Snowy Owl © François Portmann
A Victory for Snowy Owls
Thanks to the thousands of concerned people who contacted the Port Authority and signed petitions to protest snowy owl cullings at JFK Airport in early December 2013, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to immediately implement a trap and relocate program. Click here to read the full story
Central Park Christmas Count Teams Admire a Cooperative Red-tailed Hawk. Photo © NYC Audubon
The 114th Annual Christmas Bird Count
Harbor Seals Often Sun Themselves on the Rocks of Tiny Swinburne Island. Photo © Steve Nanz
The Audubon Christmas Bird Count was carried out in all five boroughs this past month, as intrepid birders braved cold, snow, and ice to take an important "snapshot" of winter bird populations. Many exciting sightings were to be had across the City including a good number of our visiting snowy owls, as well as unexpectedly hardy neotropical migrants such as Central Park's one stalwart Baltimore oriole. Results have yet to be published, but you can read all about the Central Park count here, on Syrinx
The Seals and Wintering Ducks Have Arrived!
Don't forget to reserve your spot on one of our Winter Seals and Waterbirds of New York Harbor tours, starting Sunday, January 12 and running through March 9. Gabriel Willow is back at the helm of these entertaining river tours, which seek out wintering harbor seals as well as loons, sea ducks, and purple sandpipers that have traveled from the far north to find refuge in New York's safe harbor. Complimentary hot cocoa and tea included!
Yucatán Jays © Tony Hisgett*
PLEASE NOTE: Tours are now scheduled to run from 12-2pm instead of 2-4pm. New York Water Taxi will update their site soon to reflect the change.
Click here to learn more and register.
Whooping Cranes Are Among the Species at Risk from Poorly Sited and Operated Wind Projects. Photo © Connie Barr
Wind Turbines Pose a Major Threat to Birds
A new study shows that in spite of updated designs, US wind turbines are killing hundreds of thousands of birds annually—a number that may balloon to about 1.4 million per year by 2030, when the ongoing industry expansion being encouraged by the federal government is expected to be fully implemented.
Read the complete story at the American Bird Conservancy website.
Experience the Natural and Cultural Wonders of the Yucatán:
Saturday, February 15 – Monday, February 24, 2014
Yucatán: Cozumel Island, Río Lagartos, and the Ancient Mayan Ruins
Guides: Gabriel Willow, Local Guides
Enjoy a winter birding escape in the land of the ancient Maya! The Yucatán Peninsula is a place famous for its own unique history--and it is also replete with its own unique birds. There are many species and subspecies of bird named for the Yucatán, including Yucatán jay, parrot, bobwhite, nightjar, flycatcher, and woodpecker. Highlights of this tour include rich coral reefs and endemic birds on Cozumel Island, the nesting grounds of the American flamingo in Río Lagartos, and the breath-taking Mayan ruins near Valladolid. There is still time to sign up for this incredible opportunity.
Click here to find out how and to see a full tour description!
Osprey © François Portmann
Do You Know a Potential NYC Audubon KIDS Member?
NYC Audubon isn't just for grown-up birders. We are now offering free KIDS memberships for kids ages 8-12. KIDS Members will receive our children's magazine, Look Around New York City, invitations to special KIDS bird walks, a 10% discount on most local family expeditions, and more! To become a NYC Audubon KIDS Member, parents should email KIDS@nycaudubon.org.
Click here to view our KIDS Membership webpage for more info.
Resplendent Quetzal © Fabio Bretto*
Hummingbird by Vik Muniz. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
"Tweet" Bird Song Workshops
It's not too late to visit Children’s Museum of the Arts' "Tweet," an exhibition of lovely bird art. In conjunction with the exhibit, NYC Audubon is offering a series of Bird Call Workshops for children: Workshop participants will discover how and why birds sing, learn different bird calls and songs, and try to recreate some of those sounds on their own. Afterwards, participants will have time in the museum's sound booth to create their very own bird song recording, which will be featured on the Children's Museum of the Arts blog. The final workshops are Sunday, January 11 and Thursday, January 23.
Please check cmany.org/events/tweet for more information.
Costa Rica: Monteverde and Caño Negro
Sunday, March 8–Saturday, March 15
Guides: Glenn Phillips, Richard Garrigues
Explore some of Costa Rica’s richest wildlife areas with Richard Garrigues, author of The Birds of Costa Rica, and our own Glenn Phillips. Visit Costa Rica's most famous birding destination: Monteverde! Home to resplendent quetzals, black guans, emerald toucanets, and many more cloud forest species, Monteverde has a well deserved reputation.
Click here to learn more and register.
Using the Common Core to Teach About Climate Change and Bird Migration
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Gateway National Recreation Area are co-hosting a Professional Development Day for high school teachers on Monday, February 3, 2013, from 9am to 3pm at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: “Using the Common Core to Teach About Climate Change and Bird Migration.” Teachers will enjoy a day out at the Refuge, do some bird-watching, learn about how climate change is impacting wildlife in New York City, and how they can integrate these issues into their classrooms.
You can see the full course description and registration information on the NWF website. (Scroll down a bit to find the description.)
Bobolink © Lloyd Spitalnik
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.
CONSERVING GRASSLAND BIRDS ON MILITARY LANDS
By Nellie Tsipoura
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 6pm
In the Northeast, once extensive grassland habitats have been lost, fragmented, or degraded. Lands managed through state or federal landowner incentive programs and large grasslands associated with airports have become increasingly important for the conservation of declining grassland birds. Nellie Tsipoura, senior research scientist and director of citizen science at New Jersey Audubon, will discuss her chapter’s work with both landowner programs and airports, and share some of the research and lessons learned.
THE HORSESHOE CRAB: REGIONAL, NATIONAL, AND INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES
By Mark Botton
Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 6pm
Mark L. Botton is professor of biology in the Department of Natural Sciences at Fordham University and co-chairman of the IUCN Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group. Horseshoe crab eggs are a crucial food source for migratory shorebirds. Valued in the biomedical industry and often used as fishing bait, horseshoe crabs are also being impacted by global climate change and beach erosion. This talk will review the many important roles of horseshoe crabs and discuss conservation efforts in the US and Southeast Asia.
Fox Sparrow © Laura Meyers
Top and Sidebar Photos: great egret © Steve Nanz; ring-necked duck © Steve Nanz; surf scoters © Ómar Runólfsson*; American flamingos © Sergey Yeliseev*; turquoise-browed motmot © Jerry Kirkhart*; roseate spoonbill © Richard Garrigues.
* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.