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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From MNN:

Caretakers work around the clock to save abandoned flamingo chicks
Noel Kirkpatrick
February 15, 2019, 2:41 p.m.

Parent flamingos abandoned their chicks in sweltering heat. (Photo: Carly Morgan/National Aviary)

Volunteers are working to save the lives of 2,000 lesser flamingo chicks after the babies were abandoned by their parents.

The tiny birds were left behind at South Africa's Kamfers Dam, located in the Northern Cape province, after the dam went dry due to drought conditions. Now, wildlife rescue groups and zoos around the world are chipping in to help them.

-Read the entire article here-

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Bedford Audubon Society
Friday, February 22, 2019, 9:00am - Monday, February 25, 2019, 1:00pm
Cape Ann/Plum Island Winter Birding Weekend
This trip was rescheduled from January due to snow storms. The coast of northeast Massachusetts is the winter home to a spectacular array of seabirds. Our masterful Naturalist Tait Johansson will guide this special trip around the region in search of such stunners as Harlequin Duck, King Eider, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-necked Grebe, Rough-legged Hawk, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Purple Sandpiper, Black Guillemot, Black-legged Kittiwake, Razorbill, and Snowy Owl. It’s also possible to see Dovekie, Thick-billed Murre, and Eastern and Short-eared Owls. Add these to your year (or life) list this month!
Cost: $100/members, or $130/non-members and we’ll credit $30 to an annual membership; travel, lodging, and meals not included.
Note: The fees for this trip help support environmental education so we can continue to deliver high-quality programs for free.
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Prospect Park: Birdwatching for Beginners
Leader: Cyrus Baty
Birdwatching for Beginners meets at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at The Boathouse at 12 noon.
Bring binoculars if you have them; otherwise, binoculars are available for loan.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 - Sunday, February 24, 2019
Members only Overnight: Manasquan Reservoir, the Jersey coast ponds, and Sandy Hook NWR
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Winter birding within varied habitats of New Jersey, including open ocean, maritime forest, ponds, dunes & open fields.
Car fee: $75.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: Members only! Jan 12th – Feb 17th

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Central Park w/Martha Harbison and AMNH Collections tour w/Paul Sweet

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, February 24, 2019
Birding in Peace
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that there aren’t interesting birds to discover in Green-Wood. For some bird species that migrate south after the breeding season, Brooklyn is their Miami during the cold months. Spend the early morning exploring the cemetery, looking for overwintering waterfowl, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and any half-hardy birds that decided to stick around. By February we’ll see some of the early north-bound birds beginning to trickle back into the area.

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

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 9:00am
Point Lookout
Look for loons, grebes, and Harlequin Ducks which are usually seen on Long Island only at Point Lookout.
Registration: (631) 885-1881

Directions: Take Meadowbrook Pkwy to Loop Pkwy. At end of Loop Pkwy., turn left on Lido Blvd. Go to end of road and park anywhere near the entrance to the park. Meet by the gate to the park.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, February 23, 2019 to Sunday, February 24, 2019
Montauk Weekend
Leader: Joe DiCostanzo
Registrar: Dale Dancis — ddancis@gmail.com or 212-724-3269
Registration opens: Monday, January 28
Ride: $80 – lodging not included

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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 Audubon
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 9am – 3pm
Van Trip to the Winter Thaw Bird Walk at Jamaica Bay
Register for our van trip to American Littoral Society's Winter Thaw Bird Walk (see description above) and get to Jamaica Bay the easy way—by passenger van!
Bring lunch and water.
Limited to 12. $48 (68)
Click here to register

Sunday, February 24, 2019, 9am – 2pm
Winter Birds of DeKorte Park, NJ
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Come explore the wilds of the New Jersey Meadowlands at DeKorte Park. We'll be on the lookout for large flocks of Canvasbacks, Northern Pintails, Buffleheads, and Northern Shovelers. And we'll scan the skies for hunting raptors including Rough-legged and Cooper’s Hawks, Northern Harriers, and perhaps even a Snowy or Short-eared Owl. We can warm up at the environmental center and learn about the Meadowlands's ecology.
Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $88 (62)
Click here to register

**********

New York City WILD!
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:00am
The Bronx: Fort Schuyler Photography and Nature Walk

Sunday, February 24, 2019, 9:00am
Staten Island: Wolfe's Pond Park Photography and Nature Walk

For the full information about each walk click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Mount Loretto Unique Area: Fields, Bluffs and Bay
Few locations on Staten Island can compete with the wintry beauty of Mount Loretto. Participants will walk the trails throughout the property exploring the meadow, wetlands systems and shoreline with naturalist Ray Matarazzo.
Participants will meet in the Hylan Boulevard parking lot across from the CYO community center.
For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at 718-317-7666.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, Feb 23, 2019
Barnegat
Leader: Ian Resnick 917-626-9562
Please contact the trip leader to register for the trip and to find out the start time and location.

As per all QCBC trips, there is no charge to register, but we want to know who is planning on attending, in case there is any change in plans.

This is a full-day trip that starts early and ends with dining out in central New Jersey. Of course, you may leave at any time that your schedule requires. We are planning on having lunch at a restaurant, so there is no need to pack a lunch.

Itinerary: Meeting location will be posted closer to the trip date. We will explore many of the duck ponds in coastal New Jersey, including Takanasee Lake, Shark River, and southward. We will view Manasquan Inlet from several locations. The highlight of the trip will be Barnegat Lighthouse for a walk on the jetty to view sea ducks, including Harlequins. Order of stops will be dependent on weather conditions. In addition, itinerary may be modified if there are any reported unusual sightings of birds in the area.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 24, 2019
Mill Pond Park
Use street parking on the westbound side of Merrick Road. The park is four blocks west of the Wantagh State Parkway.
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, February 23, 2019
Birding: Winter Waterfowl at Arthur Kill Road and Brookfield Avenue (in Brookfield Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our park rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Appropriate for all skill levels.
Free!

Sunday, February 24, 2019
Birding: Winter Waterfowl at Salt Marsh Nature Center (in Marine Park), Brooklyn
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our park rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Appropriate for all skill levels.
Free!
...Read more

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From "The Guardian" online:

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'
Damian Carrington

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.

Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates the crisis is global. The researchers set out their conclusions in unusually forceful terms for a peer-reviewed scientific paper: “The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.

“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” they write. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”

Read the entire article here.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, February 16, 2019, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Prospect Park: Birdwatching for Beginners
Leader: Cyrus Baty
Birdwatching for Beginners meets at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at The Boathouse at 12 noon.
Bring binoculars if you have them; otherwise, binoculars are available for loan.

Saturday, February 16, 2019, 8:30am - 12:00pm
The Great Backyard Bird Count at Prospect Park
Meet 8:30 am at Prospect Park Boathouse
Leaders: Tina Alleva and Cyrus Baty
Focus: Winter passerines, ducks and gulls, raptor
Reference: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge and Shinnecock Inlet
2595 Noyack Rd, Sag Harbor, NY
Meet at the refuge at 9am
Handfeed chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and more. Then we’ll visit the inlet and Dune Road for winter birds and maybe a Snowy Owl or American Bittern.
All day trip.

**********

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, February 16, 2019, 10:00am
Westchester County: Marshlands Conservancy Photography & Nature Walk

Sunday, February 17, 2019, 12:00pm
Lunar New Year Parade! Manhattan Chinatown Photography Ramble

For the full information about each walk click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, February 16, 2019, 5:00pm-7:00pm
Owl Prowl at Blue Heron Park
Join with Cliff Hagen as he explores the deep woods of Staten Island in search of our nocturnal neighbors. Walk the quiet woods and listen for the whistles and whines of screech owls, the deep hoots of great horned owls and other noises of the night.
Participants will meet at 222 Poillon Avenue. For more information call Cliff Hagen at 718-313-8591 or e-mail him at chagen72@gmail.com.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Massapequa Preserve
From Sunrise Highway, turn north onto Broadway, Massapequa. Travel under the Long Island Rail Road overpass, then make the first right onto Veterans Boulevard (headed east). Go past the Massapequa train station and into the parking lot at the east end of the station. The preserve is directly east of the parking lot.
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.
All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Birding: Winter Birds at 81st Street and Central Park West (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Whether you're an experienced birder or just looking for a fun winter activity outdoors, birding is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and stay active.
Free!

Great Backyard Bird Count 2019 at Wave Hill House (in Wave Hill), Bronx
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Using smartphone apps and official, field-data forms, track and record the birds in Wave Hill’s backyard, guided by naturalist Gabriel Willow.

Sunday, February 17, 2019
Ecosystem Explorers: Micro-Ecosystems at Prospect Avenue and Brentwood Avenue (in Allison Pond Park), Staten Island
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Be an explorer with the Urban Park Rangers as we venture into habitats that exist in New York City Parks!
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, February 09, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 8, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 8, 2019
* NYNY1902.08

- Birds mentioned
PACIFIC LOON+
COMMON MURRE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
EURASIAN WIGEON
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
Harlequin Duck
Greater White-fronted Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
American Bittern
Evening Grosbeak
VESPER SPARROW
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
Orange-crowned Warbler

- 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, February 8th 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are PACIFIC LOON, COMMON MURRE, BARNACLE GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, TUNDRA SWAN, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, EURASIAN WIGEON, BLACK-HEADED GULL, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and VESPER SPARROW.

Last Saturday a loon photographed in Oyster Bay was subsequently identified as a PACIFIC LOON and from Sunday through today close views have been enjoyed of this crisp winter plumaged bird. Never very far from shore this individual is often seen around the pilings at the Sagamore Yacht Club or along the shore east of the marina sometimes actually hidden among the pilings but also drifting farther east depending on activity and the tidal situation. Entering Oyster Bay at Route 106 continue on South Street and stay left at the end by the white tanks to enter the yacht club and adjacent Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. Search the marina area or along the shore to the east. It has been seen east to the cove off Florence Avenue which does have parking at the road's end.

Alcid numbers have been very low recently but a COMMON MURRE was spotted today drifting slowly west off Jones Beach field 6.

Among the waterfowl a BARNACLE GOOSE and at least 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE continue in a Canada Goose flock feeding in the sod fields north of Riverhead. The flocks have been moving around quite a bit. The search area recently has ranged from the original fields off Route 105 on the Northville Turnpike south of Sound Avenue to more westerly areas including fields viewed from Doctor's Path and Roanoke Avenue and even farther west off Osborn Avenue and even Edward's Avenue. Another GREATER WHITE-FRONTED has been visiting the lake at Playland Park in Rye where a EURASIAN WIGEON was also offshore on Wednesday. Other EURASIAN WIGEON drakes have been in Brooklyn at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center recently and at Bush Terminal Piers Park Wednesday as well as on Avon Lake in Amityville and at the Makamah Preserve in Fort Salonga and another spotted on Halsey Neck Pond in Southampton Wednesday. A drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE continues off Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga and a pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS were off Orient Point County Park this week. Two TUNDRA SWANS were on frozen Hook Pond in East Hampton last Saturday that same day finding one at Bush Terminal Piers Park.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL was spotted off Brooklyn's Calvert Vaux Park today and another was present Tuesday and Wednesday at the south end of Lake Montauk as viewed from South Lake Drive, this a site used by this species and some Bonaparte's Gulls in recent years. Single ICELAND GULLS this week were at Brooklyn's Austin Nichol's House Wednesday and Thursday as well as continuing at Crab Meadow Beach at the Montauk Harbor Inlet. A few LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS also remain along the coast.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was still at Shinnecock Inlet Sunday and AMERICAN BITTERN remains along Dune Road besides being seen again in Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island Wednesday.

An EVENING GROSBEAK male was still visiting Riverside Park in northern Manhattan today ranging from 117th Street and north and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen at Brooklyn's Plumb Beach last Saturday.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was still near number 20 Post Lane in Quogue last weekend this just north of Dune Road and up to 4 or so VESPER SPARROWS have been seen recently at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center off Yaphank Avenue this south of 495.

