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More Common Terns

These photos were taken on two days over the last week.  The Governors Island Common Tern colony is doing well, with many of the chicks getting quite large.  With so many youngsters running around, it's amazing the parents find their own offspring to feed.  But they seem to figure it out without a problem.

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Eastern Kingbird Fledglings

This year has been disappointing for Red-tailed Hawks in southern Manhattan.  Although it most likely fledged, I can't find the fledgling from the West End Avenue/72nd Street Nest.  This leaves us only with a few fledglings to watch above 110th Street.

Since it's a hike to see the fledglings uptown, I've been spending time this last few weeks looking at other species that nest in the city.  There are lots of youngsters around.  These pictures are of and Eastern Kingbird family who were near the pier at Turtle Pond.  The snack was a dragonfly.

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Common Terns

The Common Terns nesting on Governor's Island have lots of chicks running around now.  Some big and some little, they are running all around the north end of Lima Pier.

The first adult tern in the video appears has a VHF NanoTag tracker.  While this season's nano tags haven't shown up in the Motus database, you can see the data from NYC Audubon's 2016-2019 Semipalmated Sandpiper tags on the site.  Click on a tag with activity and then select "Show detections in: a map".  While due to limitation in receiver station coverage you don't get a full picture of the bird's movement, you do see birds movements to the Canadian Maritimes, the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, New England, and South America. You can see an animation of all the tag movements here. Select the play icon to start the animation. Great work by Ariel Lenske, Kaitlyn Parkins, and Susan Elbin.

If you're interested in the terns, NYC Audubon with its partners is hosting the Sixth Annual "It's Your Tern!" Festival on July 13th from Noon until 4 p.m. on the island.  Details are on the NYC Audubon website.  (If you take the ferry before noon on the weekends, it's free.)

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Crab For Lunch

The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nest at Governors Island continues to delight me each time I visit.  On Tuesday, I arrived just in time to see an exchange between the parents, with the male being replaced by the female, who regurgitated food for the nestlings.  I usually can't see what's been delivered but today, one youngster got hold of a huge piece of crab.  It took a bit of effort to position it so it could be swallowed, while also preventing it from being stolen by a sibling.

A nearby Fish Crow nest has begun to fledge, with one of the first fledglings on a windowsill below the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nest.  Another young Fish Crow was branching in the nest tree.

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Governors Island Barn Swallows

On "The Hills" of Governors Island I found two Barn Swallow fledglings waiting to be fed by a parent.  It was great to see that the adult could feed them without perching.  Nearby was a Song Sparrow fledgling begging for food with a parent singing nearby.  These were just a few of the juveniles easily seen.  I saw young gulls, Common Terns, Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Fish Crows, Red-wing Blackbirds, European Starlings and American Robins on my brief visit to the island.

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Common Terns

Thanks to the work of NYC Audubon and its partners, two piers on the Eastern shore of Governors Island have become a flourishing Common Tern nesting site.  Currently, there are lots of chicks running around on the piers, and if you're patient you can watch them get fed.  If you're interested in the terns, NYC Audubon with its partners is hosting the Sixth Annual "It's Your Tern!" Festival on July 13th from Noon until 4 p.m. on the island.  Details are on the NYC Audubon website.  (If you take the ferry before noon on the weekends, it's free.)

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Governors Island Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron Nest Quintuplets

The Governors Island Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron nest quintuplets were easier to count today, with all five showing together often. They all engaged in Gular Fluttering together to cool down in the hot weather at one point too.  They were fun to watch.  I've learned that in most years the number of young in the Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron nests on Governors Island have been lower, so five is unusual for the island.

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Governors Island Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron Nest

Governors Island has hosted Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron nests over the last few years.  This year the island has one successful nest with five chicks. 

What was interesting to observe today was two immature birds hanging around the nest.  One immature bird was on a branch near the nest when I arrived and another was on the nest.  When a mature adult arrived later, the immature bird left the nest and the adult fed the young by regurgitating into the middle of the nest. 

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St John the Divine's South Side

The fledgling explored the southern side of the Cathedral this afternoon.  When I arrived I found the fledgling above St. James the Less with fuller's club (indicating manner of his martyrdom), and St. Philip with Latin cross (symbol of his crucifixion).  The fledgling then took a bath in a gutter.  Soon afterwards it flew to a decorative spire in the gardens.  When it saw a parent, it flew back to the Cathedral before flying to the south tower.  Later it flew back to the rear of the church.  It was nice to see the fledgling doing so well.

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