[cayugabirds-l] Questions re (1) Scarlet Tanager, and (2) Juvenile Peregrine (not together)

2022-08-02 Thread tess
Hi,

(1) Scarlet Tanager: for over 4 hours this afternoon, a female scarlet 
tanager chick-burred continuously (at least for the 90% of the time I 
was outside) 20-25 times/minute, while actively (and successfully) 
feeding and resting in small trees and shrubs.  A few times I thought I 
might have heard a second distant bird but am not certain, and no other 
tanager came close./

/Why would she behave so persistently in a way that would be so 
attractive to potential predators?  Scarlet tanagers breed here 
regularly but I don't remember seeing/hearing this before.

(2) Peregrine: at 7 pm this evening, a dozen barn swallows started 
twittering loudly and persistently over a specific spot I couldn't 
really see, and soon 7 crows noisily came in from the south in 
response.  At that point a juvenile peregrine flew overhead with the 
crows close behind.  The falcon flew beautifully and easily could evade 
them aerially, and threaten them when they got too close, but eventually 
it landed in the top of a dead cottonwood tree.  The tree was at the 
bottom of a 60' cliff and I happened to be watching from the top, so the 
bird was opposite me, maybe 40' away.  At first it appeared not to see 
me and even when it did, it showed no concern. It stood there for ~30 
seconds surveying the area, back horizontal, teetering in the gusty 
wind, and then seemed to slip sideways.  It used its wings and tail to 
somewhat stabilize itself but then awkwardly slipped down to a slightly 
lower branch.  It lowered its head and seemed to grasp something with 
its beak - a toe? something on the branch? - but slipped off that 
branch, too, and repeated the exercise including the mouthing toward its 
feet on a third much smaller branch.  When it slipped/got blown off that 
branch, it circled around toward the crows, who had sat quietly watching 
all this on a second bare tree close by, and the entire company flew off 
around the point, and so I couldn't see them anymore.  The contrast 
between its ease in the air and its clumsiness in the tree was striking.

Ideas on what was happening?  Is the peregrine ill-suited to perching on 
branches and the young bird was learning that?  Had it injured it's 
foot?  And why did it fly toward rather than away from the crows?

Many thanks for your insights!  Feel free to write to me and not the 
entire list.

Best -

Alicia



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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Polyamorous Raptors (was Polygamous Osprey)

2022-05-09 Thread tess
For a dozen years, starting in the late 1980s, there were three Bald 
Eagles at Montezuma, two males and one female, who all stayed there year 
round.  They nested as a trio and successfully fledged young several 
years in a row.   If memory serves, only one of the males was ever 
observed copulating with the female, but all three shared in incubation 
and feeding the young.  Both of the male birds had been hacked so it 
wasn't an issue of a young bird hanging around to help a parent.

There weren't a lot of bald eagles in 1987, could be that initially 
there wasn't another available female, but the bond persisted for over a 
decade even after other female eagles came to live on the refuge.

Alicia



On 5/9/2022 4:49 PM, Nancy Cusumano wrote:
> There's a nest box in Hellgate, MT 
> https://www.facebook.com/Montana-Osprey-Cams-165072613556909 with a 
> similar story, two females, two nests, one male.
> Iris, one of the females is an eldery mom but has raised many healthy 
> babies over the years. Her mate Louis is also mated to Star at another 
> nest a few miles away. He couplates with Iris and she usually lays a 
> clutch of eggs but Louis does not bring her fish, only to Star. This 
> forces Iris to leave her eggs to fish. The last couple years her eggs 
> were predated and she abandoned them. It's sad, but nature. Star and 
> Louis continue to raise chicks.
> There's a lot of anthropomorphising about this and how people should 
> interfere. I disagree...and Dr. Erik Green of Montana Osprey Project, 
> who manages the nest and camera feels the same. But lots of drama out 
> in MT for sure. Dr Greene has some thoughts he posted recenlty about 
> why males are scarce and it boils down to climate change and poor 
> fishing. Check it out if interested.
>
> Always something to learn in the world of nature!
>
> Nancy
>
> On Mon, May 9, 2022 at 4:34 PM Candace E. Cornell  
> wrote:
>
> Orpheus is a serial polygamist—who knew Ospreys could have such a
> colorful sex life? This is the third year the Ospreys at Salt
> Point, Lansing, have been involved in a polygamous relationship.
> Read about it at:
> _https://www.lansingrec.com/images/Blog__387_One_bird_too_many.pdf_. 
> Luckily
> the breeding pair was able to lay three lovely eggs before the
> confusion started.
>
> When Osprey platforms are placed too close together, their mating
> systems get perturbed. However, if the Ospreys chose to nest near
> one another, such as on Rt. 5/20 (/Osprey Alley/) by Montezuma
> National Wildlife Refuge, then the birds can live peacefully.
>
> Eyes to the sky!
> Candace
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[cayugabirds-l] Make that two Baltimore Orioles

2022-04-27 Thread tess
There has been a male Baltimore Oriole at our feeders in SW Ovid off and 
on since Sunday morning.  This morning briefly there were two. Given the 
strong NW winds last night, seems less likely that a new one came in 
than that there have been two birds for at least 24 hrs. There 
frequently are two or three nests within 150 feet of our house but 
obviously this is very early & no way to know if these intend to stay, 
although at least one has been singing, in spite of the bitter weather.


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[cayugabirds-l] Baltimore Oriole

2022-04-24 Thread tess
Male was singing here in SW Ovid (Seneca Basin) at 7:30 am, it or 
another one was eating sunflower seeds (and ignoring the adjacent suet, 
which is what they normally prefer) on our feeder at 11:45.


