Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Greetings

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow: 
The year is going, let him go; 
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
-- Lord Tennyson 

The Kingsboider wishes all :


.......good fortune, good health ,and the best of birding adventures !

Snowy Owl picture of the year..

So many Snowy Owls this year,even one trying to start my car.....

Happy New Year..may 2014 be a blessed and humorous one.. 

Greenwood Cemetery report; Grackle note

From Orrin Tilevitz

Green-Wood Cemetery this morning

Canada geese (about 50)
Peregrine falcon
Downy woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-headed woodpecker (juvenile) (continues across from crematorium)
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Black-capped chickadee (2)
American goldfinch (1 flock)
Song sparrow
White-throated sparrow
Dark-eyed junco (many)
Mourning dove
Northern cardinal
Blue jay
ring-billed gull
Monk parakeet


At lunch time, I spotted about 275 COMMON GRACKLEs on the 9th St bandshell lawn. Must be an early New Year celebration for them.


Peter's incidental list

date = 2013/12/31
site = Prospect Park
observers = peter d
Northern Shoveler ~265 Lake
American Black Duck 2 lake
Canada Goose 
Hooded Merganser 7 Lake
Ruddy Duck 8 Lake
Mute Swan 
Red-tailed Hawk flyover Lake
American Coot 10 Lake
Great Black-backed Gull 2 Lake
Ring-billed Gull 
Herring Gull 
Rock Pigeon 
Mourning Dove 
Blue Jay 2
White-throated Sparrow 1 feeders
Song Sparrow west shore lake
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 16 feeders
Common Grackle 275 Bandshell lawn
House Finch 12 feeders
House Sparrow feeders
Red headed woodpecker cont.Battle/Arbor rds area n GWCEM per Orrin

Iceland Gull Prospect records

The last time an Iceland Gull visited Prospect Park occurred almost 13 years ago, February 2nd 2001 (Obs GD). The bird was an adult/winter, seen also on Prospect Lake

Last Thursday's bird was the 8th record


Iceland Gull      1     2/2/01      Prospect Lake
Iceland Gull      1     1/31/01     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     4/14/70     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     4/14/70     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/10/63     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/19/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/18/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/17/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/16/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/15/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/14/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/13/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/12/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/11/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/10/57     Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/9/57      Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     3/9/57      Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     12/29/56    Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     5/7/50      Prospect Park
Iceland Gull      1     4/23/50     Prospect Park

Iceland Gull      1     12/6/47     Prospect Park

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mushrooms ..actually fungus identified

You probably saw this photo awhile ago, my pics taken inside the Ravine of unidentified fungus mushrooms.I took the step of asking a mushroom expert who got back to me today. they are TURKEY TAILS fungus....so mystery solve ( nice to have turkeys in the Prospect woods)

See Mr Kuo's email:
From: michael@mushroomexpert.com

To: prosbird Sent: Mon, Dec 30, 2013 6:34 am Subject: Re: Brooklyn Fungus identity request


Thanks for your e-mail. Sorry for the long delay in responding. I see two different mushrooms in your photos:


. . . and:


Best wishes,



Dr. Michael Kuo michael@mushroomexpert.com www.mushroomexpert.com

Fwd: Green-Wood Cemetery; Red-headed Woodpecker still there

From Tom Preston :

-----Original Message-----
From: tom
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Mon, Dec 30, 2013 2:11 pm
Subject: Green-Wood Cemetery; Red-headed Woodpecker still there

Jo Ann and I went to Greenwood today. Our report is at the following link:
Best Wishes



RE: WINTER birding dressing 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Anniversary of a great conservation law

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act signed; into law by President Richard Nixon December 28th,1973

With this law, even the Whooping Crane was pulled from the brink of extinction among others the Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon,species we take for granted today.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

a video of ravens

There hasn't been much reported lately even as I got back from the Philadelphia area after a few days Xmas vacation. My friend Patti O'k sent me this video of ravens playing in the snow...smart guys knowing when to have fun


Thursday, December 26, 2013

RHWP continues at GWC

RED HEADED WOODPECKER continues at Greenwood Cemetery. See the NYSBIRD LISTSERVE POST

Subject: Red-headed Woodpecker at Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Date: Thu Dec 26 2013 12:43 pm From: tristanlowery

Currently viewing an immature Red-headed Woodpecker feeding in a tree just uphill from the intersection of Arbor and Battle (plot 109 on the cemetery map) in Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.

