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
Ring-Necked Duck © Steve Nanz

January and Selected February Local Events

Click here to see ALL Events & Adventures

NOTE: Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor tours will run from 12-2pm instead of 2-4pm 

1/1: New Year's Day Beachwalk, Breezy Point, Queens

1/8: January Lecture: Grassland Birds

1/11: Tweet Birdcall Workshop at Children's Museum of the Arts

1/12: Photo-Workshop: Winter Waterfowl of Long Beach Island/ Barnegat Light, NJ

1/12: Winter Birding along the Hudson: Wave Hill

1/12: Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor

1/18: Snow Birds of Floyd Bennett Field and Fort Tilden, Queens

1/19: Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor

1/23: Tweet Birdcall Workshop at Children's Museum of the Arts

1/26: Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor

2/2: Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor

2/5: Camera Club

2/9: Winter Birding Along the Hudson: Wave Hill

2/9: Photography Workshop: Central Park Feeders and Reservoir

2/9: Soaring Raptors: Eagles and Owls of the Hudson River Valley, NY

2/9: Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor

2/14: The Great Backyard Bird Count begins

2/16: Late Winter Birdwalk at Jamaica Bay

2/16: Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor

2/18: February Lecture: Horseshoe Crabs

2/23: Winter Seals and Waterbirds of NY Harbor

2/25: Winter at Jones Beach, LI

 

Ongoing Local Events

Van Cortlandt Bird Walks:  Saturdays, 8-9:30am till December 7 

 

Upcoming Overnight Trips

Click here to see ALL overnight trips


Surf Scoter © Omar Runólfsson
 
MONTAUK WINTER WEEKEND: SEALS, SEA BIRDS AND SANDY BEACHES, LONG ISLAND, NY
Friday, January 10 - Sunday, January 12, 2014
Guides: Mike Bottini, Mickey Cohen, Don Riepe, Tod Winston
Visit the vast dunes, beaches and woods at Montauk during peak sea bird season and hike the beautiful "Walking Dunes," Hither Woods, Oyster Pond and the "Seal Haul-out" site. Includes double-occupancy lodging at the luxurious Manor House, most meals, guided hikes, evening programs, a star watch, and free pickup at the LIRR station in Montauk. To register, contact Don Riepe at 917-371-8577 or donriepe@gmail.com. Limited to 60. $385 ($125 single room supplement) 


American Flamingos © Sergey Yeliseev (Flickr Creative Commons License)

YUCATÁN, MEXICO
Saturday, February 15 – Monday, February 24
Guides: Gabriel Willow, Local Guides
Visit the magical land of the Maya: the Yucatan Peninsula of Southern Mexico. Explore ancient Mayan ruins; swim in the Caribbean and explore coral reefs; and of course, see the amazing bird life of the region: from parrots and toucans to flamingos and trogons, along with many of our wintering neotropical migrants. Includes one pre-trip workshop, lodging, local transportation, most meals, and all park fees. Limited to 12. $2,295 per person (double occupancy, $450 single room supplement). Click here for a full tour description and day-by-day itinerary. Please contact Adriana Palmer at apalmer@nycaudubon.org or 212-691-7483 x304 to learn more and register.


Turqoise-Browed Motmot © Jerry Kirkhart (Flickr Creative Commons License)

COSTA RICA: MONTEVERDE AND CAÑO NEGRO
Saturday, March 8-Saturday, March 15
Guides: Glenn Phillips, Richard Garrigues
Our 2014 Costa Rica expedition will visit its 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. Other highlights include the Celeste Mountain Lodge, known for its fine French cuisine as well as for rarities such as tody motmot and yellow-eared toucanet; and Caño Negro, where Nicaraguan grackle, lesser yellow-headed vulture, and even jabiru are possible. Includes two pre-trip workshops, lodging, local transportation, most meals, and all park fees. Limited to 12. $1,995 ($300 single room supplement). Click here to see a full tour description and day-by-day itinerary. Please contact Adriana Palmer at apalmer@nycaudubon.org or 212-691-7483 x304 to learn more and register.

 


The eGret
January 2014


The last days of 2013 have been busy: On top of the usual pre-holiday frenzy, the New York City area has been treated to a frenzy of snowy owls!  It looks to be a big irruption year for these charismatic visitors from the far north; they have shown up in good numbers in and around Jamaica Bay and along the barrier islands. In early December, we achieved a great victory in an agreement by the Port Authority to begin a snowy owl trap and relocate program at area airports. After reports of snowy owl cullings at JFK Airport provoked universal outrage, NYC Audubon and Audubon New York teamed together with other local conservation organizations and concerned citizens to put pressure on the Port Authority to quickly change their policy. We're very happy with the result.  

Make your end-of-year 2013 gift to NYC Audubon today to help us continue to advocate for snowy owls and all of New York City's wildlife and habitat.

Also in this issue: The 114th annual Christmas Bird Count; our Winter Seals and Waterbirds Ecocruises start up in January; bad news on birds and wind turbines; winter escapes to the Yucatán and Costa Rica; our new NYC Audubon KIDS membership program and the Tweet Exhibit at Children's Museum of the Arts;  a workshop on teaching about climate change for local high school teachers; and our January 8 and February 18 lectures.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
 

 
Snowy Owl © François Portmann
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
Central Park Christmas Count Teams Admire a Cooperative Red-tailed Hawk. Photo © NYC Audubon

 

The 114th Annual Christmas Bird Count

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.
 
 
Harbor Seal © Steve Nanz
Harbor Seals Often Sun Themselves on the Rocks of Tiny Swinburne Island. Photo © Steve Nanz
 

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!

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 Crane © Connie Barr
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.
 
 
Yucatán Jays © Tony Hisgett (Flickr Creative Commons  License)
Yucatán Jays © Tony Hisgett*
 

Experience the Natural and Cultural Wonders of the Yucatán:
Yucatán: Cozumel Island, Río Lagartos, and the Ancient Mayan Ruins

Saturday, February 15 – Monday, February 24, 2014
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
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. 



Hummingbird by Vik Muniz. Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
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.


 
 
Resplendent Quetzal © Fabio Bretto*
Resplendent Quetzal © Fabio Bretto*


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.

 
 

Photo © Don Riepe

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
Bobolink © Lloyd Spitalnik
 

Upcoming Lectures

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
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.
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