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, February 05, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website MNN:

Haiti's first private nature reserve will protect 68 species of vertebrates
Noel Kirkpatrick
February 1, 2019, 12:06 p.m.

This 'jewel of biodiversity' encompasses more than 1,200 acres.

The critically endangered spiny green frog is one of 19 frog species found on Grand Bois mountain. (Photo: Robin Moore/Global Wildlife Conservation)
Haiti, the small Caribbean country that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, has less than 1 percent of its original forests left, putting the country "on the verge of a potential ecological collapse," says West Sechrest, CEO and chief scientist for Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), in a statement.

The GWC, along with Rainforest Trust, Temple University, Haiti National Trust and local NGO Société Audubon Haiti (SAH), have acquired more than 1,200 acres around Haiti's Grand Bois mountain, the groups announced this week. The area is home to 68 vertebrate species, including many that are facing extinction.

"We knew that we needed to take action to protect the country's staggering diversity of unique and threatened species, many of which are found only in Haiti," Sechrest says. "Global Wildlife Conservation has partnered with Haiti National Trust to directly protect, manage and restore this high-priority conservation site in an effort to begin to turn the tide of centuries of unregulated environmental destruction."

Read the entire article here

Monday, February 04, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, February 9, 2019 to Sunday, February 10, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, February 9, 2019, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Eaglefest
Join us at the New Croton Dam for a day of viewing our Nation’s symbol, the Bald Eagle. We’ll also be monitoring the local waterfowl and other birds, too! No registration necessary. Snow date Sunday, February 10.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, February 9, 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.

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Birding in Peace
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that there aren’t interesting birds to discover in Green-Wood. For some bird species that migrate south after the breeding season, Brooklyn is their Miami during the cold months. Spend the early morning exploring the cemetery, looking for overwintering waterfowl, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and any half-hardy birds that decided to stick around. By February we’ll see some of the early north-bound birds beginning to trickle back into the area.

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

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, February 10, 2019, 9:00am
Sunken Meadow State Park
We will investigate the trails, ponds, and seashore to see which birds have arrived for the winter.
Registration: (585) 880-0915
Directions: Take Sunken Meadow State Pkwy north to end, meet in northwest corner of field 1.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Central Park Winter Bird Walk 1
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Ellen Hoffman — ellenh33@icloud.com or 917-903-3487
Registration opens: Monday, January 28

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon
Sunday, February 10, 2019, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Winter at Freshkills Park
Guide: Cliff Hagen with NYC Parks
Winter at Freshkills Park is an exciting time for birding. The grass-covered slopes offer plenty of seed and shelter to huddled flocks of Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and sparrow species, as Rough-legged Hawks soar overhead. Down below the mounds are a crisscross of tidal creeks filled with a variety of waterfowl. Grebes, geese, and coots swim alongside over a dozen species of ducks.
Transport by passenger van from Staten Island St. George Terminal included. Limited to 12. $57 (40)
Click here to register

Sunday, February 10, 2019, 8am – 11am
Bird Walk to Central Park's Ramble and Reservoir
Guide: Tod Winston
Enjoy a morning of birding's simple pleasures with a walk in Central Park in search of wintering songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Sunday, February 10, 2019, 9:30am – 11:30am
Winter Birding at Wave Hill, Bronx
Sundays, December 9, January 13, February 10, and March 10, 9:30-11:30am
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. The Hudson River valley hosts an impressive diversity of bird species, even during the winter months. Come explore the beautiful gardens and woodlands of Wave Hill and observe the hardy birds that spend the winter in this urban oasis. Walks run rain or shine. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. See www.wavehill.org for admission rates. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission

Sunday, February 10, 2019, 10am – 11am
Bird Walk in Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet inside the park at the intersection of 69th Road and Meadow Lake Drive. Come explore the bird life of Meadow Lake! This bird walk will be perfect for beginners, who can expect to see a variety of ducks and other bird species. Participants should be prepared for about 30 minutes of easy walking on paved paths. Binoculars are available to borrow for free with an ID. All ages are welcome. This does not require preregistration. Free

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New York City WILD!
Saturday, February 9, 2019, 10:00am
Lunar New Year Parade! Flushing, Queens
Photography Ramble

Sunday, February 10, 2019, 11:00am
Winter Wonderland! New York Harbor/Brooklyn: Bensonhurst to Verrazano Bridge
Photography and Nature Walk

For the full information about each walk click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Sunday, February 10, 2019, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Midwinter Walk in Willowbrook Park
Willowbrook Park, Eton Place and Victory Blvd.
It’s not all bleak in the midwinter! Join us on a 4-mile roundtrip discovery walk through Willowbrook Park. Brush up on your tree identification through bark and leaf bud. Let’s find what plants are still green and growing! We’ll meet at the parking lot by the Archery Range. Be sure to use the entrance at Eton Place off Victory Boulevard. Dress warmly and bring snacks and beverage.
For more information, contact Hillel Lofaso at hillel5757@gmail.com or 718-477-0545

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Black Dirt - Shawangunk
Leader: Arie Gilbert (917) 693-7178

Please contact the trip leader to register for the trip and to find out the start time.
As per all QCBC trips, there is no charge to register, but we want to know who is planning on attending, in case there is any change in plans.

This is a full-day trip that starts early and ends with dining out in upstate New York. Of course, you may leave at any time that your schedule requires. Please pack a bagged lunch because we will not be stopping at a restaurant for lunch.

Itinerary: Will include the "Black Dirt" region of Pine Island, Liberty Marsh, plus the Shawangunk Grasslands, but not necessarily in that order. The order of locations and meeting site will be determined based on weather predictions, and will be posted closer to the trip date.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Massapequa Lake
Massapequa Lake is at the southern end of Massapequa Preserve. Use street parking on the westbound side of Merrick Road, west of Lake Shore Blvd.
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, February 9, 2019
The New York City Naturalist Club: Bald Eagle Watch at Payson Park House (in Inwood Hill Park)
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Rangers will guide you to the best viewing spots in the urban jungle.
All skill levels are welcomed.
Free!

Birding: Winter Birds at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
11:00 a.m.–12:30 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.
All skill levels are welcome.
Free!

