- Some notes I wrote about an odd flycatcher observed in Central Park on 9/12/2015 and the sometimes more-difficult-than-expected issues with differentiating Empidonax from Pewees.
- National Audubon seem especially determined to act like a bunch of jackasses because they don't seem to be able to take criticism from a book author on the actual causes of threats to bird populations. You would assume they would have more of a clue, but this reaction makes me think that it would be a good time to reconsider donations to that organization.
- Trip report for Arizona trip, June 2015 (Tufted Flycatcher, Flame-colored Tanager, Buff-collared Nightjar, Montezuma Quail, &c)
- Trip report for Texas migration trip, April 2015 (Aplomado Falcon, White-collared Seedeater, Tropical Parula, Swainson's Warbler, all sorts of neotropical migrants, plus shorebirds)
- Trip report for Utah-Wyoming-Montana-Idaho-Colorado western montane trip, June 2014 (White-tailed Ptarmigan, Dusky Grouse, Black Swift + Grizzly Bear)
- Trip report for Colorado-New Mexico-Texas tripartate trip from April 2014 - a partial Colorado chicken run, Colima Warbler hike and brief foray along the Texas Coast (various grouse, Streak-backed Oriole, Colima Warbler)
- USA 700: California Blue-footed Booby invasion in October 2013 (Blue-footed Booby, Black-vented Shearwater, Island Scrub-Jay, Nutmeg Mannikin) where I saw 12+ Blue-footed and one Brown Booby and reached USA 700 with Island Scrub-Jay
- Trip report for CA Pelagics in September 2013 (Buller's Shearwater, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Black Storm-Petrel, Scripps's Murrelet, Bell's Sparrow).
- Of interest perhaps solely to me, I've been dabbling in Python as a means of probing the eBird API. My first project along these lines is "Year Bird/Life Bird" at yblb_py.cgi.
- Trip report for AZ in June 2013 (Spotted Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Mexican Whip-poor-will, Buff-collared Nightjar + Mountain Lion).
- First stab at trip reports from FL in April 2013 (Mangrove Cuckoo, Thick-billed Vireo + two exotics) and NC in May 2013 (no link to that one yet, Black-capped Petrel and Band-rumped Storm-Petrel).
- Trip reports from TX in January 2013 (Flammulated Owl) and AZ in February 2013 (Western Screech-Owl, Le Conte's Thrasher + the Lovebird).
- Trip report from my summer 2012 AK trip which took me to Homer, Seward, Nome and Anchorage in my first trip to that state and produced 20 new life birds (incl Gyrfalcon) and a Wolf.
- GRAY-HOODED GULL/GREY-HEADED GULL in Coney Island - last seen on/around Aug 4th 2011
- This is what you get for talking to journalists: a "fluff piece" on CPK birding from the NY Times - actually a few birders who mentioned it to me quite like it, and it's nicely done.
- NY City unofficial bird species list
- Prothonotary Warbler at Bryant Park, Oct 2010
Experimental Yahoo pipe list aggregator: http://pipes.yahoo.com/philjeffrey/nycbirds1 for the NYC area lists (but not, so far, the NJ ones)- Yahoo clobbered this pipe, likely due to infrequent use
- Maps: Central Park, Prospect Park and NYC area birding maps now online - more are in the works
- Gallery: catharus.com supercedes the old gallery at http://philjeffrey.net/gallery/ (the old one still exists)
- Central Park Birding provides information about birding within Central Park.
2013 wound up as the designated push for 700, with a total of USA 7 birding trips (trip reports, each edited to a greater or lesser extent, linked below). I'm still working through the photographs generated from these trips.
It also featured a couple of significant invasion years: a large fall influx of Blue-footed Booby into AZ and southern CA, with double digit counts at the Salton Sea and individuals found all the way up the west coast, as well as inland birds at Patagonia Lake (AZ) and Lake Havasu (AZ/CA); an equally remarkable push of Snowy Owls south to the eastern seabord, with high counts of ~300 in Newfoundland and multiple Snowy's at many coastal and some inland locations on the NY-NJ-DE axis. I saw at least seven between Thanksgiving and New Year's, and added Snowy Owl to my PA and DE lists.
Other than that, there was no summer trip and so it has been a relatively quiet year for rarities.
