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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From my friend Ryan over at Gizmodo:

We Have to Do Something About Outdoor Cats
Ryan F. Mandelbaum
April 29, 2019

I hate outdoor cats with a burning passion. I set out to write a blog calling for an Isle of Dogs-style roundup of feral cats, a mass adoption drive and cat cull, and outlawing outdoor and community cats. But I’ve realized that things aren’t that simple.

Humans have already drastically altered the environment, and our impacts, including our beloved cats, come with us wherever we go. Cats are an extension of our destruction, and humans are passionate about their love or hatred of the animal. But when you try and distill the discussion down to facts, two contradictory things become clear: cats are a huge problem, and you can’t just undo the problem.

Humans domesticated the modern cat thousands of years ago as a form of early pest control, normally to keep rodents away from crops. The domestic cat is its own species of animal, created by our selective breeding. We keep cats in our homes and allow them to roam the streets. We’ve brought them with us wherever we’ve settled, where they serve as either companions or as pest controllers. Many have established feral populations. Some humans consider those feral populations “community cats” and care for them.

Outdoor cats—both the ones we leave outside and the ones that have established their own populations—are an environmental catastrophe. One highly-cited 2013 study found that cats (mostly feral cats) kill around 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually in the United States alone, likely leading to population declines in some species. Cats are partially responsible for the extinction of 33 species endemic to islands and at least 20 species in Australia.

As for whether the indoor lifestyle is better for the cats, that’s unclear. Some sites claim that outdoor cats have shorter lifespans than indoor cats, or that community cats have similar lifespans to indoor cats, but these claims seem to be based on anecdote. However, what’s clear is that outdoor cats face threats that indoor cats do not.

So, you might wonder, if they’re so bad for the environment, what do we do about cats? Presently, we attempt to control cat populations either through adoption or through trap-neuter-return programs—collecting cats off of the street, neutering them, and returning them to where they were found. Sometimes these programs work, and sometimes they don’t—as one study explains: “This suggests that all these efforts without an effective education of people to control the reproduction of house cats (as a prevention for abandonment) are a waste of money, time and energy.” In Australia, things have gotten so bad that they’re resulting to a mass feral cat cull, hoping to kill two million cats by 2020.

But studies show that you can’t just remove all of the cats from a place once they’ve shown up without putting some thought into it. On Macquarie Island between Australia and Antarctica, removing the non-native cats caused the non-native rabbit population to spike, destroying much of the island’s native vegetation, according to one study. (Other authors took issue with that study’s methodology.) Another study based on a model found a similar surge in rat populations. The rats, like cats, attack the native fauna.

Environmental groups take various conflicting stances on what should be done. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals promotes trap, neuter, and return programs, or relocating feral cats as a last resort. The American Bird Conservancy promotes putting all cats indoors, and does not support trap neuter, return programs. PETA, too, supports bringing all cats indoors rather than trap, neuter, return programs, and only implementing these programs when the cats are also removed from the potential harms of outdoor life.

There aren’t United States federal laws that deal with outdoor cats, feral cats, or trap, neuter, return programs. State laws vary, and most state laws don’t mention feral or outdoor cats, according to one 2010 analysis, which notes that those states that do have cat laws typically leave it up to communities to pass ordinances about their cats.

(By the way, I love indoor cats. I have a plump tuxedo cat with a crooked white mustache and a charming, hoarse meow named Dinah.)

After wading through the information available, it’s clear that there are more opinions than facts on the matter and most of those opinions are extreme, driven by the differences in opinion on how to interpret the conflicting data. It is clear that outdoor cats are a huge problem caused by humans that must be fixed by humans. But in order to solve the problem, it’s going to take more than just milquetoast trap-neuter-release policies in a few cities. It’s going to take committed, global, and united action, with towns around the world devoting the necessary financial resources to take feral cat population control measures seriously. This will require that people keep their cats inside or on a leash, just like we do with dogs.

But the real solution is to realize that cats aren’t the problem. Humans are the problem, and the cats are just living in the world that humans created for them. Fixing the issues caused by outdoor cats requires a holistic look at the landscape more generally: controlling rats, Asian longhorned beetles, and other invasive species, combatting climate change, cleaning up the ocean, and so on. The Earth isn’t a piecemeal collection of species and habitats. It’s one big interconnected thing. You can’t just undo the damage you cause.
...Read more

Monday, April 29, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Friday, May 3, 2019 to Sunday, May 5, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 8:00am - 9:30am
John Jay Homestead
John Jay Homestead, 400 Jay St, Katonah, NY 10536
Come “Jay Walking” with us… we promise you’ll see more than jays!
In partnership with Friends of John Jay Homestead, Naturalist Tait Johansson will lead you on a Bird Walk at the beautiful John Jay Homestead in Katonah. The woods, fields, and shrublands of this State Historic Site should hold many migrant land birds on this prime date for migration.
Meet at the main parking lot.
Cost: Free
Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914-302-9713.
See more details

Sunday, May 5, 2019, 8:00am - 1:00pm
Field Trip to Garrett Mountain Park
Garret Mountain Reservation, Woodland Park, NJ 07424
How would you like to flock with us to a migrant trap that is an “oasis of woodland surrounded by urbanity?”
If that sounds good, you won’t want to miss our Field Trip to Garrett Mountain Park in Paterson, NJ. Naturalist Tait Johansson will lead the group on trails around a beautiful pond in search of migrating songbirds, especially warblers. The reservation is comprised of 568-acres and provides sweeping views of northern New Jersey and the NYC skyline.
Cost: Free.
Level of physical difficulty: Moderate.
Register with Susan Fisher at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.
See more details

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 7:15am - 12:00pm
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, May 4, 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, May 5, 2019
Tribute to Ridgewood Reservoir: “Class One Freshwater Wetland”
Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Peak migration of Neotropical songbirds
Registrar: Heidi Steiner email heidi.steiner.bklyn@gmail.com or call before 8 pm 718- 369-2116
Registration Period: April 27th - May 2nd
Synopsis: This walk celebrates an important grassroots victory, the long hope for New York State Department of Conservation “Wetland Class One” protection status after an eleven year battle of […]

Sunday, May 5, 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.

