[cayugabirds-l] Invitation to participate in perceptual expertise study

2021-01-11 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Hi all,

Last month I was contacted by Jim Tanaka, a professor in the Cognition
and Brain Sciences program in the Psychology Department at the
University of Victoria. His research focuses on visual expertise and
perceptual experts, and he is currently working on a project to
compare the identification strategies of expert birdwatchers in the
New York area to the strategies of birdwatchers from the United
Kingdom. In this study, New York and UK bird experts will view
passerines from New York and the UK regions and judge their
similarities. Some of you heard him describe his project at the end of
today's Cayuga Bird Club webinar.

If you are interested in participating, see the information below.

Suan

---

Psychology Experiment
Expert Birders Needed

Experiment URL: https://psiz.org/collect/birds-region
Time Commitment: ~30 minutes

What is this study about?

The purpose of this study is to examine the underlying cognitive
mechanisms of visual bird identification. To probe cognition, we are
collecting visual similarity judgments from expert birders living in
the New York area and the United Kingdom. Visual similarity judgments
are powerful because they allow us to better understand how birding
strategies differ across regions.


What is the task?

Your task is to judge the visual similarity of passerines found in the
New York area and the UK. Each session takes approximately 30 minutes
and is composed of roughly 100 different trials. Each trial contains a
grid of nine images. You must select the two images that you consider
most similar to the center image. When you make your selections you
will also indicate which image you believe is most similar and second
most similar. The trials will vary in difficulty. The beginning of the
session includes a brief survey of your birding experience.


How do I participate?

Thank you for your interest!
Please send an email to proxybir...@gmail.com with the subject line
”Expert Participant Code” and your name in the email body. We will
send you a unique participant code.
Once you have your participant code, go to https://psiz.org/collect/birds-region
and follow the instructions.


Can I participate more than once?

Yes! Every session has a different set of trials. We hope that you
find the task interesting and participate multiple times. Just open
the experiment in a new browser tab and reuse your participant code.
You will not need to complete the survey a second time.


Who is conducting this research?

This study is being conducted by Victoria Philibert (University of
Toronto), Dr. Brett Roads (University College of London), Dr. Chris
Kanan (Rochester Institute of Technology) and Dr. James Tanaka
(University of Victoria). If you have questions about this study, you
may contact Dr. Tanaka by telephone (250-721-7541) or e-mail
(jtan...@uvic.ca).

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Dryden Lake may be in danger

2021-01-11 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Has this been reported in any of the local presses? That might be a
good place to start increasing awareness.
More generally, I'm not finding any web presence at all describing
this issue with any authority.

Are the homeowners along the lakeshore and nearby aware of this? They
would seem most likely to be directly impacted, and most motivated to
actively do something about it.

Suan


On Fri, Jan 8, 2021 at 3:18 PM Bard Prentiss  wrote:
>
>   The Dryden Lake that we know and love is in serious danger of reverting to
>
> its primitive original form as a shallow pond.
>
>   The dam is beginning to leak a bit and its current owner NYS DEC
>
>  may not wish to spend the money for a proper replacement of concrete
>
> nor are they interested in repairing and maintaining the current dam.
>
> The town is also resistant to assuming the costs and responsibility for
>
> either idea, although there has been a dam there since the late1700s.
>
>   It is unlikely given the way things happen these days that the dam will
>
> be allowed to just rot away. It will probably have to be destroyed soon,
>
> for liability reasons, and the lake drained to primitive levels.
>
>   Such action would dramatically effect the lives of persons throughout the
>
> region. The lake would, in effect, become relatively useless to its current
>
> large, diverse crop of users. It would have little appeal to the large number
>
> of boaters currently dotting its waters throughout the warmer
>
> months. Its shallow nature would limit the species of fish that
>
> could live there to pan fish.
>
>   The current Dryden Lake Park would be difficult to justify and the trail
>
> would have little relationship to the remaining pond.
>
>  The current lake’s great value to birders and naturalists
>
> would be seriously reduced.
>
>   The lake attracts thousands of visitors yearly
>
> for all the activities mentioned above as well as for public gatherings,
>
> picnicking and relaxing.
>
>   The loss of the lake would have a major economic impact on the region.
>
> It would be truly serious for the area to loose Dryden Lake.
>
> We can’t let it happen!
>
> Attached is a resolution by the Town of Dryden
>
> Conservation Board.
>
>   To strengthen the case for keeping a dam individuals might write to
>
> the NYSDEC Region 7, Fisher Ave, Cortland, N Y 13045 and the
>
> Dryden Town Board, 93 E Main St. Dryden, N Y 13053 expressing
>
> the importance of the lake to them personally.
>
>   PS: Feel free to post this any where it might further spread the word.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Future of Lott Farm & Basin Upland Sandpipers?

2021-01-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
As Cayuga Bird Club president, I'll bring this up for discussion at
our next executive committee meeting. It sounds like engaging with the
Lotts might be a good first step. Meanwhile, if anyone wants to play
an active role in pursuing this further, perhaps with the backing of
the bird club, let me know.

Suan


On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 7:38 AM Robert Horn  wrote:
>
> I agree that contacting the Finger Lakes Land Trust could be beneficial. They 
> certainly are experts in land conservation. Bob Horn
>
> On Jan 10, 2021, at 6:26 AM, John Gregoire  
> wrote:
>
> Dave,
> The state has a strong farmland trust which greatly benefit the owner in cash 
> which is in exchange for keeping it farmland. I have no further detail/
> John
>
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 8:17 PM Dave Nutter  wrote:
>>
>> As many of you know, the private Lott Farm, located on the NE corner of 
>> NYS-414 and Martin Rd on the south border of the Town of Seneca Falls, has 
>> long been the site for the August farm equipment fair called Empire Farm 
>> Days. Therefore it has fortuitously been managed as an extensive grassland. 
>> It is the only remaining breeding site in the Cayuga Lake Basin for Upland 
>> Sandpipers (They bred between Wood Rd & Caswell Rd in Dryden years ago, 
>> before a few houses went in there.) as well as a great place for many other 
>> breeding grassland birds, the occasional rare Dickcissel, plus fairly 
>> regular Snowy Owls in winter. Furthermore, the owner has been gracious in 
>> granting access, without charging any fee, to birders who simply request 
>> permission, describe their vehicle, and agree to remain on the gravel roads.
>>
>> In talking to Reuben Stoltzfus this evening I learned that we cannot take 
>> for granted the situation which had simply been the result of good luck and 
>> generosity. This past year, the Empire State Farm Days event did not take 
>> place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But also the event is now under new 
>> management who have chosen a different site for the future. This means that 
>> whatever profit and benefit which the Lott Farm gained from that event is 
>> gone. And they never got any benefit except good will from us birders.
>>
>> While Reuben has not talked to the farm owner and did not know of any plans 
>> for this land which had been managed as grassland, I think it’s safe to 
>> assume that there is a strong incentive for the owner to find some use which 
>> will pay the taxes or turn a profit, and that grassland bird habitat may not 
>> be in the picture unless action is taken quickly to encourage future 
>> management to allow these birds to continue, before decisions are made  - if 
>> they have not been finalized already - for the plowing or construction 
>> season this spring.
>>
>> Is this something about which local bird clubs would want to work with the 
>> owner of Lott farm? Are there DEC programs which can reimburse landowners 
>> for maintaining such habitat? Would bird clubs want to help more directly? 
>> Would birders be willing to pay a small fee for the privilege of birding 
>> there or to become members of some organization for the pride of knowing 
>> they are helping some regionally rare birds survive where we can sometimes 
>> see them?
>>
>> These are just some ideas based on very limited information. I know there 
>> are people reading this who are far better than I am at organizing, 
>> networking, researching, and promoting these things. Please think about it, 
>> discuss it, and help ensure that come mid-April the Upland Sandpipers have a 
>> home to return to. Thanks.
>>
>> - - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Hoster-Stahl Gyrfalcon Video

2020-12-20 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Yesterday morning I drove up to Hoster Road through the most beautiful
hoary landscape, arrived to see the gyrfalcon fly from the
northernmost rock pile to the lone tree east of Hoster Road, as close
to the bird as I'd yet gotten. It eventually took off and flew around
back to the eastern edge of the big rock pile, looking like some rocky
mountain crags with the snow cover. There it sat for a good while
quite close to the road giving great looks before taking off ENE
towards the first houss on Stahl Road. There Dave (I think) pointed me
to the post it was sitting on just past the house, and yielded me the
opportunity to slowly drive up to it very close, where it did not seem
to mind my presence. I watched it look around, get buzzed by a fly-by
Northern Harrier, and shortly after setting up to take video caught it
taking off to the field to the north where it harassed a handful of
Canada Geese before flying off to the east.

Here's the video of the gyrfalcon, taking off in regular and 1/4-speed
slow motion.

  https://youtu.be/sqV60s5K7tY

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] CBC Zoom Social Hour

2020-12-04 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Starting next week, on the first Monday of each month, Cayuga Bird
Club will be hosting a Zoom Social Hour. This will be a Zoom meeting
where everyone can speak, see each other's faces and just chat
informally. Please join us for our first social hour on December 7 at
7:30 pm.

Register: https://tinyurl.com/cbc202012social

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Sunday Sandhill Cranes

2020-12-02 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Here's a video I took of the Sandhill Cranes from the Montezuma
Visitor Center last Sunday morning (some of you will have seen this on
Facebook):

  https://youtu.be/U8kAPslmkWE

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Shackham Red Crossbills

2020-11-23 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Here's a video I took on Saturday of the red crossbill flock at the
corner of Shackham and Morgan Hill Roads.

  https://youtu.be/HJ3KyhCsoxQ

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Fwd: Dryden Lake dam removal

2020-11-21 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Hi all,

-- Begin Forwarded message -

This is a head’s up that the Dryden Conservation Board is considering
removing the dam at Dryden Lake. It’s leaking and needs to be
repaired/replaced. Somebody said they should just take it out and
“free the rivers,” and it’s being considered.

There has been a dam there since the early 1700s, and removing it
would cause major environmental disruption, it seems to me. Pro-dam
people are looking for opinions from the local community that uses the
lake, and I’m sure they would welcome something from the Bird Club
about how important it is to birds and birders.

I don’t have time to say more or talk about this today, but I wanted
to get people aware. The Conservation Board meets next Tuesday. We
could get a letter read or even have someone speak if we wanted to
take a side.

