Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.
Celebrate your inner nerd with my new t-shirt design! Available on my Spreadshirt shop in multiple colors and products.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, October 5, 2019 to Sunday, October 6, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
August 25, 2019 through November 25, 2019, 9:00am-5:00pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Bedford, NY
Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season.

Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats.

Registration not necessary.
See more details

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 7:30am - 11:00am
Prospect Park Saturday Fall Migration Walk
Meet 7:30 am at the “Pergola” entrance on Ocean and Parkside Avenues (NOTE NEW TIME!)
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
No registration necessary.
Note: Nearest train stops Prospect Park (B express) and Parkside Avenues (local) Q trains

Saturday, October 5, 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, October 6, 2019
Calvert Vaux Park
Leader: Will Pollard
Focus: peak sparrows and late warblers, field birds, early water birds, raptors
Car Pool Fee: $10.00
Registrar: Adelia Harrison email honeywood5@yahoo.com
Registration Period: Sept 28th – Oct 3rd
Please review our trip guidelines here: http://brooklynbirdclub.org/information-registration

Sunday, October 6, 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.
Note: Meets at 8 a.m. except in the winter months of December, January, and February when the walk starts at 10 a.m.

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 9:00am - 10:00am
Fort Greene Park, North Brooklyn
Meet 9 am at the Urban Park Rangers Visitors Center https://tinyurl.com/FtGreeneVCtr
Leader: August Davidson-Onsgard
Focus: Fall migration of songbirds at a historical park.
No registration necessary.
Nearest train stations: DeKalb Avenue station; exit and walk 5 blocks east on DeKalb Avenue; Also Fulton Ave A and G lines, walk north on South Portland Ave
Site references: https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/fort-greene-park ; https://tinyurl.com/FTGreeneMaylist

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 8:00am - 12:00pm
Fire Island Lighthouse Walk & Hawk Watch Platform
Always a favorite is our annual trek to FINS, where we will continue our search for migrating songbirds, as well as for falcons and hawks.
We will meet at the eastern end of Parking Lot 5, and walk the boardwalk trail to the Hawk Watch. From there (depending on bird activity) we will continue approximately one mile to the Fire Island Lighthouse. Again, a boardwalk over the dunes puts us at eye level for any foraging songbirds, and away from the ticks!
There is a fee for parking, which is usually collected from 8:00 am on, so arrive early if possible.
For information, please contact Eileen Schwinn at beachmed@optonline.net, or call 516-662-7751 the day of the trip.

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Gateway National Park
Sunday, October 6, 2019, 10:00am - 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
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. All ages welcome.
View Details

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, October 6, 2019, 7:15am - 8:45am
Birding in Peace
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the birds that make Green-Wood their home – at least temporarily.

By September, offspring of these nesting birds will be on their own. Returning warblers will be in their less flamboyant fall plumage. Large numbers of blackbirds, flycatchers, sparrows, vireos, and swallows will also be passing through. By October, waterfowl are returning, and we’ll look for raptors heading south. November will bring back our overwintering feathered denizens from the north.

All walks are at a slow pace on easy to moderate terrain, but proper, close toed footwear is suggested.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members
Click here for our inclement weather policy.


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Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Hawk Day, Lenoir Nature Preserve
19 Dudley St. Yonkers
10:00 AM to 12:30 PM - Hawk Watch. Look for hawks heading south
1:00 PM - Live Hawks! Meet hawks from Pace.
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, October 6, 2019 - 10:00am
Buck Moths in Dwarf Pine Plains Preserve
Perhaps Long Island’s most unique insect, the buck moth dwells only along the coast in pitch pine-scrub oak barrens, on deep dry sands. We will journey to the Dwarf Pine Plains in Westhampton Beach to find this autumn specialty.
Registration: (585) 880-0915
Directions: Take Exit 63 off the Sunrise Highway and go south 0.2 mile to a parking lot of the Suffolk County Water Authority building. The trail begins at the south side of the lot.

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 8am – 4pm
Birds (and Apples) of Sleepy Hollow, NY
Guide: Tod Winston
Explore the autumnal bounty available just an hour’s drive from the City. We’ll bird Rockefeller State Park Preserve and then adjourn to a local orchard for afternoon apple-picking. Bring lunch. Additional farm-fresh goodies may be available at the orchard.
Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $122 (85)
Click here to register

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 7-November 23, 9-10:30am
Guides: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Meet at the southeast corner of the Mosholu Avenue park entrance. 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 forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
An Afternoon Bird Walk in Central Park
Guides: Jeff Ward
Search for fall migrants on a leisurely afternoon walk through Central Park's best birding spots. Limited to 15 per walk. $36 (25) per walk
Click here to register

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Freshkills Park
Guide: Cliff Hagen
Come with NYC Audubon for a special opportunity to see Freshkills Park, in transition from what was once the world’s largest landfill into an expansive park. Currently closed to the general public, the Park is home to rolling grasslands, tidal marshes, successional woodlands and a freshwater pond system that host an array of breeding birds, butterflies, mammals, frogs, and turtles. Each autumn, migrant species abound as they travel along the Atlantic Flyway. Sparrows, Osprey, a collection of waterfowl, and lingering warblers seek refuge in the park. Overhead, raptors soar along the terminal moraine as they make their way south for the impending winter. Late-blooming flowers attract an assortment of butterflies and dragonflies.
Transport by passenger van from Staten Island St. George Terminal included. Limited to 12 per walk. $57 (40) per walk
Click here to register

