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.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 24, 2019:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 24, 2020
* NYNY2004.24


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

BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
GLAUCOUS GULL
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Caspian Tern
HARLEQUIN DUCK
KING EIDER
Least Bittern
Tricolored Heron
CATTLE EGRET
Little Blue Heron
Short-billed Dowitcher
Stilt Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
WHIMBREL
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-headed Woodpecker
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
VESPER SPARROW
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW
Scarlet Tanager
Cliff Swallow
Yellow-throated Vireo
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Worm-eating Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Black-throated Green Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush

- 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, April 24th 2020 at 10pm. The highlights of today's tape are BROWN PELICAN, WHITE-FACED IBIS, KING EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BLACK-HEADED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, WHIMBREL and other shorebirds, CATTLE EGRET, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, VESPER SPARROW, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER and spring migrants.

Early for our region, but always welcome, a BROWN PELICAN was spotted flying by Robert Moses State Park last Saturday morning.

At least one of last week's WHITE-FACED IBIS at Timber Point Golf Course in Great River visited the marsh by the East Marina a few times last weekend with one of the few small flocks of Glossy Ibis moving around that area. Though a WHITE-FACED was not reported there after Sunday among the other unusual birds during the week were an immature BLACK-HEADED GULL, 2 WHIMBREL and 5 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS present there today. Three additional WHIMBREL were noted on Fire Island east of Smith Point County Park last Sunday.

At Orient Point an immature male KING EIDER joined the female there at least to Thursday and 4 or more HARLEQUIN DUCKS remain as well with an ICELAND GULL stopping by there Thursday. A GLAUCOUS GULL visited Lemon Creek Park on Staten Island last Saturday. An immature BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was spotted off Moses Park Tuesday and some regional LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS starting to gather locally included 16 at Moses Park Tuesday. A CASPIAN TERN was seen Monday and Thursday at Mecox Bay. A decent spring location for this species.

A nice gathering of shorebirds at Captree Island last Sunday featured single STILT, WHITE-RUMPED and LEAST SANDPIPERS and 2 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS among the GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS there.

During the week single TRICOLORED and LITTLE BLUE HERONS also appeared.

A LEAST BITTERN was a surprise visitor to a City Island backyard last Sunday.

A CATTLE EGRET found Wednesday on Long Island's north fork was relocated near the Downs Farm Preserve off Route 25 west of Cutchogue on Thursday but not reported today.

Single RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continued this week in Central Park's north end, at Cunningham Park in Queens and at the Long Pond Greenbelt in Sag Harbor.

A VESPER SPARROW found Monday in Central Park's north end was followed by a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW present yesterday and today at Sparrow Rock.

At Hempstead Lake State Park a male PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, first spotted last Sunday along the southwestern shore of Hempstead Lake, was still being seen there yesterday. This area is across the road and usually a little south of parking field 1. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER continues to sing near the entrance to the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River. Among the warblers being observed during this past week were such arrivals as OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, WORM-EATING, PRAIRIE and BLACK-THROATED GREEN.

Other arrivals have featured YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, CLIFF SWALLOW, ORCHARD and BALTIMORE ORIOLES and SCARLET TANAGER.

Decent numbers of BROAD-WINGED HAWKS moved by local hawkwatches Wednesday and Thursday.

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
...Read more

Saturday, April 18, 2020

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 17, 2020:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 17, 2020
* NYNY2004.17

- Birds Mentioned

WHITE-FACED IBIS+
CAVE SWALLOW+

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Northern Gannet
American Bittern
Little Blue Heron
Green Heron
Glossy Ibis
Broad-winged Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Willet
Short-billed Dowitcher
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Common Tern
Forster’s Tern
Chimney Swift
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
American Kestrel
White-eyed Vireo
VESPER SPARROW
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW
Louisiana Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting

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

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

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

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

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

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, April 17, 2020 at 10:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are CAVE SWALLOW, WHITE-FACED IBIS, KING EIDER and HARLEQUIN DUCK, ICELAND GULL, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, GRASSHOPPER and VESPER SPARROWS, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER and spring migrants.

As spring migration slowly increases in intensity, certainly one very unexpected visitor was a CAVE SWALLOW spotted Tuesday morning moving west over the dunes at Robert Moses State Park Field 2. With a few down in Cape May, New Jersey recently, this report definitely provides a very unusual seasonal record for this species locally. Determining which race it was would be quite interesting.

On Wednesday a WHITE-FACED IBIS was picked out in a group of GLOSSY IBIS at the Timber Point Golf Course in Great River. Later that day, as the IBIS flocks moved around the area, a second WHITE-FACED was also tentatively identified. This golf course is currently closed, and we do not know what their future policy will be regarding visiting birders.

Out at Orient Point the two female KING EIDERS were still present last Sunday, when another female was identified as it flew past Robert Moses State Park in a Scoter flock.

The five HARLEQUIN DUCKS at Orient Point last Sunday were down to four today, and the Sheepshead Bay male was still around last Saturday.