Western Reef-Herons have been cropping up on the east coast over the last few years. There
was one in Newfoundland in the summer of 2005. There was one in Nova Scotia from June-August 2006,
and another one or the same one in Maine and NH August-Sept. 2006. Apparently prior to this cluster
of sightings the only other record was from Nantucket (MA) in 1983. Either we're getting really good
at finding Western Reef-Herons or they are getting really good at finding us. The species is apparently
closely related to Little Egret (itself very rare in the US) and some authorities consider it a
subspecies of that - there appears to be no firm concensus on the situation as of now.
|During an early winter influx of Selasphorus hummingbirds, one of ambiguous identity (probably female Rufous) turned up at a traditionally good site for such birds - Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers. See my hummingbird page for this and other vagrant western hummingbirds in the NYC area over the past few years.|
|This juvenile Clapper Rail was a lot more confiding than your average adult, walking right up to my car at Jake's Landing in southern NJ. However that day even the adults were uncharacteristically cooperative.|
||The trip report from my epic 5,900 mile AZ-NM-CO-WY western trip is mostly complete and the photos from it in are in a gallery folder (old gallery folder here). It will be a little while until I finish culling/editing all 2,000 photos however. Highlights included Flame-colored Tanager, Rufous-capped Warbler, White-eared Hummingbird and White-tailed Ptarmigan. I even have photos of some of them.|
|This adult male Cape May Warbler in full breeding plumage was very cooperative in Central Park on May 7th. I've uploaded two pictures on my recent additions page as well as the Cape May Warbler page in the main gallery. Unusually cooperative, predictably belligerent towards other warblers, it was nevertheless silent while I was observing it.|
|The origin-uncertain Barnacle Goose was still at Eisenhower Park on Long Island on Jan 8th 2006, and proved fairly tame - photos by myself and David Speiser are on this page.|
|My first Black Guillemots in the USA were on a whale-watching trip in Maine in July 2005. So naturally, a Black Guillemot turned up in NJ the same winter and did a very un-Guillemot thing: it stuck around for a week. It even came in fairly close - and I managed to grab a few pictures of it. These pics were taken at Barnegat Inlet on the morning of Dec 11th 2005. More pictures of this bird here|
|A little further from NYC, I finally found my first Golden Eagle on the east coast, on Dec 3rd 2005 at Brigantine NWR in New Jersey near Atlantic City, and it even circled fairly close to me so I could grab a few images. Brigantine held quite a few Bald Eagles as well. See more eagle images here|
|A weak cold front on the evening of Sept 23rd brought lower numbers than anticipated but did bring in a whole lot of the typical late fall species like Brown Creeper, Dark-eyed Junco, Hermit Thrush and this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. This bird is an immature male - despite the extensive mottled brown the very first red forehead feathers are starting to molt in.|
|The cold front also brought a lot of Eastern Phoebes into the park. Most seemed to leave the park on Saturday night (Sept 24th) but this was one of a couple of birds that remained in the Maintenance Field on Sunday.|
|Swainson's Warbler joined the remaining Prothonotary in Forest Park and if you could actually find this unobtrusive bird, it proved relatively tame. More pictures of the Swainson's are here from photos taken on April 16th 2005. Last known sighting of this bird in Forest Park was April 17th 2005. More warbler photos on my warbler gallery.|
|Yellow-throated Warblers put in an appearance in several NYC locations and on Long Island in early April 2005, including one or two individuals in Central Park. I even found one on the Upper East Side on April 25th in flowering trees along E66th St. Yellow-throated Warbler sightings in Central Park persist through mid May. Click here for a bigger pic taken on April 10th 2005 in Central Park at Turtle Pond. More warbler photos on my warbler gallery|
|Prothonotary Warblers have also appeared early and in unusual numbers at Forest, Central and Prospect Parks, and elswhere like Jamaica Bay and Hempstead Lake State Park. I spent a fair amount of time observing a tame (and possibly sick?) first spring male Prothonotary in Forest Park on April 16th 2005. More pictures of the Prothonotary are here as well as in the warbler gallery.|
|A Boreal Owl was found and identified by Jim Demes and Peter Post on December 19th 2004, an entirely unexpected find during the Central Park Christmas Bird Count. This is the first record for NYC and one of the regionally rarest birds to have turned up in the park. You can see some more pictures of it here and various owl pictures here. The bird was last seen in January 2005.|
Ruff at Jamaica Bay - Rex Stanford's pictures of the Ruff he discovered at Jamaica Bay on May 17th 2005.
