Re: [cayugabirds-l] First black-billed cuckoo

2022-05-14 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Saw a silent Yellow-billed Cuckoo around noon today at Hawthorn
Orchard, at the northwest corner in the clearing near the recway. That
and five silent relatively-photogenic Scarlet Tanagers (three males,
two females) were the highlights of my brief late-morning visit there.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Red headed woodpecker

2022-05-11 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Yesterday while volunteering with 5th graders at the Lab of O, I saw a
bluejay-like bird but with all-white secondaries against an otherwise
dark wing. I didn't have binoculars on me and was soon distracted by
other stuff. But on further reflection, Red-headed Woodpecker is the
only bird I can think of with that wing pattern. (That and gadwall,
which this was not :-). I don't suppose anyone at the lab has seen
one.

Suan


On Wed, May 11, 2022 at 4:40 PM Regi Teasley  wrote:
>
> Just saw a Red-headed woodpecker at the suet.
> West Hill in the city.  Hard to believe.
> Regi
> 201 cliff Park Rd
>
> 
> “There is a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future on 
> the planet.” Hans-Otto Partner, co-chair, 2022 IPCC working group
>

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[cayugabirds-l] Osprey webinar recording

2022-05-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
A recording of yesterday's Cayuga Bird Club webinar is now available at:

  https://tinyurl.com/cbc-2022-05-ospreys

Ospreys and Overheads: Working Together to Build and Rebuild
by Paul Paradine.

Recording will be available for about a month (until around June 9, 2022).

Thanks Paul for an informative talk and the work he's doing to help
not just ospreys but other wildlife in our area that are facing
population declines.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Cayuga Bird Club May 2022 meeting

2022-05-08 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
This is just a reminder to join us for tomorrow's Cayuga Bird Club
webinar, where Paul Paradine and Kraig Senter will describe their work
with NYSEG installing Osprey nest platforms.

Register free for the Zoom meeting at: https://tinyurl.com/cbc2022-05

More details below.

This will be our last webinar for the season.

Suan

---

The Cayuga Bird Club’s next monthly meeting will be Monday, May 9,
2022 at 7:30pm.

Our speakers, Paul Paradine and Kraig Senter, will be presenting:
“Ospreys and Overheads: Working Together to Build and Rebuild”

Register free for Zoom meeting at: https://tinyurl.com/cbc2022-05

Prior to the 1990's, there were very few Osprey nests left in the
Finger Lakes Region. Environmental pollutants and habitat loss had
significantly impacted their historic populations. Today, there are
over 140 nests in the Finger Lakes Area with many more throughout the
State of New York. The vast majority of these nests are on built
structures such as utility or light poles, cellular and steel towers.

Paul Paradine and Kraig Senter, along with the invaluable support of
their colleagues at Avangrid, have been working on the restoration of
Ospreys in the Finger Lakes Region to their historic population
estimates for well over a decade. Balancing the need for safe nesting
locations for Osprey with the need for safe and reliable power and
critical infrastructure is challenging yet extremely rewarding - the
result has been an extremely successful reestablishment of a healthy
Osprey population in the Finger Lakes and across New York where they
now coexist harmoniously with the needs of the public for reliable
electric power transmission.

In this presentation, they describe the design of nest platforms as
well as efforts to make them safe for the Ospreys and the workers who
install and maintain the platforms. With the success of nest platforms
to increase osprey populations and with the support of NYSEG, they are
working to expand the geographic range of this project to other
regions in New York state and to develop standardized installation,
maintenance and nest data collection activities.

They also continue to look for opportunities to partner with other
groups and organizations to look for collaborations that will increase
the positive synchronization between utility providers and wildlife
conservation and management - an endeavor that benefits both.

About Our Speakers:
Paul Paradine is the Senior Vegetation Manager for New York State
Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RGE).
Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, he has worked with Wildlife and
Forest Conservation Projects across the United States and Canada. He
began his career with the United States Park Service and the United
States Forest Service, working as a Backcountry Biologist and
Technician and eventually becoming passionately involved with
Endangered Spotted Owl populations in Northern California. He
continues to promote Raptor Conservation through successful Osprey
Initiatives in NY, Maine and Connecticut.

Kraig Senter is a Division Forester and Arborist at New York State
Electric & Gas (NYSEG). He began his career with New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation working with forest health
issues under an Early Detection Rapid Response program that located
exotic and invasive plants and insects. Later, he began marking
commercial timber sales on state land and worked closely with wildlife
biologists to create new, early successional habitat. Today, he enjoys
volunteering on Out-of-State wildfire assignments and helping to
advance an established osprey nest program at NYSEG

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[cayugabirds-l] Fwd: [eatonbirdingsociety] [GeneseeBirds-L] Bird of Prey Days at Braddock Bay - Raptor Research Talks This Weekend!

2022-04-21 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Bird of Prey Days this weekend near Rochester, more information below.
Moderate south winds in this weekend's forecast might make for decent hawk
migration, with air temps getting warm and not so "BBRR" :-).

Suan


Begin forwarded message:

*From: *Daena Ford 
*Subject: **[GeneseeBirds-L] Bird of Prey Days at Braddock Bay - Raptor
Research Talks This Weekend!*
*Date: *April 21, 2022 at 9:15:06 AM EDT
*To: *geneseebird...@geneseo.edu, geneseebirds-googlegr...@geneseo.edu

Good morning!
This weekend, April 22-24, Braddock Bay Raptor Research will be holding its
annual Bird of Prey Days event.  We are hosting in person events, both
indoors and out.  Not only is it a chance for families to come out and
learn more about raptors and birding in our community, but also a chance to
learn about current research projects that BBRR is involved in.  Just
wanted to highlight a few presentations that may be of particular interest
to the birding community.

First, you can find the complete schedule of events at
https://www.bbrr.org/bird-of-prey-days-2022/.  While there you can also
check out the link to our online auction which will raise funds for our
work.  https://www.myminiauction.com/braddockbayraptorresearchauction

Saturday, 4/23 :
8:00 am Morning Bird Walk at Braddock Bay, hosted by Genesee Valley Audubon
Society
11:00 am Discovering Emerging Disease in Sharp-shinned Hawks -
https://www.bbrr.org/events/discovering-emerging-disease-in-sharp-shinned-hawks/
2:00 pm Red-tailed Hawk Banding Research: Developing Nutritional Treatment
for Hospitalized Red-tailed Hawks -
https://www.bbrr.org/events/red-tailed-hawk-banding-research/

Sunday. 4/24:
12:00 pm - Rochester's Peregrine Falcons -
https://www.bbrr.org/events/rochester-peregrine-falcons/
2:00 pm - Snowy Owl ROCstars - the latest news about this winter's
Rochester based snowy owls -
https://www.bbrr.org/events/snowy-owl-roc-stars/

Of course, the hawkwatch will be going with David Brown on duty as our head
counter, but also with some of the BBRR volunteers there as interpreters to
help people spot birds and learn about hawkwatching.  Hope you see many of
you out and about!