Best,

Kevin

-- End Forwarded message -

At this point I have no further information. If anyone thinks this
warrants a coordinated effort, and wants to do the legwork under the
aegis of the Cayuga Bird Club, let me know.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] LOON MIGRATION ALERT

2020-11-12 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
At Taughannock this morning 11 loon watchers showed up without prior
arrangement. I arrived just before sunrise (6:53am):

6:53-7:08 : 10 southbound 1 northbound 10 on water
7:08-7:23 : 56 southbound 5 northbound
7:23-7:38 : 9 southbound 1 northbound 11 on water
7:38-7:53 : 7 southbound 1 northbound
7:53-8:08 : 11 southbound 5 on water
8:08-8:23 : 14 southbound 6 northbound
8:23-8:38 : 49 southbound 8 northbound or circled north

The first wave were almost all low (slightly above treeline at the
highest) and following Cayuga's South-easterly trajectory.
The gap felt longer than we'd hoped.
The second wave were mostly high-flying dots, a good number heading
directly overhead or south-westerly perhaps towards Watkins Glen, fun
challenge to pick them out amid the flock of ring-billed gulls that
decided to kettle high in our northwest sky for some reason.

Good fun with the gathered crowds. Thanks especially to eagle-eyed
Aaron visiting from Colorado who was especially good at spotting
faraway birds.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Cooper's Hawk

2020-10-09 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On my evening jog I came upon a Cooper's Hawk in the middle of Terrace
View Drive. I initially felt bad when I flushed it carrying a prey to
a nearby tree, but soon a car came by which would no doubt have
flushed it anyways. Must have been just freshly caught. Prey looked
dark and biggish, likely a starling.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] GH Owl Singing

2020-10-05 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
A Great Horned Owl was singing this evening at Six-Mile Creek,
repeating the classic sequence of hoots starting around 7pm from the
hills south of the second dam reservoir. Let the courting begin, I
suppose.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] 62293329826__69A47249-B827-47B1-B6A0-0AE4740529C1.jpeg

2020-09-27 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 5:04 PM Jgaffne2 wrote:
>
> Can anyone help me with this one?

Raptor with a facial disk like an owl but clearly not an owl: that
would be the Northern Harrier.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Phalarope off Stewart Park

2020-09-14 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Pat Martin wrote:
> Did you see it well enough to ID it to species?

No, I'm not too unfamiliar with their fall plumage, or with
distinguishing them in general, honestly.
Checking Sibley's now, the thing that made me think peep was the
stripe down its wings during flight, which looks like Red-Necked or
Red and not Wilson's.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Spring Bird Videos

2020-07-14 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
So this spring I started dabbling in the annoyingly time-consuming art of
bird videos instead of just photos. I've uploaded a selection to this
YouTube playlist. Enjoy!

  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL82kt6INyDLjPuX_6Xyw4IvAk3PbiWBv-

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Magnolia Cuckoos @ Park South

2020-07-05 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Somehow I hadn't visited Park Preserve this spring, so I went this morning
around 8am, not as early as I'd hoped. I was halfway surprised that the
parking lot was empty, but figured everyone probably stayed up late for
fireworks or whatever.

Magnolia Warblers seemed to be singing from all directions at the last
meadow of the main straightaway before the trail forks -- I don't remember
this place having so many Magnolias. Perhaps some are young'uns? I had
distant looks at one bird with a mourning-looking dark-head yellow-belly
configuration which I think was one of the magnolias in transitioning
plumage perhaps. A field sparrow was also hanging out in that area,
behaving like it has a nest at the base of the spruces.

Before long some yellow-billed cuckoos started cackling and coo-ing from
hidden treetops, only seen briefly as one flew overhead (not over a
cuckoo's nest, I don't think :-D), too quick for photo or definitive ID,
which I'm making based on the singular coo-ing.

Also saw a pair of indigo buntings, the female flying into the bush right
by the trail then upon seeing me acting rather agitated, possibly because
that bush hosted its nest. Its mate soon appeared and flew nearby to check
me out.

At the entrance was a silent empid-looking bird with a slight yellowish
wash on its belly and non-pumping tail. It wouldn't cooperate with my
camera, however, so no shots. There was some chasing during which I thought
I heard the pip of an alder flycatcher.

Only upon leaving did I hear a prairie warbler sing.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Migratory Bird Teaty Act

2020-06-16 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Lynn Bergmeyer wrote:

> I'm all for leaving the nest alone is best. I do have a question though.
> I thought house finches were non native?
>

House finches are native to the west, and were introduced to the east where
they have established themselves.
Since they're still a native of North America, they are covered under the
MBTA.

Suan

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Shindagin "Bittern"

2020-06-07 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Videos from Shindagin Hollow yesterday:

  Canada Warbler: https://youtu.be/GPuy91ZZhts
  Mourning Warbler: https://youtu.be/gxwW9fmE_kk

The mourning warbler was singing an interesting song ending with a loud
"chap chap chap", reminiscent (to me) of Northern Waterthrush.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Murder most Fowl - Saturday 5/30

2020-06-01 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Would any local facility be willing to do a necropsy if someone were
willing to retrieve the bodies?

Suan

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 8:29 AM Gary Kohlenberg  wrote:

> Thanks John and Sue,
>
> What would the likelihood of botulism be in your opinion? The issues MNWR
> had were some years ago and I don’t know how prevalent it is.
>
> Gary
>
> On Jun 1, 2020, at 6:37 AM, "k...@empireaccess.net" 
> wrote:
>
> 
>
> You folks know that area and the ducks but, as most ducks sleep on the
> water, the idea of a terrestrial predator doesn't fly. Snappers may scoop
> up numerous ducklings and goslings and can attack an adult but not several.
> I wouldn't put away the human possibility.
> John
> ---
> John and Sue Gregoire
> 5373 Fitzgerald Rd
> Burdett, NY 14818-9626
> "Conserve and Create Habitat"
> N 42.44307 W 76.75784
>
> On 2020-05-31 20:26, John and Fritzie Blizzard wrote:
>
> Are any of you considering a night-time attack when the ducks would have
> been asleep & not aware of danger from owl or weasel? I agree with Chris.
>
> Fritzie Bllizzard
>
> On May 31, 2020, at 11:53 AM, Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes
>   wrote:
>
>  Just throwing this out there as another possibility: weasel or ferret.
>
> This is, as I understand it, classic kill method used by these Mustelids.
> They’ve been know to kill off an entire flock of chickens in a night,
> severing heads with minimal disruption to the rest of the body.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Sincerely,
> Chris T-H
>
>
>
>
>
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[cayugabirds-l] Lockdown Birding

2020-05-30 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Hi all,

For the Cayuga Bird Club's next newsletter, I thought it might be
interesting to collect people's perspectives on birding during the lockdown
(and during the strange weather we've had in May). A short paragraph or
even a single sentence per person could be interesting. Anything is
welcome, from notable feeder sightings, to birds I may not have seen were
it not for the lockdown, to the busier-than-normal state of birding
hotspots. A simple account that may feel uninteresting today could be
insightful to a reader in 20 years looking back to see "what it was like
during the lockdown", even an account like "nothing changed for me, really".

Please send me any such contributions off-list by tomorrow evening (Sunday,
6pm). Yes that leaves only a day and a half. Yes I'm a procrastinator. No I
haven't done my taxes :-). Let me know if you want your contribution to be
anonymous (or use a pseudonym), e.g., if you want to mention a furlough or
unemployment circumstance.

Thanks.

Suan Yong
Editor, Cayuga Bird Club Newsetter

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Hawthorn, with Sound ID Question

2020-05-19 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
A few people were curious to know which bird made the repeated "mip" call
from Hawthorn Orchard I recorded and posted last week:

  http://suan-yong.com/sound/2020-05-15-hawthorn-mips-3.wav

Although some have suggested merlin and sharp-shinned, which both
definitely do a form of that repetition (along with several other raptors),
I concur with Chris and Wee Hao who both said it was -- a Blue Jay. I kinda
suspected blue jay, as they were certainly around, but thought the
unchanging consistency of the call to be uncharacteristic of blue jays, who
in my experience seem to always want to switch back to one of their other
favorite vocalizations. I wonder whether it's a nesting-related
vocalization.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] OOB Cayuta Bittern (etc)

2020-05-16 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Decided to drive down to Greensprings and Arnot Forest this morning
(pretending SFO was still happening, I guess). The upper part had the usual
suspects (Bobolink, Blackburnian, Ovenbirds too shy to pose for video,
Towhees, Black-Throated Greens and Blues, Black and White). At the bottom,
things felt quiet as I drove until I saw a Blue-Headed Vireo foraging at
eye-level right next to the road, soon joined by a female Blackburnian. I
ended up standing there for a good hour watching Blackburnians chase each
other, Black-Throated Blue Warbler and Blue-Headed Vireo, some Canada
Warblers singing loudly above but never showing themselves, and a
Bay-Breasted Warbler at eye level but too brief for a photo. A pretty fun
morning, but as I was receiving notifications of Golden-Winged Warblers in
Ithaca (a bird I haven't seen yet, although I've seen two Lawrence's), I
wondered whether I should've stayed closer to home.

I drove over to Cayuta Lake to paddle up the inlet, having to get past four
beaver dams before reaching the foot bridge I couldn't get under. Notable
sounds include Yellow-Throated Vireo and Northern Waterthrush. A silent
little gray-brown bird turned out to be a Marsh Wren. Then on a log in the
flooded woods just off the main channel I spied a clear brown heron shape:
an American Bittern! Managed to snap a couple shots as it skulked away into
the tussocks not to be seen again. Back out on the lake an adult Bald Eagle
soared overhead - I think they're nesting somewhere on the east side of the
lake. And in the swamps I caught a brief glimpse of a Wood Duck hen with
some six ducklings trailing behind. Out of nowhere a Northern Waterthrush
flew in loudly and announced itself several times high in the open before
diving down to a possible nest site?

Ended up being a good day.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Hawthorn, with Sound ID Question

2020-05-15 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Walked to the hawthorns and back this morning. Quickly heard and saw a male
scarlet tanager en route on Honness Lane, and later had two in the same
tree along the recway. On a couple occasions they flew to the trunk of the
tree and perched briefly woodpecker style -- too briefly for photos, alas.
Makes me wonder if they're so desparate for food that they're willing to
resort to woodpecker/nutchatch/creeper strategies. Also plenty of orioles
still easy to see in the leafless trees, and many "meeps" from grosbeaks
who, for some reason, haven't been as easy to see (except the one time in a
totally backlit situation).

Missed a huge photo-op with a Brown Thrasher belting out its double songs
at the top of a tree, which first triggered some catbirds below to
reciprocate -- their quieter jumble song was no match -- and then a tiny
dot flew right up next to the thrasher. Grab binoculars: Cape May Warbler!
Grab camera: warbler departs! That would've been an awesome shot! Well, at
least I got my FOY Cape May, having been jealous of everyone else having
seen them already, it seems.

Hawthorn was still mostly devoid of warblers: a yellow, some yellowthroats,
a black-throated green heard from northeast of the softball field. Still
plenty of wood thrushes making whip sounds. A very cooperative
Chestnut-sided Warbler, who was singing there yesterday with a less
cooperative Canada Warbler that never showed itself and soon disappeared,
was seen again today along the recway (next to the two scarlet tanagers).
Also heard Least Flycatcher che-becks for the first time; I'd been seeing
silent empids for a few days, but this was my first confirmation.

