The feisty great egret nestlings above were photographed last week on Hoffman Island, as part of NYC Audubon's 32nd consecutive annual Harbor Herons Nesting Survey. In all we visited 16 islands in the harbor this spring, monitoring the size and health of the islands' heron, egret, and waterbird colonies.
All the data are not yet in--but it does appear that glossy ibis and black-crowned night-herons, which were found in low numbers in 2015, have rebounded this year. Click here to view video of great egret nestlings
on South Brother Island, and here for a glimpse of double-crested cormorant chicks
on the East River's U-Thant Island. The wader colonies of Jamaica Bay, however, are now the most diverse in the harbor, home to seven species--great and snowy egrets, little blue and tricolored herons, black- and yellow-crowned night-herons, and glossy ibis--as well as double-crested cormorants, herring, great black-backed, and laughing gulls, common and Forster's terns, and American oystercatchers. Coming up, there are a number of ways to visit and celebrate the wildlife of Jamaica Bay and the harbor: Join us next Wednesday, June 8 on our first Sunset Ecocruise of the season (get your special discount!) on a three-hour tour of Jamaica Bay; or attend a special screening of the new documentary Saving Jamaica Bay at the NY Aquarium, also on June 8
. Please also join us for NYC Audubon's annual meeting and a lecture by author Donald Kroodsma on Monday, June 13
; and save the date for the "It's Your Tern" Festival, part of City of Water Day on Saturday, July 16
. Further in the future, please sign up for the International Coastal Clean up
on Saturday, September 17; and save the date for the Fall Roost on Monday, October 17
Finally, registration for NYC Audubon's summer/early fall trips and classes is now open to all. See the sidebar at right and visit our website to sign up
. We hope to see you out at a NYC Audubon birding or volunteer event soon. Happy June!
Great and Snowy Egret Nesting Cluster © NYC Audubon
Visit the Harbor Heron Islands--and Get Your Special Discount
The nesting birds of the harbor heron colonies are off limits to the public--but NYC Audubon's Sunset Ecocruises to the Harbor Heron Islands can take you there! Tours begin next Wednesday, June 8, and our first tour will visit Jamaica Bay. The ecocruises will run Wednesday evenings through August 17, and we'll once again visit three different destinations, depending on which cruise you choose: the Brother Islands, Hoffman & Swinburne Islands, and Jamaica Bay. As a friend of NYC Audubon, you will receive a special discount of $5 off tickets to Hoffman & Swinburne and Brother Islands Ecocruises, and $8 off our Jamaica Bay Ecocruise. To receive your special discount, purchase tickets online at www.nywatertaxi.com/tours/audubon and enter one of the discount coupon codes below. (Coupon is valid for online purchases only and cannot be combined with any other offer or on previously purchased tickets. Please note blackout dates may apply. Each voucher is valid for one to four people. Expires 9.31.16.)
Brother Islands and Hoffman & Swinburne Ecocruises: To receive $5 off each ticket purchased, enter the code BIRDS in the space labeled "Redeem Discount Coupon."
Jamaica Bay Ecocruise: To receive $8 off each ticket purchased, enter the code JAMAICA in the space labeled "Redeem Discount Coupon."
Visit New York Water Taxi's website for more cruise details and to purchase tickets.
Celebrate Jamaica Bay on World Oceans Day
Think globally and act locally with NYC Audubon and the Wildlife Conservation Society in commemorating World Oceans Day on Wednesday, June 8. Join us at the New York Aquarium for a special screening of the new, award-winning documentary film Saving Jamaica Bay, which celebrates this critical bird sanctuary and the devoted advocates working to protect the Bay's future.
$20 admission includes refreshments as well a performance by the New York Aquarium's famous sea lions. Doors open at 6:30pm; screening begins at 8pm. Purchase tickets at http://nyaquarium.com/wod. Learn more about the film at www.savingjamaicabay.com.
NYC AUDUBON ANNUAL MEETING AND FINAL SPRING LECTURE: LISTENING TO A CONTINENT SING
Lecture by Donald Kroodsma
Monday, June 13, 6:30pm
Central Park Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street
(***Please note that no lecture will take place on Wednesday, June 8, as previously scheduled.)