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

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 7:30am
Rocky Point DEC Property (Area 26)
Leader: Bob Adamo
Join Bob Adamo who will lead this quest for some of our “Flying Friends” on The Global Big Day. Meet at the east most parking lot for the DEC property located on the south side of the Route 25A Bypass, about 1/8 mile west of the fork you would take to get to the Route 25A Business district. Traveling from the east, this turnoff is just after the intersections of first, Randall Rd. and then, Ridge Rd. Coming from the west, the parking lot is the 2nd one you come to after having turned onto the bypass from Route 25A just a tad past McDonalds.
Any questions, call or email Bob at radamao4691@gmail.com or call (631) 905-7360 cell, (631) 369-1958 home.
Rain date is Sunday, May 5.

Sunday, May 5, 2019, 9:00am
Barrier Beach Birding (Smith Point to the new Old Inlet)
Leader: MaryLaura Lamont
Shorebirds, sea ducks, loons, cormorants, terns, gulls, hummingbirds and an occasional warbler all pass through and along the shores of the old Great South Beach, today known as Fire Island. This will be a 3 mile round-trip walk on sand down to the New Inlet where the Old Inlet used to be. Park on the County side of Smith Pt. as far west in the parking lot as you can, then walk through the fence opening over to the federal side of Smith Pt., and meet at the top of the 2-story visitor center.
Call MaryLaura Lamont at (631) 399-2030 for details.

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Gateway National Park
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 10:00am - 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
View Details

Sunday, May 5, 2019, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Celebrate Beach Plum Blossoms at Plumb Beach
View Details

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, May 5, 2019, 7:00am
Central Park
Leader(s): John Gluth (631-827-0120), Nick Laviola (631-678-7866)
Meet at 7 a.m. on Central Park West at 77th Street (opposite the Museum of Natural History). One of the best trips for our club!

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

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Peak Spring Migration From Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to over 20 species of colorful wood-warblers, our peak migration tours will feature many of the 163 bird species that have been recorded at Green-Wood during the month of May. Beginning just after sunrise, we will experience spring’s dawn chorus at the active time of day for birds.

Sunday, May 5, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Peak Spring Migration From Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to over 20 species of colorful wood-warblers, our peak migration tours will feature many of the 163 bird species that have been recorded at Green-Wood during the month of May. Beginning just after sunrise, we will experience spring’s dawn chorus at the active time of day for birds.

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

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

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

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Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Richard W DeKorte Park
1 DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst, NJ
Meet at 8:00am
Part of the New Jersey Meadowlands. This 640-acre park features a landscaped capped landfill and trails that take visitors out into wildlife observation areas and bird blinds. It also includes the Meadowlands Environment Center, which contains informative exhibits on the Meadowlands and its ecology.

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, May 5, 2019, 8:00am
Central Park
One of the finest spots around the metropolitan area for warblers and other spring migrants.
Registration: 631-885-1881
Directions: Meet at the Boathouse, easily accessed from the pedestrian entrance on Fifth Ave near 76th St. Walk downhill veering left past the Alice in Wonderland statues, by the right side of the sailboat pond toward the right, up the hill, cross the roadway and to the Boathouse

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Linnaean Society of New York
Friday, May 3, 2019
7th Annual Starr Saphir Memorial Spring Migration Walk
Leader: Lenore Swenson — information only lenoreswenson@gmail.com or 212-533-9567
No registration. Public transportation
Meet at 81st Street and Central Park West at 7:30 am

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9am – 2pm
Spring Migration on Randall's Island
Guides: Gabriel Willow, Randall’s Island Park Alliance Staff
We’ll walk across the foot bridge to Randall’s Island, an under-explored location in the East River that hosts restored freshwater wetlands and saltmarsh. We’ll look for spring migrants (both waterbirds and land-birds) as we explore the results of recent restoration efforts. Limited to 20. $40 (28)
Click here to register

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9:00am - 11:00am
Morning Spring Walk at Inwood Hill Park
Guide: Nadir Souirgi
Inwood Hill Park 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 backdrop for observing the many migratory and breeding avian species that are drawn to this hotspot. Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Wood Thrush, and Yellow Warbler breed here, and the Park includes Manhattan's last remaining tidal saltmarsh. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Saturdays, April 27-July 20, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy
Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, May 5, 2019, 6:00am - 10:00am
Dawn Birdsong in Central Park's North Woods
Guide: Tod Winston
Get up early to enjoy the chorus of early morning birdsong, right after dawn, in a small group. We'll explore the peaceful and beautiful Great Hill, North Woods, and Loch, listening for warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, and more. Limited to 12. $40 (28)
Click here to register

Sunday, May 5, 2019, 8:00am – 12:00pm
Introduction to Bird Song Field Trip
Class: Friday, May 3, 6:30-8:30pm
Trip: Sunday, May 5, 8am-12pm
Instructor: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Do you ever wonder who is singing? Learn to identify the large variety of migrant and resident birds in New York City. Joe Giunta will first introduce you to the subtleties of bird-song identification in the classroom, followed by a field trip in Central Park to bird by eye and ear. Limited to 12. $72 (50)
Click here to register

Sunday, May 5, 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

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Northshore Audubon Society
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Muttontown Equestrian
Leader: Jennifer (516) 941-7434
Where: 40.827359, -73.531127 (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.

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

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New York City WILD!
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 10:00am
Queens: Flushing Cemetery and Kissena Park Photography and Nature Walk

Sunday, May 5, 2019, 9:30am
Old Croton Aqueduct - Part 2 (of 8) Ossining to Sleepy Hollow

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9:15am - 3:15pm
The Richard Buegler 10-Mile Spring Walk
Following in the steps of founder and friend, Richard Buegler, participants will enjoy a pleasant walk through the woods of the Greenbelt, a woodland which defines the life’s work of Richard Buegler. Beginning at Staten Island Boulevard, behind Petrides High School, we plan to walk the trails in search of Pinkster Azaleas, trout lilies and a colorful collection of migrating spring birds and emerging butterflies.
For more information contact Dominick Durso at (917) 478-7607, Don Recklies at (718) 768-9036 or Chuck Perry at (718) 667-1393.

