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, August 30, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of September 4-5, 2021:

Bedford Audubon Society

Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
August 26, 2021 - November 24, 2021, 9:00am - 5:00 pm
Leader:
Description:It’s officially Hawkwatch Season! 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. Hawkwatch takes place daily through November, 9:00am-5:00pm (weather permitting). Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners. Registration not necessary, but please abide by current Covid-19 guidelines based on your vaccination status.
Registration: Registration required by emailing Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or by calling 914-302-9713.
View Details


Bird Walk at Hilltop Hanover Farm
Saturday, September 4, 2021, 8:00am – 9:00am
Leader: Steve Ricker
Description:It will be a beautiful thing! Join Bedford Audubon Garden Director Mathew McDowell, Hilltop Hanover’s Native Plant Propagator Emily Rauch, along with Bedford Audubon Board member and Naturalist Steve Ricker for a Bird Walk at Hilltop Hanover Farm. Venture out into the field where we might observe wild birds feeding from three different varieties of common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and different native perennials. We’ll cover the importance of plants as natural birdfeeders as well as the other ecosystem benefits they provide. Everyone who joins the bird walk is invited to stay and join Hilltop Hanover’s community harvest of sunflower heads at 9:30am.
Registration: Cost: Free. Register through Hilltop Hanover by CLICKING HERE
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Brooklyn Bird Club

Introduction to Birdwatching
Saturday, September 4, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Leader: A member of the Brooklyn Bird Club
Description: Whether you’re just starting out or have already joined the birding ranks, this introductory walk is for you. Join a member of the Brooklyn Bird Club to learn the basics of birding and search for the dozens of species that visit Prospect Park through all seasons. All levels are welcome.
Registration: No registration necessary. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring binoculars if you have them.
View Details


Southbound Migration In Greenwood Cemetery
Sunday, September 5, 2021
Leader: Ed Crowne
Description: Focus: early arriving warblers, vireos, orioles, flycatchers etc.
Registration: Peter Dorosh: email Prosbird@aol.com or Prosbird@gmail.com. Registration Period: August 29th-Sept 2nd. Current club members will receive priority. Each person must register individually; you may not register additional participants. If you need to cancel please do so at least 24 hours in advance so we can offer someone your spot; no-shows will be moved to the bottom of the list for future walks.
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First Sunday Prospect Park Walks
Sunday, September 5, 2021, 8:00am - 11:00pm
Leader: A member of the Brooklyn Bird Club
Description: The Sunday walks will start at The Audubon Center at the Boathouse.
Registration: No registration necessary.
View Details


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Gateway National Parks

Birding By Bird Call
Saturday, September 04, 2021 to September 25, 2021, 10:00am - 11:00am
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Test your knowledge on the species of birds at Jamaica Bay by matching the species to a written bird call. Also, try spelling phonetically your own bird calls by sounding them out!
Registration: Call 718-338-3799 to reserve. Tour will be capped at 10 participants. Social distancing will be maintained. Face mask required.
View Details


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Green-Wood Cemetery

Birding in Peace
Sunday, September 5, 2021, 6:30am–8:00am
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the many birds that call Green-Wood home.
Description: By September, our 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.
View Details


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Linnaean Society of New York

Jamaica Bay N.W.R., 28th Annual Tom Davis Memorial Shorebird Walk
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Description: This annual memorial walk honors Tom Davis, who was, by many accounts from the birders who knew him, an incredible observer of wildlife who was especially interested in shorebirds. He was also well known for imparting his knowledge on others and making sure that others would see the special birds that he sighted. This year’s walk, led by Tom Stephenson, will be guided by those principles as well. Water, lunch and snacks, sun lotion and bug spray are recommended.
Registration: Amanda Bielskas — bielskas@gmail.com. Registration opens: Monday, August 16 at 9 am. After that time, click here to register. Registrations for field trips will not be honored if submitted before the time that field trip registration officially opens.
View Details


