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

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From ScienceDaily:

Wild carnivores stage a comeback in Britain
February 25, 2019
University of Exeter

Once-endangered carnivorous mammals such as otters, polecats and pine martens have staged a remarkable comeback in Britain in recent decades, a new review shows.

The study found that -- with the exception of wildcats -- the status of Britain's native mammalian carnivores (badger, fox, otter, pine marten, polecat, stoat and weasel) has "markedly improved" since the 1960s.

The species have largely "done it for themselves" -- recovering once harmful human activities had been stopped or reduced, according to scientists from the University of Exeter, Vincent Wildlife Trust, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Hunting, trapping, control by gamekeepers, use of toxic chemicals and destruction of habitats contributed to the decline of most predatory mammals in the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

"Unlike most carnivores across the world, which are declining rapidly, British carnivores declined to their low points decades ago and are now bouncing back," said lead author Katie Sainsbury, a PhD researcher at the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

"Carnivores have recovered in a way that would have seemed incredibly unlikely in the 1970s, when extinction of some species looked like a real possibility."

The researchers collected survey reports from the last 40 years and compared changes in the species' distribution extent and population sizes. They also reviewed human activities that have helped or hindered Britain's native carnivores in recent decades.

Otters have almost completely recolonised Great Britain. Badger populations have roughly doubled since the 1980s.

Polecats have expanded across southern Britain from Wales, and pine martens have expanded from the Scottish Highlands.

Fox numbers have risen since the 1960s, though an apparent decline in the last decade may be linked with dwindling rabbit numbers.

"Most of these animals declined in the 19th Century, but they are coming back as a result of legal protection, conservation, removal of pollutants and restoration of habitats," said Professor Robbie McDonald, head of Exeter's Wildlife Science group.

"The recovery of predatory mammals in Britain shows what happens when you reduce the threats that animals face. For the most part these species have recovered by themselves."

"Reintroductions have also played a part. Fifty one pine martens were recently translocated to Wales from Scotland and these martens are now breeding successfully in Wales. Otter reintroductions helped re-establish the species in the east of England."

Thought must now be given to how growing numbers of these animals interact with humans, the researchers say.

Some of the species can pose problems for gamekeepers, anglers and farmers, and work must be done to find ways to prevent conflict and allow long-term co-existence as the species expand their ranges and numbers.

Wildcats are the exception to the pattern of recovery. The species is now restricted to small numbers in isolated parts of the Scottish Highlands. Some estimates suggest there are as few as 200 individuals left. Their decline has largely been caused by inter-breeding with domestic cats, leading to loss of wildcat genes.

The status of stoats and weasels remains obscure.

Professor McDonald said: "These small and fast-moving predators are hard to see and to survey. Ironically, the best means of monitoring them is from the records of gamekeepers who trap them. People are key to carnivore recovery.

"By involving local communities from the outset, we have been able to secure the return of healthy numbers of pine martens to Wales. Translocations were needed because natural spread, something the Trust has been monitoring in polecats over the past 25 years, will take much longer for the slower breeding pine marten" said Dr Jenny MacPherson of Vincent Wildlife Trust.

The paper, published in the journal Mammal Review, is entitled: "Recent history, current status, conservation and management of native mammalian carnivores in Great Britain."

**********

Materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
...Read more

Monday, February 25, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, March 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, March 3, 2019
Jones Beach State Park and environs
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Focus: primarily seafowl and other ducks, upland dunes and open space passerines, raptors
Registrar: Chris Laskowski email celaskowski@yahoo.com
Registration Period: Feb 23rd - Feb 28th
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Sunday, March 3, 2019, 8:00am - 11:00am
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.

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, March 3, 2019, 8:30am
Bob Laskowski Memorial Duck Walk
Leader(s): Bob Grover (516-318-8536)
Meet at Brookwood Hall, Islip Town Park in East Islip on Irish Lane between Montauk Hwy and Union Blvd.

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

**********

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, March 2, 2019, 8:00am – 10:30am
Intro to Birding: Bird Walk in Central Park
Guide: Tod Winston
Are you curious about "birding" but don’t have much (or any) experience? Come on a relaxed walk to some of Central Park’s hotspots to go over birding basics and see sparrows, finches, warblers, ducks, and more. Binoculars available. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Saturday, March 2, 2019, 10am – 12pm
Winter Walk at Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Guide: Nadir Souirgi
Inwood Hill Park, simply put, is a jewel. Nestled between the Hudson River, Dyckman Street, and Seaman Avenue, this last tract of largely undeveloped oak and tulip forest transports you to another world and another time. Glacial "pot holes," towering trees, and stunning river views create an unrivaled birding backdrop. Search for wintering species, including ducks in the tidal marsh. Limited to 15. $36 (25)

Sunday, March 3, 2019, 9am – 4pm
Winter Birds of Barnegat, NJ
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Explore Barnegat Inlet’s expansive beach to view the winter birds that gather where land, bay, and sea meet. Search for Harlequin Ducks, Horned Larks, Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings, as well as Snowy and Short-eared Owls.
Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $115 (80)
Click here to register

