We at NYC Audubon hope you're all enjoying these recently pleasant summer days. Here at the NYC Audubon office, however, these lazy days of summer are often not so lazy due to the many calls we receive about fledgling birds that are still trying their wings. Just yesterday, a concerned Manhattanite called to report a young red-tailed hawk sitting on the railing of his 43rd-story balcony, an arm's reach from his window. While time may tell whether this particular young hawk needed help or not, it is normal behavior for curious young birds to allow humans to approach fairly closely. It's also possible that this young bird was resting--and digesting--after a good meal of pigeon or rat. (If you think you've found a bird in trouble, however, a good source of help is the Wild Bird Fund.)
On the subject of red-tailed hawk fledglings: We are happy to report that Pale Male's three Fifth Avenue progeny fledged successfully this past June; our lead story this issue gives thanks to that building's management for its consideration for the resident birds. Pale Male's progeny are among many young raptors that are learning our way in the City this time of year, providing some interest during these "doldrum" months of birding. The other main attraction for New York City birders this time of year is of course shorebird migration: Red knots, dowitchers, plovers and a multitude of "peeps" are on their way south. You can learn more about these beautiful and often overlooked birds at our Annual Shorebird Festival, on Saturday, August 24 (more information below).
Also in this issue: The deadline for our December Ecuador tour is fast approaching; don't miss your chance!; our thoughts on PlaNYC's content affecting our coastline; the announcement of Joshua Laird as new commissioner of National Parks in New York Harbor; upcoming events including our eighth annual Fall Roost, Tweet at Children's Museum of Art, and the New York Birders Conference; and our upcoming member events, lectures, and volunteer opportunities. Finally, see the left-hand column for upcoming trips to Cape May, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Tanzania, Costa Rica, and more. Happy August!
The Fifth Avenue brood, shortly before fledging. Photo © Bruce Yolton
Thank You to Pale Male’s Fifth Avenue Stewards
We're happy to report that Pale Male's three chicks fledged successfully this past June—thanks in large part to cooperation from the birds' Fifth Avenue "hosts." Management of the building on which Pale Male and his mates have maintained their nest conferred with NYC Audubon before scheduling needed work on the building’s façade. Although beginning the work in early spring would have been ideal for logistical reasons, the work was delayed until the chicks had fledged to ensure their safety. Thank you to 927 Fifth Avenue for their caring stewardship of Pale Male, his mates, and their progeny. (We'd also like to thank Sandy Fiebelkorn, longtime friend and former board member of NYC Audubon, for her facilitation of this process. Sandy has coordinated NYC Audubon's work with the building's management for nearly a decade.) Click here to read more about this year's fledgling urban red-tails and how to protect them....
Long-Tailed Sylph © Francesco Veronesi*
Last Chance: Escape to Ecuador this December!
Shining sunbeam… long-tailed sylph… velvet purple coronet:
These are just some of the romantically named hummingbirds you could see in Ecuador. Many, such as the endangered black-breasted puffleg of Quito, are endemic--meaning that they can only be found in Ecuador. Join NYC Audubon’s John Rowden and Captivating Lands’ Edwin Perez this December 7-15 in exploring the bio-rich mountain and lowland forest habitats of the northern Andean slopes of Ecuador, looking for these winged rarities and so much more.
Birds you may see include gorgeous birds of prey like the carunculated caracara, the Andean cock-of-the-rock and other cotingas, guans, potoos, antbirds, toucans and barbets, and the mysterious oilbird! What better way to escape a week of New York City winter? Limited to 12. $2,695 ($150 single room supplement). Please click here to view a detailed tour itinerary. Please contact Adriana Palmer at email@example.com or 212-691-7483 x304 to learn more and to register.
Natural Strength: Thoughts on the Mayor’s Plan to Increase the Resiliency of New York City’s Coastline
Summer intern Darren Klein reports:
In 2007, Mayor Bloomberg released PlaNYC, a broad initiative intended to strengthen the economy of New York City, address climate change, prepare for increasing population size, and generally enhance quality of life for New Yorkers. After Hurricane Sandy battered the City last year, PlaNYC was updated to include an outline for improving the resilience of the City as it faces a future in which powerful storms and other extreme weather events are likely to occur with greater frequency. A major component of the latest version of PlaNYC is called the Comprehensive Coastal Protection Plan, which has been designed to strengthen the coastline of the City and prevent the kind of storm surge and flood damage that crippled the City after Sandy. Click here
to read the full post.
Shorebirds in Flight © Francois Portmann
Eighth Annual Shorebird Festival, August 24
Come out to the internationally renowned Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at the peak of shorebird migration to learn about shorebird biology and behavior, and how to identify these species out in the field. This program is free and open to the general public on a reservation basis. (A donation is requested to defray expenses.) Bring water, lunch, and binoculars, and wear sensible shoes. For information about the day's programming, how to register, and how to sign-up for free transportation from Manhattan (members only), click here to go to the Annual Shorebird Festival page.
Joshua Laird succeeds Maria Banks as Commissioner of National Parks of New York Harbor
Joshua Laird Announced as Next Commissioner of National Parks of New York Harbor
Joshua R. Laird has been selected as the next commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor. Laird will serve as the commissioner of the 10 national parks located in New York City and northern New Jersey; including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governors Island NM, and Gateway National Recreation Area, among others. Laird replaces Maria Burks, who retired in 2012.
Laird comes to the National Park Service (NPS) from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), where he served as the assistant commissioner for planning and parklands since 2006. He most notably led planning efforts that culminated with the signing of a General Agreement and Cooperative Management Agreement with the NPS.
