New York City Audubon champions nature in the city’s five boroughs through a combination of engaging and entertaining programs, and innovative conservation campaigns.
New York City Audubon
Tree Swallows © Laura Meyers

April and Selected May Local Events

Click here to see ALL Events & Adventures


4/12: Photo-Workshop: Songbird Migrants and Insects in Prospect Park

4/13: Spring Birding at Wave Hill, the Bronx

4/16: Birds & Plants I: The NY Botanical Garden in Springtime, The Bronx

4/19: Birds & Plants II: The NY Botanical Garden in Springtime, The Bronx

4/23: Wednesday Evening Spring Migration Walks in Central Park

4/24: Introduction to Bird Song

4/26: Spring Migration Workshop at Jamaica Bay

5/1: Spring Warblers

5/3: Biking & Birding: Clove Lake and Silver Lake Parks, Staten Island

5/3: Explore the Bronx River

5/7: Camera Club

5/9: Peak Migration Day at Alley Pond Park and Jamaica Bay

5/10: Sterling Forest Warblers

5/16: Biking & Birding: Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

5/17: Spring Migration on Randall's Island

5/17: Red Knots and Horseshoe Crabs at Jamaica Bay

5/17: Jamaica Bay Sunset Cruise

5/18: Nesting Peregrines and Red-tails of the Upper West Side, Manhattan

5/22: Biking & Birding: Jamaica Bay

5/31: The Birds of Woodlawn Cemetery

5/31: Red Knots and Horseshoe Crabs at Jamaica Bay

 

Ongoing Local Events

Birding for Families:  Sundays, 10-11am, through May 25 

Van Cortlandt Bird Walks:  Saturdays, 8-9:30am, through August 30 

Birding Tours of Bryant Park: Mondays and Thursdays, through May 22 

 

Upcoming Overnight Trips

Click here to see ALL overnight trips

 
Tricolored Heron © Steve Nanz

CAPE MAY SPRING MIGRATION WEEKEND
Saturday, April 26, 9am – Sunday, April 27, 7pm
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Come welcome the spring in lovely Cape May, NJ, the East’s capital of birding. On good spring migration days, the area’s forests and marshes are swarming with warblers in breeding plumage. We’ll visit Cape May Point, Higbee Beach, Cape May Meadows, and more in search of returning songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, and terns. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 10. $325 ($50 single supplement). Click here to register

 
American Puffins © Steve Nanz

PUFFINS, WARBLERS, AND LOBSTER BOATS: THE ENCHANTING COAST OF MAINE
Saturday, May 24–Sunday, June 1
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Join Maine native Gabriel Willow in exploring the Maine coast, home to Atlantic puffins, moose, shorebirds, warblers, and other migratory songbirds. Stay in charming Camden and on the lovely and remote Monhegan Island, a birder’s paradise where seeing 25-30 warbler species in a day is not uncommon. Includes double occupancy lodging, some meals, and van transportation in Maine (airfare not included). Limited to 12. $1,775 ($500 single supplement) Please contact Adriana Palmer at apalmer@nycaudubon.org or 212-691-7483 x304 to learn more and register. Click here to see a full tour description, day-by-day itinerary, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). 

 
Prairie Warbler © Steve Nanz

MONTAUK SUMMER WEEKEND, LI
Friday, June 6–Sunday, June 8
Don Riepe, Mickey Cohen, Mike Bottini, with American Littoral Society
Spend an extended weekend at the eastern tip of Long Island during peak spring orchid and heather bloom. See nesting pine and prairie warblers, and visit a cranberry bog with flowering orchids and sundews. Easy hiking in woodlands and on the dunes, beach, and bluffs. Includes double occupancy accommodations at the luxurious Manor House, five meals, five guided hikes, two evening programs, and a star watch, plus free pickup at the Montauk LIRR station. For more information or to register, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com. Limited to 60. $385 ($120 single supplement)

 
American Bittern © David Speiser

BASHAKILL, NEVERSINK, AND STERLING FOREST, NY
Saturday, June 14, 9am–Sunday, June 15, 6pm
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Look for breeding American bitterns, cerulean, hooded, and golden-winged warblers, and more at these three great birding areas. An overnight stay will facilitate being in the right spot at the right time. Bring lunch for the first day. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 10. $275 ($50 single supplement). Click here to register.