An ICELAND GULL also visited Sheepshead Bay on Saturday, this followed by one in the Riis Park-Fort Tilden area on Monday and one off Orient Point today.

Some LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS included one on Central Park Reservoir and three at Floyd Bennett Field on Monday and one at Croton Point Park in Westchester today.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was still at Central Park’s north end today, and the one in Cunningham Park in Queens was observed on Tuesday, both birds now in nice adult plumage.

A survey Tuesday at Freshkills Park on Staten Island, where access is restricted, did produce four GRASSHOPPER and three VESPER SPARROWS as well as an estimated fifty AMERICAN KESTRELS.

Single AMERICAN BITTERNS were noted along Dune Road and at Big Reed Pond in Montauk this week, and good numbers of NORTHERN GANNETS were still in western Long Island Sound earlier this week, with over five hundred counted off Playland Park in Rye late Tuesday afternoon.

A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER has been singing recently at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River since last Saturday, with another noted again Sunday at Connetquot River State Park nearby.

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen again at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday, while among other species of WARBLERS appearing locally in very limited numbers so far have been BLUE-WINGED, NORTHERN PARULA and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, along with more YELLOW, BLACK-AND-WHITE and LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH and the now common PALM, PINE and YELLOW-RUMPED.

Other migrants making appearances or in slightly increasing numbers this week have included CHIMNEY SWIFT, SOLITARY and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WILLET, FORSTER’S TERN and only a very few COMMON TERNS, LITTLE BLUE and GREEN HERONS, BROAD-WINGED HAWK, WHITE-EYED VIREO, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and INDIGO BUNTING.

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
...Read more

Saturday, April 11, 2020

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 10, 2020:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 10, 2020
* NYNY2004.10


- Birds Mentioned

VARIED THRUSH+
PAINTED BUNTING+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

KING EIDER
Common Eider
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Lesser Yellowlegs
ICELAND GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Forster’s Tern
Northern Gannet
Broad-winged Hawk
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Purple Martin
Bank Swallow
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Chipping Sparrow
VESPER SPARROW
Orchard Oriole
Ovenbird
Louisiana Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER



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

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

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

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

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

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, April 10, 2020 at 9:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are VARIED THRUSH, PAINTED BUNTING, KING EIDER and HARLEQUIN DUCK, GLAUCOUS and ICELAND GULLS, RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, YELLOW-THOATED and ORANGE CROWNED WARBLERS, VESPER SPARROW and more.

With an increasing number of spring arrivals raising anticipation of migration to come, it is still a few overwintering birds that provide this week’s rarity highlights. The VARIED THRUSH in Prospect Park was spotted on Tuesday near the Upper Pool, its recently most favored location. In addition, Brooklyn on Tuesday also produced another sighting of a PAINTED BUNTING, this at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center.

Among the waterfowl, two female KING EIDERS were present in the COMMON EIDER flock lingering off Orient Point at least to Tuesday, while up to five HARLEQUIN DUCKS also continuing there were seen through Wednesday. The male HARLEQUIN DUCK visiting Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay was reported again today.

Also in Brooklyn, a GLAUCOUS GULL was spotted at Floyd Bennett Field Sunday, followed by one at Coney Island Creek Wednesday, both locations also producing ICELAND GULL sightings Wednesday. Other ICELAND GULLS included two at Playland Park in Rye and one at Croton Point Park last Sunday and one at Miller Field on Staten Island on Wednesday. Last Sunday’s large Gull gathering at Playland Park also included two adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS plus a count of over 650 NORTHERN GANNETS, this species occurring in unusually large numbers recently in western Long Island Sound. This total, however, would never approach Long Island south shore numbers, where over 4,000 were estimated in Fire Island Inlet yesterday.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS featured one still in Central Park’s north end today, one in Cunningham Park in Queens to Tuesday, and one at Wolfe’s Pond Park on Staten Island Monday.

A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was reported singing at Connetquot River State Park , a known breeding site, on Wednesday, and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was at the Salt Marsh Nature Center Wednesday.

Six reports of VESPER SPARROW included two at Caumsett State Park Tuesday, and singles on Tuesday at Floyd Bennett Field, Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers and Nissequogue River State Park in Kings Park, along Hulse Landing Road Wednesday, and at Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers last Saturday.

Among the recent migrants have been a few LESSER YELLOWLEGS, some FORSTER’S TERNS as of Wednesday, and a few BROAD-WINGED HAWKS, mostly inland.

Various arriving passerines, generally as expected, have included BLUE-HEADED and WHITE-EYED VIREOS, PURPLE MARTIN and BANK SWALLOW, HOUSE and MARSH WRENS, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, HERMIT THRUSH and CHIPPING SPARROW. An ORCHARD ORIOLE was reported singing on Long Island Sunday, and among the WARBLERS joining already present PINE, PALM and YELLOW-RUMPED have been some LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE and YELLOW, with just one or two of OVENBIRD, NASHVILLE and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.

