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Archive for December, 2011

Starlings are generally considered nasty, aggressive black birds.  During spring and fall migration they often assemble into good-sized flocks marauding peaceful neighborhoods looking to cause trouble.  When they invade your yard, they drive away the pretty birds, take over and devour all the seed in the bird feeder. 

A flock of Starlings seems almost sinister.  The mere glimpse of a flock can ruin your whole day.

Can you imagine a “Murmuration” of Starlings?  – that is the term for a really large collection of Starlings.

Watch the video in this link.   The real action start about half-way thru.  The still photos are amazing as well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/02/murmuration-starlets_n_1072687.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl5%7Csec1_lnk1%7C109704

I think you will agree that a Murmuration is more than a large flock.

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The Christmas Bird Count has been a holiday tradition for 110 years.  It started in 1900 to replace the common “Side Hunt” in which teams of revelers would grab their guns and head to the fields and woods to see which team could amass the largest pile of dead birds.

The objective of the Christmas Bird Count was to count birds, not kill them.  27 people joined in the first count.  Last year over 60,000 people participated. 

The local area count will take place on Monday, December 26 th.  Why not join in.  You don’t have to be expert birder and there are multiple ways you can participate.  The easiest is to simply count the birds at your feed or in your yard.  Or you can join with other birders as they visit parks and nature area looking for birds.  Devote as much time as you like whether it is an hour or two, half a day, or a full day.

For more info on the count go to http://www/hras.org/bwcbc.html

Or call Michael Bochnik  (237-9331)  He compiles all the count data in our area.  Or talk to Doug Bloom at the Wild Bird Center (713-0630).  Doug is responsible for the count in southeast Westchester

Why not get out in nature on the day after Christmas?  And provide valueable data for science at the same time.

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As you know, the proposed Westchester County budget calls for closing the nature centers.  Needless to say this raised quite a controversy.  The first open meeting where the public could comment was held in New Rochelle last week.  Turn out was enormous.  The crowd was not only standing-room only, it was also so large that many potential protesters could not get into the building.

The next open meeting is in White Plains on Tuesday evening Dec 6th.  Because of the expected large turn out, the location of the meeting has been moved to the Little Theater in the Westchester County Center.

Call or write you Legislator.  And show up at this meeting if you can.  The more the legislators recognize the number of voters who oppose the closing of nature centers the better the chance it won’t happen.

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