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

Saturday, March 30, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* March 29, 2019
* NYNY1903.29

- Birds Mentioned

Cackling Goose
EURASIAN WIGEON
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Eurasian form)
Common Eider
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Red-necked Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Osprey
American Oystercatcher
Piping Plover
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet
Laughing Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Common Yellowthroat
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
Eastern Meadowlark
Boat-tailed Grackle
RED CROSSBILL
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, March 29, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are EURASIAN WIGEON and Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, RED CROSSBILL, EVENING GROSBEAK and spring migrants.

Wintering waterfowl continue to populate our area, though in much reduced numbers. Among the more unusual ducks, a female EURASIAN WIGEON was still at Bush Terminal Piers Park in Brooklyn yesterday, with the drake at Marine Park’s Salt Marsh Nature Center seen Wednesday, while the male Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL was still on Santapogue Creek just below Route 27 A in West Babylon yesterday.

The pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS was still in Moriches Inlet at the west end of Smith Point County Park Sunday, and among the other birds seen in that stretch were 250 COMMON EIDERS, 3 PIPING PLOVERS and 18 BOAT-TAILED GRACKLES.

A CACKLING GOOSE was at Caumsett State Park Wednesday.

Besides increasing numbers of PIPING PLOVERS, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS and GREATER YELLOWLEGS, notable among the shorebirds were a WILLET at the Norman Levy Preserve just east of the Meadowbrook Parkway in Merrick today and a SPOTTED SANDPIPER successfully overwintering at the West Meadow Wetlands Preserve in Stony Brook, seen Tuesday.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was still off Floyd Bennett Field last Sunday, and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was at Jones Beach West End early in the week.

Among the other arriving non-passerines have been GREAT EGRET, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON at Cammanns Pond in Merrick as of Saturday, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, LAUGHING GULL, OSPREY, NORTHERN FLICKER and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER.

Passerine highlights in late March feature winter finches, thanks to some RED CROSSBILLS first seen Tuesday out in Manorville on eastern Long Island. Since Tuesday up to 10 have been encountered, along with some PINE SISKINS, near Jones Pond, located off Schultz Road north of exit 69 on the Long Island Expressway, along the Paumanok hiking trail.

And with its stay now in excess of 100 days, the male EVENING GROSBEAK was still visiting Riverside Park in northern Manhattan through Thursday.

Also notable was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, first found in late January, that was seen today out in Quogue, usually present along the east side of Post Lane near houses #18 and 20, this site just over the bridge from Dune Road.

Among the arrivals this week have been a few NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS Wednesday and a PALM WARBLER in Central Park today. Other passerines increasing in numbers this week have included EASTERN PHOEBE, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, WINTER WREN, CHIPPING SPARROW, EASTERN MEADOWLARK and PINE WARBLER.

A COMMON YELLOWTHROAT was still in Manhattan’s Union Square Park as of Wednesday.

To phone in reports, on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734 4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and leave a message.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday, March 29, 2019

Are your ears ready for Spring?

Every year around this time since I began my blog over 14 years ago I write about the importance of ear birding. The northbound migration, you see, is not just a spectacular visual phenomenon, but also an audio event. The millions of songbirds that descend upon the NYC area create a short-lived landscape of warbles, whistles, chips and trills. Once these songsters continue to their breeding grounds we won't hear this dynamic dawn chorus again until the following year's Spring migration. To help appreciate these serenades, and make locating the songster a bit easier all you need to do is spend about a half an hour a day for 7 to 10 days with the right teaching tools.

There are several sources available to help you learn how to identify birds by ear, but the best one for my money is the Peterson Field Guides series of CDs (as far as I am aware, they are not available as digital downloads). These discs are not reference recordings, but rather well organized lessons that use groups of similar sounding species, repetition and mnemonics to help you quickly learn sounds. Here on the east coast of North America you should purchase "Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central" and "More Birding by Ear Eastern and Central North America". There are discs available for the west coast, as well.

Below is a list of recommended tracks to study. Obviously, there are many more common species in our area which you could add as you feel needed.

The colorful wood-warblers are the most important songbirds to learn. Once you've purchased the discs, use iTunes (or similar software) to import the following tracks so you don't have to constantly shuffle through the 6 discs:

Name Album Disc # Track #
Sing-songers Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 4
Warbling Songsters Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 6
Wood Warblers and a Warbling Wren Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 1
Warblers: Buzzy More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 1
Warblers: Simple More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 2
Warblers: Two-Parted More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 3
Warblers: Complex More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 2 4
Empidonax Flycatchers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 4

Note that I included the empidonax flycatchers on the list as they are notoriously difficult to separate visually, but each have very distinctive vocalizations.