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 8:30am – 11:00am
Intro to Birding: Bird Walk in Central Park
Guide: Tod Winston
Are you curious about "birding" but don't have much (or any) experience? Come on a relaxed walk through Strawberry Fields and the Ramble to go over birding basics and see warblers, tanagers, sparrows, waterbirds, and more.
Binoculars available. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walks
Sundays, September 8-December 8, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
September 8: Meets at Rodman’s Neck Parking Lot
September 15-December 8: Meet at Orchard Beach 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 fall migrants. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 9:30am – 10:30am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 14 and October 26,
Sundays, October 6, October 20, and November 3, 9:30-10:30am
Guide: Corey Finger with Queens Botanical Garden
Explore Queens Botanical Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources that the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Binoculars available. Register for one date or the whole series of five walks (walk-ins welcome). Email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar to register. Limited to 25 per walk. Free (with Garden admission)

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 14, September 28 and October 19, 2-3pm
Sunday, October 6, 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 200 species 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!
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 11:00am
NYC Wild! Essentials: Brooklyn: Prospect Park

Sunday, October 6, 2019, 12:30pm
NYC Wild! Essentials: Bronx River Greenway and East River Ferry

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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North Fork Audubon Society
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 8:00am
Smith Point County Park
It's "Migration Mania" in October, from Monarchs to Merlins! Join us in our search for all things heading south.
Meet at Tanger in front of West Elm Outlet, 1770 W. Main St, Riverhead at 8 AM.
Please call or text Tom at 631 275-3202 or email tdamiani3@optimum.net to register.
Suggested donation is $4 for nonmembers

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Hempstead Lake
State Park
Leader: Lindy (516) 628-1315
Where: 40.673575, -73.649713 (map)

Please inform walk leader that you are attending.
See "Walk Locations" for directions. Hempstead Lake State Park - lot #3.
Please inform walk leader that you are attending.

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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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Sunday, October 6, 2019, 1:00pm-3:00pm
Reed’s Basket Willow Swamp
Spring Street and Forest Road, Staten Island
Discover this hidden natural park in Dongan Hills. Participants will visit the three bodies of water nestled in the hollows of this deeply sloped park and hike through the woodlands. Although none of the willows grown by the Reed family still exist, the woodlands and stream are still home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Meet at the entrance at the top end of Spring Street in Dongan Hills.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at 718-869-6327.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 7:45am – 12:00pm
Kissena Park
Leader: Eric Miller (917) 279-7530
Where: 40.744000, -73.809500 (map)
Please register via EVENTBRITE
This mini-trip includes Kissena Park both east and west of Kissena Blvd. Expect to find many species of sparrows and southbound migrants. Meet at the Kissena Velodrome parking lot, which can be entered from Booth Memorial Ave north of Parsons Blvd - see map.

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, October 6, 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, October 5, 2019
Fall Bird Walk for Beginners at Alley Pond Environmental Center, Queens
9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Learn to view and listen to our various species of birds. Learn to use binoculars and a field guide.
Free!

Sunday, October 6, 2019
Birding: Warbler Watch at Park Drive and Clove Road (in Clove Lakes Park), Staten Island
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Join the Urban Park Rangers as we look for and learn about the variety of these small visitors during their migratory passage.
Free!

Audubon Bird Walk at Queens Botanical Garden, Queens
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Spot and identify creatures of flight and learn how QBG provides important resources for birds.

Birding: Fall Migrants at 223rd Street and 46th Avenue (in Alley Pond Park), Queens
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best viewing spots in New York City to see fall migratory birds. Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels.
Free!
...Read more

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website mnn.com:

The world's largest privately owned giant sequoia forest may soon be protected
by Russell McLendon
September 23, 2019

A conservation group has reached a $15.65 million deal to buy the largest privately owned giant sequoia grove left on Earth, an ancient forest with hundreds of the endangered redwood trees, which can live for 3,000 years and rise nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty. Due to its size, health and age diversity — with sequoias ranging from seedlings to Methuselahs — this grove represents "the most consequential giant sequoia conservation project of our lifetime," according to the group's president.

Known as Alder Creek, the grove covers a seemingly modest 530 acres (2 square kilometers), but that's a big deal for giant sequoias. The iconic trees once lived throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but they now exist in only 73 isolated groves, all located on the western slopes of California's Sierra Nevada mountains. This particular grove packs a lot into its 530 acres, including 483 sequoias with trunks at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) in diameter, along with a few hundred smaller sequoias of varying ages.

That age range is a big reason why this grove is so valuable, according to Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League (SRL), a century-old California nonprofit that's been working to acquire Alder Creek for more than 20 years.

"Many giant sequoia groves are just a single age class, usually in the thousands," Hodder tells MNN. "In this one, a real indication of its health and resilience is that there are giant sequoia of all age ranges." While any remaining giant sequoia grove is a rarity, he adds, "it's rarer still to have multiple age classes, and such a healthy forest ecosystem."

SRL announced this week that it signed a purchase agreement with the Rouch family, which has owned the grove since the 1940s. That's a big step after two decades, but the sale isn't official just yet. There's still the small matter of $15.65 million, which SRL must raise by Dec. 31 before it can take ownership. The group plans to do that with a public fundraising drive on its website, which has already raised more than $7 million, Hodder says. An anonymous donor has also offered to match all donations up to $500,000.

'A thoughtful process'

Alder Creek is an island of private property surrounded by Giant Sequoia National Monument, which spans about 328,000 acres (1,327 square km) and connects to the even larger Sequoia National Forest. The Rouch family has long used the grove for commercial logging, Hodder says, and even cut down giant sequoias in the early days, although since the 1960s they've reportedly only logged non-sequoia species like sugar pine and white fir. If the sale succeeds, SRL plans to eventually transfer ownership to the U.S. Forest Service, so the sequoias can join the federally protected wilderness around them.

That wouldn't happen for a while, though, since SRL expects to hold the property for five to 10 years. That's partly because this kind of public-acquisition process moves slowly, Hodder says, but also because SRL wants time to study the grove and implement a plan for good stewardship, making sure the trees are healthy and ready before handing them over to the public.