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[cayugabirds-l] Lone osprey on communication tower in Covert

2022-04-09 Thread tess
On Route 96, north of Trumansburg, one osprey was perched today at 11:25 
am on the superstructure of the tower where they have nested for at 
least three years.  Someone (presumably whoever owns the tower) tore the 
2021 nest down last summer pretty much the moment the nestling fledged, 
giving it no chance to return there for post-fledge parental handouts.  
Don't know if a pair will try to rebuild again - last spring they also 
had to start over after the successful 2020 next was removed very early 
in 2021.


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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Song Sparrow and Tree Sparrow

2022-03-13 Thread tess
We do the same thing, but only put out white millet there. The squirrels 
are more interested in scavenging under the sunflower seed feeders, and 
the doves also prefer the sunflower seed, so the juncos & other sparrows 
mostly get the area under the picnic table to themselves.

On 3/13/2022 8:16 PM, Kevin J. McGowan wrote:
>
> Several years ago I started putting seed under the picnic table on my 
> deck. I don’t have a covered platform feeder because my plague of 
> squirrels is too bad. The protected space was very appreciated by lots 
> of birds and squirrels. The wooden table disintegrated and I had to 
> let it go. But, I kept a couple of benches that I now link together 
> and use as cover for the “ground seed” I put out for the juncos and 
> doves. That was heavily used this weekend!
>
> Kevin
>
> *From:* bounce-126400750-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
>  *On Behalf Of *Dave Nutter
> *Sent:* Saturday, March 12, 2022 7:31 PM
> *To:* Poppy Singer 
> *Cc:* CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> *Subject:* Re: [cayugabirds-l] Song Sparrow and Tree Sparrow
>
> …Meanwhile I was having trouble keeping the seeds accessible. The snow 
> would cover it faster than the birds would venture forth after I put 
> it out…
>
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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Overwintering Red-headed Woodpeckers generally

2022-03-01 Thread tess
Not in the basin, but several years ago one overwintered in Lodi, and 
pre-eBird we had one at our feeder in Ovid very early one year - I can't 
find the date for that right now but at that time we only put feed out 
in winter and very early spring, generally not after mid-March.

Migration may be linked to food abundance. Bent reports in his species 
summary 
 
(keep in mind this reflects ornithological practices of 120 yrs ago):
> Winter: The red-headed woodpecker is generally considered to be a 
> migratory species throughout the northern portion of its breeding 
> range, but its movements seem to depend almost entirely on the 
> abundance or scarcity of its winter food supply, mainly acorns and 
> beechnuts; when these nuts are available in considerable quantities, 
> this woodpecker is to be found in reasonable numbers within its summer 
> range in the northern States. When Dr. C. Hart Merriam (1878) referred 
> to it as remaining occasionally in northern New York, Lewis County, in 
> winter, some of his ornithological friends were skeptical. He says:
>
> I therefore wrote to my friend, Mr. C. L. Bngg, asking him to send
> me a lot of red-headed woodpeckers as soon as possible, and in a
> week's time received a box containing over twenty specimens,: all
> killed in Lewis County and when the snow was three feet deep! This
> was proof positive. Notes kept by Mr. Bagg and myself during the
> past six years show that they were abundant here during the
> winters 1871: 72, 1873: 74, 1875: TO, and 1877: 78; while they
> were rare or did not occur at all during the winters of 1872: 73
> and 1876: 77. Their absence was in no way governed by the severity
> of the winters, hut entirely dependent upon the absence of the
> usual supply of beechnuts. While the greater portion of nuts fall
> to the ground and are buried beneath the snow far beyond the reach
> of the woodpeckers, yet enough remain on the trees all winter to
> furnish abundant subsistence for those species which feed on them.
>
At least for us (Ovid, Seneca Basin), this was an average even below 
average year for acorns, after a couple of years that were insanely 
productive.  Our few beech trees seemed also to be average at best. 
Would be interesting to know if that was different in the area around 
Elm Street extension.

On 3/1/2022 9:45 AM, Dave Nutter wrote:
> During the Great Backyard Bird Count an eBird report was submitted for 
> a Red-headed Woodpecker visiting a feeder on West Hill in the Town of 
> Ithaca. It’s a rare species, and fortunately the observer included a 
> brief but adequate identifying description. Jay McGowan also 
> personally verified the report on Sunday, as did I yesterday. This is 
> an area which has had Red-headed Woodpeckers reported in past years 
> from the southern part of Poole Rd, and from Elm St Extension east of 
> the Coy Glen Gorge, so I think there must be some attractive 
> habitat. I heard a “wheer“ call yesterday from woods on the N side of 
> Elm St Extension in that area. I also heard rattle calls when the bird 
> was at or near the feeder.
>
> The feeder is at the corner of Elm St Extension (a narrow road with 
> rather fast traffic), and Valley View Rd (a one block long residential 
> street). If you decide to drive there, I would recommend staying in 
> your car with it stopped on the end of Valley View Rd near the 
> intersection with Elm St Extension. I think there’s room for a single 
> car on Valley View not to block traffic, the feeders are visible from 
> there without staring at anyone’s house, and I think a stopped car 
> with no one getting out would not disturb the bird. The owner of the 
> house with the feeders is aware that people might stop by and is okay 
> with that providing it doesn’t disturb the bird.
>
> For those of you who consider the carbon footprint of birding, I’m not 
> sure whether driving to this location would be better than cruising 
> out to Trumansburg or stopping there on the way to someplace else when 
> those birds return, because Elm Street is a long steep ascent from 
> downtown Ithaca. It is a pleasant walk though.
>
> As I said, Red-headed Woodpecker is rare in our area, but it is even 
> more rare in winter. The other interesting bit of info provided on the 
> original eBird report was that the Red-headed Woodpecker has been 
> regularly seen at this feeder since 20 December. Most winter reports 
> that I’ve seen have been unique or sporadic, but I believe this would 
> be only the second documentation of Red-headed Woodpecker 
> overwintering at one location in the basin. The first was several 
> years ago in Cornell’s Parker Woods in Cayuga Heights next to North 
> Campus. That bird had cached acorns into bark crevices. Presumably 
> this bird has some additional food source than this suet feeder as well.
>
> The observer 

Re: [cayugabirds-l] Not birds but.....