Good Birding!
Daena Ford
Braddock Bay Raptor Research
df...@bbrr.org

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[cayugabirds-l] Snow Geese Video

2022-03-19 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
If you missed the snow goose spectacle earlier this month, I put
together a video:

  https://youtu.be/rOWvblegw1Y

It sounds like the mucklands flock may have left? But conceivably some
on Cayuga Lake may still be around?

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Beginner Bird Walks, Saturdays @ CLO

2022-01-31 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Beginner Bird Walks are restarting this month, every Saturday 8:30am-10:00am.
Meet at the Lab of O main entrance. These 90-minute walks, led by
Cayuga Bird Club volunteers, are targeted toward beginners, but all
levels are welcome. Binoculars are available for loan. We ask that you
adhere to Cornell’s COVID-19 policy: when outdoors, everyone should
wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible. Please dress for
the weather.

The Visitor Center is closed this Saturday, but will open on
subsequent Saturdays at 10am. No bathrooms are available when the
Visitor Center is closed.

Hope to see some of you out on the trails.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Cayuga Bird Club - January meeting 1/10/21 7:30 pm TONIGHT!

2022-01-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 12:47 PM Donna Lee Scott  wrote:
>
> Link to register not working…

Try this: https://tinyurl.com/cbc2022-01

Suan


> On Jan 10, 2022, at 12:44 PM, Laura Stenzler  wrote:
>
> 
> It's time for one of the Cayuga Bird Club's favorite meetings - Monday, 
> January 10th @ 7:30, TONIGHT!
>
> SHARE  YOUR  PHOTOS  NIGHT !
>
> Club members  will share a maximum of five photos during the 3 minutes they 
> will have to take the stage. But EVERYONE is invited to watch!
>
> Kevin McGowan will once again host this meeting
>
> Register in advance for the Zoom meeting link: https://tinyurl.com/cbc2022-01
>
> Looking forward to seeing photos from many of you!
>
> Colleen Richards and Laura Stenzler
> Cayuga Bird Club
> --
>

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[cayugabirds-l] Bufflehead and Snowy Owl Videos

2021-12-19 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Given the clear weather on Friday before this messier weekend weather,
I took the afternoon off driving around the lake, and got some nice
video footage. First are buffleheads with the male's head feathers
iridescing in the sun at Union Spring's factory pond (a good spot for
pretty close views of bufflehead, gadwall, and green-winged teal).
Next are three Snowy Owls at the Finger Lakes Airport just chillin'
near the tarmac:

  Buffleheads: https://youtu.be/cHsvDj5j7Io
  Snowy Owls: https://youtu.be/T7kcEs1kmuQ

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] A great read for birders to consider by Bryan Pfeiffer

2021-12-10 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Very engaging discussion about emission-awareness while birding. Let me throw 
in a few cents.

Broadening the scope of an outing to include more than birds is definitely a 
good idea. In past years, the Lab of O has collaborated with the Botanic 
Gardens to have bird walks at the Arboretum and plant walks at Sapsucker Woods, 
which I've always tried to attend (so I can learn what to tell people during 
bird walks when there are no birds :-). I've also joined various walks hosted 
mainly by the FLLT in the past to learn about tree identification (from Akiva 
Silver, https://www.fllt.org/profiles/akiva-silver/), animal tracking (from 
Linda Spielman, https://lindajspielman.com/), etc. We could try to organize 
"birding plus" walks and invite leaders from other disciplines. Otherwise, as 
an individual, iNaturalist and Google Lens are resources that can let one 
identify and learn on their own about what they're seeing.

Encouraging field trip participants to donate to FLLT or SPCA is an interesting 
idea. We might get into a question of which of the many worthy causes we decide 
to endorse. As club president, I'd rather not make top-down endorsements; 
instead, we could let each field trip leader decide, since they are after all 
the ones volunteering to lead.

Carbon offsetting via https://www.fingerlakesclimatefund.org/ is also an 
interesting idea. In fact, I can imagine a feature like this being incorporated 
into eBird: if on a given day you submit checklists from Myers, Long Point, 
Montezuma, and Dean's Cove, there's enough information there for the software 
to estimate the distance traveled, and thus the emission cost of that outing. 
For club Field Trips, we could also make it a conscious step to compute this, 
either estimate before or consciously check the odometer afterwards, and tell 
the participants. Much like how calorie counts are becoming commonplace on 
menus, perhaps our field trip descriptions should include an estimated carbon 
cost in dollars per vehicle.

The Christmas Bird Count is IMO the wrong thing to focus on when it comes to 
reducing driving. The count at least has a survey goal, and unless birders' 
homes happen to coincide with a decent statistical cover of the circle, 
non-local movement will be necessary. We could aim to encourage biking, but 
that requires infrastructure investments, especially in winter, and is thus a 
long term goal. The best we can do, I think, is to minimize the 
frequent-stop-and-go driving style, e.g., using Dave's leap-frogging idea when 
possible. This would apply to Atlas surveys also the rest of the year.

Chasing rarities and non-local hotspots (like Montezuma) are bigger problems, 
IMO. Unless one makes a conscious decision not to chase, carpooling is probably 
the best mitigating solution. Unfortunately, COVID is forcing us to discourage 
carpooling. To encourage birding more locally, there's the notion of adopting a 
local patch and birding it year round to see what changes, and maybe learn more 
about the rest of its non-avian biology if the birding is quiet. Or make your 
yard its own hotspot by creating habitat, planting native plants, etc.

I've been thinking of having more single-destination field trips, as opposed to 
trips that drive to multiple places. Last weekend's morning at Stewart park was 
one such trip, which turned out remarkably productive. Unfortunately, there 
aren't many good single destinations for birding in the winter months, but 
Spring would be a time to try more of this.

Suan

---

Birdwatching’s Carbon Problem | Bryan Pfeiffer
https://bryanpfeiffer.com/2021/12/02/birdwatchings-carbon-problem/

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Fwd: GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO PROTECT PRISTINE CAYUGA LAKE WATERFRONT PROPERTY

2021-12-07 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
The current purchase is by the FLLT, which plans to sell it to the DEC
within a year or so. My understanding is that the state machinery for such
land acquisition is a slow process, which is why the FLLT is stepping in as
an intermediary, being more agile in its ability to make such purchases.

