Bird List

 


10/27/2012 (Sat)
morning (before Hurricane Sandy)
Kissena Corridor Park, Kissena Park, meet Jeff and another QCBC member
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

They really enrich my birding day.  Another member points me to a Purple Finch though I am still not sure whether I see it.  Jeff helps id the Siskin at Corridor Park and shows me Vesper Sparrow at the baseball field at Kissena Park.  I have a good look of a cute Vesper Sparrow with completed whitish eye-ring.  Vesper Sparrows are not rare at the park.  Jeff tried to locate Woodcock he probably saw earlier but fruitless.  Chase two male Pheasants until they are too afraid of me and fly away.  (I also saw Pheasant on 10/28 Sun morning)
Hermit Thrush probably (or other Thrush?)  White-crowned Sparrow.  Rudy-crowned Kinglet (a few).  RWBB (1 only).  Junco (many).  White-throated Sparrow (a lot).  House Finch (many).  Pine Siskin (a few) (not Goldfinch?). 
Praying Mantis lying on the ground; it may be injured.  cacaterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella).  yellow butterflies.  dragonfly. 

Photo:
   Pine Siskin -  <1>
   Hermit Thrush -  <1>

   Eastern Gray Squirrel -  <1a>   <1b> (original) 
   Praying Mantis
   Finch
   Pheasant -  <1>
   Junco -  <1>
   White-throated Sparrow

Video:  
   



Note:
 (1) "found a VESPER SPARROW in a section of Alley Pond Park (Queens) that I don't normally check (but I had a few minutes to fill). Being that it's a weekday in October, the ball fields near 73rd Avenue and 224 St. are quiet, allowing some birds to hang around. 2 Eastern Bluebirds were also here. The Vesper twice perched on the batting cage closest to the above intersection."   src

 (2) pic of female Purple Finch at Oceanside   pic of male (after Sandy 11/2012)
  

10/20/2012 (Sat)
morning / early afternoon after Dim Sum
JBWR / Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Black-throated Blue Warbler, on the way to Big John.  Yellow-rumped Warblers.  Painted Ladies & Monarch.  Many dragonflies & a few of Shovelers at Kissena Park.  Photographer Johann Schumacher shooting Shovelers at East Pond Lookout in this foggy morning.  So many Cormorants at East Pond.  Pied-billed Grebe? at West Pond.  Ruddy Ducks.  Mute Swans.  Brants. etc. 

Photo:
   Black-throated Blue Warbler -  <1> (female?)

Video:  
   Black-throated Blue Warbler


10/14/2012 (Sun) afternoon
Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Caterpillar looks like the one saw yesterday (Pyrrharctia isabella).  No feral rabbit or cat.  Many dragonflies.  戴菊鶯 : Rudy-crowned Kinglets and Golden-crowned Kinglet(s).  Chickadee.  American Painted Lady.

Photo:
   American Painted Lady - <1>    <2> 
   Rudy-crowned Kinglet - <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>   P1330275.good.JPG   P1330280.JPG   <5>   <6>  
   Golden-crowned Kinglet - <1>   P1330424.JPG   <2>   <3>  (female or male whose distinct orange crown stripe is often concealed)  ...
   Eastern Painted Turtle (or Red-eared Slider?) -  <1> (the top one is possibly a painted but the bottom one looks like a slider)


Note:

 (1) Golden-crowned Kinglet -  detailed id photo of McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY
 (2)
戴菊莺的主要食物是小型蜘蛛和昆虫。不论鞘翅类、膜翅类、双翅类、鳞翅类,它都啄食。一只戴菊莺一年可消灭害虫八百万至一千万只。人说燕子捕虫能力大,戴菊莺的捕虫能力比燕子大得多,真是强中有强者。  src (not reliable data)
 (3) Tomorrow receive Slave Flash & LED Light
10/13/2012 (Sat)
Jonathan birthday - apple/pumpkin picking at Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm / 14-42mm

Rudy-crowned Kinglet (female), butterflies, wasps (probably Yellow Jacket), yellow short-horned grasshopper (male Red-legged Grasshopper, Melanoplus fermurrubrum), caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella), flies.

Photo:
   Short-horned Grasshopper - <1>   <2>   bugguide id   A similar one observed today by sb at Floyd Bennett Field.
      "looks to me like a male Red-legged Grasshopper (Melanoplus fermurrubrum). I could be wrong, but the U-shaped subgenital plate matches the Red-legged. They aren't usually this yellow"
      "I'm 99% confident it's a male Redlegged. They do actually come in a variety of colors (even a rare blue form), so bright yellow isn't out of the realm of possibility. Identifying a lot of the Melanoplus to species can be tricky, but is easier in males."

   Wasp, yellow - <1> 
   caterpillar - <1> (look like this : Pyrrharctia isabella (Isabella Tiger Moth) "The second brood overwinters as a caterpillar and pupates in Spring." "they will wake up during warmer winter days and come out to eat.")  wiki  (also look like (or mistake of hudong?)  灯蛾毛虫(Grammia incorrupta) : 一种无脊椎动物,能在零下70摄氏度低温下生存。 But it is not in NE, only found in Southwest.  info1  info2  bugguide)

Note:
 (1) Melanoplus - wiki   bugguide   Small to relatively large, relatively smooth, most often brownish, grayish, yellowish, or greenish Spur-throat Grasshoppers (with a spur on the prosternum between bases of front legs), often with a wide dark band that extends back from the compound eyes.  
 (2) Red-legged Grasshopper (Melanoplus fermurrubrum) http://bugguide.net/node/view/151116  - Several species look quite similar, and this one is best identified by referring to photos posted here and looking at the end of the male's abdomen, which is enlarged, and with the subgenital plant "U"-shaped along the top edge when viewed from behind. ... In much of North America, especially across the northern half of the US and in southern Canada, this is one of the most commonly encountered species of Grasshoppers. 
 (3) More Red-legged:     fact sheet 1  mirror  (adult female has an uncommon blue form.)    There is a species Metator pardalinus (Blue-legged Grasshopper)   bugguide
 (4) The moth Pyrrharctia isabella is known by different common names at its two main life stages. The adult is the Isabella Tiger Moth and the larva is called the Banded Woolly Bear. 
 (5)
In the 
Arctic, the summer period for vegetative growth and hence feeding is so short, that the Woolly Bear feeds for several summers, freezing again each winter before finally pupating. Some are known to live through as many as 14 winters (comment: revised to 7).  wiki   bugguide

 (6) Recent research has shown that in the related moth Gramminia (Grammia?) incorrupta, whose larvae are also called “woollybears”, larvae consume alkaloid-laden leaves that help fight off internal parasitic fly larvae. This research reports this phenomenon as the "the first clear demonstration of self-medication among insects. wiki  info1
 (7)

Caterpillars normally become moths within months of hatching in most temperate climates, but in the Arctic the summer period for vegetative growth and hence feeding is so short, that the Woolly Bear feeds for several summers, freezing again each winter before finally pupating. Some are known to live through as many as 14 winters. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynaephora_groenlandica

Gynaephora groenlandica (common name: Arctic Woolly Bear Moth) is a Lymantriid moth found within the Arctic circle, in Greenland and Canada.

It was once estimated that it had a 14 year life cycle from egg to adult moth, a unique life-cycle among the Lepidoptera with the ability to withstand temperatures below -60°C. The larvae degrade their mitochondria in preparation for overwintering and re-synthesize them in the spring, and each instar of the caterpillar takes about a year. Subsequent studies have revised the life-cycle duration to 7 years.[1]

Interestingly, the extreme winter temperatures are not as detrimental to Gynaephora caterpillars as are the parasitoids. The larvae are extremely freeze tolerant, able to survive temperatures down to -70°C. As temperatures decrease during the late arctic summer the larvae start synthesizing cryoprotective compounds, such as glycerol, in addition to some unusual ones, e.g. betaine. Accumulation of these "antifreezes“ is aided by bottle-necking of oxidative phosphorylation through mitochondrial degradation. The woolly-bears re-synthesize the mitochondria the following spring upon resumption of their activity.

