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

Saturday, June 29, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 28, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* June 28, 2019
* NYNY1906.28

- Birds Mentioned

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

Common Eider
Cory’s Shearwater
Great Shearwater
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
LEACH’S STORM-PETREL
BROWN PELICAN
Tricolored Heron
Turkey Vulture
Common Gallinule
SANDHILL CRANE
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GULL-BILLED TERN
BLACK TERN
Roseate Tern
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo
Red-headed Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Acadian Flycatcher
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Canada Warbler
Grasshopper Sparrow
BLUE GROSBEAK
Eastern Meadowlark

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, June 28, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are BRIDLED TERN, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, SANDHILL CRANE, MISSISSIPPI KITE, BROWN PELICAN, LEACH’S STORM-PETREL, GULL-BILLED and BLACK TERNS, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, BLUE GROSBEAK and more.

The adult BRIDLED TERN was seen again last Sunday roosting on the northeast corner of Great Gull Island. This bird is viewable from a boat, but, as Great Gull is an important research island, please remember that no boats are permitted to land there.

The surprisingly long stay of up to ten BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS continues at Nickerson Beach off Lido Boulevard just west of Point Lookout. All ten were noted yesterday on the grassy lawn on the west side of the park, and at least two were there today. A couple of GULL-BILLED TERNS also continue to be seen at Nickerson or across Lido Boulevard at the Lido Preserve Passive Nature Center, and a ROSEATE TERN was still at Nickerson Tuesday. Remember Nickerson charges a hefty entrance fee between 9 am and 4 pm.

The SANDHILL CRANE also remains on Eastern Long Island at Napeague, often seen near the old fish factory along Cranberry Hole Road.

A MISSISSIPPI KITE was reported soaring last Saturday with TURKEY VULTURES at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in northern Westchester County. It has been looked for but not seen since.

A BROWN PELICAN was noted flying west by Southampton last Saturday – this species should be watched for along Long Island’s south shore as well as around the inlets and bays.

A fishing boat in the Atlantic well off Long Island last Sunday and Monday noted good numbers of SHEARWATERS, mostly GREAT and some CORY’S, as well as a few LEACH’S and many WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS. But pelagic birding from Long Island’s south shore continues to be slow, a watch from Robert Moses State Park Tuesday morning noting two BLACK TERNS but only one WILSON’S STORM-PETREL, though forty LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were around Field 2, and there were just seven WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS off Shinnecock Inlet Thursday, though there were over fifty COMMON EIDER still lingering there.

One or two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS and a singing YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER were still present this week out in Manorville, these continuing along the Paumanok Trail located on the western side of Schultz Road along the north side of Jones Pond.

BLUE GROSBEAKS remain around the Calverton grasslands at the site of the old Grumman airport, this productive area also providing habitat for many GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS as well as EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS, AMERICAN KESTRELS and many other species.

A COMMON GALLINULE was spotted today on the west pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge; two BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS were also at the refuge this week as well as at Floyd Bennet Field.

Farther east a TRICOLORED HERON was seen again yesterday at Captree Island marsh, and an ACADIAN FLYCATCHER was found in Hunter’s Garden southwest of Riverhead yesterday.

This is the time to be on the lookout for floaters, migrant passerines that are either not going to nest in their expected range or have been disrupted in their attempt and are already moving around – this might explain the CANADA WARBLER at Caumsett State Park last Saturday.

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, June 25, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From Earther.com:

City Dwellers Could Be Key to Saving Monarch Butterflies From Extinction
Yessenia Funes
June 21, 2019


Monarchs in Chicago!
Photo: Abigail Derby Lewis (The Field Museum)

Since 2014, conservationists have been trying to secure protections for the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. The butterfly—whose signature black-and-white speckled orange wings are impossible to miss—has seen its numbers drop by 80 percent in North America over the last 20 years.

New research, however, paints a promising future for the species in a surprising place: our cities.

A pair of studies from the Field Museum in Chicago published Friday look at the role urban centers can play in saving the monarch butterfly, as well as other pollinators, from extinction. What these insects need is milkweed, the only plant the butterflies can lay their eggs on. Unfortunately, habitat loss has made it difficult for these bugs to find enough milkweed to breed. But more than 100 species of milkweed exist, so the team of researchers got to work figuring out how much already exists in U.S. cities, and how much room cities have for even more milkweed.

Until this study, these questions have largely gone unanswered. The assumption was that cities wouldn’t offer very much in the way of new monarch habitat. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As it turns out, cities east of the Rocky Mountains—the habitat for the eastern monarch butterfly and the focus of this research—could support up to 30 percent of the 1.8 billion stems of milkweed the population needs to reach sustainable levels. The researchers came to this conclusion after looking at high-resolution images of land cover, as well as conducting field research, in four cities the butterflies fly through: Chicago, Kansas City, Austin, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The team, however, only used its data from Chicago (because it was the most comprehensive) to extrapolate the estimate for all urban areas, a key limitation of this study.

Regardless, all this data allowed the scientists to estimate how much “plantable space” exists in these cities, including areas where pollinator habitats already exist and where they could theoretically exist. The team collected data from 2016 and 2017 to estimate the density of milkweed already present in each city. The authors looked at natural areas—like state parks and wilderness areas—where they expected to find higher concentrations of milkweed, as well as more randomly-chosen areas. The researchers were surprised to find millions of milkweed stems throughout these cities (more than 15 million in the case of Chicago).

