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A rank beginner in New York, New York

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Old Friday 11th June 2004, 21:25   #1
Pinewood
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A rank beginner in New York, New York

I live between Riverside and Central Parks in Gotham [I never liked Big Apple as a nickname] When I "said hello," I was encouraged to go to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Am I too "laid back" to consider the ninety minute trip, by public transport, too much? After all, I have been birding for only seven months and I have not identified a signifigant portion of birdlife near my front door.

My first bird, at the very start of pursuing this intersest was a long eared owl, near Central Park's lake. In the same vicinity, I have seen other waterfowl, gulls waders, grackles, and a raptor. Now that I more aware I noticed and identified a house finch, which visited my sill. While a neighbour had a wild turkey visit the terrace of his 25th floor flat. I seem to have trouble finding and identifying those little perching birds, but before I started this pursuit I thought that the city only had pigeons and sparrows.

A correspondent of mine, in Houston, Texas is alway amazed at the birdlife to be seen in New York.

Last edited by Pinewood : Friday 16th July 2004 at 17:09. Reason: spelling
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Old Friday 11th June 2004, 21:30   #2
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Hi there Pinewood and on behalf of the staff here at BirdForum.net, a very warm welcome to you. I'm glad you decided to say hello.

I am quite familiar with the area you speak of. My son owns a co-op not far from Riverside park and St. John's Church is one of my favorite buildings to visit when I am in the city. Hoping to get up there for the fall migration as my son has promised me a tour of out of the way spots with one of the guys that heads up the Park's Dept.
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Old Saturday 12th June 2004, 06:01   #3
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Hi Pinewood, Nice bird to start with, Long Eared Owl! CP is a great birding area to add new species to your list. Check out the Lake area, usually birders there to help with Id.
Hope you enjoy the many Forums here, enjoy!
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Old Saturday 12th June 2004, 10:44   #4
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Pinewoods: Many folks would consider that having only 90 min trip on public transportation to Jamaica Bay to be a wonderful gift! Me, among them!

But no matter. That's one of the beauties of birding: you can do as little or as much birding as you want and you're not breaking any rules! If going to Jamaica Bay seems too much a trip to you, that's just fine. With Central Park, you have a real jewel of a place right on your doorstep; why go any further? It's got a huge species count, and I'd think that hooking up some morning with the local birders there would be a thrill!

Which raptor have you seen? Any chance it's the famous Pale Male of recent PBS fame? He lives right there near CP, you know.
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 01:38   #5
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Oh boy, Beverly is right. I was born in New York City, and lived in and around it for more than 30 years before I moved to Maryland, but I never once went to Jamaica Bay. And I sure would have loved to.
But I know that when I lived up there, I never once saw another person birding, but now on BirdForum I seem to here a lot from NYC birders.
By the way, do you know what raptor you saw? Was it an Osprey? I saw my first one up there. It wasn't in New York City actually, but in Long Island.
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 03:19   #6
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Red Tail

I definitely see red tail hawks, on the west side of the Park. Around 1600 hours, on weekdays, I exit the station at 7oth Street. Several times each week, for the last few weeks, I see a pair circling from the Park west and then back. The silhouettes are clearly those of a raptor, while the tails have a red hue. I saw one, talons extended, dropping to the Park. Perhaps he was having a nice pigeon or rodent dinner.

I have never been introduced to Pale Male but his abode is on the east side of the Park. Lucky fellow, I cannot afford a place on Fifth Avenue.

I was in the Park, during the spring migration, but I could not locate and identify the birds which were singing around me.

Many thanks for the kind wishes and advice, which I reciprocate,

Arthur Pinewood
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 03:25   #7
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Birders aplenty

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus
Oh boy, Beverly is right. I was born in New York City, and lived in and around it for more than 30 years before I moved to Maryland, but I never once went to Jamaica Bay. And I sure would have loved to.
But I know that when I lived up there, I never once saw another person birding, but now on BirdForum I seem to here a lot from NYC birders.
By the way, do you know what raptor you saw? Was it an Osprey? I saw my first one up there. It wasn't in New York City actually, but in Long Island.
marcus
My dear Marcus,

It was a red tail. Please see my post to the "thread."