Suan

On Mon, Dec 6, 2021 at 10:06 PM madonna stallmann <
madonnaoftheprai...@gmail.com> wrote:

> See the link below for more information about the deal.
>
> I'm confused, (and I know I risk displaying how completely ignorant I am
> about how these deals work) why does the FLLT have to raise $500,000 for
> land that New York bought from NYSEG? Why is FLLT still having to deal with
> NYSEG?
>
>
> https://ithacavoice.com/2021/12/nyseg-finger-lakes-land-trust-finalize-bell-station-land-deal/
>
> Madonna Stallmann
>
> On Wed, Dec 1, 2021, 4:47 PM Suan Hsi Yong  wrote:
>
>>
>> https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-announces-agreement-protect-pristine-cayuga-lake-waterfront-property
>>
>>
>>
>> *For Immediate Release:* 12/1/2021
>>
>> *GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL*
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> *GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO PROTECT PRISTINE CAYUGA LAKE
>> WATERFRONT PROPERTY*
>>
>>
>>
>> *Governor Announces Agreement Between Finger Lakes Land Trust and New
>> York State Electric & Gas*
>>
>>
>>
>> *Agreement Secures Future Protection of the Largest Privately-Owned
>> Shoreline Parcel along Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes*
>>
>>
>>
>> *Finger Lakes Land Trust Will Acquire 470-Acre Bell Station Parcel*
>>
>>
>>
>> *Photo Available **Here*
>> <https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.governor.ny.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2F2021-11%2FBell_Station.pdf=04%7C01%7Cjames.denn%40dps.ny.gov%7C59a76d554c474896f1b008d9b4f80823%7Cf46cb8ea79004d108ceb80e8c1c81ee7%7C0%7C0%7C637739799645488193%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000=hpMikhf4mgZmTuzJUOa%2BzV7WwN8GVLGrRDfIjS14fmk%3D=0>
>>
>>
>>
>> Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a land purchase agreement has been
>> reached between the Finger Lakes Land Trust and New York State Electric &
>> Gas Corp. for the 470-Acre Bell Station, the largest privately-owned
>> undeveloped lake shoreline in the Finger Lakes. Governor Hochul in
>> September announced that NYSEG had canceled the auction of land known as
>> Bell Station with 3,400 feet of pristine shoreline on the east side of
>> Cayuga Lake in Tompkins County, and that three state agencies would
>> facilitate permanent protection of this parcel and maximize public access.
>>
>>
>>
>> "The purchase of this land will guarantee its protection and preservation
>> for future generations - making environmentally conscious decisions like
>> this allow us peace of mind knowing our children and their children will
>> have access to green space and a beautiful lakeview in the Finger Lakes," 
>> *Governor
>> Hochul said.* "I am proud of the hard work and collaboration between our
>> state agencies, NYSEG, and the Finger Lakes Land Trust to quickly move
>> ahead with the sale agreement that will pave the way for the transfer of
>> ownership of Bell Station."
>>
>>
>>
>> DEC and the Finger Lakes Land Trust will create a public wildlife
>> management area on the lakeshore portion of the property. Bell Station is
>> recognized as a priority project in New York State's Open Space Plan and
>> designated as future public access conservation land in the Town of Lansing
>> Comprehensive Plan. The property sale does not require further review or
>> approval by the Public Service Commission.
>>
>>
>>
>> Cayuga Lake is a critical resource for drinking water, tourism, and
>> recreation in the region. Preserving Bell Station will help protect
>> critical habitat for plants and wildlife, and greatly enhance public
>> recreation opportunities by providing direct shoreline access to the east
>> side of Cayuga Lake, which is 90 percent privately-owned. The lake supports
>> incredible sport fisheries, including largemouth bass, chain pickerel,
>> northern pike, crappie, yellow perch, sunfish, gar, and bowfin. It is
>> intended that the easternmost portion of the property will be utilized for
>> the production of renewable solar energy.
>>
>>
>>
>> Cayuga Lake is also designated as an important bird area by New York
>> Audubon and supports a large and diverse population of waterfowl and other
>> 

[cayugabirds-l] Fwd: GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO PROTECT PRISTINE CAYUGA LAKE WATERFRONT PROPERTY

2021-12-01 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-announces-agreement-protect-pristine-cayuga-lake-waterfront-property



*For Immediate Release:* 12/1/2021

*GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL*





*GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO PROTECT PRISTINE CAYUGA LAKE
WATERFRONT PROPERTY*



*Governor Announces Agreement Between Finger Lakes Land Trust and New York
State Electric & Gas*



*Agreement Secures Future Protection of the Largest Privately-Owned
Shoreline Parcel along Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes*



*Finger Lakes Land Trust Will Acquire 470-Acre Bell Station Parcel*



*Photo Available **Here*




Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a land purchase agreement has been
reached between the Finger Lakes Land Trust and New York State Electric &
Gas Corp. for the 470-Acre Bell Station, the largest privately-owned
undeveloped lake shoreline in the Finger Lakes. Governor Hochul in
September announced that NYSEG had canceled the auction of land known as
Bell Station with 3,400 feet of pristine shoreline on the east side of
Cayuga Lake in Tompkins County, and that three state agencies would
facilitate permanent protection of this parcel and maximize public access.



"The purchase of this land will guarantee its protection and preservation
for future generations - making environmentally conscious decisions like
this allow us peace of mind knowing our children and their children will
have access to green space and a beautiful lakeview in the Finger
Lakes," *Governor
Hochul said.* "I am proud of the hard work and collaboration between our
state agencies, NYSEG, and the Finger Lakes Land Trust to quickly move
ahead with the sale agreement that will pave the way for the transfer of
ownership of Bell Station."



DEC and the Finger Lakes Land Trust will create a public wildlife
management area on the lakeshore portion of the property. Bell Station is
recognized as a priority project in New York State's Open Space Plan and
designated as future public access conservation land in the Town of Lansing
Comprehensive Plan. The property sale does not require further review or
approval by the Public Service Commission.



Cayuga Lake is a critical resource for drinking water, tourism, and
recreation in the region. Preserving Bell Station will help protect
critical habitat for plants and wildlife, and greatly enhance public
recreation opportunities by providing direct shoreline access to the east
side of Cayuga Lake, which is 90 percent privately-owned. The lake supports
incredible sport fisheries, including largemouth bass, chain pickerel,
northern pike, crappie, yellow perch, sunfish, gar, and bowfin. It is
intended that the easternmost portion of the property will be utilized for
the production of renewable solar energy.



Cayuga Lake is also designated as an important bird area by New York
Audubon and supports a large and diverse population of waterfowl and other
birds, particularly during migration and winter. Increased access to unique
areas like this provides important economic opportunities to local
communities to capitalize on the growing popularity of outdoor recreation,
while also protecting the natural buffers that protect water quality.
Protecting the lake from lakeshore development and erosion will protect
water quality in a public drinking water supply and help reduce the threat
of harmful algal blooms.



*Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said,*
"The land purchase agreement between the Finger Lakes Land Trust and NYSEG
to preserve the environmentally sensitive 470-acre Bell Station property is
a major victory for conservation efforts in the Finger Lakes region and an
example of Governor Hochul's commitment to the environment. Preserving Bell
Station will help protect critical habitat and ecosystems that support
water quality in Cayuga Lake and promote recreational opportunities that
support the local economy. DEC is grateful to the Governor for her
leadership in securing this agreement and thankful to NYSEG for recognizing
the environmental value in protecting this property. We look forward to
working with the Finger Lakes Land Trust to conserve this unique parcel on
the lakefront for future generations of visitors to experience and enjoy."



*State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said,* "Bell Station is across
Cayuga Lake to the north from Taughannock State Park. Under the leadership
of Governor Hochul, this acquisition will both protect that lakeview, as
well as the water quality of the creeks and streams that flow from Bell
Station into the lake. We look 

[cayugabirds-l] Crow and Harrier

2021-11-27 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Around midday today I pulled over somewhere east of Aurora to watch a
Northern Harrier eating something in the middle of a field, with an
American Crow standing about ten feet away. Nothing too unusual so far.
Presently a second Northern Harrier approaching from afar, and when it got
closer, guess what happened? The crow started harassing the second Harrier
and shooed it away.

My interpretation: the crow was defending its dibs on leftovers.

Before long the first harrier flew off, and after a respectful pause, the
crew flew to the spot the first harrier had occupied. I couldn't tell if it
picked up anything.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] More loon migration

2021-11-24 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Bill Evans made similar observations on Facebook yesterday:

11/23, 8:43am:
Huge flotilla of 800+ loons aborted southbound flight due to lake
effect snow and are headed back toward Cayuga Lake over 96b valley in
Danby.

11/23 10:07am:
Follow up: As the dense lake effect band moved south of Danby and
split into multiple NW-SE running bands, the mass of loons came back
south in a more protracted flight. I counted over 900 southbound loons
from ~8:40-9:30 over the rte. 96B valley (over the Danby hamlet).
These birds are well into PA by now.

--

This coming Friday and Saturday look to have similar north-westerly
wind patterns, so could be worth checking out. Watching from the west
side of the lake (hog's hole or Taughannock) will probably be more
pleasant for the human; if watching from Myers or East Shore, expect
the bitter wind to be blowing in your face :-).



Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Cayuga Bird Club Meeting

2021-11-09 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
If you missed last night's webinar on female songsters, a recording is
available here (until next month's meeting):

  https://tinyurl.com/cbc-2021-11-Odom

For those asking for a list of North American birds with known female
songs, see Appendix Table 5 in this Auk article from 2018:

  
https://bioone.org/journals/the-auk/volume-135/issue-2/AUK-17-183.1/A-call-to-document-female-bird-songs--Applications-for/10.1642/AUK-17-183.1.full#i0004-8038-135-2-314-t05

Suan


On Mon, Nov 8, 2021 at 5:11 PM Laura Stenzler  wrote:
>
> Listening to Nature’s Divas: what female songsters have to tell us
> Speaker:  Dr. Karan Odom
>
> Monday, November 8, 2021, 7:30pm EDT
> Free and open to the public!
>
> Most bird enthusiasts are familiar with the intricate, beautiful songs of 
> male songbirds. However, it is less well known that females of many bird 
> species also sing. While male songbirds sing to attract mates or defend 
> territories, the reasons that females sing can be much broader, including 
> competing for year-round resources for herself and her young. However, there 
> is still a lot to learn about the extent of differences between male and 
> female songs, the reasons that female songbirds sing, and the evolutionary 
> pressures that led female songbirds to sing in the first place. Dr. Karan 
> Odom will provide a glimpse of the world’s diversity of female bird songs and 
> explain what these natural divas have to tell us.
>
> About the Speaker: Dr. Karan Odom is a behavioral ecologist interested in how 
> animals evolved their often complex behaviors. She is especially interested 
> in the evolution of elaborate bird songs in female as well as male songbirds. 
> She combines phylogenetic comparative methods with field studies in order to 
> tease apart the evolutionary processes responsible for the biogeographical 
> patterns we see in female and male song today. Karan is currently a 
> postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park, and 
> recently completed a postdoc at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Karan 
> received her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) 
> studying male and female song in troupials, a tropical oriole in Puerto Rico, 
> and her masters at the University of Windsor in Ontario studying the function 
> and geographic variation in Barred Owl duets. Karan also runs a citizen 
> science project (the Female Bird Song Project – www.femalebirdsong.org), 
> encouraging wildlife enthusiasts to help document the understudied singing 
> behaviors of female songbirds.
>
> Dr. Karan Odom with a Troupial.
> --
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>
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> --
>

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[cayugabirds-l] Saturday Beginner Bird Walks at Sapsucker Woods

2021-09-26 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
The Cayuga Bird Club will be restarting beginner bird walks at
Sapsucker Woods, every Saturday starting at 8:30am, beginning with
this coming Saturday, October 2. The Visitor Center will be closed
October 2, but will be open from 10am-4pm starting the following
Saturday, October 9. These walks are targeted towards beginning
birders, but we welcome people of all skill levels. Binoculars are
available for loan. Walks take approximately 90 minutes and are led by
Cayuga Bird Club volunteers. Visitors must adhere to Cornell’s
COVID-19 policy which states that masks must be worn outdoors when
physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Contact me if you have any questions.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Bell Station Auction canceled!

2021-09-24 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Governor Secures Agreement with NYSEG to Cancel Planned Auction of
470-Acre Bell Station Landing Parcel

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/during-climate-week-governor-hochul-announces-agreement-secure-future-protection-largest

Thanks to all who helped make this happen!

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Cayuga Bird Club Webinar recording

2021-09-17 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
FYI, the recording from Monday's Cayuga Bird Club webinar - "Northern
Cardinal Urban Ecology" by Dan Baldassarre, is available here:

  https://tinyurl.com/cbc2021baldassarre

The recording will be available until next month's webinar.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] FLLT Bell Station Webpage

2021-09-09 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
The FLLT just put up this webpage about the Bell Station issue:

  https://www.fllt.org/savebellstation

If you haven't already, signing this change.org petition (
https://chng.it/yQdP6g8PyT ) is something you can do quickly; there
are plans for the NYS senator and assemblyperson to send the list of
signatories to the governor's office:

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Bell Station In Lansing Up For Auction

2021-08-31 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Towards the northwest corner of the Town of Lansing is a parcel of
lakeshore property known as Bell Station, located between Nut Ridge
Road and the former Cayuga Operating Company Power Plant. This
approximately-471-acre parcel, owned by New York State Electric and
Gas Co. (NYSEG), remains mostly wooded and has 3400 feet (over ½ mile)
of undeveloped shoreline, a rare feature in the 11 Finger Lakes, let
alone on Cayuga Lake.