Birding: Winter Birds at Forest Avenue and Silver Lake Park Road (in Silver Lake Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 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.
All skill levels are welcome.
Free!

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Winter Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Explore Wave Hill’s tranquil gardens and woodlands with naturalist Gabriel Willow to observe birds in their winter habitats.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, February 02, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 1, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 1, 2019
* NYNY1902.01

- Birds Mentioned

BARNACLE GOOSE+
THICK-BILLED MURRE+
VARIED THRUSH+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
EURASIAN WIGEON
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
COMMON GALLINULE
Razorbill
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
BLACK-HEADED GULL
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
American Bittern
Eastern Phoebe
Tree Swallow
Common Yellowthroat
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
EVENING GROSBEAK

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, February 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are VARIED THRUSH, THICK-BILLED MURRE, BARNACLE and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, EURASIAN WIGEON, BLACK-HEADED, GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, COMMON GALLINULE, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, EVENING GROSBEAK and more.

A cold week, with not too much new to offer.

The only report of the VARIED THRUSH we know of comes from yesterday at Clove Lakes Park on northern Staten Island, the bird presumably still in the same area it had been frequenting, namely near Brook’s Pond or along the eastern edge of the park in that vicinity. The paucity of reports of this bird is indicative of the difficulty of locating it in the park and surrounding neighborhood.

The THICK-BILLED MURRE at Shinnecock, however, has been more reliable, seen at least to Wednesday moving up and down the inlet. RAZORBILL numbers have dropped off considerably at the inlet and elsewhere along the coast; the high count from Montauk Point Tuesday noted 44 RAZORBILLS, while last weekend 3 were reported on the bay side at Fort Tilden Saturday, with singles off Coney Island Beach and Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn Sunday.

The BARNACLE GOOSE hanging out with CANADA GEESE in the fields north of Riverhead has been moving around quite a bit, certainly at least partly due to the hunting activity in that area. It was seen Tuesday off Edwards Avenue south of Sound Avenue in fields well west of the more traditional fields around Doctors Path and Route 105. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE has been in the same mobile flocks.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE in Westchester has been roosting the last few days on mostly frozen Playland Lake in Rye, and among a few CACKLING GEESE were last Saturday singles on Mill Pond in Oyster Bay and Tung Ting Pond in Centerport.

A drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was still off Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga last weekend, and single drake EURASIAN WIGEON included one Saturday at Makamah Beach in Fort Salonga as well as lingering birds at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center Saturday and on Avon Lake in Amityville today.

A COMMON GALLINULE was present on the lake at Blydenburgh County Park last weekend, frequenting the southwestern edge of Stump Pond near the phragmites stand, best viewed from near the boat launch or from the path to the south.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was present last weekend at Oldfield Point north of Stony Brook, joined there by a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL; other LESSER BLACK-BACKEDS were spotted at Robert Moses State Park Wednesday and at Shinnecock Thursday. Three BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were off Montauk Point Sunday, with 5 there Tuesday.

ICELAND GULLS included 2 around the Montauk harbor inlet Sunday, with singles Saturday at Crab Meadow Beach and the Eatons Neck Coast Guard Station. A GLAUCOUS GULL was still at the Bellport Bay Yacht Club last weekend.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was still around Shinnecock Inlet Tuesday, and an AMERICAN BITTERN continues along Dune Road. Another BITTERN was still at Clove Lakes Park Wednesday, and one has also been seen recently around the swale at Jones Beach West End up to Wednesday.

A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was found last Saturday in Quogue and was still present today along Post Lane just north of the bridge from Dune Road in the vicinity of home #20.

A male EVENING GROSBEAK was still frequenting Riverside Park in northern Manhattan today, and a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT was still surviving in Union Square Park last Sunday. A few EASTERN PHOEBES and TREE SWALLOWS have also surprisingly made it through this punishing cold stretch.

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, January 29, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Earther:

Microplastics Discovered in Key Drinking Water Source
Yessenia Funes
January 28, 2019

The one thing we humans have done an incredible job of leaving behind is plastic. Microplastics, in particular, are seemingly everywhere these days: in sea turtles, table salt, and even beer. Now, a new study offers evidence that microplastics may be infiltrating our groundwater supply, too. Illinois-based researchers found microplastics in springs and wells from two aquifers in the state.

This latest study, published in the journal Groundwater last week, claims to be the first to find microplastics in fractured limestone aquifers, which make up about a quarter of the drinking water supply worldwide. Because of their geology, these aquifers are highly porous, so they can easily absorb water from the surface above—and all that comes with it. The team of researchers from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Loyola University Chicago collected 11 groundwater samples from an aquifer near St. Louis and six more from an aquifer in northwestern Illinois.

Only one sample came back microplastic-free. The researchers speculate the tiny plastic fibers they found are coming from household septic tanks, perhaps carrying runoff from laundry loads.

Clothes have previously been identified as a key source of microplastic pollution, with each wash potentially releasing hundreds of thousands of tiny plastic fibers. In this latest study, the highest concentration of plastics found in a sample was around 15 particles per liter.

That doesn’t really mean much right now. Not enough data on microplastics in groundwater exists for scientists to say whether this is a lot. Plus, we still don’t know much about the impacts of microplastics on our bodies, so there’s no concentration that’s deemed unsafe or illegal.

“The research on this topic is at a very early stage, so I am not convinced we have a frame of reference to state expectations or bounds on what is considered low or high levels,” said Tim Hoellein, a professor of biology at Loyola University Chicago and co-author on the new study, in a press release. “Our questions are still basic: How much is there, and where is it coming from?”

These researchers didn’t just discover microplastics in the water. They also found medicine and household contaminants, supporting the idea that the particles originated in household septic systems.

A study out earlier this year found some microplastics in groundwater, but not enough to raise any alarms. Last year, a separate study warned that the impacts of microplastics on land-based ecosystems, including soils and freshwater, may be just as harmful as impacts in the ocean.

