It's not been a very wintry winter. Yet despite the unpredictable and frequently unseasonable weather, our wintering birds have been dependable, and plentiful:
Our spring trips and member events are now all open for registration—including some exciting new opportunities all over the City
Today's Winter Seals & Waterbirds Ecocruise encountered flocks of long-tailed ducks, great cormorants, and happily, sunning harbor seals; a recent trip to Jones Beach and Point Lookout found elegant harlequin ducks feeding in the churning surf, as well as Bonaparte's gulls, snow buntings, and an Iceland gull; and last month's expedition to Brooklyn's waterfowl hot spots came upon both greater and lesser scaup and common goldeneye. A few more weeks of winter are ahead of us, and some great late winter trips are as well
. But here at NYC Audubon, we are gearing up for spring.
As we finish up reports on our 2015 conservation and research efforts (including our 2015 annual report, now online
), we are happy to announce progress on the restoration of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's West Pond to fresh water
. We will present all of our conservation work over the last year on Tuesday, March 15 at our Conservation Update: Priorities and Partnerships
; and are also pleased to announce the world premiere on Thursday, March 17 of Saving Jamaica Bay
, the first-ever documentary about the world-renowned wildlife refuge and the challenges it faces.
(and further afield along the lovely Maine coast
). Returning spring migrants of course encounter many perils as they navigate New York City—and we ask you all to participate in Project Safe Flight via our online database, D-Bird
. (You can also read about the results of this winter's Christmas Bird Count
, the world's oldest citizen science project.) Or, sign up for a spring orientation
and join any of our conservation projects or our April 23 beach cleanup
We hope to see you at a NYC Audubon event soon. Happy March!
Black Skimmer Banding 2015 © NYC Audubon
Annual Conservation Presentation
Join us on Tuesday, March 15 for our annual conservation update, and learn about all the ways we've worked this year to protect New York City's incredibly diverse birdlife—from test-flying songbirds in our glass-testing flight tunnel... to banding black skimmer chicks... to tagging great egrets with "texting" GPS transmitters that allow us to follow their migration. Read more below (and learn about more upcoming lectures here):
PRIORITIES AND PARTNERSHIPS: NYC AUDUBON CONSERVATION UPDATE
By Susan Elbin, PhD and Debra Kriensky
Tuesday, March 15, 6:30pm
Central Park Zoo 4-D Theater
NYC Audubon conducts scientific monitoring in all five boroughs to understand how birds are using our urban environment and how this environment affects them, via Project Safe Flight, our Jamaica Bay program, and our Harbor Herons project. Join us as Director of Conservation and Science Susan Elbin, PhD, and Conservation Biologist Debra Kriensky provide updates on what this research has taught us in the past year. Lectures are free and open to the public. This series has been made possible by the support of Claude and Lucienne Bloch.
PLEASE NOTE: Our upcoming lectures will take place at the Central Park Zoo 4-D Theater, just north of the Arsenal Building at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue. Capacity at this theater is limited to the first 75 guests on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Please join NYC Audubon friend and filmmaker Dan Hendrick for the world premiere of this first-ever feature-length film about Jamaica Bay. Saving Jamaica Bay was made with the support of NYC Audubon, its board members and supporters, and many members of the New York City birding community.
Thursday, March 17, 8pm
Museum of the Moving Image
(36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106—close to R subway stop at Steinway Street)
Tickets are $10-12, and are available here. To learn more and see a film trailer, visit www.savingjamaicabay.com.
Further Progress Towards a Restored West Pond
Great news from the National Park Service (NPS): The preferred alternative for repair of the breach of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's West Pond has received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), signed by the NPS' Northeast Regional Director. This is an important step towards restoration of the West Pond, and we are happy to see that the NPS' preferred "Alternative B: Repair the Breach and Improve Habitat Conditions" includes provisions for installation of a freshwater source, as recommended by NYC Audubon and the Birders Coalition for Gateway, among others. Click here to learn more.
Annual Report Design Courtesy of Christina Rubin
Annual Report 2015 "Goes Green"!
NYC Audubon's 2015 Annual Report is now available online at www.nycaudubon.org/annual-report. To request a print copy, please contact the office at 212-691-7483 x303.
Canada Warbler © Lloyd Spitalnik
Register Now for New Spring Trips and Member Walks
Registration is now open for NYC Audubon's spring trips and member walks! We're offering a number of exciting new options this spring, all over the city: a new bird walk series in Queens Botanical Garden, as well as walks in Staten Island's Clove Lakes Park, Manhattan's Inwood Hill Park, and Queens' Forest Park and Forest Hills Gardens.