 

 (8) Frozen Caterpillar

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/frozen-planet/videos/caterpillar-survives-frozen-death.htm

http://dsc.discovery.com/show-news/arctic-caterpillar-sleeps-its-life-away-completely-frozen.html


10/8/2012 (Mon)
afternoon
Kissena Corridor & Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Met the beautiful black-and-white feral rabbit 逸兔 (of escaped exotic species?) again (9/22 was the first time).  Is it a (young) Black Dutch Rabbit or hybrid of Black Dutch Rabbit with other species (e.g., black-and-white spotted rabbit)?   I hope it can survive the coming winter.  |  List of rabbit breeds  |  look like but not 熊猫兔 (info1 info2)
Eastern Phoebe (1+).  Robins (many).    

Photo:
   Rabbit -  <1> (red-eye corrected);   no flash: <2>   <3>
   Cat (feral), a Domestic Shorthair
<1>

   Northern Flicker
<1>   <2a>   <2b>  
   Mallard (flash) - 
<1>

   Mockingbird
<1>

Note:
 (1) How a Baby Bunny (black-and-white spotted rabbit?) Grows  
 (2)
What Breed Is My Bunny?
 (3) Can rabbits live outside during the winter time?  Yes, they have good chance to survive.  "even a released pet bunny survive in the wild, we have 20 or more who have been surviving and thriving our harsh Canadian winters. yahoo answer 
 (4)
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - wiki Operation of the shelter system was transferred to Center for Animal Care and Control in 1995.
 (5)
DYING FOR HOMES: ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL IN NEW YORK CITY (June 1997): New York City has a population of approximately 7.3 million people and more than two million pets.  ...  When pets are abandoned or lost, New York City's Center for Animal Care  and Control (CACC) is responsible for providing shelter. Approximately 63,000 dogs, cats and other  animals entered the CACC's shelter system in 1996--an average of more than 170 animals per day.  Few ever found a loving home again.
 (6) The
Domestic Shorthair at Kissena Park looks nearly the same the adoptable male cat Bart posted on Metro (1/23/2013).  ASPCA link (color: Cream/Wheaten Tabby; 5 years old)  BTW, Domestic Shorthair is a common pet.


10/6/2012 (Sat)
late morning - early afternoon
JBWR
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Northern Flickers (2), Eastern Phoebe (a young with yellowish below) or Eastern Wood-Pewee, Brant (1), Yellow-rumped Warblers, ?Rudy-crowned Kinglet?
A birder saw Hooded Warbler at Big John.
Flower flies, metallic green insects (probably sweat bees but possibly Small Carpenter Bee or other green bees), (American?) Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, Gossamer-wing butterfly. Anglewing butterfly.

Photo:
   Flower fly:  <1> (with a green insect probably a
female sweat bee but also look like Small Carpenter Bee)
  
Augochlora pura, male, a metallic (green/coppery/gold) sweat bee - <1>   <2a>  (I think it is the same one)   <2b>   bugguide id   ; cf. here
   Fly:
 <1>   <2>  
   Painted Lady -
   Common Buckeye -
   Gossamer-wing butterfly (female Eastern Tailed-blue?) - <1> (cf.
8/12/2012)
   Anglewing - <1> 
   warbler -
     unknown:   <1>
     unknown:   <1>
     unknown:   <1>
    
Yellow-rumped Warbler:   <1a>   <1b>    <2>  
  
Eastern Wood-Pewee -  <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>   <5>   
  
Eastern Wood-Pewee -  <6>   <7> (bug caught!)   <8> (orangish lower mandible so look more like Eastern Wood-Pewee)    <9>   <10>   <11>   <12>   <13>  

  
Eastern Wood-Pewee - 
Google+ album

Note:
 (1) Halictidae is a cosmopolitan family of the order Hymenoptera consisting of small (> 4 mm) to midsize (> 8 mm) bees which are usually dark-colored and often metallic in appearance. Several species are all or partly green and a few are red; a number of them have yellow markings, especially the males, which commonly possess yellow faces, a pattern widespread among the various families of bees. They are commonly referred to as sweat bees.   wiki   wiki2 
 (2)
Sweat Bee - Augochlora pura : The gold may be an artifact of sunlight or flash. I get the same effect with blow flies. I think it's because the camera software doesn't expect the green channel to be overexposed.   src 
 (3) Small Carpenter Bees (Ceratina):
          http://bugguide.net/node/view/692252/bgimage
          http://bugguide.net/node/view/655540/bgimage
          http://bugguide.net/node/view/660454
          They can be easily separated from halictids by the mouthparts (with a long glossa) and the hindwings (with a tiny jugal lobe).
 (4) SmallCarpenterBee_SweatBee.htm


9/29/2012 (Sat) afternoon (about 3:30-5:30pm)
Kissena Corridor & Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Many birds of various species at Kissena Corridor Park:  Northern Flickers, American Goldfinches, Ring-necked Pheasant, yellow-color warbler on ground, juvenile Mourning Dove, etc.  Flower fly (食蚜蠅).

Photo:
   Flower fly:  <1>

9/22/2012 (Sat) morning
Kissena Corridor
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Yellow butterfly, many Common Buckeyes and other butterflies.  Wasps (Thread-waisted Wasp with caterpillar prey and one black-with-white-bands wasp digging many burrows).  Grasshoppers.
Hawk flying over, from overhead, its lower is all yellow; possibly Red-tailed Hawk.  (cf. this video)
Note:  after dim sum, we went to Kissena Park without camera.  Saw 2 flying ducks with white end; body color mainly black & white, according to our very quick observation. Are Mallards or something else (Shoveler?)?
Met the beautiful black-and-white feral rabbit today?

Photo:
   Yellow butterfly (Orange Sulphur?) - macro    <1>  
   Common Buckeye - under wing 1   upper wing 1 (all 8 spots!)   upper wing 2 (didn't got all 8 spots)   upper wing 3 (the smaller one of the 2 spots is now seen)  
   Skipper - <1>   (Sometimes mistaken for moths, their clubbed antennae help identify it as a butterfly.  src)

   Wasp -
     Ammophila pictipennis  (Thread-waisted Wasp, 北美线程细腰蜂), carrying its caterpillar prey -  <1>    bugguide id
          (not procera; cf., an old world species:  Red Banded Sand Wasp, Ammophila bulosa)   wiki   bugguide.net  
     Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus), a black-with-white-bands wasp, female -  <1>  bugguide id

   Grasshopper - Grasshopper     Grasshopper     <3> male Red-legged Grasshopper (Melanoplus fermurrubrum)?   

Video:  
   Thread-waisted Wasp  


Note:
 (1) Among solitary wasps, two subfamilies in two families are particularly fond of insect larvae as food for their young:  Ammophilinae (Sphecidae) & Eumeninae (Vespidae).
 (2) Genus Ammophila  -

Medium-sized black wasps with a relatively long petiole ("thread-waisted"), and usually with orange on the abdomen. 

