Thursday, July 23, 2015

Breaking News!

There's been a lot of stuff happening. Here's a quick rundown:

Fall migration has begun

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; FOS Yellow Warbler
first warbler of the Fall

I had my first warbler of the Fall migration season on Wednesday, A Yellow Warbler calling constantly and foraging in the trees beside the dock at Turtle Pond.

Also at Turtle Pond, a pair Kingbirds had nested above the dock, but I haven't seen any signs of fledglings, and today Junko Suzuki notices that they seemed to gathering more nesting material. I saw that as well, after she pointed it out. Do Kingbirds ever re-nest if they've had a nesting failure, or start a second brood after fledging the first? I've read that they only ever have one brood.

Tern festival!

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; TERN FESTIVAL

Elena and I went to Governor's Island on Sunday for the Audubon Tern Festival. It was too hot for us to do any of the bird walks, but we did have a nice look at the colony on Yankee Pier.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Common Terns, Governor's island
OMG baby terns

The fledgling terns are coming along nicely. Terns will re-nest if there's a problem with their first batch of eggs, so the baby terns range from these fuzzy globular chicks to well-plumaged adolescents.

Man, are they all noisy.

Governors Island Yellow-Crowned Night Heron update

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron Family at Home, Governor's Island
we're a happy family

The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron nest on Governors Island has not just one, not two, not three, but four baby birds in it (you can see three in that photo). It was a 90-degree day, and the parents and nestlings were visibly panting. I had the impression that the adults were mostly standing there to shade the young ones.

They're about three weeks old (Ben Cacace first saw a nestling on July 2, and it was not more than a couple of days old at that point). They are supposed to take 30 to 42 days to leave the nest, so we're looking at the very end of July or the first week or two of August for the fledging.

There's also a second nest on the island--I don't know where, exactly--but the reports sound like the same male might be responsible for both. I have not heard about any nestlings there.

There's a very nice YouTube video of the nest, by Cathy (who is quoteny on YouTube and @Cathyewe on twitter).

Also on Governors Island, we saw a large number of Brown Cowbirds, none of them adult males; many seemed to be juveniles to my eyes. Anyone know what's up with that?

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