New York City Audubon champions nature in the city’s five boroughs through a combination of engaging and entertaining programs, and innovative conservation campaigns.
New York City Audubon
Mourning Warbler © Lloyd Spitalnik

Upcoming October & November Events

Note: Only events with open registration are listed.
Click here to see ALL Events & Adventures

10/3: Raptor Trust and Great Swamp, NJ, with Tod Winston and Don Riepe

10/7: Camera Club with David Speiser, Lloyd Spitalnik

10/8: Sparrow Identification Workshop with Gabriel Willow

10/10: Hawk Watch at Fort Tilden, Queens, with Don Riepe

10/11: Fall Birding at Wave Hill with Gabriel Willow

10/22: Beginning Birding with Tod Winston begins

10/24: Fall Foliage Hike in the Greenbelt, Staten Island with Gabriel Willow

10/31: Fall Migration on Randall's Island with Gabriel Willow

11/7: Ducks, Raptors, and More at Pelham Bay Park, The Bronx with Gabriel Willow

11/8: Fall Birding at Wave Hill with Gabriel Willow

11/8: Snow Geese and Tundra Swans of Brigantine, NJ with Joe Giunta

11/14: Winter Waterfowl Workshop at Jamaica Bay with Don Riepe

Ongoing Events

Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, the Bronx: Saturdays, through November 28, 8-9:30am

Birding Tours of Bryant Park with Gabriel Willow through October 22

Birding Basics for Families in Central Park begins September 27

Upcoming Overnight Trips

Bald Eagle © Lloyd Spitalnik


Thursday, November 19, 9am - Sunday, November 22, 6pm
Guides: Don Riepe
With American Littoral Society

A great natural history weekend on the Virginia coast. See wild ponies, snow geese, bald eagles, migrating hawks, waterfowl, shorebirds and lots more. includes 3 nights lodging at the luxurious Refuge Inn (heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna, exercise room, observation deck), breakfast, Safari bus tour of back dunes area, 5 guided hikes, evening programs, plus an all-you-can-eat oyster and seafood dinner. Contact Don Riepe at (718) 474-0896 or for info regarding transportation, itinerary, and reservations. $395 ($180 single room supplement)


Great Egret © Steve Nanz

The eGret
October 2015

The Fall Roost is upon us!  We lead off this issue with an invitation to join us on Tuesday, October 13 at our annual fundraising gala, which supports NYC Audubon in all of the work we do to protect our city's birds. And there is so much to be done. While many birders have found this fall's migration to be a slow trickle, this fall's Tribute in Light proved that huge numbers of migrants pass through that we never see: September 11 proved to be a heavy migration night, and the memorial's light beams revealed tens of thousands of songbirds, briefly waylaid on their way south. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum cooperated with Project Safe Flight's monitoring program in turning off the lights eight times during the night, allowing the circling, disoriented birds to disperse. Project Safe Flight continues through the fall, as our volunteers monitor sights for bird collisions and we test bird-friendly glass at our Bronx Zoo flight tunnel.

Several other issues are coming up that are important for the City's birds--and we may need your help: Next Tuesday, the long-awaited preferred alternative plan for Jamaica Bay's West Pond will be released. And NYC Audubon has added its support to legislation proposed to ban the sale of environmentally harmful microbeads in New York City. We thank all those who came out several weeks ago to help us clean up the beaches of Jamaica Bay on International Coastal Cleanup day

This issue is also bursting with lots of bird-related activities: This Saturday, friends of Greenpoint's McGolrick Park will be cleaning up the park for birds and people alike; The NYC Audubon Camera Club reconvenes on Oct. 7; Beginning Birding welcomes new birders on Oct. 22; and we hike the Staten Island Greenbelt on Oct. 24. NYC Audubon will be featured in Q&A sessions for two exciting new films being screened this month: Poached on Oct. 9 and The Messenger on Oct. 18. Injured bird transtporter Andrew Garn's beautiful pigeon photos are featured in a Brooklyn exhibition till Oct. 11. And finally, mark you calendars for our Nov. 17 lecture with Board Member and Cornell Lab of Ornithology Research Associate Andrew Farnsworth. 