In all these cities, about half of all the plantable space was in agricultural areas, but residential single-family areas came in second. That means individuals have a chance to show up for the monarch butterfly—if they’re willing to leave behind their pristine green lawns for a little bit of native milkweed. (Lawns suck, anyway.)

“We’re really hoping to shift public perception of what people think of as beautiful or appropriate,” said author Abigail Derby Lewis, a senior conservation ecologist at the Field Museum, to Earther. “So much of the yards, they’re just grassy lawns, and they could be so much more.”

“It’s not just nature out in Yellowstone. It’s not just nature somewhere out there. What we do in our cities, in our backyards, front yards, churches, parkways, vacant lots, cultural institutions, golf courses—all of these things!—really have this enormous collective impact.”

That was another key piece of the research: finding out how people felt about monarch butterflies. The team asked 734 individuals both open-ended, fill-in-the-blank questions and yes-or-no questions to learn how many were already planting milkweed and what it’d take them to grow if they weren’t already. Only 226 indicated they were growing plants, and 81 percent of those were growing milkweed. This data was not, however, representative of the general population but, rather, representative of the interested public.

“We think that if we can get our first wave of people who are starting to plant milkweed, that it can really turn into a snowball effect where other folks are willing to do the same because they start to learn about what their neighbors are doing, and it catches on,” said author Mark Johnston, a conservation ecologist with the Field Museum, to Earther.

Planting milkweed wouldn’t only help save the monarch butterflies. It’ll help save the honeybees, too! These are pollinators we need for our food systems to flourish and ones that are currently on the decline.

Cities aren’t the only answer, of course, but they’re a key piece of the puzzle. And they can play a damn big part.

“This shows that you can actually put really functional habitat on the ground,” Derby Lewis told Earther. “It’s not just nature out in Yellowstone. It’s not just nature somewhere out there. What we do in our cities, in our backyards, front yards, churches, parkways, vacant lots, cultural institutions, golf courses—all of these things!—really have this enormous collective impact.”

Monday, June 24, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, June 29, 2019 to Sunday, June 30, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, June 29, 2019, 9:00am - 11:00am
Nature Walk at Bylane Farm
Come to our Happy Place! Naturalist Tait Johansson will lead a Nature Walk at Bylane Farm where you’ll connect with nature while walking through beautiful meadows, trails and our Leon Levy Native Garden. If you haven’t visited our sanctuaries yet, you won’t want to miss this remarkable walk where you might see Bluebirds, Baltimore Orioles, Red-winged Blackbirds, Wood Ducks and more!
Bylane Farm, 35 Todd Road, Katonah
Cost: Free
Level of physical difficulty: Easy
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Friday, June 28, 2019, 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Prospect Park evening Bat Walk
Meet 8:00 pm (evening) at Bartel Pritchard’s Prospect Park entrance (nearest train “F” and “G” to 15th Street/Prospect Park stop)
NOTE: Rain date of June 29th
Leader: Danielle Gustafson
Donation: $5.00 per person
Beneficiary: Bat Conservation International - http://www.batcon.org/
Walk Synopsis: This evening walk will be led by the New York City Bat Group's Danielle Gustafson. Starting […]

**********

Gateway National Park
Saturday, June 29, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Saturday, June 29, 2019, 10:00am — 1:00pm
Butterflies and Moths of Jamaica Bay
View Details

Sunday, June 30, 2019, 10:00am — 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Day(s): Every week on Sunday until September 29, 2019
View Details

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, June 29, 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, June 29, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Saturdays, June 22, June 29, July 27, August 10 and August 24, 2-3pm
Sundays, June 16, June 23, June 30, July 21 and August 18, 2-3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, June 30, 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, June 30, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Saturdays, June 22, June 29, July 27, August 10 and August 24, 2-3pm
Sundays, June 16, June 23, June 30, July 21 and August 18, 2-3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park House #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

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

**********

New York City WILD!
Sunday, June 30, 2019, 12:00pm (Raindate)
Old Croton Aqueduct (Route to be Determined)

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, June 29, 2019, 8:00am - 6:00pm
Annual Fourth of July Butterfly Count
For more than two decades folks from Staten Island have gathered to survey and document the populations of Staten Island butterflies. Each year data is consistently collected along a well-established route on the last Saturday of June. From Snug Harbor to Conference House, butterflies are sought and identified with totals being shared with the North American Butterfly Association.
For more information or to join the count contact Cliff Hagen at (718) 313-8591.

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join us in the park as we focus on wildlife happenings in the park on a walk led by NYC Audubon experts.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, June 22, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Here's the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 21, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jun. 21, 2019
* NYNY1906.21

- Birds mentioned
SANDWICH TERN+
ARCTIC TERN+
BRIDLED TERN+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Gull-billed Tern
Royal Tern
Cory's Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK
SANDHILL CRANE
Stilt Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Grasshopper Sparrow
BLUE GROSBEAK
Northern Parula
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
KENTUCKY WARBLER
MOURNING 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, June 21st 2019 at 8pm. The highlights of today's tape are BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, BRIDLED TERN, SANDWICH TERN, ARCTIC TERN, SANDHILL CRANE, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, KENTUCKY WARBLER, MOURNING WARBLER, BLUE GROSBEAK, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and more.