Podalonia are similar, but typically have the bulbous part of the abdomen bent upward and lying above the distal end of the petiole; whereas in Ammophila the abdomen is typically straight or bent downward at the distal end of the petiole. For illustrations, see figures A and C here in Bohart & Menke(3);

    src
 (3) Ammophila pictipennis - Orange and black wings are distinctive within this genus.
 (4) Thread-waisted Wasp life cycle : straddling the larva and dragging it to her nest, which may be hundreds of feet away.  One instance of more than 65 yards (60 m) was described by Crompton (1955) in which the wasp had to drag her prey around hedges, down a street, then a pathway, under a gate, then through flowers and cross a lawn to get home again.   Bees, Wasps, and Ants: The Indispensable Role of Hymenoptera in Gardens     baidu
 (5) 细腰蜂 - 又名似我蜂,蜾蠃 .
我国境内较常见,遍布黄河长江流域,此外各大洲都有细腰蜂,也常见细腰蜂亚种,喜独栖,一般长2.5厘米以上。因其腹部前端呈杆状,故名细腰蜂。  
正在产卵的细腰蜂捕捉昆虫和蜘蛛时,先用针螫,再用钳状上腭揉揑其颈部使之麻痹,将之封入泥室,并在其体内产一卵。
泥蜂族多为黑色,腹部有部分橙色或黄色,在洞穴中筑巢,为幼虫贮备毛虫。   
抹泥蜂族(Sceliphronini)通常黑色,具黄斑,足黄色;常在屋檐或天花板角处把几个泥室筑在一起,贮备已麻痹的蜘蛛。
足泥蜂族(Podiini)则在泥室内贮备蜚蠊。   
黄泥蜂族(Chlorionini)在地下筑巢,为幼虫准备的是蝗虫和蟋蟀。


细腰蜂的中国含义
  细腰蜂的书名叫蜾蠃。蜾蠃主要捕食稻螟蛉、玉米螟、棉红蛉等多种鳞翅目昆虫的幼虫。   细腰蜂的腹部未端有带毒的螯针和产卵器,繁殖后代时,先用螯针把螟蛉幼虫刺晕,再把产卵器刺入螟蛉体内产卵,再把螟蛉拖进竹筒里,卵孵化出来的幼虫,即以螟蛉为食,而后化蛹长成蜾蠃。这一现象,古人误认为蜾蠃不会产子,是喂养螟蛉作儿女。   三千年前古人认为蜾蠃捕捉螟虫是把它当孩子来喂养,《诗经·小雅·小宛》载“螟蛉有子,蜾蠃负之”,似乎还有点谴责蜾蠃夺人之子的意思。蜾蠃(Rhynchium bruneum)胡蜂科昆虫,以抓螟蛾幼虫来饲养自己的幼虫,可不是当什么“义子”。[ 最先反对上面说法的是六朝时的陶弘景,他在注《本草》“惺斡一名土蜂”条下说:“(惺斡)虽名土蜂,不就土中作案,谓摙土作房尔。今一种黑色细腰,衔泥于壁及器物边作房,生子如粟置其中;乃捕草上青蜘蛛十余置其中,仍塞口,以俟其子大而为粮也。其一种入芦竹管中,亦取草上青虫。一名果蠃,《诗》云:‘螟蛉有子,果蠃负之。’或言细腰蜂无雌,皆取青虫教祝,变成己子,斯为谬矣。” ]

细腰蜂的常见亚种
 
A.

北美线程细腰蜂是一个瘦腰,或花梗长,黑,红桔小蜂,其腹部和胸部连接,长的后腿。它的身体类似于 西科斯基 Skycrane 直升机 (Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter),有一个适应实际目的-这是毛毛虫蠃猎人,设计携带载荷的毛毛虫养活它的后代。   北美线程细腰蜂喜欢这种孤独无毛毛虫种饲料的幼虫。它刺猎物瘫痪,所以食物无法保持新鲜,但慢慢爬开。北美线程细腰蜂将悬挂其固定地面猎物浅窝,奠定鸡蛋和覆盖其上的洞。黄蜂可能有几个营巢,并记住它们的位置,可以返回他们与更多的粮食来重新开放和规定。它的后代舱口,几个星期前,狼吞虎咽消耗和杀害他们的主机,并pupates中旬之前,作为新兴的一个孤独的成年人夏末地下。成年蜂花的花蜜饲料。   成年北美线程细腰蜂大约两英寸长,喜欢呆在有花蜜的鲜花里面。它的范围遍及美国和加拿大南部,宁愿居住在空旷地方。 (Eng src)

B.      
红脚细腰蜂 (Sphex sp.)   别名:赤翅蜂.   细腰蜂科/膜翅目   外观特征: 体长约28mm。本属的细腰蜂成员,胸部、腹部间有一段极细的腰身;雌虫大颚远较雄虫发达。本种特征为各脚腿节、胫节为红褐色,胸腹间有段极细的腰身,因此得名.其特徵为各脚节为红褐色.   生态习性: 雄虫夏季会在砂质繁殖地上空成群低飞,寻找刚羽化出洞的雌虫交尾。而雌虫则在砂质地上挖掘洞穴,并且捉捕螽斯入洞做为幼虫的食物。 src

 (6)

The Ammophila thread-waisted wasp is a long, black and red-orange wasp with a thin waist, or pedicel, connecting its abdomen and thorax, and long hind legs. Its body design resembles a Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter , an adaptation having a practical purpose-- this solitary wasp is a caterpillar hunter, designed to carry loads of caterpillars to feed its offspring. It looks similar to male Podalonia cutworm wasps.

This solitary species of wasp prefers hairless caterpillars to feed its larva. It stings its prey to paralyze it, so the food stays fresh but unable crawl away. The wasp will fly its immobilized prey to a shallow ground nest, lay an egg on it and cover the hole. The wasp may have several nest holes, and remembering their locations, can return to re-open and provision them with more food. Its offspring hatches, consumes its hosts for weeks before gorging and killing them, and pupates underground before emerging in mid to late summer as a lone adult.

Adult wasps feed on flower nectar. The pictured wasp was roughly two inches long and was found feeding on the nectar of rabbitbrush flowers. It ranges throughout the United States and southern Canada, preferring to inhabit open areas.   src

 (7) Polistes wasps and their social parasites: an overview ( mirror ) :  Severe brood care costs have favoured the evolution of cheaters that exploit the parental services of conspecifics or even heterospecifics in both birds and social insects. In Polistes paper wasps, three species have lost worker castes and are dependent on hosts to produce their sexuals, while other species use hosts facultatively as an alternative to caring for their own brood.

 (8) Apis mellifera capensis, the Cape honey bee - In 1990 beekeepers transported Cape honey bees into northern South Africa, where they don't occur naturally. This has created a problem for the region's A. m. scutellata populations. Reproducing diploid females without fertilization bypasses the eusocial insect hierarchy; an individual more related to her own offspring than to the offspring of the queen will trade in her inclusive fitness benefits for individual fitness benefits of reproducing her own young. This opens up the possibility of social parasitism: if a female worker expressing the thelytokous phenotype from a Cape honey bee colony can enter a colony of A. m. scutellata, she can potentially take over that African bee colony. A behavioral consequence of the thelytoky phenotype is queen pheromonal mimicry, which means the parasitic workers can sneak their eggs in to be raised with those from the African bees, and their eggs aren't policed by the African bee workers because they're similar to the African bee queen's eggs. As a result the parasitic A. m. capensis workers increase in number within a host colony, while numbers of the A. m. scutellata workers that perform foraging duties (A. m. capensis workers are greatly under-represented in the foraging force of an infected colony) dwindle, owing to competition in egg laying between A. m. capensis workers and the queen, and to the eventual death of the queen. This causes the death of the colony upon which the capensis females depended, so they will then seek out a new host colony.   wiki

(9) Cuckoo bees quietly find their way into the hives of other bees and arrange the rearing of their brood.   src   wiki (brood parasites  vs. social parasites)

 (10)  Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus) video found on Web with detailed description of potter wasps (or mason wasps). 
Eumenine wasps are diverse in nest building. The different species may either use pre-existing cavities (such as beetle tunnels in wood, abandoned nests of other hymenoptera or even man-made holes like old nail holes and even screw shafts on electronic devices) that they modify in several degrees, or they construct their own either underground or exposed nests. The nest may have one to multiple individual brood cells. The most widely-used building material is mud made of a mixture of earth and regurgitated water, but many species use chewed plant material instead.

The name "potter wasp" derives from the shape of the mud nests built by species of Eumenes and similar genera. It is believed that Native Americans based their pottery designs upon the form of local potter wasp nests. [von Frisch, 1974].       ( 用土築造壺形之巢于樹枝或璧上的泥蜂)

 (11) Eumenes fraternus, a widespread eastern Eumenes:

Females lay egg in mud nest (built on twig, etc.), then provision with small caterpillars esp. cankerworms. Also reported to provision with sawflies. 
There are at least two generations in a year, from late spring to early fall. Overwintering takes place at the prepupal instar, in the mud pots built by last generation mother females. Emerging adults will be the first generation of next year. Taken from comments by Richard Vernier here.