Sunday, May 5, 2019, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
The Intertidal Zone at the Page Avenue Beach
Page Avenue and Ottavio Promenade, Staten Island
We’ll begin with a look at the local geology then move to examining the flotsam and jetsam accumulated at the high tide lines to see what nature’s debris has to tell us. As the water recedes with the tide we’ll move into the intertidal zone to find out what sorts of living things survive in this challenging environment. A variety of crabs, snails, clams, worms and small fish are likely to be discovered. It’s going to be muddy so dress appropriately. Meet at the parking lot at the bottom of Page Avenue below Hylan Boulevard.
For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

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Queens County Bird Club
Sunday, May 5, 2019
Forest Park
Leader: Jean Loscalzo (917) 575-6824
Where: 40.699024, -73.857291 (map)
Please park in the bandshell parking lot and meet by the visitor center/bathrooms/chess tables.
This is a mini-walk that will end before 11am.
Please contact trip leader for start time.

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

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, May 5, 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.


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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Muscota Marsh Spring Migration Walk with Expert Naturalist Mike Feller at Muscota Marsh Park (in Inwood Hill Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
We will meet at Muscota Marsh to look for water birds and then walk to the Clove to look and listen for birds in the forest.
Free!

Sunday, May 5, 2019
Bird Watching Tour at Strack Pond at Forest Park Visitor Center (in Forest Park), Queens
8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Start your day with an early morning bird watching walk and catch the Warbler Wave!
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, April 27, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* April 26, 2019
* NYNY1904.26

- Birds Mentioned

BLACK-NECKED STILT+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Eastern Whip-poor-will
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
Red Knot
Least Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Little Blue Heron
CATTLE EGRET
Black Vulture
Broad-winged Hawk
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Bank Swallow
Swainson’s Thrush
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW
Seaside Sparrow
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Ovenbird
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
KENTUCKY WARBLER
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Cerulean Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
SUMMER TANAGER
Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
BLUE GROSBEAK
Indigo Bunting

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, April 26, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are BLACK-NECKED STILT, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, ICELAND GULL, CATTLE EGRET, PROTHONOTARY, YELLOW-THROATED, KENTUCKY and other spring WARBLERS, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW and more.

After last year’s absence, certainly a welcome find last Sunday was a BLACK-NECKED STILT visiting storm pools on the grassy lawns of Nickerson Beach just west of Point Lookout. The STILT continued around the pools until Thursday, when it moved across Lido Boulevard to the marsh at the Lido Beach Passive Natural Area, where it remained today and could be nicely viewed from the berm on the south side of the marsh. At Nickerson two winter-plumaged AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS were also present last weekend, while at the Passive Natural Area other reports included a BLUE GROSBEAK Wednesday and LEAST SANDPIPER and RED KNOT among the shorebirds there towards the end of the week.

The increasing number of WARBLERS featured male PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS in Central Park on Monday and in Prospect Park up to Thursday, while a decent showing of YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS included one in Central Park last Saturday, another in Prospect Park Sunday to Tuesday, one in Forest Park seen again Tuesday, one found at the Alley Pond Environmental Center Wednesday, and the continuing male at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. Also quite notable was an ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER in Central Park yesterday, a KENTUCKY WARBLER in Forest Park, Queens today, and a CERULEAN WARBLER found on territory north of New York City at Bashakill today. Other Warblers arriving lately have included OVENBIRD, WORM-EATING, both LOUISIANA and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, BLUE-WINGED, BLACK-AND-WHITE, NASHVILLE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, YELLOW, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, PRAIRIE, and BLACK-THROATED GREEN.

Two other southern specialties appeared this week, with a SUMMER TANAGER visiting Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn last Saturday and another noted on Staten Island Wednesday, while a few BLUE GROSBEAKS included two reported from Manhattan’s Inwood Hill Park Monday as well as singles at Hempstead Lake State Park Sunday and after, and one at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Wednesday.

Two CATTLE EGRETS were noted on Monday and again today at Miller Field on Staten Island.

An ICELAND GULL was photographed with a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at Tobay yesterday, and a smattering of other LESSER BLACK-BACKEDS included two at Heckscher State Park Monday and two each at Mecox and Sagg Pond out east Tuesday, with a few others also around.

Mid-week sightings of RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS featured one at Pelham Bay Tuesday, another at Jones Beach West End Wednesday, and a third at Lido Beach Thursday.

Some BLACK VULTURES and various HAWKS, now including numbers of BROAD-WINGEDS, continue to move through our area, and other non-passerines arriving lately have included YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILL, SOLITARY SANDPIPER, and LITTLE BLUE HERON.

Among the passerines, the first GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS and EASTERN KINGBIRDS have appeared, other additions featuring WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS, BANK SWALLOW, SWAINSON’S THRUSH and SEASIDE SPARROW, as well as such colorful favorites as BALTIMORE and ORCHARD ORIOLES, SCARLET TANAGER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and INDIGO BUNTING.

A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW has returned to the wonderful grasslands in Calverton at the site of the former Grumman Airport, this a site very worthy of preservation.

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.
...Read more

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From Treehugger.com:

How the plastics industry is hijacking the circular economy
Lloyd Alter
April 19, 2019

What they are calling circular is a sham, just fantasy recycling so that they can maintain the status quo.

The Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners recently produced a report, "Accelerating circular supply chains for plastic." The report "surveys the current landscape of technology providers that are offering solutions for waste plastics to be repurposed for a variety of safe and high-quality materials."