2022-01-15 Thread tess
Three options (at least):

(1) Peter's resource is great because it seems like at least initially, 
the government will have kits on hand to send out.

(2) But /in addition/_,_ for those who can find at-home tests for sale, 
anyone with health insurance /also/ can get 8 free tests/month.  So if 
you are a family of 3, your family can get up to 24 tests every month 
for free.  Each insurer will have it's own procedure so you may need to 
go online to find out if you can just show your card at the pharmacy to 
get them for free or if you will have to pay upfront and submit a claim 
to be reimbursed.  Right now at-home testing kits are hard to find but 
in a few weeks that should improve.

(3) If you want to be tested and can't find a kit, Tompkins & Cortland 
County residents still can get free drive through testing by appointment 
- more info here .  Others also may be 
able to get free tests by appointment if there is a need (they have 
symptoms, upcoming medical procedure, etc) or if their insurance or 
employer has an agreement with CMC - info here 
.

You can do any or all of these, choosing one doesn't mean you can't do 
the others.

And Birding Content: 3 snowy owls close by the Martin Rd. pull off 
yesterday afternoon, and roughly a zillion swans at the ice edge near 
the south end of Lower Lake Rd (where it meets Rte 89, south of Cayuga 
Lake SP).



On 1/15/2022 9:56 AM, Peter Saracino wrote:
> Free at home Covid19 rapid test availability starting Wednesday at 
> covidtests.gov . you can get 4 tests per 
> household shipped to your home.
> Sar
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Suet question

2022-01-09 Thread tess
I love Pine Tree Farms - nice people, good prices - and we get all our 
seed and suet there, but have never seen any suet there that didn't have 
seeds or peanuts in it.  You could try calling first - 607-532-4311. 
They also might have ideas for where to get some.  In decades of bird 
feeding, I don't think I've ever encountered it myself.

Good luck -

Alicia


Or you could make your own with a

On 1/9/2022 9:49 AM, Nancy Cusumano wrote:
> Don't know if they will have what you are looking for, but you could 
> try Pine Tree Farms in Interlaken, where they make suet blocks, logs 
> etc. You have to go during business hours but they are usually very 
> helpful.
>
> On Sun, Jan 9, 2022 at 9:39 AM Peter Saracino 
>  wrote:
>
>
> Folks im looking for a suet log/cylinder for a suet holder I have.
> Just suetno embedded seeds. At least 6-7" high and a few
> inches in diameter. Any ideas where I can buy some. No luck at
> Tractor Supply, Running, Country Max or Wild Birds Unlimited,
> Amazon
> Thanks.
> Pete Sar
>
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[cayugabirds-l] Seneca Falls Snowies - WARNING

2021-12-24 Thread tess

Hi,

At 11:30 this morning there were two Snowy Owls at the airport.  One 
heavily bared bird was nestled against a runway light southeast of and 
not far from the main terminal building. A lighter individual was 
hunkered down farther away, on a ridge almost due east of the building.  
Eight or ten people were on the tarmac getting great views with binos 
and scopes.


The warning is this: according to the person on duty in the terminal 
building, they have had unusual problems this month with birders not 
respecting the limits they set for access, and further incidents will 
result in ending public access to the tarmac for viewing the owls.  In 
three cases this month, birders who had specifically been told how far 
they could go past the terminal ignored the limits in order to get much 
closer to the owls.  I was told that when Dave Haimes, the airport 
manager, went after one photographer who had gone far beyond the 
boundary pointed out to him, that photographer became verbally abusive 
and was escorted from the property and told not to return.


It would be a shame to lose this access. You might want to spread the 
word and try to gently educate folks who seem to be pushing or exceeding 
the limits.


Alicia

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Heat Pumps// A great read for birders to consider

2021-12-11 Thread tess
Hi Reggie,

This isn't a hot water system heat pump, but we are very happy with the 
performance of the heat pump we tied into our forced air ventilation 
this summer.  It now is our heating source on days when it is above 25 
or 30 degrees outside, and has the additional benefit that it can be 
used to cool the house several degrees on the hottest summer days at 
relatively low financial and environmental cost. Heat pumps are less 
efficient at cold temperatures, and this one has to work harder when the 
temperature drops below freezing, but so far we haven't had to switch to 
our propane furnace although we will when it gets very cold.  Brian did 
a lot of research before selecting one and the one he chose seems to be 
well-made - it runs quietly and effectively.  (Note this is /not/ a 
'split' system, this is a whole-house system.)

There probably are better and worse choices of make and model for all 
heat pumps, and there also are shortages right now because people have 
been doing pandemic renovations at the same time that there are supply 
chain problems, so the best ones may be backordered.  But if you read up 
on the options & if necessary are willing to wait for the right one to 
come into stock, there are good heat pumps available, although they may 
cost more initially. Probably the same is true for hot water heat pumps.

Another thought: tankless 'on demand' hot water systems save energy 
because they don't maintain a tank of water at temperature and also they 
don't waste energy heating long pipes that would otherwise lead from a 
tank to the place the water is needed.  They aren't heat pumps but you 
can get an electric one, and that might be a different way to more 
efficiently meet your hot water needs if you are worried about the 
viability of a heat pump.  In our house, the layout happens to allow for 
a single unit to be installed within less than 10' of all our hot water 
demand points, so we're going to try that. So far as I know, only the 
$300 STAR credit is available for these units, though.

