[cayugabirds-l] waterfowl - wyers/sheldrake

2014-01-27 Thread Michele Mannella
On Saturday afternoon, I finally got to take a drive along Wyers Road and
Sheldrake Park in Ovid and test my waterfowl id skills I learned from the
Lab of O on-line class (thanks, Kevin!).

Along the way (near the bb) I saw 5 REDHEADS, about a dozen BUFFLEHEADS, 2
TUNDRA SWANS, 25 GOLDENEYES, 22 RINGNECKED DUCKS, and about 8 COMMON
MERGANSERS.  I am certain there were other birds I did not count or see
very well.

The COMMON MERGANSERS were quite actively engaged in courtship display, and
it was fun to watch! They would circle about, stretch their necks upward
pointing their bills to the sky, dip down into the water and then cozy up
to a female while chasing away the competition. There was also much
flapping and splashing about. I couldn't hear if they were vocalizing,
however, from my perch above the cove.

Michele
Ovid / Interlaken

www.bodyshopwellness.com
www.thehaywardhouse.com

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[cayugabirds-l] Fwd: [PABIRDS] Snowy Owls: Age, Sex and Plumage

2014-01-27 Thread Rob Blye
FYI 


Rob Blye 
East Coventry Township 
Chester County, Pennsylvania 

- Forwarded Message -
From: Scott Weidensaul scottweidens...@verizon.net 
To: pabi...@list.audubon.org 
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2014 8:16:04 AM 
Subject: Re: [PABIRDS] Snowy Owls: Age, Sex and Plumage 

Thanks to Barry and Dave for bringing up this timely subject, and linking to 
Art McMorris's DVOC 2011 presentation. There has actually be a lot of movement 
on this question recently, including three important publications in the past 
two years that refines our understanding of snowy owl plumages. The take-home 
message is that birders tend to simplify (often greatly) the degree to which 
snowy owls can be aged and sexed by plumage, but that in some cases it is 
possible. 

In 2011, Seidensticker et al. published a paper (Sexing young snowy owls, 
Journal of Raptor Research, 45[4]:281-289), based on work with nestlings in 
Alaska. They had 100 percent success predicting sex by assessing the barring or 
spotting pattern on the middle secondaries, especially S4. In a nutshell, males 
had more spots (markings that did not touch the feather shaft) than bars, and 
females the reverse -- but you have to have a clear view of the spread wing and 
tail to tell, and this was tested only with juvenile birds. 

In 2012, Solheim published a paper from Norway (Wing feather molt in snowy 
owls Bubo scandiacus, Ornis Norvegica, 35:48-67), which examined molt in 53 
museum skins. In the author's assessment, it is possible to age a snowy owl in 
the hand or in a sharp photo of the spread wing up to at least fourth year, 
based on contrasts between new and old feathers. He notes that the 24-hour, 
harsh summer sun to which snowies are exposed causes extreme fading even in 
juvenile birds. 

Also in 2012, Eugene Potapov and Richard Sale published an excellent monograph, 
The Snowy Owl (T  AD Poyser) that synthesizes a lot of what's known about 
snowy owl plumages. They discuss work by Hawk Mountain's J.F. Therrien and his 
colleagues on the breeding ground with marked birds, showing that snowies 
sometimes get lighter with age, sometimes darker, and some may do both at 
different stages of the same bird's life. As Norman Smith in Massachusetts has 
been pointing out for years about snowy owl plumages, it's complicated. For 
example, some online ageing guides note that mottling on the tertials is a 
juvenile characteristic. It is, but as banders have discovered, some of those 
mottled tertials are retained for several years, making them largely useless 
for ageing. 

All this should give pause to those birders who, with breezy assurance, are 
assigning age and sex to the owls they see this winter based mostly on body 
markings. But with a good, clear photo of the spread wing and tail, it's 
possible in some cases to make an age/sex assignment. David Sibley and I hope 
to create an online ageing/sexing guide to snowy owls this winter, if we can 
find a spare moment. And we continue to encourage photographers who have good, 
clear wing and tail shots to upload them on the SNOWstorm website 
(www.projectsnowstorm.org) so we can quantify age/sex classes in this winter's 
irruption. 