Currently we live in a linear economy where, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, we "take resources from the ground to make products, which we use, and, when we no longer want them, throw them away. Take-make-waste." Instead, in a circular economy, according to the foundation:

1. Design out waste and pollution

"Waste and pollution are not accidents, but the consequences made at the design stage, where 80 percent of environmental impacts are decided. By changing our mindset to view waste as a design flaw and harnessing new materials and technologies, we can ensure water and pollution are not created in the first place."

2. Keep products and materials in use

In a true circular economy, products are designed so that they can be reused, repaired and remanufactured. This is a sort of an upgrade of William McDonough & Michael Braungart's Cradle to Cradle, where products are designed so that they can be taken apart and reused, recycled, or composted.

3. Regenerate natural systems

"In nature, there is no concept of waste."

So let's return to the report, formally titled Accelerating circular supply chains for plastic, downloadable from Closed Loop Partners. In the introduction, the authors note:

Plastics are ubiquitous. Found in packaging, textiles, hardware, and consumer products, they offer performance at low cost, often with environmental benefit, for countless uses. Yet most plastic packaging and too many plastic products are eventually discarded after one use.

They then acknowledge that we do a terrible job at recycling them, recovering less than 10 percent of post consumer plastics, that demand is likely to triple by 2050, and that "to address the current challenges – and the current demand – transformational technologies that keep plastics in play are needed at scale." We know that recycling is broken and there is nowhere for the waste to go, so they have come up with this.

There are at least 60 technology providers developing innovative solutions to purify, decompose, or convert waste plastics into renewed raw materials. With these available technologies, there is a clear opportunity to build new infrastructure to transform markets. These solutions can also help to decrease the world’s reliance on fossil fuel extraction, lower landfill disposal costs for municipalities, and reduce marine pollution.

Read the entire, disturbing article here.
...Read more

Monday, April 22, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 7:15am - 12:00pm
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, April 27, 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, April 28, 2019, 8:00am - 12:00pm
Green-wood Cemetery’s spring migration
Meet 8:00 am at the 5th Ave and 25th Street main entrance arch
Leaders: Will Pollard
Focus: peak migration of warblers and songbird diversity
No registration necessary.
Site Profile: https://www.green-wood.com/2010/visit-on-your-own/
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Sunday, April 27, 2019
NYC City Nature Challenge with Jen Kepler at Marine Park Salt Marsh

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

**********

Freshkills Park Alliance
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 10:00am
Family Nature Walk
Lace up your shoes for a family-friendly nature walk at Freshkills Park! Learn about the different plants and animals found in the park.
Read More
Sign Up

**********

Gateway National Park
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 10:00am
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Join us for a slide show and hike around the refuge to look for spring birds and other wildlife. Learn about bird migration and signs of spring. Leader: Don Riepe. This is a partnership program with NYC Audubon and the American Littoral Society.
To reserve call (718) 474-0896; E-mail: donriepe@gmail.com.
Reservation or Registration: Yes

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 8:00am
Valley Stream SP and Jones Beach West End
Leader(s): John Gluth (631-827-0120), Bob Grover (516-318-8536)
Southern State Parkway to exit 15S, North Corona Ave. No Corona Ave to Hendrickson Ave (.07 mi) turn right at Hendrickson Ave. Hendrickson Ave. to Fletcher Ave (.3 mi) turn right on Fletcher Ave. Fletcher Ave. North to Valley Stream State Park entrance on right (.2 mi). Park at far end of lot.

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

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Early-Spring Migration
Our April tours will be a feast for the ears and eyes with the trilling song of Pine Warblers and drumming pronouncements of Woodpeckers on newly blossoming trees (including magnolias, maples, quinces, and dogwoods). We’ll discover thousands of songbirds resting before their trip north as well as arriving herons and egrets at Green-Wood’s glacial ponds.

$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.

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Cranberry Lake Bird Walk
1609 Old Orchard St, West Harrison
Meet at 9 AM
The first spring warblers should be in as we explore this 190-acre park. Within the preserve are a variety of habitats including a four-acre lake, cliffs and scrubland, mixed hardwood forest, vernal pools, and a swamp.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, April 27, 2019 (Rain Date April 28)
Pine Barrens for Early Spring Butterflies and More
Leader: Rick Cech
Registrar: Sandra Maury — sandramaury39@gmail.com or 212-874-4881
Registration opens: Monday, April 15
Ride: $45

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, April 27, 9am - Sunday, April 28, 7pm
Cape May Spring Migration Weekend, NJ
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Welcome the spring in lovely Cape May, NJ, the East’s capital of birding. On good spring migration days, the area’s forests and marshes are swarming with warblers in breeding plumage. We’ll visit Cape May Point, Higbee Beach, Cape May Meadows, and more in search of returning songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, and terns—as well as lingering winter visitors such as sea ducks and gannets. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 10. $340 ($50)
Click here to register

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, The Bronx
Saturdays, April 27-July 20, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy
Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 9:30am – 10:30am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Saturdays, March 30 and April 27 and May 18, 9:30-10:30am
Sundays, April 7 and April 14, 9:30-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Queens Botanical Garden
Explore Queens Botanical Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Binoculars available. Register for one date or the whole series of five walks (walk-ins welcome). To register, email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar. Each walk limited to 25. Free (with Garden admission)

Sunday, April 28, 2019, 8:00am – 10:30am
The Birds of Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
Sunday, April 29, 8-10:30am
Guides: Tod Winston, Joseph McManus, Susan Olsen with the Woodlawn Conservancy
Join us for a morning bird walk and tour of this beautiful cemetery: Tod Winston and Joseph McManus will look for spring migrants and year-round residents on the expansive grounds, while Woodlawn Cemetery's Director of Historical Services Susan Olsen will share fascinating stories about the cemetery’s history and the interesting mixture of individuals interred there. Limited to 15. $35 (24)
Click here to register

