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From the Ground Up Volume 19 Issue 4 The Newsletter That Helps You Grow Winter 2014-15
Birders, Birders, Everywhere
THE FLOYD BENNETT GARDENS ASSOCIATION
And what a bird to see! A rare Cassins kingbird
has been seen almost daily at FBGA since mid-
November. The kingbird at FBGA is far afield of its
natural range and this extended sighting of the
kingbird at FBGA is only the second time on record
that this species has been seen in New York State.
Habitat Committee Chair Frank Gentile alerted
me to the news on November 25th
after he saw the
bird, which was identified for him by birder Richard
Guthrie (whom I contacted and he generously gave
me permission to use his photo of the kingbird). Mr.
Guthrie wrote on his timesunion.com blog:
Happily, I can post some fun news about birding
in New York. A very rare bird and hard to identify
flycatcher was found in Brooklyn, New York City,
last week. Word got out late in the day, and nobody
could get over to Floyd Bennett Field before dark.
Next day, it had disappeared. Dozens of frustrated
birders searched a wide area without any sign of the
The bird was a CASSINS KINGBIRD, a prairie
species which would normally [be] expected to be
somewhere in Mexico by this time of year.
Yesterday, the word went out the kingbird had
been found again, near where it was first seen right
there in the community gardens of Floyd Bennett
Field. A few phone calls last evening and we had a
group of four up early and headed to the south shore
When we arrived, there were about thirty
birders already set with binoculars, spotting scopes
and some of the longest camera lenses Ive seen in a
while. Finding the bird was as easy as following the
converging vectors of eyes, lenses, and shutter clicks.
It was not more than thirty yards away from the
semi-circle of well behaved admirers.
Local birding websites and blogs (American
Birding Association, City Birder) have been
reporting consistent sightings of the kingbird since it
was first spotted. The kingbird is most often seen in
the picnic area and the Habitat. According to info
Mr. Guthrie gave on his blog, the kingbird is about
the size of a robin, has a sulfur-yellow underside, and
has distinctive white markings on its tail feathers.
On a trip to the garden in mid-December, I
talked with President Adriann Musson who saw me
looking at a group of 6 or 8 birders with tripods and
huge lenses who had gathered not far from the O&M
containers (why did I not have my camera with me
that day to get a photo of them?!). (contd on page 3)
Birders, Birders, Everywhere
The Last of the Monarchs?
Native Shrubs Wish List
Adriann Musson President 917-446-3764 email@example.com Bob Halligan Vice President & Education
917-626-7460 firstname.lastname@example.org Judy Tropeano Treasurer
718-444-7210 email@example.com Clara Villanueva Corresponding Secretary
718-782-5694 firstname.lastname@example.org Lynn Halligan Recording Secretary & Special Events
email@example.com Sylvia Tsingis Champions of Courage Garden
718-646-5979 firstname.lastname@example.org Lynn Graham Childrens Garden
email@example.com Roy Brummell Conflict Resolution
718-342-3689 firstname.lastname@example.org Carl Arendt Operations & Maintenance 917-681-3624 email@example.com
Gail Schneider Fundraising 347-533-3787 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Ingram Landscape Maintenance 917-209-6452 email@example.com
Karen Orlando Elections firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Marange Help A Gardener 718-382-4216 email@example.com
Marie Artesi Landscape Design 718-256-4480
Frank Gentile Wildlife Habitat 917-701-8370 firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Pearson Newsletter 718-869-6774 email@example.com
Joe Nerone Pumpkin Patch 718-789-2713
Floyd Bennett Gardens Association Newsletter
Floyd Bennett Gardens Association Inc. is located in Floyd Bennett Field, a
unit of Gateway National Recreation Area.
Editor: Barbara Pearson
Contributors: Bob Halligan, Abe Perlstein, Barbara Pearson, Gay Snyder
Proofreader: Paul Moses
Photographs: Barbara Pearson (unless otherwise noted)
Website: fbga.net Contact Louis M.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us: FBGA News PO Box 340986 Ryder Retail Station Brooklyn, NY 11234-9993 e-mail email@example.com
Our Policy: All submissions to the newsletter may be edited for grammar, spelling and length. We reserve the right to reject entries.
Disclaimer Required by the National Parks Service
The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and
should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the United States
Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute
their endorsement by the U.S. Government.
Sunday March 29th at 2pm
Hudson River Yacht Club
2101 Bergen Street
Renewal Reminder All completed applications must be received by
January 31, 2015. After that there is a 2-week grace
period during which late applications are accepted,
however, they will incur a $20 late fee per plot. You
also must fill out the community service form on the
other side of the application. If you have a child you
would like to register for the Childrens Garden,
complete and include that application with your
If there is an unavoidable delay in sending in your
renewal, contact Clara (corresponding secretary) or
Bob (vice president) and let them know the situation.
Any plot for which we do not have a completed
application by February 15th
will be reassigned.
If you want your garden tilled, fill out the Tilling
Request Form; the tilling fee is $20 per plot. Tilling is
done on a first come, first served basis starting in
April depending on the weather - we cannot till if the
ground is frozen or muddy - and your garden must
first be cleared of all wood, rocks, tall weeds, etc. We
will call you before we till your plot because you will
need to unlock your plot so we can get in.
All forms are available at www.fbga.net .
Birders, Birders, Everywhere (contd from page 1)
Adriann said to me, laughing, Weve been overrun
by birders. Beats being overrun by weeds, I said.
Some FBGA gardeners can be counted among
the birders. I found a name I recognized Phil Hore -
on one of the birding sites so I contacted him. He and
his wife Enid were chatting with Bob Halligan a few
days back when I noticed a bird flying exactly like a
flycatcher would - perching on something and then
swooping out and down and then back again (going
after the bugs in the air). So, I grabbed the glasses
and followed. It ended up in the middle of rows E
and F - perching and then flying down to the ground
and up again. Lovely to see, and very cooperative to
view. Shari Romar had only just learned of the
kingbird excitement a few days before I contacted
her. What a wonderful treat to have this great bird
visiting our garden! she said. It shows that we are
providing habitat for many species, including such
rare ones. I wish Id had luck in seeing this beauty,
but Ill just have to live vicariously!
New Years Day was a sunny, not-too-cold day
so I went to the garden to see if I could get some
photos of birders in pursuit of the kingbird. I caught
up with one woman and asked her if she was there
because she had not yet seen the kingbird. She said
she had seen it but that was 2014! I saw several
more birders who were back promptly on January 1st,
trying to get the kingbird on their 2015 lists because,
after all, who knows when it might be gone.
I was glad to know that birders were coming to
FBGA to enjoy an exciting visitor. I had no idea how
cooperative and high tech birding is (as in real-time
blog posts alerting fellow birders via smartphone to
important sightings). Like gardeners, theyre happy
to share their knowledge and love of what they do
with an interested stranger. Im pleased that our
community has something we share with theirs.
One of the many visiting birders with tripods and huge lenses seen
at FBGA since mid-November.
Photo courtesy of Richard Guthrie
The Last of the Monarchs? Gay Snyder
When I first joined FBGA, I was amazed at the
variety and quantity of butterflies. Three years ago, a
friend visited from England; he loves butterflies. I
remember how happy he was when I took him around
our gardens. We observed at least a dozen different