Tristan LoweryAlbany, NY Sent from my Virgin Mobile phone. --NYSbirds-L List Info:

Tweet from Dennis Hrehowsik (@deepseagangster)

Dennis Hrehowsik (@deepseagangster) tweeted at 0:57 PM on Thu, Dec 26, 2013:
Iceland Gull still on lake as of 12:45 but gulls nervous and keep reshuffling.

Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download

ICELAND GULL on Prospect Lake

Doug Gochfeld reported now ICELAND GULL on Prospect Lake, best vantage from Three Sisters Islands area, i presumed the rare gull in the flock of usual gulls.Scope may be required.

Iceland Gull is a white winged gull , today's bird is a juvenile.


Note here's a helpful link to see what to look for



More details from Sean Sime who posted to nys birds list serve

Doug Gochfeld asked me to post he is currently looking at a juvenile
Iceland Gull on the lake in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

The bird was initially spotted from the peninsula, but is closest to the
red rescue ladder near Three Sisters Islands.


Sean Sime
Brooklyn, NY
- See more at: http://birding.aba.org/mobiledigest/NY01#588377

Regards KB ( stuck in Philadelphia :-\  )
Juv. iceland gull prospect lake. near 3 sisters island. Per doug g.

Please donate to Audubon's CBC

Since Audubon no longer asks mandatory donations in supporting their Christmas
Bird Count which was the customary $5 then, please support to keep the count going. You should mention Brooklyn Bird Club Kings County Circle if you participated in it.[ you can send a note to  cbcadmin@audubon.org citing your amount and BBC status or Brooklyn birder .I already got a hearty thank you from the CBC program director]

Here are excerpts of the letter from National Audubon

From: <cbcadmin@audubon.org> Date: Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

 Subject: If You Love the CBC. . .

The 114 th Christmas Bird Count

Dear CBC Compiler,

Thanks to you ........ there has never been a larger, more passionate or diverse community of citizen scientists working under Audubon's umbrella. Last holiday season bird watchers came out in record numbers to count birds to participate in Audubon's Christmas Bird Count - more than 70,000 people joined 2,369 count circles to take part in what may be the longest running animal census on the planet.

We hope you'll help keep the Christmas Bird Count alive and well by encouraging support from this year's participants. Below is a link to a printable letter that we hope you will share with those in your count circle. You can also just forward this email to those people that care about the Christmas Bird Count.

The Christmas Bird Count relies 100% on donations to manage the historic database and to fund the technology to make that vital and historic data available to researchers. And this year we are making it easy to give.

Just print out this donation form, http://birds.audubon.org/documents/114th-cbc-printable-donation-form and send it with a check to the address indicated on the form.

Or, go online and submit your credit card donation by using our secure form at www.audubon.org/supportcbc

You can also use your phone to quickly text a $10 donation to support this important work. Simply text CBC to 50555 to donate $10 to National Audubon Society. 100% of your gift will be used to support the Christmas Bird Count. (Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms: mGive.org/T. Privacy Policy for text to donate: https://mgive.org/privacy.aspx)

We hope you will help us reach the broadest possible audience and encourage donations to help keep this important work alive and make sure that the CBC will continue to inform ornithologists and conservation biologists about how the birds of the Americas are faring today - and far into the future.

Thanks again for your passion and dedication.


Geoff LeBaron Director, Audubon Christmas Bird Count cbcadmin@audubon.org http://birds.audubon.org/documents/114th-cbc-printable-donation-form

Please note our address has changed: Audubon Science 2300 Computer Ave, Suite I-49 Willow Grove, PA 19090

cbcadmin@audubon.org Phone: 302-858-0724

The Christmas Bird Count is now free to participate. Visit www.christmasbirdcount.org to find out more. Please consider donating to support the CBC.

“In the beginning was simplicity.''