This new study is just the latest to remind us that our local water supplies may be vulnerable. And whether microplastics are entering our drinking water or our fish, they’re eventually making their way back to us.
...Read more

Monday, January 28, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, February 2, 2019 to Sunday, February 3, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 8:00am - 1:00pm
Explore Greenwich Point with Naturalist Tait Johansson
Brant, Long-tailed Ducks, scoters, goldeneyes, loons, and other waterbirds expected, along with interesting landbirds, and sometimes owls.
Depart Bylane at 7am, or meet in the lot on the right after the gatehouse by 8am.
Cost: Free.
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Dress warm. Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or at 914.302.9713.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 8:45am - 12:00pm
Groundhog Day at Coney Island
Meet 8:45 am at Dunkin Donuts outside the Stillwell Ave train terminus, located at the corner of Stillwell and Surf Ave. https://goo.gl/maps/heGDfBBAEuu
Leader: Sean Zimmer
Focus: Waterfowl species mainly, gulls, some winter passerines and shorebirds.
Note: If rain or heavy snow threatens, please see the Prospect Park Sightings Blog and BBC Facebook page for updates

Saturday, February 2, 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, February 3, 2019, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Prospect Park First Sunday Walk
Meets at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at The Boathouse, the first Sunday of every month except July and August. Leaders are members of the Brooklyn Bird Club.
Bring binoculars.

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, February 2, 2019, meet 8:30am
Annual Trek to Montauk
Leader: Eileen Schwinn

We will be meeting at the Point – and what’s the Point?? The Montauk Lighthouse Parking Lot! Meeting time: 8:30 am, to view (hopefully) the hundreds – or thousands – of sea ducks! With luck, Razorbills and other alcids will be present, and perhaps, wintering gulls and terns. Moving on to Camp Hero, we will also view the southern shore and ocean, and continue the day with visits to The Ranch, Lake Montauk, Ditch Plains, and various great birding spots which make up the Must Do List of the Winter in Montauk Birding Experience! The itinerary may change if any rare or noteworthy birds are reported in the area. Dress for the weather – which will be cold, windy, and downright nasty! There are heated restrooms at The Point, and various other spots, and be sure to bring snacks and water. There are some local restaurants and delis which are open, but you may want to pack a lunch. We will spend the morning birding. Contact Eileen Schwinn, beachmed@optonline.net, for more information. (And since it’s Groundhog Day, we might be forced to do the same thing on the following Day!!)

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 8:30am
Jones Beach West End
Leader(s): Mike Cooper (516-523-2369, Bob Grover (516-318-8536)
Meet in the parking lot near the Coast Guard Station at West End.

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

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, February 3, 2019, 9:00am
North Shore Ducks
Long Island can be one of the best places in the country to watch winter waterfowl. Join us for a fun day to see as many of these species as possible and learn about their interesting life histories.
Registration: (631) 885-1881
Directions: Meet at St. John’s Pond by the church behind the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, February 2, 2019 (rain date Feb. 3rd)
Coney Island Pier to Coney Island Creek
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Mary Beth Kooper — marybeth@nyc.rr.com
Registration opens: Monday, January 21
Public transportation

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 9:20am – 4:00pm
Winter Eagles on the Hudson
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Join NYC Audubon in seeking out one of the most incredible avian spectacles in New York: Bald Eagles wintering along the frozen Hudson River by the dozens or even hundreds. We will travel in comfort by Metro-North to Croton Point Park, where we will look for eagles before hiking up to Croton Point to seek out wintering Short-eared and Snowy Owls, Snow Buntings, Horned Larks, and other cold-weather specialties. Limited to 20.
Round-trip Metro-North fare ($20.50) not included in trip price. $53 (37)
Click here to register

Sunday, February 3, 2019, 9am – 3pm
Winter Waterfowl of the Brooklyn Coast
Guide: Kellye Rosenheim
Join Kellye Rosenheim on a tour of Brooklyn’s most productive coastal winter waterfowl sites. We’ll visit Bush Terminal Piers Park, Gravesend, and Calvert Vaux in search of saltwater species such as Common Goldeneye, Long-tailed Duck, and Common Loon, as well as Horned and Red-necked Grebe.
Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $87 (61)
Click here to register

Sunday, February 3, 2019, 11am – 6pm
Soaring Raptors: Eagles and Owls of the Hudson River Valley
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
You don’t have to travel to Alaska to see our country’s emblem, the Bald Eagle. Thanks to one of the most successful reintroduction programs on record, many eagles now soar over the nearby Hudson Valley. Travel with us to see this spectacular raptor and try to spot the secretive Short-eared Owl.
Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $94 (66)
Click here to register

**********

New York City WILD!
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 9:30am
Winter Wonderland! Bald Eagles! Croton Point Park, Westchester County

Sunday, February 3, 2019, 11:00am
Winter Wonderland! Staten Island: Fort Wadsworth to South Beach Photography and Nature Walk

For the full information about each walk click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Sunday, February 3, 2019, 9:45am-2:00pm
The Richard Buegler Winter 10-Mile Greenbelt Walk
Greenbelt Nature Center
The Winter 10-miler begins at the Greenbelt Nature Center, winds its way through LaTourette Park before returning to the Nature Center. Participants will explore the heart of Staten Island while enjoying Superbowl Sunday with an invigorating loop hike in the Greenbelt with Protectors. A winter walk through the snowcapped slopes of the Greenbelt with Protectors allows inquisitive visitors to experience local wildlife while gaining knowledge of the natural world. We will meet in the Nature Center parking lot at the corner of Rockland and Brielle Avenues.
For more information call Dominick Durso at 917-478-7607.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 3, 2019
Point Lookout Town Park (and Lido Preserve afterwards)

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

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.
All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Ecosystem Explorers: Pond Ecology at Blue Heron Nature Center (in Blue Heron Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Whether it is summer or winter, ponds welcome a variety of flora and fauna to the environment.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, January 26, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 25, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 25, 2019
* NYNY1901.25

- Birds Mentioned

BARNACLE GOOSE+
COMMON MURRE+
THICK-BILLED MURRE+
VARIED THRUSH+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Canada Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
EURASIAN WIGEON
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Eurasian form)
HARLEQUIN DUCK
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
American Bittern
Rough-legged Hawk
American Oystercatcher
Razorbill
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Laughing Gull
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Wood Thrush
Ovenbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
COMMON REDPOLL
Pine Siskin
EVENING GROSBEAK

