Yellow Warblers

June 14, 2015 — A fantastic time watching and photographing a pair of Yellow Warblers at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside, Long Island, NY.  These birds are summer visitors to the area and breed here.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Banded Tree Swallow

Banded Tree Swallow at Levy Preserve, Merrick, Long Island, NY; May 3, 2015.

Tree Swallow, Banded

Tree Swallow, Banded

This bird has what appears to be a U.S. Federal band on its left leg. I didn’t notice the band until I loaded the image into the computer. If I’d seen it in the field, I would have zoomed in to get the numbers on the band. Although the band seems to be a standard aluminum butt-end band, without the band number, I can’t find out where and why this bird was banded.

Here’s some info on bird bands from the Bird Banding Lab pages on the USGS’ (United States Geological Survey) site:

 “The most common type of band used in North America is the butt-end band. This band is a round band with two edges that butt evenly together when closed correctly. Butt-end bands are supplied by the Bird Banding Laboratory to licensed US banders free of charge.”

Banding birds helps researchers collect data for research and management projects, such as: dispersal and migration; behavior and social structure; life-span and survival rate; reproductive success and population growth. For additional information on why birds are banded, see the Bird Banding Laboratory’s: Why Band Birds?

I think this is the first banded Tree Swallow I’ve seen.

Monk Parakeets Gather Branches for Nests

It’s always special seeing wild parrots in suburban Long Island. (See my earlier post: Wild on Long Island: Parrots.) Monk Parakeets (also known as Quaker Parrots) are native to Argentina and classified as “released exotics” here. They’ve adapted and been in New York City and surrounding areas for decades.

I’ve seen Monk Parakeets once before at Levy Preserve; they stopped briefly in the trees to eat before moving on. This time I had a good look as I watched them gather nesting material. The parakeets use their strong beaks to chop through a branch, grab it, then balance it before flying off to their nests nearby.

Monk Parakeet Cutting Branch

Monk Parakeet / Quaker Parrot

Monk Parakeet / Quaker Parrot

Monk Parakeet / Quaker Parrot

Photos taken May 11, 2015 at Levy Preserve, Merrick, Long Island, NY

Endangered Terns Nest on Protected NY Beach

Terns are in danger of extinction in New York State. They have few suitable places left to nest and Nickerson Beach, on Long Island, is one of them. It has roped-off, protected areas where terns and other endangered birds, such as Piping Plovers, can nest.

The terns fly out just beyond the breaking waves to catch small fish to bring back to their hungry chicks:
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Here, a tern poses on a sign warning people to stay out of the protected nesting areas:
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Photographs taken June 27, 2014

Barn Swallow Close-up

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

This Barn Swallow’s bill is muddy from collecting mud for it’s nest. Photo taken on June 21, 2014 at Marine Nature Study Area, Long Island, NY, with a Canon Powershot SX50 HS.

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