Abie Borker who filmed the Antarctica video ( the first posting in Abie's blog) is the son of Greenwood Cemetery's premier longtime birder Joe Borker

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day sightings

From Chris Elliot:

Merry Christmas, Peter. One American Tree Sparrow was a good bird for this morning at the feeders. Chris

From Orrin :

Green-Wood Cemetery this morning.

Highlight were a dozen or so American robins. Other fauna:

Red-tailed hawk (picture attached)
Blue jays (some pursuing aforesaid hawk)
Mourning dove
 Black-capped chickadee
 Red-bellied woodpecker
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Ring-billed gull
Canada goose
White-throated sparrow
Dark-eyed junco
 Northern cardinal

From Keir Randall:

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY Dec 25, 2013 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Protocol: Traveling 2.0 mile(s) 28 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 6
Mute Swan 5 Mallard 14
Northern Shoveler 110
Hooded Merganser 8
Ruddy Duck 9
American Coot 7
 Ring-billed Gull 200
Herring Gull 8 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 16
Mourning Dove 13
 Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
 Downy Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 5
crow sp. 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
European Starling 25
 American Tree Sparrow 2 Feeders
Fox Sparrow (Red) 2
Song Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 14
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 2
Northern Cardinal 13
Red-winged Blackbird 4
Rusty Blackbird 3 Continuing at the Nethermead near Binnen water. I need to study up on ageing and sexing this species but I think it's 1 male already in alternate (all blue/ black) with 2 males in basic.
House Finch 17
 American Goldfinch 4
House Sparrow 15

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S16074565
From Adam Welz:

took a while to file this, but here's my list from a walk across the Park on Christmas Day.



---------- Forwarded message ----------From: <do-not-reply@ebird.org> Date: Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 4:57 PM Subject: eBird Report - Prospect Park, Dec 25, 2013 To: adamwelz@

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY Dec 25, 2013 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM Protocol: Traveling 2.0 mile(s) Comments: Cold, walked across park from Lincoln Rd, via Lullwater, past feeders and Lake, out at SW corner. 24 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) X
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) X
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) 3
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) X
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) X prob over 100 birds
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) 8
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 1
American Coot (Fulica americana) X many
 Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) X approx 600 birds
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) X less than 5 birds
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 8
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 2
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 1
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
 Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) 4
 Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 2
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 24
 American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X 30+

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Greetings !

The Kingsboider wishes all Christmas greetings and festive holy days.

Yellow morph House Finch seen at feeders

What was assumed a Serin is actually a House Finch.

Thanks to Karen getting the photo

-----Original Message-----
From: Karenohearn
To: prosbird
Sent: Tue, Dec 24, 2013 9:07 am
Subject: (no subject)

hey Peter.
you suggested i send my possible Serin photos to Steve N. but i don't have his contact info.  anyway, here they are if anyone's interested or if you want to forward them to him.
happy holidays, 

Some Holiday notes

Note so far for the incredible irruption about Snowy Owl which is a gift for many birders this winter


and for those who celebrate Christmas



The preliminary species list total for Prospect Park 2013 stands at 192 with September thru December records yet to be entered... 

Possible Serin at PP feeders per steve n.


From Keir Randall

Prospect Park, Kings, US-NY
Dec 23, 2013 2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
23 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 2
Mute Swan 5
Wood Duck 2 Upper Pool
American Black Duck 5
Mallard 30
American Black Duck x
Mallard (hybrid) 1
Northern Shoveler 80
Ruddy Duck 5
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot 6
Ring-billed Gull 200 Mostly on baseball fields
Herring Gull 3
Mourning Dove 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 7
Tufted Titmouse 1
European Starling 8
Song Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 6
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird 14
Rusty Blackbird 3 Feeding together on ground on the Nethermead at Binnen water end.
<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/22689183@N00/11524345154/player/1f812a9ef9" height="375" width="500" frameborder="0"></iframe>
House Sparrow X

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S16058021

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebi

Sunday, December 22, 2013


-----Original Message-----
From: orrin
To: Peter Dorosh
Sent: Sun, Dec 22, 2013 10:38 am
Subject: GWC