My coworker tells me that there are kestrels near the north end of the Park and near the East River, downtown, that is the southern end of Manhattan.

With warm wishes,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 03:34   #8
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well dressed cormorants

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screech
Hi Pinewood, Nice bird to start with, Long Eared Owl! CP is a great birding area to add new species to your list. Check out the Lake area, usually birders there to help with Id.
Hope you enjoy the many Forums here, enjoy!
My dear Screech,

At or near the Lake, I have seen Canada geese, mallards, an American black duck, a swan, a ring necked duck, northern shovelers, ringed bill gulls, herring gulls, a black crowned night heron, a great egret and double crested coromorants.

At the Park's Turtle Pond, below Belvedere, I spotted many double crested cormorants. After examining them up close, a mother with children asked me what kind of birds they were. She then told her children that they were "double breasted cormorants." Such a bird might make an interesteing character for a children's book.

With warm wishes
Arthur Pinewood

Last edited by Pinewood : Monday 19th July 2004 at 01:46. Reason: grammar
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 03:43   #9
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Taking the A train

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverlybaynes
Pinewoods: Many folks would consider that having only 90 min trip on public transportation to Jamaica Bay to be a wonderful gift! Me, among them!

Which raptor have you seen? Any chance it's the famous Pale Male of recent PBS fame? He lives right there near CP, you know.
My dear Beverly,

The ride from my abode to the Jamaica Bay wildlife refuge is tedious, and probably involves a bus trip, as well as the "A" train. Should my coworker, or the local birders do a trip, I shall certainly reconsider my parochial ways.

Please see my other posts to the thread about the raptor.

With warm regards,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 03:49   #10
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Welcome to the forum, Pinewood from a Dutchess county resident!

Here in Stormville (where the Edmund Safra bodyguard lived while off duty, before he murdered the poor billionaire...), there are tons of birds, I've logged over 50 species in my neighborhood alone!

Check out my gallery, and also a Bird Location in the USA directory. Hope you enjoy this site!
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 10:32   #11
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Photos as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang
Welcome to the forum, Pinewood from a Dutchess county resident!

Here in Stormville (where the Edmund Safra bodyguard lived while off duty, before he murdered the poor billionaire...), there are tons of birds, I've logged over 50 species in my neighborhood alone!

Check out my gallery, and also a Bird Location in the USA directory. Hope you enjoy this site!
How do you get opportunites to photograph as well as spot birds? That must take a lot of patience as well as skill.

You are good to share your birding through your photos.
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 11:34   #12
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Double-breasted cormorant! You've planted a hilarious picture in my brain, Arthur, of a most dapper cormorant with a double row of bright shiny buttons on his coat . . . now if I could only draw!
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 18:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood
How do you get opportunites to photograph as well as spot birds? That must take a lot of patience as well as skill.

You are good to share your birding through your photos.
Arthur Pinewood
Well, being a bird photographer (as a hobby) is all about knowing where to look. In fact, once you know where a particular bird hangs out (i.e. to feed, or nest), you're bound to find other birds near there. One time, I was wondering why a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker was always on the same exact tree when I saw it. Then upon downloading my digital pictures, I noticed that this particular tree was frequented as a favorite feeding site by this pair of sappys. So the next day, i visited the same tree, and sure enough, there the sappy was! I was dissapointed when he flew away, but imagine my surprise when a ruby-throat took his place! In all of this forest, i found a ruby-throat... pretty hard to find (when it's flying around) especially with all the dragonflies around. But a sap-drinking hummer was a surprise mainly because i never expected to see one of these tiny birds in a forest surrounding a pond...