Photographs:I self-host two galleries: the main one at catharus.com (Gallery v2.3) and the original, old and semi-retired one here at philjeffrey.net/gallery (Gallery v1). I've also got two galleries at commercial photo hosting sites: Flickr and Pbase.
- A so-far-undetermined batch of photos to be used by the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas
- White-rumped Sandpiper picture used by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for an ecotourism Field Guide about fauna and flora of Apurimac region (southern Peru).
- The popular Upland Sandpiper picture used for a Nebraska WMA display and a NYS DEC kid's conservation publication.
- ARKive used tw pictures of Clark's Grebe, on their site photo1 and photo2.
- White-tailed Hawk picture used by Cornell's Birds of North America online.
- Had a picture published in Great Destinations NJ project book (non bird-related)
- I contributed 11 pictures to a Reader's Digest book Where the Birds Are, mainly concerning birds in the eastern region around Central Park - see more details here.
- My bird photo stock list holds a more expansive listing of images that I hold, but is usually in a state of flux as new images replace older ones. There are stock lists in alphabetic order (above) and also an automated stock list sorted by families for a more conventional viewpoint (courtesy of Un*x shell scripting).
- I now have bird photo and NYC birding blogs.
Photographs from 2007:
- Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese in Montauk in November
- Connecticut Warbler in Central Park in September
- Western Reef-Heron in Brooklyn in July
- Curlew Sandpiper at Heislerville WMA in May
- Ivory Gull at Piermont Pier in February
- Snowy Owl at Piermont Pier in Jan-March
- Western Tanager in NJ in January
Photographs from 2006:
- Harlequin Ducks from my first 2006 visit to Barnegat Inlet (NJ) on Jan 2nd are here.
- Barnacle Goose from Long Island
- Cape May Warbler from Central Park
- Photos from the AZ-NM-CO road trip.
- Clapper Rail from Jake's Landing.
Photographs from 2005:
- Golden Eagle from Brigantine NWR
- Black Guillemot at Barnegat Inlet
- Rusty Blackbird, Central Park, Oct 23rd 2005
- Marsh Wren, Central Park, Sept 24th 2005
- Swainson's Warbler, Forest Park, April 16th 2005
- Prothonotary Warbler, Forest Park, April 16th 2005
- Yellow-throated Warbler, Central Park, April 10th 2005
- Harlequin Duck to be inserted. But
- Kelp Gull - the Sandgates MD Kelp Gull "Shrimpy".
Photographs from 2004:
- Boreal Owl, Central Park, December 2004.
- Rufous Hummingbird, Central Park, December 2004.
- Ash-throated Flycatcher (Prospect Park, December 2004) in the stock list.
- Purple Gallinule (Prospect Park) in the stock list.
- Lawrence's Warbler, Central Park, April 2004.
- Whip-poor-will, Central Park, April 2004.
- Common Redpoll and American Woodcock, Central Park, January 2004.
- Bohemian Waxwing, Island Beach State Park NJ, January 2004.
Photographs from 2003:
- An assortment of recent stuff.
- Photos from the August 2003 Belmar Pelagic trip.
- Long-tailed Jaeger eating silk moth at sea.
Photographs from 2001/2002:
- Contentious Hermit X Townsend's Warbler at Jones Beach.
- NYC-area rarities.
- Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow.
- NYC Hummingbird Photos.
- Two Strange NYC Sparrows/Finches.
- Unusual Tropical Parula in TX.
NYC Birding:New project: NYCbirds.com eBirds NYC resurrected: I've restarted eBirds NYC as a Yahoo Group, following Ben Cacace's retirement from his selfless role as list maintainer for many years. You can subscribe by sending email to email@example.com. The archives are publically accessible via the eBirds NYC home page. You have to be a member to post, via firstname.lastname@example.org. I've recently constructed an eBirdsNYC FAQ that deals with (mainly) subscription issues.
NYC Metro Birding Links(Lots more of this sort of thing at nycbirds.com)
- My Central Park Birding site
- The eBirds NYC mailing list, now a Yahoo group
- My archive of some of the last posts from the previous eBirds incarnation.