Good luck!

Alicia

P.S. Easily our most energy efficient change was the electric car Brian 
pushed for us to get three years ago.  While electricity is only 
relatively carbon free right now, and the grid is going to have to get 
significantly more robust as more people use electricity for their cars 
and heating sources, I still feel a lot less guilt when we go anywhere.  
In addition to being much cheaper to 'fuel' it has the additional 
benefit of requiring far less maintenance.  Tax rebates put the price 
roughly in the ballpark of our non-electric car choices.  I am super 
happy we got it - anyone who will be buying a car soon might want to 
check out electric cars, especially since several models with 150+ mile 
battery life already are on the market and 250+ miles are due next 
year.  (I'm not including Teslas, Jaguars & Mercedes - we're not in the 
that financial bracket!)




On 12/11/2021 11:27 AM, Regi Teasley wrote:
> Dave,
>    Judy and I are about to install one of the very items: a hot water 
> heat pump.  We’re hoping it’s going to work but appreciate your 
> warning.  I would encourage you to share your experience with Heat 
> Smart Tompkins so they are aware of this.  They are doing all they can 
> to make this transition work.
>    **I want to second your point about reducing personal energy use. 
>  Since we are having trouble getting the government to respond 
> effectively, it’s one thing we can do right now to make a difference. 
>  Besides, I can still hear my mother saying, as she turned off the 
> lights in an empty room, “Do you think we work for Idaho Power?”  Our 
> parents know a thing or two about conserving energy.
>
> Regi
>
> 
> /“If we surrendered to the earth’s intelligence, we could rise up 
> rooted, like trees.” Rainer Maria Rilke/
>
>
>> On Dec 11, 2021, at 11:02 AM, jasaul...@gmail.com wrote:
>>
>> 
>>
>> *From:* bounce-126142461-89496...@list.cornell.edu 
>>  *On Behalf Of *Dave Nutter
>> *Sent:* Saturday, December 11, 2021 10:15 AM
>> *To:* Hurf Sheldon 
>> *Cc:* CAYUGABIRDS-L 
>> *Subject:* Re: [cayugabirds-l] A great read for birders to consider 
>> by Bryan Pfeiffer
>>
>> My wife and I want to minimize both our energy use and our fossil 
>> fuel use. Because of our modest income, we qualified for a subsidy 
>> through this exact fund to get a hybrid electric water heater last 
>> year. It uses an air source heat pump, which chills the basement, as 
>> well as the standard much-less-energy-efficient electric resistance 
>> heating as a backup. After we got this water heater, a representative 
>> of Halco, who bought out the smaller local company which installed 
>> the water heater, told us that all appliances these days are not 
>> built to last, and urged us to buy a maintenance package with a 
>> yearly fee which would have eaten up our monetary savings on 
>> energy. This morning we are having Halco come look at the water 
>> 

[cayugabirds-l] Tim Gallagher's article on Taughannock Peregrines wins first place for nature writing

2021-11-13 Thread tess
This may be old news to many, but Audubon just sent out an email out 
noting this award!  Link to the excellent story included in the quote 
below.
> Three Award-Winning Stories from /Audubon/ Magazine 
> 
>  
> Last year, a pair of *Peregrine Falcons returned* 
> 
>  
> to nest in New York’s Taughannock Gorge—a beloved destination for 
> falcon aficionados and site of the first attempt to reintroduce the 
> species—for the first time since 1946. For /Audubon/ magazine, Tim 
> Gallagher traces the history of the Peregrine’s decline and recovery 
> from DDT and what it’s like to finally witness its return to this 
> hallowed ground—a story that the Outdoor Writers Association of 
> America awarded first place in its competition for conservation and 
> nature writing.  . . .

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[cayugabirds-l] Loon party on Seneca Lake

2021-10-29 Thread tess
There presently are at least 22 loons in a loose group, relatively close 
to the west shore midway down Seneca Lake.  None of them shows a trace 
of adult plumage so am guessing it's a group of juveniles who might be 
migrating together.  Lots of calling, some bathing and feeding 
activity.  Two more flew in low from the south as I watched, assume they 
were slightly further down the lake and were attracted by all the noise.


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[cayugabirds-l] Fwd: [nysbirds-l] Swallow-tailed Kite continuing at location below, Yates Co., Penn Yan

2021-08-25 Thread tess
Haven't seen this on the list, in case anyone wants to head out to Penn 
Yan.  I have no info after this email about whether the bird still is 
being seen.


 Forwarded Message 
Subject:[nysbirds-l] Swallow-tailed Kite continuing at location below, 
Yates Co., Penn Yan
Date:   Wed, 25 Aug 2021 10:41:51 -0400
From:   Mike Scheibel 
Reply-To:   Mike Scheibel 
To: NYSBIRDS-L 




Mike & Lynne Scheibel
Brookhaven, NY
*Marked Location*

View on Apple Maps 



Sent from my iPhone
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[cayugabirds-l] missing buteo?

2021-08-20 Thread tess

Hi,

I think we may have spotted someone's hawk gone astray.  At 7:05 pm, we 
saw what we took to be a Red-Tailed Hawk on top of a utility pole.  It 
was standing in an odd position, almost like it was mantling something 
there.  We turned back, concerned that it's wing might be caught in a 
loop of wire at the top of the pole but fortunately that wasn't the 
case.  It flew off and then we could see it seemed to have jesses 
dangling from its legs.  It landed on a utility wire close by, teetering 
and appearing to lack experience with phone poles and wires.


