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Archive for April, 2013

For our April BirdWalk we went to Twin Lakes in Eastchester. I’ve only been there once before (when I was a last minute substitute recorder on the Christmas Bird Count that was most notable for the 10” of snow that fell later in the day)

Today’s walk was notable for a different disaster: we ran out of parking spaces. More people wanted to enjoy a spring day than there were legal parking spots. Later arrivers had to park 1/8mile down the road at the equestrian center. As a result we ended up with two large but separate groups that eventually merged into one large mob of over 30 birders.

Clear sunny skies hinted at the anticipated arrival of spring – very welcome after a long winter. It was good to be outdoors.
The birds were also anxious for spring and we were greeted by a vanguard of the early migrants:

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Phoebe, Osprey, Red-winged Blackbird, Tree, Barn and N. Rough-winged Swallow.

Winter waterfowl were still hanging in and we got good views of Ring-necked Duck, Gadwall and one accommodating Green-wing Teal raised his wing into the glistening sunlight to show us how it got its name.

In total we spotted 34 birds species and had almost as many bird watchers look at them.

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Must see TV

The Lost Bird Project, a documentary film about five bird species driven to extinction in modern times and sculptor Todd McGrain’s project to memorialize them, will be airing on Earth Day, April 22, 2013. The film will be public television stations across so check your local listings for exact dates and times.

The film follows McGrain and his brother-in-law, Andy, from the tropical swamps of Florida to Martha’s Vineyard to the rocky coasts of Newfoundland over a period of two years as they search for the locations where these birds were last seen in the wild, talk to park rangers, speak at town meetings and battle bureaucracy in their effort to gather support for the project.

McGrain’s aim was to place the sculptures in places where the birds were once common and are now so starkly absent.

The memorials now stand in the places where the birds once sGreat Ackocialized, courted and fed their young — a testament to what we have lost…and a reminder to preserve what we have left

The film is a moving elegy to five extinct North American birds — the Passenger Pigeon (my favorite), the Heath Hen, the Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck and the Great Auk — and a thoughtful, sometimes humorous look at the artist and his mission.

The Great Auk memorial is located on the island of Fogo, in Newfoundland.

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