Also at this tree, heard a mewwing sound, and started walking toward the source, and found a Grey Catbird in a tree overlooking the pond. I've never actually seen these birds on my yard, that is, until last week!

There are plenty of birds here. If you want, PM me to inquire about specific birds you want to see.
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 20:42   #14
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Hello Pinewood
Red-tailed Hawks where the almost the only raptor that I would ever see when I lived up there. Like I said before I did see that one Osprey, and I've also seen a few American Kestrels too. But the red-tails where the definate, 'allways' ones.
Have you ever seen a Turkey Vulture in New York City? Down here in Maryland they are very, very common, especially it seems in the cooler and cold times of the year.
But I only saw one once in Long Island. It was soaring above Stony Brook University. You've must of heard of that school, right?
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Old Sunday 13th June 2004, 22:28   #15
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Stony Brook

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus
Hello Pinewood
Red-tailed Hawks where the almost the only raptor that I would ever see when I lived up there. Like I said before I did see that one Osprey, and I've also seen a few American Kestrels too. But the red-tails where the definate, 'allways' ones.
Have you ever seen a Turkey Vulture in New York City? Down here in Maryland they are very, very common, especially it seems in the cooler and cold times of the year.
But I only saw one once in Long Island. It was soaring above Stony Brook University. You've must of heard of that school, right?
marcus
My dear Marcus,

Yes, I have heard of Stony BrooK, it is part of New York's State University, and it is farther from my home than the Jamacia Bay Wildlife Refuge.

There have been many unusal bird sightings in New York City. If a wild turkey visited my building, a turkey vulture may have been spotted in New York, especially since we are in the bird's range. Look at Anne Matthews WILD NIGHTS, Farrar, Straus, 2001, to see how wildlife is returning to the city.
However, parts of New York City, like the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve, are practically wild, if not extensive.

Happy birding,
Arthur "Pinewood"
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 10:35   #16
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Cool Yes, Jamaica Bay is a long trek from your home.

Hello from Brooklyn, NY
Yes it is a long hul via public transportation (plus a bit of a walk from the public transportation to the main building) and don't forget it's just as long going back home too!

As a NY'er you should look into the nyc chapter of the Audubon Society. They still have weekend walks in Central Park that start from the boat house (too early for me to get to the city with girl friend whos has acar , park and meet the group). We went to one of the walks and it was great for looking as well as photographing. Battery City Park also is a nice place for watching birds, and they have a news letter that may also have birding walks led by a pro.
Living in NYC and not knowing where to go birding is like " can't see the foresat with all these trees in my way"

Good luck and enjoy the city

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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 10:54   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood
While a neighbour had a wild turkey visit the terrace of his 25th floor flat. .
Maybe I am missing something but how does a Wild Turkey get to a 25th Floor Flat??? (apart from using the elevator!!!)
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 11:16   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood
I live between Riverside and Central Parks in Gotham [I never liked Big Apple as a nickname] When I "said hello," I was encouraged to go to the Jamaic Bay Wildlife Refuge. Am I too "laid back" to consider the ninety minute trip, by public transport, too much? After all, I have been birding for only seven months and I have not identified a signifigant portion of birdlife near my front door.
Pinewood,

I reguarly go birding on the buses and it is a good feeling to have done a great day's birding or seen a rarity/lifer without even using the car. It is wonderful to be able to board a bus and curl up on the top at the front with a book until the bus comes to where you want. So, yes, take the bus and you won't regret it plus your list will grow too.
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 13:22   #19
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Pinewood, welcome to BirdForum from a fellow in Missouri. My wife and I have been back east quite a few times to visit our youngest son. He lived in several cities on the other side of the Hudson before moving out west to the Chicago area. There are quite a few places to go birding across the river on the New Jersey side. But, I do not know if public transport would be available to get you near to these good birding areas. Perhaps if you were to go to some of the group outings you could get acquainted with someone who owns their own vehicle. Birders tend to be very friendly and accommadating. Perhaps two or three of you could venture out to some of the nearby birding venues sharing cost for fuel for the automobile. Just a thought!