Green-Wood Cemetery this morming

Mallard duck
American black duck (partly)
Red-headed woodpecker, juvenile (picture attached)
Red-bellied woodpecker
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Black-capped chickadee
Dark-eyed junco
Northern cardinal
Northern mockingbird
European starling
Ring-billed gull

Redhead wp back same tree by greenwood cemetery main gate 25th per Orrin

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Rusty BB & GWC report

From Klemens:

Dear Peter, our 3 wonderful Rusty Blackbirds are still around. This morning feeding at the phragmites across wellhouse enjoying the warm weather. Attached is a photo and more on my webpage http://klemensgasser.smugmug.com/Rusty-Blackbirds-Prospect-Park and here


Warm regards, Klemens


Greenwood Cemetery , Tom Preston

Jo Ann and I had an enjoyable birding visit to Green-wood Cemetery today.

This was a much more relaxing experience for me than last weekend, when I participated in the Christmas Bird Count all day both days (for Brooklyn & Queens), plus the Brooklyn compilation count diner on Saturday evening

Temperatures were quite warm, although the ponds were still mostly frozen, and there was still some snow remaining from Tuesday's snowfall on North-facing slopes, as evidenced in the Great Blue Heron shots in the link below.

The frozen conditions meant that we saw no ducks, although the Canada Geese seemed to be only slightly inconvenienced.

The birding highlight was undoubtedly the immature Red-Headed Woodpecker near the main entrance. This bird was reported by others a couple of days ago. We relocated it rather easily. We got great views, but terrible photos, (Seen at Battle and Arbor Avenues)

We saw all the Brooklyn woodpeckers today. In addition to the Red-Headed the Red-bellied Woodpeckers were common as always, plus Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (4 of those)

It was generally quiet, but there were hotspots of activity, particularly near the main entrance, and at the Heath Path.

Our eBird report is at the following link: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S16036639

Best wises for the season to all!

- Tom & Jo Ann

Winter Solstice

Today was the first day of winter, occurring at 12:11 pm. We celebrate the new season and all that nature brings ( On my BBC trip,6 Snowy Owls!)

To Winter
William Blake (from Poetical Sketches, 1783)
clr gif

O winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.

He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchain’d, sheathed
In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes;
For he hath rear’d his sceptre o’er the world.

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.

He takes his seat upon the cliffs, the mariner
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch! that deal’st
With storms, till heaven smiles, and the monster
Is driven yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Greenwood CemeteryRHWP /Prospect Peregrine & Rusties

Orrin reported the juvenile RED-HEADED WOODPECKER this morning , the bird that was counted on the Xmas Count in GWC. Photo is below by Orrin . It was seen in the vicinity of Hassan and Elliot Roads just south of the main gate at 25th street ( Castle Arch). See the GWC map link on the side menu MAPS

While my crew and I were clearing ice from the new rink grounds in anticipation of the grand opening tomorrow, a delightful observation of the PEREGRINE FALCON overhead , then circling back towards the Peninsula mid morning.

The RUSTY BLACKBIRDS continue. Janet Zinn reported one at Binnen Bridge ( Boathouse) and 2 by Binnen Pool area, the Nethermead field.



Orrin :

green-wood cemetery this morning.  Highlight was a juvenile red-headed woodpecker (picture attached).  Other highlights were a white-breasted nuthatch and a flock(!) of two chickadees. Also, many blue jays, juncos, red-bellied woodpeckers, and ring-billed gulls overhead.  Not much else.

GWCEM: Orrin repts juv Redhead woodpeck south of main ent 25th,bet Hassan &Elliot rds

Wednesday's photo

Photographed by Karen O'Hearn yesterday

Red-tailed Hawk with a Coot prey. [Prospect]

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Canada Goose with neck band reported. (seen on Xmas count)


Bird Banding Laboratory

Dear peter dorosh, Thank you for submitting the encounter information for a bird with a marker! A confirmation email has been sent to you. Marker info: NECK COLLAR: Y8R1 BLACK ON ORANGE The BBL internal marker reference ID for this report is: 36265. Please allow at least 2-4 weeks for us to locate the original marking information for your report. If we are successful, you will receive a Certificate of Appreciation in your email if it was requested. If we have questions, we will contact you. To contact us, please email cmreports@usgs.gov and include the internal marker reference ID in your email.