Initially I assumed it was a red-tail, and it may well have been, but 
the lighting wasn't great & I was concentrating at first on whether the 
wing was caught and then on the jesses, not on making an ID.  All I can 
say for sure was it was the size & shape of a red-tail but could have 
been some other buteo.


This was at the intersection of Seneca County Rte 131 and Combs Road, in 
the southwestern part of the Town of Ovid.  When we came back past at 
8:15 we didn't see it but it was getting quite dark, it could still be 
in that area.


Alicia

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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Seneca County Redpolls

2019-01-23 Thread tess
They were there this morning at 8:30 AM, feeding briefly on the standing
(weed?) stalks and then flying up and moving 25 or 50 feet and settling
down to feed briefly again, all the while calling continuously.  At times
they were right next to the road. I would have guessed 250 birds based on
my attempts to count by 10s but they are very hard to count.

Alicia



> Mary Jean and I drove through there this afternoon between 3:30 and 4pm
> and did not see the Redpolls.   --Marty
> ===
> Marty Schlabach   m...@cornell.edu
> 8407 Powell Rd. home  607-532-3467
> Interlaken, NY 14847   cell315-521-4315
> ===
>
>
>
> From: bounce-123259224-3494...@list.cornell.edu
>  On Behalf Of Dave Nutter
> Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 10:35 AM
> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Seneca County Redpolls
>
> Reuben Stoltzfus reports that the flock of about 200 Common Redpolls has
> returned to the north side of the Ovid-Lodi Town Line Rd about a half mile
> east of NYS-414, and they are easy to see as they perch on the snow and on
> the weeds.
> - - Dave Nutter
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[cayugabirds-l] Eagle and Turkey Vulture southwest of Interlaken

2018-04-18 Thread tess
 Apparently there is a sizeable carcass of something in the middle of
a field on the south side of Kellys Corners Road, maybe 1/4 mile west
of Tunison.  At 1:00 pm this afternoon, a vulture was feeding on it
and an adult Bald Eagle was standing 3-4 feet away, watching.  The
instantaneous impression was that somehow the vulture had intimidated
the eagle although surely the eagle already had eaten its fill and was
permitting the vulture to have at it.  But why did the eagle stick
around to watch?!


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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Cedar Waxwings!

2018-04-04 Thread tess
I had a flock of 40 or more last week all afternoon and spent some
time looking at them since they are such cool birds.  Oddly, not one
had even a drop of red "wax" on its wings.  I know juveniles don't
always show the red, so maybe the juvies flock up as a group and that
was what these were, but still no red whatsoever was surprising.  Did
you happen to notice if your birds had waxed wings?

Alicia 

- Original Message -
From: Donna Lee Scott 
To:"CAYUGABIRDS-L" 
Cc:
Sent:Wed, 4 Apr 2018 12:45:38 +
Subject:[cayugabirds-l] Cedar Waxwings!

 Big flock, 60-70 or more zooming around from tree to tree in my
Lansing Station rd yard. Visiting several cedar trees & nibbling on
berries that are left from last fall's voluminous crop. 
 I almost didn't look too closely because at first I thought they
were Starlings. 

 Donna Scott
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Where are all my feeder birds

2017-10-25 Thread tess
Our (mostly red) oak trees had a huge mast year two years ago, but
last year and this year the acorns have been at more normal
production levels. Red oaks have a two year cycle for acorn
production - the flowers from this year are next year's acorns - so
it could be that 2018 will be another big year for acorns in our
woods.

Cones & other nuts do seem abundant wherever we look, but I assumed
it was because this has been the first year in several that we didn't
have an ill-timed cold snap or drought during a crucial part of the
growing season.  On our property we had almost no walnuts last year
& I am certain that was b/c of a bad cold snap just after pollination
that seemed to kill most of the tiny fruit, followed by an extended
period without rain later in the growing season.  There have been a
couple of cold/warm/cold/warm periods in early spring during the past
five years and several kinds of fruit and nut trees were affected.
Perhaps the trees have energy on hand from those years when they
couldn't develop fruit, and can pour that energy into extra
production this year?  

While cold snaps background:rgb(228,228,228);">From: Betsy Darlington

To:"Marc Devokaitis" 
Cc:"Barbara B. Eden" , "CAYUGABIRDS-L" 
Sent:Wed, 25 Oct 2017 12:47:44 -0400
Subject:Re: [cayugabirds-l] Where are all my feeder birds

I wonder if all these trees are putting out "stress cones/seeds,"
caused by the accelerating warming.  Or do they just like being so
warm?Betsy

On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 11:54 AM, Marc Devokaitis  wrote:
Hi All,
Re-opening this thread--I thought I'd share with the list a comment
from Donald Leopold, Chair of the Department of Environmental and
Forest Biology at SUNY-ESF (I was asking him about something else,
but this came up.)

"Not only are conifers producing an extraordinary abundance of cones
but I have never seen such an abundance of walnuts, hickories, oak
acorns, sugar maple and white ash samaras, and other tree fruits and
seeds. Interestingly, I’ve seen this above average production
across the Northeast."

Hopefully this goes a long way to explaining the increase in
decreases this year.

Marc Devokaitis

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 12:46 PM, Barbara B. Eden  wrote:
  For the past 2 months the resident birds that I daily feed have
dropped in population This is the first time this has happened and
even those pesky squirrels have left I live in Cayuga Heights and my
backyard is a bird friendly habitat
 Any thoughts would be appreciated 
 Thanks
 Barbara Eden

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[cayugabirds-l] OT: anyone get a photo of the raccoon at Bock-Harvey on Sunday?