See our entire spring schedule here. But don't forget; there's also great birding to be had in the next few weeks:
WINTER BIRDS OF SANDY HOOK, NJ
Saturday, March 12, 10am-5pm
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Sandy Hook, a spectacular barrier island at the northernmost point of the NJ coast, hosts a variety of species including Arctic-bound migrants such as loons, snow buntings, and harbor seals that lie on the beach to warm up in the sun. Click here to learn more and register
THE SKY DANCE OF THE WOODCOCK
Saturday, March 26, 5-9:30pm
Guide: Gabriel Willow
The American Woodcock is a remarkable bird: It is in the sandpiper family but lives in woodlands, often far from beaches. The male performs an incredible crepuscular aerial display and song early in the spring. Let’s go look for it at Floyd Bennett Field. Click here to learn more and register
Classes: Wednesdays, March 30-April 13, 6:30-8:30pm
Trips: Saturday, April 9, 8am-2pm and Saturday, April 16, 8-10:30am
Instructor: Tod Winston
Learn the keys to identifying the spectacular variety of birds that migrate northwards through New York City every spring. Even if you’ve never picked up a pair of binoculars, you’ll soon be identifying warblers, thrushes, waterbirds, and more—both by sight and by ear. Three fun in-class sessions paired with field trips to Jamaica Bay and Central Park. Click here to learn more and register
American Woodcock © Steve Nanz
Spring Member Events
"WOODCOCKTAILS" AT JAMAICA BAY
Thursday, April 14, 3-9:30pm
Join Don Riepe to witness the spectacular flight of the woodcock, as well as enjoy a few "woodcocktails" on us. After a leisurely check on Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's West Pond and gardens, we will adjourn to the woodcock courting grounds to look for male woodcocks executing their dramatic flight displays. Limited to 11. Free for Contributing NYC Audubon Members only at the Family and Supporter levels and up. Call Kellye Rosenheim at 212-691-7483 x306 to register.
Click here to learn about all of our upcoming member events, including a walk in Central Park with Tom Stephenson, a tour of Trinity Cemetery celebrating John James Audubon, and more fun outings.
Take a Picture for D-Bird
NYC Audubon’s Project Safe Flight needs your help. If you find a dead or injured bird in the City (especially if it has hit a building), please visit www.d-bird.org on your smartphone or computer and report it to us. D-Bird has recently been upgraded and can now accept photos. If you are unsure of the species or just want to help provide accurate documentation, photos can be attached from both mobile and desktop devices. To see an interactive map of D-Bird results, visit www.nycaudubon.org/project-safe-flight#D-Bird.
Common Goldeneye © Andrew A. Reding*
Audubon Christmas Bird Count Results Now Available
Results are in for this year's Audubon Christmas Bird Count! The Audubon Christmas Bird Count, a tradition first proposed by ornithologist Frank M. Chapman on Christmas Day 1900, is the nation's longest-running citizen-science bird project. The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. NYC Audubon is responsible for reporting on the Lower Hudson Count Circle, which includes all of Manhattan and parts of New Jersey.
Click here to view a summary of this year's count results on our blog, Syrinx, and view all the data collected thanks to the work of over 170 participants in this year's count.
Atlantic Puffin © David Speiser
Puffins, Warblers, and Lobster Boats: The Enchanting Coast of Maine
Saturday, May 21 – Saturday, May 28
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Come along with NYC Audubon and explore Maine's “Country of the Pointed Firs”: land of lighthouses, quaint villages, and lobster pounds... all nestled in a setting of primeval pine forests, bogs, and bucolic islands. Home to some of the East’s last true wilderness, Maine hosts populations of Atlantic puffin, bear, moose, shorebirds, and dozens of warbler species. Our trip will visit coastal salt marshes and beaches, the beautiful fishing village of Camden, and enchanting Monhegan Island—charming artist colony and birders' paradise. Click here to learn more and see a full trip itinerary.
International Coastal Cleanup 2015 © Darren Klein
Volunteer with Us this Spring!
Spring is just around the corner, and all NYC Audubon's conservation projects are ready to come out of hibernation! Save the date for our spring volunteer orientations, below. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to register for all sessions. You can read more about our conservation work here
We often receive calls from individuals who have found injured birds but are unable to transport them to a rehabilitator. We need caring voluntters to transports these birds to licenesed wildlife rehabilitators in the area. A training session will be held at the Wild Bird Fund Center
on Wednesday, March 16, 6-7pm.
Project Safe Flight:
Volunteers are needed to monitor designated buildings for bird collisions, rescue injured birds, and record any casualties. Orientations will be held at our office on Monday, March 21 and Thursday, March 24, 6-7pm.
Count shorebirds in Jamaica Bay, an important stopover for migratory shorebirds. Strong shorebird identification skills preferred. An orientation will be held at our office on Thursday, March 31, 6-7pm.
Horseshoe Crab Monitoring:
Count horseshoe crabs, an important food source for migratory shorebirds in Jamaica Bay. Orientations will be held Thursdays, April 14 and April 21, 6-7pm.
Harbor Herons Foraging Study:
Observe herons and egrets as they forage in New York City waterways. An orientation will be held at our office on Monday, May 2, 6-7pm.
Plumb Beach Cleanup 2015 © NYC Audubon
Plumb Beach Cleanup
Saturday, April 23, 10am-2pm
(Rain Date: Sunday, April 24)
With National Park Service
Plumb Beach is an important spawning ground for the crabs, and NYC Audubon has been engaged in an annual study of the crab population at Plumb Beach since 2009.Come out to help us clean up the beach and get it ready to welcome the crabs! Optional bus transportation to Plumb Beach will be provided from Union Square in Manhattan (space is limited). Click here to learn more and to register for the cleanup.
Fox Sparrow © Laura Meyers
Top and Sidebar Photos: great egret, Atlantic puffins © Steve Nanz; red-winged blackbird, Cape May warbler, common tern, American bittern © Lloyd Spitalnik.
* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.