Happy October.
The Eleventh Annual Fall Roost Fundrasier Takes Place October 13 at Guastavino's


Protecting Birds in New York City
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Guastavino's 409 East 59th Street

Join us as we celebrate NYC Audubon’s eleventh annual Fall Roost. This year we are thrilled to honor Marsilia Boyle and ARNOLD GLAS. A longtime director and officer of NYC Audubon and a member of the Audubon New York board, Marcy Boyle champions our efforts around the City, represents us on the Audubon Council of New York State, and keeps an eagle eye on our work in Brooklyn. Glass manufacturer ARNOLD GLAS, and especially its former CEO Hans-Joachim Arnold, is the creator of Ornilux, a bird-friendly building glass that is saving countless birds worldwide. We also add to the Fall Roost festivities the recognition of our first "Volunteer of the Year," Deborah Jones.

Silent Auction and Reception 6:30-7:30pm
Dinner and Program 7:30-9:30pm

For those of you who are already fans of our party, we are migrating to Guastavino’s, the exciting landmarked space under the 59th Street Bridge. This year's Silent Auction will include a number of exciting opportunities and adventures; highlights include:

  • Outings with celebrity authors Tom Stephenson and Leslie Day
  • Walks and Cruises with Joe Giunta, Don Riepe, and Gabriel Willow
  • Adventures in pelagic birding, horseshoe crab tagging, and bird-banding
  • Golf for four at The Bridge Golf Club
  • Behind-the-scenes access to the American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and NYC Audubon’s Glass Testing Tunnel at the Bronx Zoo

Proceeds from the Fall Roost support NYC Audubon's efforts to protect wild birds and their habitat in the five boroughs through scientific research, community engagement, advocacy, and hands-on habitat restoration. In particular, we are working to improve the quality of stopover habitat and reduce threats to birds from unnecessary illumination and from reflective glass.

Click here to buy your tickets now! 

The West Pond after Hurricane Sandy, NOAA Image
The West Pond after Hurricane Sandy, NOAA Image

West Pond Preferred Alternative to Be Announced October 6

We have just received word that the National Park Service will release its preferred alternative plan for Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's West Pond next Tuesday, October 6. The public comment period will be 30 days. An Open House at the Refuge Visitor Center is planned for the evening of October 22. Please mark your calendars, and check for updates once the preferred alternative is released.

For those not familiar with this issue, Hurricane Sandy breached Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's West Pond in October 2012, transforming it from an important source of both shelter and fresh water into a saltwater lagoon. NYC Audubon and local birders including the Birders' Coalition for Gateway have advocated for restoration of the pond as a freshwater habitat. Read more about this issue here.

The 2015 Tribute in Light © Don Riepe
The 2015 Tribute in Light © Don Riepe

The Tribute in Light

On Friday, September 11, the Tribute in Light once again shone bright above lower Manhattan—and our thoughts were with all those touched by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. This year's Tribute, however, coincided with a very heavy migration flight. Throughout the all-night event, thousands of songbirds were visible, trapped and disoriented within the memorial's huge light beams. NYC Audubon staff and volunteers were on site monitoring the Tribute till dawn, and thanks to cooperation from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, we were able to shut down the lights 8 times during the night. This allowed the immense cloud of confused birds—which included American redstart, blackpoll warbler, black-throated blue warbler, rose-breasted grosbeak, and northern flicker—to escape and continue their migration routes southward.

Since 2002, NYC Audubon has worked with the Tribute's sponsor (formerly the Municipal Arts Society, now the National September 11 Memorial and Museum) to ensure that night-migrating songbirds, which in some years are attracted in huge numbers to the Tribute's powerful light beams, are not exhausted and injured during the all-night event. Thanks to all for a successful 2015 monitoring effort!

If you find a dead or injured bird anywhere in the City, you can make a valuable contribution to Project Safe Flight by providing us with information about the bird at To see an interactive map of D-Bird results and to learn more about Project Safe Flight, please click here. D-Bird is a component of Project Safe Flight, part of our broader effort generously supported by the Leon Levy Foundation to make the City a safer place for birds.