2017-05-30 Thread tess
I did not, and would love to have one if you are willing to share!
 Pls pm any reply since attachments are verboten on this list.
Thanks -
Alicia  

- Original Message -
From: Mark Chao 
To:"Cayugabirds- L" 
Cc:
Sent:Sun, 28 May 2017 17:34:33 -0400
Subject:[cayugabirds-l] Bock-Harvey and Stevenson, Sun 5/28 (and
weather note for Mon 5/29)

First, here’s a note about tomorrow’s weather and scheduling. 
The forecast calls for likely thunderstorms on Monday morning,
peaking just when we are planning our two group walks for the Finger
Lakes Land Trust Spring Bird Quest (SBQ).  I will definitely show up
at the start times for both walks, but I think curtailment or
cancellation on the spot are distinctly possible.  Please plan
accordingly, especially if you have a long drive.  

 

(If we do lose both walks, then I will hope to do an impromptu
make-up session later in the day.  Please check email around midday
if you’re interested.)

 

In any case, weather and everything else were ideal for today’s
SBQ walks at the Bock-Harvey Forest Preserve and the Stevenson Forest
Preserve.   Again we had very strong turnout -- 25 people at
Bock-Harvey, 19 people at Stevenson.  I would guess that these were
the first visits to either preserve for almost everyone.  And again
our sightings somehow defied any expectation that too many birders
might spoil the birding.  (Ken Kemphues, Diane Morton, and Suan Yong
helped enormously in co-leading both walks, as they did yesterday.)  

 

Our first highlight at Bock-Harvey was a female YELLOW WARBLER by
the road, pushing herself into her nearly-completed nest to
custom-shape it.  There were many other birds here as usual,
including a singing CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and a pair of EASTERN
WOOD-PEWEES occasionally coming very close together to perch before
the next sally.  We got to know the varied and somewhat atypical
songs of the three AMERICAN REDSTARTS in this first patch of woods,
with some sight confirmation for most of us.  Here I also heard a
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO and saw the weekend’s only YELLOW-BELLIED
SAPSUCKER before everyone arrived.

 

Over on the yellow-blazed trail in the old-growth woods, only a
small subset of us had fleeting sightings of WOOD THRUSHES, OVENBIRD,
and more redstarts. But I believe that everyone eyewitnessed a most
striking and dramatic moment, as two male SCARLET TANAGERS silently
sized up a raccoon, deeply asnooze with belly and chin resting on a
branch, arms dangling, about 20 feet off the ground.  Some other
birders saw a female tanager here too, but I missed her.

 

I think only one of us saw one male HOODED WARBLER, despite a slow,
quiet, vigilant walk through areas where I’d seen them recently. 
But as we tried to wait out one Hooded Warbler (who continues to end
every other song in an unusual explosive squeak), we got the surprise
of the morning – a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO making short flights and
taking long pauses in a sunny patch in the otherwise shadowy woods. 
Several of our group even got scope views of the bird’s red orbital
ring, thanks to Ken’s quick positioning.

 

Then we walked along the edge of the meadow up to the Locust
Lean-To.  Here we saw a male BALTIMORE ORIOLE perched within a body
length or two of an EASTERN KINGBIRD.  Suan also got many of our
participants onto another male Scarlet Tanager here.

 

It was harder to see birds at Stevenson, as expected, but we did all
get long scope views of an ALDER FLYCATCHER singing in the meadow
overlook area.  Many of us (not I) got good views of a VEERY along
the initial straightaway.  We heard one HOODED WARBLER across the
stream, plus a couple of BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS and
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS high in the hemlocks.  I was glad also to pick
up the weekend’s only BLUE-HEADED VIREO so far.  (I think that my
weekend species tally now stands at 78 species.)

 

But I think that we’d all agree that the greatest thrills came
from the butterflies in the parking lot – ten Eastern Tiger
Swallowtails jostling to collect mineral-rich moisture from a
50-square-inch patch of some mysterious mud, heedless of our close
presence for many minutes, plus an exquisite and cooperative female
Black Swallowtail.

 

So whatever thunderbolts and torrents we might have to dodge
tomorrow, I’ll gladly take what we got today.  Thanks to all for
two great outings!

 

Mark Chao

 

 

 

 

 

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[cayugabirds-l] Provisioned by an eagle

2017-05-09 Thread tess
In Bangladesh trained otters herd fish into fishing nets, and in Japan 
cormorants involuntarily fish for their owners, so maybe having fresh 
fish caught and delivered by an eagle isn't as special as I think but it 
was cool.  Earlier today I was returning to our house after an hour of 
spectacularly fruitless birding and stopped dead when I saw a 13" long, 
1 lb 9 oz bass, lying in the middle of the driveway.  She was not moving 
at all but her eye was clear and she seemed extremely fresh.  When I 
turned her over I found a talon mark and also realized she had been 
laying eggs when she was nabbed or else desperately tried to release 
them in response, largely unsuccessfully.  At that moment I heard the 
beating of large wings and looked up to see an immature eagle taking off 
and heading across the lake, with purpose - it had been screened by a 
spruce tree but apparently had been watching from the top of a nearby 
tree, only about 30' away.


Looks like bass filets for dinner.  Anyone ever tried to cook bass roe, 
or any roe no longer contained in its sac?


Alicia

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] flock o' warblers - corection

2017-05-02 Thread tess
Apparently I got too excited: I meant *Golden-_Winged_ Warbler,* which I 
think is warbler species 26 for our yard. (It's golden crown made a big 
impression on me ... .)