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, January 25, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are VARIED THRUSH, BARNACLE and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, EURASIAN WIGEON, and Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, THICK-BILLED and COMMON MURRES, BLACK-HEADED, GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, EVENING GROSBEAK, COMMON REDPOLL and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

An elusive VARIED THRUSH on Staten Island was seen again this week both last Saturday and again on Monday in Clove Lakes Park; the bird has been spotted near Brooks Pond in the northern portion of the park or along the eastern edge of the park and usually requires patience. Also in Clove Lakes Park this week were an AMERICAN BITTERN and a lingering YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

A BARNACLE GOOSE continues visiting the sod fields north of Riverhead but, especially with hunters present, has been moving around with the CANADA flocks quite a bit – locations this week have included fields off Osborn Avenue, Hulse Landing Road and Reeves Avenue as well as at the more regular fields east of Doctors Path and along Route 105 south of Sound Avenue. One or two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE also continue with the large flocks of geese.

Another GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was present around Roslyn Pond last weekend, and one visiting southern Westchester County was back on Playland Lake in Rye today.

Two TUNDRA SWANS were on Hook Pond in East Hampton Monday, this a regular site for them.

A drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was spotted again off Crab Meadow Beach Wednesday, and HARLEQUIN DUCK was still in Shinnecock Inlet last Saturday.

A drake EURASIAN WIGEON was still on Avon Lake in Amityville early in the week, and on Wednesday a drake Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL was spotted on Santapogue Creek in West Babylon.

Local numbers of RAZORBILLS dropped off this week, with about 240 counted off Montauk Point Wednesday, but as of last Saturday at least, both single THICK-BILLED and COMMON MURRES were joining a few RAZORBILLS around Shinnecock Inlet. Two more THICK-BILLED MURRES were also reported around Jones Inlet last Saturday.

In Brooklyn last weekend an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was spotted both at Sheepshead Bay and at Coney Island Creek Park, while the Jones Beach West End bird was also noted Saturday.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was at the Bellport Bay Yacht Club Monday, and ICELAND GULLS were noted at Coney Island Creek Sunday, Gravesend Bay Monday and at Crab Meadow Beach Wednesday.

Three BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were off Montauk Point Wednesday, and a few LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS included two in Bellport Bay Monday, while a very unexpected LAUGHING GULL visited Croton Point Park in Westchester today.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was off Floyd Bennett Field at least to Wednesday, and a lingering AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER was noted there on Monday.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK appeared at the Grumman grasslands in Calverton Tuesday.

Currently sparse numbers of winter Finches do include the male EVENING GROSBEAK continuing in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, usually around 117 Street or above, and a COMMON REDPOLL found on Randall’s Island last Sunday. A few more REDPOLLS and a small number of PINE SISKINS have also been visiting the Avalon Gardens and East Farm Preserve in Stony Brook the last few days, often near the pond.

A WOOD THRUSH was still at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge last Saturday, and an OVENBIRD was noted in Central Park Wednesday.

Among a few ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were singles at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center Saturday and Calvert Vaux Park Wednesday, these both in Brooklyn.

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, January 22, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website "Treehugger":

California teen collects 50,000 rotting golf balls from coastal waters
Katherine Martinko
January 21, 2019

Alex Weber, 18, has just published a study that analyzes how these balls enter and degrade in the water.

Alex Weber's favorite thing to do is free-dive off the coast of Carmel, California. She has been doing it since she was a child, accompanied by her father, exploring the underwater coves, fissures, and giant kelp forests. She is able to hold her breath for 2 minutes at a time and her dad for up to five. But her perspective changed abruptly in summer 2016 when, at age 16, she and her dad were diving in the waters near Pebble Beach Golf Course. There, she noticed that the sea floor was carpeted in golf balls at various stages of decomposition.

Thus began her determined quest to clean up the golf balls and research the issue further. She collected 2,000 golf balls on that first day and, since then, has gathered more than 50,000 in total, a whopping 2.5 tons of marine waste stored in her parents' garage. She's doing more than cleaning, though; she has also been collecting data.


Alex Weber's golf balls ©Alex Weber (used with permission)
50,000 collected golf balls are stored in her parents' garage


Early on, Weber reached out to Matthew Savoca, a Stanford University scientist who studies plastic ocean waste. As Weber explains on her website, she wanted to ask him about the "strong mysterious odor" that the golf balls gave off and wondered if it might be dimethyl sulfide, a plastic chemical that acts as a food trigger for animals. Savoca's curiosity was piqued and he encouraged Weber write a scientific paper about her discovery.

He joined her on the collection dives and describes hauling up so many bags of balls that the kayaks they'd brought with them were overloaded and had to be towed back to shore. He told NPR, "When we were out there, we'd hear, 'plink, plink,' and we'd look up on the hill and there'd be golf balls flying in off the course right into the ocean where we were doing collections." They collected between 500 and 5,000 balls per day.


Alex Weber sorts golf balls © Alex Weber/The Plastic Pick-Up (used with permission)

Weber's paper (co-authored with Savoca and father Michael Weber) has just been published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, titled, "Quantifying marine debris associated with coastal golf courses." NPR reports:

"The team notes that golf balls are coated with a thin polyurethane shell that degrades over time. They also contain zinc compounds that are toxic... The surf and currents act like a rock grinder and break down the golf balls. While chemicals from 50,000 or so golf balls will have only a small effect on the ocean, Savoca says they do degrade into microplastic pieces that marine animals could eat. The team also notes that there are lots of coastal golf courses around the world, so this may go beyond California."

The numbers paint a grim picture. If a player at Pebble Beach loses 1-3 balls per round and the golf course hosts 62,000 rounds of golf each year, then anywhere between 62,000 and 186,000 balls are entering the ocean annually. Multiply that by the 34,011 eighteen-hole golf courses worldwide that are located near oceans and rivers, and it's a real problem.