One interesting sound was a series of repeated "mip"s, pattern reminiscent
of a falcon, coming from the hawthorn orchard, just south of the main
crossroad in the north with the big apple tree. I had heard this call once
last year, and a few times this year, but the singer seems allergic to
sound recorders, as it would invariably stop calling once I got my phone
out and set up to record... that is, until today. Anyone know what this is?:

  http://suan-yong.com/sound/2020-05-15-hawthorn-mips-3.wav

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Mixed Flock

2020-05-12 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Had my first warbler flock of the season this morning down in Six-Mile
Creek, where I don't often go for warblers (because looking up from the
bottom of a gorge makes warbler necking that much worse, and because I'd
never encountered too many warbler migrants before). The songs included
buzzers (Norther Parula, Black-Throated Blue, and Black-Throated Green),
wheezers (Black-and-white, American Redstarts singing black-and-white), and
a lingering Blue-Headed Vireo. All while a/the Louisiana Waterthrush
continued belting out its loud song from the opposite shore.

Yesterday and last friday I checked out the Hawthorn Orchards and basically
found nada, despite some of the hawthorns flowering. An ovenbird, some wood
thrushes, common yellowthroat, and eastern towhee were the only birds of
note. Has anyone else been there and seen anything? I may try again
tomorrow.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Hairy Woodpeckers

2020-05-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
So last week I found a Hairy Woodpecker nest hole here in Commonland.
It wasn't hard two find, as a pair was constantly and noisily squabbling
around it.
I got some video which I put together and posted on Facebook, link below.
Although some of the behavior is quite clear, others are ambiguous, though
I have some guesses.

To set the stage: A female (F1) is inside the cavity, presumably
incubating, head popping out every now and then. A second female (F2) is
noisily trying to get into the nest, I think, and is chased off by both a
male (M) hanging around, and F1 inside the cavity. Towards the end of the
video, F2 leaves the cavity, and shortly after M enters to take over
incubation duties. After this, F1 and F2 continue the squabbling, though
offstage (away from the nest cavity) and not shown in the video.

Note that a few times F1 and F2 are pecking at each other, seemingly in
aggression. But a couple times F1 and M look to do the same, though it's
unclear whether those are aggressive pecks or perhaps "kisses", and if the
latter, what's the difference between the two? If you've seen woodpeckers
feeding their young, it looks like an aggressive pecking -- it seems to be
what they do.

I also note that M's responses to F2 appear sometimes noncommittal.
Sometimes M will seem to tolerate F2's pestering without obvious response.

Here's the video link:

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10223245304658894

(If you don't have a facebook account, you can clink "Not Now" and still
view the video. Be sure to unmute.)

My hypothesis: could F2 be a youngster from last year still seeking out
Mom's attention?

In any case, happy mother's day!

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Veery

2020-05-05 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
FOY veery in the woods here by Six-Mile Creek, hopping around silently
checking out the large tree that fell over the winter, allowing for a great
unbinoculared view of its spotless front and reddish upperparts. Also FOY
for me Yellow Warbler down near the second dam.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Ovenbird, etc

2020-05-01 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Yesterday while jogging before the storm, I flushed a small bird in the
woods which looked to have the orange crown of an ovenbird, but couldn't be
sure without binoculars. It was near another small bird on the ground
pumping its tail, which I assumed was a Louisiana waterthrush. This morning
I heard my FOY "teacher teacher teacher" song. Also had two brown
thrashers, one singing loudly and proudly while a second seeming to slowly
slink away in reluctant resignation. Two hairy woodpeckers were chasing
each other all over.

Also FOY catbird for me yesterday. And a field sparrow was singing for much
of the day yesterday outside my "office" window.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Of Unleashed Dogs and Waterthrushes

2020-04-26 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Despite the drenching rain today, I did my daily jog.
Around the trails of six-mile creek I passed two groups with dogs.
The first dog came a-leapin' at my thigh, against my wish.
The owners said their sorries as they feigned to tend its leash.

The second dog, also unleashed, was sniffing as it roamed,
an area where a Waterthrush had surveyed for a home.
Meanwhile from way up in the tree the Waterthrush did sing,
O'er heavy rain and rushing creek the melody did ring.
The song seemed more insistent, although I can't be sure,
As if announcing to the world, "hey dog, get outta here!"
Both dog and man soon left the scene, no harm it seems inflicted.
As spring rolls on I hope to see if nesting was affected.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Blue-Headed Vireo

2020-04-24 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Just heard a blue-headed vireo singing quite loudly outside my window. New
yard bird for me, and I guess also office bird (lots of new office birds
for me this past month :-).

A couple days ago I had a pretty close encounter with a blue-headed vireo
while jogging the six-mile-creek/south-hill-recway area. Got a pretty good
eye-level naked-eye look at the bird, not a frequent occurrence for this
species. Some of my closest bird encounters seem to be while out jogging
and thus binocularless, like with a ruby-crowned kinglet yesterday almost
within touching distance. Or maybe I just tend to remember more of these
"wish I had my bins with me" moments.

My phone just sounded a reminder to lead a Stewart Park bird walk tomorrow,
a reminder I had added to my calendar back before the coviding. Sigh.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Bald Eagle @ Second Dam

2020-04-21 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Highlight of my evening jog today (through a bit of every seasons, it
seems) was an adult bald eagle flying across the second dam reservoir of
six-mile creek, my first sighting of this species there.

Meanwhile, "my" Louisiana Waterthrushes upstream from the second dam have
been reliably singing in the mornings, enough for me to get some videos:

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10222991269388171/

Down in the Mulholland area, I have not heard any singing, although I have
not been in that area in the mornings. On my evening jogs, however, I've
been seeing one foraging silently and consistently in the same area several
days in a row, and today I may have seen two, including one possibly
checking a nesting site. I wonder if they've already paired up and stopped
singing?

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Share Your Stories (or Poetry, etc.)

2020-04-14 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Greetings,

Since I took over editorship of the Cayuga Bird Club newsletter last fall,
the job has largely been on auto-pilot, with plenty of club project and
trip reports to fill the pages. For the coming issue(s), however, I
anticipate having plenty of space to fill, and am welcoming contributions
from club members and other area birders.

For "timely" bird reports, it seems better to post directly to this list.
Instead, I'd like to solicit birding stories from the past, either locally
or farther afield. A memorable encounter with an unusual species, a summary
of your "best birding day ever", or anything you like. A couple paragraphs
should suffice. Photos are always nice but not necessary. Please send
contributions to cbcedit...@gmail.com by April 27 for inclusion in the next
newsletter.

Another idea could be poetry, as we've already seen a couple posted here.
Feel free to contribute those as well, or anything else you think will be
of interest to other clubmembers.

Thanks.

Suan Yong

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[cayugabirds-l] Red-Winged Blackbird busking?

2020-04-03 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Yesterday morning at the Arboretum, one of the Red-Winged Blackbirds was
following each songspread with some begging chips and flutters:

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10222776117489508/

Confused young'un?

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Fox Sparrow @ Arboretum

2020-04-02 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
This morning, while photographing blackbird songs (sic) at the arboretum
(with Marie), a curious whistling song persisted from behind, which I
eventually tracked down as coming from a Fox Sparrow. Couldn't get close
enough to get a video, alas.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Snow Goose island, FOY Sandhill Cranes

2020-03-05 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Took the afternoon off hoping to find the snow geese at Mucklands, but en
route I found a/the massive snow goose island between Dean's Cove and
Aurora, so I parked at Dean's Cove hoping to see and video a full eruption
which never came to pass, just a couple of "minor tremors". Starting around
4pm skeins started departing towards the NW or WNW, which is to say, not
towards the Mucklands. At this point, the island was stretched pretty long
and thin, but still contained an impressive number of birds, echoing a
distant cacophony.

Also had six Sandhill Cranes fly over, and a few Common Loons fishing and
wailing in the beautiful gentle sun.

Suan

PS. No pink-footed goose :-).

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] There male redwings, Mon West Danby area also

2020-02-20 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Anne Clark wrote:

> We had actual females back in a marsh near Binghamton/Endicott as early as
> February.  Usually females did not show up until late march.  I don’t mean
> nest, just be seen in flocks and maybe visit the marsh.
>

Will all second-year males have "turned" by February, or could these early
F-types be second year males?

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] GIAC merlins are back

2020-02-17 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
This morning around 9:45, two merlins were calling and interacting in the
GIAC field.
When I arrived, bird A was calling from the nest tree. Then bird B called
from a tree north of the parking lot, and flew to the nest tree where it
displaced bird A who flew to an adjacent leafless tree. Not long after,
bird B flew again to displace bird A, who flew SW over the school to one of
two spruces in the next block, briefly touching the top of one tree before
landing on the next tree.

No binoculars to look for adult vs juv, or to see if the distant spruce
might have held a third bird or something.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] SSW Hermit Thrush (I assume)

2020-01-19 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
This morning there was a Hermit Thrush at Sherwood Platform, hanging out
with two Song Sparrows and some Juncos and Chickadees. It grabbed a few
berries from the short tree over the corner of the platform (basically
right above me) before flying off. I assume it's a hermit thrush from
seasonal expectations, though it seemed reddish overall on the back and
very lightly spotted in front, a la Veery.

Also heard in that general area (towards Charlie Harper's corner) were
Eastern Bluebird and Brown Creeper.

Earlier a mink bounded about from the feeder towards the stone bridge.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Kestrels & Merlins on the Ithaca Christmas Bird Count

2020-01-04 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Sat, Jan 4, 2020 at 12:02 PM Dave Nutter  wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> Those of you who are Cayuga Bird Club members may have seen an article in
> January’s newsletter that was based on my quick report (below) about the
> Ithaca Christmas Bird Count compilation on the evening of January first. I
> gave the editor permission to use my report, with which he rapidly
> completed and sent out the newsletter later that same evening after a long
> day of birding. My name was on the article, but I did not write the
> paragraph which incorrectly stated that there were no Kestrels reported.
> However, I did hear some comments from the audience about the numbers of
> small falcons, as was mentioned in that paragraph.
>
> As with many species this year, there was a low count of 2 American
> Kestrels. Then the next species on the list, the closely related Merlin,
> had one of the very few record high counts, a total of 5 birds. Lab
> Director John Fitzpatrick recalled when Kestrels were common and Merlins
> were a rarity.
>

My sincerest apologies to Dave for the mistake. Even though the
accompanying list clearly shows the kestrel count at 2, somehow I was under
the impression that it was one of the big misses of the day, and thought it
worth mentioning. Thanks for the clarification. I likely confused it with
peregrines, which we missed, though that miss isn't too surprising, I think.