Nickerson Beach continues to provide several of our regions most unusual birds including up to 10 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS that have spent the week at or near this park. The ducks are often seen on the grassy lawn towards the western end of the park just beyond the main parking lot and adjacent to the south side of Lido Boulevard. At other times from 2 to 10 ducks have been around the ponds in the dunes just west of the beach entrance from the southwest corner of the lot. It is these ponds that also attracted an either rather late or somewhat early STILT SANDPIPER yesterday. The STILT joined there by a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER this morning.

Also at Nickerson this week were reports from around the Common and Least Tern and Black Skimmer colonies included, besides a couple of GULL-BILLED TERNS, a flyby SANDWICH TERN Monday morning. This individual moving southwest and an adult ARCTIC TERN on the beach Wednesday. The entrance to Nickerson Beach is off Lido Boulevard just west of Malibu Beach in Point Lookout and a substantial fee is collected there roughly between the hours of 9am to 4pm.

The adult BRIDLED TERN visiting Great Gull Island recently was last reported there last Saturday but may still be in the area.

Continuing out at Napeague on eastern Long Island is the SANDHILL CRANE still present yesterday along Cranberry Hill Road near the old fish factory.

With weather conditions not really cooperating in a helpful way sightings of pelagic birds from Long Island's south shore have been somewhat spotty but a few SOOTY, GREAT and CORY'S SHEARWATERS and WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS have occurred off traditional viewing sites like Robert Moses State Park field 2 and along Dune Road to Shinnecock Inlet. It's helpful for the wind to have a southerly component and historically the stronger flights have been from Moses and east though some can also be seen from westerly sites like Nickerson and Breezy Point.

Increasing numbers of ROYAL TERNS this week have included 2 each at Smith Point County Park Wednesday and at Cupsogue County Park today.

Two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were seen together along the Paumanok Trail off Schultz Road in Manorville and another continues at Muscoot Farm Preserve in northern Westchester County. Also along the Paumanok Trail a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was still present Monday. The KENTUCKY WARBLER was still heard singing near the Ecology Village at Floyd Bennett Field yesterday and even more unexpected is a female MOURNING WARBLER still in Bryant Park in Manhattan today but its presence there might be the result of an unfriendly encounter with one of the surrounding buildings. A couple of COMMON YELLOWTHROATS also remain there. Other late warblers reported this week included NORTHERN PARULA, MAGNOLIA, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and BLACKPOLL.

Paired up BLUE GROSBEAKS and some GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS are among the highlight birds breeding around the Calverton Grasslands at the former Grumman airport.

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, June 18, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From MNN.com:

Canada bans all captive whales and dolphins
Christian Cotroneo
June 11, 2019

'This legislation heralds a change in how Canadians are thinking.'

The new law also shuts down the cetacean trade by banning the import and export of whales and dolphins.

Canada is freeing Willy.

In a landmark decision, the country's lawmakers have made it illegal to breed whales and dolphins — or even keep them in captivity.

While Canadian law has long held people and organizations accountable for mistreating marine animals, the new legislation would make it a crime to simply keep one.

The bill covers all captive cetaceans — whales, dolphins and porpoises — and establishes fines of up to $200,000 for violations.

“This is a watershed moment for whales and dolphins, and powerful recognition that our country no longer accepts imprisoning smart, sensitive animals in tiny tanks for entertainment,” Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice, noted in a press release.

Lawmakers passed Bill S-203, also known as "Free Willy," on June 10. But aquariums — Canada currently has two facilities that keep dolphins and whales in captivity — may have seen the writing on the wall long before the bill began its journey through the nation's legislative gauntlet in 2015.

Last year, the Vancouver Aquarium, which has kept dolphins and whales for more than 50 years, announced it would phase out its cetacean program by 2029.

Marineland, the other facility that keeps captive cetaceans, has taken a different approach, lobbying against the bill every step of the way. Indeed, the amusement park has even suggested the bill would make it necessary to terminate late-stage pregnancies of beluga whales.

In addition to the ban on owning whales and dolphins, the ban includes a provision making their import and export illegal. The sole exceptions to that rule would be for scientific research or if it's deemed "in the best interest" of that animal.

Facilities that already have marine animals, however, will be allowed to keep them under the bill's grandfather clause.

The Free Willy legislation still needs royal assent before it becomes law — but that approval from the governor general's office has traditionally been little more than a formality for Canadian legislation.

"Today's a really good day for animals in Canada," Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who sponsored the bill back in 2015, told reporters this week.

"Many scientists testified to why it was critical that we stop keeping cetaceans in captivity. We understand why because they are obviously not akin to other animals, for instance, livestock. Cetaceans require the ocean, they require the space, they require acoustic communication over long distances."
...Read more

Monday, June 17, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, June 22, 2019 to Sunday, June 23, 2019:

Gateway National Park
Saturday, June 22, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Saturday, June 22, 2019, 3:00pm
Diamondback Terrapin Walk
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
View Details

Sunday, June 23, 2019, 10:00am — 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Day(s): Every week on Sunday until September 29, 2019
View Details

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, June 23, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Summer Birding Late-June and July we should see the offspring of our resident red-tailed hawk bravely preparing to leave the nest. Warbler songs will be replaced by chirring Cicadas and the tweets of fledgling birds. Butterflies and dragonflies are abundant. By late-July, expect the arrival of the first southbound migrants.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

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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New York City Audubon
Saturday, June 22, 2019, 7:30am – 12:30pm
Explore the NJ Meadowlands by Pontoon Boat
Guides: Tod Winston, NJ Meadowlands Docent with NJ Meadowlands Commission
Explore the Meadowlands on a relaxing pontoon boat ride in search of egrets, night-herons, and kingfishers—along with nesting Osprey, Peregrine Falcons, and Marsh Wrens. We'll travel along the Hackensack River to both man-made and restored wetland sites and learn about the area's environmental history. Bring lunch. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 11. $108 (75)
Click here to register

Saturday, June 22, 2019, 8am – 5pm
Breeding Birds of the Hudson Highlands
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Join Gabriel Willow on a day-long trip to some of the most exciting and beautiful birding locations in the Hudson Valley: Doodletown Road, Constitution Marsh, and Indian Brook Farm. We'll look for uncommon breeding warbler specialties at Doodletown, such as Cerulean, Hooded, Blue-winged, Golden-winged, and Worm-eating Warblers. We will then head to the Constitution Marsh Audubon Sanctuary, home to breeding Wood Ducks, Bald Eagles, Least Bitterns, Marsh Wrens, and more. After a picnic lunch, we will drive to Indian Brook Farm in search of breeding Field and Savannah Sparrows, Bobolinks, and Indigo Buntings. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $129 (90) per trip
Click here to register

Saturday, June 22, 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, June 22, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, June 23, 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

**********

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, June 22, 2019
MAKE RESERVATIONS through Trust for Public Lands: Bronx River Greenway, The Bronx
Sunday, June 23, 2019, 10:00am
Old Croton Aqueduct - Sleepy Hollow to Dobbs Ferry

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join us in the park as we focus on wildlife happenings in the park on a walk led by NYC Audubon experts.
Free!

Birding: Piping Plovers at Beach 35th Street and Boardwalk, Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Meet the piping plovers, cute and tiny endangered shorebirds that visit Rockaway Beach each year to nest and raise chicks from spring through the summer.
Free!

Meet NYC's Piping Plover at Beach 17th Street and Boardwalk (in Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk), Queens
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Enjoy the beach? So do nesting piping plovers. Meet the team from NYC Parks that is protecting this endangered species and enjoy family-friendly activities and wildlife viewing walks.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, June 15, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 14, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Jun. 14, 2019
* NYNY1906.14

- Birds mentioned
ARCTIC TERN+
BRIDLED TERN+
BROWN PELICAN+
WHITE-FACED IBIS+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Lesser Black-backed Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Roseate Tern
Black Skimmer
Cory's Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Hooded Merganser
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK
Glossy Ibis
Least Bittern
SANDHILL CRANE
Bald Eagle
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Alder Flycatcher
Pine Siskin
BLUE GROSBEAK
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
KENTUCKY WARBLER
Red-breasted Nuthatch

- 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

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, June 14th 2019 at 8pm. The highlights of today's tape are BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, BRIDLED TERN, BROWN PELICAN, SANDHILL CRANE, WHITE-FACED IBIS, ARCTIC and other terns, YELLOW-THROATED and KENTUCKY WARBLERS, BLUE GROSBEAK, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, pelagics from shore and more.

At least 10 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS continue in the area this group lately spending much of its time at Nickerson Beach where from Monday afternoon through today they have been loafing on the grassy lawn next to Lido Boulevard a little west of the main Nickerson parking lot. Last Saturday at least 8 were still in the cloverleaf pond at the Jones Beach West End and Meadowbrook Parkway intersection but for now Nickerson seems to be the best place to look for them. At least until the weekend crowds start to gather.

An adult BRIDLED TERN has returned for a 4th summer to Great Gull Island where it roosts on the northeastern end of the island with some of the nesting Common and Roseate Terns. Great Gull, located between Plum Island and Fisher's Island in Long Island Sound, is a tern research island with no shore landings permitted but boating near the island can provide views of the tern.

Last Saturday 2 BROWN PELICANS were spotted flying east over the bay off Heckscher State Park. There has been no further report of the pelican in the Northport area. The SANDHILL CRANE was still along Cranberry Hole Road in the Napeague area last Monday. An adult WHITE-FACED IBIS was present in the marsh north of Captree Island Thursday afternoon.

An immature ARCTIC TERN at Nickerson Beach Sunday was followed by 2 reported there Wednesday this site also continuing to provide GULL-BILLED and ROSEATE TERNS around the tern and Black Skimmer colonies. An adult ARCTIC was also found Saturday at Democrat Point at the western end of Fire Island. Other terns this week featured 2 CASPIAN at Heckscher Monday and a ROYAL TERN at Crab Meadow Beach in Fort Salonga Tuesday. Decent numbers of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS also continue at certain sites like Robert Moses State Park and Jones Beach West End.

Various pelagic species began showing up along Long Island's south shore recently especially when winds feature an easterly component though southeast and southwest can both be favorable. Seen yesterday off Robert Moses State Park field 2 were small numbers of SOOTY, GREAT and CORY'S SHEARWATERS and WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS and there were also a few off Shinnecock Inlet.

Both RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER were noted this week along the Paumanok Trail off Schultz Road in Manorville. Another RED-HEADED continues at Connetquot River State Park and the YELLOW-THROATED remains at Bayard Cutting Arboretum and KENTUCKY WARBLER was still singing at Floyd Bennett Field today. Two BLUE GROSBEAKS were still around the Calverton Grasslands this week and another was found at Connetquot also good habitat for them.

The Captree Summer Bird Count last weekend netted 130 species besides several species noted above like BROWN PELICAN and ARCTIC TERN the count also featured a LEAST BITTERN, 3 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS and a NELSON'S SPARROW.

The Greenwich-Stanford Summer Bird Count including much of Westchester County recorded 122 species including GLOSSY IBIS, HOODED MERGANSER with 5 young, several BALD EAGLE nests, BLACK SKIMMER, a few YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, ALDER FLYCATCHER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and 2 PINE SISKINS in Bedford.

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, June 11, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Mother Nature Network:

Renewable energy is quickly becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, report finds
Russell McLendon
June 20, 2019

The costs of renewable energy fell to a record low in 2018, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable sources are already the cheapest way to generate electricity in many parts of the world, the intergovernmental agency reports, and they're rapidly outpacing the affordability of fossil fuels on a global scale.

Within the next year, electricity generated by onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies will be consistently cheaper than electricity generated by any fossil-fuel source, the report forecasts. On top of the "hidden" costs of fossil fuels — from dangerous mining and drilling operations to the greenhouse gas emissions that are now disrupting climate patterns all over the planet — this is further boosting the economic case for a global shift to renewable energy.

"Renewable power is the backbone of any development that aims to be sustainable," IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera says in a statement released May 29. "We must do everything we can to accelerate renewables if we are to meet the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. Today's report sends a clear signal to the international community: Renewable energy provides countries with a low-cost climate solution that allows for scaling up action."

The biggest cost reduction in 2018 was for concentrated solar power (CSP), which saw a 26% drop in its global weighted-average cost of electricity generation, according to IRENA. This was followed by a 14% drop for bioenergy costs, 13% for solar PV and onshore wind, 11% for hydroelectricity, and 1% for geothermal and offshore wind. These reductions are being driven by technological improvements as well as increased production, Reuters reports.

Hydroelectricity remains the cheapest form of renewable power overall, at a global weighted-average cost of just under $0.05 per kilowatt hour (kWh), but several other sources are now commonly below $0.10 per kWh, according to IRENA. That includes onshore wind, at a little more than $0.05 per kWh, and solar PV, which averages less than $0.90 per kWh globally. Even CSP, the most expensive renewable source, increasingly rivals fossil fuels at about $0.19 per kWh. (For comparison, developing a new power plant based on fossil fuels like oil or gas tends to range from $0.05 to $0.15 per kWh, according to Forbes.)

These are global averages, so the costs are still higher in some countries. But they're also even lower in others — solar PV, for example, has recently fallen as low as $0.03 per kWh in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

This trend shows no signs of slowing down, IRENA adds. Costs of renewable energy are expected to continue falling into the next decade, especially for solar- and wind-power technologies. More than 75% of onshore wind and 80% of solar PV projects due to be commissioned next year will generate power at lower prices than the cheapest new fossil-fuel options, according to the report. On top of that, IRENA points out, they're on pace to achieve this milestone even without financial assistance.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, June 15, 2019 to Sunday, June 16, 2019:

Feminist Bird Club
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Let's Go Birding Together
Help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a riot of birds! Let's Go Birding Together walks are a way for folks who love birds and the outdoors to come together during Pride month. This walk is for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, their families, and allies.This Central Park bird walk is co-presented by NYC Audubon, National Audubon Society and the Feminist Bird Club. Meet at 72nd Street and Central Park West. Free.

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

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Freshkill Park Alliance
Saturday, June 15, 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

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Gateway National Park
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 2pm — 3pm
Hummingbird Hide-and-Seek
View Details

Sunday, June 16, 2019, 10:00am — 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Day(s): Every week on Sunday until September 29, 2019
View Details

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, June 16, 2019, 6:00am - 7:30am
Birding in Peace
Summer Birding Late-June and July we should see the offspring of our resident red-tailed hawk bravely preparing to leave the nest. Warbler songs will be replaced by chirring Cicadas and the tweets of fledgling birds. Butterflies and dragonflies are abundant. By late-July, expect the arrival of the first southbound migrants.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

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, June 16, 2019, 8:00am
Connetquot River State Preserve
The Preserve maintains 3,473 acres of land and water for the protection and propagation of game birds, fish, and animals. Deer and waterfowl are numerous and there are numerous rare plants, such as trailing arbutus and pyxie moss in their natural habitats. The Preserve is a waterfowl hang-out as well as many resident birds. There may be some surprises at the bird feeders!
Registration: Call (585) 880-0915 to register.

Directions: From the west, get off Sunrise Highway at Oakdale-Bohemia Road, cross over Sunrise, head west and watch for the Park entrance on the right.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, June 15, 2019 (Rain date, June 16)
Ward Pound Ridge for Butterflies
Leader: Rick Cech
Registrar: Lenore Swenson — lenoreswenson@gmail.com or 212-533-9567
Registration opens: Monday, June 3
Ride: $30

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Birding Brooklyn Bridge Park with Heather Wolf
Guide: Heather Wolf
Meet at Pier 1 park entrance at the intersection of Old Fulton Street and Furman Street. Join Heather Wolf, author of Birding at the Bridge, for a picturesque bird walk along the Brooklyn waterfront. We'll look for breeding and nesting birds like the Gray Catbird, American Robin, and Song Sparrow, and more. Limited to 19. Free
Click here to register

Saturday, June 15, 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, June 15, 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

Sunday, June 16, 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, June 16, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Sundays, June 9 and June 16, 2-3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

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

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New York City WILD!
Sunday, June 16, 2019, 12:00pm
Old Croton Aqueduct - Part 8 (of 8) Central Park Great Lawn to Bryant Park

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Mount Loretto Unique Area (Botany, Birds and Butterflies)
Kenny Road and Hylan Blvd., Staten Island
Walk along the trails through the meadows, the wetlands and shoreline and into the Butler Woods. Explore the diversity of habitats in this south shore parkland system which Protectors helped to have preserved in the mid-1990s. Now home to eagles and deer, orchids and a rich variety of butterflies no one could have anticipated just how special the Mount Loretto property would have become once preserved. Participants will investigate the area for birds and butterflies, horseshoe crabs and even fossils buried among the layers of detritus at the beach.
For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at (718) 317-7666.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 7:30am
Nickerson Beach Park
Leader: Mike Zito (516) 507-9419
Where: 40.588552, -73.603587 (map)
A perennially great place for Terns! Common, Roseate, Least, Black, Arctic and Sandwich have been seen on this trip.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join us in the park as we focus on wildlife happenings in the park on a walk led by NYC Audubon experts.
Free!

Flora and Fauna Walk at Highbridge Park with Leslie Day at W 158th Street and Edgecombe Avenue (in Highbridge Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Come on a morning nature walk through Highbridge Park, an ideal spot to see many species of animals, insects, and birds.
Free!

Sunday, June 16, 2019
Birding at Arthur Kill Road and Brookfield Avenue (in Brookfield Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, June 08, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, June 7, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* June 7, 2019
* NYNY1906.07

- Birds Mentioned

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

Sooty Shearwater
BROWN PELICAN
SANDHILL CRANE
WILSON’S PHALAROPE
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Royal Tern
Black Skimmer
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Northern Waterthrush
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Canada Warbler
SUMMER TANAGER
BLUE GROSBEAK

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

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

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

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

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, June 7, 2019 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, SANDHILL CRANE, BROWN PELICAN, SANDWICH and ARCTIC TERNS, WILSON’S PHALAROPE, PROTHONOTARY and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK and more.

Following last Friday’s flock of 10 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS at the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area, up to 12 were counted in the flooded area at the cloverleaf connecting Ocean Parkway onto the Meadowbrook as approached from Jones Beach West End through Tuesday, and up to 9 were still being seen at Oceanside as recently as Wednesday, so this group could still be in the area.

Also continuing at least to Thursday is the SANDHILL CRANE out east at Napeague, this individual lingering off Cranberry Hole Road near an old fish factory.

And a BROWN PELICAN first noted off Northport on May 27th has apparently continued in that area, reported Wednesday evening as landing on the beach just west of the four stacks.

Though Nickerson Beach has been generating most of the Tern excitement recently, the most unusual was presumably the same adult SANDWICH TERN seen last Sunday morning at both Plumb Beach in Brooklyn and near the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge – it has not been reported since.

At Nickerson Beach, which is on the south side of Lido Boulevard west of Point Lookout and does charge a substantial entrance fee from about 9 am to 4 pm, the existing COMMON and LEAST TERN and BLACK SKIMMER colonies have attracted a few adult ARCTIC TERNS so far this spring, including at least two Sunday and Monday, the birds resting on the beach in front of the nesting areas. Also occurring have been a couple of BLACK TERNS in addition to a small number of ROSEATE and GULL-BILLED TERNS, and a male WILSON’S PHALAROPE was seen again there on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A second year ARCTIC TERN was spotted today on South Line Island east of the Wantagh Parkway.

Finishing the TERNS, an adult ROYAL was off the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station Wednesday, and today two CASPIANS were reported from Old Inlet on Fire Island west of Smith Point County Park.

Four LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were also at Smith Point County Park Monday, when one of only a very few SOOTY SHEARWATERS so far was spotted offshore. An occasional single SOOTY has also appeared off Robert Moses State Park and other south shore sites, but they seem a little behind schedule.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still present along the Paumanok Trail in Manorville Tuesday.

A PROTHONOTARY WARBLER found at Mashomack Preserve at Shelter Island on Thursday could be a potential nester there, and a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, presumably breeding, remains at Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River. Probably still on the move were a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER at Bensonhurst Park and a KENTUCKY WARBLER at Floyd Bennett Field, both in Brooklyn on Sunday.

Sunday also produced SUMMER TANAGER sightings in Central Park and at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, certainly migrants, while the nesting enclave of BLUE GROSBEAKS continues around the Calverton Grasslands, one of the reasons that large expanse of great habitat should be protected.

The final stage of migration generally produces the best variety of FLYCATCHERS, including this week some OLIVE-SIDED, ACADIAN, ALDER and YELLOW-BELLIED, while WARBLERS featured a decent number of MOURNINGS for June and a smattering of such species as CHESTNUT-SIDED, MAGNOLIA, BLACKBURNIAN, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, CANADA and even YELLOW-RUMPED.

Remember in breeding season to be very mindful and protective of the nesting birds.

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

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Green-Wood Cemetery Spring Birds Highlights

While it may technically still be Spring until June 21st, the northbound migration in Green-Wood Cemetery is over. There may still be a few birds dribbling through the area, but the peak of Spring migration is behind us. My birding tours (and Brooklyn birding in general) this Spring were very productive. For the months of April and May we totaled 135 species in Green-Wood Cemetery...118 of which were in May alone! We were fortunate to have photographer Evan Rabeck along for many of the walks and I've created a short slideshow video of his photographs to celebrate Spring in historic Green-Wood Cemetery. Enjoy.


Here is the cast of the video (in order of appearance):

Spring crocuses
Eastern Phoebe
Pine Warbler
Ring-necked Duck
Blue Jay
Chipping Sparrow
Palm Warbler
Brown Thrasher
Cherry blossoms
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Great Egret
Summer Tanager
White-eyed Vireo
Common Grackle
American Robin
Black-and-white Warbler
Blue Grosbeak
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Baltimore Oriole
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee (male)
Gray Catbird
Ovenbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Scarlet Tanager
Wood Thrush
Yellow Warbler
Veery
Eastern Whip-poor-will
American Goldfinch
Osprey
Common Raven
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler (male)
Magnolia Warbler
Northern Parula
American Redstart (again)
Blackpoll Warbler
Cape May Warbler (female)
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Towhee (female)
Turkey Vulture
Eastern Kingbird
Willow Flycatcher (?)
Green Heron
Red-tailed Hawk

Treehugger Tuesday

From Earther.com:

How Climate Change May Be Linked to a Puffin Mass Die-Off
Yessenia Funes
Monday, June 3, 2019


Photo: AP

Puffins’ bright beaks and black and white coats make them look like a tropical penguin, but they favor cold coastal waters and cliffs. However, climate change is threatening their chill life by the seashore. A new study published Wednesday in the PLOS ONE journal links a mass die-off of tufted puffins to climate change.

Between October 2016 and January 2017, more than 350 dead birds washed ashore on St. Paul Island, Alaska, located in the Bering Sea. Their ranks included puffins, as well as the crested auklet, a stunning black seabird with a signature black mohawk. The team of scientists estimates that up to 8,800 birds actually likely died due to starvation.

The researchers point to warm sea surface temperatures that made zooplankton scarce in the Bering Sea, causing a cascade effect down the food chain. When the plankton disappear, so does the fish and marine invertebrates that the seabirds feed on. And it’s no secret that climate change is warming Arctic waters, which led the team of researchers to partially attribute the mass seabird dieoff to climate change, too.

The study authors relied on citizen science done by tribal and community members on St. Paul Island who helped collect the bird carcasses starting in October 2016. When they were brought in for a necropsy, the scientists realized the birds were emaciated and had begun to lose fat tissue.

Before this mass die-off, beached puffins were a rare sighting in this area, the study said. But as the sea keeps warming, this may become more common as their food source disappears. Tufted puffin population numbers are already declining because they became fisheries by-catch, and the Atlantic puffin is vulnerable because of climate change as well.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, June 1, 2019 to Sunday, June 2, 2019:

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, June 8, 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, June 9, 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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Feminist Bird Club
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Fire Island Pines with the Institute for Queer Ecology and BOFFO

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

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Freshkill Park Alliance
Saturday, June 08, 2019 12:00pm
Kayak Tour
Kayak along Freshkills Park’s waterways! This two mile round-trip tour explores the unique engineered landscape while the site is closed to the public.
Read More

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Gateway National Park
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Sunday, June 9, 2019, 10:00am — 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Day(s): Every week on Sunday until September 29, 2019
View Details

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, June 9, 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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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Van Cortlandt Park Nature Trip
Leader: Ken Chaya
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, May 27
Public transportation

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, June 8, 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, June 8, 2019, 10am – 1pm
The Parakeets of Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Green-Wood Cemetery
Explore Green-Wood Cemetery, rich in both history and wildlife, in search of spring migrants and its unique avian residents: the huge flocks of brilliant green Monk Parakeets that nest there. Native to South America, these charming immigrants flourish even in our harsh winters. Limited to 15. $46 (32)
Click here to register

Sunday, June 9, 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, June 9, 2019, 9:30am – 11:30am
Birding at Wave Hill
Sundays May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, 9:30-11:30am
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of bird species and their behaviors on these captivating walks. Wave Hill’s garden setting overlooking the Hudson River flyway provides the perfect habitat for resident and migrating birds. Walks run rain or shine. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. No registration required. No limit. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission (see www.wavehill.org for more information)

Sunday, June 9, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Sundays, June 9 and June 16, 2-3pm
Guide: NYC Audubon
Meet at Nolan Park house #17. Join us for a bird walk around beautiful and historic Governors Island, which boasts over 192 species recorded on ebird.org. Learn about the island’s fascinating history and search for waterbirds, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Binoculars are available. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

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

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NYCH2O
​Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10am
Ridgewood Reservoir Community Tours
The Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a 50+ acre natural oasis that straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water, it became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950’s and was decommissioned in the 1980’s. Since then, nature took its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin.
Click here for more info

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New York City WILD!
Sunday, June 9, 2019, 12:00pm
Old Croton Aqueduct - Part 7 (of 8) Highbridge to Central Park Great Lawn

For the full information about each walk click HERE

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Sunday, June 9, 2019, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Seaside Nature Preserve
Nelson Avenue and Tennyson Drive, Staten Island
Seaside Nature Preserve–Though only 21 acres in size the Seaside Nature Preserve includes a natural beach, an open field, playgrounds and an overall relaxing environment for humans and wildlife. Scheduled for high tide we will be able to sample the fish and invertebrate life as well as observe the potential for expansion during this hour-long stroll.
Meet at the park entrance at the end of Nelson Avenue.
For more information contact Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

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South Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Marine Nature Study Area
From Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre, turn onto Long Beach Road, traveling south. Proceed to Waukena Avenue and turn left. From this point onward, there are brown signs directing visitors to the sanctuary. Turn right onto Park Avenue (at a traffic light), then turn left onto Golf Drive. Continue on Golf Drive to Slice Drive, turn right, and proceed one short block into the sanctuary.
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, June 8, 2019
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join us in the park as we focus on wildlife happenings in the park on a walk led by NYC Audubon experts.
Free!