I was wondering about the Wild Turkey getting up to the 25th floor. I would not think they would venture that high, being a "ground dwelling" bird. If it was indeed a Wild Turkey I would think that it got "some help" reaching that location. Could it possibly have been a Turkey Vulture?
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 14:47   #20
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Thumbs up All I know is what I read in The New York Times

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen
Maybe I am missing something but how does a Wild Turkey get to a 25th Floor Flat??? (apart from using the elevator!!!)
Dear Allen and Larry,

One floor at a time?

Last year, I saw the photographs on the first page of the Metro section of the TIMES. The turkey was strutting on the rail of the terrace. My neighbour is a reliable person, so this was no hoax. The bird has a range of more than six kilometers on New York's West Side. The wild turkey occasionally ties up traffic on the highway, as drivers slow and stare.
Of course, where there are turkeys there may be tukey vultures!

Happy birding,
Arthur

Last edited by Pinewood : Friday 16th July 2004 at 19:35. Reason: spelling
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 14:58   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Pinewood,

I reguarly go birding on the buses and it is a good feeling to have done a great day's birding or seen a rarity/lifer without even using the car. It is wonderful to be able to board a bus and curl up on the top at the front with a book until the bus comes to where you want. So, yes, take the bus and you won't regret it plus your list will grow too.
My dear Andrew,

Life is different on this side of the Atlantic. Our buses are not double decked. In my case, it would be a very tedious trip on the "tube," almost totally below ground, with another, infrequent bus, or a nice walk to the entrance of the preserve.

However, a friend in Douglaston, Queens, at the edge of the city, would like to go there. I can take a commuter railroad to her home, and then we would have a fifteen minute drive to the preserve. Of course, May or October would be better times.

Happy birding,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 15:05   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill2468
Hello from Brooklyn, NY

As a NY'er you should look into the nyc chapter of the Audubon Society. .
Living in NYC and not knowing where to go birding is like " can't see the foresat with all these trees in my way"

Good luck and enjoy the city

BiLL
My dear Bill,

A good idea about the local Audubon Society, but I still insist that I can be laid back, avoiding excursions and group activities.
In fact, I have encountered groups in Central Park and I was not impressed by their behaviour. At one such encounter, no one said hello to me and they seemed to be looking down at my fifty year old binoculars. Another time, someone did say hello, but I was using a current Zeiss glass, which interested him.

Happy birding,
Arthur Pinewood

Last edited by Pinewood : Wednesday 6th October 2004 at 14:05. Reason: more spelling
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 15:20   #23
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Quote:
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My dear Andrew,

Life is different on this side of the Atlantic. Our buses are not double decked. In my case, it would be a very tedious trip on the "tube," almost totally below ground, with another, infrequent bus, or a nice walk to the entrance of the preserve.

However, a friend in Douglaston, Queens, at the edge of the city, would like to go there. I can take a commuter railroad to her home, and then we would have a fifteen minute drive to the preserve. Of course, May or October would be better times.

Happy birding,
Arthur Pinewood
Glad you have sorted a way out to the birding hotspots with a mate.

I have been on a few birding trips involving the tube in London and while it was handy, no one spoke to each other at all. I was on the tube once with a friend (Kingfisher) and we were chatting away like mad and noticed no one else was either.
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 20:06   #24
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You saw a Long-eared Owl in Central Park? Wow!
I lived in NYC when I was a kid, in the Bronx, and I sure would have been shocked to see one of them. I saw a Scarlet Tanager there about 34 years ago, and that's what turned me into a birder. I also saw a Ring-necked Pheasant in the Bronx after I became a birder, or what they called it back then, a bird-watcher.
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Old Friday 16th July 2004, 20:44   #25
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I just saw my first Cedar Waxwings today! I have three pictures in my gallery!
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