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New York City Audubon

Intro to Birding: Bird Walk in Central Park
Saturday, September 4, 2021, 8:30am - 11:00am
Leader: Tod Winston
Description: 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.
Registration: Binoculars available. Limited to 15. $36 (25) per walk.
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Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 4 - November 27, 9:00am - 10:30am
Leader: NYC Audubon with The Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Description: Meet at the Van Cortlandt Park 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 forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
Registration: Via Eventbrite
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Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2:00am - 3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow.
Registration: Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17. Limited to 12. Free.
View Details


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South Shore Audubon Society

Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Leader: Members of SSAS
Description: 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.
Registration: Registration is required by calling Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498
View Details


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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Birdwalks with New York City Audubon at Van Cortlandt Park Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00am - 10:30am
Explore Van Cortlandt Park’s ecologically diverse grounds and celebrate a long tradition of birding in the park.
Free
...Read more

Saturday, August 28, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, August 27, 2021:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Aug. 27, 2021
* NYNY2108.27


- Birds Mentioned
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK+
BROWN BOOBY+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

KING EIDER
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
Stilt Sandpiper
BAIRD’S SANDPIPER
White-rumped Sandpiper
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Wilson’s Phalarope
Parasitic Jaeger
LONG-TAILED JAEGER
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
BROWN PELICAN
SEDGE WREN
LARK SPARROW
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
SUMMER TANAGER
DICKCISSEL


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, August 27, 2021 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are LONG-TAILED JAEGER, BROWN BOOBY, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, BROWN PELICAN, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, KING EIDER, BUFF-BREASTED and BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS, HUDSONIAN and MARBLED GODWITS, SEDGE WREN, LARK SPARROW, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, SUMMER TANAGER, DICKCISSEL and more.

Hopes were high, but Hurricane Henri surprisingly failed to produce any tropical surprises during its passage through our area last Sunday into Monday. What it did do was alter the timing and routes of a few southbound species, most notably on Monday, when the best rarities appeared off Riis Park with the brief visit of a juvenile LONG-TAILED JAEGER photographed as it passed by and headed out to sea and a BROWN BOOBY moving west out on the ocean. The biggest surprise, though, was the occurrence on Monday of several very substantial flocks of HUDSONIAN GODWITS - out at Orient Point birders spotted 6 separate flocks in the morning varying in size from 20 to 110 individuals, totaling 424 birds in all, and late morning at Robert Moses State Park a flock of 151 was videoed as it moved by. Even taking into account some estimates and duplications, this represents by far the highest daily count ever for this species in New York. Other flocks moving down the Connecticut coast would only add to this total, though only 2 birds were seen from Rye, the rest choosing unknown pathways south.

Also pushed south by Henri Monday were over 30 CASPIAN TERNS and several BLACK TERNS noted moving down the Hudson River, with a few of each also at coastal sites, while a few WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS and 1 or 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS also occurred along the coast. Also notable on Monday were counts of 65 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS at Breezy Point and a very high 165 at Robert Moses State Park.

The hurricane unfortunately pretty well filled up the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, but the BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK was still present today at the southwest corner of the pond. Prior to the storm, last Saturday shorebirds on the pond still featured 2 WILSON’S PHALAROPES along with STILT, PECTORAL and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS.

Highlights among the shorebirds this week have been a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at Brooklyn’s Plumb Beach Thursday and only very early today, and a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER in the Pelham Bay Orchard Beach parking lot Wednesday through today, with another BAIRD’S plus PECTORAL, STILT and WESTERN SANDPIPERS today at the Brooklyn Golf Center off Flatbush Avenue across from Floyd Bennett Field. A MARBLED GODWIT flew by Robert Moses State Park Tuesday, and a WILSON’S PHALAROPE visited Heckscher State Park today.

Two KING EIDERS were still at Wolfe’s Pond Park on Staten Island Monday, and a BROWN PELICAN was reported off Moses Park last Saturday.

A SEDGE WREN was still at restricted Freshkills Park on Staten Island Saturday, and a female-type YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was found at Nickerson Beach Wednesday. Single LARK SPARROWS were reported in Central Park’s north end Saturday and at Moses Park Tuesday, the latter site also recording a DICKCISSEL Tuesday. PROTHONOTARY WARBLER was last noted in Central Park Tuesday, and, belatedly, a SUMMER TANAGER was photographed in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery last Friday.