Sunday, April 28, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walk Series
Sundays, March 24-June 30 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
Before May 20th: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
May 20th-June 30th: Meet at Rodman's Neck Parking Lot
Join us to explore some of the best birding NYC has to offer. Come discover Pelham Bay Park's diverse habitat that attracts a variety of spring migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, April 28, 2019, 1pm – 4pm
Earth Day Celebration at Prospect Park
With Prospect Park Alliance
Join Prospect Park Alliance and community partners for our annual Earth Day celebration at the Prospect Park Audubon Center! Enjoy fun-filled family-friendly programming that celebrates the environment including catch-and-release fishing, raptor demonstrations, volunteer cleanups, citizen science activities, arts and crafts, and of course nature games! No limit. RSVP preferred but not required for special activities. Free
For more information and to RSVP, please click here

**********

Northshore Audubon Society
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Alley Pond Park
Leader: Lenore (718) 224-8432 -OR- Trudy - home (718) 224-8432‬ mobile (347) 251-5841‬
Where: 40.740640, -73.747500 (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

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Brookfield Park
Brookfield Park, 5757 Arthur Kill Road, Staten Island
Join Protectors of Pine Oak Woods for a natural history tour of Staten Island’s newest open space park. We will view numerous salt creeks, freshwater wetlands, grasslands and beautiful scenery; a must for hawk watching during the spring migration. Brookfield Park stretches along the south eastern banks of Richmond Creek and runs from Richmond Avenue to Richmondtown. Participants will meet in the main parking lot at 575 Arthur Kill Road, just north of Armstrong Avenue.
For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at (718) 317-7666

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Ridgewood Reservoir
Leader: Jean Loscalzo (917) 575-6824

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

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Hempstead Lake State Park
From the Southern State Parkway, take Exit 18 (Eagle Avenue) south to Field 3 (use second park entrance and make an immediate left turn.)
Directions via Google Maps

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


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, April 27, 2019
iNaturalist City Nature Challenge at Icahn Stadium (in Randall's Island Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Join us to learn about the incredible diversity of plants and wildlife that can be found on and around Randall’s Island.
Free!

City Nature Challenge: Biodiversity Hike at Alley Pond Park Adventure Center (in Alley Pond Park), Queens
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Over 60 cities will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the worldwide 2019 City Nature Challenge.
Free!

Sunday, April 28, 2019
Birding: Hawk Watch at Unisphere (in Flushing Meadows Corona Park), Queens
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Our birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, April 20, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 19, 2019
* NYNY1904.19

- Birds mentioned
WHITE-FACED IBIS+
WHITE-WINGED DOVE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Lesser Black-backed Gull
CASPIAN TERN
Forster's Tern
American Bittern
Least Bittern
Tricolored Heron
Green Heron
Clapper Rail
Virginia Rail
Sora
Least Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-necked Grebe
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Orchard Oriole
EVENING GROSBEAK
RED CROSSBILL
Vesper Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Purple Martin
Cliff Swallow
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
Black-and-White Warbler
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Blue-winged Warbler
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
HOODED WARBLER
Wilson's Warbler
American Redstart
Gray Catbird
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Wood Thrush
Veery

- 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, April 19th 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are WHITE-WINGED DOVE, WHITE-FACED IBIS, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, HOODED WARBLER, CASPIAN TERN, RED CROSSBILL, EVENING GROSBEAK and spring migrants.

A much better migration this week with some exciting highlights. Last Sunday a WHITE-WINGED DOVE visited the feeder area at Evodia Field in Central Park in the later afternoon providing a first record for the park. Unfortunately, as with most of the sporadic appearances of this dove in our area, usually along our Atlantic coast, this one only stayed the one day.

Then on Monday an adult WHITE-FACED IBIS in breeding plumage flew onto the Timber Point Golf Course with 28 Glossy Ibis stayed long enough to be nicely photographed and then moved off with the flock to the east seen once more in flight before disappearing. Carefully checking ibis flocks does pay off.

The warbler situation also improved this week highlighted by the season's first PROTHONOTARY WARBLER found Tuesday in Prospect Park it was still present today being seen in the lower Lullwater below Terrace Bridge near the peninsula. Joining a continuing YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum this week were five other YELLOW-THROATEDS including 2 in Prospect Park Tuesday with at least one still there today. Another YELLOW-THROATED was found Wednesday in Connetquot River State Park, a recent nesting site for the species, and then today singles also appeared in both Central Park and Forest Park in Queens. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen last Saturday in Southard's Pond Park in Babylon and a HOODED WARBLER visited the north end of Central Park last Sunday. Among the other warblers reported this week were OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLUE-WINGED, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, MAGNOLIA and WILSON'S with increasing numbers for LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE and PRAIRIE and even more so for PINE, PALM and YELLOW-RUMPED.

RED CROSSBILLS continue out in Manorville with nesting activities noted along the Paumanok Path off the western side of Schultz Road just north of Jones Pond. Please make sure there is no disturbance of these rare local breeders.

Another winter finch of note was the female EVENING GROSBEAK visiting Prospect Park from Sunday to Wednesday. On Wednesday a VESPER SPARROW was spotted in Prospect Park with 2 more that day at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Last Saturday 2 CASPIAN TERNS visited Croton Point Park in Westchester County and FORSTER'S TERNS arrived in numbers during the week.

Up to 4 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were seen at Heckscher State Park during the week with one also at Floyd Bennett Field today.

An AMERICAN BITTERN was roosting in Central Park's north end Wednesday and a RED-NECKED GREBE was off Orient Point today.

Among the recent arrivals noted this week have been CHIMNEY SWIFT, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, CLAPPER and VIRGINIA RAILS and SORA, LEAST, SPOTTED and SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, LEAST BITTERN and TRICOLORED and GREEN HERONS and BROAD-WINGED HAWK with 25 over Hook Mountain Wednesday while among the passerines were WHITE-EYED, YELLOW-THROATED and BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, PURPLE MARTIN and CLIFF SWALLOW, HOUSE and MARSH WRENS, VEERY and WOOD THRUSH, GRAY CATBIRD, ORCHARD ORIOLE today, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK yesterday and INDIGO BUNTING.