Much of the property has been designated by Tompkins County as a
Unique Natural Area. The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) has been
working in good faith for many years to secure this land as a
conservation area at a fair price, with full support of the Lansing
Town Board and Conservation Advisory Council, and the New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation.

Last week we learned that NYSEG intends to auction off the property to
the highest bidder. The FLLT is unlikely to win an open auction, and
the most likely outcome is the development of the shoreline for
private homes or other projects. We understand that this decision came
from corporate, and not from the local NYSEG offices who have been
very helpful with installing Osprey platforms, among other
conservation efforts.

The auction is slated for October 11-13. The listing can be found at
https://tinyurl.com/bellstn-auction

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP TAKE BELL STATION OFF THE AUCTION BLOCK?

Strong local action is needed immediately to try to stop the auction.

Signing this change.org petition could be a start: https://chng.it/yQdP6g8PyT

Letters by individuals may be sent to towncl...@lansingtown.com

Send a letter to NY Senator Helming. She is very supportive and wants
letters and messages to show others.

Contact information for public officials and other people to contact,
including Senator Helming, can be found at
https://www.cayugabirdclub.org/bell-station

(Compiled by Donna Scott and Suan Yong)

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Cedar waxwings fly catching?

2021-08-15 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
I've seen waxwings passing fruit among themselves in the spring several
times, but was luck to capture this photo once of a pair exchanging
crabapples: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQmq_i-tfWo/

Suan


On Fri, Aug 13, 2021 at 9:24 PM Richard Guthrie 
wrote:

> The Stokes' on Cedar Waxwings passing fruit amongst their neighbors: Years
> ago at a NYS Federation annual meeting (now NYS Ornithological Association)
> I attended a presentation by Don and Lilian Stokes and there they did a
> little enactment of waxwings sharing cherries with one another - including
> a few little side-stepping hops to illustrate the behavior. It was cute
> (yeah, a little hokey). But it suggested to me that they were conveying
> that behavior as fact.
>
> And, yes, I've seen waxwings flycatching many times. I think it's an
> opportunistic reaction to an aquatic insect hatch.
>
> Rich Guthrie
>
>
> On Fri, Aug 13, 2021 at 7:13 PM Linda Orkin  wrote:
>
>> I have seen Cedar Waxwings do this quite a few times also. At beebe lake
>> and flat rock. I was also surprised the first time. Very cool to  feel like
>> you discover this yourself by keen observation. I also saw them one time in
>> my black cherry passing cherries along the branch to each other. Which
>> Donald and Lillian Stokes say is just a myth but I saw it with my own eyes.
>>
>> Linda Orkin
>> Ithaca, NY
>>
>>
>>
>

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[cayugabirds-l] Fwd: Golden Eagle Dryden

2021-07-22 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Forwarding a Golden Eagle sighting in Dryden, see below, in case
anyone in the area wants to look up.

Suan

-- Forwarded message -
From: Kevin Jones
Date: Thu, Jul 22, 2021 at 6:16 PM
Subject: Golden Eagle Dryden

Hello Kevin and Susan:

We have not met but I am reaching out to the both of you because of a
possible Golden Eagle sighting in Dryden today at about 5 p.m.  The
bird was soaring/kiting North of Ferguson Road and East of Irish
Settlement Road.  I would state with 90% plus certainty that my
identification was correct.  I was drawn to the bird because of it’s
Eagle like appearance and pulled over to view with my binoculars. I
couldn’t ID it as a mature or immature Bald Eagle, but there was a
distinctive brownish/golden color on the back of it’s head and some
white in it’s tail, hence, my Golden Eagle ID.

I was formerly an avid birder (pre-kids) and have previously observed
Golden Eagles in NY and NJ on four occasions and have had innumerable
immature and mature Bald Eagle sightings over the years.  Hence my
confidence in my identification.

I hope this is of interest to you and other more skilled bird
watchers, if interested, can find the bird again and confirm my
identification.  Please let me know if they do.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Kevin A. Jones

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Fields being mowed.

2021-06-20 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 6:38 PM Nancy Cusumano 
wrote:

> I have been thinking about this too. And to me the issue is, what is in it
> for the farmer? If we are going to ask them to cut their fields up to go
> around nesting sites, is the bird conservation issue enough for them? What
> is the carrot, I guess is my question. I don't know the answer.
>

The carrot question is a challenging one, and not one I'm prepared to
address, but I think of it as an independent problem.

I'm working on the assumption that some farmers, either via some form of
persuasion or just from their own love of nature, would be interested in
not killing nestlings. We've heard allusion to at least two such farmers in
recent posts. But as of today, these farmers do not have any workable
solution other than a loosy-goosy guideline of "wait til July to mow"
which, as others have explained, is often not compatible with their harvest
constraints. The volunteer surveyor's corps, if it can be successfully
materialized, would be an option for those farmers to try something
different. The idea would not be for the corps to go around trying to
convince farmers to do this or that, but to be available as a resource for
those who desire it.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Fields being mowed.

2021-06-20 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Thanks, Dave.

As Cayuga Bird Club I've been wondering what, if anything, we could do
about the situation. One dimension would be outreach and education and
increasing general awareness, for which CAC chair Jody has stepped up to
solicit volunteers, thanks! But I'd also toyed with a pipedream idea of
whether the club could establish a corps of volunteer surveyors who, upon
request by any interested farmer, would go to a field and try to map out
nest sites and mark off sub-sections of the field that the farmer may be
willing to leave alone for the sake of the birds.

I've never tried finding nest sites of field birds before; I suspect it can
be hard. I'd be interested to hear of any work or techniques that can be
workable to "an average volunteer". Perhaps Reuben has some hints or
suggestions. I know that Reuben is a very acute observer of birds, and
would place his skills at above average; ideally, we would like to
establish some methodology that can be effectively applied by one of
"average" observational skills.

Just spitballing, I imagine a workable technique would involve first
installing flags to establish a grid over the field, then having at least
two observers situated on orthogonal axes communicating with walkie-talkies
to triangulate the grid location of an observed bird flying into or out of
a likely nest. Flag installation should probably happen a day or two in
advance, and could conceivably be done by the farmer ahead of time. Flag
installation may also flush birds from potential nest sites, and notes on
such observations should be taken as well. The flags will need to be marked
such that they can be read from both axes, and be easy to interpolate.
Using letters and numbers is the obvious choice, but the markings would
have to be on stiff cards facing both axes. Another option is to use color
coded flags, but interpolation may be tricky, as one needs to be able to
quickly locate the grid "between the green and blue flags", say. Something
involving two digits of rainbow colors could be workable, but it gets
complicated fast with two axes to label.