Microbeads © Melly Kay (Creative Commons Attribution License)
Plastic microbeads, a major contributor to plastic particle water pollution, have become a common ingredient in cosmetic products. Photo Melly Kay*

NYC Audubon Supports "Banning the Bead"

NYC Audubon strongly supports new legislation proposed this week by New York City Councilman Daniel Garodnick, to ban the sale of products containing plastic microbeads in New York City. Microbeads, which which have become a common ingredient in personal care products, are too small to be filtered out of the City's wastewater, and an estimated 19 tons enter the City's water supply every year--where they enter the food chain and endanger and poison wildlife, including many species of waterbirds. NYC Audubon's Dr. Susan Elbin is quoted in a press release from Councilman Garodnick's office, available here.

You can also read more about this issue in an excellent piece yesterday on Huffington Post by the Wildlife Conservation Society's John Calvelli.

American Avocet © Lloyd Spitalnik
American Avocet © Lloyd Spitalnik
It's Time for Camera Club!

Don't miss NYC Audubon Camera Club's first meeting of the season, on Wednesday, October 7. Whether you’re a beginning or more advanced photographer, our friendly camera club is the place to discuss diverse photography-related topics, hone your skills, and learn about the great photography opportunities available in the New York City area. Professional bird and nature photographers David Speiser and Lloyd Spitalnik will share their expertise and help you improve your work. $14.50 ($10) per meeting. Classes are held in the National Audubon office, 225 Varick Street, 7th floor. Click here to learn more and register.

Cedar Waxwing © Henry T. McLin (Creative Commons Attribution License)
Cedar Waxwing © Henry T. McLin*
Birdwatching 101

Do you love birds, but are not quite certain how to go about "birdwatching"?  Beginning Birding may be the class for you. 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. Learn the keys to identifying the spectacular variety of birds that migrate southwards through New York City every fall. Join NYC Audubon's Tod Winston for three fun and educational in-class sessions and two field trips, to Central Park and Jamaica Bay (transport to Jamaica Bay included). Classes start October 22. Click here to learn more and register.


International Coastal Cleanup 2015 Volunteers © Rohan Narine
Volunteers at the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup © Rohan Narine

Cooperating in the Cleanup of our Beaches

Big thanks to National Park Service, American Littoral Society, Sadhana, and all of the amazing volunteers who joined NYC Audubon for the International Coastal Cleanup this past Saturday! The cleanup was a huge success! Our records suggest that a total of 4,461 pieces of trash were removed from North Channel Beach (though the number is likely much higher - hard to collect good data when you're busy cleaning). Great work, everybody!


White-Crowned Sparrow © JanetandPhil (Creative Commons Attribution License)
White-Crowned Sparrow © JanetandPhil*

Fall Foliage Hike in the Greenbelt, Staten Island

Saturday, October 24, 9:15am-4pm
Guide: Gabriel Willow
With NYC Parks and the Greenbelt Conservancy

Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the S.I. Ferry and join us as we journey to Moses Mountain, which provides a panoramic view of Staten Island and points beyond. We'll look for migrating hawks, warblers, and other songbirds—with crimson sumac and other autumn foliage as a backdrop. Bring lunch and water. Transportation on Staten Island provided.Click here to learn more and to register

The Fall Roost

Bird Conservation on the Big Screen

Two films that address dangers to our bird populations will be screened this October in New York City: Poached and The Messenger. Both films will be followed by Q&A sessions featuring NYC Audubon. Read more below. 

Poached reveals the bizarre underworld of illegal bird egg collecting. The film follows convicted egg offenders as they evade an army of bird lovers and wildlife crime police during "Operation Easter" in Britain. As the most notorious eggers begin to realize the destructiveness of their behavior, we wonder whether they ever can be redeemed and harnessed for good. Directed by Timothy Wheeler (The Other ShoreWhale Wars) and produced by Steve Brown (Spark: A Burning Man StoryTwinsters). SXSW 2015 Nominee and Winner of the International Wildlife Film Festival. Learn more at

