Tim's Bird List 2009


2/28/2009 (Sat) 2pm

Kissena Park

a big snowy goose

northern shovelers - swirling, gathering plankton or seeds from water surface by straining with bill. Watch a youtube video taken by somebody at Ridgefield NWR, Ridgefield, WA.

an all-white domestic Muscovy

Link: Kissena Park Field Trip By Corey - October 15, 2009

"Northern Shovelers were on the pond in abundance, which was rather surprising as I have never seen them there before.  They were joined by a drake Wood Duck and two drake Green-winged Teal, two more species I had not seen on the pond before."  By Corey - November 16, 2008


3/7/2009 (Sat)

Forest Park

Cardinals back.  I saw many blue jays in the winter but no cardinals until today.

red-bellied woodpecker: first time hear the call.

white-breasted nuthatch(es), black-capped chickadees, red-winged blackbirds.


3/8/2009 (Sun)

I heard Cardinal's song near my apartment.  Why no more blue jay now?  They are competitive in the suburban human development in the winter?  I saw many blue jays in my home area (NY 11367) in this winter. 


3/21/2009 (Sat)


Link: QCBC 2010 new site


4/2 - 4/7/2009

Las Vegas, Zion National Park, and Valley of Fire State Park, NV

Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARKsuW3nsn0&feature=channel_page (choose HQ for high-speed broadband)

Great-tailed Grackle was preening after a water bath near the wedding chapel at Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas. Captured by Canon A620.
music from AudioSwap - 白虹 《莎莎再会吧》. She is one of the "Beiping Three Whites" (北平三白) with Bai Guang (白光) and Bai Yang (白杨). 1942年姚敏以化名吕莎写给白虹的《莎莎再会吧》。

brewer's blackbirds (E. cyanocephalus, 布爾氏烏鶇) @ parking lot of McDonald

how to id brewer's bb  mirror

butterfly:  /bird/tmp2/2009/LV/butterfly/IMG_3635.JPG to IMG_3652.JPG w/ some not good so not uploaded.


4/11/2009 (Sat)

Alley Pond Park     Map

Mini-trip with QCBC led by Eric Miller.  Rain.  White (albino) American robin.  Great-Horned Owl, probably 2, of a couple.

more about albinism and partial albinism :


Q: We have an all white robin in our neighborhood. Its offspring have been returning for the last couple of years. All have white splashes like a pinto horse. How common is this?

Partial Albinism
Courtesy of R. F. Brown

A: It's not at all common. Although robins are more likely than most species to have albinism and partial albinism, individual robins with white feathers are more conspicuous and easier for predators to target. Also, feathers without pigments aren't quite as sturdy as those with pigments, but are molted no more frequently than normal feathers. True albinos and partial albinos that don't have normal pigments in their eyes have no protection from ultraviolet light, so they are more likely to become blind. All these factors give robins with white feathers a shorter life expectancy than normally-colored feathers. Apparently the all-white robin in your neighborhood has figured out strategies to elude predators and survive despite these other difficulties. I rather doubt that it is a true albino, because blindness so often afflicts wild albinos - with no access to sunglasses - though even that is possible.

Is your robin a male or female? If you see it building a nest, it's probably a female. If it's actually sitting on the nest, it is definitely a female. Female birds are often earth tones to give them better camouflage when on the nest. Because of that camouflage coloring, I would think it would be easier for a normal-colored female to incubate. The interesting question is how robins choose mates, because they don't seem to shun potential mates that have white feathers.

Pigment production is regulated by our genes, so lack of pigment is a genetic condition. That means that any babies produced by an all-white bird would carry the gene. We'd love to see photos of these interesting and unusual birds!


A nice picture of an albino American robin


4/19/2009 (Sun)

Henry's house backyard (GCBC small group outing activity)

probably Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna, info).  Cardinals.


5/16/2009 (Sat)

Forest Park - red-bellied woodpecker forging on the ground with some starlings for a couple of seconds at Metropolitan Ave & East Main Drive (Forest Park Drive), Gray Catbird,  etc.

pictures:   cock robin   blueJay

Note: blue jay feather is not blue

"If you hold a blue jay feather directly between your eyes and the sun, its blue color disappears.  That's because, unlike the pigment-produced coloration of most plumage, blue in birds is a structural color, resulting from physics instead of chemistry.  Minute air pockets or vacuoles, that cannot absorb the blue part of the spectrum cause light reflected from any angle on the feather to scatter blue wavelengths.  Light transmitted through the feather, on the other hand, is not reflected, not the feather appears dark."  (Birds of Forest, Yard, & Thicket by John Eastman (Author), Amelia Hansen (Illustrator). Stackpole Books; 1st edition (February 1997), p.133)

see also:   1. photomicrograph by Terry Lynch

    2. Appearance - Blue Jay - Birds of North America Online

    Blue is a structural color caused by scattering light through modified transparent cells in barbs containing gas-filled vacuoles that lie above cells ...

    3. p.332 and p.335 in Bird Coloration: Mechanisms and measurements By Geoffrey Edward Hill, Kevin J. McGraw . Published by Harvard University Press, 2006. ISBN 0674018931, 9780674018938.
Incoherent Rayleigh-Tyndall scattering hypothesis vs. Dyck's coherent hollow-cylinder hypothesis.

More on: blue_color_of_bird.htm 

               The Myth of the Tyndall Effect in Blue Bird Feathers - mirror site

Some Turaco species in Africa do produce blue and green pigments: it's quite unusual in the bird world.


5/30/2009 (Sat)

Jewel Ave., Van Wick Entry

Juvenile Starlings, a Juvenile male red-winged BB with father, common grackle, etc.

pictures:   Juvenile Starling ( local: I:\200705\myPhoto\2009\0530 )


6/6/2009 (Sat)

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge - map

A lot of birds near the water pool.  House finches (not found @ Jewel Ave., Van Wick Entry but found a lot here), Catbirds (a lot; I never see that many in one single trip), red-winged blackbirds, cardinals, yellow warblers, common yellowthroat, etc.

a black-crowned night heron,
yellow-crowned night heron,
flycatcher(s) probably willow,
wren(s) or vireo(s) of nice songs; probably Carolina (Thryothorus ludovicianus) - like this: mp3,
female red-winged blackbirds (distinct from juvenile starlings),
starlings' families,
common grackles (one sang on treetop),
song sparrows,
tree swallows,
Canada geese families, etc.

a mockingbird, house sparrow(s), robins, etc.

pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/tngsiuman/20090606JamaicaBayWildlifeRefuge?authkey=Gv1sRgCK7HnuKz-PvT5QE#

Highlight: a close-up of turtle/terrapin?    

Turtle, tortoise, and terrapin: what's the difference?   and this


6/7/2009 (Sun)

2 baby pigeons at a shop near Union Turnpike/164 St.

a block North to Union Turnpike, around 165th St.- on treetop, I shot 2 birds (一石二鳥) accidentally.  I only intended to take a picture of the cardinal, not aware of the underneath song sparrow.   pic1  pic2


6/13/2009 (Sat) a.m.

Plumb Beach - end of horseshoe crab mating season; with our niece Megan.

w/ naturalist Ron Bourque, part of the Summer Program

many oystercatchers and willets (1st time saw that many flying around), a little blue heron, a black-crowned night heron, snowy egret at the end of the beach.

many laughing gulls and a least tern hovering and plunging beak-first for fish when walking back from the end of the beach to our car.

song sparrow (北美歌雀, 金冠雀) , Canada goose, brants, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles at the parking area, a crow at the top of a lamp post on our way to Dim Sum lunch.

picture: song sparrow   I think so, compare this and this.


7/4/2009 (Sat) about noon

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

brown thrashers - our largest and shiest mimid with beautiful yellow eyes; has an estimated 3,000 or more song types, more than mockingbird; being the largest of any North American bird's (Birds of Forest, Yard, & Thicket by John Eastman (Author), Amelia Hansen (Illustrator). Stackpole Books; 1st edition (February 1997), p.182).

Typical Voice

picture from Kurt mirror

American goldfinch, Glossy Ibises, etc.


7/11/2009 (Sat) 11:30am-1:00pm

Forest Park

saw at least 4 woodpeckers: 1 red-bellied, 1 unknown probably downy, 2 probably hairy.

Taken many pictures but not good in quality. There is one.

common grackle, blue jay, cardinal, chickadee, etc. 


