Recently Spotted:

American Snout
Bent-shielded Besieger. (Now there’s a name for a Berserker!) Have seen precisely two of these in Brooklyn, both along the same block, the fenced edge of Green-Wood two years apart.
One of the cuckoo leaf-cutter bees.
Red-banded Leafhopper
Bluets and their reflections.
Locust Treehopper.

FYI: The Empire State Pollinator Native Pollinator Survey 2017-2021 is out. From the executive summary: “We found that, using conservative criteria, 38% of New York’s native pollinators (of our focal taxa only) are at risk of extirpation from NY. In the worst-case scenario, as much as 60% of the native insect pollinator fauna may be at risk. 

Striped Skunk RIP

(Foot-long boot for scale.)

Rubble Killdeer

Recently, when I ran into the whole Common Raven family around the dumpsters, a Killdeer took to the air with a lot of noise. There have been Killdeers in this fenced-off area next to Bush Terminal Park for years.
There were two here on the 24th. And where there are two….?
I looked hard for youngsters but didn’t see any. What a place to raise kids! Construction vehicles rumble by and there’s a large feral cat colony maintained by “animal lovers” nearby.

A Few More Bush Terminal Sights

Common Lagoon Fly (Eristalinus aeneus)
Eastern Sand Wasp (Bembix americana ssp. spinolae)
Black-crowned Night Heron
Spotted Lanternfly nymphs. Instars 1-3 are black, so I’d say we had 1 and 3 here. Instar 4 is red.
Inch long mantid.
Aphid-business end of Two-spotted Lady Beetle.
What’s eating these Eastern Cottonwood leaves?
Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense) spreading.

Raptor Wednesday

Last week there was a report that the Bush Terminal Osprey nest, the first attempt on this nesting platform, was abandoned. After more than two months’ effort. Have to wonder if this platform is just too close to people: on one side, a “wild” area (read: unmaintained by Parks) is regularly trampled through by dog walkers and others (Parks enforces nothing); on the other, a long pier closed for construction but full of equipment, and noise.
One of the two nests at Marine Park looked to be ok this past weekend. No little heads yet, though.
One of the parents feasting on fish nearby.

Time for Another Edition of Beetlemania?

Two-spotted Lady Beetle
Common June Beetle
Red Milkweed Beetle
And another. Like the Monarch, the other milkweed beetle, and the milkweed bugs, this red/black combo says don’t eat me I’m full of toxic milkweed latex. Unless, of course, it says I look like something that eats milkweed even if I don’t, so beware!
Cryptocephalus leucomelas, no common name. First iNaturalist observation in NYC. One of the many case-bearing leaf beetles: they construct a case for their eggs/larvae of fecal matter, sometimes along with plant matter. This particular beetle’s hosts are Salix and Populus, and yes, that’s a willow leaf.


Young Chipping Sparrows.
Here’s another look at that young House Finch.
A Brown Thrasher fledgling.
With parent.
The parent again.


Before Silent Spring, Rachel Carson wrote three books about the sea, which have now been brought together in a single Library of America volume. Some of the science is dated, but these are still delightful and worthy books, and any beach-comber, actual or metaphorical, would do well to have this volume in hand.

Catchy title, very interesting book. “Algae certainly will plague us in ever-increasing numbers, but still they are a source of hope. We already know they can be harnessed to create fuel, plastics, animal feed, vitamins, protein, edible oils, and other useful products.[…] they can remediate the waters we pollute.” And some day, long after all of us are gone, they may help cool down the planet as they’ve done before in Earth’s long history.

The current edition of the Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society (149.2; April-June 2022) is devoted to “The ecology of Quercus-dominated forest in the eastern United States.” There should be a subtitle: “On the Importance of Fire.” As you may know, our oaks are not doing great. They aren’t replacing themselves. More shade-tolerant species like Red Maple are thickening our forests. Oaks need large herbivores (driven to extinction by early humans in North Americas) and/or fire (once used by indigenous peoples to clear land for agriculture and deer parks) to open up the space and light they need. But the last century, following a century of cut-over of old growth, has been one of fire-suppression. Smokey Bear turns out to be hell of a landscape engineer and habitat-master. The disastrous effects of fire suppression are more readily apparent in the West than here in the East, but they are no less profound here.

Sunday plate passing...

Not This

Maternal mortality in the US is 23.8 deaths per 100,000 births, far outstripping other “Western” countries. France, the next highest, has 8.7 per 100,000. New Zealand has 1.7.

Look for more women to die because of the fundamentalist/fascist SCOTUS decision yesterday. See: Poland, Ireland, El Salvador.


When I started this nature-watching thing, I had no idea there were so many spiders out there. Tutelina genus above.
Or that they would be such a challenge to identify. I think this is a female Striped Lynx Spider (Oxyopes salticus).
I was attempting a closer shot when she jumped. Not unexpectedly, but it wasn’t my approach. She’d grabbed a fly.
And on the same plant, a male Striped Lynx Spider (Oxyopes salticus).
Or that so many would be runners and jumpers instead of orb-web builders. Another tentative ID: Eastern Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus).
Couldn’t get the right angle for this one.
Putnam’s Jumping Spider (Phidippus putnami).
Pardosa thin-legged wolf spider with egg case.
Crab spider.
Orbweaver, but which one? You’d think with this distinctive pattern this would be easy to sort out.


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