- NYC Bird Report highlights for Central Park today and recently.
- NYC Bird Report highlights for Jamaica Bay today and recently.
- Tide Predictions for Jamaica Bay or pick your own location
- NYC Bird Report recent highlights for Prospect Park, Breezy Point, Fort Tilden, Jacob Riis Park.
- NYC Metro Birding Briefs email list [*].
- East End Long Island archives
- New York State email list [*].
- New Jersey Rare Birds email list [*].
- New Jersey Birding email list [*].
- Northern New York email list [*].
- Hudson/Mohawk email list
- Rare Bird Alerts (national) [*].
- "Difficult" rare birds (national) [*].
- HUMNET (and archives [*])
- Where do you want to go birding: New York.
- Where do you want to go birding: New Jersey.
- New York City Audubon.
- Hudson River Audubon (Yonkers etc).
- New York State Audubon.
- New Jersey Audubon.
- NYC Sierra Club.
- Linnaean Society of New York. (new URL)
- Patuxent Bird Banding Laboratory (to report banded birds).
- Dianne Taggart's Long Island birding site including sightings section.
- Newsday site for Long Island bird species.
- East Brunswick nature notes
- CT RARE bird list.
Ethics and Bird Photography
- My post on eBirds NYC about Long-eared Owls and bird photographers (and birders, for that matter) was prompted by some irritation about the behavior of some photographers over the 2003/4 overwintering owls. Note: this was before I took over ownership of eBirdsNYC.
- How not to bird
- Ethics of nature photography from NaturePhotographers.net.
- Search Google for articles on bird photography ethics
Not that the ethics of birding is any less important, especially in the aspect of taping, but it's been my observation (and others') that bird photographers cause more stress per capita than birders due to the close-approach issue.
Related: my previous little rant about Rob Jett and his definition of birding ethics has moved here.
Birding ListsThe birding equivalent of narcissism, and in my case how I actually keep by World and USA life lists:
- World Life List
- USA Life and Year Lists
- Sightings from 2014.
- Sightings from 2013.
- Sightings from 2012.
- Sightings from 2011.
- Sightings from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, .
- Sightings from 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 .
- Sightings from 1999 and a few from before.
- Central Park (NYC) list and NYC list. My CPK list is now at 206, finally breaking the 200 barrier with Acadian Flycatcher and most recently adding Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and Clay-colored Sparrow
- New York state list and New Jersey state lists - likely to be incomplete
- I also keep some of my lists online at Bubo listing now although Bubo are exceeeeedingly slow about keeping up with the USA list changes to the point where they may yet become useless.
Birding Trip ReportsI often rely on other people's published trip reports for trip planning, so hope to try and share the same type of information. These reports are really just fleshed out versions of the planning documents I have for each trip, plus a few embedded photos.
- Trip report for Arizona, June 2015 (Tufted Flycatcher, Flame-colored Tanager)
- Trip report for Texas, April 2015 (Aplomado Falcon, White-collared Seedeater, Tropical Parula)
- Trip report for Utah-Wyoming-Montana-Idaho-Colorado western montane trip, June 2014 (White-tailed Ptarmigan, Dusky Grouse, Black Swift + Grizzly Bear)
- Colorado-New Mexico-Texas in April 2014 (Colima Warbler, Streak-backed Oriole, grouse and prairie-chickens) re-created my 2004 chicken tour, plus added the infamous Colima hike into the Chisos Mountains and even found time for a quick stop-over on the Upper Texas Coast on the way home
- Arizona in January 2014 (Nutting's Flycatcher, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Black-capped Gnatcatcher).
- California Blue-footed Booby invasion in October 2013 (Blue-footed Booby, Black-vented Shearwater, Island Scrub-Jay, Nutmeg Mannikin) where I saw 12+ Blue-footed and one Brown Booby and reached USA 700 with Island Scrub-Jay
- California Pelagics in September 2013 (Buller's Shearwater, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Black Storm-Petrel, Scripps's Murrelet, Bell's Sparrow) for five new pelagic species and the recent split of Sage Sparrow into Sagebrush and Bell's Sparrows.