FWIW, my personal impression is that the high merlin count is noteworthy
and likely accurate, given the relative frequency of merlin reports
elsewhere in the area. The single-day kestrel low count on its own is
probably not enough to draw conclusions.

Suan

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Loon Watch

2019-11-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Correction: period five should be:

  7:35-7:50: 8 southbound, 3 northbound

Suan

On Sun, Nov 10, 2019 at 8:06 PM Suan Hsi Yong  wrote:

> For my first Loon Watch at Taughannock this morning, I had no idea what
> turnout to expect. 0 seemed an understandable likelihood. Instead, about 20
> people showed up, including some "civilians" who saw this announced in the
> Ithaca Times calendar.
>
> Air temp was around freezing, winds were moderate from the south,
> 10-15mph. The good news: the hills shadowed us from the wind, so it was
> relatively comfortable. The bad news, this was headwind for the southbound
> loons, so the loon count was low. My tally of migrating loons is as follows:
>
>   6:35-6:50: 1
>   6:50-7:05: 7
>   7:05-7:20: 0
>   7:20-7:35: 1 southbound, 1 northbound
>   7:35-7:50: 3 southbound, 3 northbound
>   7:50-8:05: 4 southbound, 2 northbound, 1 u-turning back north
>   8:05-8:20: 4 southbound
>
> This count does not include about 5 loons fishing in the nearby waters,
> including one working very close giving good naked-eye looks. Almost all
> southbound loons flew low, almost skimming the surface of the water,
> presumably to minimize headwind, while those flying back north flew higher.
> Most flew individually, with a few loose pairs.
>
> An early highlight was an adult bald eagle that flew in and perched up
> close, triggering some nervous quacks from the mallards in the stream.
> Later we watched a young herring gull with a fish being chased and
> harassed by an adult herring gull, soon joined by a ring-billed, while a
> loon on the water seemed to follow along, perhaps hoping to pick up a
> dropped quarry. A rattling kingfisher, a flock of cedar waxwings, and a
> red-tailed hawk harassed by crow and gull rounded out the morning's
> sightings. Here's the e-bird list maintained by Jody:
> https://ebird.org/checklist/S61345988
>
> Thanks to all who showed up, especially those with scopes willing to share
> as mine gets repaired in the shop.
>
> Suan
>
>
>

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[cayugabirds-l] Loon Watch

2019-11-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
For my first Loon Watch at Taughannock this morning, I had no idea what
turnout to expect. 0 seemed an understandable likelihood. Instead, about 20
people showed up, including some "civilians" who saw this announced in the
Ithaca Times calendar.

Air temp was around freezing, winds were moderate from the south, 10-15mph.
The good news: the hills shadowed us from the wind, so it was relatively
comfortable. The bad news, this was headwind for the southbound loons, so
the loon count was low. My tally of migrating loons is as follows:

  6:35-6:50: 1
  6:50-7:05: 7
  7:05-7:20: 0
  7:20-7:35: 1 southbound, 1 northbound
  7:35-7:50: 3 southbound, 3 northbound
  7:50-8:05: 4 southbound, 2 northbound, 1 u-turning back north
  8:05-8:20: 4 southbound

This count does not include about 5 loons fishing in the nearby waters,
including one working very close giving good naked-eye looks. Almost all
southbound loons flew low, almost skimming the surface of the water,
presumably to minimize headwind, while those flying back north flew higher.
Most flew individually, with a few loose pairs.

An early highlight was an adult bald eagle that flew in and perched up
close, triggering some nervous quacks from the mallards in the stream.
Later we watched a young herring gull with a fish being chased and
harassed by an adult herring gull, soon joined by a ring-billed, while a
loon on the water seemed to follow along, perhaps hoping to pick up a
dropped quarry. A rattling kingfisher, a flock of cedar waxwings, and a
red-tailed hawk harassed by crow and gull rounded out the morning's
sightings. Here's the e-bird list maintained by Jody:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S61345988

Thanks to all who showed up, especially those with scopes willing to share
as mine gets repaired in the shop.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] SSW grouse and eagle?

2019-09-21 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
During this morning's beginner bird walk around Sapsucker Woods, we flushed
a Ruffed Grouse from near "the" giant poison ivy vine. I think this is my
first grouse at SSW.

Later from Sherwood Platform we heard a couple yelps of a bald eagle coming
from the west, though we did not see anything in tree or sky. I'm now
wondering whether it might have been a Blue Jay mimic.

Other interesting sightings include a female-type Scarlet Tanager singing
stop a tree near the parking lot, a magnolia warbler in the same area and
later near the footbridge, Eastern Wood Pewees singing beyond the stream
past the footbridge, and at Fuller Wetland a fly-by Accipiter which
disappeared into the woods not to be seen again, but whose appearance
seemed to coincide with the many goldfinches switching to repeating short
"meep"s -- which I'm guessing might be their alarm call.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Stewart Park Eagle Show

2019-09-14 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
For this morning's Stewart Park bird walk, I wasn't expecting to see much
given the strong south winds overnight and line of rain early, and sure
enough, the waterfowl and warbler variety was lacking and nonexistent,
respectively (just mallards and canada geese and a distant common
merganser). But to compensate, a posse of juvenile bald eagles put on quite
the show, flying back and forth as if playing in the wind, one flying in
with a small fish, one starting to "go bald". By the swan pen a belted
kingfisher landed a few branches behind a small streaky brown raptor, a
young merlin, who sat and preened and posed for great looks. Double-crested
cormorants lined the entire length of the red jetty, while the white jetty
hosted ring-billed, herring, and great black-backed gulls. A young green
heron attended the swan pen, while a great blue heron flew overhead. We
later saw at least three great blue herons perched variously below jetty
woods, while juvenile bald eagles perches on several snags above. Another
merlin flew around fall creek before perching for good looks at its whiter
breast: an adult this time.

Later at the second Migration Celebration bird walk around Sapsucker Woods,
things were relatively quiet though with enough "usuals" to keep the
participants happy. There was one fleeting naked-eye look at a
yellow-colored magnolia-ish warbler at Sherwood Platform, and some red-eyed
vireos in the woods, and back at the pergola the woodpeckers put on quite a
show, at one point a downy and hairy perched side-by-side as I reached for
my invisible camera. The best bird of the morning was probably the
Swainson's Thrush who flew first into the larger island then onto the big
GBH snag.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Volunteer at Lab of O

2019-08-23 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Forwarding some Lab announcements I figured would be of interest to local
birders...

---

Volunteer at the Lab of O

Share your love of birds by becoming a volunteer at the Cornell Lab of
Ornithology! Volunteers guide our behind-the-scenes building tours, lead
youth and family programs, table community events, and help run our largest
event - Migration Celebration on September 14.

There will be a Volunteer Information Session on Wednesday, September 4
from 6-7pm at the Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca.
RSVP for the Info Session at https://tinyurl.com/CLO-Volunteer2019, or
email Chelsea Benson, cben...@cornell.edu, for more information.

---

Migration Celebration

The Lab of O's annual Migration Celebration will be on Saturday, September
14, 2019, from 10am to 3pm.

This is a free interactive family festival to learn about birds, migration,
conservation, and what you can do for birds. Talk with scientists, see
cutting-edge technology, view stunning videos, and explore hands-on
activities. Enjoy special workshops, guided bird walks, live birds of prey
with the Cornell Raptor program, and ice cream from Cayuga Creamery.

---

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] More Merlin Videos

2019-07-27 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Some videos taken of the fledgling Merlins from Thursday morning:

Did this young Merlin eat its own feathers?
  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10220301374582482/

Two young Merlins:
  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10220301505025743/

Merlin fledglings preening and calling:
  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10220301439264099/

Fledgling Merlin making its way back to the nest:
  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10220301452504430/

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Merlin nest GIAC

2019-07-25 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Thu, Jul 25, 2019 at 7:20 AM John Confer  wrote:

> Hi Suan,
>
>Thanks for posting that.
>
>Mammals are rarely captured by Merlin, but not never. Adults often
> remove the tail and head before they bring it to nestlings. That has been a
> frustration when I tried to identify prey, which I did for 50 prey. None of
> them were mammals, but dead floppy birds without tail or head look like
> mammals. I couldn't tell what it was. At one frame I thought I saw two
> bumps on the ventral surface where the legs of a bird would be. By the way,
> they do eat the bird's legs. Lots of calcium I guess.
>

Thanks John.

On that evening, I first observed a parent flying by with the prey in its
talons, over the field and an unseen site away from the nest. The video was
taken about 10-20 minutes later when a/the parent brought the prey to the
nest. That timeline is consistent with some food pre-processing.

Meanwhile, this morning the two fully-feathered fledglings sat in the nice
morning sun, preening, ever attentive of the parent's few fly-by's, and
made a couple of short flights to a nearby tree and back, but always
wanting to stay close to home.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Merlin nest GIAC

2019-07-23 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Stopped by GIAC this evening, one merlin (couldn't tell if parent or young)
was perched visibly until my attention caused it to hop behind some
branches. They can definitely tell who's paying attention and who isn't,
like the few dozen parents watching the ongoing basketball game.

Anyhow, last Friday, July 19, I happened to get a video of a feeding:

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/posts/10220272976272542

Can anyone ID the rodent?

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Field Trip Saturday: Connecticut Hill

2019-06-06 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Hi All,

There will be a CBC field trip this Saturday to Connecticut Hill, co-led by
Dave Gislason and myself. Meet at either the Wegman's parking lot at 7:30am
(towards the southwest corner by the water) or at 8am at the corners of
Connecticut Hill, Boylan, and Lloyd Starks Roads. We plan to finish around
noon.

Weather should be clear, meaning cool in the morning then quickly warming
up. We will mostly explore woodland habitat with some ponds and open areas.
There has also been forest thinning activity in the WMA, which we might
explore a bit to perhaps start surveying how these changes affect birdiness.

Use email or my cel 607-351-9334 if you need to reach me, though once up
there I think reception is pretty poor.

Suan

P.S. Earlier in the year, this trip was listed on the CBC calendar for
Sunday instead of Saturday, so if you'd already copied that to your
calendar, note the date change. Thanks.

