RE: [cayugabirds-l] Fluorescent green,, black

2022-05-10 Thread Leo Thomas Sack
Hi Anne Marie,

What a strange mystery! Wild guess here… Any chance you might have seen a Tree 
Swallow? I know it 
doesn’t seem to match the description: white belly and iridescent blue head, 
back and wings, which sounds nothing at all like fluorescent green wings and a 
black body, right? But those iridescent feathers can do crazy color-changing 
tricks when seen in the right light or from the right angle. If you look at the 
iridescent feathers from the side, 
they can look matte black. See them straight-on, especially in bright light, 
and they can flash brilliantly in various shades of 
blue or 
green.

The Tree Swallow is certainly a small, cigar-shaped bird (“cigar-shaped” always 
makes me think of swallows and swifts), a very fast flier, and likely to be 
seen flying over a yard near riparian habitat. Often seen catching insects in 
flight over lawns or meadows, but they nest near water. Similar in size to a 
sparrow or warbler.

We have them nesting in nest boxes in Sapsucker Woods, close to the parking 
lot, if you want to come see and compare.

Hope that helps. If that’s not it, I can’t think what else it could have been! 
Anyone else out there have ideas?

Best,
Leo

-- 
Leo Sack
Public Programs Assistant
Visitor Center & Adelson Library
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
607-254-2165
lt...@cornell.edu
birds.cornell.edu/home/visit


From: bounce-126539648-83239...@list.cornell.edu 
 On Behalf Of Anne Marie Sheridan
Sent: Sunday, May 8, 2022 4:08 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Fluorescent green,, black

Help me understand what I saw? Freeville, small, (cigar shaped?), wing 
fluorescent green (a hair down from that towards chartreuse on the spectrum) 
black body. Flew fast across a yard into riparian woods. I thought it was some 
warbler, hummingbird I never learned, but I see nothing in the guides. Is there 
a large butterfly or moth that could have thrown me? I’m really confused. 
Thanks.


Anne Marie Sheridan ’98

Assistant to Senior Associate Dean Beth Ahner

Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

269 Roberts Hall

Ithaca, NY 14853



phone: 607 255 4677

fax: 607 254 4690

am...@cornell.edu


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RE:[cayugabirds-l] Binoculars - reasonably priced?

2021-12-16 Thread Leo Thomas Sack
Hi Kathleen,

Disclaimer -- The following is my own personal opinion, and not intended to 
represent endorsement by any group or organization.

I've given Wingspan Optics FieldView 8x32's as gifts to multiple people, who 
love them. They've gone up in price, from $60 a couple years ago to $80 on 
Amazon today: 
https://www.amazon.com/Wingspan-Optics-Spectator-Binoculars-Lightweight/dp/B01AHC6IZG/
  They're smaller than the 8x42 size preferred by many, but my wife and my mom 
both wanted something lightweight, which these are. I've also used them myself 
and compared them to several other more expensive options. My opinion as both a 
birder and an educator, these are great for a beginner, or anyone else.

My only other suggestion is to steer clear of Celestron brand. Whether it's 
binoculars, microscopes, or telescopes, Celestron has a consistent pattern: 
Their expensive high-end stuff is very good, but anything they offer on the 
lower end of the price range is usually cheaply made, difficult to use, and 
prone to breaking very easily. That's why most of the binoculars in the Lab's 
Visitor Center (all $100 Celestrons) are broken. Their optical quality was once 
highly reviewed by the Lab, but reviewers tend to only look briefly through a 
brand-new pair and not consider durability.

Don't let anyone push you to spend a lot of money. It really, really isn't 
necessary to spend much more than $100, and you can get away with less. I know 
many on this list will say otherwise, or share review articles that push 
expensive stuff. I've heard multiple esteemed ornithologists tell people to 
never spend under $300. I respectfully but very strongly disagree, AND I think 
such advice hurts our ability to recruit new birders, especially from 
working-class backgrounds. We should probably all have a community conversation 
about that issue sometime!