As part of that preparation, the group plans to open Alder Creek for public access even before giving it to the Forest Service, hoping to help the ecosystem ease into an unfamiliar role as a host for human visitors. "This property has been in private ownership, and it has never had public access," Hodder says. "We want to go through a thoughtful process to plan out public access, so when it does get conveyed into the national monument, it's ready for its public purpose."

Trial by fire

Although people logged some giant sequoia groves in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the species' modern decline is largely due to misguided efforts last century to suppress natural forest fires. Giant sequoias are adapted to regular, low-burning fires, which help their seedlings by generating nutrient-rich soil, thinning the canopy to let more sunlight reach the forest floor, and creating open areas with less competition from faster-growing plants. Scientists have since realized the folly of suppressing natural wildfires, but despite phasing out that practice, the legacy of fire suppression still haunts the giant sequoia.

"Because we've been suppressing forest fires that used to occur on a regular basis in this landscape, all the species that would be kind of culled by a natural, low-burning fire have been allowed to grow to maturity in an unnatural way," Hodder says. "So one of the challenges in stewardship of giant sequoia is finding a way to address that unnatural buildup of combustible fuels."

The logging of other species at Alder Creek might have inadvertently helped the giant sequoia, Hodder adds, replicating the effect natural fires would've had if they weren't suppressed. "They eliminated some of the sequoia's competition, and as a result the sequoia themselves are remarkably healthy, and the property has lower fuel loads than the landscape around it."

That could be a significant advantage for the Alder Creek sequoias, since even this fire-adapted species seems to be increasingly at risk from big infernos. As climate change raises temperatures and worsens droughts in California, including the decline of Sierra Nevada snowpack, the lingering effects of past fire suppression have left many forests primed to erupt.

While this purchase might ensure Alder Creek isn't sold to a developer, it will be much harder to protect these or any sequoias from the effects of climate change. Still, on top of reducing other risks and generally nurturing the forest's health, Hodder hopes the grove can serve as a kind of living laboratory, helping us learn whatever we can to help these ancient trees survive.

"This gives us the opportunity to understand what's going on with these new threats and exposures, and to do the forest management that needs to be done," he says. "Science-driven forest stewardship to reduce the fuel load in a way that restores the natural balance for the giant sequoia. To help prepare these groves for the hotter, drier fires that are coming."
...Read more

Monday, September 23, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 28, 2019 to Sunday, September 29, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
August 25, 2019 through November 25, 2019, 9:00am-5:00pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Bedford, NY
Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season.

Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats.

Registration not necessary.
See more details

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 28, 2019, 7:30am - 11:00am
Prospect Park Saturday Fall Migration Walk
Meet 7:30 am at the “Pergola” entrance on Ocean and Parkside Avenues (NOTE NEW TIME!)
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
No registration necessary.
Note: Nearest train stops Prospect Park (B express) and Parkside Avenues (local) Q trains

Saturday, September 28, 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, September 29, 2019
Fort Tilden and Riis Park, Queens
Leader: Ed Crowne
Focus: Fall migrants of the coast, early sparrows, late warblers, raptors peak
Car Pool Fee: $12.00
Registrar: Chris Laskowski email celaskowski@yahoo.com
Registration Period: Sept 21st – Sept 26th

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Feminist Bird Club
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Central Park with Outdoor Afro NYC

All walks follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics

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

Sunday, September 29, 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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Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Lenoir Nature Preserve
10:00am Hawk Watch
We will search the skies for hawks making their journey South
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Staten Island Greenbelt
Leader: Seth Wollney
Registrar: Judy Rabi — jsrabi@verizon.net or 917-658-1832
Registration opens: Monday, September 16
Ride: $20

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, September 28, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 7-November 23, 9-10:30am
Guides: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Meet at the southeast corner of the Mosholu Avenue park entrance. 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 forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 10am – 3pm
Monarch and Pollinator Festival
With American Littoral Society, Gateway National Recreation Area
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center for a hike around the ponds and gardens to look for migrating monarchs and other pollinators. Afterwards, enjoy a presentation on Monarchs or enjoy a children's program on insects. After lunch, visit Fort Tilden with naturalist Don Riepe for a hike along the dunes to see migrating monarchs and other butterflies.
For more information, contact American Littoral Society at 718-474-0896 or don@littoralsociety.org. No registration necessary. Free (donation suggested)

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
An Afternoon Bird Walk in Central Park
Guides: Jeff Ward
Search for fall migrants on a leisurely afternoon walk through Central Park's best birding spots.
Limited to 15 per walk. $36 (25) per walk
Click here to register

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 2pm – 3pm
Governors Island Free Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 14, September 28 and October 19, 2-3pm
Sunday, October 6, 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 200 species 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, September 29, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walks
Sundays, September 8-December 8, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
September 8: Meets at Rodman’s Neck Parking Lot
September 15-December 8: Meet at Orchard Beach 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 fall migrants. 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!
Saturday, September 28, 2019, 12:00 noon
NYC Wild! Essentials: Manhattan: Central Park "The Whole Thing"

Sunday, September 29, 2019, 12:00 noon
NYC Wild! Essentials: Queens: Flushing Meadows Park and Queens Museum

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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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 28, 2019, 8am – 12pm
NYIT de Seversky Center
Leader: Elizabeth (516) 404-1984
Location: NYIT de Seversky Mansion, 1 Northern Blvd, Glen Head, NY 11545, USA (map)
**NOTE: EARLY START TIMES. You may start at either 8am or 9am

Please inform walk leader that you are attending.
Enter from Northern Blvd and West Rd - head south on West Rd. Proceed up the hill, and follow sign to the NYIT de Seversky Mansion on right. Park in big lot across from mansion.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water.

