Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bird Call At Nassau County Legislature

Mineola Not All Its Quacked Up To Be. . .

Another "would you believe," this time from the Nassau County Legislature, which, in the face of new budget woes and legislative time constraints, now ponders which bird to make "official."

This from the Great Neck Record, because, folks, we can't make this stuff up!

Legislative Majority Report

By Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs

You Get to Choose the Official Nassau County Bird

Who will it be? The Tree Swallow? Osprey? Or the American Oystercatcher? While these three contestants will not be asked to sing prior to voting, they represent the three contestants vying for the title of Nassau County's official bird. New York State has its blue bird, but I believe Nassau County deserves its own official bird. I am thrilled to be putting the decision into the hands of Anton's readers and all of Nassau's residents...

Why should American Idol judges have all the fun?

Only a few counties have "official" birds, according to Robert Alvey, president of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary. The three suggestions for the official bird came from the members of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary.

Those interested in having their opinion count can vote, starting August 29, on the County website, and look for the bird contest.

The first candidate is the TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor). Tree swallows are medium-sized swallows with purer white underparts and slightly forked tails. Adults in breeding plumage have glossy metallic blue underparts tinged with green. They are distinctive and elegant looking and populate much of Nassau County.

The second candidate is the OSPREY. The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a world-wide distribution. It is also known as the fish hawk, sea hawk or fish eagle. The Osprey is 52-60 cm (20.5-23.6 inches) long with a 152-167 (5-5.5 feet) wingspan. It has white underparts and long, narrow wings with four "finger" feathers at the end of each.

The third candidate is the AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (haematopus palliates), occasionally called the American Pied Oystercatcher, are large, conspicuous birds that were hunted to near extinction along the Atlantic coast. Given total protection, they have once again become numerous and now nest in numbers as far north as Massachusetts. Oystercatchers insert their long blade-like bills into mussels and other bivalves, severing the powerful adductor muscles before the shells can close.

It is my hope that by putting a spotlight on the birds of Nassau County, we can educate residents regarding the variety of species we have here in the County and also generate an interest in protecting the birds and their habitats. For more information about the contest, call my office at 516-571-6216 or for more information about birds; call the Garden City Bird Sanctuary at 516-326-1720.
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"Look for the bird contest." Yup, that about says it all!

Judy, if we blogged it once, we've blogged it a thousand times -- Nassau County already has an official bird, the vulture! [Make that the Peter King Vulture...]

We wonder whether the birds will get more votes than Tom Suozzi in the September 12th Primary?

Of course, Long Island voters already pay homage to their own official bird, the Ostrich!
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Tomorrow on the blog: Our New York Primary Picks


  1. I'm all for community participation
    where ever it may be. I would have liked to have an ART Exhibit to benifit the naming somehow. I think the Official County Bird should be the American Oyster Catcher. I think the Osprey should be the BIRD of Suffolk County.

    Not just giving folks "the bird", but letting us pick it....Whoohooo!

  2. Not such a bird brained idea! Voting continues though Oct 15th and there were over 10,000 visits to the voting e-ballot!