILLED paid an unusual visit to Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes Thursday, and ROYAL numbers continue to grow.

A TRICOLORED HERON was seen in the Captree Island marsh today.

Singing and presumably still nesting land birds include the YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER at Bayard Cutting Arboretum reportedly heard today and a SUMMER TANAGER on territory out in Northwest Harbor last Sunday.

Recent migrant land birds have included PURPLE MARTIN and CLIFF SWALLOW, and, among the WARBLERS, BLUE-WINGED, BLACKBURNIAN, PRAIRIE, BLACK-AND-WHITE, WORM-EATING and NORTHERN and LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES, these all breeding not far north of the City.

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, July 23, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From New Atlas:

Study shows that dropped cigarette butts harm plants
Ben Coxworth
July 19th, 2019

Pots of white clover, seven days after a butt-shaped piece of wood was added (left) and an actual cigarette butt (right)(Credit: Jaime Da Silva Carvalho, Anglia Ruskin University)

Although many smokers apparently don't realize it (or just don't care), cigarette butts are very much a form of litter – in fact, they're the world's most common type of litter. And they're not just an eyesore, as new research now indicates that they also dramatically reduce plant growth.

In a study led by researchers from Britain's Anglia Ruskin University, butts from regular and menthol cigarettes (both smoked and unsmoked) were placed on soil in which either ryegrass or white clover plants were being grown – both are important forage crops for livestock, and also make up much of the ground cover in urban parks. The clover in particular is claimed to be "ecologically important for pollinators and nitrogen fixation."

Regardless of the type of butt, after 21 days it was found that their presence reduced the germination success and shoot length of the clover by an average of 27 and 28 percent respectively, and the root biomass by 57 percent. In the case of the grass, the germination success was reduced by 10 percent, and the shoot length by 13 percent. A separate group of plants, which had butt-shaped pieces of wood added to their soil over the same period, served as a control.

Given that there was little difference between the effect of butts from smoked and unsmoked cigarettes, it was determined that the problem likely lies in the cellulose acetate fiber used in the filters. More specifically, plasticizer chemicals which are used to make that material more flexible may be leaching into the soil.

"In some parks, particularly surrounding benches and bins, we found over 100 cigarette butts per square meter," says lead scientist Dr. Dannielle Green. "Dropping cigarette butts seems to be a socially acceptable form of littering and we need to raise awareness that the filters do not disappear and instead can cause serious damage to the environment."

Monday, July 22, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, July 27, 2019 to Sunday, July 28, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Sunday, July 28, 2019, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Dragonflies of Muscoot Farm
Dragonfllies and Damselflies are NOT twins! Can you tell the difference?
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson and Friends of Muscoot Farm for a Nature Walk focused on Dragonflies of Muscoot Farm. This is a favorite walk and there is always lots to see while wandering the beautiful grounds of Muscoot Farm.
Meet at the back of the main parking lot.
Level of difficulty: Easy
Cost: Free
Visit our website at www.bedfordaudubon.org for a schedule of events.
See more details

**********

Gateway National Park
Saturday, July 27, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Sunday, July 28, 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, July 28, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
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 many birds that call Green-Wood home. Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the main entrance on 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

Summer Birding
In 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
Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Ellen Hoffman — ellenh33@icloud.com or 917-903-3486
Registration opens: Monday, July 15
Ride: $15 or public transportation

**********

New York City Audubon
Sunday, July 28, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Saturdays, June 22, June 29, July 27, August 10 and August 24, 2-3pm
Sundays, June 16, July 21 and August 18, 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

**********

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!
Saturday, July 27, 2019, 10:00am
NEW! Hardscrabble Ramble #4: Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn

For the full information about each walk click HERE

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Sunday, July 28, 2019, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Acme Pond
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 birds and turtles.
Meet at the corner of Hylan Boulevard, and Holten Avenue.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at (718)869-6327.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Rocking the Boat: Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden rowboats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, July 20, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, July 19, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* July 19, 2019
* NYNY1907.19

- Birds Mentioned
BRIDLED TERN+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

SANDHILL CRANE
Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Whimbrel
Royal Tern
BROWN PELICAN

+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, Tony Lauro, and Shai Mitra
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Shai Mitra (Posted by Ben Cacace)

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, July 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape include continuing SANDHILL CRANE and BRIDLED TERN, BROWN PELICANS, and other seasonal seabirds and shorebirds.