Join NYC Audubon for a brief annual meeting and board election, followed by a lecture by birdsong expert Donald Kroodsma. Author of The Singing Life of Birds
, Kroodsma will discuss his new book, Listening to a Continent Sing: Birdsong by Bicycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific
, which narrates a ten-week, ten-state bicycle journey undertaken by the author and his son. Lingering and “listening to our continent sing” on remote country roads and over vast and spectacular terrain, from dawn to dusk and sometimes through the night, the author also comments on the history of a young nation and the geology of an ancient landscape. Light refreshments will be served.
Lectures are free and open to the public. This series has been made possible by the support of Claude and Lucienne Bloch.
Baltimore Oriole © Lloyd Spitalnik
The Summering Birds of Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Saturday, June 18, 8:30-11am
Guide: Annie Barry
Meet at the entrance to Inwood Hill Park at the corner of Isham Street and Seaman Avenue. Join Annie Barry for a hike through a mature forest in search of Baltimore and orchard orioles, eastern towhees, wood thrushes, warbling vireos and other summer residents. We will then move to the shores of the Inwood Hill Park saltmarshes to search for herons and ducks. Click here to learn more and to register.
Common Tern with Chick © David Speiser
"It's Your Tern" Festival
Saturday, July 16, 10am-4pm
(Rain date Sunday, July 17, noon-4pm) South Battery Triangle, Governors Island
With Governors Island National Monument, Governors Island Alliance, Waterfront Alliance, New York Harbor School, Earth Matter, National Park Service
Free. No Registration Necessary
Come celebrate Governors Island’s treasures: common terns and oysters! Common terns, listed as a threatened species in New York State, have nested for several years on three decommissioned piers on Governors Island’s waterfront. The colony has expanded over time and benefited recently from the introduction of oyster shells as a nesting material. This year, the Tern Festival will be held from 10am to 4pm as part of Waterfront Alliance’s City of Water Day. Free activities at this year’s festival will include bird walks and talks with Gabriel Willow and Annie Barry, and hands-on activities for the whole family including art projects and a scavenger hunt. In addition to food truck options available as part of City of Water Day, Little Eva's food stand will again return to the festival.
For more information and directions to the Tern Festival, visit www. nycaudubon.org/tern-festival.
Jamaica Bay Shorebirds © François Portmann
JAMAICA BAY SHOREBIRD FESTIVAL
Saturday, August 20, 7:30am-5pm
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
With Gateway National Recreation Area and the American Littoral Society
During the past 40 years, over 40 species of shorebirds have been recorded at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge’s East and West Ponds from mid-July through October, with the greatest diversity and abundance usually occurring in August. Come to our 10th annual Shorebird Festival and enjoy presentations and expert-led walks. Free bus transportation from Manhattan to Jamaica Bay is available for NYC Audubon members at the Student/Senior level and up. Click here to learn more
INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP
Saturday, September 17, 10am-2pm (Rain Date: Sunday, September 18)
With Sadhana, American Littoral Society, and National Park Service
Join us at North Channel Bridge to take part in a multi-state effort to improve coastline habitat. The North Channel Bridge area, used by species like the American oystercatcher, is also a stone’s throw away from the Harbor Heron Islands, the newly restored Elders Point Marsh, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Help us clear the beach and raise awareness of the importance of coastal areas to birdlife. Equipment and refreshments are provided; free bus transportation from Manhattan is available (space is limited). Click here to learn more and register.
THE FALL ROOST
SAVE THE DATE: The Fall Roost will take place on Monday, October 17.
The Fall Roost raises essential funds to protect wild birds and their habitats in the five boroughs. The Roost returns this year to Guastavino’s, the exciting landmarked space under the 59th Street Bridge. The evening starts at 6:30 with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by a seated dinner. More details coming soon.
Blackpoll warblers, known for the striking black and white coloring of the spring male and the orange legs and feet of both males and females, are among the last warblers to migrate through our area. The high-pitched, echoing song of this long-distance migrant has been heard throughout our wooded parks these past few weeks. Photo © Chee Wok Yong
Top and Sidebar Photos: great egret © Steve Nanz; tricolored heron © Carol Foil*; great shearwater, common tern, bald eagle © Lloyd Spitalnik; northern harrier © dfaulder*
* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.