7/18/2009 (Sat) 11:45am - 1:00pm

Forest Park

Carolina wren, many blue jays, grackles, etc.


8/1/2009 (Sat) morning


immature black-crowned night heron, yellow-crowned night heron, green heron, glossy ibises, great egrets (one is called Finger-licking, very near and on the road, be there many years already, according to 2 birders), snowy egrets, gulls, greater yellowleg, terns (probably common terns), tree swallows (adults and 2 young ones standing on the iron fence, 鐵網柵欄) and probably barn swallows, red-winged blackbirds (males and a female), flock of Starlings, plover (probably piping plover), sandpiper (probably least sandpiper), mourning dove, unknown sparrows (perhaps saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow), skimmer flying low and fast over streams with its lower mandible skims or slices over the water's surface ready to snap shut any small fish unable to dart clear, Fiddler Crab.     pictures

osprey's nest is empty.


8/8/2009 (Sat)

I am happy today because many birds commissioned to celebrate my birthday. 

Jewel Ave., Van Wick Entry; 11-12pm. catbirds, at least one is young.

Forest Park, afternoon after Dim Sum. catbirds, downy woodpeckers, black-and-white warblers creeping along trunks and branches of trees, cardinals, robins, many starlings, perhaps a young blue jay.  Among them, many are young ones which were just born in this year, I think.  I am also happy to watch downy woodpeckers & black-and-white warblers so close for such a long time, at least 5 minutes.


8/15/2009 (Sat) 3-4pm

Forest Park

After Boston Market meal with Becky, Quanita and Frank.  On the road back to Frank's car, saw a Monk Parakeet, aka Quaker Parrot (Myiopsitta monachus).   Picture taken by killiajk.

Next Brooklyn Wild Parrot Safari: Saturday, September 12, 2009


8/22/2009 (Sat)

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

taken a good picture of Snowy Egret


9/5/2009 (Sat) 8-12pm

Alley Pond Park 

Mini-trip with QCBC led by Eric Miller. 

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS. The Spotted Jewelweed was in full bloom everywhere, the most probable attraction for this species.

The Devil's Walking Stick, now beginning to display berries, appeared to be the main attractor for the warblers:  Northern Parula, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Tennessee Warbler, etc.

Pewee? (belong to the flycatcher group)

Posting from The New York Birding List


9/12/2009 (Sat) 11-12:30pm & 1:30-3pm

Brooklyn Wild Parrot Safari:  Brooklyn College and Green-Wood Cemetery 

Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11210-2850
gather at Brooklyn College's Hillel Gate, which is at the intersection of Hillel Place and Campus Road.  Driving direction Map

from Brooklyn College to Green-Wood Cemetery: 5.2 mi - about 13 mins. Driving direction

led by Steve Baldwin, brooklynparrots.com

pic of monk parakeet


9/26/2009 (Sat)

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

test my new Panasonic FZ35 camera


10/3/2009 (Sat) am

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

test again Panasonic FZ35 camera.  Got some good pictures (click here) and videos: catbird and robins in bath.

Close-up picture of chipmunk


10/12/2009 (Mon) pm

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Again Panasonic FZ35 camera.  Videos: Eastern phoebe, a flycatcher


10/17/2009 (Sat)

Forest Park

Again Panasonic FZ35 camera.  Videos: Black-throated Green Warbler & Downy woodpecker.

White-throated sparrow, etc.


Nov-Dec, 2009 in HK, Mainland China and Taiwan

Black-faced Spoonbill ( 黑臉琵鷺 ) -  南生圍 (Nam Sang Wai, Hong Kong) on Nov. 10

  Video: 漁漁鷺鷺    

橙頭地鶫 Orange-headed Thrush - Kowloon Park on Nov. 13 (Fri)

鳳頭鷹(Crested Goshawk) Birds of Prey - Kowloon Park on Nov. 20 (Fri) - Photo: <1>

鵲鴝 (Oriental Magpie Robin) - Photo: male 1    male 2    male 3  

Black-collared starling (黑領掠鳥)

Black Kite 麻鹰

Wood Duck -  Video: <1>   Photo: <1>

紅耳鵯(Red-whiskered Bulbul) - Yuen Long Park (元朗公園; 百鳥塔 was closed on Nov. 10) - Photo: <1> - Kowloon Park on Nov. 13 (Fri) - Photo: <1>