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, August 27, 2021

Friday's Foto

Black Tern, East Pond, JBWR
Listed in New York State as "Endangered", the diminutive Black Tern breeds in freshwater marshes across Canada, the northern United States and much of Europe and western Asia. After the breeding season its mostly jet black plumage transitions to gray above, whitish below, a dark ear-patch, and mark at the side of the breast. They overwinter in marine and coastal habitats of Central America and Northern South America. Unlike most terns, this species will rarely plunge into water to grab prey, but rather swoop and gracefully pick from the water's surface. They will also grab insects in flight. The IUCN Red list lists them as "Least Concern", although their worldwide population is declining.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of August 28-29, 2021:

Gateway National Parks

Fort Wadsworth Tour
Saturday, August 28, 2021, 11:00am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join us for a hike around Fort Wadsworth as we explore both the natural areas and the remnants of the former harbor defense system. Inclement weather will cancel this program. Dress appropriately. Bring water, face mask required.
Registration: Call 718 354-4655 to make a reservation.
View Details


Fort Tilden Hike
Sunday, August 29, 2021, 10:30 am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join a park ranger for a walking tour of Fort Tilden, highlighting the fort's role in the defense of New York City during the 20th Century.
Registration: Call 718-338-3799 to reserve. Tour will be capped at 10 participants. Social distancing will be maintained. Face mask required.
View Details


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Green-Wood Cemetery

Summer Fungi Walk
Sunday, August 29, 2021, 10:00am–11:30am
Green-Wood is a special place for fungi of all kinds. Sigrid Jakob and Potter Palmer, members of the New York Mycological Society and founders of the Green-Wood Fungi Phenology Project, will lead a mushroom walk into the depths of Green-Wood’s lovely and extensive woodlands where all types of fascinating fungi will be encountered: amanita, russula, boletes, agaricus, polypores, puffballs, jellies, even tiny ascomycetes (“dots on sticks,” an often overlooked but ubiquitous fungi that, though difficult to identify, are fascinating to study).
View Details


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Hudson River Audubon Society

Beverly Smith Memorial Butterfly Walk at Lenoir Nature Preserve
Saturday, August 28, 2021, 10:00am
Leader:
Description: Meet at the Nature Center. We will walk up to the garden that Beverly started and look for butterflies as well as eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis. Learn about the Monarch Butterfly’s remarkable migration to and from Mexico.
Registration: bochnikm@cs.com
View Details


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Linnaean Society of New York

Jamaica Bay N.W.R., 28th Annual Tom Davis Memorial Shorebird Walk
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Description: This annual memorial walk honors Tom Davis, who was, by many accounts from the birders who knew him, an incredible observer of wildlife who was especially interested in shorebirds. He was also well known for imparting his knowledge on others and making sure that others would see the special birds that he sighted. This year’s walk, led by Tom Stephenson, will be guided by those principles as well. Water, lunch and snacks, sun lotion and bug spray are recommended.
Registration: Amanda Bielskas — bielskas@gmail.com
View Details


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New York City Audubon

Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2-3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow.
Registration: Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17. Limited to 12. Free.
View Details


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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods

Bloomingdale Park
Sunday, August 29, 2021, 1:00pm -3:00pm
Leader: Ray Matarazzo
Description: Fifty years ago the Bloomingdale Woods area was a sandy, pine-oak woodland, littered with everything imaginable. A hike through the woodlands of Bloomingdale Park will reveal the effects of a half century of time and human intervention. Search for remnants of past use while enjoying the woodlands flowers and ferns which grow along the headwaters of Lemon Creek. Meet at the corner of Maguire Avenue and Ramona Avenue.
Registration: For more information call Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.
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South Shore Audubon Society

Mill Pond Park
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Leader: Members of SSAS
Description: Use street parking on the westbound side of Merrick Road. The park is four blocks west of the Wantagh State Parkway.
Registration: Registration is required by calling Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498
View Details