Thanks, Janet -

Alicia

On 5/2/2017 11:52 AM, Janet Akin wrote:
> Golden Crowned Warbler?
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On May 2, 2017, at 11:15 AM, > 
> > wrote:
>
>> This morning saw a wee bump in migrants to our yard (southwest town 
>> of Ovid).  In addition to the small flocks of YR Warblers, RC 
>> Kinglets, and WT Sparrows that have dominated the soundscape here for 
>> the past several days today we found 2-3 *RB Grosbeaks,* 2-4 
>> *Orioles*, and some smaller birds that have been gleaning the oak 
>> tassles & apple blossoms: 1 *BH Vireo*, 2 *BG Gnatcatchers*;2 *BT 
>> Green*, 1 *Yellow*, 1 *Nashville*, and 1 *Chestnut-Sided Warblers* - 
>> and briefly (15 seconds) but vividly and very well seen, a new 
>> yardbird: a beautiful, silent male *Golden Crowned Warbler*.  The GC 
>> Warbler was below the birds in the oak trees, about 6' up in an apple 
>> sapling that was in bloom, checking out the blossoms for something, 
>> and obligingly stayed in full view until a male cardinal flew in next 
>> to him and the warbler darted away.
>>
>> It was pretty birdy here this for such a cool, damp, overcast & windy 
>> day, but we often have good birds after thunderstorms pass through 
>> since (I think?) birds get spun off Seneca Lake and need a place to 
>> touch down.
>>
>> Alicia
>>
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Re: [cayugabirds-l] URGENT ALERT: Dodge Rd Spruce Woods may be cut down for massive Solar Farm on Dodge rd, STARTING in APRIL !!

2017-03-20 Thread tess
Well, we always turn off lights not being used - and more importantly we 
have switched over to LED lights pretty much all through the house.  We 
hang almost all of our laundry up to dry.  We keep our thermostat very 
/very/ low all winter and do not have air conditioning.  We have no 
'instant on' energy vampires (hey, Martha, you forgot that one!).  Can I 
chime in now?

Nari said the spruces are being chopped down because they will shade 
some of the panels.  I'm wondering how many spruces need to be 
sacrificed if that is the reason.  Couldn't the westernmost 50' of 
panels be omitted, or only the spruce trees necessary to minimize the 
most damaging shade be cut?  I'm not familiar with the lay of the land 
there but why is this an all or nothing proposition?
Plus, if existing grasslands are being converted to solar panel use, is 
this an opportunity to get Cornell to commit to managing a different 
tract that they own so as to maximize its attractiveness to Bobolinks, 
Meadowlarks, Grasshopper Sparrows, and Harriers?
Wind farms and solar farms need large tracts of undeveloped land. So do 
many species of animals, including birds, and undeveloped land presently 
used by these species always will be the cheapest & easiest place to 
site clean energy projects.  It is irresponsible to say that all large 
tracts should be protected as habitat but it is equally irresponsible 
not to look for ways to preserve what we can of existing habitat within 
these projects, and even insist on the creation of new habitat nearby 
when that is impossible, including habitat for non-endangered species 
(also known as pre-endangered species).  If _we_ don't ask for 
modifications to be put in place to preserve habitat then who will?

Alicia



On 3/20/2017 11:55 AM, Martha Fischer wrote:
> Dear All -
>
> Please make a commitment to USE LESS ENERGY.
>
>   Turn off lights that are not being used.
>
>   Reduce your use of the clothes dryer and other conveniences.
>
>   Accept inconvenience.
>
> And then let¹s have this discussion.
>
> Take care,
>
> Martha Fischer
> Town of Enfield
>
> On 3/20/17, 9:48 AM,"bounce-121351030-3494...@list.cornell.edu on behalf of 
> Nari Mistry"   n...@cornell.edu>  wrote:
>
>> There is urgent need for lovers of birds and wildlife along Dodge Rd. to
>> be aware of imminent developments along Dodge Rd.
>>
>> The massive industrial scale solar farm proposed in all the Cornell
>> owned fields along Dodge Rd and Stevenson Rd (as well as Turkey Hill
>> Rd.) is planning to start construction in a few weeks.  There was a
>> hearing in Dryden last Thursday at which many residents spoke out
>> against the massive scale of the project which will devastate wildlife
>> habitat.
>>
>> We have just learned this morning from a member of the Dryden
>> Conservation Board that they are proposing to cut down the Spruce Woods
>> bordering the WEST side of Dodge Rd. because they will shadow the panels
>> slated to go right along the very edge of Dodge R. next to a
>> (barbed-wire topped) fence!
>>
>> If you are concerned about this assault and the effect of replacing all
>> the grassland in the fields with sod under the panels (and
>> herbicides???), please write immediately to the Dryden Town Board and
>> ATTEND THE PLANNING BOARD MEETING  scheduled on THIS Thursday March 23,
>> at 7pm at the Dryden Town Hall on Main Street.
>>
>> Please express your opinion that may help reduce the scale of this
>> commercial operation that will devastate wildlife in this favorite
>> location for viewing wildlife!
>>
>>   Nari & Gin Mistry
>>
>>   Ellis Hollow rd.
>>
>>
>>
>>
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[cayugabirds-l] Snowy Owl, Ovid

2017-02-21 Thread tess


At 8:25 am today, an unusually white Snowy Owl was near the corner
of Wycoff Road and Cty Rte 129 in the Town of Ovid.  It was about .2
mile south of the intersection, on the west side of 129, about 150'
from the road on a small rise.  A female harrier was hunting in the
same large field further south.

Alicia

P.S.  I was thinking about Marty Schlaback and how he spotted a
Snowy Owl in a tree in the same area a few years ago, and wondering
why none were in the area now, when I spotted it - thanks, Marty! 