Poached will be playing at the Village East Cinema from October 9-15, daily at 12:00 / 2:15 / 4:30/ 7:15 / 10:00. The 7:15pm screening on Friday, October 9 will be followed by a special Q&A session monitored by NYC Audubon Executive Director Kathryn Heintz, featuring film director Timothy Wheeler and NYC Audubon Director of Conservation and Science Susan Elbin, among others. (Filmmaker Q&As will follow 7:15 and 10:00 showings on both Friday, Oct 9 and Sat, Oct 10.) Tickets are now available at

The Messenger is an ode to the beauty and importance of the imperiled songbird, and what it will mean to all of us on both a global and human level if we lose them. The film will be showing as part of the 8th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival at the Rubin Museum in Chelsea, on Sunday, October 18 at 6pm. NYC Audubon Director of Conservation and Science Susan Elbin and NYC Audubon Board Member and Cornell Lab of Ornithology Research Associate Andrew Farnsworth will join film director Sue Rynard for a Q&A session following the film. Tickets are now available at To learn more about the film, visit

The Messenger is part of the Rubin Museum of Art’s series on Karma that examines the repercussions of our actions, with a focus on mankind’s effect on the climate. Personalities from many walks of life will step on stage at the Rubin to share their views on global warming as well as other implications of karma and fate.The ancient concept of karma has been interpreted by many cultures around the world. In some, karma is synonymous with destiny. In Buddhism, karma is instead interpreted as a way of overcoming suffering in which we play a part; that our actions affect our conditions. Learn more about the Karma series here.

Pigeon Feeding Photo © Andrew Garn
© Andrew Garn

New York City Pigeons: An Exhibition of Photos

NYC Audubon volunteer Andrew Avian Garn is a frequent presence on our "Injured Bird Transporter" email list, coming to the rescue of birds in need of help across the City. But as it turns out, Andrew's talents extend far beyond corralling lost woodcocks and warblers into a shoebox; a selection of his photos, beautiful shots taken of New York City pigeons, is on display as part of THE FENCE, a multisite photographic exhibition. You can see Andrew's photos till October 11 in Brooklyn Bridge Park (his photos are directly under the Brooklyn Bridge). Learn more at



McGolrick Park Urban Oasis Native Garden Plating, June 2014 © Chris Kreusssling (Flatbush Gardener)
McGolrick Park Urban Oasis Planting Day, June 28, 2014 © Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener)


Make a difference for the City’s wildlife; there are many ways you can help. If you would like to volunteer for specific programs like the ones listed below, or want to learn more about ways you can contribute, please contact us at Click here to learn more ways you can volunteer.

Saturday, October 3, 11am-2pm

Last summer NYC Audubon created an "Urban Oasis" in Greenpoint's McGolrick Park, planting a native plant garden attractive to wildlife and migrating birds looking for stop-over habitat. Join us for this year's McGolrick Sweep Day and help sweep, rake, and bag leaves and trash to keep the Park's native garden, lawns, and paths beautiful and inviting to wildlife.  Nature-related children’s activities, coffee, lunch, and giveaways ensure a great time for the whole family. If you have questions please email or visit McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance's Facebook page for more information.

eBird World Map
eBird World Map Helps Visualize Bird Sightings Data from Around the World

Fall 2015 Lecture Series - At a New and Improved Venue

Our lecture series has moved! This fall's lecture series will now take place at the Central Park Zoo 4-D Theater, just north of the Arsenal building at Fifth Avenue and 65th Street. As always, lectures are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. This series has been made possible by the support of Claude and Lucienne Bloch. Click here for more information about our upcoming fall lectures.


By Andrew Farnsworth, PhD
Tuesday, November 17, 6:30pm
Central Park 4-D Theater

eBird is a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Since its launch in 2002, this citizen science project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has become an indispensable tool for researchers and birders alike, featured in numerous peer-reviewed and popular media. The eBird database recently marked its 250-millionth observation and is quickly becoming a major enterprise encompassing ornithological, ecological, sociological, and statistical research and application. Learn about its history, design, utility, and future from Andrew Farnsworth, a research associate at the Lab of Ornithology and a member of the NYC Audubon board. 

Peregrine Falcon © François Portmann
Marbled Godwit © Steve Nanz

Top and Sidebar Photos: great egret © Steve Nanz; mourning warbler © Lloyd Spitalnik; bald eagle © Lloyd Spitalnik.

* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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