 (12) Common Potter Wasp (Eumenes fraternus) vs. other Daubers, e.g., the mud wasp 抹泥蜂 Sceliphron caementarium src

 (13) Mud dauber 泥蜂 (sometimes called "dirt dauber," "dirt digger," "dirt dobber," "dirt diver", or "mud wasp") is a name commonly applied to a number of wasps from either the family Sphecidae or Crabronidae that build their nests from mud.  wiki   

 (14) Online guide to Eastern North American Sphecidae: Includes information on all the mud daubers and their look alikes


9/15/2012 (Sat) 7:30-11am
JBWR
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

No wasp or cicada is seen.  Black Saddlebags dragonflies.  Various butterflies. 
Solitary Sandpipers (2).  Migrating warblers (many Redstarts, Waterthrushes, probably Black-throated Green Warbler).  A large red bird (Oriole? Scarlet Tanager?)

Photo:
   Redstart -  <1>
   Waterthrush
   Solitary Sandpiper
   Black Saddlebags -  <1>   <2>   <3> (macro)
   Common Buckeye

Video:  
   female Common Yellowthroat, Big John's Pond
   Black Saddlebags

Note: Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) at Big John's Pond, August 15, 2009.


8/24/2012 (Fri) to 9/9/2012 (Sun)
Netherlands, UK, Scotland, Norway, Denmark
camera: GH2

Two species of the family found in Great Britain:  Phalacrocorax carbo (now referred to by ornithologists as the Great Cormorant) and P. aristotelis (the European Shag).  wiki
The 
Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) (sometimes called Hoodiecrow) - C. c. cornix, the nominate race, occurs in the British Isles (principally Scotland and Ireland) and Europe, south to Corsica.
The Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) is native to western Europe (including Netherlands) and eastern Asia

The Eurasian Magpie, European Magpie, or Common Magpie, (Pica pica), is a resident breeding bird throughout Europe, much of Asia and northwest Africa
Great Crested Grebe (Skäggdopping) - found on Web :  pic1   pic2 (mating display)
Coot (Sothöns)
Moorhen
Greater White-fronted Goose (Bläsgås - Anser albifrons)     Barnacle Goose
Greylag Goose or Pink-footed Goose
Golden Eye ? 
 Eurasian Siskin ?  id guide

more found on Web:  1  (Scandinavia)

Photo:
   birdGreat Crested Grebe (Skäggdopping) :
     Rotterdam  - <1>  
   birdEgyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)  [found in Web]
     Rotterdam  - <1>   <2>  
     Amsterdam (9/8) - <1>   (family: 1 or 2 parent(s) with immatures)
   birdGreylag Goose :
     Oslo, Norway  - <1>

   birdBarnacle Goose :
     Oslo, Norway  - <1>
   birdHooded Crow :
     Alesund, Norway (9/1) - <1>   <2>  
   birdEuropean Magpie  - <1>

   birdGreat Black-backed Gull
   birdGull :
     leaving Rotterdam -  <1>
     Inverness, the fearless -  <1>
   birdCommon Moorhen :

     Oslo, Norway  - 2 juveniles at Vigeland Sculpture Park.
   birdEurasian Siskin, possibly :
     Geiranger, Norway (8/31) - 
   birdUnknown shorebird > 100, staying from 8am/9am to afternoon at Invergordon Port -  <1>   <2>   cropped:  <3>   <4>  
   birdEuroasian Oystercatcher (a.k.a.  Common Pied Oystercatcher; no other oystercatcher occurs within the area; wiki) :
     Invergordon (8/28) -  <1>   <2>   <3> (OIF) 
   birdRuddy Turnstone (simply called Turnstone in UK):
     Invergordon (8/28) -  <1>   <2>   <3>  
   birdCommon Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus):
     Rotterdam (8/24 Fri) -  <1> 
   birdBlack Guillemot (Cepphus grylle):
     Lerwick (8/29) -  2 immature 
   bird Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis):
     Lerwick (8/29) - 1280201.fulmar.JPG
   birdSparrow :
     Geiranger, Norway (8/31) -  tongue (possibly a first year)    tongue (zoom)
   birdWhite Wagtail :
     Geiranger, Norway (8/31) -  <1> 
     Skjolden, Norway (9/2) -  <1>    <2> 

    
   Moth (or Skipper butterfly?) on ship from Rotterdam to S. Queensferry (Edinburgh) before dawn, Monday:  <1>  
   red dragonfly at Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark (9/6): sun-bathing - <1>  (Sympetrum?)
   fly (flower fly?) on ship arriving at Rotterdam (9/8) - <1a>    <1b>    <1c>   

Google+ album:   1  (Picasa link) mirror   遊輪踏破曉 白浪送紫霞    fjord at Geiranger, Norway (Picasa link)    Denmark Copenhagen panorama (port at Langeliniekaj, stop #5 of the Sightseeing Hop-on-hop-off bus)   9/8 arrived at Rotterdam


Video:

   Common Wood Pigeon : Rotterdam  (8/24 Fri)  12-19.MTS

Note:
 (1)  google: grebe rotterdam
 (2) In Norway, the number of greylag geese is estimated to have increased three- to fivefold during the last 15–20 years. As a consequence, farmers' problems caused by goose grazing on farmland has increased considerably. This problem is also evident for the pink-footed goosewiki

 (3) Barnacle Goose increases in the Oslo area. Most probably, the population here origins from the release of birds many years ago. It breeds both on islands and in the eutrophic lakes.  src 
 (4) Eutrophic lakes: Having waters rich in mineral and organic nutrients that promote a proliferation of plant life, especially algae, which reduces the dissolved oxygen content and often causes the extinction of other organisms.
 (5) Great Black-backed Gull: Increasing along the coast of Oslo and Akershus. The increase of this species might be one reason for the reduction of smaller gulls and terns.  src
 (6) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_birds_of_the_Netherlands
 (7) The Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck, hence the English name.  It is in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae.  It has been introduced: Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany have self-sustaining feral populations.  The sexes of this striking species are identical in plumage, though the males average slightly larger. There is a fair amount of variation in plumage tone, with some birds greyer and others browner, but this is not sex or age related. A large part of the wings of mature birds is white, but in repose the white is hidden by the wing coverts. When it is aroused, either in alarm or aggression, the white begins to show. In flight or when the wings are fully spread in aggression the white is conspicuous.   wiki
 (8) Ruddy Shelduck/Egyptian Goose Hybrid in UK - src   mirror
 (9) http://www.scribd.com/doc/47531600/Hume-Bob-RSPB-Complete-Birds-of-Britain-and-Europe-2002  
 (10) Why are crows black?   Not all species of crows are completely black.  Some have white markings, and each species' markings are distinctive and easily recognizable.  My suspicion is that the pure black plumage of the crow may be a result not only of natural selection for a color that is easily recognizable by members of the same species, but also possibly to some degree of genetic drift.  It's also possible that some degree of two-way sexual selection has been involved, with both male and female birds preferring to mate with individuals who have pure black plumage.  This is something probably carried over from their ancestral past.
 (11) The three Western European Columba pigeons, Common Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, and Rock Pigeon, though superficially alike, have very distinctive characteristics; the Common Wood Pigeon may be identified at once by its larger size at 38–44.5 cm (15–17.5 in) and 300–615 g (11–21.7 oz), and the white on its neck and wing. It is otherwise a basically grey bird, with a pinkish breast.   wiki
 (12)


8/18/2012 (Sat) 11am-2pm
JBWR (West side only)
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Sand Wasps (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus); female Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp digging with a dead cicada beside; probably Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus).  2 large red-and-yellow caterpillars with black head.