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Bird survey from Boise State

2019-05-29 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 4:21 PM Nancy Cusumano 
wrote:

> On birding and bird conservation. Takes a few minutes but worth it.
>
>
> https://boisestate.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8B4hsye6hIsgSkl?fbclid=IwAR0ZijtTTttv2Xx0yT7UhnQEGc3SXbFcvDEsUPNb_ETUBchz8p7QUiIQfJQ
>

For anyone who saw the survey link above but didn't respond due to dearth
of info, here's an intro page including a (soft) deadline of June 15:

http://web-extract.constantcontact.com/v1/social_annotation?permalink_uri=2I5g7bv

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Nighthawk @ Commonland

2019-05-22 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Just heard a Common Nighthawk buzzing over the woods south of my house in
Commonland, over Six-Mile Creek, offering only a brief unbinoculared look
at a small dot moving across the cloudy sky.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Purple Martins on Cayuga Lake (south end)

2019-05-21 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
>From about 2-3:30pm I was windsurfing from East Shore going west to the
piling cluster located about 1/2 mile north of the lighthouse jetties. In
that vicinity were several swallows, mostly barn, foraging on the water. I
soon noticed that some seemed overweight and dark underneath, and soon
found myself surrounded by several Purple Martins, at least three males and
one female (hard to get an accurate count with them flying around). This
may or may not be scopable from Hog Hole or Stewart Park, or be
identifiable from there. But I did enjoy observing their flight pattern
which is distinctly different from the barn swallows (and also NRW and one
tree swallow): their flight was much more effortless, with gentler
wingbeats like swifts or birdwing butterflies, and then coasting gently
down to very close to the water, sometimes seeming like they're about to
stick out their feet to tapdance on the water like storm petrels. And they
didn't seem to mind me that much, flying to within five feet of me for
great looks at the purple glistening in the sun.

At one point I noticed a barn swallow approach the piling cluster, though I
did not see it land. I'm wondering if they might be nesting there.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Crow relationship .... Union Springs

2019-05-13 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Re allopreening: strangely I have only ever observed this among some
critically endangered Bali Myna at the Hong Kong Aviary:

  http://suan-yong.com/hong-kong.php?s=Aviary=21442

What I found more fascinating than the allopreening was that the bird on
the left had the muscular dexterity to lift those neck feathers in that way.

Suan

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Hawthorn - not Phila V

2019-05-04 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
In case anyone is wondering, photo review of my possible philadelphia vireo
turned out to be a northern parula.

Suan


On Sat, May 4, 2019 at 9:48 AM Suan Yong  wrote:

> Brief stop at Hawthorn this morning found the trees hopping with Wilson,
> blue wing, chestnut, Nashville; poss vireo sweep with red-eye, warbling,
> blue-headed, and a sorta-yellow sorta-warblerish bird high in the tree that
> could be a Philadelphia video. May or may not have gotten lousy photos to
> check later.
>
> Suan
> _
> Composed by thumb and autocorrect.
>

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Woodcock/Owl Crawl Saturday Evening

2019-04-14 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Our group went to Dodge Road, where the woodcocks started later than when I
scouted, but with enough light to be easily seen. After a few skydances,
those with muck boots and binoculars took a few steps into the muddy field
where I was able to get my spotlight on the bird on the ground.

The owling half of our trip bore no fruits, though some thought they saw a
shape flying away from the top of the Dodge Road spruce trees. At Ellis
Hollow Preserve, the silence was decorated by creepy rustlings from the
surrounding leaves which turned out to be night crawlers. Our final attempt
for owls was at Monkey Run South.

Suan


On Sun, Apr 14, 2019 at 2:26 PM bob mcguire 
wrote:

> The CBC trip led by Suan Young and myself broke into two groups before
> heading off to look for woodcocks and owls. I led my group to the corner of
> Snyder Hill and Whitted Roads. We got out of the cars at a minute before 8
> pm, just as the woodcock uttered its first “peent” of the night. We were
> able to follow its flight several times before attempting to get a closer
> look at it on the ground. Unfortunately (for us), the brush had grown up in
> the past year, and we just couldn’t manage a sighting.
>
> Following that we drove over to Hunt Hill Road for a staked-out Barred
> Owl. After a little more than ten minutes, the owl did come in and begin to
> call. It was the presumed female, based on the lower frequency call.
> Shortly after that, the male arrived, and we were treated to a duet that
> lasted for several minutes!
>
> Bob McGuire
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[cayugabirds-l] Thermal Woodcocks

2019-04-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Continuing with woodcock week: while scouting for this weekend's field
trip, I got the following thermal infrared footage of woodcock courtship
and, I believe, mating, followed by a celebratory skydance. Same video on
both facebook and youtube (quality may differ between the platforms, not
sure):

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10219410881080701/
  https://youtu.be/basYq15QoO4

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Sunday's Woodcock

2019-04-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Thanks to Mark's precise description, I found the woodcock on Sunday and
got some videos:

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10219404525921826

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Lesser-Heard Sounds of Spring

2019-03-26 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Sunday afternoon I sat at Stewart Park looking out at the relative low bird
count. Of interest were two American Wigeons foraging "somewhat" close (I
was hoping they'd get closer for better photos, though they never did), and
11 Northern Pintails flying back and forth trying to decide whether to land
(again, I had my camera settings poised for them to land right in front of
me, but instead they decided to continue north and away). At one point two
male Green-Winged Teals appeared, and coincident with their appearance I
started hearing short "prrt" calls, reminiscent of tree frog. I checked my
Sibley App and sure enough, they were indeed from the GW Teals, a
vocalization I'd never heard, or maybe just never noticed, before. (The
recording "male lands and peeps NE" has a sequence of them, whereas what I
heard were single "peep"s about ten seconds apart, not sure if coming from
one of the birds or both in turn.)

Yesterday afternoon while walking around Commonland, a Cooper's Hawk flew
to the top of a tree and sat vocalizing for a while, with a "mek mek mek"
call I don't think I've heard before. It was reminiscent of Common
Gallinule, but in a falcon-like repetitive pattern. The only other Cooper
vocalization I remember was at Steve Kress' house a number of years back,
which was a single longer call was reminiscent of sapsucker.

Also, heard one Pine Siskin singing yesterday morning outside my house, but
had no binoculars.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Raptorous morning

2019-03-21 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On my jog to work from Commonland this morning I passed under two different
Cooper's Hawks perched high on trees about 100 yards apart. I took the
opportunity trying to tease out any nuances of the surrounding calls of
Downy Woodpeckers and Carolina Wrens, filing them under "probable alarm
calls".

Later on Giles Street near the footbridge, a merlin flew over calling and
fluttering in a display flight.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Hurd Road Barred Owl

2019-03-02 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
While driving westward down Hurd Road towards Ellis Hollow Road, I was
surprised to see a Barred Owl up on a tree next to the road, easily
identifiable with the naked eye while driving. After I pulled over and
exited the car, it flew deeper into the woods, though it perched for some
time in a spot barely visible with binoculars (probably impossible to find
if I had not tracked its flight), but after I attempted some distant photos
it flew even farther, into the cover of an evergreen.

Earlier in the morning, the Sapsucker Woods barred owl was still in the
pine tree by the shelter, today best seen from the shelter itself, at a
spot where it was difficult to see from either branch of the Wilson Trail
approaching the junction.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Second-hand report of possible Lewis's Woodpecker

2019-02-01 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
A non-expert-birder friend thought he saw a Lewis's Woodpecker in the
little grove of woods near the inlet, across 13A from Glenside, at 2:30pm
this afternoon, fussing around the bottom of the trees. Details are scant,
and probably a longshot, but I figure I'd post it in case anyone feels like
following up.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Renwick Half-Hardies

2018-12-15 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
A stroll through Renwick Wildwoods today found a yellow-bellied sapsucker,
gray catbird, and belted kingfisher among more seasonal birds: brown
creeper, northern flicker, golden-crowned kinglet, red-bellied and downy
woodpeckers.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Field Trip Saturday, 6pm

2018-11-02 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
The Cayuga Bird Club is hosting an owling field trip tomorrow (Saturday)
from 6-10pm to look and listen for area owls. Co-led by Bob McGuire with
his audio playback expertise, and me with my thermal infrared camera, we
will meet at the lab parking lot and carpool to various spots heading
ultimately towards Hammond Hill where, if the weather cooperates, we may
stop by John Confer's owl banding lab. All are welcome. Dress warmly as we
may be standing in the cold for prolonged periods of time. Muck boots may
be a good idea, though we are not planning to walk on trails too much.

For more information, email or call me at 607-351-9334.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] SSW Rusty Blackbirds, etc

2018-10-21 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Good variety of birds for this morning's SSW bird walk in the weather that
soon turned to sleet. The clumps of ash seeds were hosting flocks of Rusty
Blackbirds and Purple Finches (up to ten within a single binocular view)
along the Wilson Trail north, just south of Owen's Platform. On the pond
among mallards and wood ducks was a Gadwall, a male Hooded Merganser, and a
female Aythya which had a weak wing spur indicative of Ring-Necked Duck --
maybe someone more expert and/or ambitious wants to turn it into a tufted
duck :-). The ducks were in the main pond early, but were flushed to the
Sherwood side.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Nighthawk video from yesterday

2018-09-20 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Here's a video I took yesterday (Wednesday) during lunch at Sherwood
Platform, Sapsucker Woods, of the Common Nighthawk:


https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10217783338833162/?l=8661839843050610780

It shifted positions several times, and each time it did so it would sway
back and forth, either waddling due to physique, or perhaps emulating a
dead leaf blowing in the wind?

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Photos of Lawrence's Warbler, Logan Hill, 2 weeks ago

2018-05-28 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Finally got around to posting photos of the Lawrence's Warbler (Blue x
Golden -Winged Warbler) from Logan Hill two weeks ago (13 May 2018),
embedded in this eBird checklist:

  https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45628519

Also from that visit was this eye-level video of a singing Ovenbird:


https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10216680270657147/UzpfSTQyMzcyMzI2NDMzMjE2MToxNjk0NzUzMzAzODk1ODEx/

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Field Trip This Saturday 8am Stewart Park

2018-02-22 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Hi all,

Two days ago I was rollerblading in shorts and T-shirt. Today I'm jogging
through an inch of fresh snow. What will the birds make of all this? Let's
find out together on a Cayuga Bird Club field trip around the lake:

  Saturday, February 24, 2018
  8:00am - 4:00pm (end time is approximate)
  Meet at STEWART PARK
  Contact: Suan Yong (607-351-9334)

We'll meet at the east end parking lot of Stewart Park (turn right as you
enter the park) and carpool to drive to the north end of the lake and back.
Feel free to pack a lunch, but I do plan to stop along the way to get food
(most likely at the Nice and Easy). Forecast is looking decent (40s, light
wind, overcast with slight chance of rain later).

The itinerary is subject to change, but I'm leaning towards pushing to get
to the north end of the lake sooner to hopefully experience the large
flocks of Snow Geese that have started arriving the Mucklands. Will they be
there on Saturday? Are the Snowy Owls and Snow Buntings still around? What
about the Gyrfalcon or Slaty-Backed Gull? Let's find out together.

Suan

PS. If anyone else out and about on Saturday can send sighting updates to
me or this list, it would be much appreciated.

