Common Loon at Buffalo Harbor State Park Boat Harbor 21, April 2018  photo by Jay Burney
Common Loon at Buffalo Harbor State Park Boat Harbor 21, April 2018  photo by Jay Burney

GreenWatch Sunday TV: Loon-a-pol-ooza

by / Apr. 22, 2018 10am EST

Note:Todays Suday GreenWatch Television is being published seperately from our usual Sunday GreenWatch article. You can find todays GreenWatch Sunday Greenwash by CLICKING HERE


Greenwatch Sunday Television


This past week brought us amazing and even historic events relative to the spring bird migration.

Unusual an powerful strom systems have crossed the continent in recent weeks and have effected our region.

See Seiche

Last week brought a variety of unusual species in great numbers to our area including our waterfront.

Three species have been here in very large numbers.

Common Loon

These birds typically migrate through this region and during this time of the year and sometimes in the fall we see some Common Loons. If we get to see one or two we birders consider this a big day!  Last week hundreds of these birds were found all over our area including at UB North, Delaware Park Lake, Forest Lawn, Reinstein Woods, and on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.  If you live near any kind of waterbody, you may have been near large concentrations of Loons. Today’s video was shot on Saturday April 21 at the Buffalo Harbor State Park small boat harbor.  We encountered 20 individual loons and they were not shy.  Earlier this week over 70 were reported at the same location.

Snowy Owl

Over the past few years there have been widely observed Snowy Owl irruptions into the United States.  This is occuring because food supply in the Arctic Tundra where these birds breed have been in short supply.  They eat mostly mice and other small mammals. No one is exactly sure why their food supply is in danger but climate change is often mentioned as a contributor.  These birds are increasinly rare and very unusual to see.

We have been fortunate in WNY an in Buffalo to see some of these birds during the winter.  As they fly south, or return north, they ofen use our shorlines, meadows, and other areas to stop, rest, and maybe spend a little time gassing up for the next leg of the migration.

At one point we had a total of 5 Snowy Owls on the breakwalls of the Outer Harbor.  This week we have seen DOZENS of these owls at the Outer Harbor. Last night (Saturday april 21, we counted almost 20 at one time floating in the disappearing icefield and resting on the breakwalls. At dusk they all starting flying inland, some landing at Tifft on the Mounds, and some flying into Times Beach.  Two flew into the Queen City Landing site adjacent to the state park where a 23 story glass tower is planned. This is why we fiight.

Horned Grebe

This is a funny lookng little diving waterbird. Grebes behaviour includes babies riding on the backs of the mothers, and because the legs are designed for water proulsion, if they land on roads or parking lots (which they sometimes do mistakenly at night) they cannot take off. Same goes for Loons.  We are lucky to see a dozen of these in any one place during this time of the year as they are migrating north. Hundreds of these birds have been seen here this week.

See more videos of the Horned Grebe and the Snowy Owl at the Friends of Times Beach website by CLICKING HERE