Photo:
   Bumble Bee
   Wasps

     
Sand Wasp - <1> 

     
Great Black Wasp - <1>

   Painted Lady (
Vanessa cardui) Butterfly - 1 with a wasp    <2>
  
Datana - red-and-yellow-striped caterpillar with black head - <1>   bugguide.net looks like the plant might be Winged Sumac. If so, this is likely an early instar Datana perspicua    Info
  
Cicada - side-1a (JPG processed by Helicon only)    side-1b (JPG processed by SilkyPix then Helicon)    <2>  

   Chipmunk
- <1>

Video:
  
Painted Lady with bee (and a fly)
  
Note:
 (1a) "
some American Lady butterflies were flying and I noticed some were noticeably smaller than others. This week a friend showed me a Monarch chrysalis which also was much smaller than usual. Is this because of" ...   
 (1b) It's pretty common in field observation to see that, after dry / unsupportive larval weather bouts, adults can come out small in some species. I've long suspected that there may be instar-skipping in some butterflies (esp. during droughts and cool autumns) as well as simply underweight caterpillars ...    src
 (2) Molting is a major ordeal for the [Monarch] caterpillar. It typically seeks a place of solitude, where it hopes to remain undisturbed while waiting for the new skin to finish forming within. It spins a thin mat of silk into which it digs its rear prolegs so that the skin will remain attached to the surface as the caterpillar wriggles free. Immediately after molting, the caterpillar's head and legs are pale in color, and the old head covering remains attached to the caterpillar's face ...    src 
 (3)
Painted Lady - useful info


8/12/2012 (Sun) 12-2pm
Kissena Corridor & Kissena Park
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Just before leaving, seeing a pheasant (環頸雉) and because I got too close, it run for life and then flied away high over 10 feet into bushes.  Not many cicada. Many small butterflies in Corridor Park.
Swarm of wasps.  One with yellow face is probably a male Polistes dominula, hanging around the steel fence (for baseball) and doing nothing.  I think it is not the mating season yet.  (read
PAPER WASP SWARMING AROUND STRUCTURES)

Photo:
   Honey Bee - <1>   
   Carpenter Bee or Bumble Bee
   Wasps
     
European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula)  -
         male:
<1>   <2>   <3> (note green eyes of the drone) (P1260185.JPG to 200)
         female:
<1>
   <2> (note less yellow on face & darker eyes than drones)  
      ?
the common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) - But a 2010 study argues that the North American populations are a separate species, Vespula alascensis. - <1> (note black antenna)
   Grasshopper
- <1>
   butterflies -

      Skipper, orange
so probably Grass-Skipper (a true SOS - small orange skipper) - <1> (look
similar to
Orange Skipperling (Copaeodes aurantiaca) but range not matched; NE only has Arctic Skipperling.)
     
Common Sootywing, a Spread-winged Skipper -  pic on Web - 1

 look similar to a Four-spotted Skipperling (Piruna polingii) but probably not because still some difference in appearance & range not matched;
Piruna polingii;
Or Cloudywing or Duskywing (both are Spread-winged) - LBJ, little brown job
Because of the white face, look similar to Thorybes bathyllus Southern Cloudywing but still some difference in appearance    Southern Cloudywing 1  
Confused Cloudywing (Thorybes confusis)
checklists   

        
<1>    bugguide.net    little brown male chasing female
        
<2>    bugguide.net   (probably the same species as 1) (RAW directly processed by Helicon Filter 5)  
         <3>   
bugguide.net    <4>    <5>    <6>    
      Eastern Tailed-blue - <1>   Macro-1   Macro-2   (all macro's are male)

Video:
   butterfly -
      Eastern Tailed-blue (The first one is female. The 2nd one is male with blue upperside.)

Note:
    
(1) The Eastern Tailed-blue or Eastern Tailed Blue (Cupido comyntas), also known as Everes comyntas, is a common butterfly of eastern North America. Males are generally blue on the upperside of their wings while females are lighter blue to brown or charcoal in coloring, but there are also varieties of purple and pink found in both sexes. The underside coloration ranges from bluish-white to tan. There are two or three (outermost one often faint) black to orange chevron-shaped spots on the rear of the hind wings and a trailing tail off the innermost of the spots. The butterfly is 21 to 29 mm (0.83 to 1.1 in) wide with wings outstretched and slightly shorter in length.  wiki
     (2)
'King of Wasps' found in Indonesia: Two-and-a-half inch monster has jaws longer than its legs - Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2119343/King-Wasps-Indonesia-Two-half-inch-monster-jaws-longer-legs.html#ixzz23g0fDeos
     (3)
Spread-winged Trio: Common Sootywing - Pholisora catullus, Common Checkered-Skipper - Pyrgus communis, Hayhurst's Scallopwing - Staphylus hayhurstii   src   Skippers of the Northeast
     (4) Spread-wing Skippers in Wisconsin
     (5) Q:
Do you know the purpose of green eyes on certain species of wasps?  A: I really don't know why they have green eyes, but only the males seem to have them, so its some kind of signal, maybe?  drone of Polistes dominula with green eyes
     (6)
Polistes exclamans : "
What's the difference between the red and black eyes?" "Black eyes are wasps that just hatched. the eyes take maybe a week to turn to normal color."   "All Polistes have darker eyes when they first hatch."   src  
     (7)
"
I know that all Vespines (yellowjackets) have black eyes. It seems that Polistes males at least dominula have green eyes while the females eyes are darker brown or black.  I just know they are a darker color than the males."   src
     (8)
Summer Tanager specializes in eating bees and wasps, both in the summer and on its wintering grounds in Central and South America. ... It usually catches a bee in flight and then kills it by beating it against a branch. Before eating the bee, the tanager removes the stinger by rubbing it on a branch. The tanager eats bee and wasp larvae too. It first catches the adult insects and then perches near the nest to tear it open and get the grubs.  src


8/11/2012 (Sat) 11am-1pm
JBWR
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

My Cicada Day!  Sand Wasps with preys (immature stinkbugs).  I saw two of them, each carrying the immature stinkbug into burrow and then closed it near my feet.  A black wasp, possibly Buprestid Hunter, Cerceris fumipennis (video found on Web)   wiki   Blue Dasher, male.

Photo:
   Glossy Ibis - <1>    <2>    <3>    <4>
  
juvenile Night Heron - <1> 

   Sand Wasp (
Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus)
- <1a>    <1b>    <2> (P1250542.JPG to 7) with 5th (final) instar nymph of Green Stink Bug
 (Acrosternum hilare)
   black wasp
- <1>
  
Cicada - back-1   back-2   back-3   side-1
   back-4   back-5  
  
damselfly A - possibly Dancer, female.
  
damselfly B - <1>  (probably Familiar Bluet, female)

Note:
   (1)
info about Green Stink Bug nymph


8/4/2012 (Sat) 8am-12pm
JBWR
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Walk all the way from South Flats to north of Long Shore, near North Point/North Island, passing Peep Island and The Raunt.  Cicada orchestra everywhere.  Gadwalls. 
Forget to reset ISO.  So make all are ISO 800.  A failure!

Photo:
   Glossy Ibis - <1>
  
Short-billed Dowitcher - <1>
   Greater Yellowlegs - <1>  (P1240904.JPG to 912 with Short-billed Dowitcher)
   female (Common/Red-breasted?) Merganser
- <1>   <2>   <3>  

   Forster's Tern -  [
young Forster's Tern on 7/24/2010]
     
juvenile
: <1>
      adult :
<1>

   juvenile Greater Egret?

  
black-and-yellow wasp -   <1> (
European Yellow Jacket or probably European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula)  cf. here & Yellow Jacket @ 7/21/2012
      and it is male
Polistes dominula because its
antennae's last segments are slightly curled.   bugguide.net (male)    male pic


7/28/2012 (Sat) morning / 3-5pm with Don
JBWR
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm / FZ35

Big John:  Spotted Sandpiper (both am & pm); Kingfisher (early morning);
Don's trip:  Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs; female Red-breasted Merganser;
Gadwall.  A non-typical Mourning Dove or Hybrid?   Barn Owl
is still here.  Barn Swallows.
Moth & Grass-Skipper butterfly were seen and are easier to be found in early morning.  Saw Cicada finally.  Next is to take a good picture of it.