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[cayugabirds-l] Re: [cayugabirds-l] 5 Ross’s Geese at Stewart Park

2017-12-24 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
A good number of people enjoyed at Stewart Park not just the 5 Ross's
Geese, but also two Snow Geese, six Greater White-Fronted Geese (not
a-layin'), two Iceland Gulls, at least two Lesser-Black-Backed Gulls, some
fly-by Northern Pintails, and a distant Red-Throated Loon. Pretty neat
afternoon. A subset of photos are posted here:

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/posts/10215357741834753

Suan


On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 1:49 PM, Dave Nutter  wrote:

> I was just at Stewart Park briefly 1:20pm and saw 5 adult white Ross’s
> Geese together and close among the Canadas just off the tennis courts.
> Going back with better camera set up now.
>

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[cayugabirds-l] CBC Owling field trip, Saturday 6pm

2017-11-03 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Tomorrow evening, Bob and I will be leading a field trip to look and listen
for owls.
Saturday, November 4, 6:00pm, meet at the Cornell Lab parking lot to
carpool.
Dress warmly (as there will be much standing still in the cold), and bring
a headlamp or flashlight.
Forecast is calling for a slight chance of rain, becoming more likely after
midnight.
All are welcome.
Let me know if you have any questions (email or call 607-351-9334).

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] radar/migration

2017-07-25 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
If it's during the day in the summertime I think it's probably insects.
This site seems to have a good intro:

 http://www.woodcreeper.com/radar-migration-faq/

For a bunch of links and archives:

  http://www.pauljhurtado.com/US_Composite_Radar/

Suan


On Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 5:17 PM, Eben McLane  wrote:

> I don’t have a sophisticated knowledge of Dopler radar images/patterns,
> but it seems to me from poking around NOAA radar just now that there are
> familiar signatures of bird migration in the midwest and the south. Are
> more experienced people on this list picking up signs of migration? Seems a
> bit early for these radar signatures (?) For all I know, I could be
> mistaking migration for particularly heavy mist.
>
>

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] RUFF location- made easy E-bird!!!

2017-07-12 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 12:54 PM, David Wheeler 
wrote:

> I think it's also possible to go one-on-one with someone through GroupMe.
> Thus one could direct a question back to the reporter alone rather than a
> broadcast message.  Not sure how many people know this is possible.
>

You can do that with the smartphone app, but not if you're subscribed via a
"regular" texting phone.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] RUFF location- made easy E-bird!!!

2017-07-11 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
And it doesn't help that Kipp Island isn't even an island (anymore). :-)

Suan

PS. I posted on Facebook a couple of digiscoped videos of the ruff form
Sunday. Should be viewable without a Facebook account:

https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/pcb.1382246361813175/10213924592766922/
https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/pcb.1382246361813175/10213924593126931/

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[cayugabirds-l] Fledgling(?) Louisiana Waterthrush(es) @ Mulholland

2017-06-08 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Jogging through the Mulholland Preserve at Six Mile Creek this morning, I
had two encounters with low-flying Louisiana Waterthrushes chipping loudly.
Without binoculars, I got to see one close in a tree, looking fully fledged
but lacking a tail (which didn't stop it from bobbing), behaving as if it
were trying to learn whether I was friend or foe, and also seeming like it
was following a parent, who was foraging along the creek (though I didn't
stay long enough to observe any begging or feeding). I think there is/are
fledgling(s), and the two observations were in two different basins between
a tight "wall" along the gorge, so they could well have been two families,
but also close enough that they could've been the same family having flown
by at some point without me noticing.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Lindsay-Parsons mystery song

2017-06-05 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Lindsay-Parsons seems to harbor a lot of strange singers.

During the Spring Bird Quest on Saturday, May 27, I recorded the following
"ascending song", which starts around the 5-second mark in this clip:

  http://suan-yong.com/sound/lindsay-parsons-2017-05-27.wav

What do you think it is? This was recorded just as the trail first leaves
the forest, from a large maple tree at the forest/field edge.

I have a candidate answer (a silent bird observed in the same tree as the
singer, though the bird was never seen singing, nor was it ever seen at the
same time the song was sung). I'll divulge my candidate later.

E-mail me off-list with your thoughts and guesses.

Suan

PS. That short iPhone-recorded clip has quite the plethora of different
songs, more so that I think I was aware of at time of recording. How many
can you identify?

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[cayugabirds-l] Empid nest etc, Danby State Forest

2017-05-29 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Saturday, after the Spring Bird Quest at Lindsay-Parsons, I drove around
and up Michigan Hollow Road in Danby State Forest, and found three
nest-builders (Chestnut-Sided, Empidonax sp, and Yellow Warbler). I've
posted some videos of the latter two on Facebook:

Empid sp:
  https://www.facebook.com/groups/cayugabirdclub/permalink/1340413365996475/

Yellow warbler:
  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/posts/10213443714945277

I'm particularly curious about the identity of the Empid. The bird was
making "wit" calls (heard early in the first video), which I think suggests
Willow Flycatcher. However, this nest was situated in between, and not far
from, the territory of "the" Acadian Flycatcher and an Alder Flycatcher.
Any expert thoughts and opinions?

Suan

PS. Both of these nests seem sufficiently well-positioned (yet close to the
road/trail) that I don't mind describing their locations to those wishing
to pay respectful visits. Just email me off-list.

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Hawthorn Orchard

2017-05-09 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
> On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 10:30 AM, Peter  wrote:
> I was wondering if anyone can tell me how the warblers have been over at 
> Hawthorn Orchard. I've read in the Basin Birding Book that it's a good spot 
> for them. Has anyone birded it yet this year?
> 
> And how would that location compare with Shindagin Hollow?

The Hawthorn Orchard is a migrant trap, so bird density is subject to migrant 
movement (which is subject to wind and weather patterns, etc.). On the good 
days it's downright magical, but otherwise it can sometimes be quiet. This is 
the time of year for it, and I'm sure people are birding it every day; the 
relative dearth of reports suggests to me that there hasn't been any "magical" 
days yet, though already there has been golden-winged and orange-crowned found; 
and a lackluster day there could still be considered good by other standards.

And it's also very muddy this year, I hear.

Shindagin and other surrounding forests are good for breeding birds. Being 
larger tracts of taller trees, the density of migrants tend to be lower, and 
they also tend to stay higher in the trees.

Suan


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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Ellis Hollow/George Rd. Comm. Solar Proj. Pub. Hearing Wed April 26, 7 pm--or email comments

2017-04-25 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
FWIW, on Saturday morning I stopped by the Dodge Road spruces and found a
Great Horned Owl with my thermal camera (also being barked at by a bunch of
crows). It flew off before I could get a photo, but it did later hoot for
me once.

Suan

On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 1:37 AM, Sandy Podulka  wrote:

> Dear Folks,
>
> As you probably know, Distributed Sun is proposing several large-scale
> Community Solar Projects in the Town of  Dryden.
> A public hearing is being held:
>
> *THIS WEDNESDAY, April 26, at 7 pm at the Neptune Fire Hall*, 26 North
> St., Dryden
>
> Please consider attending and giving your comments on the project in 3
> minutes (or less).
>
> You also may email your comments on the project to:
> board--towncl...@dryden.ny.us
>
> There are many reasons to support solar energy, of course--especially
> community solar, and this company appears to have been at least somewhat
> responsive to the concerns of neighbors. On the other hand, the project
> will use a vast amount of open space, and trees will be cut, including part
> of the evergreen stand on Dodge Rd. that is precious to birders (and
> birds). Several people have suggested on this listserv that the best
> placement of solar panels is on rooftops and above parking lots--I love
> those ideas.
>
> Since I moved to this area 35 years ago, I have watched open space
> whittled away, piece by piece, and watched our rural landscapes become less
> and less attractive, both to people and wildlife. Many places I cherished
> are now gone. When will it stop? Should we have a plan for making sure
> enough open space is left? How do we place a value on open spaces?
>
> Whatever your views, I hope you will express them. Below are links to the
> most helpful information. If you spend 5 minutes looking at each set of
> maps and 5 minutes reading the FAQ, you will have a pretty good feel for
> the project--in 15 minutes.
>
> --Sandy Podulka
>
>
> Town of Dryden Web page with info on the Solar Project:
> http://dryden.ny.us/departments/planning-department/permit-review-
> links/special-use-permits/
>
> FAQ on Project and Changes made: (from Distributed Sun)
> http://dryden.ny.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/
> DrydenSolar_FAQ.Categ_.flc_.mm3_.pdf
>
> Maps of development in Ellis Hollow:  (Scroll down to C-111 to see where
> trees at Dodge Road would be cut)
> http://dryden.ny.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/2.-Ellis-Tract-Site-Plan-
> Drawings.pdf
>
> Maps of development along George Road:
> http://dryden.ny.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/2.-
> 2150-Dryden-Road-Site-Plan-Drawings.pdf
> --
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[cayugabirds-l] Merlin @ Esty & Washington

2017-03-08 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Just had a merlin sitting on a tree a few houses east of the CFCU on Meadow
and Esty, presently shooed by two crows to a spruce tree one block east. My
attention from the sidewalk may have contributed to the shooing :-D.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] OOB: Tree swallow migration

2016-09-30 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
I was in Cape May on Monday, and saw a similarly large flock of tree
swallows, first gathering, then murmurating like starlings. I did not try
to estimate numbers.

Here's a lousy iPhone video clip, barely hinting at the scale:

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10210920362223036/

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Please get permission to see Booby from "Townline Road"

2016-09-22 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 8:31 AM, Peter  wrote:

> Folks - a question about the Booby. Is it more easily seen from Lower Lake
> Rd. near Seneca Falls (west side of lake) or from the village of Cayuga
> (east side of lake).
>
> Or perhaps it depends on the bird's mood? (smile)
>
Depends on the sun.
The GPS coordinates I got when I was about 50 feet from buoy 49 was
42.886767N 76.727776W.
As you can see from Google Maps, it's almost exactly halfway across the
lake, a little closer to the east shore.
That bird knew how to choose a buoy farthest from land :-D.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] "Nola" Waterthrush @ Hawthorn Orchards

2016-06-15 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
This morning as I biked the East Ithaca Recway, just south of Mitchell
Street I heard a waterthrush singing from the trees at the NW corner of the
Hawthorn Orchard. Its first three notes had the plaintive slur of a
Louisiana Waterthrush. This was followed by the choppy ending of a Northern
Waterthrush. I did not stop to figure out the identity of the singer --
which admittedly could also have been an impersonating yellow warbler.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Connecticut Hill Photos

2016-06-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
FYI, I posted some photos from last Saturday's CBC field trip to
Connecticut Hill here:

  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1027965810574567

Thanks, again, to all who came on the trip.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] MNWR Virginia Rails (Saturday)

2016-05-23 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Saturday morning I went to Montezuma where at the start of the wildlife
drive (across from Larue's Lagoon) a Virginia Rail was calling. With the
help of my thermal infrared camera I was eventually able to get some looks
and photos. I also captured some interesting video sequences, at the link
below. (While watching, listen also to the various sounds, and see how many
you can identify. There are a couple of good ones in there.)

