We hope many of you have gotten outdoors with your binoculars in recent days! Favorable winds early in the week brought a dazzling variety of hungry, migrating warblers, orioles, and tanagers to our city parks
. Central Park seemed the place to be on Monday, when warm temperatures provided the perfect conditions for a number of termite "hatch-outs"--giving lucky onlookers eye-level views of feasting warblers. Up to 25 warbler species were rumored to have been spotted in the park on Monday, including Cape May, Blackburnian, and hooded. Queens and Brooklyn had plenty of excitement this week as well, including a red-headed woodpecker in Forest Park and Kentucky and prothonotary warblers in Prospect Park. The birding excitement continued through the week, as a summer tanager, blue grosbeak, and rare mourning warbler made appearances in the City. A good opportunity to get out and bird this weekend is Saturday's Bronx Zoo Birdathon. Click here to learn more and register.
The beauty of our spring migrants underscores the importance of a great victory for our birds this month: New York State will adopt Lights Out New York policies in all state-owned and -managed buildings, an important step in protecting night-migrating birds. NYC Audubon is proud to see its Lights Out New York program adapted on a large scale, thanks to advocacy work by Audubon New York in Albany. An important tool in understanding the dangers our city poses for migrants is our online data collection tool, D-Bird, which now is easily usable on your mobile phone or other device. And for those of you who haven't yet heard: Another great conservation victory this past month was the discovery of a pair of nesting bald eagles on Staten Island.
Also in this issue: Rara Avis, a screening tomorrow at the New-York Historical Society; don't miss Monday's Lecture, A Bird's-Eye View of Israel; Sunset Ecocruises to the Harbor Heron Islands Begin June 7; Visit Brooklyn's Parakeets on June 13; member events; and a successful April Plumb Beach cleanup. Happy May!
Special Note to Our Members: Registration for summer and early fall Events and Adventures opens on Monday, May 11 for NYC Audubon Contributing Members. (Registration for all will open on Monday, May 25.)
Lights Out New York
Marking a victory for New York State's migratory birds, last week Governor Cuomo's office announced a new Lights Out New York initiative that will bring migrant-friendly practices promoted by NYC Audubon’s Lights Out program to all state-owned properties across New York State. Thanks to efforts by Audubon New York in Albany, state-owned and managed buildings will turn off non-essential outdoor lighting from 11pm to dawn during peak spring and fall migration. Read more here. The Governor's office also launched www.iloveny.com/birding, which will provide visitors with information on birding and how to participate in the new Lights Out initiative.
There is also hope that New York City will adopt similar bird-friendly policies: The new OneNYC plan announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office last month includes good news for nocturnal migrants, complementing NYC Audubon’s Lights Out New York program. The plan asserts that the City will work to pass a version of the Lights Out Bill (Intro. 578/2014), recently introduced by the City Council to require vacant offices and retail spaces to shut off their lights at night.
D-Bird Goes Mobile
NYC Audubon is proud to announce a major update to D-Bird, our crowd-sourced bird mortality data collection tool: D-Bird reports can now be submitted from a mobile device!
When a user visits http://www.d-bird.org/ on their smartphone browser, they will be able to click a button that provides their current location, date, and time. This way, as soon as a user finds a dead or injured bird they can file a report on the spot in the most simple and accurate way possible. Please bookmark http://www.d-bird.org/ on your smartphone browser so that you can be ready to submit a report. Visitors to the desktop version of D-Bird will also notice that the reporting form has received a facelift – the data entry process is now more streamlined and intuitive.
Since its launch last year, D-Bird has collected 294 reports of dead or injured birds in the city; a saddening statistic, to be sure, but one that is loaded with valuable information. Now you have the power to help us make the City a safer place for birds. Click here to see an interactive map of D-Bird results and to learn more about Project Safe Flight.
European Bee-Eater © Dorit Bar-Zakay*
Upcoming NYC Audubon Lectures
Unless otherwise noted, all lectures are free and open to the public, and are held at The Arsenal, Central Park, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, third-floor gallery. This series has been made possible by the support of Claude and Lucienne Bloch.
A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF ISRAEL
By Dan Alon, Noam Weiss, Jonathan Meyrav, and Amir Balaban
Monday, May 11, 6pm
Israel is a truly incredible place for birds and birding. Half a billion birds pass through Israel twice a year, making it the second largest migratory flyway in the world. Over 540 species of birds have been recorded in Israel, a country the size of New Jersey. From the snow-covered peak of Mount Hermon in the north, through the low-lying Dead Sea Valley and south to the granite peaks of the Eilat Mountains, Israel boasts an avifauna that is second only to the tropics. Join distinguished birders from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) Dan Alon, Noam Weiss, Jonathan Meyrav, and Amir Balaban as they discuss birding, the miracle of migration, and work being done to protect and provide for birds in Israel.