The BRIDLED TERN that has been residing near the Great Gull Island tern colony was reported most recently on Friday. It is very likely still present at this sensitive site, where researchers are currently very busy with their field work and less able to search for and report this long-staying rarity. Similarly the SANDHILL CRANE at Napeague has been reported at least through Saturday.

July has historically been the best month for BROWN PELICANS on Long Island, and we have been treated to more than the usual number of records already this year. On Saturday alone, BROWN PELICANS were reported from at least four sites along the Suffolk County ocean shore, with the highest count being four, at Moriches Inlet. Less unusual but nevertheless impressive, ROYAL TERNS have been building along the south shore, with as many as 32 at Old Inlet on Monday.

Shorebird migration is in full swing now, with such species as SEMIPALMATED PLOVER and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER appearing now in large numbers. Reports from Jamaica Bay have indicated that the water level at the East Pond is still high, but birders searching farther afield have produced many reports of scarcer species, such as PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Plumb Beach and Nickerson Beach on Thursday, SOLITARY SANDPIPERS at the Bronx Zoo on Tuesday, Jerome Park Reservoir on Thursday, and West Brook Pond Tuesday through today. WHIMBRELS have been widely reported on Long Island in the past week, from both the North and South Shores, with a high count of seven at Captree State Park on Wednesday.

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, July 16, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website mnn.com:

One of New Zealand's rarest parakeets is having a banner breeding season
Mary Jo DiLonardo
July 18, 2019

New Zealand's orange-fronted parakeets, or kākāriki karaka, are small birds that live in the forest. Only about 7 to 8 inches (19-22 centimeters) long, these are the country's rarest parakeet with just 100 to 300 birds estimated left in the wild.

But there's been some great news this year for the long-tailed bird with the yellow crown and the orange nose band. The parakeet is having its best breeding season in decades, the New Zealand Department of Conservation reports.

This year, at least 150 chicks were born in the wild, potentially doubling the population.

Department of Conservation staff members have found 31 kākāriki karaka nests in the wild in Canterbury this season — which is more than three times the number found in recent years — and nesting season is expecting to continue for several months.

Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said the breeding boom was due to a wealth of beech seeds, which are a popular part of the birds' diet.

"This budgie sized native bird, a taonga species for Ngāi Tahu, eats plants and insects, and during a mast year, seeds dominate their diet. This year's beech mast is looking like the biggest in more than 40 years," Sage said in a statement.

"There has been so much seed on the beech trees the birds just keep on breeding with some parakeet pairs onto their fifth clutch of eggs. When there's no beech mast they typically have just one or two clutches."

The parakeets, which were threatened due to habitat destruction and introduced predators, have been part of a recovery effort that includes captive breeding programs and predator control. At one point, they were thought to be extinct before being rediscovered in Canterbury in 1993, reports the Department of Conservation.

Want to see the little birds for yourself? Here's some recent trail camera footage of the parakeets in their nests:

Monday, July 15, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, July 20, 2019 to Sunday, July 21, 2019:

Gateway National Park
Saturday, July 20, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Sunday, July 21, 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, July 21, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
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 many birds that call Green-Wood home. Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the main entrance on 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

Summer Birding
In 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
Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, July 20, 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, July 21, 2019, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Freshkills Park
Guides: Cliff Hagen with NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Meet at the Staten Island Ferry and start your trip with a journey across the Upper Bay. This is 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. Grasshopper Sparrows, Osprey, Yellow Warblers, and Blue Grosbeaks nest alongside wrens, blackbirds, orioles, and shorebirds. Wading birds feed on the mudflats at low tide while hawks and vultures soar above. On calm, sunny days, one can expect to find nearly two dozen species of butterflies as they nectar among the grasses and woodlands. Transport by passenger van from the Staten Island St. George Terminal included. Limited to 12. $64 (45)
Click here to register

Sunday, July 21, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Saturdays, June 22, June 29, July 27, August 10 and August 24, 2-3pm
Sundays, June 16, July 21 and August 18, 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!
Saturday, July 20, 2019, 10:00am
NEW! Hardscrabble Ramble #3: Newtown Creek, Queens/Brooklyn