The woodland thrushes are also incredible songsters, so I recommend the following tracks:

Name Album Disc # Track #
Thrushes Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 2
Thrushes More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 1 7


One family of bird vocalizations that I tend to neglect are the shorebirds. More often than not, during spring migration a group of calling shorebirds passing overhead are noted only as "flock of unidentified peeps". While their calls and songs may not be nearly as melodic as the wood-warblers, they are each unique and easily identifiable if you take a few minutes each day to study the recommended "Birding by Ear" tracks.

Name Album Disc # Track #
Shorebirds: Pairs More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 1
Shorebirds: Plovers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 2
Shorebirds: Whistlers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 3
Shorebirds: Peepers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 4
Shorebirds: Other More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 5

Please note that I don't make any money promoting the Peterson Field Guide series. I only do this because I have found that their systematic approach to learning bird-song to be the most effective available. If you have recommendations for other learning tools, feel free to email me or put something in the comments section. Spend 15 - 20 minutes a day listening during your commute, so that by the time all the songbirds begin streaming through NYC I guarantee you'll be able to find a lot more birds and add a whole other dimension to the experience of birding.

Here are a few more resources:

BirdGenie
Chirp!
Larkwire
Merlin

Saturday, March 23, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 22, 2019
* NYNY1903.22

- Birds mentioned
RED-NECKED GREBE
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Laughing Gull
Northern Gannet
EURASIAN WIGEON
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Eurasian form "Common Teal")
BARROW'S GOLDENEYE
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Cackling Goose
Great Egret
Wilson's Snipe
Greater Yellowlegs
Piping Plover
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK
Osprey
SNOWY OWL
Eastern Phoebe
Evening Grosbeak
Purple Finch
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
Tree Swallow
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER
Pine Warbler
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, March 22nd 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are EURASIAN WIGEON, Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED GULL, ICELAND GULL, RED-NECKED GREBE, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, SNOWY OWL, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, a few winter finches and some spring migrants.

Birding locally still retains a wintry flavor. A taste of spring continued to emerge.

In Brooklyn a EURASIAN WIGEON was still at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center today while the drake in Westchester County on the Rye coast was last seen Monday. The drake Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL was still at Santapogue Creek in West Babylon Sunday. A female BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was spotted along the shore south of Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx today and a pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS have continued in Moriches Inlet west of Smith Point County Park at least to Wednesday. A CACKLING GOOSE was with Canada Geese at Van Cortlandt Park last Sunday. A BLACK-HEADED GULL visited Bush Terminal Piers Park in Brooklyn Tuesday the same day the ICELAND GULL was seen again at Austin Nichol's House. Another ICELAND was reported on the Breezy Point jetty Sunday. Single LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were noted off Dune Road at Tiana Beach Saturday, in Manhasset Bay Sunday and at Point Lookout Monday. A RED-NECKED GREBE was still on Patchogue Lake Wednesday and two were spotted off Pelham Bay Park Tuesday.

Lingering have been a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at the Grumman Grasslands in Calverton Monday and a SNOWY OWL was still at Breezy Point Wednesday.

Among the few local winter finches a male EVENING GROSBEAK in Manhattan's Riverside Park was still present Monday but has not been reported since and a COMMON REDPOLL visiting Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn also stayed through Monday while in Great Neck a group of up to 7 PINE SISKINS were noted up to Wednesday. A few PURPLE FINCHES have also been in Central Park lately. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was noted again at the Salt Marsh Nature Center Wednesday while another continues to visit a private home in West Babylon and a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT remains in Union Square Park in Manhattan.

A reasonable selection of spring arrivals have included PIPING PLOVER, WILSON'S SNIPE, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LAUGHING GULL, GREAT EGRET, OSPREY, EASTERN PHOEBE, TREE SWALLOW and PINE WARBLER and NORTHERN GANNETS have begun moving along Long Island's south shore in increasing numbers.

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, March 19, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Mother Nature Network:

Robots hunt starfish, lionfish to save coral reefs
Bryan Nelson
March 15, 2019, 11:19 a.m.

The robot apocalypse has arrived ... if you happen to be a crown-of thorns starfish or a lionfish.