If anyone is interested in volunteering for such a survey, please email me.
I don't know if this idea will go anywhere, but having a sense of potential
interest could be a starting point. Also, if any farmers are willing to let
us test out techniques, email me as well. I suspect we won't be able to do
anything this season, but if the stars align (enough volunteers sign up and
a farmer offers a field to test) we could potentially try doing something
within the next week or two of peak nesting. More likely is to think about
possibly doing something next season, perhaps on one of Cornell's
agricultural fields that started this thread?

Curious to hear people's thoughts.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Taughannock Peregrines

2021-06-20 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Two Thursdays ago (June 10) I happened to be up in T'burg, so stopped by to
check out the Taughannock Peregrines. I found three nestlings in their
eyrie playing with their food and flapping their wings as if ready to
fledge. Two days later, on Saturday June 12, I ran across Mark Chao and
Miyoku in T'burg, and together we went looking only to find the ledge
empty. After some waiting we saw one then several peregrines soaring around
the gorge, including the fledglings. Two of them eventually perched on a
snag on the same side of the gorge as we were, and through a window in the
foliage we were afforded some fantastic naked-eye views as they sat and
preened. Below are two videos I took, first of the nestlings on Thursday,
then of a fledgling on Saturday:

  https://youtu.be/YvQaS-PHFbo
  https://youtu.be/8RAOCeBO49I

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Binocular eyepiece covers

2021-06-15 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
If you lost your binocular eyepiece covers at Myers Park (at last night's
Cayuga Bird Club picnic), let me know.

Suan

PS. It was fun seeings nests of both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, but the
Red-Headed Woodpecker did not show, though a couple of Red-Bellied
Woodpeckers did hang out high above the cavities.

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[cayugabirds-l] Lindsay Parson Pileated nest cavity

2021-06-13 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Earlier in the spring I had spied a Pileated Woodpecker entering a
nest cavity near Celia's Cup at Lindsay-Parsons. Last weekend I got a
chance to revisit the hole, and got video of three feeding sessions:

  https://youtu.be/9bPgYmgk7q0

I debated whether to share its location, but sorta procrastinated and
forgot, and just got around to editing the video today. Anyhow, if
people want to see it, the nestlings may still be there, but if they
are they likely won't be there for much longer.

On the trail to Celia's cup, after crossing the railway tracks and
climbing up the small hill, turn right onto the purple trail. After a
short distance you will pass a series of fallen logs, then a second
set of fallen logs. This second set of logs points eastward in the
direction of the nest cavity, which is about 40-50 yards away in an
aspen tree about 15-20 feet high - i.e., not too high. The cavity more
or less faces you.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Big Atlas Weekend June 25-27

2021-06-11 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
FMI: https://ebird.org/atlasny/news/big-atlas-weekend-june-25-27

-- Forwarded message -


The New York State Atlas team is planning an exciting new event for this
June: the first-ever Big Atlas Weekend
!
This event will be a fun way for birders across the state to focus on
breeding birds, build birding skills, and come together as a birding
community. There will also be a chance to win prizes in different Atlas
categories.

If you’re missing the big day competitions or you just love to bird with a
purpose, this is the event for you!

You don’t have to be an expert to participate. We have designed challenges
and prizes (free courses of your choosing from Cornell’s Bird Academy) for
birders of all skill levels designed to focus your atlasing where we need
it most.

Plus, there will be a friendly competition between four states that are
currently conducting atlases: Maine, Maryland-DC, New York, and North
Carolina.

*Mark your calendar and plan to go atlasing between June 25 and June 27 so
New York can claim bragging rights for the inaugural Big Atlas Weekend!*

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[cayugabirds-l] YB Cuckoo

2021-06-09 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Just heard the repeated single calls of a yellow-billed cuckoo outside
my home / office. Coupled with the BBCU from last month, that's both
cuckoos as new yard birds for me this season! Again, once I got
outside it stopped calling and could not be found.

Is it just me, or have the black-billed cuckoos, who seemed to be
singing everywhere earlier in the season, been replaced by
yellow-billed cuckoos lately? We had looks and calls from
yellow-billed cuckoos on our Connecticut Hill field trip last Sunday.
I also heard then saw one that afternoon at Lindsay-Parsons

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] YT Vireo, Sw Thrush

2021-05-28 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
A yellow-throated vireo, new yard bird for me, is singing outside my
house right now.

A couple days ago, while walking around the six-mile creek area, I
heard a Swainson's Thrush singing from some hemlocks, my first time
hearing this song in the area (I'd only ever heard it in the pacific
northwest before).

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Jeff Well's presentation

2021-05-11 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
A recording of Jeff Well's presentation last night for the Cayuga Bird
Club meeting, "The Biggest Bird Conservation Story You’ve Never Heard
- the Boreal Forest of North America", is now available here:

  https://tinyurl.com/cbc2021jeffwells

The links he provided at the end of his talk is also available towards
the bottom of our webinar's page:

  http://www.cayugabirdclub.org/webinars

Thanks for all who attended, and for a great webinar season.

Suan

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Orange Crowned @ Hawthorn

2021-05-07 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
As pointed out by several people, I meant of course Orange-Crowned Warbler.
That's what happens when trying to type on your phone while walking
down the recway, I guess.
(Hard to blame auto-correct for this one, though.)

Meanwhile, it's interesting that the OCWA did not fire off an ebird
alert as I would've expected. Does that feel like something that needs
fixing?
(In contrast, the ebird alerts about red-eyed vireos, while a little
noisy, are at least understandable for seasonality reasons.)

Suan


On Fri, May 7, 2021 at 9:11 AM Suan Yong  wrote:
>
> Like yesterday hawthorn orchard was again relatively quiet today, nashville 
> warblers continuing to be the dominant singer, with a good number of white 
> crowned sparrows singing and foraging in the freshly and messily mown grass, 
> joining a seemingly diminishing number of white throated sparrows.
>
> Then Ken Kemphues chased me down to tell me that he'd just seen an 
> orange-crowned sparrow after following an unfamiliar trill, and together we 
> were able to relocate it. (So FOY credit goes to him.) The trill fits in the 
> junco-chipping range, but doesn't stay in the same pitch like those songs, 
> varying and slowly descending towards the end. At times it seemed to have an 
> edge, and was somewhat reminiscent of a female cowbird's chatter.
>
> Suan
> _
> Composed by thumb and autocorrect.