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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Community Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Through Community Rowing, guests of all ages explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden row boats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways. Community Birding brings birdwatching to the shores of the Bronx River.
Free
...Read more

Friday, August 20, 2021

Friday's Foto

Barn Swallow, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Iridescent blue above, reddish orange throat and long, deeply forked tail, Barn Swallows are easily separated from our other common swallows. Like most swallows, the majority of this specie's diet consists of flies. They prefer semi-open habitat with water nearby. One of the few birds that has adapted well to humans, they construct their mud nests almost exclusively on man-made structures. Until I began writing this post, I hadn't realized that the Barn Swallow's range was not restricted to just the New World. This range map shows their worldwide breeding and non-breeding range.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Shorebirding

This past Saturday I met up with a few friends to do a little shorebirding in Brooklyn and Queens. Mike hadn't seen the phalaropes that were hanging around the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, so that was our target after a dawn meet up at Brooklyn's Plum Beach.

Low-tide was at 6:36am, so we planned on being at Plum Beach a little past sunrise. Tom P. arrived before us and was already scoping the mudflat from close to the east end of the beach. Peeps made comic chattering sounds as they arrived to forage along the shore or out on the flats.
The abundance and diversity of shorebirds wasn't great, but the air was cool and a constant breeze made, what could be oppressive birding season, really pleasant. The call of terns and gulls completed an idyllic atmosphere for starting the day.

I've seen small mysterious burrows along the wrack line more times than I can count. The architects strangely absent. On Saturday I finally got great looks at this shy "sandhog". It should come as no surprise to anyone that its formal name is "Ghost Crab".


On the bay side of Plum Beach the shorebirds we tallied were oystercatcher, Semipalmated Plover, turnstone, Sanderling, Least, Pectoral and Semipalmated Sandpiper plus Greater Yellowlegs. There were also plenty of laughing, ring-billed, herring and Great Black-backed Gulls; least, common and Forster's Terns, as well as, several Black Skimmers.

An unexpected sighting came as we were wrapping up near the west end of the inner marsh. Mike and I had begun walking back towards the parking lot when Heydi called us back. Josh spotted a Dickcissel perched atop a black cherry tree. This rare grassland species was heading south & decided to take a break in the dunes. Lucky us!

Any of the three phalarope species is rare around NYC. To see a single one in a year is fortunate. Over the past 2 weeks, 3 Wilson's and 3 Red-necked Phalaropes have been hanging out on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. I saw them last week, but Mike hadn't, so that was our target after Plum Beach.

We walked out onto the South Flats and, within a minute or two, Mike spotted the Wilson's Phalaropes. They typically spin in circles to feed, but I suppose there was so much food that they didn't need to churn up the water. Here they are with dowitchers, yellowlegs and semipalmated sandpipers.

On the opposite shore we were able to locate a continuing Black-bellied Whistling Duck. This lovely waterfowl is normally found close to the Mexican border and southern Florida. On May 28, 2016 we had a flock of eight stop off in Brooklyn at the Marine Park Saltmarsh Center.

The Red-necked Phalaropes were just as easy to locate as the three fed close to shore near "The Raunt". It almost felt like walking through the exhibits at a zoo - "straight ahead are the Wilson's Phalaropes, if you look to your left you'll see the whistling-duck and just over there are the Red-necked Phalaropes".

There were also a few Pectoral Sandpipers present. Slightly larger than the "peeps", I love this bird's tidy, sharp breast streaks and neat rows of scales on its upper plumage.
On our way back down to the South Flats we passed a small flock of Stilt Sandpipers dunking their bills in search of food. Their trim build, drooping bill and barred flanks are distinctive. I  prefer seeing them in breeding plumage when they have reddish patches on their face.
We finished our morning just as the Annual Shorebird Festival group was pouring onto the flats. It was nice seeing some folks that I hadn't seen in a while (especially now that I can see their whole face). The festival is a great opportunity to expose more people to the joys and challenges of shorebirding...I just hope they don't expect that rarities will come that easily every year ;-)