Why target these poor, innocent starfish? Well, the truth is that they aren't so innocent. When crown-of-thorns starfish population densities are under control, these beautiful creatures play a balanced role in the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef. But when their population booms, they can quickly become a plague, consuming coral reefs — their favorite food — with a frenzied fervor.

Unfortunately, such population booms have been happening more and more frequently along the Great Barrier Reef over the last several decades. The problem has become so ubiquitous that scientists now believe that crown-of-thorns starfish are responsible for an estimated 40 percent of the Great Barrier Reef’s total decline in coral cover.

Queensland University of Technology researchers created a killer robot in 2016 with the singular purpose of seeking out and terminating crown-of-thorns starfish, reports Techie News.

The robot, called COTSbot (short for Crown-of-Thorns Starfish robot), is a Terminator-esque killing machine. It is designed to hunt down crown-of-thorns starfish and inject them with a lethal brew of bile salts. It is capable of diving for as long as eight hours in order to deliver its poisonous mixture to as many as 200 starfish. Equipped with stereoscopic cameras for depth perception, five thrusters for stability, GPS and pitch-and-roll sensors, as well as a unique pneumatic injection arm, it is an efficient executioner. The only thing missing is an audio track proclaiming "Hasta la vista, baby" each time it vanquishes a starfish.

A smaller and mightier robot

In 2018, the same team developed a smaller version of the COTSbot called the RangerBot. It is less expensive and more agile in the water. "RangerBot will be designed to stay underwater almost three times longer than a human diver, gather vastly more data, map expansive underwater areas at scales not previously possible, and operate in all conditions and all times of the day or night," the university said on its website.

Researchers hope that by releasing a fleet of COTSbots they might restore some balance to the fragile ecology of the Great Barrier Reef, which is already under threat from pollution, tourism, coastal development and global warming.

The bots are autonomous, meaning they are capable of acting independently. For this reason especially, researchers want to make sure they are intelligent enough to identify crown-of-thorns starfish accurately. The last thing the reef needs is a fleet of assassin machines indiscriminately killing the wrong starfish species or other creatures that are healthy contributors to the ecosystem.

The robots' advanced computer vision and learning algorithm allow it to learn to target crown-of-thorns starfish more accurately. If for any reason the system struggles to identify its target, it can also record images and send them to researchers for visual confirmation.

If they are successful, the hope is to use these robots in other reefs around the world.

"The systems software architecture has been developed with task expansion in mind," Matthew Dunbabin, a professor of electrical engineering and robotics at Queensland University of Technology, told the Daily Beast. "The system can be easily upgraded with new detection modules, similar to the way plugins in apps work, without the need to change hardware."

Hunting for lionfish

Another invasive species is the target for a different underwater robot.

The lionfish is a fast-growing voracious eater that reproduces year-round. It also has no known predators in the eastern Atlantic and Caribbean, so it threatens the health of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says lionfish "have become the poster child for invasive species issues in the western north Atlantic region."

A robot that is part tongs and part vacuum is the latest device built in attempts to curb the exploding population of lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean.

Colin Angle, inventor of the Roomba, has spent the past couple years fine-tuning his robot, The Guardian. He also established a nonprofit organization called Robots in Service of the Environment (RSE), to help save other marine life that are being decimated by the lionfish.

"Here, there is nothing stopping them," Adam Cantor, director of engineering for RSE told Environmental Monitor. "Local fish don’t see them as a threat and often swim close to them and are just readily gobbled up. No predator is willing to eat them, nothing is immune to their venom, and in the Atlantic, they are eating anything up to half their size."

The Guardian places "tongs" around the fish and shocks it with electricity. After the fish is stunned, it's sucked into a vacuum tube. The robot can hold several fish at a time and travel 200 to 500 feet below the water's surface. The organization is still conducting tests in the Bahamas and has not announced when the robot will be available for purchase.

Another method to capturing the elusive lionfish is the traditional fishing practice of spearing them. Students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts are developing autonomous robots designed to hunt for and harvest lionfish.

Although there are other robots that could be used to harvest lionfish, an operator must be connected to them by a tether, which could harm fragile reefs. The WPI robot would be untethered and would hunt for fish on its own, spearing lionfish and then sending them to the surface via a buoyant spear tip in order to be collected.

