The 2013 Public Access Season has concluded
The 2013 public access season on Governors Island has ended. Governors Island will re-open to the public Memorial Day Weekend, 2014.
R train service change
Due to the ongoing effects of Hurricane Sandy, MTA has suspended R train service to Lower Manhattan on weekends until October 2014. Please use the 4/5 at Bowling Green or the 1 at South Ferry to connect to the Governors Island Ferry.
September 2011 Birding Journal with Annie
Birding Governors Island
The August doldrums have struck Governors Island, at least in terms of birds. I scoured the entire Historic District and the accessible areas of south island and didn't see a whole lot. This isn't surprising for this time of year. Some birds, like common terns, barn swallows and chimney swifts, have already left for their winter grounds, while migration from the north has not started in earnest yet. So numbers were low today. The only exception was at the Added Value Farm at Picnic Point. There 34 (give or take) chickens have been in residence for the summer. There are hens and roosters of several breeds, and they are handsome birds. They spend their time at the composting area of the farm, scratching in the dirt and compost piles for insects, thus helping the composting process. I don't include these birds in my count because they are domestic, but they are certainly a welcome addition to the island.
My observations for the day:
Canada goose 92
Double crested cormorant 15
Black-crowned night heron 2
Mallard 2 (1 female, 1 male)
American kestrel 1 unknown
Spotted sandpiper 1
Laughing gull 1
Herring gull 70 (60 adult, 3 immature, 7 juvenile)
Great black-backed gull 4
Common tern 12
Mourning dove 17
Rock pigeon 3 (2 a; 1 deceased)
Northern flicker 1 unknown
Barn swallow 1 unknown
Robin 11 (7 adult, 4 immature)
Mockingbird 5 (3 adult, 2 juvenile)
European starling 23
Northern cardinal 3 (1 male, 2 juvenile)
Common Grackle 1
House sparrow 31
Did You Know?
Most of the trees on Governors Island are fairly young. Large shrubbery was removed to provide a clear line of cannon fire to enemy ships that might have entered New York Harbor. The reintroduction of trees in the 1870s reflects the island’s transition from a fortification into a residential community.