- Arizona in June 2013 was a productive if arid and hot trip that yielded four life birds (Spotted and Northern Pygmy-Owls, Buff-collared Nightjar and Mexican Whip-poor-will).
- NC trip pending (Black-capped Petrel, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel)
- Florida in April 2013 finally snagged the very elusive Mangrove Cuckoo, the Thick-billed Vireo and the exotics Nanday Parakeet and Purple Swamphen.
- Arizona in February 2013 was a somewhat frustrating trip that nevertheless yielded three life birds (Le Conte's Thrasher, Western Screech-Owl, Rosy-faced Lovebird).
- Texas in January 2013 didn't have great weather or diversity but a couple of nice finds (Flammulated Owl and White-collared Seedeater)
- AK (Nome, Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage) June 1st-12th 2012 got me 21 life birds on my first trip to Alaska.
- FL 2012 - May 22nd-25th 2012 (under construction) netted 7 life birds and failed to find Mangrove Cuckoo
- Texas in January 2012 had the usual suspects (best bird: Golden-crowned Warbler)
- Provisional Washington-Oregon in June 2011 (19 life birds ! Short-tailed Albatross !).
- LA-TX 2011 short trip report pending. Main gain was Bachman's Sparrow and better looks at Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
- FL in March 2011 (La Sagra's Flycatcher).
- TX in January 2011 (Black-vented Oriole and Rufous-backed Robin).
- TX in December 2009/Jan 2010 (Northern Jacana and Bare-throated Tiger-Heron).
- MN-ND-WY in June 2009 (several prairie and western montane birds incl. Baird's Sparrow).
- Texas in December 2008 (Crimson-collared Grosbeak).
- Texas in April 2008 (Groove-billed Ani, White-throated Thrush, Black-capped Vireo, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl etc).
- Florida in February 2008.
- Texas in November 2007.
- Utah/Wyoming/Colorado in July 2007.
- Texas in November 2006. (culmination of my bigger year)
- Arizona/New Mexico/Colorado in May/June 2006 (the big "western flycatcher" trip: Cordilleran, Dusky, Hammond's, Sulfur-bellied etc).
- Florida in Feb 2006
- Florida in Jan 2006
- Britain in May 2005.
- Michigan's Upper Peninsula in June 2004, (Kirtland's Warbler)
- Colorado in April 2004
- Brief notes for Florida trip in Mar/Apr 2002.
- California in July 2001.
- Texas-Arizona in April 2001.
- Texas in Nov 2000.
- Texas and Florida in Mar/Apr 2000.
- California in October 1999.
- Florida Keys and Everglades (Dec 1998).
PhotographyGo browse photo.net.
My 10 cents on bird photography systems (revised but uselessly out of date now - avoid).
Visual illustration of focal lengths.
For the thicker-skinned amongst you, see Arthur Morris rant on the internet (this was copied from the photo.net Nature Forum, but the thread on photo.net has subsequently been edited to increase the average civility in the discussion). I particularly love the part where he asserts that you can get laser-sharp images with stacked 2x teleconverters (that would be an effective 2400mm f16 based on a 600mm f4 prime). Must have been a pretty soft laser.
I'm a Structural Biologist, meaning that I study the mechanisms of protein function via determining their three-dimensional structures at or near atomic resolution. I use X-ray crystallography as the method of choice. I am involved in basic research, meaning that the majority of my results add to our specific or general understanding of the normal and abnormal functioning of the cell, rather than directly applying them to patients. I'm now working at the Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University as the crystallography facility manager. Before that I had the analogous position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in NYC, for a number of years.
Over the years I've been involved in a variety of research projects, of which the highest profile ones were on the tumor suppressor p53 (mutated in over half of all human cancers), the cell cycle machinery of the cyclin-dependent kinases, and the breast cancer-associated proteins BRCA2 & BRCA1 (part of the DNA damage response pathway). Nevertheless I've done quite a few more structures over the years - very recently I've been doing research in cellular suicide (apoptosis) and regulation by phosphorylation (or rather, dephosphorylation by PP2A) amongst other things. I keep some sort of online bibliography if you're curious - this is often hopelessly out of date, so a simple search for me on PubMed is likely to be more accurate (but ignore work coming from Australia since there's more than one of us with the same name, the remote odds of that notwithstanding).
Comments etc to my email address.