Photo:
   Moth - <1> (using Raynox DCR-250)  
   Grass-Skipper - <1> (not a
 Tawny-edged Skipper)
   Bee -
     
Brown-belted Bumble Bee, male (not female worker):  <1> (bugguide link)   
     
Giant Resin Bee ( Megachile sculpturalis ) Small Carpenter Bee : <2> (bugguide link)
   Spotted Sandpiper - <1>  
   Least Sandpiper - <1>    
   Yellow warbler, female - <1>  
   
   Mourning Dove, non-typical - <1>

Note:
  
Known Dove Pigeon Hybrids  (mirror)  
  
A Cicada id request in bugguide  ( Tibicen pruinosus at Kansas)
  
Cicada Swarm Proves a Feast for Predators :
   A female thumb-size wasp known as a cicada killer (Sphecius speciosus) might sound like the perfect predator to combat the billions of periodical cicadas swarming much of the eastern U.S. this May and June. But in fact it is not.  The wasps' lives are in synch with cicadas of the genus Tibicen, not with cicadas of the genus Magicicada, which are currently crowding the eastern U.S. Tibicen cicadas emerge each year in July and August.

   By the time the cicada-killer wasps emerge from the ground in July and seek out Tibicen species, the Brood X Magicicada will be gone, not to be heard from again for 17 years.

   "Besides, there is no point in trying to control the cicadas. They emerge in such numbers that they are effectively beyond control, because predator populations cannot increase rapidly enough to control them," Holliday said.

   Biologists believe that the periodic and mass emergence of Magicicada is a survival strategy: Their sheer numbers overwhelm predators, ensuring that at least some survive. And the years-long lag between emergences mean no predator can depend on their annual availability.

   But the lack of a viable predator control of the periodical cicadas doesn't mean the periodical cicadas have no predators, or no effect on their predators' lives.

  "Everything—birds, rodents, small mammals, even snakes, lizards, and fish will feed heavily on cicadas when they are out," said Keith Clay, a biologist and periodical-cicada expert at Indiana University in Bloomington.

  "Particularly predators that might feed on other things but stop what they are doing and feed on cicadas," Clay said. "That could have any number of effects, both positive and negative."
  
   More info on CICADA KILLER WASPS
   info found in 2013: There are many species of Cicada Killer Wasps, but the most well known is the Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp (Sphecius speciosus). ... The best Cicada Killer Wasp resource on the web is Prof. Chuck Holliday’s Biology of cicada killer wasps.

   cow killer wasp - The female will lay a single egg in another ground-nesting insect’s nest like bumble bees and cicada killer wasps.  "This wasp is frequently attacked by the parasitic "velvet ant" wasp, Dasymutilla occidentalis, also known as the "cow-killer" wasp. It lays an egg in the nest cell of the cicada killer, and when the cicada killer larva pupates, the parasitoid larva consumes the pupa.wiki


   Giant Resin Bee - an introduced species.   good source :

The giant resin bee is one of the largest members of the leafcutting bee family, Megachilidae. It’s called “giant” because, at sizes of from one-half inch to almost one inch, it is conspicuously larger than other leafcutting bees. The “resin” in the name comes from the bee’s habit of collecting plant resin to seal the cells in which it lays its eggs. The giant resin bee also uses plant sap and mud when making the cells.

The body of the giant resin bee is mainly black with dense yellowish hairs covering the thorax. Although the giant resin bees vary considerably in size, they are longer and more cylindrical than the carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica L.).

The females are usually much larger—about 1.25 times—than the males. Female giant resin bees have a pointed abdomen (photo, below left), whereas the abdomen in the males is truncated (photo, below right).

 Female giant resin bee with pointed abdomen.

 Male giant resin bee with truncated abdomen.

 

7/22/2012 (Sun)   12:30-3pm
JBWR
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm

Somebody saw Variegated Fritillary butterfly.  At the blind pond, both sexes of American Goldfinch.

Photo:
   American Goldfinch (female) - <1>  
  
Large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) - <1>
   female
Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp - <1> (
Her hind legs are equipped with special spines that help her push the dirt behind her.) (next to her is a flying small bug, flower fly?)   <1b> (cropped from OOC, out of camrea, JPG, unprocessed)

Video:
   Sand Wasp (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus)  - Part 1    Part 2

Notes of Sand Wasp (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus) :
 (1)
It is a typical "raker": use its front legs to rake loose soil backward beneath its body. And a small mound is formed during raking. But after the entrance is closed, no conspicuous soil is accumulated.
 (2)
The wasp is a type of "sand wasp" that preys on true bugs in the order Hemiptera, suborder Heteroptera. Each female wasp digs a burrow in sand, and stocks the cell at the end of the tunnel with paralyzed true bugs that will serve as food for a single larval offspring. Turns out that the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys) has become a favorite target of the wasp, which hunts the immature stages of the pest.   src   more
 (3) So it digs single-celled nest.
 (4)
Two Elm Seed Bugs are seen in this undated handout photo provided by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. A federal official said the invasive insect commonly found in south-central Europe has been detected in southwestern Idaho, marking the first time the elm seed bug has been spotted in the U.S.  src


7/21/2012 (Sat) morning / after Dim Sum
Oceanside / Kissena
camera: GH2 + 100-300mm (just got it back yesterday)

A dragonfly day.  Clapper Rail parent with 2 chicks.  Glossy Ibises.  Skimmer.  Paper Wasp nest.

Photo:
   House Finch -
   Clapper Rail - <1>   <2>
   chick-1
   Yellow-crowned Night Heron - <1>    <2>    <3>   
   juvenile Night Heron - take off:  <1>    <2>   
   butterflies :
     
Question Mark -
      Eastern Tiger Swallowtail with broken wing -
      Monarch -

      yellow butterfly -
   wasps :
     
paper wasps at nest  -   <1> (
probably Polistes exclamans)  cf. here   more
     
worker (female) Vespula germanica, the German wasp, one of  European yellow jackets, black and yellow -   <1>  (not the common wasp, Vespula vulgaris)   wiki picture   bugguide_id   [cf. 11/26/2011] 
            It is very similar to the common wasp (Vespula vulgaris), but seen head on, its face has three tiny black dots. German wasps also have black dots on their abdomen, while the common wasp's analogous markings are fused with the black rings above them, forming a different pattern.
     
Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp, probably, at Kissena - <1> (to P1240340.JPG,
P1240348.JPG)
      Great Black Wasp (
Sphex pensylvanicus) at Kissena - <1> (to P1240363.JPG)   <2a>    <2b> (unedited)   bugguide_id
   bees :
      Carpenter Bee -   <1>
      Bumble Bee -   <1> (not a Brown-belted Bumble Bee?) 
   damselflies :

   dragonflies :
      Seaside Dragonlet - female-1   male-1 ( saw a male at
7/24/2010 )   male-2   male-3   female-2a (Thorax's orange stripes darken with age)    female-2b (edited)   male+female1   male+female2

Note:
 (1) Seaside Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax berenice) - NJ info
 (2) Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) - wasps.htm
 (3)
Clapper Rail       http://birds.audubon.org/species/clarai

Along North America's Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the Clapper Rail is a permanent resident from about New Jersey southward into Tamaulipas, Mexico, including the islands of the western Caribbean.  ... A small population of migratory Clapper Rails extends from northern New Jersey into southern New England.

Of the approximately 21 recognized subspecies of Clapper Rail, the 3 that are Endangered are in the West.

Reproduction

Males are territorial year round but are most aggressive during the breeding season and will chase off any other vocalizing male. The pairs form monogamous bonds that appear to last for the season. The male calls the female with a series of "keks," that sound like stones being tapped together. He courts her with exaggerated postures that feature the flash of his white under tail coverts. Using course marsh plants, the pair raises a platform from just a few inches to 5 feet above the water or ground. Set among thick marsh vegetation, the nest may have a cover and an access ramp. Several other mounds are constructed as roost sites for the chicks.