As to speculation about different plumage patterns for different regional 
populations, remember that snowy owls aren't like other birds. The breeding 
grounds work that J.F., Denver Holt and others have been doing strongly 
suggests there *are* no regional populations -- that snowy owls are almost 
entirely nomadic, moving back and forth across the Arctic like water sloshing 
in a basin. Some of J.F.'s tagged birds moved a thousand miles between breeding 
seasons, for instance. One thing we're doing this winter with SNOWstorm is 
collecting DNA for genetics testing, but I'll be surprising if it shows much 
that suggests regional variation. 

As always, you can find more information and regular updates on our work at 
www.projectsnowstorm.org. 

Scott Weidensaul 
Schuylkill Haven, PA 







On Jan 26, 2014, at 3:50 AM, Dave DeReamus wrote: 

 Barry's post about the plumage variation of the Snowy Owl rekindled something 
 I've always wondered about: Has anyone ever found a correlation between the 
 birds found at the southern edge of their breeding range trending darker 
 (more heavily marked) and the birds at the northern edge (closer to the 
 Arctic Ocean) trending whiter (less mottled)? 
 
 I have absolutely nothing scientific to support this thought, but using some 
 of my very limited common sense and realizing how important camouflage is to 
 many birds, I've often wondered if the birds at the southern edge of the 
 Snowy's breeding range might generally be darker in order to blend in better 
 with their surroundings during the months with little or no snow cover. I'm 
 assuming (possibly incorrectly) that there might be less snow cover for a 
 little longer period at the southern edge, which would make it tougher for a 
 whiter bird to be inconspicuous. Since 

Re: [cayugabirds-l] lake ice waterfowl

2014-01-27 Thread Donna Scott
Not a chance the whole lake will freeze over, Dave. 
No ice at all up here where it is 460 feet deep. 1 1/2 weeks ago water near 
shore was 39 degrees. 
It freezes only at the shallow ends and areas adjacent, usually. 
A little raft of Redheads, Ring Necks, swimming, diving here. Accompanied by 
some Mallards. 
Birding from my kitchen window on this wild, windy day seems good. 

Sent from my iPhone
Donna Scott

On Jan 26, 2014, at 11:02 PM, Dave Nutter nutter.d...@me.com wrote:

 I don't know what possessed me to walk to the lake again today, having walked 
 both to East Shore Park and past Treman to the lake yesterday. Anyway, the 
 ice has grown considerably, extending about 3/4 of a mile from the land at 
 Treman's lakeshore, so today's walk was longer than I expected. I did get 
 fine views of ducks from between houses at about #967 Taughannock Blvd, 
 including White-winged Scoters close to shore, plus all the Mergansers, all 
 the (usual) Aythya, and Common Goldeneyes. The few Long-tailed Ducks I saw 
 were diving next to the ice edge in the middle of the lake. I also saw Canada 
 Geese, the usual 3 gull species, and an immature Bald Eagle on the ice. I 
 wasn't able to scan the whole lake and saw no grebes, loons, or coots. The 
 only Anas I saw was a single male Mallard flying over Inlet Island. With 
 serious cold expected to return and continue for awhile, and the ice shelf 
 already so big, I wonder how far it will grow, or if this could even be a 
 rare year that the lake freezes over.  
 --Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Screech roost cavity

2014-01-27 Thread John Confer
I pick up the morning paper on my commute route at Dandy's in 
Slaterville Springs almost every morning. About two weeks ago I parked 
in the northwest corner of the lot and heard/saw a flock of Blue Jays 
mobbing the empty entrance to a tree cavity. I have checked the cavity 
every morning since then. On two of the ~3 mornings with bright sun and 
little wind (We haven't had many of those recently) a grey phase Screech 
Owl has been filling up the cavity opening. The hole is about 4 m higher 
and about 10 m to the westnorthwest of a parking lot lamp post in the 
northwest side of the lot. It takes about 30 seconds to drive by and 
check if he is filling up the hole with fluffy feathers, closed eyes, 
and little ear tufts.