YouTube: https://youtu.be/F5vNzNrkCpc
Original MP4s: http://suan-yong.com/ir/videos.html#vira

Note that in the "chase scene", halfway along the chase my camera's focus
switched from bird #1 to bird #2, something I didn't notice in the field.
After that, bird #2 is foraging while bird #1 is grunting offscreen (from
somewhere to the right).

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Downtown Parula

2016-05-09 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
In the apple blossoms of Washington Park, a Northern Parula was singing
both songs and foraging low and close enough to be admired with the naked
eye (one of those "wish I had my camera with me" moments). Amid the
wind-blown movement could be spotted at least three other warbler-like
birds just in that one tree alone, one of which looked to be a nashville
(at the verge of naked-eye identifiability), and another probably a
warbling vireo.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Great Horned Owls @ Jetty Woods

2016-05-07 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
This morning our SFO group went to Jetty Woods to admire the Great Horned
Owl and two fledglings reported earlier by Dave Nutter. From the pump
station, go past the big puddle about 20 yards, look to the right for a
large fallen log right next to the trail. That log log points approximately
in the direction of the tree where the fledglings were sitting this
morning, high up in a distant tree.

Earlier we went to Hawthorn Orchards, which was muddy and pretty quiet,
though we did see two silent pine warblers, a probably least empid, and a
wood thrush singing high in a lone tree out in the relative open away from
the woods.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Night Flight Infrared

2016-04-16 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Last night around 11pm, I decided to point my thermal infrared camera to
the sky and see if anything would show up. To my surprise, I was able to
observe a fairly steady stream of bird movement, some low and bright,
others faint and barely discernible amid the noise from the sensor. It was
quite captivating, like looking for meteor showers.

I uploaded four "highlight clips", linked from the page below. I tried
uploading to YouTube, but its re-encoding washed out many of the subtler
bird. I deliberately oriented the camera (and flipped the image) so that up
was north, left was west, etc. Most were flying northward or northerly, but
every now and then one would come down the other way.

  http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~suan/infrared/info.html#nightflight

For those who feel like doing the math, the 35mm lens I used has a FOV of
10.5 degrees by 7.9 degrees. I didn't do a survey to estimate density, but
it sounds like Bill Evans will be trying that this season.

Suan

PS. From that same page above you can find links to the original mp4s of
the best Woodcock videos as well.

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Myers Ospreys, Sat 9 Apr

2016-04-11 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On that same Saturday, our SFO group started at Myers Point. While at the
spit an osprey approached and started hover-fishing Salmon Creek, pretty
low and close to us. At one point it started diving, but aborted, denying
us what would've been a spectacular sight at naked-eye distance. I have
only ever seen osprey hunt at distance, even out west, so it's neat to see
one comfortable enough with people to hunt so close.

After this, while I was scoping loons, the students said the osprey was
perched on the platform, and I assumed they were talking about the nest on
the point (#2) and not the new one further up salmon creek (#3), but now
I'm not sure, since they would both have been visible from there.

After walking to the lighthouse and back, a/the osprey flew in to perch on
the big tree by the basketball court.

We drove around to Salt Point, arriving just behind Dave's group. While his
group walked down towards the point, ours walked across towards platform #3
salmon creek, upon which an osprey was perched. It presently took off and
circled around to a nearby tree when it suddenly looked like it clumsily
tripped over a branch; but I soon realized that what it was doing was
breaking off a new branch which it brought to the platform and tried to
place. The piece seemed too large and awkward, and it soon took off,
circled again, but then landed in a tree farther away. It would later
return to a nearby tree while we searched for bluebirds in the sumac.

Suan


On Sun, Apr 10, 2016 at 8:35 PM, Dave Nutter  wrote:

> On Saturday morning I took my SFO group to Salt Point. We saw no Ospreys
> on platform #69 (Church Hill), #3 (Salmon Cr), or #2 (Salt Pt). From Salt
> Pt we saw an Osprey perched in a tree along Salmon Cr on the Myers Park
> side.
>
> We also saw an Osprey atop #4 (Myers Hill), and a second Osprey, which had
> been perched on a tree by the pond north of Ladoga Park Rd and eating a
> fish, flew up to the platform briefly. After a couple minutes it flew east,
> still carrying its fish.
>
> A few minutes later from the Ladoga lake access we saw an Osprey fly west
> over the water not carrying any fish. Maybe it was coming from #68
> (Cargill). We did not see that platform nor Portland Pt #1 & #2.
>
> --Dave Nutter
>
>

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[cayugabirds-l] Dryden Lake: pipit, long-tail

2016-04-03 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Susan and I semi-co-led SFO groups this morning to Dryden Lake, where we
were surprised to see an American PIpit along the Jim Schaug trail south of
the park, in the little pond on the south side of the trail. I could not
figure out its ID initially until Susan suggested pipit. Photo here:

  https://flic.kr/p/F27ojT

Also on the lake were 6-7 long tailed ducks (including males in both
plumages, and females), two (lesser) scaup, and one common loon.

At Genung Preserve was a singing brown creeper, and a brief look at what I
think was a fox sparrow -- big and reddish, perched close but too brief to
get my bins on the bird.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Downy Woodpecker Leg Band

2016-03-28 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
So yesterday at Sapsucker Woods (near Owens Platform) I photographed a male
Downy Woodpecker with a metal leg band, with enough resolution to read two
sides of the band:

  http://suan-yong.com/banded/banded.html#dowo

The front say "OPEN", the rear -- I initially guessed maybe ABRL (American
Bird Research Lab?), but concluded it was "ABRE", Spanish for "OPEN".

Are these standard bands? Does anyone happen to know if they might be
banded at the lab, or elsewhere? Should I have mentally willed the bird to
jiggle its leg so the "interesting" parts of the band face outwards? :-D

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Woodcocks IV: Open Stage

2016-03-27 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
And just when I didn't think I could get a better woodcock video, I got
this last night:

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10209270510937785

I also put up the original MP4's as recorded by the ThermAppPlus camera
here:

  http://suan-yong.com/woodcock-video/info.html

for anyone who may be distracted by Facebook's streaming artifacts or
whatever.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Sunday Field Trip Report: Around the Lake

2016-03-14 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Sunday I led a CBC full day around-the-lake field trip, joined by 8
others (2 staying only for the morning portion). The birding on the way up
the lake was pretty sparse numbers-wise though reasonable species-wise, but
mostly at scope distances. Thankfully, our scope-to-participant ratio was
quite high.

At East Shore Park was a close group of American Coots accompanied by a
lone male Redhead, and some relatively close Buffleheads (the one species
that tended to stay close all day). At scoping distance were Scaups and
Horned Grebes to the north, and towards Stewart Park many Ruddy Ducks plus
Ring-necked Duck and possibly others I fail to remember.

>From the Myers spit the lake was quite empty, though scoping found way out
near Taughannock Point a pair of Wood Ducks, which took much squinting to
recognize. Northern Flickers were calling (FOY for me), and continued to
call almost everywhere we stopped.

At Ladoga were some backlit American Coots and American Wigeons, while at
scoping distance was a Common Loon. Just as we were ready to leave 2-3 FOY
Tree Swallows flew by close, prompting Ann's ambiguous post of the year
candidate: "Three Tree Swallows flying close to shore."

We stopped by Sweazey Road to find an empty screech owl cavity, and got
some exercise walking up the steep road, to be rewarded at the top by
Eastern Bluebirds checking out a nestbox: first a female(-type), then a
male, then two more F-types following the male. We wondered whether these
last two were last year's fledges, or females involved in some flavor of
"open relationship".

In the fields around Long Point Winery we heard then found an Eastern
Meadowlark, sporting a remarkably uncamouflaged dark brown against the
golden field. A Northern Mockingbird complained from the power line before
flying off, and a distant Northern Harrier quickly disappeared. Long Point
State Park was "Long disap-Point" (as Ken described it), though we did
scope some distant Red-Breasted Mergansers and flushed a flock of waxwings
from a juniper tree, circling the sky and never to return for us to look
for possible Bohemians. We may have had a Pied-Billed Grebe too (don't
remember if that was here).

Entering Aurora we pulled over to check out an adult Bald Eagle in the
nest, then decided to skip the boathouse for a snack break at Dorie's.
Union Spring's Frontenac Park did not have much; the Mill Pond was better
with a few Redheads and Buffleheads and Ring-necked Ducks, while in the sky
behind the pond, a fair-sized formation of Snow Geese drifted northward.
Meanwhile, an adult medium-sized accipiter sat atop a roadside tree giving
us nice but inconclusive side profile looks in scope; most decided it was a
Cooper's Hawk based on largish head.

In the village of Cayuga we skipped Harris Park to stop at Towpath Machine,
where everyone excitedly jumped out of their cars to look at a lone
prematurely-declared ross's goose that scrutiny couldn't help but rule as
"just a" Snow Goose.

A drive-by binocular look into the mud lock nest failed to notice any
eagles.

At the visitor's center was a nice gathering of birders enjoying the good
number of Northern Pintails and Green-Winged Teals at moderate distance.
Farther out were a good number of partly-obscured Tundra Swans, and 3-4
juvenile Bald Eagles perched variously on muskrat mounds and in the far
distant woods. Many were misidentifying juvenile eagles as ospreys -- an
interesting switcharoo of the more usual misidentification of osprey as
eagle.

We were caught up by Stuart, who reported all the good stuff at spots we
decided to skip: white-winged scoters at the Aurora boathouse, large Aytha
rafts from Harris Park (albeit on the far shore)...

At the mucklands we drove passed decent numbers of ducks at the east end;
when we reached the Potatoes building the surrounding pools were relatively
empty. Four Snow Geese worked a near berm; beyond were Northern Pintails
and further yet we found a hidden stash of American Wigeons, no eurasian. A
Horned Lark occasionally made itself visible above the berm line for a
distant scope view.

We drove back to the east end of the mucklands, where the ducks we'd seen
earlier seem to have disappeared. Scanning the north side, however, we
found the best gathering of waterfowl so far, with zones of Ring-Necked
Duck, Redhead, Canvasback, Northern Pintail, probably some others I forget.
The earlier secret stash of wigeons, which by all geographic calculation
should've been visible from here, was nowhere to be found.

On to Knox-Marcellus with a nice spread of Snow Geese: many blue geese
(some foraging individually far from the flock), but no Ross's. An adult
Bald Eagle was picking at a dead snow goose, with some anxious American
Crows impatiently trying to steal bits. A buteo made a pass then watched
from a small tree, showing just enough ambiguous field marks to prevent our
wishful rough-legged call to be definitively confirmed. Presently the eagle
tired of its meal and made a 

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Yesterday Snowy owls. Seybolt Road and North End of Cayuga lake. probable Common Yellowthroat.

2016-02-04 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
It's Reese Road and Seybolt. To the west about 300 yards away look for some
gas pipe installation (or whatever it is). Each time I've seen the bird
it's been on that installation.