Best,
Leo

-Original Message-
From: bounce-126152155-83239...@list.cornell.edu 
 On Behalf Of Kathleen P Kramer
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 11:13 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Binoculars - reasonably priced?

Hello,

I hope this is an acceptable message for this ListServ. Can anyone suggest 
reasonably priced binoculars for a beginning birder? I’m taking a chance that 
the recipient will even pursue birding and I also know that “bad” binoculars 
can discourage a beginner. So I’d really appreciate a couple of suggestions!

Many thanks,
Kathleen Kramer




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RE: [cayugabirds-l] New Mexico mass mortality

2020-09-23 Thread Leo Thomas Sack
In case this hasn’t been mentioned yet, BirdCast has a short but well-written 
news article on the mass mortality, with links to further reading. It was 
published a few days ago on Sept. 18: 
https://birdcast.info/news/mass-mortality-in-the-southern-rockies-smoke-climate-change-and-bird-migration/

-- 
Leo Sack
Public Programs Assistant
Visitor Center & Adelson Library
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
birds.cornell.edu/home/visit



From: bounce-124972305-83239...@list.cornell.edu 
 On Behalf Of Tom Schulenberg
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 3:20 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] New Mexico mass mortality



I just learned of the mass mortality of migrating birds in New Mexico.  I read 
a CNN report.  Is there any new information on the cause?  They’re talking 
hundreds of thousands, even millions.

here's one well-researched suggestion:

https://www.aba.org/the-data-behind-mysterious-bird-deaths-in-new-mexico/

tss

--
Thomas S. Schulenberg
Research Associate
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca  NY  14850
http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/home
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist

voice:  [moot now: working from home during covid lockdown]
email:  ts...@cornell.edu, 
tschulenb...@gmail.com
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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Spotting scope question

2020-04-28 Thread Leo Thomas Sack
A slightly different perspective:

I have two spotting scopes, one straight and one angled… on two tripods, one 
sturdy and tall and one shorter but very light-weight and easy to carry. I use 
both scopes and both tripods regularly.


  *   Which is better definitely depends on your personal needs and how you 
prefer to use it! If I’m birding by myself and not walking far, on a super 
windy day, I’ll use the straight scope on the tall sturdy tripod. If I’m 
sharing with others who are not my height, then I use the angled scope. If I’m 
walking far, I use my very light-weight tripod so I can carry it easily, plus 
the angled scope because it’s easier to use with a shorter tripod. I’ve added a 
shoulder strap to my light-weight tripod and enjoy carrying it and my angled 
scope on multiple-mile hikes.



  *   I don’t have a lot of money to spend. Yet I’ve bought 2 scopes and 2 
tripods within a couple years, and plan to buy more soon just to have extras to 
teach with. How? I bought inexpensive models, $60-$75 per scope and $50-$100 
per tripod. Are they as good as the $1,000+ scopes that I know some of you own? 
No. Do they work well enough for me successfully ID and enjoy watching birds 
that are way too distant for my binoculars? Yes, absolutely! And, when I 
started with a straight and then decided I wanted an angled, I didn’t feel 
stuck with my first purchase forever.


Before moving to NY, I used to teach astronomy. When asked about choosing an 
astronomical telescope, the advice that I and fellow astronomers always gave 
was this:


  *   Start by looking through a variety of other people’s scopes, and borrow a 
couple “loaners” to learn what you like before you buy. (Most astro clubs have 
loaner scopes – why don’t bird clubs???)



  *   Your first purchase should be usable quality but not outrageously 
expensive, so you’re not stuck with it if you decide it’s not the right scope 
for you. Upgrade when you’re ready. (With astro telescopes, there *IS* such a 
thing as too cheap to be “usable quality,” and we had to give guidance on that. 
With birding optics, I’ve intentionally looked for this lower limit, and have 
*NOT* found it yet!)