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[cayugabirds-l] Zoom Social Tomorrow

2021-05-02 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Hi all,

This is a reminder that the Cayuga Bird Club will have a Zoom Social
Hour tomorrow (Monday) at 7:30pm, to informally socialize and chat
about sightings or anything else. Register in advance here:
https://tinyurl.com/cbc202105social

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] GBH fishing show

2021-04-25 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Along the Montezuma wildlife drive yesterday morning, I was most
captivated by the fishing show put on by the Great Blue Herons. Here's
one of many video clips I took (the rest I probably won't have time to
edit til -- who knows when?):

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10226398830855078

The GBH didn't seem to need a break between fishes, catching as many
as it could swallow. When one bird had a string of consecutive
catches, it would draw the attention of other GBHs who would fly in to
join the cluster. They always maintained respectful social distancing,
never trying to steal from each other like other species might. I got
the impression that only a couple of the birds were proficient at
fishing, able to pick out multiple fishes at a time, while others
seemed less successful (this is unconfirmed observation as my camera
was always focused on one individual at a time). Every now and then a
GBH would mildly shoo away another, which didn't seem any closer to
the flock than others. I got the impression that there were tribes, or
perhaps family groups, which did not enjoy the presence of outsiders
as much.

At one point a couple ospreys came soaring by, and casually dropped in
to pick up a snack. I caught the tail end of one such dive, but it was
out of focus.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Pine Warbler

2021-04-25 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Just had a surprise new yard bird: a pine warbler checking out my
small garden bed right outside my picture window not five feet away,
here in Commonland by Six-Mile Creek. The view out that window is
towards a grove of pines and spruces, from which trills are frequently
heard, but which I'd always assumed were just juncos. I may have to
invest some warbler-necking time to see if there might not be some
pine warblers nesting up there.

Suan

PS, the same garden bed was visited by a fox last week:
https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10226372622839894

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[cayugabirds-l] Lo. Waterthrush @ Six-Mile Creek

2021-04-08 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Louisiana Waterthrush is back singing here along Six-Mile Creek upstream
from the second dam reservoir. Also here is a Winter Wren singing for at
least a few days if not weeks, who I was finally able to see.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Snow Goose Takeoff Protocol

2021-04-06 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
So during last month's Snow Goose gathering at Cayuga Lake State Park,
I took a number of videos, and this one in particular showing the
explosive takeoffs, repeated in slow motion, I found particularly
interesting:

  https://youtu.be/3hRIJEPQ7qM

When the geese on the far side first take off, you'll notice that the
geese on water all turn around almost in unison to face away from the
takeoff and orient themselves more or less in the direction of flight.
They are also adhering to a strict protocol of not taking off early
before their turn (there is some flapping by one closer bird, but it
does not take off), as they wait patiently for their immediate
neighbors to take off before they do so themselves. After the initial
re-orientation, some geese do move around a bit, perhaps to make some
more space for a safer takeoff, or perhaps just a little impatient and
getting a better look at the oncoming wave of takeoffs?

In all these mass tight-flying birds (snow geese, starlings, various
shorebirds), it always seems incredible how they are able to stay so
tight without bumping into each other. This seems only possible with
what we might characterize as protocols or rules. This video shows a
glimpse of something like this happening for takeoffs; no doubt some
more complex protocol is happening mid-flight that's hard for us to
discern watching from the ground.

By the way, it has always been hard to capture the initiation of these
takeoffs, because they usually happen seemingly without warning. In
this instance, however, I'd noticed the approaching fishing boat and,
anticipating the flush, pointed my camera in that direction and hit
record.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Zoom Social Hour

2021-04-03 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Join us Monday, April 5, at 7:30pm for the Cayuga Bird Club's monthly
Zoom social hour, as we chat informally about birds, sightings, and
anything else we want to talk about. All are welcome.

Register at: https://tinyurl.com/cbc202104social

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Lo. Waterthrush? @ Mulholland

2021-04-01 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
In my evening jog around Mulholland Wildflower Preserve, I saw a
songbird foraging under the waterfall opposite the creek at the inner
loop trail. I didn't have binoculars, so could only make out brown
upperparts and light underparts, showing almost white at one point. I
couldn't make out any overt tail wagging, and the bird neither sang
nor called. The foraging behavior seemed consistent with a Louisiana
Waterthrush, but it could also have been an Eastern Phoebe (posture
didn't look upright while on the ground, and I didn't see it fly to a
perch), Song Sparrow (didn't seem to have the reddish color or long
tail), or a female Junco. If anyone is out there with binoculars, keep
an eye out.

Meanwhile, in my morning walk to enjoy the fresh snowscape, I heard
the plaintive song of a Fox Sparrow from the overlook of the Second
Dam reservoir. I'm pretty sure it was the deeper song of a Fox Sparrow
rather than the higher-pitched American Tree Sparrow, though I
wondered which species was more likely to want to sing in the cold
snowy morning.

Suan

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] A song ID quiz

2021-03-26 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
On Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 12:13 PM Suan Hsi Yong  wrote:
>
> This song was heard in a nearby yard here at Commonland, near the
> woods of the Six-Mile Creek natural area. Can you identify the singer?
>
>   https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10226149699586952

Answer: Dark-Eyed Junco. Not a "song" I remember having heard before.
Sibley's says they "sing quiet, varied warbling phrases in early
spring." There is also a question of whether to call this a "song", as
that word is typically used to refer to a species' territorial song
(which for the junco is the familiar trill), and it's unclear (to me)
what role this catbird-like rambling plays.

Thanks for playing. A good number of people got it right, and roughly
the same number of guessers didn't.

Suan

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Merlin reports

2021-03-26 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
FWIW, last weekend while driving up the lake, I spied a brownish falcon
hunting the field immediately south of the King Ferry winery. When I pulled
over to check it out it flew away to the east and I could never get a
binoculared look to ID it, but I think it was a merlin.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] A song ID quiz

2021-03-26 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
This song was heard in a nearby yard here at Commonland, near the
woods of the Six-Mile Creek natural area. Can you identify the singer?

  https://www.facebook.com/suan.yong/videos/10226149699586952

I'll post the answer in a day or two after giving people a chance to guess.

Suan

PS, if you can't access the video above, the audio file is also here:
http://suan-yong.com/sound/2021-03-26-6mc-mixed-song.wav

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Yesterday's Snow Geese

2021-03-23 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
I meant Cayuga Lake State Park (in Seneca Falls), not Seneca Lake
State Park (where a handful of snow geese have been residing year
round).