Sunday, July 21, 2019
NEW! Bridges of New York Sunset Walk: Triborough Bridges, Manhattan/The Bronx/Queens

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Staten Island Museum
Saturday, July 20, 2019, 8:30pm-10pm
Moth Night
Location: Staten Island Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building A, SI, NY 10301
Cost: $10 per adult/Children under 12 Free
Stay up late and celebrate National Moth Week! Revel in the beauty and learn about the life cycles and habitats of moths. Featured activities include looking closely at Museum specimens, face painting, shadow dancing, art activities, and a short night hike through Snug Harbor.
Guests should bring flashlights. Presented in collaboration with the Staten Island Children’s Museum.
Registration recommended.
Click to Register

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, July 20, 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!

Rocking the Boat: Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden rowboats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways.
Free!

Sunday, July 21, 2019
Orchard Beach Lagoon Birding Excursion (Intermediate) at Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Explore the Orchard Beach Lagoon, including Bartow Creek as we look for birds that live in this estuarine habitat of the Long Island Sound. Registration opens on July 10.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, July 13, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, July 12, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* July 12, 2019
* NYNY1907.12

- Birds Mentioned
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD+
BRIDLED TERN+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Ring-necked Duck
Bufflehead
SANDHILL CRANE
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Whimbrel
Parasitic Jaeger
Gull-billed Tern
Black Tern
LEACH’S STORM-PETREL
Cory’s Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
MANX SHEARWATER
BROWN PELICAN
Ovenbird
European Goldfinch

+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, Tony Lauro, and Shai Mitra
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Shai Mitra

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, July 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape include RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, continuing SANDHILL CRANE and BRIDLED TERN, MISSISSIPPI KITE, LEACH’S STORM-PETREL, MANX SHEARWATER, BROWN PELICAN, and other seasonal seabirds and shorebirds.

A report of a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD at a feeding station at a private residence in Stony Brook on Sunday, 7 July was not only very rare, but also on a very remarkable date.

Also very rare was a MISSISSIPPI KITE soaring over the Cemetery of the Resurrection on Staten Island, on Monday, 8 July.

Two long-staying rarities that continued into this week were the SANDHILL CRANE in Napeague and the BRIDLED TERN at Great Gull Island. The latter site is a sensitive research station that cannot be visited without permission, but the tern has been viewed from boats positioned off of the northeastern point of the island.

Four BROWN PELICANS were reported from Smith Point County Park on Thursday, and another from West Meadow Beach, flying toward Stony Brook on Wednesday.

This point in the summer offers the potential for wandering birds of many kinds to show up almost anywhere. Some recent examples include a BUFFLEHEAD at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside, Nassau County, on Wednesday, a RING-NECKED DUCK at Blydenburgh County Park in Suffolk County on Sunday, an OVENBIRD far from breeding habitat at Baldwin Harbor Park in Nassau County, on Sunday, and EUROPEAN GOLDFINCHES at two sites in Brooklyn over the weekend.

The summer shorebird season has commenced, with many reports of early-migrating species, such as LEAST SANDPIPER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, and GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. Among the more unusual reports have been single WHIMBRELS at West Meadow Beach and Shinnecock on Saturday, 6 July.

A boat trip to offshore Suffolk County waters on Wednesday reported a LEACH’S STORM-PETREL and a MANX SHEARWATER, among other, more expected species.

Seawatching from shore continues to be slow, but small numbers of GREAT and CORY’S SHEARWATERS have been widely reported from ocean vantages in Suffolk County; highlights have included a PARASITIC JAEGER harassing terns at Lake Montauk Inlet on Wednesday and a SOOTY SHEARWATER and four BLACK TERNS off Robert Moses State Park on Thursday. More unusual was a report of a GULL-BILLED TERN at Smith Point County Park on Thursday, well east of currently known breeding stations.

For next week also, the Rare Bird Alert will be recorded by Shai Mitra. To send in reports this next week, email or call Shai Mitra at (email address filtered) or 631-666-7624; or, on Long Island, please call Tony Lauro at 631-734-4126. Tom Burke will resume recording the RBA on July
26.