Enjoy,

John Confer

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--attachment: confer.vcf

[cayugabirds-l] SNOW HELP-Please

2014-01-27 Thread John Confer
About a month ago the instructor for the IC course in Conservation 
Biology asked me if I would lead a Sat. extra activity trip to look for 
SNOW for students in the class . I said yes and we talked about the 
biggest invasion in 20-40 years. I may have given the impression that 
SNOW were everywhere and that we could see several, or at least that was 
how the conversation was received. Then the announcement to the students 
raised the expectation that SNOW were dripping from the trees, or at 
least that the students should expect to see some.

So, yesterday I went north up Indian Field Rd. to Poplar Ridge and west 
on Poplar Ridge to Corey Rd.,  the next road parallel to Indian Field, 
and south on Corey Rd. south on it to Rt. 90 and back to Indian Field 
Rd. and up it again, and then east on Poplar Ridge to Rt. 34 and then 
west on Poplar Ridge to Aurura and up to Farley's Point to look for SNOW 
on the ice edge in 20 degree temp with 25 mph winds, which I tired but 
without real conviction.
And then back to Long Point Winery where I found two birders in a car at 
4:50 who said they had seen 3 Short-eared Owls. However, the owls did 
not reappear from then to 6:00 when I left.

All in all, the only raptor I saw was one Red-tailed Hawk and the 
Screech Owl at Dandy's in Slaterville in the morning.

I don't look forward to being apologetic to students, but most 
importantly the students are going to miss an exciting opportunity if I 
can't show them a SNOW and SEOW on this coming Sat afternoon leaving at 
2:00 in the afternoon. People have reorted SNOW moving around, but I 
would really like to know about a potentially sedentary SNOW.

HELP: If you find a potentially, sedentary SNOW this week, could you 
email me at con...@ithaca.edu or the listserve if you prefer. If you see 
a SNOW on Sat morning, would you be kind enough to call my cell hone at 
607-229-5952 before we leave at 2:00 or even later for birds that are 
near the east side of the lake where we will be driving. I'd really like 
to show the students a SNOW and maybe even a SEOW. I think it could be a 
significant experience for students in the class.

Cheers,

John Confer

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[cayugabirds-l] Digiscoping Adapter for smartphones - homemade pocket version

2014-01-27 Thread tigger64
This one is pocketable and uses about $2 in Home Depot parts.  Requires 
cutting, bending, drilling, plus tweaking to match eyepiece and phone.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22183060@N08/sets/72157640220964506/

David Wheeler
N. Syracuse, NY
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[cayugabirds-l] Syracuse RBA

2014-01-27 Thread Joseph Brin
RBA
 
*  New York
*  Syracuse
* January 27, 2014
*  NYSY  01. 27. 14
 
Hotline: Syracuse Rare bird Alert
Dates(s):

January 20, 2013 - January 27, 2014
to report by e-mail: brinjoseph AT yahoo.com
covering upstate NY counties: Cayuga, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
and Montezuma Wetlands Complex (MWC) (just outside Cayuga County),
Onondaga, Oswego, Lewis, Jefferson, Oneida, Herkimer,  Madison  Cortland
compiled:January 27 AT 6:30 p.m. (EST)
compiler: Joseph Brin
Onondaga Audubon Homepage: www.onondagaaudubon.org
 
 
#379 Monday January 27, 2014
 
Greetings. This is the Syracuse Area Rare Bird Alert for the week of 
January 20, 2014
 
Highlights:
---

GREEN-WING TEAL
KING EIDER
TURKEY VULTURE
GLAUCOUS GULL
ICELAND GULL
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL
SNOWY OWL
SAW-WHET OWL
SHORT-EARED OWL
BOHEMIAN WAXWING
LAPLAND LONGSPUR



Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) and Montezuma Wetlands Complex (MWC)


     No reports this week.