CONSERVATION PROGRAM UPDATE AND ANNUAL MEETING
By Susan Elbin, PhD, and Conservation Staff
Wednesday, June 10, 6pm
NYC Audubon conducts scientific monitoring in all five boroughs to understand how birds are using our urban environment and how this environment affects them, via Project Safe Flight, our Jamaica Bay program, and our Harbor Herons project. Join us as Susan Elbin and research staffers Darren Klein, Debra Kriensky, and Tod Winston provide updates on what this research has taught us in the past year. Our board election will precede the meeting. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.
One of Staten Island's New Breeding Pair © Christopher Palladino
Bald Eagles Have Come Home to Nest!
Many of you have already heard the great news: For the first time in at least 200 years, a pair of bald eagles has decided to raise a family in the City's five boroughs! NYC Audubon was thrilled to announce the milestone last month, when Staten Island naturalist Seth Wollney reported that he and fellow Staten Island birders had been monitoring the nest and observed brooding behavior, indicating that the birds were incubating eggs. The birds have been nicknamed Vito and Linda (click here to read the moving story of how the pair got their names.) The eagles' nesting site on Staten Island's south shore has not been disclosed in order to protect the birds. Read more about this exciting story here.
Great Egrets Have Already Returned to Nest on New York City's Harbor Heron Islands. Photo © Laura Meyers
NYC Audubon Sunset Ecocruises Begin Sunday, June 7: Get Your Tickets Now!
Our 2014 Sunset Ecocruises to the Harbor Heron Islands begin Sunday, June 7. Don't miss your chance to visit the thriving egret, heron, and ibis colonies that find their home on wild islands right here in New York Harbor. Cruises will run selected Sundays through August 16. Visit New York Water Taxi's website for more information and for tickets
American Flamingo by John James Audubon
This Weekend at the New-York Historical Society
Don't miss a special showing of the new film, Rara Avis: John James Audubon and the Birds of America, at The New-York Historical Society this Saturday, May 2 at 3:30pm. Entry to the film and Q&A with writer-director Al Reinert is included with museum admission. No advanced reservations; entry is first-come, first-served beginning at 3pm. Click here for more information.
Also: Audubon’s Aviary: The Final Flight (Part III of The Complete Flock), is on view through May 10. Click here for more information.
Monk Parakeets © Ferran Pestaña*
Visit Our City's Parakeets
Saturday, June 13, 10am–1pm Guide: Gabriel Willow
With Green-Wood Cemetery
Meet at the cemetery entrance at 5th Avenue and 25th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn. Green-Wood Cemetery is rich in both history and wildlife. It is also the highest point in Brooklyn, affording marvelous views. We will explore its environs in search of spring migrants and its most unique avian residents: the huge flocks of brilliant green monk parakeets that nest there. Native to South America, these charming immigrants are surprisingly hardy and flourish even in our harsh winters. Learn more and register
Savannah Sparrows Breed in Floyd Bennett Field, Beloved and Protected by the Late Jean Bourque. Photo © Steve Nanz
JUNE MEMBER WALK IN INWOOD HILL PARK
Tuesday, June 2, 7:30-9am
Meet Kellye Rosenheim at Inwood Hill Park’s entrance at 218th Street to look for late-spring migrants and nesting birds in Inwood’s mature urban forest. Call 212-691-7483 x306 to register. Free for Contributing NYC Audubon members at the Student/Senior level and up
VAN TRIP TO A MEMORIAL TO JEAN BOURQUE: NATURE OF FLOYD BENNETT FIELD, BROOKLYN
Saturday, June 20, 7:45am-1pm (end time approximate)
Guides: Steve Nanz/Jerry Layton (insects, dragonflies, butterflies), Marielle Anzelone (plants, botany), Peter Dorosh (general)
Presented by the Brooklyn Bird Club
With the National Park Service
Come with NYC Audubon to celebrate the memory of friend and conservationist Jean Bourque. Limited to 12. To register, call Kellye Rosenheim at 212-691-7483 x306. Free for Contributing NYC Audubon members at the Student/Senior level and up
To learn more about the memorial walk for Jean Bourque, click here.
Note to Our Members: Registration for summer and early fall Events and Adventures opens on Monday, May 11 for NYC Audubon Contributing Members. (Registration for all will open on Monday, May 25.)
Volunteers Clean Up Plumb Beach. Photo © NYC Audubon
Volunteers Clean Up!
On Saturday, April 18, a group of 70 NYC Audubon volunteers gathered at Plumb Beach to help get the beach cleaned up for the arrival of the horseshoe crabs. In all, the group worked for three hours and cleaned up more than 150 bags of trash and debris. Many thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers, and to the National Park Service, The Mission Continues, Kenneth Cole, and NYC H2O.
A Summer Tanager Has Been Spotted This Past Week in the Central Park Ramble. Photo © Lloyd Spitalnik
Top and Sidebar Photos: great egret © Steve Nanz; Cape May warbler © David Speiser; ruddy turnstones and red knots © Lloyd Spitalnik.
* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.