The Egret
October News & Events

NYC Audubon Celebrates 30 Years of Conservation

Great Egret, © Steve Nanz

Greetings fron NYC Audubon!  Fall migrants have come through in fits and starts this year, as the weather has shifted from rain to the "Indian Summer" of the last few days.  We know many of you have been out drumming up migrants in Manhattan's Central Park, Brooklyn's Prospect Park, and Queens' Jamaica Bay.  This weekend, the weather looks to be clear and sunny, so we hope you'll come explore another great borough for birding: Staten Island!  On Sunday naturalist Gabriel Willow will be visiting the higest point on Staten Island, Moses Mountain, to look for migrating raptors and passerines. You can read more about that, as well as other upcoming events, at right.  And, read on, to learn about NYC Audubon's position on a current proposal that poses a threat to New York City's birds in all of our boroughs. 

Piping Plover
The endangered piping plover is among those species that may be preyed upon by feral cats. Photo © Steve Nanz.

 Feral Cat Provision Poses Threat to NYC Birdlife
  By Kate Walker
On July 27 the Mayor’s Office, the New York City Council, the NYC Department of Health, and other city agencies announced plans to enhance services for animals in shelters across the city, a noble cause.  But a key component to the legislation is a Trap-Neuter-Return program, called TNR for short, which will actively maintain the city’s feral cat colonies. TNR programs, which are unfortunately being adopted nationwide, are disastrous for birds and other small wildlife.  They are strongly frowned upon by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. In a video created by the American Bird Conservancy, Dr. Paul Barrows, a former Army veterinarian, refers to TNR programs as “an ecological disaster.”  Learn more...

 Make a Difference
with SocialPakt

SocialPakt is an innovative, socially conscious new company that donates a portion of proceeds from its products to non-profit partners.  Next week the company will be debuting an original t-shirt design by Brooklyn painter and illustrator Bennie Wells, in partnership with NYC Audubon.  Bennie has married the urban landscape of NYC with the natural elements of the NYC Audubon Society to make a very compelling piece. We don’t want to give too much away, so we’ll just tell you that the shirt will be available from October 17th – October 23rd, and a signed version will be up for sale at the Fall Roost on October 18th.  We will send out an email to remind you when the T-Shirt is available next Monday.  In the meantime, you can learn more about the company here.

Wood Thrush
The wood thrush is among the bird species that will most benefit from restoration work in Van Cortlandt Park.  This subtly colored bird with the beautiful voice is particularly dependent on restored forest understory for both nesting and foraging habitat.  Photo © David Speiser.

Botanize the Bronx's
Van Cortlandt Park!

Saturday, October 22, 9:30am - 2pm
With New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Come spend the morning in lovely Van Cortlandt Park, and help restore the woodlands for both nesting birds and migrants!  Meet at the Kelly Fields ball field on the western edge of Van Cortlandt Park, at Broadway and West 269th Street. As part of the Million Trees NYC initiative, we will be helping to plant 6,000 trees in one day! These trees are integral to important restoration efforts in Van Cortlandt Park that will improve foraging and nesting habitat for migratory and breeding birds. Tools and instruction provided. Please contact John Rowden for more information and to register, at

Upcoming Member Events
Member events are free for contributing NYC Audubon Members at the Student/Senior level and up.
November Member Walk in Central Park
Sunday, November 13, 8-10am

Audubon Board President Harry Maas will lead us through Central Park searching for waterfowl at the reservoir and other cool surprises. Please contact Membership Coordinator Emily Loffredo to register.

Save the Date: Fall Roost 2011, October 18
Reminder: Fall Roost 2011

This year's Fall Roost is just a week away, on Tuesday, October 18, from 6-9pm. This important event raises money to support NYC Audubon's conservation and education programs.  This year NYC Audubon will honor three New Yorkers for their outstanding contributions on behalf of the city’s birds: George J. Mullen, Jr., Peter Joost, and Maria Torres. Mr. Mullen is a Senior Consultant at Fiduciary Trust Company International and an advisor of NYC Audubon and other bird conservation groups. Mr. Joost, educator at New York's St. Bernard’s School and NYC Audubon board member, has worked tirelessly to protect birds in New York and Ecuador. Ms. Torres, President and Chief Operations Officer of The Point, a non-profit dedicated to the  youth  of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, was instrumental in acquiring South Brother Island as a bird sanctuary.  For more information, please contact Aileen Ruddy at 212-717-9423 or

Ruddy DuckRuddy duck © David Speiser.

Thanks to volunteer Kate Walker for her contributions to this issue. 
Photo of Great Egret © Steve Nanz.