  *   The “right scope for you” is the one you’ll want to use most often. If it 
has incredible power and quality but you rarely touch it because it’s too 
heavy, too difficult to use, or otherwise doesn’t meet your personal needs and 
interests, then it’s the wrong scope for you no matter how “good” it is!

Cheers,
Leo

From: bounce-124588382-83239...@list.cornell.edu 
 On Behalf Of Jody Enck
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2020 2:07 PM
To: Kevin J. McGowan 
Cc: Lynn Bergmeyer ; Peter Saracino 
; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Spotting scope question

Great advice from everyone!
I can't emphasize enough to practice, practice, practice with your scope.  Your 
enjoyment level will go up by leaps and bounds.
It's a bit like buying a musical instrument.  I've seen people by expensive 
instruments, but they don't know how to use them effectively.
I'll second what Kevin said about turning the angled scope on it's side.  I 
don't have one, so I can't do that.  But, I have seen plenty of folks use it 
that way for various reasons (not just to make it easier for a shorter-than-you 
person to see through your scope).  Because I don't have an angled scope, I 
don't know how folks with one have suffered.  But I can tell you as a 10+ year 
owner of a straight scope that I have suffered mightily from that 
configuration, and would trade it away in a heartbeat.
I suppose they have their purpose, but not for the kind of birding I like to do.

Have fun!


Jody W. Enck, PhD
Conservation Social Scientist, and
Founder of the Sister Bird Club Network
607-379-5940


On Tue, Apr 28, 2020 at 1:55 PM Kevin J. McGowan 
mailto:k...@cornell.edu>> wrote:
I use an angled scope from my car all the time. You just have to rotate the 
barrel so the eyepiece is pointing to the side. When scanning, you’re going to 
have to rotate it to the opposite side at one point, and you might also have to 
move the mount to another part of the window. You can even cover a much greater 
horizon than with a straight scope. You just have to get used to it.

Kevin McGowan


From: 
bounce-124588328-3493...@list.cornell.edu
 
mailto:bounce-124588328-3493...@list.cornell.edu>>
 On Behalf Of Lynn Bergmeyer
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2020 1:45 PM
To: Peter Saracino mailto:petersarac...@gmail.com>>
Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
mailto:cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>>
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Spotting scope question

This is probably a ridiculous question but does anyone have an idea of anything 
out there for using angled scope within a vehicle?  Its not impossible from an 
engineering perspective but don't think any company has pursued for obvious 
reasons

On Mon, Apr 27, 2020, 8:45 PM Peter Saracino 
mailto:petersarac...@gmail.com>> wrote:
Hi folks. I'm in the market 

[cayugabirds-l] Cornell Lab call for KDT volunteers

2019-01-30 Thread Leo Thomas Sack
Calling all bird education enthusiasts!



The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is seeking volunteers to assist with this year’s 
Kids Discover the Trail! 5th grade school field trips, better known as KDT. 
This is an intense spring-only burst of educational programming, with about 600 
students and teachers visiting the Cornell Lab in a 6-week period. We need your 
help to engage them all! KDT volunteers lead walks and biodiversity surveys in 
Sapsucker Woods in the mornings, and/or facilitate activity stations in the 
visitor center after lunch.



You do not have to be an expert birder to participate. The theme is 
biodiversity and citizen science – helping 5th graders to identify species and 
collect data for themselves. Plus, we’ll train you! We will have 4 training 
sessions in April and early May, followed by the actual programs in May and the 
first half of June. New volunteers start by shadowing experienced leaders. You 
can sign up for the program dates that best fit your availability.



Please contact Leo Sack off-list at lt...@cornell.edu 
or 607-254-2165 if you are interested in volunteering for KDT.

Thanks,

Leo



-- 

Leo Sack

KDT! Educator

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

607-254-2165

lt...@cornell.edu

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