Jamaica Bay hosts arctic and winter birds, plus a whole lot of life


Image source: The Wave – the flock of snow geese hanging out in Jamaica Bay this winter

When the weather got downright frightful for us humans, serious cold weather birds felt completely at home. The Wave reports that spotted in Jamaica Bay were a snowy owl, a flock of snow geese, and other waterfowl like brant geese, hooded mergansers, bufflehead ducks, horned grebes and Arctic scaup.

This is good news, as Jamaica Bay was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Nature really is resilient.

With all this in mind, we thought we’d check in with the Jamaica Bay Osprey folks, and found this great update on their site from January 6:

Though many birds (including our osprey Coley) are enjoying the southern skies and chipmunks are resting underground, lots of wildlife remains to be discovered.  Cardinals, house finches, sparrows, and juncos cluster at the bird feeder behind the Visitor Center.  Flocks of starlings fill the branches of one tree at a time, chattering to each other before flying off all at once.  A great blue heron, a regular winter sight, is also a reminder of summer days.  A bald eagle was reported just last week soaring silently overhead.

The West Pond was breached by the Bay during Hurricane Sandy and is now higher in salinity and affected by tidal flow, but some birds continue to visit. Northern pintails, ruddy ducks, black ducks, and Canada geese can be seen, while on the bay side herring gulls, greater black-backed gulls and brant geese seem at ease on the frigid water.

Jamaica Bay seems to be bursting with life!

Arctic Birds Visit Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge [The Wave]
Jamaica Bay after Hurricane Sandy [QNYC]
Nature’s Winter Wonderland [Jamaica Bay Osprey]

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