“The goal is to be able to toss the robot over the side of a boat and have it go down to the reef, plot out a course, and begin its search,” said Craig Putnam, senior instructor in computer science at WPI, in a statement. “It needs to set up a search pattern and fly along the reef, and not run into it, while looking for the lionfish. The idea is that the robots could be part of the environmental solution.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in September 2015.
...Read more

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 12:30pm - 1:00pm
Vernal Pools at Hunt-Parker Sanctuary
Lazy frogs? Green frogs don’t chase their prey – they eat whatever comes their way!
Find these and much more on an exploration of our Vernal Pools at Hunt-Parker Sanctuary, led by long-time Bedford Audubon member Paul Lewis. You’ll visit these hidden treasures deep in the forest and learn about the vital importance of these seasonal wetlands as spawning grounds for salamanders and other amphibians. Family friendly for children 10 years and older: must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at Bylane Farm at 12:45pm wearing boots suitable for water.
Cost: Free
Level of difficulty: Easy-moderate
Secure your place with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, March 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, March 23, 2019, 3:00pm - 8:00pm
Floyd Bennett Woodcock Sky Dance
Note: this trip starts at 3 pm.
Leader: Peter Dorosh and Ryan Goldberg
Focus: The hope for American Woodcock display in the early evening after other birding for other species
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com (or backup Prosbird@gmail.com)
Registration Period: March 16th - March 21st Leaders
Note: As is the case with weather, American Woodcocks evening good display […]

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, March 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

Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the main entrance on 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

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

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Central Park Winter Bird Walk 2
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Kathleen Matthews — redkatamat@gmail.com or (650)-823-1239
Registration opens: Monday, March 11
Public transportation

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 5:00pm – 9:30pm
The Sky-Dance of the Woodcock
Guide: Gabriel Willow
The American Woodcock is a remarkable bird. It is in the sandpiper family but lives in woodlands, often far from beaches. The male performs an incredible crepuscular aerial display and song early in the spring, soon after the snow melts in the northern U.S. We’ll look for it (and bats, owls, and other critters) at Floyd Bennett Field. Bring a headlamp or flashlight and a snack. Transport by passenger van included. Each trip limited to 12. $92 (64) per trip
Click here to register

Sunday, March 24, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walk Series
Sundays, March 24-June 30 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
Before May 20th: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
May 20th-June 30th: Meet at Rodman's Neck Parking Lot
Join us to explore some of the best birding NYC has to offer. Come discover Pelham Bay Park's diverse habitat that attracts a variety of spring migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

**********

Northshore Audubon Society
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 8am – 12pm
Hempstead Lake SP
Leader: Steve S. - ‭(516) 987-8103‬
Where: 40.673575, -73.649713 (map)

Please inform walk leader that you are attending.
See "Walk Locations" for directions.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.

**********

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

**********

New York City WILD!
Sunday, March 24, 2019, 12:00noon
Queens: Baisley Pond 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, March 24, 2019, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Neighborhood Nature Series, Pleasant Plains
Pleasant Plains SIRT Station
There is nature in every neighborhood on Staten Island and Protectors president, Cliff Hagen, is excited to visit different locations across the island to explore and enjoy the nature at our doorsteps. Participants will meet on Amboy Road, below the SIRT train trestle.
We will walk local streets watching for the busy activity of migrant birds and search for early signs of spring. For more information call Cliff Hagen at 718-313-8591.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve
From the Meadowbrook Parkway, use the Merrick Road M9 east exit. Enter the Department of Sanitation entrance immediately on right (if you’re driving west on Merrick Road, make a U-turn after Central Boulevard and before the Meadowbrook Parkway). Look for signs to Levy Park and Preserve parking lot.
Directions via Google Maps

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


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Discovery Hike: Bring in Spring at Greenbelt Nature Center (in Blood Root Valley), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Stretch out the winter wearies with a hike through the central Greenbelt in search of buds, blooms, birds, and other signs of spring.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, March 16, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Mar. 15, 2019
* NYNY1903.15

- Birds mentioned
Red-necked Grebe
Razorbill
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
GLAUCOUS GULL
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
TUNDRA SWAN
EURASIAN WIGEON
GREEN-WINGED TEAL
Blue-winged Teal
HARLEQUIN DUCK
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
American Woodcock
Piping Plover
Wilson's Snipe
Osprey
Eastern Phoebe
Rusty Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle
Evening Grosbeak
COMMON REDPOLL
Chipping Sparrow
Tree Swallow
Pine 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, March 15th 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are TUNDRA SWAN, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, COMMON REDPOLL and spring arrivals.