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, September 28, 2019, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Richmondtown, Old Mill Road
Old Mill Road and Richmond Hill Road
Enjoy a stroll along the multi-use trail overlooking Fresh Kills with Ray Matarazzo. Walk back in time as you pass the famous Hessian Spring as it crosses the path and view Fresh Kills estuary as you work your way toward the remains of Ketchum’s Mill. Along the way observe traces of the past, examine the present woodland ecosystems and search for evidence of present inhabitants especially deer and other mammals.
Meet in the parking lot at the start of Old Mill Road, alongside St. Andrew’s Church.
For more information phone Ray Matarazzo at 718-317-7666.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Hook Mountain
Leader: TBD
Park at the wide shoulder of Route 9W, near map coordinates.
Hike uphill to the Hawk Watch with our group. This entails steep walking on a path, but not climbing. Ascent is less than 300 ft.
View hawks and other birds passing overhead.

Bring a scope if you have one, as well as binoculars. Bring lunch.

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
Saturday, September 28, 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, September 28, 2019
SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival 2019 at Hudson River Park's Pier 84
11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Learn about the ecosystem of the Hudson River estuary through hands-on science activities, catch-and-release fishing, science stage events, kayaking and more!
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, September 21, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 20, 2019:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sept. 20, 2019
* NYNY1909.20

- Birds Mentioned

Blue-winged Teal
BROWN PELICAN
American Bittern
Sora
AMERICAN AVOCET
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
Whimbrel
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
Stilt Sandpiper
BAIRD’S SANDPIPER
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
WILSON’S PHALAROPE
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
GULL-BILLED TERN
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Cory’s Shearwater
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
WESTERN KINGBIRD
Philadelphia Vireo
Yellow-breasted Chat
Worm-eating Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Hooded Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
SUMMER TANAGER
DICKCISSEL

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

Compiler: Tom Burke
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, September 20, 2019 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are BROWN PELICAN, WESTERN KINGBIRD, AMERICAN AVOCET, HUDSONIAN and MARBLED GODWITS, RED-NECKED and WILSON’S PHALAROPES, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, GULL-BILLED TERN, SUMMER TANAGER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, DICKCISSEL and more.

Two very interesting reports from last Saturday involved a BROWN PELICAN on the beach at Ditch Plains in Montauk and a WESTERN KINGBIRD seen briefly as it flew by Rockaway Beach in Edgemere.

Otherwise, much of this week’s excitement involved shorebirds. An AMERICAN AVOCET was still frequenting Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton on Monday.

At Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last Saturday 4 HUDSONIAN GODWITS were spotted on the East Pond, moving between the south end and the raunt. By Wednesday on the East Pond 5 HUDSONIANS were present and were joined by an AMERICAN AVOCET, a WILSON’S PHALAROPE, 3 PECTORAL, 19 STILT and single WESTERN and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, and a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. A SORA was also reported Sunday from the East Pond, and increasing waterfowl there include a good number of BLUE-WINGED TEAL.

Four MARBLED GODWITS were still present at Cupsogue County Park in Westhampton Dunes last Saturday, while two at Jones Beach West End Monday increased to three by Thursday, and another visited Robert Moses State Park Wednesday.

Jerome Reservoir in the Bronx was drawn down again last week, and shorebirds there Saturday included a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, also seen Sunday, as well as an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and up to 12 PECTORAL SANPIPERS, and 3 GOLDEN-PLOVERS were present there today.

A WHIMBREL was noted at Rockaway Beach last Saturday, and at least 4 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were still at Santapogue Creek off Venetian Boulevard in West Babylon on Sunday.

A fishing boat 30 miles offshore at the Islip weather buoy on Tuesday encountered 3 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES plus 5 WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS and a CORY’S SHEARWATER.

Single BLACK TERNS were at Shinnecock Inlet Saturday and off Jones Beach West End Monday, GULL-BILLED TERNS included 3 at Breezy Point Saturday and 1 out in Jamaica Bay Sunday, and CASPIAN TERNS at at least 5 coastal sites during the week included 4 at Jones Beach West End Monday and Tuesday.

An AMERICAN BITTERN visited Central Park Wednesday, preceded by 1 at Cupsogue Saturday, and RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues along the Paumanok Trail off Shultz Road in Manorville.

A SUMMER TANAGER was photographed last Sunday at Garvies Point in Glen Cove, and a DICKCISSEL was found at Floyd Bennet Field Tuesday, the same day a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT appeared at Breezy Point.

Another DICKCISSEL visited the Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers Wednesday.

Single CONNECTICUT WARBLERS were seen in Central Park Monday and at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center in Brooklyn Tuesday. Other WARBLERS include a HOODED in Central Park Wednesday and small numbers of WORM-EATING, TENNESSEE, BAY-BREASTED, CAPE MAY, WILSON’S and the like.

Among the other migrants featured this week were 3 YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS in Central Park Monday as well as some YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, various FLYCATCHERS including YELLOW-BELLIED, and at least 5 PHILADELPHIA VIREOS reported from scattered regional parks.

To phone in reports please call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and leave a message.
...Read more

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From mnn.com:

21 reasons why forests are important
Russell McLendon
September 16, 2019

Don't miss the forest for the trees. Here are a few reminders why woodlands are wonderful — and worth protecting.

Forests cover nearly a third of all land on Earth, providing vital organic infrastructure for some of the planet's densest, most diverse collections of life. They support countless species, including our own, yet we often seem oblivious of that. Humans now clear millions of acres from natural forests every year, especially in the tropics, letting deforestation threaten some of Earth's most valuable ecosystems.

