• Visitors tour Castle Williams.

    Governors Island

    National Monument New York

Autumn Bird Census from National Public Lands Day 2010

September 25, 2010 - National Public Lands Day
10:30-12:30

Hazy overcast to sunny, humid, 70-85 degrees

The Governors Island unit of the National Park Service marked National Public Lands Day with several events, including a bike tour from Grants Tomb to Governors Island. I chipped in by conducting a bird census program. Ryan, Lori, Dan, Gloria and Gloria's partner (sorry I never got your name!), and I counted birds in all areas of the Historic District except Ft. Jay. We missed the fort only because we ran out of time. It was not a very good day for birding. Not only were there very few migrants, but year-round residents seemed in short supply as well. Despite that, we had a wonderful time touring the island. Ryan gets credit for spotting the belted kingfisher, which I've never seen on the island before.

9:30-10:30 am & 1:15-4:00 pm

Before and after the census program I counted birds in the remaining areas of the island (Ft. Jay & the entire perimeter), on my own in the morning and with Lori in the afternoon.

The following table shows the total numbers for the day by combining the tallies from the morning census program and the tallies from Lori's and my outtings before and after the official census program.

Double-crested cormorant 20
Black-crowned night heron 7 (6 adult, 1 immature)
Canada goose 21
American black duck 8
American kestrel 2
Great black-backed gull 3
Mourning dove 15
Belted kingfisher 1
Downy woodpecker 1 (female)
Northern flicker 3
Blue jay 4
Barn swallow 1
Robin 14
Mockingbird 1
Brown thrasher 1
Starling 1
Palm warbler 4
Pine warbler 5 (4 female, 1 male)
Northern cardinal 3
Dark-eyed junco (slate colored) 1
House sparrow 7

Did You Know?

howard 8

Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909), from Maine, graduated from West Point in 1856. During the Civil War, he fought at Manassas; Fair Oaks – where he lost his right arm; Antietam; Chancellorsville; Gettysburg; Chattanooga; Atlanta; and participated in the march across Georgia. In 1865 he headed the Freedmans’ Bureau, which resettled and enforced the rights of newly freed African-American slaves in the South. His interest in their education led him to establish Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. From 1886 to the end of his Army career, he commanded the U.S. Army in the Eastern United States from Governors Island.