Ah, the March doldrums when birders anticipation generally well exceeds realization. With waterfowl now strongly on the move some unusual species lingering locally have included the two TUNDRA SWANS out on Georgica Pond, the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE still in the Rye area of lower Westchester at least to Tuesday and a CACKLING GOOSE still at Arthur J. Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream Tuesday. The Brooklyn EURASIAN WIGEON, a drake at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center and a female at Bush Terminal Piers Park were both still present today while the drake in Rye was still around Tuesday. A drake Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL was seen again at Santapogue Creek in West Babylon from Saturday to Tuesday. A few HARLEQUIN DUCKS were still around the Jones Beach West End jetty last weekend with a pair also continuing around the Moriches Inlet east jetty at Smith Point County Park to Thursday.

Also noted at Jones Beach West End on Monday were an immature BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE and a RAZORBILL. An immature BLACK-HEADED GULL was spotted Sunday at Georgica Pond and a presumably over wintering adult in Oldfield was seen around the southwestern end of Conscience Bay on Wednesday. A GLAUCOUS GULL visited Randall's Island Wednesday and another was still at the Bellport Bay Yacht Club last Saturday. While an ICELAND GULL was seen again at the Austin Nichols House in Brooklyn Tuesday. At least 4 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were noted along Long Island's south shore last weekend including at Jones Beach West End, Heckscher State Park and Shinnecock Inlet. A RED-NECKED GREBE spotted on Patchogue Lake on Wednesday was still present today and 2 were off Pelham Bay Park yesterday.

A COMMON REDPOLL was found accompanying a flock of American Goldfinch in Brooklyn's Green-wood Cemetery on Wednesday and has continued there through today. A flock of 8 COMMON REDPOLLS appeared Wednesday near Cross River Reservoir in northern Westchester but the bulk of the REDPOLLS this winter have remained well north of our area.

The Riverside Park EVENING GROSBEAK continuing in northern Manhattan for an unexpectedly long time was last reported on Tuesday but don't despair as spring migration has begun. Arriving this week has been BLUE-WINGED TEAL, the first few PIPING PLOVERS, some WILSON'S SNIPE, a couple of OSPREYS and some of the earlier landbirds including EASTERN PHOEBE, TREE SWALLOW, CHIPPING SPARROW, BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE, RUSTY BLACKBIRD and PINE WARBLER with more on the way and AMERICAN WOODCOCK are now displaying nicely at many appropriate locations.

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, March 12, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Earther:

Recycling Is Broken
Maddie Stone
March 11, 2019

This week, we are writing about waste and trash, examining the junk that dominates our lives, and digging through garbage for treasure.

In Philadelphia, people like to recycle. Together, all 1.6 million of us generate about 400 tons of recyclable material each day. But since last fall, roughly half of the bottles and cans my neighbors and I have placed dutifully curbside in our blue bins every week haven’t made their way to a sorting facility. They’ve gone to one of two waste-to-energy incinerators, where they’re being burned alongside garbage.

The situation, which everyone from local residents to the company operating the trash-burning power plants seems unhappy about, is a microcosm of a crisis that’s been rippling across the country ever since China, once the single-largest buyer for U.S. recyclables, banned the import of two dozen types of “foreign waste” and imposed strict quality standards on the recyclables it’ll accept. Nationwide, municipalities are facing higher costs and being forced to find stopgap solutions, from incinerators to landfills, for recyclables that have nowhere else to go.

Meanwhile, the recycling industry—which operates with next to no federal guidance despite processing a quarter of America’s waste—is in an existential struggle to chart a new path forward for itself.

“We’re approaching a point of reckoning that we have had not to debate in the US for a long time, in terms of how we deal with our municipal solid waste and consumer recyclables,” Kristina Costa, a senior fellow focused on climate change and energy policy at the Center for American Progress, told me. “If as a public policy goal we want to continue encouraging recycling, the time is basically now to have a really serious conversation about what policy changes... need to be put in place.”

Most of us think of recycling as a service our city provides, but in reality it’s a business. There are no national laws governing the industry, which is frequently financed by municipalities. Many cities, like Philly, work with private contractors to collect recyclables and get them sorted and cleaned at material recovery facilities. From there, the paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and aluminum are sold as commodities to various manufacturers.