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, July 09, 2019

Not Quite an Adult Hawk Yet

At around this time of year, for the past several years, I've noticed that one or more of Green-Wood Cemetery's resident Red-tailed Hawk pair's offspring starts "growing up". That is to say, their namesake red tail feathers start to emerge (up to that point they are just brown stripes). It takes about two years for those feathers to come in. Presumably an abundance of food in the area make the parents pretty tolerant of their young-adult offspring hanging around ... especially when there's a new brood to look after. Anyway, here's a nice photo that Jim Demers just took of one of our locals finally making that transition. I suppose the next step is he or she will move farther afield in search of territory and a mate.


Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Earther:

Calculation Shows We Could Add a U.S.-Sized Forest to the Planet to Fight Climate Change
by Brian Kahn
July 4, 2019

Trees are good for all sorts of things, like providing shade for picnics and habitat for animals. But they’re also a huge part of the efforts to combat climate change by sucking carbon dioxide out of the air.

New findings were published on Thursday in Science show just how important a role they could play in climate mitigation efforts by calculating “Earth’s tree carrying capacity.” Right now there are estimated to be nearly 17 million square miles of forest cover on Earth, and there’s enough room to add another 3.5 million square miles of trees—a U.S.-sized chunk of land—to sequester even more carbon. There’s just one slight wrinkle: Climate change could make life in certain parts of the globe inhospitable for some of those new trees, particularly in the tropics.

Despite trees being nearly everywhere, figuring out just how much tree coverage the planet has is a pretty challenging task. The Food and Agriculture Organization defines forest as any area with more than 10 percent tree cover. And the best way to really see just how much tree cover’s out there is using satellite data, which is exactly what the study turned to.

Using the open access software Collect Earth to gather satellite imagery, the researchers pulled 78,774 satellite snapshots of forested area. They looked specifically at protected areas and places with limited human activity to avoid including city parks, farms, and other land uses that might look like forest but aren’t in actuality. They fed all that data as well as 10 other variables chronicling the climate and soil through a model to estimate current tree cover as well as areas where tree cover could be expanded. The results show an area of the world roughly equivalent to Russia, Canada, the U.S., and Australia—or nearly a third of all land area in the world—is covered in forest.

More than 12 million square miles of land could host more forest according to the study, but given that we need that land for crops and places to live, just 3.5 million square miles of that land is actually suitable for forest cover. The top four places primed for reforestation are Russia, the U.S., Canada, and Australia, all developed countries and in the case of the first three, all home to a piece of the vast boreal forest that rings the northern tier of the world. Brazil and China are also on the list and together those six countries contain 50 percent of the area where forests could grow again.

Based on what we know about forests, that would store an extra 205 gigatons of carbon as the trees grew to maturity. To compare, the world emitted 37.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide last year. The newly filled out forests would be a huge boon to absorbing new emissions and the carbon pollution we’ve committed to the atmosphere.

“The restoration of ecosystems that could support trees is our main weapon to fight climate change,” Jean-François Bastin, the study’s lead author from ETH-Zürich, told Earther in an email. “Restoring the potential areas available, we could store about a quarter of the current amount of carbon held in the atmosphere.”

That would help combat climate change in addition to providing other benefits from recreation to habitat restoration. The study has one caveat, though. The researchers modeled two climate scenarios—one where emissions rise rapidly and another where they peak by mid-century and start to decline—to see how habitable those areas would actually be for trees. It turns out that while the boreal forest would likely fare OK, tree cover is likely to decline in the tropics as the climate warms. The Amazon is particularly at-risk since it’s also expected to dry out. Overall, the tree carrying capacity of Earth would be lower with more warming and with it, so would the chances of staving off severe climate change consequences.

The even more dire piece of news is that Amazon deforestation rates are climbing under the rule of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, tropical deforestation is continuing elsewhere, and massive fires are engulfing the world’s northern forests thanks to already rising temperatures. In short, humanity is headed in the wrong direction.

