Saturday, September 05, 2009

Jumping Bush Cricket

Jumping Bush Cricket

Only six days to the Cricket Crawl -- check out the website at

I'm getting closer to finding out whether the katydids singing outside my window on Riverside Drive are actually Common True Katydids, the jackpot species for this citywide census, or whether they are some other katydid species. Tonight someone with recording equipment is coming over to record "my" katydids singing. Next week I'll take the recording to an expert at the American Museum of Natural History. And then I'll know, in time for my report on the evening of 9/11/09.

Though I've chosen Riverside Park for my Cricket Crawl observational location
next Friday, there will be a lot of Cricket Crawl activity in Central Park-- after all the American Museum of Natural History is one of the event's sponsors and it is right across the street from the park. But people will be listening for crickets and katydids in all boroughs of the city next Friday and sending in their reports.

Meanwhile, please meet the Jumping Bush Cricket [pictured above], one of the target species of the Cricket Crawl, and one that I know is part of the orthopteran [cricket and katydid] chorus I hear from my window.

The Jumping Bush cricket
[Orocharis saltator] is an ubiquitous insect that gives periodic SINGLE PEEP call and lives throughout the shrubbery surrounding suburban and city yards. It is singing all over the city these days, or rather, these nights, and is easy to identify by song. I hope the link below [to an audio recording of the Jumping Bush Cricket song] will work for you and help you identify this common cricket wherever you are at night. This might encourage you to participate in the Cricket Crawl.

PS: If you live outside of NYC and cannot participate in the actual census, go outside at any time between 7:45pm and midnight
on the evening of 9/11 and note down what orthopteran species you hear during the course of one minute. Send me the results and I'll post them on this site.

Below, a brief tutorial on the song of the Jumping Bush Cricket.
After you click on the first little-loudspeaker icon below and hear the very brief recording, use your back button to get back to the page. Then listen to the second recording.

14 s of calling song [1.22MB]; male from Lake Co., Tenn.; 25.0°C. (WTL686-26a)
6 s of calling song [261KB]; same as above but truncated and down-sampled.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Tennessee in New York

Tennessee Warbler -- photo by David Speiser - 9/1/09

A quick walk in the Park along the Gill today turned up this Tennessee Warbler along with 10 other warbler species.
Hopefully, a preview of what will come. More images including shorebirds from Jamaica Bay coming to soon.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

True or false katydids?

Cricket Crawl, the citywide census of crickets and katydids to take place on 9/11/09 -- a week from tomorrow-- has one primary quest: to discover if there are any singing True Katydids left in New York City. People say that the species has been extirpated, and that True Katydids only sing in areas with few if any people. Below are two species of singing Katydids:
Common True Katydid Pterophylla camellifolia (EH, TW) -- This is a katydid of the forest, apparently extirpated from the NYC region during the Cities' early development, we will be especially looking for this animal during the survey -- An easy one to identify it calls non-stop giving CONTINUOUS SERIES OF SHUSHES often in groups of 2's and 3's.

Lesser Anglewing Microcentrum retinerve (EH, TW) – Another tree-top species, usually common in urban areas, this species has a DISTINCT PATTERN OF 2-3 SHUSHS WITH LONG PAUSES INBETWEEN. Can be confused with the Common True, which calls continuously without pauses.

Click below [on the very long link] to hear the song of the True Katydid.

But here is a burning question-- for me, at any rate. Which of these is singing every night in Riverside Park right outside my window? I have taken steps to get an answer! Stay tuned.

PS There don't seem to be long pauses between the phrases of the singers outside my window!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Rebekah's report on the continued North Woods cleanup

Rebekah Creshkoff continues to monitor the storm damage and clean-up in the north part of Central Park: [This report was sent in on Saturday, but maddening troubles uploading images on this computer have delayed my posting of it.]

The log piles and woodchip piles have been growing each day. On Friday, they set up a cyclone fence between the log pile and the cinder path on top of the Great Hill.

Now you can see clear to midtown from the formerly forested SW corner of the Great Hill.

A second log pile extends along the slope of the Great Hill.

Heavy machinery in the Loch on Friday. This was a forested island where, some years ago, a part-Muscovy duck nested in base of a hollow trunk. Its gone now.

Compared to the 360-degree experience of being there, it's hard to convey the scope of the loss through pictures. I hope this hints at it.