Read the entire article here. ...Read more

Monday, March 11, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, March 16, 2019, 8:30am - 2:00pm
Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge and Black Dirt Region
What kind of duck has sharp claws? The Wood Duck!
Join Tait Johansson for a visit to Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge and Black Dirt Region to see them! Along with Wood Ducks, we’re likely to see other exciting spring migrants such as Rusty Blackbird and large flocks of waterfowl that often contain hundreds of Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal.
Depart Bylane 7am.
Cost: Free.
Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Secure your place with Susan Fisher at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, March 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, March 16, 2019
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Rafael Campos
Focus: returning early spring migrants, early herons and egrets, waterfowl and ducks, raptors
Registrar: Donna Evans email devansny@earthlink.net
Registration Period: March 9th - May 14th
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, March 16, 2019, 2:00pm — 3:30pm
Marsh Madness - Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
View Details

Sunday, March 17, 2019, 12pm — 3pm
Dead Horse Bay, New York's Best Kept Secret
View Details

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Saturday, March 16, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday, March 17, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Birding Basics - Just in time for spring migration!
Birding is one of the country’s fastest growing hobbies, and there is no place better to enjoy it in Brooklyn than at Green-Wood! This two-part course teaches the why, where, how, and what of birding to the beginner. With over 250 species of birds residing in, or passing through, the Big Apple every year, learn where to look for, and how to identify, many species of this diverse group of animals. The second session ends with a walk through the Cemetery, applying some of the lessons learned in the classroom.

Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the Main Entrance at 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

Meets at the Prospect Park West Entrance at 20th Street and 9th Avenue. One ticket secures a spot for both sessions.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP

**********

Northshore Audubon Society
Saturday, March 16, 2019, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Jones Beach Coast Guard
Leader: Ralph (516) 785-3375
Meet: Boat Basin West End - Jones Beach State Park NY, Jones Beach Island, Point Lookout, NY 11569 (map)
Please inform walk leader that you are attending.
See "Walk Locations" for directions.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.

**********

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, March 16, 2019, 9:00am
Ossining, NY: Teatown Lake Reservation, Photography and Nature Walk

Sunday, March 17, 2019, 12:30pm
Queens: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge 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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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Hempstead Lake State Park
From the Southern State Parkway, take Exit 18 (Eagle Avenue) south to Field 3 (use second park entrance and make an immediate left turn.)
Directions via Google Maps

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


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Ecosystem Explorers: Coastline at Wolfe's Pond Park Comfort Station (in Wolfe's Pond Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 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, March 09, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* March 8, 2019
* NYNY1903.08

- Birds Mentioned

PACIFIC LOON+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greater White-fronted Goose
Cackling Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
EURASIAN WIGEON
Red-necked Grebe
Rough-legged Hawk
Killdeer
Spotted Sandpiper
American Woodcock
Iceland Gull
Eastern Phoebe
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
DICKCISSEL
EVENING GROSBEAK
House Sparrow

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, March 8, 2019 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are PACIFIC LOON, TUNDRA SWAN, EURASIAN WIGEON, DICKCISSEL, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and EVENING GROSBEAK.

A fairly slow week, thanks mostly to the cold weather conditions, with more drifting north out of our region than coming in.

Our last report of the Oyster Bay PACIFIC LOON was from Monday, when still around the Sagamore Yacht Club boat basin and a little east of there off Florence Avenue. To look for the Loon, enter Oyster Bay on Route 106 and continue on South Street, staying left at the end by the white tanks to reach the parking lot for the Yacht Club and adjacent Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. Search the boat basin or, if not there, off the end of Florence Avenue, where there also is parking.

Two TUNDRA SWANS, presumably wintering around East Hampton despite only occasional reports, have been seen this week around Georgica Cove and Pond, an area birded with some difficulty as it is mostly surrounded by private homes.

The only GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE reported this week has been wintering in southern Westchester County and has recently been visiting Playland Lake in Rye. A drake EURASIAN WIGEON is also in the same area of Rye but, like the TUNDRA SWANS, is often not viewable due to the private homes lining the shore. The WIGEON is occasionally visible from a viewpoint off Forest Avenue east of Rye Beach, but there is really very limited access even at that spot.

Another EURASIAN WIGEON was still at Bush Terminal Piers Park in Brooklyn last Sunday, and one continues at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center.

CACKLING GEESE this week were reported from Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island and Arthur J. Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream as well as at Hook Pond in East Hampton Sunday.

An ICELAND GULL was still at the Montauk Harbor Inlet Sunday, with another visiting New Rochelle in Westchester County Wednesday.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was still off Floyd Bennett Field to Monday, with another at Glen Island Park in Westchester Thursday.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was noted at the former Grumman Airport grasslands yesterday, and a SPOTTED SANDPIPER was still at the West Meadow Wetlands Preserve in Stony Brook Sunday.