But if there’s a silver lining, it’s that we know the solutions. The new study provides yet another incentive to start slashing carbon pollution now instead of later and keep the Earth’s tree carrying capacity on the up and up. And it shows where we could concentrate conservation efforts to max out the climate benefits.
...Read more

Monday, July 08, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, July 13, 2019 to Sunday, July 14, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Sunday, July 14, 2019, 6:00am and 8:30am
Bird Walks at Caramoor's Birdsong Celebration
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, 149 Girdle Ridge Rd, Katonah, NY 10536
Celebrate the birds on walks and through the universal language of music!
Join Tait Johansson for free Bird Walks around the spectacular grounds and gardens of Caramoor this summer! Bedford Audubon is proud to be a part of Caramoor Takes Wing! Celebrating Birdsong as Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux. This event is appropriate for kids and families.
Cost: Bird Walks are Free with registration with Caramoor
Level of difficulty: Easy
Register by contacting the Caramoor Box Office at boxoffice@caramoor.org or 914.232.1252
See more details

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, July 13, 2019, 8:00am
Dune Road - Shinnecock to Tiana
Meet Eileen Schwinn, trip leader, at 8:00 am. We will begin at a NEW LOCATION, the County Parking Lot at the End of Dune Road, overlooking the Shinnecock Inlet (east of Oakland’s Restaurant). ELIAS has bayside day passes to be used as we travel along Dune Road, and stop at Tiana, Trustee Roads and other Points of Interest, as the birds dictate. Restrooms are portapotty, or “real” at Ponquogue Pavillion (ocean side and walkable from bayside parking) and at Tiana (again, walkable on Ocean side from the bayside parking area).

All levels of naturalists, including beginners, are most welcome on Eastern Long Island Audubon field trips.
Most trips are free to attend, however, sometimes the venue we are visiting has a fee. We try to make a note of it in the notice.


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Gateway National Park
Saturday, July 13, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Sunday, July 14, 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, July 14, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
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 many birds that call Green-Wood home. Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the main entrance on 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

Summer Birding
In 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
Click here for our inclement weather policy.

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, July 14, 2019 - 8:00am
Suffolk County Environmental Center
The 70-acre facility lies near the shores of the Great South Bay and is adjacent to the Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge and the Islip Town Beach. A system of trails and boardwalks gives visitors access to the property's diverse mix of habitats, including extensive salt marsh, freshwater wetlands and mature upland forest.
Registration: Call (585) 880-0915 to register.

Directions: Take LIE east to exit 56, to Route 111 South. Turn right onto 27A, turn left onto S. Bay Ave, entrance is one mile south on Main St.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Staten Island Nesting Birds – Purple Martins Plus
Leader: Richard Veit
Registrar: Karen Asakawa — avocet501@gmail.com or 347-306-0690
Registration opens: Monday, July 1
Ride: $20

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, July 13, 2019, 6:30am – 12:30pm
Beach-Nesting Birds of Nickerson Beach, NY
Guide: Tod Winston
Come bird at the beach. Departing early to beat the heat, we’ll have plenty of time to observe breeding waterbirds feeding their young: Common and Least Terns, American Oystercatchers, and Piping Plovers. We're also sure to see nesting Black Skimmers—and will be on the lookout for possible Gull-billed and Roseate Terns, as well as summering sea ducks.
Bring lunch. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $100 (70)
Click here to register

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Birding Brooklyn Bridge Park
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, Song Sparrow, and more. Visit www.nycaudubon.org/birding-bk-bridge to register. Limited to 19 per walk. Free
Click here to register

Saturday, July 13, 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, July 13, 2019, 12pm – 4pm
Sixth Annual "It's Your Tern!" Festival
Parade Ground Southeast Corner, Governors Island
With Trust for Governors Island, Friends of Governors Island, National Park Service, New York Harbor School, Earth Matter NY
Come celebrate Governors Island’s treasures: Common Terns and oysters! Common Terns, listed as a threatened species in New York State, have nested for several years on decommissioned piers on Governors Island’s waterfront. The colony has expanded over time and benefited recently from the introduction of oyster shells as a nesting material. Free activities at this year’s festival will include bird walks and talks, as well as hands-on activities for the whole family. Get to the festival by taking the ferry to Governors Island. The festival will take place at the southeast corner of the Parade Ground right across from St. Cornelius Chapel. No limit. Free
Click here for Google Map of the festival location

