We're very happy to report that our annual Fall Roost Benefit, held this year at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, provided a windfall for New York City's birds! We raised nearly $190,000 for our conservation work in the City's five boroughs. And, it couldn't have come at a better time. For in the wake of this good news, the need for our conservation mission is ever more apparent. Several stories this month highlight all the work yet to be done: Our office has been deluged these past weeks with reports of injured woodcocks, which are particularly vulnerable to windows collisions as they migrate through the City. Also, several legal and political decisions came down against the interest of our wildlife this week: NY State denied a petition to ban the most toxic rodenticides, which endanger our raptor population and other wildlife; and attempts to safeguard piping plover habitat on Fire Island were unsuccessful. But our efforts—to make our city safe for migrating birds through Project Safe Flight; to protect our red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons from poisoning; and to safeguard habitat for vulnerable beach-nesting birds—will continue on, with your help. Please consider donating right now to help protect the City's birds and their habitat.
On a positive note, we have some good news to share from our volunteer program: Harbor Herons volunteer Gail Karlsson provides an entertaining report of her "seduction" by our city's beautiful waterbirds. Citizen scientist volunteers like Gail allow us to monitor these birds and ensure that their populations remain healthy. And, we have another great citizen scientist volunteer opportunity coming up: the Christmas Bird Count, which provides valuable data on bird populations in North America. Also in this issue: Upcoming trips to Brigantine (this coming Sunday) and the Winter Waterfowl Workshop at Jamaica Bay; and our December member walk.
The Tenth Annual Fall Roost Took Place Thursday, October 16, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
The 2014 Fall Roost -- A Windfall for the City's Birds!
The Tenth Annual Fall Roost was a tremendous success, raising nearly $190,000 for the protection of birds and bird habitat in the five boroughs! Thank you to the more than 200 loyal supporters and attendees who made this Fall Roost our most successful event yet -- and a fantastic night for New York City’s birds and wildlife.
Be sure to visit our slideshow of photos from the evening by David Rodgers, along with a quick recap of the night’s festivities, by clicking here
American Woodcocks Find It Particularly Difficult to Navigate New York City's Landscape during Migration. Photo © Victoria Booth
A Difficult Migration for the American Woodcock
The American woodcock, a curious and secretive ground bird that breeds in the wet woodlands of New York City, is rarely seen in its usual habitat. But these past weeks, a sad tradition was repeated here in the NYC Audubon office: We have been overwhelmed with reports of injured woodcocks, which have been migrating through in great numbers--and are particularly prone to colliding with reflective windows. This past Monday alone, we received reports of 7 woodcocks that had injured themselves and were found huddled on sidewalks and under cars all over the City. Click here to read more and see more photos on our Facebook page.
Gail Karlsson Surveys Jamaica Bay's Marshes for Wading Birds. Photo © Janet Jensen
By Gail Karlsson
Hooked on Herons:
Confessions of a ‘Citizen Scientist’
When I first stopped by NYC Audubon this past May, I didn’t realize I was in danger of developing a serious addiction problem. You may scoff, but first hear my story.
I was initially exposed to herons in the Caribbean, and soon found myself searching for sources closer to home. Not so easy in Manhattan, though I did once spy a couple of great egrets by the pond at the south end of Central Park. Then one day a friend passed me a copy of the NYC Audubon newsletter and I saw a notice about a Harbor Herons Foraging Study training–-that very night! Hours later, with high expectations and a sense of destiny, I found myself in a small room cluttered with bird books. About 15 of us sat quietly on folding chairs, nervously checking each other out, not sure what to expect. Click to continue reading on our blog, Syrinx!