The study authors hope that their work will help create better cleanup protocols for coastal regions with golf courses, as well as tighter regulations for recovering the golf balls. Weber told TreeHugger via email that some golf courses have begun to do beach cleanups and that "we are working to help them expand into underwater collections." Perhaps someone should start inventing an all-natural, water-soluble golf ball, too? Or what about a floating golf ball? Then golfers would have to see what they're doing and it would cease to be acceptable.

Learn more on Alex Weber's website, The Plastic Pick-Up.
...Read more

Monday, January 21, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, January 26, 2019 to Sunday, January 27, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Sunday, January 27, 2019, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Winter Tree Identification at Muscoot Farm with Naturalist Tait Johansson
Co-sponsored with Friends of Muscoot Farm. Join Tait to learn how to use a tree’s structure, bark, and other clues to ID it even after the leaves have fallen. Family friendly, but all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost: Free.
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Dress warm. Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 7:00am - 4:00pm
The Waterfowl Census of Coastal Brooklyn and Queens
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: The annual waterfowl count of ducks, swans, coots, grebes, etc. in Gerritsen Creek, Dead Horse Bay, Fort Tilden, and the Western Rockaway/Breezy Point Gateway Unit, from 7 am to 4 pm.
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: Jan 19th – Jan 24th
Note: Cancelled if rain or heavy […]

Saturday, January 26, 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.

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Pelham Bay Park
Leader: Jeffrey Ward

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Birding in Peace
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that there aren’t interesting birds to discover in Green-Wood. For some bird species that migrate south after the breeding season, Brooklyn is their Miami during the cold months. Spend the early morning exploring the cemetery, looking for overwintering waterfowl, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and any half-hardy birds that decided to stick around. By February we’ll see some of the early north-bound birds beginning to trickle back into the area.

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

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Meet at 9 AM at the refuge. We will walk the 1.7-mile loop around the newly fixed West Pond for waterfowl such as Snow Geese and the bay for grebes and loons. Then search the revitalized gardens for some half hardy winter birds and maybe a Boat-tailed Grackle. We can then stop for pizza at New Park Pizza in Howard Beach

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Pelham Bay Park
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Louise Fraza — louisefraza@yahoo.com or 212-534-6182
Registration opens: Monday, January 14
Ride: $15

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, January 26, 9am - Sunday, January 27, 7pm
Winter Waterfowl Weekend at Montauk
Guide: Gabriel Willow
The gatherings of sea ducks around Montauk Point are the largest winter concentrations in New York State; the Audubon Christmas Bird Count at Montauk Point consistently tallies from 125 to 135 species, one of the best totals in the Northeast. Species that come to feed on the Point’s rich kelp and mussel beds include Common and Red-throated Loon, Common Eider, all three scoter species, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Great Cormorant, and Red-breasted Merganser. Harlequin Duck and King Eider also occur here regularly during the winter. Accommodations at Daunt's Albatross in Montauk and transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $295 ($55 single supplement)
Click here to register

Saturday, January 26, 2019, 9-11am
Randall's Island Winter Walk
Guide: Nadir Souirgi
Explore this lesser known spot in the East River, where recently restored freshwater wetlands and salt marsh provide habitat for many varieties of birds. We’ll look for rarities such as Common Goldeneye, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Iceland Gull. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Saturday, January 12, and Sunday, January 27, 9:30-11am
Forest Park Feeder Watch and Owl Prowl, Queens
Guide: Corey Finger
Explore the depths of the largest contiguous forest in Queens. Highlights include the feeding station at the famed Waterhole and a search for owls in the pine groves. Common feeder sightings include woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadee, American Goldfinch, and usually at least one Brown Creeper. Past years have also seen Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Pine Warbler. On the owl prowl, look for sightings of Great Horned, Northern Saw-whet, or Long-eared Owl. Limited to 15. $36 (25) per walk
Click here to register

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New York City WILD!
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 9:30am
Winter Wonderland! Bald Eagles!
Croton Point Park, Westchester County

Sunday, January 27, 2019, 1:00pm
Winter Wonderland!Forest Park, Queens
Photography and Nature Walk

For the full information about each walk click HERE to take you to the Eventbrite Profile page where you will find all details (scroll down to the thumbnails) for each of the outings and how to SIGN UP

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, Jan 26, 2019
Montauk Point
Leader: Ian Resnick 917-626-9562
Please contact the trip leader to register for the trip and to find out the start time.

As per all QCBC trips, there is no charge to register, but we want to know who is planning on attending, in case there is any change in plans.

This is a full-day trip that starts early and ends with dining out near Shinnecock inlet. Of course, you may leave at any time that your schedule requires. Please pack a bagged lunch because we will not be stopping at a restaurant for lunch.

Itinerary: Park in the Montauk Lighthouse lot (see map). Immediately walk across the street to the ocean-facing side of the Lighthouse Cafe, where we will spend a considerable amount of time scoping for seabirds, ducks, loons, etc. Then, we will explore the area around the lighthouse. After, we will proceed by vehicle to many interesting sites in the Montauk and Shinnecock area, ending with the Shinnecock Inlet. Itinerary may vary depending on the presence of birding rarities in the area at the time of the field trip.

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South Shore Audubon Society
January 27, 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.


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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Birding: Winter Waterfowl at West 100 Street and Central Park West (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
This program will focus on the different species of waterfowl that reside in our parks during the colder winter months. Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels.
Free!

Sunday, January 27, 2019
Winter Seasonal Stroll at Alley Pond Environmental Center, Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Join a naturalist on this wintery guided interactive stroll. A cup of hot cocoa included to bring along on the walk.

Birding: Winter Waterfowl at Brookville Boulevard and Caney Road (in Brookville Park), Queens
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
This program will focus on the different species of waterfowl that reside in our parks during the colder winter months. Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, January 19, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, January 18, 2019

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jan. 18, 2019
* NYNY1901.18

- Birds mentioned
COMMON MURRE+
THICK-BILLED MURRE+
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Razorbill
DOVEKIE
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
GLAUCOUS GULL
ICELAND GULL
BLACK-HEADED GULL
EURASIAN WIGEON
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
HARLEQUIN DUCK
KING EIDER
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Eastern Phoebe
Evening Grosbeak
LAPLAND LONGSPUR
Tree Swallow
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Wood Thrush
VARIED 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, January 18th 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, VARIED THRUSH, THICK-BILLED MURRE, COMMON MURRE, DOVEKIE, BARNACLE GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, EURASIAN WIGEON, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and more.

