Black-Capped Chickadee © Laura Meyers
A Snowy Owl Visits Jamaica Bay © François Portmann
A Successful Year of Protecting Our Birds... and Much More to Do
Make an End-of-Year Gift Now to Help Us Fight for the City's Birds and Their Habitat.
As 2014 races to a close, here at NYC Audubon we are celebrating the accomplishments of this past year in protecting our City’s birds—and looking forward to meeting the challenges ahead. Our conservation work focuses on protecting wild birds and their habitat in all five boroughs of New York City, and we accomplish this through two major program areas: Project Safe Flight (PSF), making the City safer for migratory birds, and Waterbirds of the Greater New York Harbor. This past spring and fall, PSF citizen science volunteers patrolled routes throughout the City for dead and injured birds; we launched a new online database, D-Bird, for citizens to report dead or injured birds; we again monitored the September 11 Memorial Tribute in Light; and we partnered with colleagues to evaluate bird-safe glass using our flight tunnel. We led the local community in creating a new urban oasis in McGolrick Park, Brooklyn, which will provide good food for migrants as they "stop over." As part of our Waterbirds Program, we conducted our annual waterbird nesting survey and found stable heron and egret numbers in the harbor. We also raised awareness of beach-nesting birds through our Be a Good Egg program, monitored American oystercatcher, common tern, and horseshoe crab populations—and cleaned up beach habitat for all these species with help of hundreds of volunteers.
As we head into 2015, we are continuing the work resulting from two major successes of our advocacy program. Click here to read more about our work with snowy owls and protecting Jamaica Bay...
Also in this issue: The Christmas Bird Count (the Bronx is yet to come!); sign up now for Winter Seals & Waterbirds; an update on Project Safe Flight; the flight tunnel in the news; register for winter birding adventures, including a Montauk weekend with Gabriel Willow; our Jan. 20 lecture, Mysteries of Migration; and Volunteer!
Happy December, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year from all of us at NYC Audubon.
The Christmas Bird Count Is Still Under Way!
NYC Audubon helped kick off the 115th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count by hosting Manhattan's Central Park compilation gathering on Sunday, December 14. Together, we tallied 4,315 birds and 57 species in the park.
Though the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island counts are now completed, the Bronx count is still to come on Sunday, December 28. We encourage all to join in! Click here to visit our Christmas Bird Count page to learn more.
Harbor Seals Often Sun Themselves on the Rocks of Tiny Swinburne Island. Photo © Mike Baird*
Get Your Tickets Now for Winter Seals & Waterbirds!
Don't forget to reserve your spot on one of our Winter Seals and Waterbirds of New York Harbor tours, starting Sunday, January 11 and running through March 8, from 12-2pm. Wintering harbor seals are back, as are loons, sea ducks, and purple sandpipers that have traveled from the far north to find refuge in New York City's safe harbor. Complimentary hot cocoa and tea included!
Click here to learn more and register!
Golden-Crowned Kinglet © Alison Rea
By Debra Kriensky
Project Safe Flight Update: Fall 2014
Fall migration has come to an end, and we have now tallied up our findings from this autumn's Project Safe Flight efforts. In all, a total of 78 dead and injured birds were found by our dedicated Project Safe Flight volunteers this fall, who go out every week during migration rain or shine to help us determine where birds are colliding with glass around the City. Monitoring took place at several sites this fall, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), Bryant Park, and the Richard Meier building on Prospect Park. Several new sites were monitored this year as well, such as Lerner Hall on Columbia University’s campus and the Ford Foundation Building. The MET and Bryant Park continue to be collision hotspots for migrating birds. Even with fencing obstructing parts of the route at the MET for the first few weeks of migration, our volunteers still found 50 birds there over the course of 10 weeks.
In addition to our Project Safe Flight data, our new online data entry tool, D-Bird, provided us with information about dead and injured bird sightings from all over New York City and for the first time, we were able to combine that information with our Project Safe Flight data. What we found was alarming: a total of 237 dead and injured birds from August to early December. Read more and see charts of our fall 2014 Project Safe Flight data on Syrinx.
Our Flight Tunnel, in the News
Our Flight Tunnel was in high gear this season, helping us to continue efforts to help develop bird-friendly glass. National Geographic featured the tunnel project in a story on their website.
Bald Eagle © Laura Meyers
Harlequin Ducks © Lloyd Spitalnik
Winter Waterfowl Weekend at Montauk
Saturday, February 21 - Sunday, February 22
Guide: Gabriel Willow
The gatherings of sea ducks around Montauk Point are the largest winter concentrations in New York State; the Christmas bird count on Montauk Point consistently tallies from 125 to 135 species, one of the best totals in the Northeast. Species that come to feed on the Point’s rich kelp and mussel beds include common and red-throated loon, common eider, all three scoter species, bufflehead, common goldeneye, great cormorant, and red-breasted merganser. Harlequin duck and king eider also occur here regularly during the winter. Accommodations at Daunt's Albatross in Montauk. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $300 ($25 single supplement). Click here to register!
Arctic Tern © Ekaterina Papchinskaya*
MYSTERIES OF MIGRATION
Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 6pm
By Giff Beaton
Join professional birding guide, lecturer, and author Giff Beaton for an in-depth look at the amazing feats of endurance and navigation many bird species accomplish twice a year. With lavish images and maps, this talk will bring insight into a complex and fascinating subject and will leave attendees with an enhanced appreciation for the hazards migrating birds surmount, and the impressive physical abilities they display, each spring and fall.
Volunteers Cleaning Up Plumb Beach © NYC Audubon
Work in NYC Audubon’s friendly office or in the field and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
. Click here to learn more ways you can volunteer.
Downy Woodpecker © Ellen Michaels
Top and Sidebar Photos: Great egret © Steve Nanz; snow buntings, common eider @ Lloyd Spitalnik; harlequin ducks @ David Speiser; roseate spoonbill © Michael McCarthy*