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, April 16, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday


What are you doing for Earth Day this year?


“In nature, nothing exists alone.”

Monday, April 15, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Saturday, April 20, 2019, 7:15am - 12:00pm
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, April 20, 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.

**********

Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:30am
Hallock State Park Preserve
Leader: Eileen Schwinn
This is a new State Park that has trails going down to Long Island Sound. We will follow the trails and see where they lead.
The park address is 6062 Sound Avenue in Riverhead. It is just east of the Hallockville Museum Farm.

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Spring Migration with Jeffrey Ward in Central Park

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:30am
Connetquot River SPP
Leader(s): Bob Grover (516-318-8536) Ken Thompson (631-612-8028, John Gluth (631-827-01208)
Meet in parking field. Entrance is on the westbound side of Sunrise Highway (Rte. 27) west of Pond Road. If coming from west to east, Take exit 47A and go to the next overpass, Oakdale Bohemia Rd. to cross over bridge, then head westbound and stay in right lane to entrance.

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

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, April 21, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Early-Spring Migration
Our April tours will be a feast for the ears and eyes with the trilling song of Pine Warblers and drumming pronouncements of Woodpeckers on newly blossoming trees (including magnolias, maples, quinces, and dogwoods). We’ll discover thousands of songbirds resting before their trip north as well as arriving herons and egrets at Green-Wood’s glacial ponds.

$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.

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, April 20, 2019, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Afternoon Bird Walk In Central Park
Guide: Jeff Ward
Search for spring migrants on a leisurely afternoon walk through Central Park's best birding spots with Jeff Ward, NYC Audubon’s newest trip leader (see Winter 2018-2019 The Urban Audubon for profile on Jeff). Each walk limited to 15. $36 (25) per walk
Click here to register

Sunday, April 21, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walk Series
Sundays, March 24-June 30 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
Before May 20th: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
May 20th-June 30th: Meet at Rodman's Neck Parking Lot
Join us to explore some of the best birding NYC has to offer. Come discover Pelham Bay Park's diverse habitat that attracts a variety of spring migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, April 21, 2019, 10am – 1pm
Birds and Plants: New York Botanical Garden in Springtime
Guides: Gabriel Willow
The New York Botanical Garden is home to a large tract of East Coast old-growth forest. During the peak of spring migration, the beautiful gardens come alive with migrating songbirds. Limited to 15. Entrance fee to NYBG not included. $39 (27) per walk
Click here to register

**********

Northshore Audubon Society
Saturday, April 20, 2019, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Marine Nature Oceanside
Leader: Ralph (516) 785-3375‬
Where: Marine Nature Study Area, 500 Slice Dr, Oceanside, NY 11572, USA (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

**********

NYCH2O
Saturday, April 20, 2019, 4:00pm
Flushing Creek Walking Tour

Join guides Cody Herrmann of FlushingBayandCreep, and Steve Vazquez of Queenscapes for a casual photography workshop that focuses on documenting the rapidly changing landscape, and the relationship between Flushing Creek and quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods.

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, April 14, 2019
Point Lookout Town Park (and Lido Preserve afterwards)
From the Southern State Parkway, exit onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway south. Exit from the Meadowbrook at Loop Parkway (just before the Jones Beach toll booths) toward Point Lookout. The Loop Parkway ends west of Point Lookout at Lido Boulevard. Continue straight across Lido Boulevard into Point Lookout Park. Travel past the ticket booths and curve left into the very large parking lot on the south side of the park. Park in the southeast corner, closest to the private homes of the village of Point Lookout and the beach. We will walk east along the beach toward Jones Inlet. After returning to the parking lot, we will drive west on Lido Boulevard to Lido Beach Passive Nature Preserve on the north side of Lido Boulevard to walk through the bay marsh.
Directions to Point Lookout Park via Google Maps | Directions to Lido Beach Passive Nature Preserve via Google Maps

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


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, April 20, 2019
The New York City Naturalist Club: Spring Bird Walk at Isham Street and Seaman Avenue (in Inwood Hill Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in New York City.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, April 13, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

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

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 12, 2019
* NYNY1904.12

- Birds mentioned
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Forster's Tern
Blue-winged Teal
GREEN-WINGED TEAL
Redhead
Virginia Rail
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
SNOWY OWL
Boat-tailed Grackle
RED CROSSBILL
Pine Siskin
Chipping Sparrow
DICKCISSEL
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Black-throated Green Warbler
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

- 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, April 12th 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, SNOWY OWL, RED CROSSBILL, DICKCISSEL, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER and a few more spring arrivals.

With spring migration only slowly building in intensity a few surprises keep us going. The RED CROSSBILLS in the Manorville area have continued their nest building activities and thus will hopefully be around for a month or more with a successful outcome. Several CROSSBILLS and some PINE SISKINS as well have been frequenting the pitch pines along the Paumanok Path off the west side of Schultz Road about a mile and a half north of exit 69 on the Long Island Expressway. Paumanok Path starts at a small parking area and continues on the north side of Jones Pond with the birds occurring a short distance along the trail.

Last Saturday a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was also found singing in the same area of the CROSSBILLS but it proved to be much more elusive Sunday. The good news is that a male YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, first seen last Saturday, is again on territory at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River usually near the parking area. In both cases, the CROSSBILLS and the WARBLER, as well as with any unusual nesters in our area, please be extra careful to not disrupt their breeding activities.

Certainly surprising was one birder's chance encounter with a singing DICKCISSEL along 108th Street in Forest Hills Queens last Saturday this area a little west of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

A winter plumaged AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was photographed on Wednesday in Westchester County the bird briefly visiting the landfill at Croton Point Park. This early bird offset by a late SNOWY OWL still around the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last Sunday.

