Regarding recent sightings & reports of Bronx County (N.Y. City) waders (a.k.a. 
shorebirds to many Americans) -

With the interest & excitement of such a fine showing of shorebirds in even the 
northern realms of N.Y. City, & as exemplified by keen birders getting out & 
finding them -& including much-less-expected species for some locations- I was 
interested to hear from the ‘dean’ among living Bronx County birders and 
ornithologists, who happens to be the first author of the recent work (and 
intensive, serious studies done over many decades), “Urban Ornithology” - Paul 
A. Buckley - and was fortunate to hear directly from him on the very recent 
discovery of Wilson’s Phalarope for Bronx County - and as some of us very-local 
‘loyalists” will also delightedly point out, a fine, newest WEST-Bronx record 
of that phalarope species, at that! (There is a mostly hyper-local & 
fun-spirited century-long relationship of east vs. west Bronx bird-finds and 
records, with the divide often being drawn as east of Bronx River, or west of 
that river.)  The Jerome Park Reservoir of Bronx County, N.Y. City is in the 
western half of that county, by any definitions.

As P.A. Buckley noted to me, and as documented (notably, not in eBird's 
historical records, it seems, and that is not a unique situation for many 
records older or not-so-old, in that forum’s world-wide data-base - all data 
systems have some parts where a lack of info. is part of the system): 

there are at least a few older records for Wilson’s Phalarope in Bronx County, 
N.Y. City - these include 2 records in 1924, at the Bronx zoo grounds (which is 
still a wonderful place to see & to look for all manner of migrants & in any & 
all seasons) and at Hunts Point (which is best-known or was, as the entire city 
of New York’s terminal for fresh produce, & much more of all manner of 
commercial & some industrial uses; there are also some parcels of habitat, 
including waterfront, which potentially could see migrants & visting birds at 
any season even today; there are some small public parks & green-spaces there 
as well); and:

also records for Wilson’s Phalarope exist from the 1950’s & 1960’s in an area 
known as Baxter’s Creek, Bronx.  This points to the current-latest sightings of 
Wilson’s Phalarope for the Bronx, at the Jerome Park Reservoir, as being 
perhaps the first in about a half-century.  

Well-done, Patrick Horan. This is another in the long & fine history of serious 
& dedicated Bronx-birders, who have shown what can be learned & seen in that 
county, during -and since !!- the days of the renowned Bronx County Bird Club & 
its many illustrious & accomplished memebers over the years. He is in a 
tradition, and is helping to show what keen, serious field-work means to the 
local study of birds and their movements - and may many more also be such a 
fine exemplar.

And, yes - there are established records as well for the other 2 species of 
Phalarope (Red, & Red-necked) in Bronx County, N.Y. City (and these, or some of 
these, may be stored in eBird.)

With absolutely no stakes, financial or otherwise, I heartily recommend all 
N.Y. birders and also birders world-wide to take a look at “Urban Ornithology” 
- P.A. Buckley & others, authors - as published by Cornell University Press, & 
now also available in many fine school / university libraries, research 
instititutions, & perhaps your local library.  (And if not, inquire - they may 
be able to find it & order it in.)  This book is no 'fast & easy’ quick read, 
it is serious scholarship, & goes into much detail with points that touch on 
birds & birding, & more generally, history / ecology, & more, which is of 
interest to those who not only study birds for a living but also or for their 
pleasure & enlightenment. 

In terms of local - state - or any sorts of bird records (& for much else 
recorded in nature & in history) it is also always good to keep in mind the 
fantastic resources of our superb museums, such as in New York City the 
American Museum of Natural History, & many others, the State Museum of New York 
in Albany as (just one other of) another example, as well as many great 
University and College or other schools and institutution’s collections, 
records, libraries, & further resources which are priceless storehouses & also 
often highly active in research, both in the field & in the lab, & beyond, in 
considering any researching, record-requesting, knowledge-increasing endeavors 
of the avian- or other-studies sorts. There may also be some private holdings 
of many kinds that will welcome serious researchers & students to peruse 
collections, or to make inquiries. A lot can be gleaned “on-line”, however much 
also is available equally in seeking information via some of these original 
sources, & some of those many sources can lead to great and serious study and 
further knowledge.These bases of knowledge also are compatible - and often may 
be linked.

Good bird-finding & local-study,

Tom Fiore
manhattan -
& elsewhere


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