5-8 whitish eggs, splotched with shades of brown, are incubated by the pair for about 20 days. Covered in black down, the chicks are soon (about 1 day) able to walk and swim, but need warmth from the adults. When threatened, they may hide or be carried to safety by an adult. In about a week, the adults split the brood and care for their own portion, until the young reach independence at about 6 weeks old. The pair may raise a second brood.

 

Migration

Only the Atlantic population from New England south into the mid-coast of North Carolina makes a traditional migration. Spring migrants probably move in March and April, but the precise schedule and their routes have not been determined. Fall migrants begin to depart in late summer and continue to move well into November. Rails breeding farther north migrate earlier. Migration occurs at night and probably at low altitudes.

 (4) Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) is a species of digger wasp.  It lives across most of North America and grows to a size of 20–35 mm (0.8–1.4 in). The larvae feed on living insects which the females paralyze and carry to the underground nest.  It is a large, black wasp, significantly larger than its congener Sphex ichneumoneus (the great golden digger wasp). Males are smaller than females, at only 19–28 mm (0.7–1.1 in) long, to females 25–34 mm (1.0–1.3 in). According to John Bartram, "The Sting of this Wasp is painful, but does not swell like others". As well as being larger than S. ichneumoneus, it is also darker, with smoky wings and an entirely black body, where S. ichneumoneus has yellow wings, red legs, and a partly red abdomen.   wiki
7/14/2012 (Sat) 10:30am-12:45pm
JBWR
camera: GH2 with  Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm

Five days after the cull of Canada Geese introduced by Senator Gillibrand ("Killerbrand"), I visited there with heavy attack from mosquitoes. 
No cicada was observed.  Only a few seconds of their song was heard, which was also heard on Friday morning at home.
Swarm of sand wasps. Or flies mimic wasps?
  
Looks like one of the wasps that burrows in sand, packing chambers with eggs and paralyzed insects.  ( bugguide.net ) 

Photo:
   blue damselfly - <1a>   <1b>
   Sand Wasp (Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus) - <1>
   Brown Thrasher - <1>  
   Towhee
   Wren

Note: 
 (1) pictures of cicada last year (8/6, Sat):  upper (no post-processing, just resize and add text)
 (2) 
Male cicadas have loud noisemakers called "tymbals" on the sides of the abdominal base. Their "singing" is not stridulation.    wiki
 (3)
雄蝉的上腹两侧具有称为 "声鼓(tymbal)" 的发音构造,蝉的声音和许多发声昆虫,例如蟋蟀不同,不是靠摩擦发出:声鼓是外骨骼结构,特化成复杂的,由薄膜和硬肋组成的结构。膜内肌肉收紧,薄膜内弯,就会发出一声滴答声。肌肉放松,薄膜恢复原位,会发出另一声。雄蝉的腹部大部分是空洞,用以放大声音,
蝉快速震动薄膜,并扩大从气管进化而来的空腔,使身体发挥共鸣室的作用,大大扩大了声音。通过把腹部前移或后移,来调节声音。每种蝉都有其独特的歌声。
蝉类的发声器官不仅具有由发声膜和发声肌组成的发声结构,并有调音和扩音的辅助结构,包括背瓣、腹瓣、褶膜、镜膜、鼓室、腹室、气室和声门等。发声器官的进化在蝉类系统进化过程中占有重要地位。

蝉类自然鸣声主要用于求偶活动,可分为召引较大范围内雌蝉的呼叫声,和小范围内通讯的求爱声。蟪蛄蝉(Platypleura kaempferi Fa-bricurs)呼叫声的低潮声“zhi--”和高潮声“Zhi--”分别由有规则和不规则的调幅脉冲组成,其声响效果主要取决于载频带。求爱的低潮声“Ou--”和高潮声“ZhiOu--”都是由明显失去调幅特性的脉冲组成,其声响效果主要由基频带所提供。
蝉类鸣声的优势频率与栖居环境的声学特性有关。栖居在较高树株上的蝉类,鸣声的优势频率一般为3000-10000Hz;而生活在低矮灌木林的蝉类,鸣声的优势频率一般低于1000Hz。雌蝉的飞行趋声范围一般不超过200m,主要范围约100-60m左右。
在雄蚱蝉(Cryptotympana atrata Fabricius)的体内,作者发现了白色略透明,并富有弹性的蝉体内最大的薄膜。厚约3.5μm,面积50.7mm~2左右。该膜被称为中纵隔膜。中纵隔膜位于大气管气囊的矢状面,把大气囊分为相等的左右二气室,每个气室的容积约为700mm~3。以中纵隔膜为界,雄蚱蝉有左右两个发声器,这两个发声器的结构相同,对称并相对独立。文中讨论了中纵隔膜在蝉鸣的发声和共振中的作用。蚱蝉自鸣声是在神经系统的控制下,由左右两个发声器协调工作发出的。在腹部共振中,中纵隔膜的振动为其中之一,比腹节的振动开始得早。 
 src
 (4)
GeesePeace - control the rapidly increasing Canada Geese population in Hempstead.
 (5) A
black and yellow wasp mimic found on Web - It's actually a fly dressed like a parasitic wasp. A Xylomyid Fly (Xylomya terminalis), it lays eggs under bark or in wet wood where its larvae develop and "feed on the larvae of other insects" (Insects Their Natural History and Diversity). I would suspect that its larvae are parasitized by Ichneumon wasps.  src
 (6) Dragonflies are preys of flies!   "Robber flies (食蟲虻) regularly catch dragonflies. I have never seen the reverse."  pic src   The Robber Flies of Crowley's Ridge, Arkansas    Many Stenopogoninae are superlative wasp mimics  
 (7a) European Hornet (Vespa crabro) Cicada killer wasp with a dead Cicada (Tibicen species).  Triadelphia Reservoir, Maryland.   pic on Web   src
 (7b) European Hornet (Vespa crabro), a large hornet often misidentified as cicada killer wasp, was introduced into New York in the mid-1850 and has since spread throughout the eastern United States. src   more accurate info
 (7c) Copy Cat Killer: The European Hornet - "In fact, this wasp is a Giant European hornet (Vespa crabro). Notice the yellow and black abdomen – rather than more white and black abdomen of the cicada killer. Overall, the European hornet is slightly smaller, and has a bronze thorax and head, and the front of the thorax is rounded rather than flat, when compared to the cicada killer (Sphecius speciosus)."   src
 (8)

Common name: Cicada killer wasps (or Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp)
Scientific name: Sphecius speciosus

Also known as: giant cicada killer, sand hornet

Size: 1-1/8 to 1-5/8 inches long

Commonly confused with: European hornet

Life cycle: Cicada killers are solitary wasps. Males emerge from pupal cases in mid-July to early August, a few weeks before the females. The males tunnel out of the ground, leaving telltale holes, and select a territory that they actively defend. Females mate soon after emerging, and then begin digging burrows in the ground using their mandibles and legs. The burrows can be several feet deep with numerous branches. Once construction is complete, the female searches in trees and shrubs. Upon capturing a cicada, the female stings it injecting venom. Then, she carries the cicada back to the burrow, where she lays an egg on its living, but paralyzed body. Within two weeks, the egg hatches into a larva, eats the cicada, and develops into a pre-pupa, the stage at which it will spend the winter. Cicada killers are active in late summer, the same time that cicadas are present. By September, most adults have died.

