President’s Message Spring 2022
Hello my little birding friends!! Hope you are all well and are enjoying bird watching. As I write this, it’s January and there’s snow on the ground. The birds can’t get enough of my bird seed. The Mallards flew up for some too. A Cooper’s Hawk was enjoying a meal last week. I actually had a few Red Winged Blackbirds at the feeder, which I thought was weird as I thought they weren’t here in the winter. The weather has been very strange lately so maybe they didn’t realize it was winter!!! Climate change. We have to get rid of it and everyone has to do their part. Audubon sent me an email about Governor Hochul’s proposals for restoring and conserving our environment.
On the list were protecting freshwater wetlands, increased funding for clean waters, clean air, the green jobs environmental bond act, and acting on climate and reducing plastic waste. I hope they all pass. I’ve been reading articles in the newspaper about a lot of good things happening to help with our environment on Long Island and I hope it continues. Many people have made bird feeders with their children and grandchildren using big plastic soda and milk containers. It teaches them to recycle and enjoy watching the birds!
We’ve had great bird walks this winter thanks to our leaders. I’ve seen a lot of winter ducks in ponds along Montauk Hwy too. The winter ducks are so beautiful. I was watching a wildlife show about animals in Alaska. The Great Gray Owl was flying over about a foot of snow getting food for her young. She pounces down and comes up with a vole!! How did she know it was there? And why wasn’t the vole frozen!!? Another wildlife show was about Harris Hawks. They hunt in dry desert environments of cacti and grasses in North America. One hawk searches for prey, usually a Jack Rabbit. When he spots one he sends out a signal to the rest of them to move into hunting position to attack the prey. Wildlife is incredible. This newsletter will be getting to you in March so enough about winter! With the weather the way it is, it will probably be 80 degrees!! A lot of you will be hoping for that. We are planning for our May dinner and hope all goes well for it. Covid has messed everything up. I even read in the paper that deer are getting Covid! Someone who had Covid threw their half eaten apple out the window of their car, a deer ate it and got Covid. Do we have to be afraid of what we eat now? I know a lot of people don’t eat deer meat but some do. What about chickens and cows? Can they get it from people too?
We have new ring cameras at Brookside that keep an eye on things, especially our little perpetrators who like to destroy things. They go off on my phone every time someone goes by them. There’s been so many people hiking there which is great. Some with children. It is a nice place to go with ducks in the pond and stream, birds at our feeders, owls in the trees and even a Cooper’s Hawk. I’ve even seen an occasional turkey and deer too ! The spring and summer bring flowering plants and bushes along with different birds and butterflies in our butterfly garden. A few boy and girl scouts have even made their projects there. And everyone loves our outdoor program in June. So get planting your perennials and fill your birdbaths for the birds and butterflies. With these stressful times it would be nice to just sit and watch them with a smile on your face!!
Happy birding and stay safe!
I am a backyard birder. When I joined Audubon, I envisioned that I would soon be running through bushes all over the place, my little safari hat in place, identifying birds and their calls. I thought that ornithology would become as second nature as horticulture is to me.
Writing this in the beginning of October, I was going to comment on the dry summer we just experienced, but Mother Nature did a turn around and we are now experiencing the dregs of Hurricane Ian, the final consequences of which are yet to be seen.
It was a cold, overcast, blustery day out in Montauk for the chapter’s field trip on January 7th. But there was a good turnout of participants willing to brave the elements and see some birds that are most easily seen at ‘The End’.