Onondaga County


     1/21: A SNOWY OWL was found on Hayes Road south of Rt.370 east of 
Baldwinsville.
     1/22: A GREEN-WINGED TEAL was seen in the feeder canal on Andrews Road in 
Dewitt. The SAW-WHET OWL was seen again on the Bog Trail at Beaver Lake Nature 
Center west of Baldwinsville. A SNOWY OWL was seen at Hancock Airport.
     1/24: An ICELAND GULL was seen at Mercer Park in Baldwinsville.
     1/25: A TURKEY VULTURE was seen at Green Lakes State Park. 8 ICELAND GULLS 
and 2 GLAUCOUS GULLS were found at the Inner Harbor near Carousel Center.
     1/26: A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen at the Inner Harbor.


Oswego County


     1/24: A female KING EIDER was again seen near the mouth of the Oswego 
River in Oswego.
     1/27: A group of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS was heard in Constantia.


Oneida county


     1/24: A SHORT-EARED OWL was seen at the intersection of Rt. 31 and Miller 
Road in Durhamville.


Herkimer County


     1/21: A SNOWY OWL continues near Barto Hill north of Middleville.


Madison County


     1/21: 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS were found on Strain Road near Munnsville. 7 
ICELAND GULLS were seen at the Madison County Landfill.
     1/22: A SNOWY OWL was seen near the Fenner Wind Farm.


--  end report



Joseph Brin
Region 5
Baldwinsville, N.Y.  13027  U.S.A.
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] lake ice waterfowl

2014-01-27 Thread Dave Nutter
I don't know what possessed me to suggest the lake might freeze over when there's a gap of some 30 miles. Still, the ice I saw yesterday was not merely over 3 or 5 feet of water, it may have been 30 to 50 feet deep. Today around mid-day I happened to drive NYS-89, after the west wind had been blowing several hours. The ice edge had eroded back from about #967 to about #911, and later I saw that the cluster of pilings was once again in open water, unlike yesterday. I expected some destruction, but maybe it won't be completely to the shallows, and with the next cold, as soon as there's calm, the ice may extend even farther. --Dave NutterOn Jan 27, 2014, at 10:05 AM, Donna Scott dls...@me.com wrote:Not a chance the whole lake will freeze over, Dave.No ice at all up here where it is 460 feet deep. 1 1/2 weeks ago water near shore was 39 degrees.It freezes only at the shallow ends and areas adjacent, usually.A little raft of Redheads, Ring Necks, swimming, diving here. Accompanied by some Mallards.Birding from my kitchen window on this wild, windy day seems good.Sent from my iPhoneDonna ScottOn Jan 26, 2014, at 11:02 PM, Dave Nutter nutter.d...@me.com wrote:I don't know what possessed me to walk to the lake again today, having walked both to East Shore Park and past Treman to the lake yesterday. Anyway, the ice has grown considerably, extending about 3/4 of a mile from the land at Treman's lakeshore, so today's walk was longer than I expected. I did get fine views of ducks from between houses at about #967 Taughannock Blvd, including White-winged Scoters close to shore, plus all the Mergansers, all the (usual) Aythya, and Common Goldeneyes. The few Long-tailed Ducks I saw were diving next to the ice edge in the middle of the lake. I also saw Canada Geese, the usual 3 gull species, and an immature Bald Eagle on the ice. I wasn't able to scan the whole lake and saw no grebes, loons, or coots. The only Anas I saw was a single male Mallard flying over Inlet Island. With serious cold expected to return and continue for awhile, and the ice shelf already so big, I wonder how far it will grow, or if this could even be a rare year that the lake freezes over. --Dave Nutter--Cayugabirds-L List Info:Welcome and BasicsRules and InformationSubscribe, Configuration and LeaveArchives:The Mail ArchiveSurfbirdsBirdingOnThe.NetPlease submit your observations to eBird!--
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