 

http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/stinging/cicadakiller.htm

  
 (9)
Sand wasps (Genus Bicyrtes): Provision nests with true bugs, esp. Pentatomidae, also Coreidae), and sometimes Reduviidae; the nest is "mass-provisioned", i.e., stocked just once, then closed (1)(5)(6)    src
 (10)
Video found: Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus (Sand Wasp) swarm of males, females at burrows with mature and immature stinkbugs and cleptoparasitic flies laying maggots on the wasp's prey
 (10b)
Video found:
Cicada Killer - Sphecius speciosus
 (11)
Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus
is a solitary Sand Wasp in the subfamily, Bembicinae.  It hunts nymphs of stink bugs and leaf-footed bugs and, occasionally, assassin bugs.   It digs tunnels in sandy soil and stores bugs in a chamber for the offspring.  The nest is provisioned with several bug nymphs.  The female lays an egg on one of the nymphs and then closes the nest with sand.  src
 (12) A review of the genus Bicyrtes  mirror
 (13)
A cicada killer wasp digging for the cicada and her eggs.   
 (14)
Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp: The females are somewhat larger than the males, and both are among the largest wasps seen in the Eastern United States.   Adults feed on flower nectar and other plant sap exudates.   wiki
 (15) The cicada is placed in a dead-end chamber of the burrow; the female Cicada Killer then lays a single egg (sometimes two) on the still paralyzed but very much alive cicada, and seals up the chamber. When the egg hatches, the larva gnaws through the exoskeleton of the cicada and feeds on its internal organs, saving the nervous system for last so as to maximize the length of time that the cicada remains alive.   src

 (16) Male eggs are laid on a single cicada but female eggs are given two or sometimes three cicadas; this is because the female wasp is twice as large as the male and must have more food.  wiki


7/7/2012 (Sat)  morning to early afternoon (very hot, 90+ F) 
Breezy Point
camera: GH2 with  Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm

Rockaway Beach (1Beach 59th St.), then Fort Tilden.  Park my car at street (no free parking inside) and walk to Breezy.
  Note:  may be difficult to find parking in late morning and there is a guard at Silver Gull Club when I walk back. 
Breezy:  many baby/juvenile birds.  I think all juvenile Oystercatchers are "fresh", just born this year.  Being attacked by aggressive Common Terns.  

Photo:
   Black Skimmer -   <1>   <2>   flight in duet   a couple (larger male with smaller female)   foraging in duet   more: P1230001.JPG to 31.JPG/RW2
   Oystercatcher -   <1a>  
 <1b> (use Silkypix 3.1.4.3 to process OOC jpg) 
   Oystercatcher -   <2> (immature)   alert call (yelling to me for getting too close to the young)  more: P1220500.JPG to 8.JPG

   Piping Plover
-   <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>   <5>   <6>   <7>  
   Piping Plover -   with a tern   running to me    
   Piping Plover -   juveniles? : 
with parent
   more (unedited): P1220540.JPG to 52.JPG
   Least Tern -   1 incubating egg    <2>    <3>    4 incubating egg  
   Common Tern - in flight -  
   Common Tern - baby -
   Common Tern - others -  <1>   <2>   <3>   Common Tern
   <4a>   <4b>   <5>
   Grackle
   Gull
   Mockingbird
   unknown
insect -   <1> (mating? 食蟲虻 and prey?)
   butterfly (
Black Swallowtail or other "Black" Swallowtails)  -   <1a>   <1b>   <1c> (unedited)  <2>  
 

Note:
 (1) Oceanside_Rockaway_Breezy.doc
 (2)
 Oystercatcher: Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia: A Guide to Field Identification (Princeton Field Guides) says the pale fringe of feathers on the head and neck mean they are "fresh" juveniles.  src
 (3) 
Masked Lapwing video found on YouTube -  cranky parent protects its eggs.
 (4) 
Masked Lapwings are shy and harmless in summer and autumn but are best known for their bold nesting habits, being quite prepared to make a nest on almost any stretch of open ground, including suburban parks and gardens, school ovals, and even supermarket carparks and flat rooftops. They can be particularly dangerous at airports where their reluctance to move from their nesting area – even for large aircraft – has resulted in several bird strikes. Breeding usually happens after Winter Solstice (June 21), but sometimes before. The nesting pair defends their territory against all intruders by calling loudly, spreading their wings, and then swooping fast and low, and where necessary striking at interlopers with their feet and attacking animals on the ground with a conspicuous yellow spur on the carpal joint of the wing.   wiki
 (5) Black Skimmer: in non-breeding plumage there is a gap between the black on the head and the black of the shoulders. Because of the length of the bill I believe this is a female, the beaks of the males are ?shorter? src (many beautiful pictures of Skimmer, juvenile and adult) 
 (6a)
Male black skimmers are larger than females.   Size/weight: ranges from 212 to 447 g (7.5 to 15.8 oz), with males averaging about 349 g (12.3 oz), as compared to the smaller female’s 254 g (9.0 oz).   wiki  
 (6b) The male black skimmer is significantly larger than the female, with a longer beak, but is similar in colouration (2) (4) (5) (8). Non-breeding adults have a white collar on the neck, and somewhat browner upperparts, while immature birds are browner and more mottled than adults, with a duller beak (2) (3) (5).    src
 (7)
Great pictures of Black Skimmer: male, female and one day old chick
 (8)

From late April to May, black skimmers arrive on their breeding grounds. Skimmers nest in colonies from a few pairs to several hundred. They return each year to areas where they have experienced past reproductive success, provided that suitable habitat remains. Often, nests are located within colonies of common and least terns, which nest earlier than the skimmers. Prior to copulation, the male skimmer presents his mate with a fish. Both the male and female dig shallow scrapes in the sand, one of which will be selected as the nest.

From mid-May to early June, the female lays a clutch of two to six eggs. Skimmers may replace lost clutches, particularly those destroyed by flooding. Eggs may be laid as late as September, although they are unlikely to be successful. Sandy-colored with brown speckling, the eggs are well camouflaged within their scrape nest. Both adults incubate the eggs fro 21 to 25 days, and they hatch during mid- to late June. By two weeks old, the young are able to elude predators. Young chicks are fed by their parents, but receive whole fish as they grow older. Initially, both the upper and lower mandibles of the bill are equal in length on young skimmers. The bill appears adult-like, with a longer lower mandible, by the time they fledge at 23 to 26 days.

If a predator or intruder threatens the colony, adults of both skimmers and terns take to the air and aggressively mob the intruder. Adult skimmers may also perform a broken wing display, feigning injury to lure predators away from the nest. Skimmer chicks may hide among vegetation or lay flat in the sand, camouflaged by their plumage. After fledging in mid-July to early August, they remain in flocks prior to fall migration.  NJ info
 (9)
燕鷗


7/4/2012 (Wed)  10am - 1:30pm 
Dead Horse Bay / JBWR (Jeff leaving East Pond; he saw Ruff already)
camera: GH2 with  Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm 

"fledged" juvenile Mockingbirds with parent(s).  Swifts.  Cowbird.  Barn Swallows.  Northern Flicker.  Mourning Dove.  Laughing Gulls, inc. juveniles.  Herring Gull.  Oystercatcher pair.  Skimmer.  Terns.  Brant.  Dowitchers.

Photo:
   Mockingbird, "fledged" juvenile (still under parent protection) -   <1>   <2> 
   Laughing Gull - in flight  <1>   Laughing Gull   <3>   <4>
   Black Skimmer - in flight -   <1>   <2>   <3>   <4a>   <4b>   <5>

   Black-crowned Night Heron -   <1>
   Dragonfly (probably Frosted whiteface
Leucorrhinia frigida, female; White-faced Meadowhawk?) - <1> (or just male Blue Dasher like 8/13/2011 at JBWR or other dragonflies, picture has too few hints for identification)

Note:
  (1) Frosted whiteface in NJ:  Flight season: 5/10-7/27.  Conservation Status: Endangered in New Jersey.    src  
  (2)
Pic on Web:  <1>   <2>
 
(3) Frosted Whiteface (Leucorrhinia frigida) female  (not Red-waisted Whiteface http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/29256698 ; Dot-tailed Whiteface? http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/28727594 )
 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leucorrhinia_frigida
 
    and http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/66302406 
 
    L. frigida is an abundant and widespread species.
 
    Range Description:
      This species occurs in six provinces in Canada and seventeen states in the United States of America. 
    Countries:
      Native:
         Canada (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec);
         United States (Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin)