I was recommended to this site by a birding organization as I am in need
of nest box trail monitors for the long haul. To truly be passed for
generations. I will not get into that now. Just a little EABL background
This nest box project was started 20 years ago by volunteer Susan
Harwood. She passed away suddenly last April. Susan was a Federally
permitted bander. After we lost her the new volunteers now report all
data to Nestwatch.
The 45 boxes are dispersed throughout Bethpage State Parks golf courses
and therefore birding is not available for public access during the
golfing season. Which can be year-round for some courses.
Susan had her very first nesting pair right in the middle of the 2002 US
Open on the Black Course. Since then we have annually had 4-6 nesting
pair. So you are all aware that means plenty of nesting Tree Swallows.
I worked there (since retired) and never knew EABL over-wintered until
one bitterly cold winter I observed one drinking in a puddle in a
parking lot. Up went my heated bird bath. Then trekking throughout the
courses I would see groups together during the winter in their own
course "territories". Winter is the best time to see those elusive
I think it was in January 2008 I snapped a shot of one of Susan's banded
EABL (banded as a nestling) heading towards the Picnic area located off
the Seaford Oyster Bay Exp. My friends and colleagues have seen them in
picnic as well so they have obviously become well established. The golf
courses take down more dead trees whereas Picnic woodlands are rarely
touched. I know three of us have seen Red-headed woodpeckers over the
years (so come on down Pileated!). I believe one local Audubon Chapter
birds in Picnic. And now with Trailview connecting Bethpage State Park
and Cold Spring Harbor, plenty of trekking points.
I have seen EABL at the Yaphank farm as well but sadly one site I saw
them was cleared of the shrub line between the trees and the mown field.
EABL favour trees/naturalized grass/mown or trees/shrubline/mown areas
for feeding. They were seen across the street from the Yaphank Farm
complex as well.
So those in the Farmingdale area around the park watch your yards more
carefully and even checkout Bethpage Pkwy.
Happy and safe birding for both you and the birds.
P.S. I am not ashamed to admit it- I am actually partial to the subtle
beauty of the EABL females.
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