We tend to take forests for granted, underestimating how indispensable they still are for everyone on the planet. That would quickly change if they all disappeared, but since humanity might not survive that scenario, the lesson wouldn't be very useful by then. As the Once-ler finally realizes in Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax," a crisis like deforestation depends on indifference. "UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot," Seuss wrote, "nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Indifference, in turn, often depends on ignorance. So to help things get better for woodlands around the world, we'd all be wise to learn more about the benefits of forests — and to share that knowledge with others. That's the goal of events like Arbor Day and the International Day of Forests, a U.N. holiday observed annually on March 21. But forests support us every day of the year, and as deforestation runs rampant around the world, they increasingly need us to return the favor.

In hopes of shedding more light on what forests do for us, and how little we can afford to lose them, here are 21 reasons why forests are so important:

1. They help us breathe.

Forests pump out oxygen we need to live and absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale (or emit). A single mature, leafy tree is estimated to produce a day's supply of oxygen for anywhere from two to 10 people. Phytoplankton in the ocean are more prolific, providing half of Earth's oxygen, but forests are still a key source of quality air.

2. They're more than just trees.

Nearly half of Earth's known species live in forests, including 80% of biodiversity on land. That variety is especially rich in tropical rainforests, but forests teem with life around the planet: Insects and worms work nutrients into soil, bees and birds spread pollen and seeds, and keystone species like wolves and big cats keep hungry herbivores in check. Biodiversity is a big deal, both for ecosystems and human economies, yet it's increasingly threatened around the world by deforestation.

3. People live there, too.

Some 300 million people live in forests worldwide, including an estimated 60 million indigenous people whose survival depends almost entirely on native woodlands. Many millions more live along or near forest fringes, but even just a scattering of urban trees can raise property values and reduce crime, among other benefits.

4. They keep us cool.

By growing a canopy to hog sunlight, trees also create vital oases of shade on the ground. Urban trees help buildings stay cool, reducing the need for electric fans or air conditioners, while large forests can tackle daunting tasks like curbing a city's "heat island" effect or regulating regional temperatures.

5. They keep Earth cool.

Trees also have another way to beat the heat: absorb CO2 that fuels global warming. Plants always need some CO2 for photosynthesis, but Earth's air is now so thick with extra emissions that forests fight global warming just by breathing. CO2 is stored in wood, leaves and soil, often for centuries.

6. They make it rain.

Large forests can influence regional weather patterns and even create their own microclimates. The Amazon rainforest, for example, generates atmospheric conditions that not only promote regular rainfall there and in nearby farmland, but potentially as far away as the Great Plains of North America.

7. They fight flooding.

Tree roots are key allies in heavy rain, especially for low-lying areas like river plains. They help the ground absorb more of a flash flood, reducing soil loss and property damage by slowing the flow.

8. They pay it forward.

On top of flood control, soaking up surface runoff also protects ecosystems downstream. Modern stormwater increasingly carries toxic chemicals, from gasoline and lawn fertilizer to pesticides and pig manure, that accumulate through watersheds and eventually create low-oxygen "dead zones."

9. They refill aquifers.

Forests are like giant sponges, catching runoff rather than letting it roll across the surface, but they can't absorb all of it. Water that gets past their roots trickles down into aquifers, replenishing groundwater supplies that are important for drinking, sanitation and irrigation around the world.

10. They block wind.

Farming near a forest has lots of benefits, like bats and songbirds that eat insects or owls and foxes that eat rats. But groups of trees can also serve as a windbreak, providing a buffer for wind-sensitive crops. And beyond protecting those plants, less wind also makes it easier for bees to pollinate them.

11. They keep dirt in its place.

A forest's root network stabilizes huge amounts of soil, bracing the entire ecosystem's foundation against erosion by wind or water. Not only does deforestation disrupt all that, but the ensuing soil erosion can trigger new, life-threatening problems like landslides and dust storms.

12. They clean up dirty soil.

In addition to holding soil in place, forests may also use phytoremediation to clean out certain pollutants. Trees can either sequester the toxins away or degrade them to be less dangerous. This is a helpful skill, letting trees absorb sewage overflows, roadside spills or contaminated runoff.

13. They clean up dirty air.

We herald houseplants for purifying the air, but don't forget forests. They can clean up air pollution on a much larger scale, and not just CO2. Trees absorb a wide range of airborne pollutants, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. In the U.S. alone, urban trees are estimated to save 850 lives per year and $6.8 billion in total health care costs just by removing pollutants from the air.

14. They muffle noise pollution.

Sound fades in forests, making trees a popular natural noise barrier. The muffling effect is largely due to rustling leaves — plus other woodland white noise, like bird songs — and just a few well-placed trees can cut background sound by 5 to 10 decibels, or about 50% as heard by human ears.

15. They feed us.

Not only do trees produce fruits, nuts, seeds and sap, but they also enable a cornucopia near the forest floor, from edible mushrooms, berries and beetles to larger game like deer, turkeys, rabbits and fish.

16. They heal us.

Forests give us many natural medications, and increasingly inspire synthetic spin-offs. The asthma drug theophylline comes from cacao trees, for one, while a compound in eastern red cedar needles fights drug-resistant bacteria. About 70% of known plants with cancer-fighting properties occur only in rainforests, yet fewer than 1% of tropical rainforest plants have been tested for medicinal effects. Even just walking in the woods can offer health benefits, too, including stress relief, reduced blood pressure and a stronger immune system. The latter may be partly due to trees releasing airborne compounds called phytoncides, which prompt our bodies to boost the natural killer (NK) cells that attack infections and guard against tumors.

17. They help us make things.

Where would humans be without timber and resin? We've long used these renewable resources to make everything from paper and furniture to homes and clothing, but we also have a history of getting carried away, leading to overuse and deforestation. Thanks to the growth of tree farming and sustainable forestry, though, it's becoming easier to find responsibly sourced tree products.

18. They create jobs.

More than 1.6 billion people rely on forests to some extent for their livelihoods, according to the U.N., and 10 million are directly employed in forest management or conservation. Forests contribute about 1% of the global gross domestic product through timber production and non-timber products, the latter of which alone support up to 80% of the population in many developing countries.

19. They create majesty.

Natural beauty may be the most obvious and yet least tangible benefit a forest offers. The abstract blend of shade, greenery, activity and tranquility can yield concrete advantages for people, however, like convincing us to appreciate and preserve old-growth forests for future generations.

20. They help us explore and relax.

Our innate attraction to forests, part of a phenomenon known as biophilia, is still in the relatively early stages of scientific explanation. We know biophilia draws us to woods and other natural scenery, though, encouraging us to rejuvenate ourselves by exploring, wandering or just unwinding in the wilderness. They give us a sense of mystery and wonder, evoking the kinds of wild frontiers that molded our distant ancestors. And thanks to our growing awareness that spending time in forests is good for our health, many people now seek out those benefits with the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, commonly translated to English as "forest bathing."

21. They're pillars of their communities.

Like the famous rug in "The Big Lebowski," forests really tie everything together — and we often don't appreciate them until they're gone. Beyond all their specific ecological perks (which can't even fit in a list this long), they've reigned for eons as Earth's most successful setting for life on land. Our species probably couldn't live without them, but it's up to us to make sure we never have to try. The more we enjoy and understand forests, the less likely we are to miss them for the trees.
...Read more

Monday, September 16, 2019

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming birding and nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, September 21, 2019 to Sunday, September 22, 2019:

Bedford Audubon Society
August 25, 2019 through November 25, 2019, 9:00am-5:00pm
Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
Arthur Butler Sanctuary, Bedford, NY
Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season.

Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats.

Registration not necessary.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 7:30am - 11:00am
Prospect Park Saturday Fall Migration Walk
Meet 7:30 am at the “Pergola” entrance on Ocean and Parkside Avenues (NOTE NEW TIME!)
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
No registration necessary.
Note: Nearest train stops Prospect Park (B express) and Parkside Avenues (local) Q trains

Saturday, September 21, 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.

**********

Gateway National Park
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 10:00am — 11:00am
Birding for Beginners
Day(s): Every week on Saturday until September 28, 2019
View Details

Sunday, September 22, 2019, 10:00am — 11:30am
Osprey Watch Guided Walk
Day(s): Every week on Sunday until September 29, 2019
View Details

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 8:00am
Robert Moses Hawk Watch and Jones Beach WE
Leader(s): Ken Thompson (631-612-8028) John Gluth (631-827-0120)
Meet at Robert Moses State Park parking at field #5 northeast corner. May require parking fee.

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

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, September 22, 2019, 6:30 am - 8:00 am
Birding in Peace
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the birds that make Green-Wood their home – at least temporarily.

By September, offspring of these nesting birds will be on their own. Returning warblers will be in their less flamboyant fall plumage. Large numbers of blackbirds, flycatchers, sparrows, vireos, and swallows will also be passing through. By October, waterfowl are returning, and we’ll look for raptors heading south. November will bring back our overwintering feathered denizens from the north.

All walks are at a slow pace on easy to moderate terrain, but proper, close toed footwear is suggested.
$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members
Click here for our inclement weather policy.


**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 10:00am
Lenoir Nature Preserve Hawk Watch
We will search the skies for hawks making their journey South
http://www.hras.org/wtobird/lenoir.html

Sunday, September 22, 2019
State Line Lookout, NJ
Meet us at 8:30am for a bird walk OR 10am for a Hawk Watch
Stateline Lookout is across from Lenoir on top of the Palisades. The hawk watch is only a few steps away from the parking lot. Hawks migrate sometimes at eye level, giving a different point of view from most other hawk watches. Bathrooms and concession stand nearby.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Green-Wood Cemetery
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Barbara Saunders — bsaunders002@nyc.rr.com or 646-872-4029
Registration opens: Monday, September 9
Public transportation

Sunday, September 22, 2019
Prospect Park
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Registrar: Alice Deutsch — ad@scopescreen.com or 917-991-9364
Registration opens: Monday, September 9
Public transportation

**********

Littoral Society of New York
("Good Times with Gordon" formerly "Fun Times with Mikey Cohen")
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Explore the shore and more at Fort Tilden
Building 1 at Fort Tilden
The leaves are starting to fall, the beachgoers few and far between, and Fort Tilden is there just waiting to be explored. Walk the shore and explore the woods with American Littoral Society naturalist Gordon Lam and NYC Botanist, Zihao Wang to search for critters on the beach, migrating songbirds in the trees, and the fabulous historic fortifications from World War II.

DIRECTIONS TO FORT TILDEN
• Subway and bus: Take the #2 or #5 train to Flatbush Ave. / Brooklyn College and then the Q-35 bus past Floyd Bennett Field and just over the Gil Hodges memorial Bridge.  Ask the driver to let you off at Ft. Tilden. Check Saturday/Sunday train schedules ahead of time.
• By car: From exit 11s on the Belt Parkway, head south and over the Marine Parkway Bridge (Gil Hodges Memorial). Stay on right and take the right ramp toward Breezy Point. Make a quick left into Fort Tilden at the first light. Go to end and park by Bldg. One or at the nearby Post Chapel.

