North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO4 2015

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/605532

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V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 4 485 Hudson-delaware Delaware had 197 active pairs and 395 chicks, not all of whose ultimate fates are known (KF). Mississippi Kites disappointed n. of Cape May, and the maximum there was only 2 on 15 Jun (Steven Rodan, TR). One imm. at the Cape Henlopen hawkwatch 2 Jun (Sue Gruver) fol- lowed 5 there in May. Imm. Bald Eagles contin- ue migrating around Lake Ontario into Jun: 20 passed Braddock Bay 2 Jun (fde RGS), and 42 passed Derby Hill the same day (BP). Nesting populations still trend upward. New Jersey had 23 new pairs; the state's 146 active nests pro- duced a record 201 young (KC, Larissa Smith, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey). Delaware's 74 active Bald Eagle territories pro- duced 81 chicks (KF). We have no New York data. Imm. Broad-winged Hawks also keep moving around Lake Ontario into Jun. Brad- dock Bay counted 195 on 2 Jun (Daena Ford), and 198 passed Derby Hill the same day (BP). "Pale Male," the venerable Fifth Avenue Red- tailed Hawk in New York City, fedged 3 young (DA). Late Rough-legged Hawks along the Lake Ontario shore were at both Braddock Bay and Hamlin Beach 1 Jun (fde RGS). A King Rail paired with a Clapper Rail pro- duced presumably hybrid young in a saltmarsh at Bayonne, Hudson, NJ (MBr, m.ob.). Sandhill Cranes are spreading outward from the Seneca and Wayne, NY base established since 2003. A pair bred at Oak Orchard W.M.A., Genesee for the second year (Paul Lupenecki), and another nested at Burdette, Schuyler for the frst time (John & Sue Gregoire). SHOREBIRDS THROUGH SKUAS A European Golden-Plover at a sod farm near Pittstown, Hunterdon, NJ 19-20 Jul (Mike Hio- tis, ph. Alan Mart, ph. Rob Fergus, FS) would be the frst state and second Regional record. Three prior records are known for the United States: Ketchikan, Alaska in Jan 2001, Maine in Oct 2008, and Delaware in Sep 2009 (another was documented at St. Paul Island, Alas- ka in Jun 2015). The species is re- corded almost annually, sometimes in high numbers, in Newfoundland in spring, which recorded 225+ in spring 2014. Piping Plovers strug- gle to maintain current population levels. The Long Island popula- tion held pretty well with a spread of 286-314 pairs that fedged 404 chicks (FH). They responded well to protection at Smith Point C.P., Suffolk, where 18 young fedged compared to only 3 last year, be- cause of increased fencing and an extended driving ban. Cape May, however, had an "atrocious" nesting Black-crowned Night-Herons were again the most numerous breeding heron in New York Harbor, with 658 total nests. They composed about 17% of the coastal New Jersey heron sur- vey in late May (675). Only 19 were observed at Pea Patch (CB). A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nest with 2 large young at Stony Brook, Suffolk, NY 11 Jul (Douglas Futuyma) may signal the start of yet another suburban colony. The Red- fern Houses colony in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY grew to 41 nests, and New York Harbor showed an increase to 63 nests (SE). The New Jersey aerial survey found 78, while only 5 were counted at Pea Patch (CB). Post-breeding White Ibis were scarce. One near-ad. was at Pea Patch 21 Jun (Joe Sebastiani, Brian Henderson), and 2-3 were near Lewes, DE 17-18 Jul (Sue Gru- ver, Derek Stoner). New York Harbor had 174 Glossy Ibis nests (SE), about normal. The New Jersey coastal wader survey found an encourag- ing 1291, about a third of the total, but only 57 were observed at Pea Patch (CB). Only 2 White-faced Ibis were identifed: one lingered at Captree Island, Suffolk, NY from mid-May through 13 Jun (TWB, m.ob.), and another was studied at Cape May 14-15 Jul (ph., †TR, MC, Karl Lukens, LZ, WC). Black Vultures are beginning to colonize e. Long Island. Their frontier in upstate New York remains the Niagara River at Lewiston, where they have remained year-round since 2011. They have nested in New Jersey only since 1981 and in se. New York since 1997. Turkey Vulture migration continues into early Jun; 164 passed Braddock Bay 2 Jun (fde RGS). A kettle of 20 near Hulse Landing Rd., Suffolk, NY 26 Jul (Tom Moran) suggests rapid expansion on e. Long Island, where breeding was frst noted in 2008. The total Osprey population of New Jersey is estimated at 567, including 25 new nests in 2014; 526 nestlings were banded (KC). Hugo); there are very few other verifable re- ports of this species anywhere inland in North America. Only 2 American White Pelicans ap- peared, far below recent summers' counts. One remained at Montezuma 25 Jul+ (TL, AL, Bob Washburn, m.ob.), following one there last summer. Another at the De Korte Environmen- tal Center, Lyndhurst, Bergen, NJ 7 Jul+ (Jim & Don Torino et al.) remained into fall. New Jersey's frst Neotropic Cormorant continued from spring on the Raritan River at Clinton, Hunterdon, NJ at least until mid-Jul (m.ob.). For the sixteenth consecutive year, N.Y.D.E.C. oiled Double-crested Cormorant eggs on Little Galloo and Gull Islands, in Lake Ontario. Little Galloo had 2283 nests compared with over 8000 in 1996 (IM). The Erie Basin at Buffalo contained 800 cormorants 10 Jul (fde D. Suggs). Nests in- creased again in New York Harbor to 1679 (SE). New Jersey's biggest colony was 300 at Heisler- ville W.M.A., Cumberland 25 Jun (MO'B, LZ). HERONS THROUGH CRANES New York City Audubon's ongoing Harbor Herons Survey tallied 1557 nests (SE). The N.J.D.F.G.W. counted 3981 individual wading birds in 38 coastal colonies in an aerial survey in late May (KC). At the great Pea Patch col- ony in the Delaware River, 1745 wading birds were counted at dusk 30 Jul, mostly going in (CB et al.) (2102 last year). Twelve Least Bit- terns at Montezuma 12 Jul (JMcG) was a good sign. Great Blue Herons reached 200 at N. Montezuma in Jun (fde RGS) and 188 at Oak Orchard W.M.A., Genesee, NY 18 Jul (fde MM). At Pea Patch, the species' only coastal breed- ing site, 31 was an above-average total (CB). Oak Orchard contained 80 Great Egrets 28 Jul (William Watson). New York harbor had 410 Great Egret nests (SE). Great Egrets composed a third of the New Jersey coastal waders (1321 individuals). Pea Patch had 140, compared to 320 last year (CB). New York Harbor had 239 Snowy Egret nests (SE), coastal New Jer- sey 484 (about 12% of the total), and Pea Patch 73 (CB). Little Blue Herons were numerous at Pea Patch (562) but were scarce n. of Dela- ware. The New Jersey coastal sur- vey found just 49, and New York Harbor had 10 nests (SE). Tricol- ored Herons barely remain a part of the Regional avifauna, after years of decline. New York Harbor had two nests (SE), but the New Jersey survey found only 37 and, surpris- ingly, Pea Patch had none. No Cattle Egrets were found n. of Delaware, but 595 were counted at Pea Patch, their only known Regional colony. South Polar Skua may well be annual of the mid-Atlantic states in summer, but this individual 48 kilometers of Cape May, New Jersey 30 June 2014 was only the second documented in Cape May County. Photograph by Tom Reed.

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