Suan


On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 6:09 PM, marsha kardon  wrote:

> I can't find a Freese Rd in Seneca Falls on Google maps - can you help?  I
> do find Seybolt Rd.
>
> On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 5:54 PM, Michael Tetlow 
> wrote:
>
>>  Sorry to post late but I just wanted to send a note that yesterday
>> the Snowy Owl was seen again on the west side of Seybolt Road just north of
>> Freese road in Seneca Falls.(I know I missed it last week as did others).
>>
>> Later, I and 2 helpers were working on the Montezuma Raptor survey at
>> Cayuga marsh walking the tracks in from route 89 opposite the village of
>> Cayuga. We totaled 10 Northern Harriers and I Short-eared Owl. On the south
>> side of the tracks a probable Common Yellowthroat called a couple times
>> from the marsh just east of the wooded edge. I know the call I just prefer
>> to see the bird to be sure.
>>
>>  Just before dark a Snowy owl appeared on the top of the tallest
>> power pole farthest to our east along the railroad tracks. Don’t know where
>> it was when I was viewing the 2000 plus Tundra Swans from Mud Lock earlier.
>> With no ice it could have been anywhere. 1000’s(probably 15) of Snow Geese
>> flew in from the north and joined the swans to roost south of Mud lock.
>>
>>  Several  groups of around 1000 Redhead each were spread out from
>> Cayuga Lake State Park on the west to south to Union springs on the east.
>> The west side birds, although distant, had a good number of Canvasback
>> (50ish) mixed in and the union spring birds had a few of both Scaup species
>>  and close to 500 Ring-necked Ducks.
>>
>>  Mike Tetlow
>> --
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Eastern Phoebe, Arts Quad

2016-02-01 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Yesterday morning at Sapsucker Woods, the starlings were doing kingbird and
wood duck and meadowlark (among others, no doubt).
Meanwhile, there was legitimate singing from chickadee, titmouse, cardinal:
sounded and felt like spring!

Suan


On Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 9:37 AM, cedar Mathers-Winn 
wrote:

> At 8:30 this morning in the Arts Quad at Cornell, heard an EASTERN PHOEBE
> sing one phrase of song. A few minutes later heard KILLDEER calls, but
> possible that these were from a nearby starling that was calling
> intermittently.
>
> As much as I keep telling myself we may see some winter yet...
>
> Cedar
>
>

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[cayugabirds-l] Wood Duck @ Sapsucker Woods

2015-12-27 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On this morning's birdy walk (with the rain more bearable than I expected),
there was a male wood duck with two mallards at Fuller, seen close from the
Owens platform as it slinked behind the reeds. Plenty of activity from
jingling tree sparrows, courting mallards, complaining blue jays, made for
a pleasant walk. Beaver devastation continues throughout.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Commonland Catbird

2015-12-24 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
The catbird at Commonland was calling again this morning, though my jog-by
silenced it and my cursory glance into the thickets failed to locate it.
Hope it sticks around for the CBC. Or not.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Stewart Park student project: wetland restoration

2015-11-06 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Ken Rosenberg and I were at Stewart Park last month when three of them
(don't remember names) came by, described the project briefly, and asked
for advice. They initially considered using the central part of the
lakeshore near the pavilion/floating dock, but we suggested instead the
corner of the lakeshore closest to the swan pen. We also suggested they get
in touch with the bird club to possibly arrange to present at the CBC
meeting. I don't know if they followed up (apparently not).

Suan


On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 12:07 PM, Robyn Bailey  wrote:

> Dave,
>
>
>
> Here is what the City of Ithaca forester said about the wetlands project:
>
> “Basically the students will be planting some cattails and sweet flag
> along the waters edge, maybe 50 linear feet.
>
> Then they will do some water sampling through the summer. It's not a big
> project.”
>
>
>
> Sorry I don’t have more details about when and where exactly.
>
>
>
> Robyn Bailey
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* bounce-119864146-15067...@list.cornell.edu [mailto:
> bounce-119864146-15067...@list.cornell.edu] *On Behalf Of *Dave Nutter
> *Sent:* Thursday, November 05, 2015 6:35 PM
> *To:* CAYUGABIRDS-L; rmann...@twcny.rr.com; Miguel Berrios
> *Subject:* [cayugabirds-l] Stewart Park student project: wetland
> restoration
>
>
>
> Students of New Roots charter school propose to do some sort of wetlands
> restoration project somewhere in the western part of Stewart Park. This
> Monday afternoon they will present their idea to the City of Ithaca Board
> of Public Works meeting, which starts at 4:45pm on the 3rd floor of City
> Hall. See item 13B on the agenda below.
>
>
>
> Does anyone know anything more about this project? (Where? How big? Doing
> what for how long? Sponsored by whom with what funding?) Can anyone attend
> the meeting? It would be difficult for me.
>
> --Dave Nutter
>
>
>

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[cayugabirds-l] Rusty Blackbirds @ SSW

2015-10-18 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
For this morning's bird walk, we had a flock of about a dozen rusty
blackbirds near Sherwood Platform, first foraging low by one of the small
ponds, then gathering in one of the trees. Also there were some
yellow-rumped warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets, and many white-throated
sparrows throughout. Closer to Owens Platform I heard a red-bellied-like
call which I vaguely recall concluding last year as being from a winter
wren, but didn't tracked it down. A cooper's hawk was seen a couple times
patrolling the back pond, which has lots of wood ducks including brilliant
males.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Sapsucker woods

2015-09-06 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Earlier with the weekend morning bird walk, we started near the pergola
with Black-and-White, Black-throated-Green, and Tennessee -- the last one
showed a hint of a white spot on the wing which made me wonder if it wasn't
a black-throated-blue. By the parking lot was a cooperative bay-breasted
with some nice side staining, who hung out with a few others flitting
through the foliage that I didn't get on. Later near the feeder blind was
at least a magnolia among other flitters.

Suan


On Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 10:49 AM, Laura Stenzler  wrote:

> There are a few migrants around along the Wilson trail at Sapsucker woods
> this morning including a Wilsons warbler, magnolia and Nashville warblers.
> The Wilsons has been staying along the first (north) part of the trail.
> Also seen were rose-breasted grosbeak, phoebe, least flycatcher, lots of
> Goldfinches, common yellowthroats and cedar waxwings.
>Now, back to the trail...
>
> Laura
>

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] K-M shorebird walk, meet MNWR VC 7am Saturday

2015-08-28 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
The other two archive links in the list's email signature...

ARCHIVES:
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2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html

... both seem to show Dave's emails fine, which suggests it's an ABA issue,
so I'd ask them to resolve it. Meanwhile, you can use one of the other two
links.

PS. link #3 above is now stale and should be updated :-D.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Red-Eyed Vireo Cowbird(s)

2015-06-26 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
So a few weeks ago I found a low red-eyed vireo nest at the Mullholland 
Wildflower Preserve, and have been monitoring it off and on. Last week I saw 
the parents feeding at least two sizeable chicks - and collecting fecal sacs - 
and yesterday morning the nest was empty, but I did find a fledgling on a 
branch being fed (and heard a second one nearby unseen), and got some nice 
photos.

On my various visits the parents seemed a little curious at my proximity but 
did not seem to mind in the end (by going back about their business at the 
nest, which I assume they wouldn't do so readily if I'd been a bother). On 
yesterday's visit, I was greeted by some angry-sounding yelps from nearby 
robins, and when I set myself up to photograph the fledgling, I was pelted by a 
spray of masticated mulberry. I didn't look up in time to be certain, but I'm 
pretty sure it was one of the robins, and I'm pretty sure it was a deliberate 
sign of displeasure at my presence.

But why? Was it looking out for the vireo fledgling, or was there 
coincidentally a robin nest or fledgling nearby I hadn't noticed? This is all 
speculation, but I think it might be the former -- especially given Marie's 
observation that the fledgling was no vireo, but a cowbird! Could the cowbird's 
begging be reminding the robin of a child it'd raised in the past? Or do birds 
engage in inter-species communal care, which past episodes have suggested might 
be happening?

Anyhow, here are some photos:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207178837127247set=pcb.10207178856287726

Suan
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[cayugabirds-l] Great Horned Owl

2015-06-22 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 9:51 AM, Meena Madhav Haribal m...@cornell.edu
wrote:

  PS: Yesterday around 5.00 am there was a Great Horned Owl calling from
 Strawberry Hills woods.


On Friday night when I got home at 10:30pm, a Great Horned Owl was hooting
away atop a spruce tree right outside my house in Commonland. I got some
video with my infrared camera (including two bouts of hooting in the audio):

  https://www.flickr.com/photos/50094151@N03/18867923880/

Remarkably, even though it was pretty cool then (felt around 60, airport
reading 55), the bird did not register warmer than the spruce tree! ...
except for the facial disc and undertail area.

It was dark and I could not see it visually, despite its proximity. The owl
seemed confident in its invisibility and paid me no heed, that is until I
started making squeaky noises to get it to look down at me. It finally took
off when I sneezed.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] ~OT: Infrared camera; Peterson

2015-05-18 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Some of you may have seen me play with my Therm-App infrared camera, which
I'm trying to use with mixed success to find birds (some experiences are
described in this blog which I'm failing misearbly at keeping up-to-date:
http://infrared-birding.blogspot.com/ ). Anyhow, just though I'd mention
that the camera, normally $1600, is on sale for a limited time for $939 at
http://therm-app.com/ . I can say unequivocally that this price is the best
value-for-many you can get with infrared technology (traditionally
ridiculously expensive); having said that it is still expensive.

While on techy news: if you have an iOS device and bought the Peterson app,
they recently released version 2.0 which I DO NOT recommend you update to
-- seems like they dropped a lot of content in favor of interface
improvements which ended up not being improvements at all.

Suan

PS. To get things back on topic (thought still OOB), here are some photos
of yesterday's black-billed cuckoo from Greensprings:


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206813078023498set=pcb.10206813084023648

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[cayugabirds-l] Hawthorn Merlin?

2015-05-01 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Checked out the hawthorn orchards this morning (6-7am), which lacked
anything too exciting (yellow warbler, ruby-crowned kinglets and many
red-winged blackbirds), until at one point a killdeer-like call was
followed by a falcon-like shape swooping north towards the
cemetary/pharmacy area. I believe it was a merlin, but never got a good
look. Also flushed a coyote from the ravine.

Next, headed down to the swan pen where I failed to locate the bittern (I
also failed yesterday evening not long before Jay's report, so -- it may
yet be in there somewhere). The kingbird was more cooperative, as were a
handful of palm warblers and yellow-rumps and one bright yellow warbler.
For one instant I thought I heard a magnolia warbler, but it never repeated
and I never located it -- keep your eyes and ears peeled. The gull fishing
bonanza seems to be continuing.

Suan

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