**********

New York City Audubon
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 7-November 23, 9-10:30am
Guides: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Meet at the southeast corner of the Mosholu Avenue park entrance. 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 forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Saturday, September 21, 2019, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
An Afternoon Bird Walk in Central Park
Guides: Jeff Ward
Search for fall migrants on a leisurely afternoon walk through Central Park's best birding spots. Limited to 15 per walk. $36 (25) per walk
Click here to register

Sunday, September 22, 2019, 9:00am – 10:30am
Pelham Bay Park Bird Walks
Sundays, September 8-December 8, 9-10:30am
Guide: NYC Audubon with Pelham Bay Park
September 8: Meets at Rodman’s Neck Parking Lot
September 15-December 8: Meet at Orchard Beach 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 fall 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, September 21, 2019, 10:00am
NYC Wild! Essentials: Shirley Chisholm State Park

Sunday, September 22, 2019, 12:00pm
NYC Wild! Essentials: Queens: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

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

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 8am – 12pm
Valley Stream State Park
Leader: Bobby B (516) 578-6324
Where: 40.679534, -73.693252 (map)

*NOTE 8AM START TIME
NYS Parks parking fee of $8.00 may apply. If you arrive prior to 8am, it is possible that you may avoid this fee.
Please inform walk leader that you are attending.

Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.
From the west: Take Southern State Pkwy eastbound to exit 15A, which goes directly into the park.
From the east: Take Southern State Pkwy westbound to exit 15S. Now you have to circle around the park by taking Corona Ave, then a right onto Hendrickson Ave, then a right onto N Fletcher Ave/Henry St, then a right onto Valley Stream State Park Rd.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 1:00pm-3:00pm
Old Mill Road
Park at the end of Old Mill Road, behind the church. Participants will journey along the multi-use trail next to Fresh Kills, below the hills of LaTourette Golf Course and return along the Blue Trail. From the remains of colonial structures to the Hessian Spring and the remains of Ketchum’s Mill we will take a look into the influence of man and nature on the ecosystems bordering the Fresh Kills estuary.
Participants will meet in the parking lot at the start of Old Mill Road, alongside St. Andrew’s Church.
For more information phone Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 7:45am – 12:00pm
Prospect Park
Leader: Arie Gilbert (917) 693-7178
Where: 40.663770, -73.963044 (map)
Meet at Prospect park entrance south of zoo - see map. We will break for lunch at noon.

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, September 22, 2019
Jones Beach Coast Guard Station Parking Area
From the Wantagh State Parkway, travel south. Upon entering Jones Beach State Park, exit at Bay Drive and continue west. Turn right (north) at entrance for Coast Guard Station and West End Boat Basin; turn right again for parking.
Directions via Google Maps

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


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, September 22, 2019
The New York City Naturalist Club: Fall Migration at Isham Street and Seaman Avenue (in Inwood Hill Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

Queens Park of the Month: Idlewild Birding by Canoe Adventure at Idlewild Park, Queens
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Enjoy a peaceful paddle in the wetlands of Jamaica Bay and view the incredible birds in this habitat. Participants are chosen by lottery. Registration opens on September 11.
Free!

Ecosystem Explorers: Micro-Ecosystems at Prospect Avenue and Brentwood Avenue (in Allison Pond Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Be an explorer with the Urban Park Rangers as we venture into habitats that exist in New York City Parks!
Free!

Birding Along the Bronx River Floodway at Inside the park at Bruckner Boulevard (in Concrete Plant Park), Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Enjoy a walk through Concrete Plant Park and learn about the Floodway while discovering the birds in your community.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, September 14, 2019

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, September 13, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Sep. 13, 2019
* NYNY1909.13

- Birds mentioned
SANDWICH TERN+
ARCTIC TERN+
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Sora
RED PHALAROPE
AMERICAN AVOCET
Long-billed Dowitcher
Stilt Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
MARBLED GODWIT
UPLAND SANDPIPER
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Whimbrel
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
Red-headed Woodpecker
Common Nighthawk
Olive-sided Flycatcher
LARK SPARROW
DICKCISSEL
Philadelphia Vireo
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER
Tennessee Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
CONNECTICUT WARBLER
Mourning Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
Hooded Warbler
Wilson's Warbler

- Transcript

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

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44 (at)nybirds{dot}org.

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

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

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

Compiler: Tom Burke
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, September 13th 2019 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are ARCTIC TERN, SANDWICH TERN, RED PHALAROPE, AMERICAN AVOCET, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, UPLAND SANDPIPER, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, MARBLED GODWIT, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, DICKCISSEL, LARK SPARROW and more.

First. See Life Paulagics has scheduled a deep sea pelagic trip aboard the Brooklyn VI leaving Brooklyn at 8am on Saturday, September 21st and returning 6:30 Sunday evening. There are still spaces available with at least 10 needing to be filled for the trip to go with great possibilities this is an excellent opportunity to get offshore. If interested please call See Life Paulagics (215) 234-6805 < http://www.paulagics.com/ >.

Hurricane Dorian, fortunately a non-event here, may have been responsible for the juvenile ARCTIC TERN identified during a seawatch from Robert Moses State Park field 2 last Saturday morning. Three SANDWICH TERNS appearing today on the beach at Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton, while perhaps hurricane related, are as likely a product of post breeding dispersal.

An AMERICAN AVOCET still present at Mecox Bay to Monday was likely the one moving over to Sagg Pond Tuesday and continuing there through today. Sagg Pond is accessed from Sagg Main Street off Route 27. Single BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS appeared this week at Nickerson Beach Saturday and Tuesday, at Mecox Saturday and Sunday, at Sagg Pond Sunday and at Heckscher State Park Sunday and Monday but we have no reports yet from the Riverhead sod fields. Also at Nickerson were a MARBLED GODWIT Saturday and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER Sunday through Wednesday with another BAIRD'S on the East Pond's Raunt at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Saturday. An immature RED PHALAROPE was photographed Wednesday on Wolfe's Pond Park on Staten Island. An UPLAND SANDPIPER was heard passing over Manhattan's east side early this morning and a WHIMBREL visited Robert Moses State Park last Saturday. Five LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS continue at Santapogue Creek in West Babylon with another seen at the Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area Tuesday and Friday those same days also finding an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER there with a SORA spotted there Tuesday as well.