Also lingering, the Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL was still on Santapogue Creek just south of Route 27A in West Babylon last Saturday. Some BLUE-WINGED TEAL now moving through included a pair seen last weekend on South Pond at Hempstead Lake State Park where some REDHEADS also remained with other REDHEADS also continuing on Jamaica Bay's East Pond.

As a migrant that can show up almost anywhere it seems a VIRGINIA RAIL was photographed last Monday evening as it stood on top of a car on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Single LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were spotted Monday at Heckscher State Park and today on Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton.

A BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE at Pelham Bay Park last Saturday was unusual there.

Newer arrivals have included FORSTER'S TERN, MARSH WREN and more BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS and now widespread CHIPPING SPARROWS and among the warblers some more LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSHES and the first BLACK-THROATED GREEN and PRAIRIE WARBLERS along with the now much more plentiful PINE, PALM and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.

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, April 09, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Mother Nature Network:

If you want to feel happier, just spend 20 minutes in nature
Noel Kirkpatrick
4-5 minutes

Nature soothes our stressed-out souls. We instinctively know nature is the best prescription, but new research is revealing how little time we need to set aside to reap the benefits.

In one new study, published April 4 in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers tried to identify the most effective "dose" of nature within the context of normal daily life. As more doctors prescribe nature experiences for stress relief and other health benefits — sometimes referred to as a "nature pill" — the study's authors hoped to clarify the details of these treatments. More biophilia is generally better for us, but since not everyone can spend all day in deep wilderness, the study looked for a sweet spot.

"We know that spending time in nature reduces stress, but until now it was unclear how much is enough, how often to do it, or even what kind of nature experience will benefit us," says lead author Mary Carol Hunter, an associate professor at the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability, in a statement. "Our study shows that for the greatest payoff, in terms of efficiently lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, you should spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature."

A nature pill can be a low-cost, low-risk way to curb the negative health effects of urbanization and indoor lifestyles. To find the most efficient dosage, Hunter and her co-authors asked 36 city dwellers to have nature experiences of at least 10 minutes three times per week over eight weeks. (A nature experience was defined as "anywhere outside that, in the opinion of the participant, made them feel like they've interacted with nature," Hunter explains.) Every two weeks, the researchers collected saliva samples to measure levels of the stress hormone cortisol, both before and after the participants took a nature pill.

The data showed that just a 20-minute nature experience was enough to significantly reduce cortisol levels. The effect was most efficient between 20 to 30 minutes, after which benefits continued to accrue but at a slower rate.

That fits with the findings of another recent study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, which found that spending 20 minutes in an urban park can make you happier, regardless of whether you use that time to exercise.

"Overall, we found park visitors reported an improvement in emotional well-being after the park visit," lead author and University of Alabama at Birmingham professor Hon K. Yuen said in a statement. "However, we did not find levels of physical activity are related to improved emotional well-being. Instead, we found time spent in the park is related to improved emotional well-being."

For this study, 94 adults visited three urban parks in Mountain Brook, Alabama, completing a questionnaire about their subjective well-being before and after their visit. An accelerometer tracked their physical activity. A visit lasting between 20 and 25 minutes demonstrated the best results, with a roughly 64 percent increase in the participants' self-reported well-being, even if they didn't move a great deal in the park. That last point is particularly positive, since it means most anyone can benefit from visiting a nearby park, regardless of age or physical ability.

The study's co-author and another UAB professor, Gavin Jenkins, acknowledges the study pool was small, but its findings illustrate the importance of urban parks.

"There is increasing pressure on green space within urban settings," Jenkins said in the statement. "Planners and developers look to replace green space with residential and commercial property. The challenge facing cities is that there is an increasing evidence about the value of city parks but we continue to see the demise of theses spaces."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new information since it was originally published in February 2019.
...Read more

Monday, April 08, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

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

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, April 13, 2019, 9:00am - 12:00pm
Birding 101
Bedford Audubon Society, 35 Todd Rd, Katonah, NY 10536
Birds are the most visible wildlife around and are great indicators of a healthy environment. But do you know what’s really out there?
Get ready for spring migration by participating in our Birding 101 Workshop led by our award-winning Naturalist Tait Johansson. This workshop focuses on identification by both sight and sound. It's a great choice for beginning birders, as well as intermediate birders who want to refresh their skills before peak spring migration. The workshop will include some time in the classroom at Bylane Farm and in the field in our Leon Levy Native Garden and Hunt-Parker Sanctuary.
Cost for the workshop is $25 for members, $35 for non-members. Register with Susan Fisher at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.
See more details

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Floyd Bennett Field
Leader: Heydi Lopes
Focus: Open space and grassland species, sparrows, raptors, late waterfowl and early spring songbirds
Registrar: Dennis Hrehowsik email deepseagangster@gmail.com
Registration Period: April 6th - April 11th
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 7:15am - 12:00pm
Prospect Park Saturday Walk
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Meet at Ocean/Parkside Avenues, “The Pergola” at 7:15 am No registration necessary.
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Saturday, April 13, 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, April 14, 2019, 9:00am - 10:30am
Fort Greene Park, North Brooklyn
Meet 9 am at the Urban Park Rangers Visitors Center https://tinyurl.com/FtGreeneVCtr
Leader: August Davidson-Onsgard AugustDavidsonOnsgard.com
Focus: Spring migration of songbirds at a historical park. The park’s May list is 78 species to date. No registration necessary. Nearest train stations: DeKalb Avenue station; exit and walk 5 blocks east on DeKalb Avenue; Also Fulton Ave A and […]

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Gateway National Park
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 10:00am - 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Where: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Learn all about the amazing Osprey on this guided walk of the West Pond Trail. We will talk about their incredible migration and the inspiring story of how conservation efforts were able to bring this species back from the brink.

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 6:30am - 8:00am
Birding in Peace
Early-Spring Migration
Our April tours will be a feast for the ears and eyes with the trilling song of Pine Warblers and drumming pronouncements of Woodpeckers on newly blossoming trees (including magnolias, maples, quinces, and dogwoods). We’ll discover thousands of songbirds resting before their trip north as well as arriving herons and egrets at Green-Wood’s glacial ponds.