The Quogue CLAY-COLORED SPARROW present earlier in the year was refound Monday along Post Lane near houses number 18 and 20, this area just north of the bridge to Dune Road.

The DICKCISSEL at the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area was seen coming into the feeders there with a horde of HOUSE SPARROWS at least to Tuesday morning.

A male EVENING GROSBEAK continues to grace Riverside Park in northern Manhattan around the Forever Wild Trail near West 117th Street or north of there.

Besides waterfowl, birds on the move this week have included KILLDEER, AMERICAN WOODCOCK and EASTERN PHOEBE.

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

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Birding Basics Class at Green-Wood

On Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th I'll be teaching a birding basics class at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Just in time for spring migration!

Photo by Jen Kepler
Birding is one of the country’s fastest growing hobbies, and there is no place better to enjoy it in Brooklyn than at Green-Wood! This two-part course teaches the why, where, how, and what of birding to the beginner. With over 250 species of birds residing in, or passing through, the Big Apple every year, learn where to look for, and how to identify, many species of this diverse group of animals. The second session ends with a walk through the Cemetery, applying some of the lessons learned in the classroom.

For more information head over to the Green-Wood Cemetery events page here.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From Mother Nature Network:

It's time to stop releasing balloons
Mary Jo DiLonardo
March 1, 2019, 11:23 a.m.

They’re colorful and cheery — and lousy for wildlife.

When balloons come back to Earth, they always end up as litter.

Birthday parties, graduations, weddings are all beautiful occasions when many people will celebrate with balloons — some may even release them in the sky with gusto. But what happens to those plastic balloons once they deflate? Where do they end up?

For years, many environmental groups have pushed for mass balloon releases to be banned — saying that balloon pieces and strings are dangerous to wildlife.

"They are a serious threat to wildlife simply because they are colorful and bright, so wildlife might mistake them for food, and the strings can wrap around their bodies and make it difficult for them to swim or breathe," Emma Tonge, communications and outreach specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told USA Today.

There's plenty of evidence to back up this theory.

Researchers in Australia analyzed the effects that soft plastics like balloons have on seabirds. They discovered that soft plastics are more likely than hard plastics to cause obstructions in seabirds' gastrointestinal tracts. Of the birds examined, nearly one out of five died as a result of ingesting balloons or balloon pieces.

Read the entire article here

Monday, March 04, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, March 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.

Sunday, March 10, 2019, 8:00am - 12:00pm
Woodland Critters of Green-wood Cemetery
Meet 8:00 am at the 5th Ave and 25th Street main entrance arch
Leaders: Bobbi Manian and Dennis Hrehowsik
Focus: late winter and early spring upland and passerine woodland species
Site profile: https://www.green-wood.com/2010/visit-on-your-own/
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8:00am
Elizabeth Morton NWR
Leader: Byron Young
This is always a special walk. Just at the edge of winter, you will be greeted by lots of hungry birds, that eat right out of your hand. Frequently there are pockets of over-wintering birds. Great photo ops as you are close to the birds. Meet at the Refuge parking lot at 8 am. It is roughly a 2 mile walk to the beach and around the refuge. Dress warmly and appropriately. Bring binoculars! Bird seed will be provided.

The Elizabeth Morton NWR is off Noyac Road on the way to Sag Harbor (if you are coming from the west).

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Fresh Kills Walk with Move Forward Staten Island

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, March 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.

Green-Wood’s official birding checklist is available to pick up from the security guard at the main entrance on 25th Street or to print here. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

$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, March 10, 2019, 9:00am
Robert Moses State Park
We will bird different sections of the State Park in search of variety of wintering ducks and land birds.

Directions: Take Robert Moses State Pkwy south to end, meet in field 2

Registration: (585) 880-0915

**********

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 9, 2019, 9am – 6pm
Winter Birding on the South Shore of Long Island
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Winter in New York brings the excitement of possibility: Will Snowy Owls appear in the dunes? Will Harlequin Ducks move westward from Cape Cod and Montauk and appear in closer waters? Will irruptive northern finches and Bohemian Waxwings move south from Canada? All of these species and more are possible on Long Island in the winter, along with more expected species such as loons, grebes, scaup, eider, Northern Harriers, and Purple Sandpipers.
Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $95 (67) per trip
Click here to register

Sunday, March 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

**********

New York City WILD!
Saturday, March 9, 2019, 12:00noon
Brooklyn: Dead Horse Bay, Photography and Nature Walk