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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Snow Geese

2016-12-06 Thread tess
At 8 am this morning, there were several thousand snow geese flying over 
and browsing in stubble in the northwest corner of Covert & 
south-central portion of the town of Ovid. All the flying geese were 
headed south, some funneling into the fields and the rest only 
moderately high up, looking like they more likely were headed for 
breakfast locally than a trip to Pennsylvania. Alicia



On 12/6/2016 5:43 PM, Marty Schlabach wrote:
>
> A small flock of about 30 snow geese flew over our house near 
> Interlaken on Monday.  Today a flock of several thousand flew over.  
> Both were heading north.
>
> -Marty
>
> ===
>
> Marty Schlabach m...@cornell.edu
>
> 8407 Powell Rd. home  607-532-3467
>
> Interlaken, NY 14847   cell315-521-4315
>
> ===
>
> *From:*bounce-121061241-3494...@list.cornell.edu 
> [mailto:bounce-121061241-3494...@list.cornell.edu] *On Behalf Of 
> *Donna Lee Scott
> *Sent:* Tuesday, December 6, 2016 9:39 AM
> *To:* CAYUGABIRDS-L 
> *Subject:* [cayugabirds-l] Snow Geese
>
> A small flock of calling SNOW GEESE flew over my house heading NW 
> about 8:30 am.
>
>
> Donna Scott
>
> Lansing by Cayuga Lake
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
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[cayugabirds-l] Flicker

2015-01-31 Thread tess
YS Flicker on our suet in Ovid.  Only other winter flicker we have seen 
in 20+ yrs here was a sad pile of feathers under a cedar tree found in 
February 2012.


Also have now been able to see both 2 male and 2 female redpolls 
simultaneously, so definitely have at least 4, am guessing between 4-8 
total, but really hard to count among the shifting flock of finches  
juncos.  Nothing like the numbers of 2 yrs ago, regardless, and still no 
siskins.


Alicia



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[cayugabirds-l] Snow Buntings Horned Larks

2015-01-31 Thread tess
A mixed flock of 200-300 snow buntings and horned larks was on Munson 
Road across from Countryside Market in Ovid at 2:00 and still at 3:30.  
Had no time to stop and check for longspurs or other more sought after 
birds.  They were covering strips of bare ground where the snow had been 
blown away, many quite close to the road, and did not fly away as 
traffic went by.


Alicia

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[cayugabirds-l] Wood duck family (OOB?)

2010-05-08 Thread tess

Hi,

   Was traveling between Interlaken and Lodi on Rte 96-A when a wood 
duck family scurried across the highway, the tiny ducklings strung so 
close together behind their mother that momentarily it looked like a 
strange long-tailed wood duck!  Traffic on both sides hit the brakes and 
the family made it safely across.  I neglected to see exactly where this 
was, so not sure if this was in the basin or not, but it was definitely 
very cute and seemed a bit early for wood ducklings - the ones on the 
pond near our house are still courting.


   Then later watched a definitely OOB Mourning Warbler closer to home, 
a silent female that popped up in a pile of brush by the road while I 
was looking at something else entirely.  Lots of other warblers, vireos 
 migratory thrushes out and about as well.  Beautiful day out there!


Alicia

  


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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk

2010-02-15 Thread tess

Hi,

   For over a decade there has been a white, but not albino, red tail 
on the west side of the town of Lodi, hanging around near Shaw Road.  I 
have heard it is there year round but we don't drive by often enough in 
daylight in winter to confirm that it overwinters there.  We have, 
however, seen it often in the spring/summer/fall.  It has a dark eyes, 
dark beak, and yellow legs, but other than that it appears to be all 
white.  According to a landowner there, as of this past October:
The white hawk is fine, we see it  and it's normally colored offspring 
regularly. I'm not sure about the lifespan of a redtail, but this one 
is at least 11 years old.
   Assuming it is still there as usual, that makes a 5th completely 
white one in the area.  When we first saw it a nearly a decade ago, I 
googled around and found several reports  photos of leucistic red-tails 
all over the country, so they were not unknown even then, but it does 
seem like a lot have popped up locally.  Maybe it is a recessive genetic 
trait and there are enough genes floating around in the local gene pool 
that they are more common locally, like black squirrels in New England?  
Would there be any evolutionary pressure against a white red tail?  
There might not be any reason for them to be selected out of the 
population - the one in Lodi seems to have no trouble coming up with 
mates  successfully fledging young.


   Alicia

John and Sue Gregoire wrote:

While birding for the GBBC this weekend, we found another completely white 
leucitic
Red-tailed Hawk on Black Rd, Town of Hector. This makes the 4th completely white
red-tail this winter that we have found or know of. Others were an albino near 
the
race track (Watkins Glen), one leucistic bird in Candor, one in Whitney point 
and
this latest one a few miles from home.

We worked with   eagles and other raptors in the Chesapeake Bay area and banded
thousands at Cape May for several years before arriving here in 1986 and had 
never
seen such white raptors. In fact, the only leucistic bird in our memory was  a
partial on a cardinal in Maryland. Since then, we had seen only a few partially
leucistic passerines in this area and one other leucistic hawk (the Ithaca 
Red-tail
of a few years ago). Now in one season here are 4! Couple that with the several
reports of leucism in passerines and one begins to wonder...

We also had a rare pheasant yesterday, a Bald Eagle adult over Ed Gates' farm in
Burdett Saturday afternoon and 190 Snow Buntings on Bergen Rd which is about a 
mile
from here. During our road trip we also found some 2,900 Redheads and 99 Horned
Larks among the many other excellent birds..

Best,
John and Sue
--
John and Sue Gregoire
Field Ornithologists
Kestrel Haven Avian Migration Observatory
5373 Fitzgerald Road
Burdett,NY 14818-9626
 Website: http://www.empacc.net/~kestrelhaven/
Conserve and Create Habitat




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