Suan


On Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 11:21 PM Suan Hsi Yong  wrote:
>
> Yesterday afternoon the snow geese hung out on the shore of some
> houses between Seneca Lake State Park and Wolffy's. Many visitors got
> to see them, though parking on lawns became a problem which prompted
> the police to come by to remind people to stay off private property.
>
> I was there a couple hours waiting for an eruption which didn't
> happen. The geese were remarkably tame - some of them anyways - as
> they came ashore to forage on the lawns sometimes quite close to
> people. This contradicts my assumption that they were always wary of
> people, in the past preferring places like Knox-Marsellus or the
> middle of the lake far enough away from people.
>
> At around 5pm, a three gunshots fired, which sent the flock into the
> sky - the eruption I had been waiting for - but relative to other
> eruptions I've seen in the past they seemed to resettle fairly quickly
> in my opinion, and if anything they came in closer to shore, just
> repositioned a little farther away from the hunters on the boat to the
> south. I think they only picked up 2 or 3. Not a bad day's harvest, I
> suppose, but certainly not a high percentage :-), and barely putting a
> dent in the overpopulation problem. In the next ten minutes or so two
> single shots were fired -- on both occasions, the goose cacophony
> would pause for a full second of silence before continuing, and to my
> surprise, on both occasions no geese took flight. It was as if the
> geese had figured out that if they stayed in close to the houses they
> would be safe from the hunters!
>
> Less conspicuously though no less remarkable, IMO, was a scattering of
> ducks offshore from the geese -- some pepper to complement the heavy
> dose of salt. They were mostly Aythyas off all kinds, and did not raft
> tightly like the redheads like to do. On several occasions a passing
> boat would send large numbers of them into the sky as they circled
> back and forth before resettling.
>
> Here's a video of the snow geese: https://youtu.be/r2GdMs7Lvzs
>
> Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Field Trip this coming Sunday

2021-03-22 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
This coming Sunday, March 28, I will be leading a Cayuga Bird Club field trip.

We will meet at Stewart Park, east end, at 8:00 am.

Please register in advance with me (suan.y...@gmail.com). There is a
limit of six cars.

We will drive up the east shore of the lake, stopping at various
points along the way mostly to view birds on the lake. Bring a scope
if you have one. The trip will officially stop around 11am at the
north end of the lake, allowing people to return to Ithaca by noon.
However, if the snow geese are around, I will personally stay at the
north end of the lake to look for them. Participants are welcome to
tag along to do that if they want.

Note: with the TC Covid numbers trending upwards, this trip may be
cancelled, and registrants notified by Friday. Registrants should also
feel no qualms about cancelling if they have concerns; just notify me
so I know not to expect you.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Yesterday's Snow Geese

2021-03-22 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Yesterday afternoon the snow geese hung out on the shore of some
houses between Seneca Lake State Park and Wolffy's. Many visitors got
to see them, though parking on lawns became a problem which prompted
the police to come by to remind people to stay off private property.

I was there a couple hours waiting for an eruption which didn't
happen. The geese were remarkably tame - some of them anyways - as
they came ashore to forage on the lawns sometimes quite close to
people. This contradicts my assumption that they were always wary of
people, in the past preferring places like Knox-Marsellus or the
middle of the lake far enough away from people.

At around 5pm, a three gunshots fired, which sent the flock into the
sky - the eruption I had been waiting for - but relative to other
eruptions I've seen in the past they seemed to resettle fairly quickly
in my opinion, and if anything they came in closer to shore, just
repositioned a little farther away from the hunters on the boat to the
south. I think they only picked up 2 or 3. Not a bad day's harvest, I
suppose, but certainly not a high percentage :-), and barely putting a
dent in the overpopulation problem. In the next ten minutes or so two
single shots were fired -- on both occasions, the goose cacophony
would pause for a full second of silence before continuing, and to my
surprise, on both occasions no geese took flight. It was as if the
geese had figured out that if they stayed in close to the houses they
would be safe from the hunters!

Less conspicuously though no less remarkable, IMO, was a scattering of
ducks offshore from the geese -- some pepper to complement the heavy
dose of salt. They were mostly Aythyas off all kinds, and did not raft
tightly like the redheads like to do. On several occasions a passing
boat would send large numbers of them into the sky as they circled
back and forth before resettling.

Here's a video of the snow geese: https://youtu.be/r2GdMs7Lvzs

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] 50 Robins

2021-02-15 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
Just had at least 50 American Robins fly into the trees outside my
window here in Commonland on East Hill / Six-Mile Creek. They hung out
in the trees for about a minute before flying off. 50 is a
conservative lower-bound count of what I could see. When they
departed, there were small waves flying by from out of view, so there
could well have been 100.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Field Birds

2021-02-08 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
With the sunny weather I decided to take the afternoon off and drive
around north of Lansing looking for field birds. With the high snow
depth they were pretty easy to encounter, foraging by roadsides and
flushing on approach. Those wanting to look for them, just drive
slowly along any of the less-traveled roads between big fields.

I stopped to photograph three main groups with different dynamics. The
first had about a dozen each of Horned Larks and Snow Buntings, and
they tended to hang out with their own species but loosely associated
with each other. This was somewhere along Conlon Road, I think (I need
to take better mental notes). Also had a Common Redpoll flock of about
a dozen somewhere here. The second group along Indian Field Road just
north of 90 was smaller, about a dozen Horned Larks with 3-4 Snow
Buntings and two Lapland Longspurs (lifers for me, actually). I'm
guessing because the Snow Bunting number was smaller, the group tended
to stay together more as one group. Before I left a lone Common
Redpoll also joined this group. The third group was a very large flock
of 100+ snow buntings around Fennel and Snushal Roads, big enough to
murmurate like starlings.

An interesting observation was that the smaller groups were more
approachable than the large flock. The common redpoll flock was most
approachable, while the smaller field bird flocks were a close second.
I'm guessing that the flushing dynamic of these flocks relates to a
single individual sounding an alarm that triggers the flush, and that
the large flock was more likely to have the one jumpy individual to
sound the alarm to trigger the flock to flush, but this is just
conjecture. Also, flushing behavior on foot vs. by car was noticeably
different: on foot they tended to fly farther away while in the car
they seemed to only flush a shorter distance. When the birds were
backlit I actually had trouble driving to the other side of the flock,
as I just kept pushing them down the road bit by bit -- I might have
had better luck if I drove by fast.

Finally, at Salt Point I flushed a/the continuing Killdeer from the beach.

Suan

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[cayugabirds-l] Cayuga Bird Club Zoom Social Monday 7:30pm

2021-01-30 Thread Suan Hsi Yong
The Cayuga Bird Club will be having its monthly Zoom Social Hour this
Monday (February 1) at 7:30pm. This is an informal get-together to see
each other and share our sightings or chat about anything we want. All
are welcome. Register ahead of time at
https://tinyurl.com/cbc202102social

Thanks.

Suan

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[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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