Sunday, March 3, 2019, 10:30am – 4:00pm
Snow Birds of Floyd Bennett Field and Fort Tilden, Queens
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Winter brings many rare birds to the City that can’t be found here at any other time. Perhaps most exciting are the “snow birds” of the Arctic tundra, such as Snow Buntings and Snowy Owls, that can occasionally be found in tundra-like habitats further south. Look for these and other winter visitors such as Horned Larks, American Tree Sparrows, and Rough-legged Hawks, as well as wintering ducks, grebes, and loons.
Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $88 (62) per walk
Click here to register

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New York City WILD!
Saturday, March 2, 2019, 9:00am
Tarrytown, NY: Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Photography and Nature Walk

Sunday, March 3, 2019, 12:00pm
The Bronx: Upper Bronx River, 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

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, March 3, 2019
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
From the Southern State Parkway, travel west to the Belt Parkway. Exit at Cross Bay Boulevard (Exit 17) south. Continue south on Cross Bay Blvd. through Howard Beach and over the North Channel Bridge (also known as the Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge). The entrance to the refuge parking lot is on the right side of the road, at a traffic light approximately one and a half miles past the bridge.
Directions via Google Maps

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


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, March 3, 2019
Birding Along the Bronx River Foodway at Concrete Plant Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Enjoy a walk through Concrete Plant Park and learn about the Foodway while discovering the birds in your community.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, February 23, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 22, 2019
* NYNY1902.22

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

Red-necked Grebe
Razorbill
Black-legged Kittiwake
GLAUCOUS GULL
ICELAND GULL
BLACK-HEADED GULL
LITTLE GULL
EURASIAN WIGEON
HARLEQUIN DUCK
KING EIDER
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
American Bittern
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK
EVENING GROSBEAK
NORTHERN SHRIKE
Pine Warbler
Ovenbird
Common Yellowthroat

- 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 22nd 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are PACIFIC LOON, NORTHERN SHRIKE, BARNACLE GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, KING EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, EURASIAN WIGEON, LITTLE GULL, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and EVENING GROSBEAK.

A nicely plumaged winter PACIFIC LOON was still visiting Oyster Bay's Sagamore Yacht Club and adjacent shoreline today usually providing great views as it moves about in the boat basin. It does also occasionally venture out east along the shore as viewable from Florence Avenue, a dead-end road with parking. Enter Oyster Bay on Route 106 and continue on South Street staying to the left at the end by the white tanks to enter the yacht club and adjacent Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park where a large parking lot is available.

Last Saturday at Jones Beach West End a second winter plumaged PACIFIC LOON was spotted well out in the channel off the West End Coast Guard Station but this one has proven to be quite elusive with no recent reports.

Very scarce locally this winter an immature NORTHERN SHRIKE was found last Monday at McAllister County Park in Belle Terre north of Port Jefferson. It was seen for most of the day near Pirate's Cove requiring a westerly walk along the beach but there have been no reports of the SHRIKE in the latter part of this week.

The BARNACLE GOOSE continues in Riverhead Canada Goose flocks being seen at the roosting site on Merritt's Pond east of Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead and as recently as today near the Buffalo Farm off Reeves Avenue farther north off Roanoke. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE also continues to roost on Merritt's Pond and was seen Thursday along Edward's Avenue just south of Sound Avenue. Another GREATER WHITE-FRONTED continues in the Rye area of southern Westchester sometimes resting on Playland Lake and continuing CACKLING GOOSE this week included birds on Miller Field on Staten Island and at Arthur J. Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream. KING EIDERS were noted at Shinnecock Inlet again this week. A drake and a female last Saturday and a young male yesterday. Three HARLEQUIN DUCKS were at the Jones Beach West End jetty last Saturday but two were also still at Orient Point County Park with a pair still in Moriches Inlet Sunday followed by a female moving off Robert Moses State Park on Monday. Lingering drake EURASIAN WIGEON in Brooklyn were at the Salt Marsh Nature Center Saturday and Bush Terminal Piers Park today.

The adult LITTLE GULL was still off Montauk Point with Bonaparte's Gulls last Saturday while 8 or more BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES and over 200 RAZORBILLS were also reported off Montauk State Park. A BLACK-HEADED GULL was also still at the south end of Lake Montauk Tuesday. Brooklyn too continues to provide BLACK-HEADED GULLS with birds noted during the week at Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4, Veteran's Memorial Pier and Sheepshead Bay. A GLAUCOUS GULL was still at the Bellport Bay Yacht Club today and ICELAND GULLS continue at Brooklyn's Austin Nichol's House and Gravesend Bay and at the Montauk Harbor Inlet.

Unusual this winter in our area a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was spotted along the loop causeway last Saturday.

Multiple RED-NECKED GREBES and AMERICAN BITTERNS were also reported this week.

Warblers this week included OVENBIRD at the Bronx Zoo, a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT continuing in Union Square Park in Manhattan and a PINE at Southaven County Park and an EVENING GROSBEAK male continues at Riverside Park in northern Manhattan.

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 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.

**********

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

**********

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.

**********

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

**********

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

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.


**********

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

**********

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.

**********

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
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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.

**********

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

**********

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