Last Saturday an AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN was spotted at Hayground Cove in Watermill hanging out with a large troop of Mute Swans and it was still present there at least to Wednesday sometimes flying off for a spell. The PELICAN would nonetheless best be looked for in this cove which is nicely viewable from the end of Cove Lane reached from Rose Hill Road on the west side of Hayground Cove.

A VARIED THRUSH resurfaced on Staten Island on Wednesday presumably the same bird first seen at Clove Lakes Park back on December 5th. This wandering bird has been viewed near Brooks Pond in the northern section of the park, though briefly, through today.

The extraordinary recent push of RAZORBILLS along Long Island's south shore due to currently unknown factors has provided additional excitement as well. Peak numbers of RAZORBILLS this week were tallied last Saturday with estimates of around 5 thousand in the Montauk area and over 1,100 off at Shinnecock Inlet. This phenomenon has also produced a few COMMON MURRES around Shinnecock Inlet though only seen one at a time with at least one THICK-BILLED MURRE also occurring in the inlet through at least Thursday. These two species often providing great views as they move up and down the inlet. Also, farther west, a THICK-BILLED MURRE was photographed off Jones Beach West End yesterday and today one was followed as it swam along Gravesend Bay up to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in Brooklyn. A DOVEKIE was also reported flying by Breezy Point last Sunday. This RAZORBILL abundance has out east also produced a number of BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES these gulls often attracted to feeding flocks of RAZORBILLS with a peak of 90 estimated off Montauk last Saturday and others also gathering off Shinnecock Inlet.

Also at Shinnecock a drake KING EIDER was seen last Saturday usually hiding in the bay with a few thousand Common Eider. A female HARLEQUIN DUCK has been around the inlet jetties and up to 3 RED-NECKED GREBES have been frequenting the inlet.

A large gathering of Canada Geese on the sod fields north of Riverhead has recently included a BARNACLE GOOSE and at least 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE as well as CACKLING and SNOW GEESE. These fields extend south from Sound Avenue between Doctor's Path on the west and Northville Turnpike on the east and are bisected by Route 105 often a good spot to begin a search. A drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was still off Hunter's Island at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx today and another drake continues off Crab Meadow Beach in Northport and a female was reported from Sands Point Preserve Sunday. A drake EURASIAN WIGEON continues on Avon Lake in Amityville.

A BLACK-HEADED GULL was still at Jones Beach West End last weekend with one also spotted off Coney Island Creek Tuesday. Single GLAUCOUS GULLS were in Bellport Bay Tuesday and Great Kills Park Wednesday as well as at Triton Lane and an ICELAND GULL remains at the Montauk Harbor entrance with another spotted Monday over the East River in mid Manhattan.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR flew over Robert Moses State Park Sunday and yesterday a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was relocated at Hither Hills State Park and an EVENING GROSBEAK was still in Riverside Park.

A very late WOOD THRUSH was first spotted in the Quogue Wildlife Refuge last Saturday and it with such lingering species as EASTERN PHOEBE and TREE SWALLOW could find the next few days very difficult.

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, January 15, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From Treehugger.com:

First came the Straw Wars. Next up are the Balloon Battles.
Katherine Martinko
January 11, 2019

The balloon bubble is about to get popped as the anti-plastic movement gathers force.

When a night club in the Philippines announced that it would host an enormous balloon drop on New Year's Eve in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record, there was international outrage. The spectacle was decried by Greenpeace Philippines as "nothing short of an arrogant and senseless enterprise" and the Climate Reality Project blasted it as "wasteful, unsustainable, and ecologically apathetic."

The club, Cove Manila, was initially defensive, saying the event would be held indoors and, because the 130,000 balloons were made of biodegradable latex, they would be recycled afterward. But then the government's Department of Environment and Natural Resources sent a letter to the night club, asking it to reconsider. A spokesperson urged the club to "redirect their efforts towards more sustainable, environmentally-friendly activities that the majority of Filipinos will enjoy and be proud of." Shortly after, Cove Manila said it had voluntarily canceled the balloon drop.

This interesting news story is a sign of changing times and a glimpse of a not-so-distant future in which balloons will be reviled in much the same way as disposable plastic straws are now. This night club is not the only place where balloon-centered events are no longer allowed. Last year Clemson University announced it would end the tradition of releasing 10,000 balloons into the air before football games. The anti-balloon website Balloons Blow has an ongoing list of "balloon releases averted." The Associated Press describes other newly implemented limitations:

"In Virginia, a campaign that urges alternatives to balloon releases at weddings is expanding. And a town in Rhode Island outright banned the sale of all balloons earlier this year, citing the harm to marine life."

What's unique about balloons, however, is that there's no obvious replacement for them, unlike straws, which can be recreated in paper, metal or glass and work in exactly the same way. Balloons – unless we go back to the days of inflated pig bladders... just kidding! – must cease to exist for now, and we have to learn that it's still possible to have a fun party without them. (The Cove Manila people did. They still had an awesome New Year's Eve bash.)

It's important, too, not to fall for the greenwashed 'biodegradable latex' label because it means very little. As Quartz reported about the Cove Manila controversy, "Purchasing, transporting, inflating, and discarding 130,000 rubber orbs, even if they are made from earth-friendly latex, results in significant waste." While latex is biodegradable in theory, every balloon reacts differently depending on where it lands. And you can't avoid the fact that you're still sending trash up into the air to fall back to earth at some point, to the detriment of wildlife. There's no way to make this OK other than to stop doing it. (Read more about why latex balloons are not environmentally friendly.)

I predict this is something we'll be seeing a lot more of in the next year. First it was the Straw Wars; next up are the Balloon Battles.
...Read more

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