Green-Wood Cemetery Needs Our Help

There is a dangerous invader threatening the wildlife and habitats of Green-Wood Cemetery. In fact, the situation is potentially so dire, it could eventually affect the agriculture of all of the United States. I am referring to this lovely looking leaf-hopper, the Spotted Lanternfly:

Green-Wood Cemetery, Sweetgum Path - photo by Michelle Talich

This insect could have a devastating affect on New York's forests as well as the agricultural and tourism industries. More information from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is available here. If you encounter one of these insects, you should kill it. You should also report it and submit images, location, date, and any other pertinent observation info (number of individuals, behavior of individials, etc) to the NYS Integrated Pest Management Spotted Lanternfly Public Report. Here is a link. Cornell has a good page of information here.

For Green-Wood Cemetery internally, mapping the observations on iNaturalist is the easiest way for them to keep track of the sightings, their locations, and the progression of spread. Please join a few projects that are important tracking projects:

Green-Wood Cemetery: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/green-wood-cemetery-brooklyn-ny-projects
Spotted Lanternfly predation in the US: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/spotted-lanternfly-predation-in-the-u-s

To reiterate, if you see an adult and the (soon-to-be-seen) egg masses destroy them. Here is a link on how to destroy the egg masses. It's important to note that that adult female Spotted Lanternflies do not discriminate where they deposit there eggs. Egg masses can be found on almost any surface including vehicles! They are very effective hitchhikers! Finally, this website has some excellent advice on how to kill the adults and egg cases.

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of August 21-22, 2021:

Gateway National Parks

Fort Wadsworth Tour
Saturday, August 21, 2021, 11:00am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join us for a hike around Fort Wadsworth as we explore both the natural areas and the remnants of the former harbor defense system. Inclement weather will cancel this program. Dress appropriately. Bring water, face mask required.
Registration: Call 718 354-4655 to make a reservation.
View Details


Fort Tilden Hike
Sunday, August 22, 2021, 10:30 am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join a park ranger for a walking tour of Fort Tilden, highlighting the fort's role in the defense of New York City during the 20th Century.
Registration: Call 718-338-3799 to reserve. Tour will be capped at 10 participants. Social distancing will be maintained. Face mask required.
View Details


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Great South Bay Audubon Society

Jamaica Bay Bird Walk
Saturday, August 21, 2021, 8:00am - 10:00am
Leader: John Gluth, Mike Cooper
Description: Join us for a wonderful bird walk as we head out to Jamaica Bay for an early morning adventure. 175-10 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens.
Registration: info@greatsouthbayaudubon.org
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New York City Audubon

Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2-3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow.
Registration: Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17. Limited to 10. Free.
View Details


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Queens County Bird Club

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Saturday, August 21, 2021, 7:45am – 12:15pm
Leader: Eric Miller - (917) 279-7530
Description: This is expected to be a "mini trip" covering Jamaica National Wildlife Refuge, both East and West Ponds, and perhaps other nearby hotspots.
Registration: Please contact trip leader for meeting time and location. Ask whether to pack a lunch or whether to plan on eating lunch out.
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South Shore Audubon Society

Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Leader: Members of SSAS
Description: From the Meadowbrook Parkway, use the Merrick Road M9 east exit. Enter the Department of Sanitation entrance immediately on right (if you’re driving west on Merrick Road, make a U-turn after Central Boulevard and before the Meadowbrook Parkway). Look for signs to Levy Park and Preserve parking lot.
Registration: Registration is required by calling Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498
View Details


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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Community Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Through Community Rowing, guests of all ages explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden row boats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways. Community Birding brings birdwatching to the shores of the Bronx River.
Free

Nature Explorers at Urban Farm (in Randall's Island Park), Manhattan
2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Kids will have fun exploring the farm and nearby gardens through guided nature activities.
Free

...Read more

Friday, August 13, 2021

Friday's Foto

East Pond, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

While the Red-necked Phalarope is considered a shorebird they spend most of their life at sea. Picking food from the surface of the water, they will frequently spin in circles to bring zooplankton, insects and other small creatures to the surface. Their scientific name, Phalaropus lobatus, means coot foot, lobed, which refers to their unusual lobbed toes. Courtship and parenting roles for this species is reversed from most birds: females are more colorful and do the courting, while males incubate the eggs and raise the chicks. Their breeding range is in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. They spend the non-breeding season at sea in tropical oceans. Click here to see a comparison of the three phalarope species.