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.
...Read more

Saturday, April 04, 2020

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 3, 2020:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 3, 2020
* NYNY2004.03


- Birds mentioned
WESTERN SANDPIPER+
VARIED THRUSH+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Red-necked Grebe
Razorbill
Glaucous Gull
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Harlequin Duck
King Eider
American Bittern
Green Heron
Dunlin
Sanderling
Willet
Spotted Sandpiper
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Vesper Sparrow
Barn Swallow
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Black-and-White Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush

- 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, April 3rd 2020 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are VARIED THRUSH, KING EIDER, HARLEQUIN DUCK, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULL, WESTERN SANDPIPER, VESPER SPARROW and a few early migrants including YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO and BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER.

In Prospect Park the VARIED THRUSH was present through yesterday now seemingly favoring the area around the edge of the Upper Pool.

The female KING EIDER was still off Orient Point Wednesday two days after the 4 HARLEQUIN DUCKS were last noted there. The Brooklyn HARLEQUIN DUCK was still at Sheepshead Bay Tuesday and a pair of HARLEQUINS were spotted Thursday at Smith Point County Park in Shirley.

Rather unexpected was an adult GLAUCOUS GULL seen from Coney Island Creek Park in Brooklyn late Tuesday morning this followed by an ICELAND GULL on a light pole at Ceasar's Bay Bazaar. Another another ICELAND was at Smith Point County Park on Thursday.

WESTERN SANDPIPER was seen again Monday in a large DUNLIN and SANDERLING flock at Nickerson Beach and a RED-NECKED GREBE was off Plumb Beach Brooklyn on Tuesday.

Out at Cupsogue County Park last Tuesday 17 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were counted along the beach and 4 RAZORBILLS were spotted offshore while an AMERICAN BITTERN was still along the Dune Road last Sunday.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS locally featured the one still at the north end of Central Park on Wednesday and another remaining in Cunningham Park in Queens through yesterday.

Among some recent arrivals, and certainly unexpectedly early, was a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO seen well as it flew near Mott Lane in Bellport Tuesday afternoon. A BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER at Central Park's Tanner's Spring Thursday morning was also rather early joining some widespread PINE and a few LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH and PALM and YELLOW-RUMPED as the first warblers returning to our region.

Out east an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen again Saturday at the Sound Avenue Nature Preserve west of Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead.

A VESPER SPARROW was photographed at the Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers on Monday.

Also appearing this week were a GREEN HERON in Prospect Park Tuesday, a SPOTTED SANDPIPER on the Central Park Reservoir and WILLETS along the south shore of Long Island while a small number of BARN and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS also joined local TREE SWALLOW gatherings.

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
...Read more

Friday, April 03, 2020

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Newatlas.com:

American robins head north sooner due to Arctic snow melting earlier
By Nick Lavars
April 02, 2020

Climate change threatens to shake up the lifestyles of many animals around the world and a new study has revealed that for the American robin these wheels are already very much in motion. Scientists tagged the songbirds with GPS units to track their migration patterns and found that they are embarking on their annual Arctic-bound journey earlier each decade, with a shift in snow melt conditions a big part of the reason why.

American robins spend most of the year scattered around the US and Mexico, but each time spring rolls around they pack up and head north towards Canada and Alaska for a little summer vacation. There, they do their best to find a mate, put together a nest and raise a family, fattening up on insects, berries and worms while they’re at it.

With these warmer seasons in the Arctic kicking off earlier due to climate change, scientists at Columbia University began to wonder what impact this would have on the migration habits of the American robin. To find some answers, the research team turned to Canada’s Slave Lake, which acts as a pit stop for the birds on their journey north.

Researchers have been monitoring the migration patterns of birds at Slave Lake for a quarter of a century, with visual surveys and netting censuses revealing that robins are heading north around five days earlier per decade since 1994, or a total of 12 days earlier now than they did back then. To understand the reasons behind this, the Columbia researchers took things one step further and equipped 55 robins with tiny GPS devices.

This GPS data of the birds’ movements was able to be connected with weather data on temperatures, snow depth, winds, rain and other elements that could impact their migration behavior. This analysis revealed that the robins starting moving north earlier when the conditions were warmer and drier, with snow coverage a particularly important factor.

“The one factor that seemed the most consistent was snow conditions and when things melt. That’s very new,” says lead author Ruth Oliver. “We’ve generally felt like birds must be responding to when food is available – when snow melts and there are insects to get at – but we’ve never had data like this before.”

The team says this is the first study to reveal how environmental conditions are shifting migration patterns along this route. This kind of information can help them develop predictive models of how the birds will respond as the climate continues to change.

“Because the timing of migration can indirectly influence the reproductive success of an individual, understanding controls over the timing of migratory events is important,” Natalie Boelman, a coauthor on the paper.

From here, the team hopes to map out the birds’ entire migration path, rather than from a midway point, using tissue samples collected during the GPS fitting that could reveal clues about their earlier whereabouts.

The research was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Source: Columbia University
...Read more

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