If the marker was difficult to read and you have photos available, you can upload them below to assist the BBL staff with your report.

Type your message here:

Ice-y prize at north Nethermead

Of the icy surfaces of Prospect's fields, north Nethermead steams abit. On exposed lawn, 4 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS stuck to a spot next to the large Osage tree with the bar, sharing the spot with a RED BELLIED WOODPECKER,AMERICAN ROBINs that we haven't seen much of lately, a few RED WINGED BLACKBIRDS and WHITE THROATED SPARROWS. The Rusties were also seen in the morning;they seem to be quite loyal to this area.Also of note,an uncommon winter sighting mixed pair of EASTERN TOWHEE along the fringes of the meadow by the metal standpipe away from the Osage towards the Three Arches, the towhees with WT Sparrows.

A farther walk thru the Nethermead, I found perched MERLIN in the middle mead, a favorite tree for this bird.

The Upper Pool holds a pair of WOOD DUCK, but there is no sign of the Gadwalls.

And a last word. Silence is not golden. Yesterday, along the west edge of the lake, 14 MUTE SWANS held bay at the edge; today it was 11 swans.. what's the number  for them in the Twelve days of Xmas song ? ( but seriously, where did these swans explode in numbers lately ?  I don't want to see them get too numerous given their aggressive turf attitude)

NYC Bird Report

date = 2013/12/18 site = Prospect Park observers =peter

 Northern Shoveler ~105 lake
American Black Duck 2
Canada Goose
Wood Duck 2, pair at Upper Pool
Ruddy Duck 1 Upper pool
Mute Swan 11together lake;14 yesterday same spot
 Merlin 1 perched top tree mid Nethermead
American Coot 20 lake
Great Black-backed Gull 1 llake
Ring-billed Gull 1000 + lake
Herring Gull
 Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
 Blue Jay
 White-breasted Nuthatch 1
American Robin 3 binnen run
White-throated Sparrow 18 north nethermead
 Song Sparrow Eastern Towhee pair,m ,f at nethermead edge by 3 arches
 Northern Cardinal 5
Red-winged Blackbird 16 center drive
Rusty Blackbird 4 north nethermead adj Osage tree with bar; morn and afternoon House Finch
 House Sparrow

Rusty BB 4 cont at binnen Osage tree spot on lawn.pair e.towher by lawn standpipe

Records and followup on Prospect Cackling Goose

Third record 

Cackling Goose    1     9/24/2005     Prospect Lake

Cackling Goose    1     1/28/2006     Prospect Lake
Cackling Goose    1     1/29/06     Three Sisters  Islands
Cackling Goose    1     1/29/06     Three Sisters  Islands
Cackling Goose    1     1/29/06     Prospect Lake

Cackling Goose    2     12/14/13    Prospect Lake  * CBC

Cackling Goose    2     12/15/13    Prospect Lake  * CBC

Final Xmas bird count numbers Kings CBC Circle

File available upon request. Email me at Prosbird@aol.com

final Kings CBC circle count is 111 species.

Prospect attained 50 species.

WSJ article about CBC in Central Park


Monday, December 16, 2013

Prospect + Count week birds

Brown Creeper, photo by Karen O'Hearn

Count week ends tomorrow , therefore any NEW species not reported on the Count Day last Saturday adds to the CBC totals either overall or by region.So is the case today , with three species reported to me , 2 for Prospect and one for the Greenwood Cemetery area, 2 overall new.

Dale Dyer reported to me hearing COMMON RAVEN above his home at Ave C and East 4th. This adds to the overall circle total

Additionally , Karen O'hearn , one of my group members saw a BROWN CREEPER new for Prospect ( not the overall circle)  and GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLET, the latter not seen in the overall circle count ( circle is the 15 miles radius area). Ruby Crowned was a miss.the Creeper was on the Peninsula; the GC Kinglet 2 at the Lullwater cove platform at the east end of the Nethermead,2 Peninsula, 1 at Breeze Hill feeders

While not a new species , WOOD DUCK continues at the Three Sisters' Islands, 8 staying close to shore in open water on the east side of the easternmost island. One other drake was with the Shovelers at the northwest sector of the Lake. On Count Day , 10 were seen, that set a new record for highest ever in a Kings CBC busting a previously high of 4.