Other shorebirds this week included a few WESTERN, STILT and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS and there were also a few CASPIAN TERNS and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS noted coastally.

Evening flights of COMMON NIGHTHAWKS continue and RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were noted along the Paumanok Trail off Schultz Road in Manorville and at the Arshamomaque Preserve in Greenport.

Among the YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS were birds in Central Park Saturday and today, at Fort Tryon last Saturday and at Jones Beach West End Sunday. CONNECTICUT WARBLERS included 2 seen together at times at Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn Thursday morning and singles also in Brooklyn at Prospect Park Saturday and Green-wood Cemetery Thursday. GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER reports included singles from Central Park Saturday and Prospect Park and a Syosset yard Sunday and other warblers this week included MOURNING, TENNESSEE, CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED, WILSON'S and HOODED.

DICKCISSEL, usually calling as they flew overhead, were noted at Jones Beach West End Saturday, Moses Park and Marshlands Conservancy in Rye Sunday and at Van Cortlandt Park Monday and a few PHILADELPHIA VIREOS have also been reported recently along with some OLIVE-SIDED and empidonax flycatchers. LARK SPARROWS included singles at Pelham Bay Park last Saturday, Moses Park on Sunday and on Staten Island yesterday.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922.

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

- End transcript
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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Birds of Green-Wood Cemetery

I've spent a lot of time birding in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery over the years and began collecting photos of some of its resident birds. Here are some of those photos. Updated as I find more, scroll to the bottom for the latest pics (updated 9/16/19):




























The old world spelling, perhaps.


Not quite a bird, but I liked the name.

I'll add more in the future as I find them.

Here's an update from July 2015:



Here's an update from October 2015:



Here's a Reeve, also from October 2015:



Here's my first "Fish Hawk" for Green-Wood from March 2016:



Here's a new addition I spotted in November 2016:



Spotted in December 2016. I was kind of hoping to read a family member named "Hermit", "Wood" or "Varied":



Spotted during my walk on 7/29/18:

This one may be a bit of a stretch, but humor me. Lanius is the genus for a family of birds called shrikes. They can be found in Eurasia, Africa and North America. They are sometimes referred to as "butcher birds". Not surprising, lanius is latin for butcher. My favorite is the Northern Shrike - Lanius excubitor: the butcher sentinel. Perhaps Henry Clay came from a long line of family butchers ... or shrikes.



Here's a western species I came across while wandering around on August 26th. Don't normally see Verdins on the east coast:



With all the Chimney Swifts that nest in Brownstone Brooklyn this one seemed quite fitting (or flitting):



A few years ago my friend Mike mentioned seeing a willet in Green-Wood Cemetery. At first I thought he improbably saw one of these long-legged shorebird in the cemetery. Once I calmed down, he explained he was merely adding to my virtual collection. I finally located Mr. Willet a week ago on December 22, 2018:



I just found this one today during a private tour:



Can't believe I never came across this one before:


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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From earther.gizmodo.com:

Hurricane Dorian May Have Caused a Critically Endangered Bird to Go Extinct
Ryan F. Mandelbaum
September 9, 2019


A Bahama nuthatch.
Photo: Tom Benson (Flickr)

Over the weekend, Abaco and Grand Bahama islands took a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian when it was at its peak intensity. Its winds of 185 mph and powerful storm surge washed over the Bahamas’ islands, destroying or damaging an estimated 13,000 homes. Seven people are confirmed dead, and the death toll is expected to rise.

The island’s unique biomes were also hit by the storm. The Bahamian pineyards serve as a home to several species of conservation concern, including the critically endangered Bahama nuthatch. Scientists worry that both the humans and ecosystems that weathered the storm could take decades to recover.

“It is obviously a humanitarian disaster for people living in these northern islands, and the extent is as yet unknown, but we hope that international medical and infrastructure aid will arrive rapidly and generously,” Diana Bell, Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, told Earther. “It is also highly likely to have also been an ecological disaster affecting the already fragmented areas of Caribbean pine forest which support endemic avifauna.”

The pineyards is a region of coniferous forest covering an area smaller than Rhode Island on the Bahamas as well as the Turks and Caicos islands. The ecosystem is especially prevalent on Grand Bahama Island. Deforestation for development has already threatened the forest, while saltwater from storm surges can kill the pine trees. Much of the island is still underwater, and early footage shows much of the tree canopy has been torn apart.

Of the animals affected by the storm, scientists fear most for the Bahama nuthatch. Considered by various authorities either a subspecies of the brown-headed nuthatch or its own species, a 2004 survey estimated the bird’s population stood at around 1,800.

Then a series of hurricanes brought its population down to 23 according to a 2007 survey. Hurricane Matthew in 2016 further reduced the bird’s population, and an exhaustive 2018 search turned up as few as two. Dorian may have been the nail in the coffin as deforestation and the high winds and saltwater flooding from storms have continued to kill the forest’s trees.

The Bahama nuthatch is just one of the species—both endemic and otherwise—that rely on the pineyard habitat. Scientists also worry about the fate of the Bahama warbler as well as the famous Kirtland’s warbler, which spends its winters in the pines.

According to the most recent National Climate Assessment, scientists expect that warmer ocean temperatures and higher sea levels from climate change will make hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean stronger. Other recent research indicates hurricanes are slowing down, leading to longer impacts if that happens over land, though the link to climate change is still being investigated. But regardless, more powerful storms lingering around longer could spell disaster for both people and islands’ endemic species.
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