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 9am – 11am
Transmitter Park Bird and Plant Walk, Brooklyn
Guide: Tod Winston with the Friends of WNYC Transmitter Park
Meet inside the Greenpoint Avenue park entrance. Join Tod Winston as he helps identify bird species in Transmitter Park and discusses how planted life supports avian life there and beyond, specifically highlighting the Greenpoint Avenue gardens, which were created with this purpose in mind. Registration preferred. Free
Click here to register

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 9:30am – 11:30am
Birding at Wave Hill
Sundays May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, 9:30-11:30am
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)

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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

**********

New York City WILD!
Saturday, July 13, 2019, 10:00am
Hardscrabble Ramble #2: Bridges of the Harlem River

Sunday, July 14, 2019, 4:00pm
Bridges of New York Sunset Walk: Bayonne Bridge, Staten Island to Bayonne, NJ

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, July 13, 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!

Community Tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir at Ridgewood Reservoir, Queens
10:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.
Guides from NYCH2O will lead a history, engineering, and ecology tour of the reservoir and Brooklyn Waterworks.
Free!

Rocking the Boat: Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden rowboats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways.
Free!

Sunday, July 14, 2019
Summer Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of diverse bird species and their behavior on these walks through the gardens and woodlands.

The New York City Naturalist Club: Evening Hawk Watch at Saint Marks Place and Avenue A (in Tompkins Square Park), Manhattan
2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, July 06, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, July 5, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* July 5, 2019
* NYNY1907.05

- Birds Mentioned

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

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
BROWN PELICAN
SANDHILL CRANE
PARASITIC JAEGER
GULL-BILLED TERN
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Royal Tern
Black Skimmer
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Acadian Flycatcher
Hermit Thrush
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Northern Parula
Grasshopper Sparrow
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, July 5, 2019 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are BRIDLED TERN, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, SANDHILL CRANE, BROWN PELICAN, PARASITIC JAEGER, GULL-BILLED TERN, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, BLUE GROSBEAK and more.

Of our lingering rarities, the most difficult to see is the BRIDLED TERN still roosting today on the northeast side of Great Gull Island, viewable by boat as it flies about the area. But please remember that boats are not permitted to land on the island, an important COMMON and ROSEATE TERN research station.

At least eight BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS were still visiting the grassy lawns at the western end of Nickerson Beach today. Located on the south side of Lido Boulevard just west of Point Lookout, Nickerson does charge a substantial entry fee between 9 am and 4 pm, but the ducks can often be seen from Lido Boulevard. Up to four GULL-BILLED TERNS also continue to be seen around the COMMON TERN and BLACK SKIMMER colonies there, and last Saturday a BROWN PELICAN was spotted roosting on a red buoy off Nickerson, but it apparently moved on after a short stay.

The SANDHILL CRANE out at Napeague on Long Island’s South Fork was still present yesterday near the old fish factory along Cranberry Hole Road.

A sea watch from Robert Moses State Park Field 2 last Saturday morning did finally produce a PARASITIC JAEGER along with forty-six WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS, but no Shearwaters, as coastal sea flights continue to be fairly slow.

Last Saturday six ROYAL TERNS were counted around Old Inlet in Bellport Bay, this just west of Smith Point County Park, and two more were at Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton.

The situation for RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS locally seems optimistic, with two continuing along the Paumanok Trail off the west side of Schultz Road in Manorville and three noted last week in the restricted Brookhaven National Lab complex, as well as birds previously present in Connetquot River State Park and another still at Muscoot Farm in northern Westchester County.

A couple of ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS and some breeding HERMIT THRUSHES at Hunter’s Garden off Route 51 southwest of Riverhead have been attracting attention lately though presumably a continuation of birds historically present here for some time. This site a while back was best known for a pair or two of Blue Grosbeaks nesting there before they became more widespread locally. Now most birders visit the Calverton grasslands area for the BLUE GROSBEAKS, and three were spotted there today. This site also hosts a healthy population of GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS and other desirable grassland birds.

Among the warblers, a few seasonal floaters mentioned this week included WORM-EATING, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, NORTHERN PARULA and BLACK-AND-WHITE.

For the next two weeks, the chores of the Rare Bird Alert will gratefully be handled by Shai Mitra. To phone in reports, on Long Island please call Tony Lauro at 631-734-4126 or call Shai Mitra at 631-666-7624.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

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