Sunday, March 10, 2019, 11:00am
The Bronx: Lower Bronx River Greeway 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, March 10, 2019, 10:30am-12:30pm
Is it Spring Yet?
High Rock Park, Staten Island
If you’ve been indoors all winter, it’s time to get into shape. Join us on a circular walk from High Rock Park through the Egbertville Ravine and up Moses Mountain. Let’s see how many signs of spring we can find. We’ll meet at the High Rock Park parking lot at the top of Nevada Avenue off Rockland Avenue. Dress warmly and bring snacks and beverage.
For more information, contact Hillel Lofaso at hillel5757@gmail.com or 718-477-0545.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Jones Beach West End 2

From the Southern State Parkway, exit onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway south. After entering Jones Beach State Park, exit right (west) into the West End. Continue west to West End 2 parking lot; we meet in the northeast corner of the lot.

From the Wantagh State Parkway, travel south. Upon entering Jones Beach State Park, exit at Bay Drive and continue west to West End 2 parking lot; we meet in the northeast corner of the lot.
Directions via Google Maps

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


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Spring Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Explore the gardens and woodlands with naturalist Gabriel Willow on a quest to spot both resident and rare birds as they pass through on their northern journey or settle down for the season.

Family Nature Walk at Wave Hill House (in Wave Hill), Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Join naturalist and educator Gabriel Willow on a family-friendly walk through the gardens or woodlands.
...Read more

Saturday, March 02, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* March 1, 2019
* NYNY1903.01

- Birds Mentioned

BARNACLE GOOSE+
PACIFIC LOON+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Wood Duck
EURASIAN WIGEON
Blue-winged Teal
KING EIDER
Red-necked Grebe
American Woodcock
Razorbill
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Eastern Phoebe
Common Yellowthroat
Pine Warbler
DICKCISSEL
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
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, March 1, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are PACIFIC LOON, BARNACLE and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, KING EIDER, EURASIAN WIGEON, GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS, DICKCISSEL, EVENING GROSBEAK and more.

With most of our highlights continuing to be lingering birds as we await a seasonal changeover, fortunately one of those is the winter-plumaged PACIFIC LOON still frequenting the boat basin of the Sagamore Yacht Club in Oyster Bay. Perhaps, locally, a better opportunity to see this species so well will be a long time coming. 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. Search the boat basin carefully; if not there, the loon has at times also moved east along the shore.

Waterfowl recently have been on the move; among the geese out in the Riverhead area the BARNACLE GOOSE was seen early in the week on fields along Reeves Avenue near the Buffalo farm just west of Roanoke Avenue, and today by the Cherry Creek golf course east of Roanoke Avenue. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE plus a CACKLING GOOSE have also been spotted there, and an alternative site to search for these species is at their roost on Merritts Pond in Riverhead, east of Roanoke Avenue, or on the traditional sod fields around Doctors Path and Route 105 south of Sound Avenue. Another GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE remains in southern Westchester but moves between a few golf courses and ponds, including Playland Lake in Rye and a pond off Bowman Avenue in Rye Brook. Other CACKLING GEESE include continuing singles at Miller Field on Staten Island and in the Rye area.

Brooklyn EURASIAN WIGEON were still around the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center and Bush Terminal Piers Park, and a young male KING EIDER was reported again at Shinnecock Inlet last Saturday. A drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL was still at Robinson Pond in Patchogue Saturday, and numbers of WOOD DUCKS have been increasing nicely lately.

A RAZORBILL was off Coney Island Beach last Saturday and off Plumb Beach today, with a RED-NECKED GREBE remaining off Floyd Bennett Field to Wednesday.

Both GLAUCOUS and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, one each, were still at the Bellport Bay Yacht Club early in the week, and an ICELAND GULL was seen again in Brooklyn’s Gravesend Bay last Saturday.

One nice new arrival this week, possibly wintering nearby, was a DICKCISSEL spotted Wednesday at the feeders at the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area. The DICKCISSEL was still present today at the sanctuary, accessed from Links Drive in Oceanside.

Northern Manhattan’s long-lingering male EVENING GROSBEAK was still present in Riverside Park today, usually around 117th street or a little north of these. Union Square’s COMMON YELLOWTHROAT was also still around Tuesday.

Though it’s still winter, AMERICAN WOODCOCKS, one of spring’s earliest migrants, have been showing up recently and should be displaying in appropriate areas once the weather improves a little. Flocks of COMMON GRACKLES and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS have also arrived, and also watch for other early arrivals like EASTERN PHOEBE and PINE WARBLER, among others.

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

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