This unprecedented 2012 agreement between the NPS and the DPR outlined new ways the two agencies will cooperatively manage 10,000 acres of federal and city-owned parks in and around Jamaica Bay to promote visitation, education programs, scientific research, and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Hummingbird by Vik Muniz. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
Tweet at the Children's Museum of Art
NYC Audubon is pleased to be partnering this fall with Children's Museum of the Arts, as they present their new exhibition of children's bird artwork, "Tweet." Bird call workshops will be offered during the exhibition to complement this sample of local children's perspectives on our birds. Please check cmany.org/tweet for specific dates and times.
This year's annual Fall Roost benefit takes place October 16, 6-9pm
2103 Fall Roost
NYC Audubon’s Fall Roost benefit dinner returns to the Central Park Boat House on Wednesday, October 16. This year’s benefit will honor Oakes Ames, Dr. Claude Bloch, Karen Heidgerd, Rita McMahon, and the late Starr Saphir. Click here to learn more about the honorees.
Held annually since 2005, The Fall Roost raises funds for NYC Audubon’s numerous conservation and education programs while honoring some of the City’s birding luminaries. The evening begins with a silent auction and reception at 6pm, followed by dinner and program from 7-9pm. You can expect great food, excellent company, and a silent auction featuring eco-adventures, original artwork, and a few fun surprises. For more information and to register for this event, please call our offices at 212-691-7483, extension 306, or click here to register online.
This November: The New York Birders Conference
This November 1-3, NYC Audubon will co-sponsor the New York Birders Conference and 66th annual meeting of the New York State Ornithological Association, hosted by the Queens County Bird Club at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, NY. The first event of its kind in the New York Metropolitan area, the conference is an opportunity for birders throughout the region to meet, exchange ideas, learn about new research, socialize, and bird together. The weekend will include paper sessions, bird identification workshops, presentations on important conservation issues, and a banquet dinner, featuring James Currie of Birding Adventures TV. And, yes, great field trips! Please visit nybirdersconference.org for more information and to register. To learn about NYC Audubon member transportation from Manhattan, click here.
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at Zinnia © Ellen Michaels
BIRDS & BOTANY WALK IN CENTRAL PARK
Tuesday, September 10, 7:30-9am
Meet at Central Park West and 72nd Street, parkside. Join NYC Audubon Executive Director Glenn Phillips and co-leader NYC Audubon Board President Harry Maas for an eye-opening exploration of fall migrants and the plant life that supports them in the rich habitat of Central Park. Limited to 20. Free for Contributing NYC Audubon Members at the Student/Senior level and up. Please contact Angela Januzzi at 212-691-7483 x306 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of birds are visible as tiny flecks of light in this photo of the 2012 Tribute in Light. Photo © NYC Audubon
There are a number of ways to help conserve our City's wildlife this fall. To participate in any of the projects listed below, please contact us at email@example.com.
Thousands of songbirds migrate through the City each fall. Volunteers are needed to monitor designated buildings for bird collisions. Learn how to collect data and handle injured birds. Orientation sessions will be held Wednesday, August 21 and Tuesday, August 27, from 6-7pm. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
TRIBUTE IN LIGHT
Each year a tireless group of volunteers monitors September 11’s Tribute in Light to ensure that migrating birds do not become entrapped and disoriented by the light beams. A training will be held Tuesday, September 3 from 6-7pm. Please contact us at email@example.com to register.
We need caring volunteers to transport injured birds to licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the City. A training will be held Monday, September 9, from 6-7pm. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP
Join us at North Channel Bridge this fall and give back to the beaches and coastlines that give you so much summer enjoyment! As part of this multi-state effort to improve coastline habitat, we will be picking up debris at North Channel Bridge, which is used by species like the American Oystercatcher. North Channel Bridge is also a stone's throw away from the Harbor Heron Islands, the newly restored Elder Marsh, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Since Sandy, this cleanup has taken on even greater significance. Help us clear the beach and raise awareness of the importance of coastal areas to birdlife. Equipment, refreshments, and transportation from Manhattan are provided. To see a report of last years International Coastal Cleanup, you can visit this page on the Ocean Conservancy website. Please contact us at email@example.com to register.
Epic Journeys Portrays the Astounding Migration of Shorebirds. © Migration Productions
All lectures are free and open to the public and are held at The Arsenal, Central Park, 5th Ave. at 64th St., 3rd Floor Gallery. This series has been made possible by the support of Claude and Lucienne Bloch and Patagonia.
EPIC JOURNEYS: SHOREBIRD MIGRATION
By Shawn Carey
Wednesday, September 25, 6pm
Each year millions of shorebirds make an amazing round-trip journey between the northern and southern hemispheres. Join filmmaker and photographer Shawn Carey of Migration Production, and learn about their newest video, “Epic Journeys,” which looks at three shorebird species—red knot, piping plover and semipalmated sandpiper—and the challenges these species face during each of their monumental annual treks.
American oystercatchers (parent and young) © Steve Nanz
Top and Sidebar Photos: great egret, greater shearwater, royal terns, bald eagle © Steve Nanz; spotted sandpiper © Laura Meyers; Andean cock of the rock © Bill Bouton*; surf scoters © Ómar Runólfsson*; Jamaican tody © David Speiser; keel-billed toucan © Brian Gratwicke*; lilac-breasted roller © Nen Riko*; resplendent quetzal © Richard Garrigues
* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.