Monday, August 09, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of August 14 - 17, 2021:

Brooklyn Bird Club

Peak Shorebirds at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Description: The East pond is the primary birding location before the late high tide. Most of the West Pond trail will be closed due to landscape replanting/reconstruction. Prepare for a long day under potentially hot sun. Bring lunch and plenty of water; waterproof boots are mandatory.
Registration: August 8th-August 12th. Current club members will receive priority. Each person must register individually; you may not register additional participants.
View Details


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Gateway National Parks

Fort Wadsworth Tour
Saturday, August 14, 2021, 11:00am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join us for a hike around Fort Wadsworth as we explore both the natural areas and the remnants of the former harbor defense system. Inclement weather will cancel this program. Dress appropriately. Bring water, face mask required.
Registration: Call 718 354-4655 to make a reservation.
View Details


Fort Tilden Hike
Sunday, August 15, 2021, 10:30 am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join a park ranger for a walking tour of Fort Tilden, highlighting the fort's role in the defense of New York City during the 20th Century.
Registration: Call 718-338-3799 to reserve. Tour will be capped at 10 participants. Social distancing will be maintained. Face mask required.
View Details


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Green-Wood Cemetery

Birding in Peace
Sunday, August 15, 2021, 6:00am–7:30am
Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the many birds that call Green-Wood home.
View Details


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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society

Blydenburgh County Park - Smithtown, NY
Sunday, August 15, 2021 - 8:00am
Leader: _____
Description: Explore 627 acres of forested hills and valleys at the headwaters of the Nissequogue River. It is one of the least developed and most picturesque spots on Long Island. Our walk will focus on migrating songbirds.
Registration: To register, call (585) 880-0915.
View Details


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Linnaean Society of New York

Cupsogue Flats and Beyond
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Leader: Eileen Schwinn
Description: Bring water and sunscreen! We will meet at Cupsogue Suffolk County Park and walk along the sandy beach road toward Moriches Bay. About an hour before low tide, we will cross to the sand flats through very shallow water, giving us two hours to look for multiple species of southerly migrating shorebirds and waders, including Marbled Godwits, Red Knots and Little Blue Herons. Saltmarsh and Seaside Sparrows are possibilities on the way. The walk will be approximately 2.5 miles along flat sand – flip flops or water shoes should be worn for most of the walk, and the crossing to “the Island” will be done barefoot. Around noon, we will return to the parking area where there are restrooms available. After lunch, we will explore the Eastport and Riverhead sod fields for “grass peeps,” with American Golden Plover a possibility, and conclude the trip around 3:00-4:00PM.
Registration: Regina Ryan — reginaryan@reginaryanbooks.com or 212-787-5589
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New York City Audubon

16th Annual Shorebird Festival at Jamaica Bay
Saturday, August 14, 2021, 11am - 3pm
Leader: With American Littoral Society, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, National Parks Service
Description: Join us for a celebration of Jamaica Bay's shorebirds! August is the perfect time to explore the diversity and abundance of NYC's shorebirds, particularly at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This year the festival will include guided bird walks around the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and activities outside of the refuge visitor center. With expert guides and family-friendly walks, this festival will be fun for everyone.
Registration: RSVP to let us know you're coming and receive updates including the event schedule. No limit. Free (suggested donation $15).
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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Staten Island BioBlitz 2021: Pond Ecology at Blue Heron Nature Center (in Blue Heron Park), Staten Island
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
This community science event will survey some of the biodiversity within the boundaries of Blue Heron Park with the help of scientists, naturalists, educators and the public.
Free

Community Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Through Community Rowing, guests of all ages explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden row boats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways. Community Birding brings birdwatching to the shores of the Bronx River.
Free
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Saturday, August 07, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, August 6, 2021:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Aug. 6, 2021
* NYNY2108.06


- Birds Mentioned

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK+
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD+
WOOD STORK+
BROWN BOOBY+
ROSEATE SPOONBILL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

WHIMBREL
Stilt Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
WILSON’S PHALAROPE
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
Gull-billed Tern
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
BROWN PELICAN
Olive-sided Flycatcher
LARK SPARROW
Ovenbird
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Blackburnian Warbler
BLUE GROSBEAK
DICKCISSEL

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, August 6, 2021 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are ROSEATE SPOONBILL, WOOD STORK, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, BROWN BOOBY, BROWN PELICAN, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, RED-NECKED and WILSON’S PHALAROPES, WHIMBREL, LARK SPARROW, BLUE GROSBEAK, DICKCISSEL and more.

This nice list of rarities this week still features the immature ROSEATE SPOONBILL continuing around Cold Spring Harbor. Look for the SPOONBILL along the shore of the inner reaches of the harbor, a little north of Rte. 25A, where parking can be found along Harbor Road, or check St. John’s Pond just south of 25A, where there is a platform to view the pond next to a parking lot by St. John’s Church and the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery. This bird moves around for feeding and roosting purposes.

A WOOD STORK was found on Staten Island last Saturday and was still present today in the Bloomfield section of northwestern Staten Island. Today’s location was a pond in Matrix Global Logistics Park as approached from Gulf Avenue, just south of 5th Street and east of Chelsea Avenue. This bird may require some searching in that area around the Amazon complex.

The BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK continues on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, usually around the cove at the southwestern corner of the East Pond, though apparently spending the night at the north end.

Also at the Bay, a WILSON’S PHALAROPE appeared on the East Pond at the north end Tuesday, numbers increasing to at least 3 by today, and these were joined at the north end by a couple of RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, also still present today, one or more of the PHALAROPES also occasionally visiting the south end. Other shorebirds on the East Pond this week have featured WESTERN, WHITE-RUMPED, PECTORAL and STILT SANDPIPERS, plus a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER today. Up to 4 GULL-BILLED TERNS have been visiting the East Pond, and out in Jamaica Bay west of the West Pond 5 WHIMBRELS were present on an island last Sunday.

On Thursday, a passenger on the Staten Island Ferry spotted an adult BROWN BOOBY flying by, and this was followed by an adult seen today from a NOAA research vessel south of Fire Island.

A BROWN PELICAN off Robert Moses State Park last Saturday morning was presumably the same one moving west off Tobay shortly thereafter.

An adult male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD visited a feeder at a private home in East Quogue yesterday, so keep an eye out.

Up to 4 WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS were seen today off the Coney Island pier in Brooklyn.

An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was photographed in Pelham Bay Park last Saturday, when an adult LARK SPARROW was also seen on the landfill at Croton Point Park.

Migrant WARBLERS noted this week included WORM-EATING, OVENBIRD, LOUISIANA and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, BLACK-AND-WHITE, AMERICAN REDSTART, BLUE-WINGED and BLACKBURNIAN.

BLUE GROSBEAKS, including young, remain around the Calverton grasslands, and young DICKCISSELS has also been confirmed at Croton Point Park.

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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Friday, August 06, 2021

Friday's Foto


Laughing Gulls are the ubiquitous, black headed gulls of our coastal beaches in summer. In breeding plumage this medium-sized gull has a black head, red bill and white eye crescents. Nesting on NYC's small harbor islands and salt marshes, they frequently form large breeding colonies numbering in the tens of thousands. As a coastal species their diet mostly consists of crustaceans, insects and fish. They also readily take handouts from beachgoers and pilfer sandwiches from unwary sunbathers. Despite not being listed on the "2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List", according to Cornell, "People still threaten individual gull colonies by disturbing the birds while they are nesting, driving over nest sites with off-road vehicles, or letting off-leash dogs run through colonies". This long distant migrant overwinters in Central America or northern South America, as well as along the southern Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast. Some are year round residents in Florida. Listen to the calls of the Laughing Gull:


Monday, August 02, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of August 7-8, 2021:

Bedford Audubon Society

Field Trip: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Sunday, August 8, 2021, 8:00am - 1:00pm
Leader: Tait Johansson
Description: That’s right - conditions look good for a Field Trip to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge! Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for high tide at the bay near the peak of shorebird migration at the Refuge’s East Pond. We could see flocks of hundreds of migrating shorebirds, and in the last few days, eBirders have recorded Great Blue Heron, Glossy Ibis, Osprey, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and so many others! Bring binoculars, lunch, sunscreen, plenty of cold drinks, and boots/footwear so you won’t mind getting muddy. Meet at Bylane Farm at 6:30am to caravan, or meet at the Visitors’ Center at 8:00am.
Registration: Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Registration required by emailing Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or by calling 914-302-9713 (Please specify where you will meet the group when you register).
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Gateway National Parks

Fort Tilden Hike
Saturday, August 7, 2021, 11:00 am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join a park ranger for a walking tour of Fort Tilden, highlighting the fort's role in the defense of New York City during the 20th Century.
Registration: Call 718-338-3799 to reserve. Tour will be capped at 10 participants. Social distancing will be maintained. Face mask required.
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Fort Wadsworth Tour
Sunday, August 8, 2021, 11:00am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join us for a hike around Fort Wadsworth as we explore both the natural areas and the remnants of the former harbor defense system. Inclement weather will cancel this program. Dress appropriately. Bring water, face mask required.
Registration: Call 718 354-4655 to make a reservation.
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Green-Wood Cemetery

Summer Fungi Walk
Sunday, August 8, 2021, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Description: Green-Wood is a special place for fungi of all kinds. Sigrid Jakob and Potter Palmer, members of the New York Mycological Society and founders of the Green-Wood Fungi Phenology Project, will lead a mushroom walk into the depths of Green-Wood’s lovely and extensive woodlands where all types of fascinating fungi will be encountered: amanita, russula, boletes, agaricus, polypores, puffballs, jellies, even tiny ascomycetes (“dots on sticks,” an often overlooked but ubiquitous fungi that, though difficult to identify, are fascinating to study). Learn how to differentiate the delicious from the deadly and start putting names to some of the city’s more common summer fungi. And come prepared for off-road walking.
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Linnaean Society of New York

Central Park Botany Walk
Saturday, August 7, 2021
Leader: Regina Alvarez
Description: Bring a notebook, magnifying glass and if you have a small pair of close-focus binoculars, it will enhance your experience. We will learn about flowering plants from majestic trees, such as the Tulip Tree to the tiniest flower, which is Duckweed. It covers the Pool, and it provides food for the ducks. We examine the tiny reproductive parts of each flowering plant and how it is designed for pollination and seed dispersal. We learn which plants are native and which are non-native. Ferns are fascinating. Some produce spores on the backs of the fronds, and others have a special spore structure. We look at non-plants, such as lichen, fungus and more. Important are symbiotic relationships that plants form with the natural world. Be prepared for a fascinating journey into the world of botany.
Registration: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
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New York City Audubon

Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2-3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow.
Registration: Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17. Limited to 10. Free.
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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods

Accessible Trail Through The Saint Francis Woodlands
Saturday, August 7, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Leader: Brian Smith
Description: Participants will meet me at the Saint Francis Woodlands parking lot located at the end of Helena Road off Todt Hill Road. We will enjoy access along the newly constructed elevated boardwalk through the Saint Francis Woods to Priory Pond. The newly constructed boardwalk is wheelchair accessible and the flat walkway is accommodating for all. Along the route there is plenty of wildlife, flora, and beautiful views. This walk is designed for folks with mobility issues or parents that have young ones in strollers.
Registration: For more information contact Brian Smith at (917) 842-6585.
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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Community Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00pm –6:00pm
Through Community Rowing, guests of all ages explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden row boats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways. Community Birding brings birdwatching to the shores of the Bronx River.
Free

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Birding: Early Birding at Wolfe's Pond Park House (in Wolfe's Pond Park), Staten Island
9:00am –10:00am
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free

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