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.

20190713COTE02

20190713COTE03

20190713COTE04

20190713COTE05

20190713COTE06

20190713COTE07

20190713COTE08

20190713COTE09

20190713COTE10

20190713COTE11

20190713COTE12

20190713COTE13

20190713COTE14

20190713COTE15

20190713COTE16


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.)

20190709COTE06

2019-07-09-14.10.37

20190709COTE01

20190709COTE02

20190709COTE03

20190709COTE04

20190709COTE05

20190709COTE07

20190709COTE08

20190709COTE09

20190709COTE10


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.

20190709YCNH01

20190709YCNH02

20190709YCNH03

20190709YCNH04

20190709YCNH05

20190709YCNH06

20190709YCNH07

20190709YCNH08

20190709YCNH09

20190709YCNH10

20190709YCNH11

20190709YCNH12

20190709YCNH13

20190709YCNH14

20190709YCNH15

20190709YCNH16

20190709YCNH17

20190709YCNH18

20190709YCNH19

20190709YCNH20

20190709YCNH21

20190709YCNH22

20190709YCNH23

20190709YCNH24

20190709YCNH25


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.

20190709BARS01

20190709BARS02

20190709BARS03

20190709BARS04

20190709BARS05

20190709BARS06

20190709BARS07

20190709BARS08

20190709BARS09

20190709BARS10

20190709BARS11

20190709SOSP01

20190709SOSP02

20190709SOSP03

20190709SOSP04


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.)

20190705COTE01

20190705COTE02

20190705COTE03

20190705COTE04

20190705COTE05

20190705COTE06

20190705COTE07

20190705COTE08

20190705COTE09

20190705COTE10

20190705COTE11

20190705COTE12

20190705COTE13

20190705COTE14

20190705COTE15

20190705COTE16

20190705COTE17


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.

20190705YCNH01

20190705YCNH02

20190705YCNH03

20190705YCNH04

20190705YCNH05

20190705YCNH06

20190705YCNH07

20190705YCNH08


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. 

20190703YCNH01

20190703YCNH02

20190703YCNH03

20190703YCNH04

20190703YCNH05

20190703YCNH06

20190703YCNH07

20190703YCNH08

20190703YCNH09

20190703YCNH10

20190703YCNH11

20190703YCNH12

20190703YCNH13


Governors Island

Governors Island is now open after dark on Fridays and Saturdays, so I went in search of bats on Saturday.  I saw and recorded echolocations from two Eastern Red Bats at Nolan Park around 8:15-8:45 p.m. 

Earlier in the daylight, I enjoyed views of the Yellow Crowned Night Heron nest, Killdeer and Common Terns.  I was also able to see the three young Peregrine Falcons and their mother at 55 Water Street.

The Common Terns nest on two of the piers, Lima and Tango.   NYC Audubon is encouraging Common Terns to nest on the Lima Pier this year and has put up three decoys.  It took me awhile to realize there were decoys and I had to subtract three Terns from my eBirds checklist.

They piers are named after their shapes, L, T and Y, which in the NATO alphabet become, Lima, Tango and Yankee.  The Yankee pier, which now only is half a Y, is in active use by the Brooklyn bound ferry.

In addition to the birds on Memorial Day weekend, there was a military ship being guarded by the Coast Guard across Buttermilk Channel and a few military plane and helicopter flyovers.

20190525-01

20190525-02

20190525-03

20190525-04

20190525-05

20190525-06

20190525-07

20190525-08

20190525-09

20190525-10

20190525-11

20190525-12

20190525-13

20190525-14