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

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

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

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 9:00am
Tackapausha Preserve
In the middle of densely populated Seaford on the South Shore, is an historic and beautiful 84-acre sanctuary of oak forests, ponds, streams, small mammals and scores of bird species, all of which can viewed via five miles of clearly marked trails.
Registration: (585) 880-0915

Directions: Take Rt 135 south to its end at Merrick Road in Seaford and drive east for a half mile, then turn left onto Washington Avenue. Meet at 2225 Washington Ave. Seaford, just north of the big Dunkin Donuts parking lot.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Prospect Park in April
Leader: John Suggs
Registrar: Dale Dancis — ddancis@gmail.com or 212-724-3269
Registration opens: Monday, April 1
Public transportation

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New York City Audubon
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 8:00am – 10:30am
Beginning Birding Field Trip to Central Park
Classes: Wednesdays, March 27, April 3, and April 10, 6:30-8:45pm
Trips: Sunday, April 7, 8am-2:30pm (Jamaica Bay), and Sunday, April 14, 8-10:30am (Central Park)
Instructor: Tod Winston
Learn the keys to identifying the spectacular variety of birds that migrate through New York City every spring. Even if you've never picked up a pair of binoculars, you’ll soon be identifying warblers, thrushes, waterbirds, and more—both by sight and by ear. Three fun and educational in-class sessions and field trips to both Central Park and Jamaica Bay (transport to Jamaica Bay included). Limited to 12. $192 (135)
Click here to register

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 9am – 4pm
Winter Birds of Sandy Hook, NJ
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Sandy Hook, a spectacular barrier island at the northernmost point of the New Jersey coast, hosts a variety of species including Arctic-bound migrants and harbor seals that lie on the beach to warm up in the sun. Other possible sightings include loons, sea ducks, Snow Buntings, and Horned Larks. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $103 (72)
Click here to register

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walk Series
Sundays, March 24-June 30 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
Before May 20th: Meet at Orchard Beach Parking Lot
May 20th-June 30th: Meet at Rodman's Neck Parking Lot
Join us to explore some of the best birding NYC has to offer. Come discover Pelham Bay Park's diverse habitat that attracts a variety of spring migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 9:30am – 10:30am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Saturdays, March 30 and April 27 and May 18, 9:30-10:30am
Sundays, April 7 and April 14, 9:30-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Queens Botanical Garden
Explore Queens Botanical Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Binoculars available. Register for one date or the whole series of five walks (walk-ins welcome). To register, email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar. Each walk limited to 25. Free (with Garden admission)

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 9:45am – 10:45am
Bird Walk in Crotona Park
Guides: NYC Audubon and Crotona Park with Outdoor Afro and Crotona Park
Meet inside the park at 1700 Crotona Avenue, outside the red brick building with the NYC Parks and Recreation logo on it. Crotona Park is a 127-acre naturalist dream. The park serves as an important stopover for migratory songbirds where it’s possible to see Yellow Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Black-and-White Warblers, and Ovenbirds making the long flight between summer breeding grounds and warm winter roosts in the south. Participants should be prepared for about 1 and ½ hours of easy walking on paved paths. Binoculars are available to borrow for free with an ID. All ages are welcome. No registration required. No limit. Free

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Northshore Audubon Society
Saturday, April 13, 2019, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Cow Meadow
Leader: Stephane (516) 423-0947
Where: 40.636901, -73.571835 (map)
This walk will include additional locations: Norman Levy Preserve (Monk Parakeets) and Camman's Pond (heron colony)

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.

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

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New York City WILD!
Saturday, April 13, 2019, 1:00pm
The Bronx: Woodlawn Cemetery Photography and Nature Walk

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 9:30am
Old Croton Aqueduct - Part 1 (of 8) New Croton Dam to Ossining

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

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Long Pond Park
Page Avenue and Academy Avenue, Staten Island
We will look for evidence of animal life in the wetlands and woods of Long Pond Park. We’ll also look for the bird life, examine the geology of the area and observe evidence of past human use of the area. Meet at PS 6, on Page Avenue and Academy Avenue about 3 blocks NW of Hylan Boulevard.
For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, April 14, 2019
Point Lookout Town Park (and Lido Preserve afterwards)
From the Southern State Parkway, exit onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway south. Exit from the Meadowbrook at Loop Parkway (just before the Jones Beach toll booths) toward Point Lookout. The Loop Parkway ends west of Point Lookout at Lido Boulevard. Continue straight across Lido Boulevard into Point Lookout Park. Travel past the ticket booths and curve left into the very large parking lot on the south side of the park. Park in the southeast corner, closest to the private homes of the village of Point Lookout and the beach. We will walk east along the beach toward Jones Inlet. After returning to the parking lot, we will drive west on Lido Boulevard to Lido Beach Passive Nature Preserve on the north side of Lido Boulevard to walk through the bay marsh.
Directions to Point Lookout Park via Google Maps | Directions to Lido Beach Passive Nature Preserve via Google Maps

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


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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, April 13, 2019
NYCH2O Tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir at Vermont Place Parking Lot (in Highland Park), Queens
12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Guides from NYCH2O will lead a history, engineering, and ecology tour of the Reservoir and Brooklyn Waterworks.
Free!

Sunday, April 14, 2019
Bird Walk with NYC Audubon at Queens Botanical Garden, Queens
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Spot and identify creatures of flight and learn how Queens Botanical Garden provides important resources for birds—like water, shelter, and insects to eat.

Spring Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Welcome migratory birds back to Wave Hill this spring. Explore the gardens and woodlands with naturalist Gabriel Willow on a quest to spot both resident and rare birds.

Bird Walk in Crotona Park at Crotona Tennis House (in Crotona Park), Bronx
9:45 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
Crotona Park is a 127-acre naturalist dream. The park serves as an important stopover for migratory songbirds.
Free!

Birding: Raptors 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 Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!
...Read more

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