There's no sign of the Cackling Geese, the presumption being these were "bad weather" birds forced down and scooted as soon as good weather came thru. We aren't complaining, perfect timing being the luck of the draw , coming in on Xmas Count Day.

An actual crow story

Got this from a friend who forwarded me the story about "Basic Research " on Crows.Sounds like a real actuality.

Sent: *Saturday, December 14, 2013 5:25:16 PM
*Subject: *Fwd: Basic research

Subject: Basic research

  Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) found over 200
  dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that
  they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird
  Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to
  everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian
  Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.
However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that
  varying colors of paints appeared on the bird's beaks and claws. By
  analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the
  crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were
  killed by an impact with a car.

  MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there
  was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills
  versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly
  concluded the cause: "when crows eat road kill, they always have a
  look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. They
  discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a
  single one could shout "Truck."
8 Wood ducks huddling on east shore easternmost 3 Sisters islnds.9 total Lake.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Report sent to Listserves KINGS County Xmas Count results

Kings County (Brooklyn) CBC PRELIMINARY results December 14th 

To the birding community:

Below are the results for Kings County Christmas Birding Count Circle.

In the lowest count since 1981, with inclement snowy weather a factor among other things, 110 species were recorded.

Reflecting the historic irruption of Snowy Owl this winter, it showed with a record 15 birds ( including five seen in a restricted landfill area) , smashing the previous high of 4 ( I think from 1937).

Most evident was a shocking drop in Black-capped Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse numbers along with several other winter resident species which also evident in todays' Central Park (NYC)  figures.

Please note the numbers below for Kings CBC are not final, or preliminary due to still ongoing count week and subject to revised figures.

Thanks to compiler Rick Cech for his tireless effort compiling and keeping/maintaining the records , assisted by Paul Keim assisting on count night, Mary Eyster  organizing the CBC teams, Heidi Nanz setting up dinner prep and the countless members and birders helping out in any fashion. And as well thanks to the Prospect Park Alliance for use of their gorgeous venue ,the Audubon Boathouse.Anyone we forgot to mention, the Brooklyn Bird Club thank them for their voluntary effort.

 Happy Holidays to all, and a New Year  full of great birds.


We had 28 new low counts (11 of which were all-time), versus 8 high counts (3 all-time).
Brooklyn XMas Count Annual Report: 2013
Bold = All time high / low
Italic = 10-year high/low
Low count stats exclude miss years
Snow Goose
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
IRR; ALL-TIME HIGH (by almost 4x)
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
10-yr hi
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
All-time low (tie)
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Scoter (sp.)
Long-tailed Duck
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
All-time high
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Ring-necked Pheasant
All-time low (tie)
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Gannet
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
10-year low
Northern Harrier
All-time low 
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
10-year low
Red-tailed Hawk
10-year low
American Kestrel
10-year low
10-year low
Peregrine Falcon
10-year low
Clapper Rail
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
10-year high
Greater Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Purple Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
American Woodcock
Bonaparte's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
All-time low
Great Black-backed Gull
All-time low
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Monk Parakeet
10-year low
Snowy Owl
IRR; ALL-TIME HIGH (by c. 4x)
Belted Kingfisher
10-year low
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
All-time low 
Blue Jay
American Crow
All-time low 
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
All-time low 
Tufted Titmouse
All-time low 
White-breasted Nuthatch
10-year low
Brown Creeper
10-year low
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
10-year low
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
10-year low
European Starling
All-time low 
American Pipit
10-year low
Cedar Waxwing
10-year low
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
All-time low 
Palm Warbler
Eastern Towhee
10-year low
American Tree Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Sharp-tailed Sparrow (sp.)
Fox Sparrow
10-year high
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
10-year high
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Snow Bunting
10-year high
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
10-year low
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
Total:        110  species
             38,991  individuals