  Note: 白喉红臀鹎 ( Red-bented Bulbul , 学名:Pycnonotus aurigaster ) - 与红耳鹎的主要区别是冠羽比较短,脸颊没有红斑。 

白鶺鴒 - Wetland Park on Nov. 11 (Wed) - Photo: <1>

Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Photo: <1>

普通翡翠 (Common Kingfisher) - Photo:     <1>   <2>   <3>

南生圍 :
2 shorebirds (probably Common Greenshank 青脚鹬)  
Black-winged Stilt (黑翅长脚鹬,又名红腿娘子或高跷鸻) - Photo: <1>  
Sandpiper - Photo: <probably Wood Sandpiper 林鹬>  
小白鹭 (Egretta garzetta, en: Little Egret) - Photo: <1>
大白鷺(Eastern Great Egret , Ardea modesta) - Photo: <1>

  中白鹭 vs. 西方大白鷺 ( Ardea alba / old name: Egretta alba ,en:Great Egret ; 鷺科鷺屬的一種,有時也被歸入白鷺屬 ) vs. 大白鷺(Ardea modesta ; en: Eastern Great Egret)     

鳥種名稱 冬羽 夏羽 分佈範圍 基本差異
大白鷺(Ardea modesta) 黃嘴、無飾羽 黑嘴、背飾羽、眼先藍綠 亞洲東部、南部及大洋洲 嘴裂過眼,身長83-103厘米
西方大白鷺(Ardea alba) 黃嘴、無飾羽 黃嘴染黑、背飾羽、眼先藍綠 全世界各地 嘴裂過眼,身長89-104厘米
中白鷺(Egretta intermedia) 黃嘴端黑、無飾羽 上嘴片黑、胸背皆飾羽、眼先灰 東洋界、衣索匹亞界、澳新界 嘴裂不過眼,身長69厘米

  大白鷺與中白鷺細辨  mirror 

  Intermediate Egret, breeding plumage Photo found on Web

  So in USA, it is 西方大白鷺 subspecies Ardea alba egretta; in HK/Taiwan, it is 大白鷺.

  Details here   mirror 

香港公園 觀鳥園
  長冠八哥 (Bali Starling, Leucopsar rothschildi, also known as Rothschild's Mynah, Bali Myna, or Bali Mynah) - Photo: <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>   <5>     
  虹彩吸蜜鹦鹉 (Rainbow Lorikeet) - Photo: <1> 
  黑頂吸蜜鸚鵡 (Black-capped Lory) - Photo: <1>   <2>   with 紅色吸蜜鸚鵡 (Red Lory)     
  和平鳥 (Asian Fairy Bluebird) - Photo:  male with 藍翅葉鵯 (Blue-winged Leafbird) 雄鳥
  鳳頭鳩 (Crested Pigeon, Ocyphaps lophotes; 一种生活在澳洲的鸟 ) - Photo: <1>   <2>  

台北市野鳥學會 週日例行 賞鳥 活動  on Nov 29

紅鳩 Red Turtle Dove -北投

Black Drongo 大卷尾 (Dicrurus Macrocercus) - 北投

Barn Swallow ( 家燕, Hirundo rustica )  - 淡水  photoed

灰樹鵲 (Grey Treepie, Dendrocitta formosae)  - 淡水  (a video found on YouTube showing its call)

岩鹭 (Pacific Reef Egret, Egretta sacra) - 野柳

藍磯鶫(Blue Rock Thrush) ( not 藍尾鴝 ) - Photo: <male1>   <male2> ; Pictures of male and female Blue Rock Thrush found on Web taken by somebody in HK

藍尾鴝 Siberian Blue-tail (not seen) - 身高14公分,雄鳥背面、臉部、尾羽為鮮藍色,眉線白色,胸、腹兩側為橘黃色。雌鳥單獨出現低、中、高海拔的空曠森林間或果園、公園等地,牠們喜愛佇立於突出物體及枝頭上觀望四周,經常性的擺動尾羽,不會很怕人,在台灣不普遍的冬候鳥。 more 1 and more 2

野柳地質公園 常見雀鳥 :  <1>   <2>

Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Video

Black-crowned Night Heron 取食

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