Date: 5/9/18 7:22 am
From: Tristan Lowery <tristanlowery...> [hmbirds] <hmbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [HMBirds] Normanskill Farm - 5/8
I birded Normanskill Farm this morning. It wasn’t a particularly busy
morning – two *Yellow-rumped Warblers* and a *Cape May Warbler* (all males)
being the only through-migrant warblers – but I did note a handful of new
arrivals to the farm. A male *Orchard Oriole* was singing on territory, and
I picked out a single *Cliff Swallow* among several *Barn Swallows*. I also
saw at least two singing *Bobolinks* with the more common blackbirds in the
grassy field north of the community garden. In addition to the smattering
of warblers, I also spotted a *Swainson’s Thrush* and a pair of *White-crowned
Sparrows* passing through on their northbound journey.

One last note: early on in my visit, I saw a presumed Albany Police
Department employee (he was on property restricted to APD employees and
wearing an APD sweatshirt) taking potshots with a crossbow at the
flock of *Wild
Turkeys* that often feeds on the APD horse paddock just west of the Whipple
truss bridge off Normanskill Drive. I know it’s turkey season and it’s
legal to hunt turkeys with a crossbow, but I wondered about the legality of
hunting on City property near APD buildings, even by City employees.
Crossbow regulations on the NYSDEC website state that “Without landowner
permission, crossbows may not be discharged within 250 feet of any home,
school, building or playground, public structure, farm structure in use or
occupied factory or church.”

Whether or not this person had permission from the APD or the City, or
whether he was on duty at the time would be nothing but speculation on my
part. I will state that I have nothing against hunting and while I’m not a
turkey hunter, I’m familiar with the usual practices involved: what
bothered me about this incident is that it seemed less a serious turkey
hunting effort and more like an impromptu, idle round of target practice.

Tristan Lowery


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