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The Anhinga or ‘Devil Bird’ Lands in New York, With Extra to Come



For 2 weeks, a wierd chook has perched in Brooklyn over the treetops of one of many Three Sisters Islands in Prospect Park Lake. It reveals no indicators of heading again to the place it more than likely got here from within the South.

Meet the anhinga, a big water chook with a snaky neck that has joined different high-profile vagrant birds in recent times by making a uncommon look outdoors of its typical migration vary.

The chook’s title comes from the Tupi Indian language of Brazil and means “devil bird.” And in line with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, it’s not from round right here: Anhingas in america typically vary from the Southern states alongside the gulf coast to Texas, stretching into the Carolinas in the summertime.

The Prospect Park anhinga is the primary satan chook noticed in Kings County, and solely the second sighting in New York Metropolis since 1992. When Radka Osickova first noticed it with the Brooklyn Hen Membership, she couldn’t consider her eyes.

“What kind of a weird heron is that over there?” she remembers asking.

Researchers say that this rogue anhinga didn’t merely veer off track, however that it was making the most of a habitat that was newly obtainable to it due to rising temperatures.

“What we are seeing here is likely an expanding population from the previous typical range of the species in the southeastern United States,” stated Andrew Farnsworth, a researcher on the Cornell lab. He added that the anhinga “is a strong flier and quite a migrant, so it’s not necessarily a surprise this is happening.”

Longtime bird-watchers have famous different uncommon feathered guests in Prospect Park in current months.

“Some of the species include summer tanager, yellow-throated warbler, Acadian flycatcher (now nesting in the park) and others,” stated Tom Stephenson, a Brooklyn birder, in an electronic mail. “We’ve also seen a number of unusual Western species in Brooklyn, including Townsend’s warbler and Swainson’s hawk.”

Kenn Kaufman, a chook professional and subject information writer, says we’re seeing a broad sample rising with Southern birds looking for new nesting territories.

“In evolutionary terms, these far-flung wanderers might be viewed as testing the limits,” Mr. Kaufman stated.

The anhinga in Brooklyn could also be by itself, however there have been earlier indications that the species had been making forays a lot farther north. Days earlier than the sighting in Brooklyn, Timothy Wing noticed one other anhinga outdoors his automotive window in Rome, N.Y., about 180 miles north of New York Metropolis.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I saw what I assumed was a double-crested cormorant sitting on a log in the canal on my left,” stated Mr. Wing, a chook fanatic. “The color for the head and neck was much lighter than a typical cormorant, and it didn’t seem right.”

He pulled over and took a more in-depth look with a spare set of binoculars he retains in his automotive.

“To my amazement, I saw multiple anhingas sitting on a log, and many others up in the trees along the opposite bank of the canal,” he stated.

After taking photographs together with his cellphone, Mr. Wing confirmed his sighting with a pal. They counted 22 anhingas and logged them into eBird, the web chook statement database.

“It was truly an incredible sight to behold,” he stated.

Mr. Kaufman shares Mr. Wing’s enthusiasm for the uncommon encounter, whereas noting the rising variety of anhingas seen within the Center Atlantic States.

“Viewed in isolation, the flock upstate seems utterly astounding,” Mr. Kaufman stated. “And it is, in the context of New York State records.”

For the reason that preliminary sighting in Brooklyn, throngs of delighted birders have visited Prospect Park hoping to catch a peek.

“While we’re excited to see the anhinga to N.Y.C., please watch from a distance and respect its space,” stated Sarah Aucoin, the chief of schooling and wildlife for the New York Metropolis parks division. “It may not be from around here, but it’s still a wild animal for us to respect.”

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