Urban Red-Tailed Hawk Fledglings Like Those Shown Above (Born this Year Near Tompkins Square Park) Are Frequent Victims of Rodenticide Poisoning. Photo © François Portmann
NY State Denies Petition to Ban Toxic Rodenticides
The State of New York has denied a formal petition to restrict the use of toxic rodenticides implicated in the deaths of many raptors in our city, including red-tailed hawks and snowy owls. The petition, filed this past July by a coalition of wildlife and conservation groups including NYC Audubon, documented widespread, unintentional wildlife poisonings by a select group of highly toxic "second-generation anticoagulant" rodenticides. NYC Audubon's conservation and advocacy staff will be considering further steps to be taken in the coming days. To read the full press release on the denial of the petition, click here.
In order to protect raptors across New York City, NYC Audubon strongly encourages all property owners and managers to use alternate methods of rat control. All New Yorkers should work to handle garbage properly to reduce the availability of food for rats, to avoid the use of the most dangerous rodenticides at any time and to use other rodenticides sparingly, and never during raptor nesting periods from March-August. To read more about this issue and download our brochure on protecting our raptors, click here.
Snow Goose © Lloyd Spitalnik
Snow Geese and Tundra Swans of Brigantine
Sunday, November 9, 9:30am-7pm
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Brigantine, part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, is one of the East Coast's premier sites for waterbirds, offering a diversity of species and panoramic views. Transport by passenger van included.
Click here to register and for more information.
Piping Plover © Don Freiday/USFWS
Future of Fire Island Piping Plover Habitat Uncertain
The proposed Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Stabilization Project (FIMI Project), part of a longer-term strategy of coastal storm management along Long Island’s South Shore, is expected to damage critical nesting habitat for endangered piping plovers. Unfortunately, efforts failed this fall to modify or halt the project. Erin Crotty, Audubon New York’s executive director, issued the following statement after the state chapter’s legal efforts were unsuccessful: “Audubon New York is very disappointed in the District Court’s decision denying our motion for a preliminary injunction. While we remain steadfast in our science-based concerns about the project’s impacts on critical Piping Plover habitat and the species, we will not be appealing the decision to the Second Circuit. Audubon calls on elected officials and government agencies to ensure the mitigation proposed to offset critical habitat and piping plover loss is funded, carried out, and successful. Audubon will continue to actively monitor the implementation of this precedent setting coastal recovery project and future projects on Long Island. Storms like Hurricane Sandy are our new reality, and we must develop smarter, sustainable solutions to protect our communities and natural resources.”
Northern Shovelers and American Wigeons at Jamaica Bay NWR © Laura Meyers
Winter Waterfowl Workshop
Saturday, December 6, 10am-1pm
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center for a slide ID program and walk to look for wintering waterfowl. Learn about their behavior and biology and how to identify them in the field. To register, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or email@example.com. Limited to 25. Free
Guides: Don Riepe, Tod Winston
With Gateway National Recreation Area
Get to the Workshop the easy way -- in our van! Don't have easy transportation to the refuge? Meet us on 23rd Street, and get there in style. Click here to reserve your seat.
Purple Finch © Lloyd Spitalnik
DECEMBER BIRD WALK IN CENTRAL PARK
Wednesday, December 10, 7:30-9am
Meet at Central Park West and 72nd Street for a members-only walk. Come brave the chilly weather and spot some of Central Park's best wintering birds with NYC Audubon Communications Manager Tod Winston. Please call Angela Januzzi at 212-691-7483 x306 to register. Limited to 20. Free for Contributing NYC Audubon members at the Student/Senior level and up
Great Horned Owl © Don Riepe
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.
THE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
Come out for a fun day in the wintry weather and help our city's birds, on the 115th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count! Anyone can take part in the count tradition. The collected data from this annual citizen-science tradition will be added to an ever-growing database that provides valuable information to scientists who study winter bird populations across North America. Click here for more information on how you can participate in this year’s count.
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet © Laura Meyers
Top and Sidebar Photos: Great egret © Steve Nanz; Green-Winged Teal @ Jan Arendtsz*; surf scoters @ Lloyd Spitalinik; harlequin ducks © David Speiser; roseate spoonbill © Michael McCarthy*