Biking and Birding Adventure at Ben Abrams Playground (in Bronx Park), Bronx
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
We'll visit a variety of habitats by bike, hoping to see a diverse array of bird species that reside along the beautiful Bronx River Greenway. Registration is required.
Free!

Sunday, June 9, 2019
Summer Birding with Gabriel Willow at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his extensive knowledge of diverse bird species and their behavior on these walks through the gardens and woodlands.

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Wild Bird Fund
Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Focus on the Birds with Charles Chessler
Need to brush up on your bird photography skills? Join WBF and native New York photographer Charles Chessler for a fun couple of hours learning how best to capture the beautiful birds that visit and make Central Park their home. At 10 AM Charles will spend a half hour discussing some basic photographic concepts and best settings for bird photography. Then we'll head into the park to see what we can see...and, hopefully, we'll all go home with some exciting images.
We'll be meeting at the Wild Bird Fund ( 565 Columbus Avenue New York, NY 10024)
Find Out More
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Saturday, June 01, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, May 31, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* May 31, 2019
* NYNY1905.31

- Birds Mentioned

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK+
PACIFIC LOON+
MISSISSIPPI KITE+
ARCTIC TERN+
SAGE THRASHER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Common Loon
BROWN PELICAN
SANDHILL CRANE
Willet
WHIMBREL
WILSON’S PHALAROPE
Gull-billed Tern
Black Tern
Roseate Tern
Red-headed Woodpecker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Bicknell’s Thrush
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
KENTUCKY WARBLER
Yellow-breasted Chat
Grasshopper Sparrow
SUMMER TANAGER
BLUE GROSBEAK
DICKCISSEL
Pine Siskin


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, May 31, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are SAGE THRASHER, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, MISSISSIPPI KITE, BROWN PELICAN, SANDHILL CRANE, PACIFIC LOON, ARCTIC TERN, WILSON’S PHALAROPE and WHIMBREL, PROTHONOTARY and KENTUCKY WARBLERS, DICKCISSEL, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK and more.

This just in – a SAGE THRASHER was photographed today on Fire Island at Watch Hill, which is about at the midpoint of Fire Island and accessible by ferry from Patchogue. Possibly the same bird present at Jamaica Bay May 17 and 18, the THRASHER was described as being near the easternmost ranger house east of Davis Park.

Also this afternoon, following last week’s incursion of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, ten were seen flying into the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area and landing in the marsh. Earlier this week at least two were still at the Meadowbrook and Ocean Parkway cloverleaf at Jones Beach Monday and Tuesday, so these ducks are hanging around.

Last Monday an immature MISSISSIPPI KITE was photographed as it flew over Rockefeller State Park in Westchester County. Then on Wednesday an immature was also seen heading south at the State Line Lookout off the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey just below the New York State line. Others are likely around.

A BROWN PELICAN was spotted Monday morning by a fishing boat captain off Northport in Long Island Sound and then early Tuesday morning was noted flying fairly high west towards Eaton’s Neck – worth watching for if you are in that area.

Following a reasonable number of recent SANDHILL CRANE reports a little north of New York City, one was found Monday out at Napeague on Eastern Long Island. It was still present today off of Cranberry Hole Road, often near the old fish factory before the intersection with Napeague Meadow Road.

A PACIFIC LOON in breeding plumage was spotted yesterday sitting on the ocean with COMMON LOONS off Robert Moses State Park field 2 but could not be relocated today.

Nickerson Beach has hosted a couple of unusual birds this week, starting with a WILSON’S PHALAROPE last Saturday followed by an adult ARCTIC TERN found Monday around the tern colony and still present there today. Also there have been one or two BLACK and ROSEATE TERNS and a couple of pairs of GULL-BILLED TERNS. A “WESTERN” WILLET was photographed there today.

A WHIMBREL visited Breezy Point Sunday.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were noted this week at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx and off the Paumanok Trail by Jones Pond off Schultz Road in Manorville.

With another week punctuated by some bad weather and migration nearing its end, it’s nice to see some good passerines hanging around. A singing PROTHONOTARY WARBLER found Tuesday in Central Park was still near Oak Bridge today, and a KENTUCKY WARBLER appeared in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery last Saturday. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT visited Central Park Sunday, and a decent number of MOURNING WARBLERS have been seen this week.

A SUMMER TANAGER on Staten Island Monday was followed by one in Brookville Park, Queens, yesterday, while a BLUE GROSBEAK was at Calvert Vaux Park Monday and a pair or two are on territory around the Calverton Grasslands, where numbers of GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS also breed.

A DICKCISSEL was photographed at Jones Beach West End by the Coast Guard Station last Saturday.

It has been a good week for FLYCATCHERS, with OLIVE-SIDED, ACADIAN, ALDER and YELLOW-BELLIED all noted, and a BICKNELL’S THRUSH or two have also been heard singing in city parks.

Single PINE SISKINS at Breezy Point Sunday and in Central Park to Wednesday were late.

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

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


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