 
Wilson's Storm Petrels © Don Faulkner (Creative Commons Attribution License)

CAPE ANN WHALE WATCH, MA
Thursday, August 14–Sunday, August 17
Guides: Don Riepe, Mickey Cohen, with American Littoral Society
A fun-packed, nature-focused weekend in beautiful Cape Ann, Massachusetts. We hope to see pelagic species such as sooty and greater shearwater, Wilson’s storm petrel, and common eider—not to mention minke and humpback whales, basking shark, and family pods of dolphins. Includes three nights’ stay in historic Gloucester, a whale watch boat trip, an evening Essex River Cruise, easy canoeing on Ipswich River, birding at Parker River Wildlife Refuge, and a lobster dinner. To register, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com. Limited to 40. $395 ($180 single supplement)

 
Blue-winged Mountain Tanager © Francesco Veronesi (Flickr Creative Commons License)

BIRDING THE ANDEAN SLOPES: NORTHWEST ECUADOR
Saturday, December 6–Sunday, December 14
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Join us for a trip to one of South America’s most celebrated (and spectacularly scenic) birding areas, led by one of Ecuador’s finest bird guides. Starting from Quito, we’ll cover east and west slope Andean birds, from paramo to foothills. Target species include the coveted Andean cock-of-the-rock, long-wattled umbrellabird, Andean condor, and sword-billed hummingbird, as well as manakins, tanagers, and many rarities. Includes two pre-trip workshops, lodging, local transportation, most meals, and all park fees. Limited to 12. $2,695 ($150 single supplement) Please contact Adriana Palmer at apalmer@nycaudubon.org or 212-691-7483 x304 to learn more and register. Click here to see a full tour description, day-by-day itinerary, and frequently asked questions (FAQS).
 


The eGret
April 2014


At last, spring has finally sprung! (We know it's a cliché... but it really has been a long coming.) We've just learned that tree swallows have returned to chatter about their nest boxes at Jamaica Bay's West Pond (see our friend Laura Meyer's photo, at left). And as the birds arrive, the birders come out to meet them--both with binoculars and cameras in hand. Our lead story this month announces the inaugural "Big Bird Photo Day," a new, creative way to support worthy organizations while enjoying nature--and the brainchild of NYC Audubon Board Member Tom Stephenson. 

But getting back to the West Pond again for a moment... we also want to remind you to sign the petition supporting bird-friendly restoration of the West Pond, right now. The petition is close to achieving its goal of 5,000 signatures.


Also in this issue: It's not too late to sign up for our tour of Monhegan Island and the beautiful Maine Coast; a new red-tail pair is nesting at Tompkins Square Park; Audubon's Aviary returns to the New-York Historical Society; member events; and volunteer opportunities.

Happy April!
 


Ivory Gull, Photographers © Scott Whittle
An Ivory Gull, Accompanied by Admiring Photographers © Scott Whittle
 

NYC Audubon Board Member Tom Stephenson Helps Lead Inaugural "Big Bird Photo Day" 

As spring migration picks up, birders around the country are finalizing plans for their "Big Day" of record-breaking bird-watching. For Tom Stephenson, NYC Audubon board member, expert birder, and author of The Warbler Guide, his team's big day will be in Texas around April 22. But this year, Tom and his team wanted to make the day more accessible for bird-lovers everywhere, and support some worthwhile organizations' causes while doing so.

Tom's team, including Warbler Guide co-author Scott Whittle, will post a photo online of every bird species they see that day. Realizing this "Big Bird Photo Day" could also grow into a great future opportunity to compete against other teams of photographers, Tom reached out to the American Birding Association, which is sponsoring this pilot season of photographic Big Days, along with NYC Audubon. Click here to read more and learn how to participate!



NYC Audubon West Pond Restoration Concept Plan
NYC Audubon West Pond Restoration Concept Plan
 

Act Now to Determine the Future of Jamaica Bay's West Pond

We are very close to reaching our goal of 5,000 signatures to petition for prompt, bird-friendly restoration of Jamaica Bay's West Pond. If you have not done so already, please sign the change.org petition by clicking here.

To learn why this habitat is so vital for the CIty's birds and wildlife, and to see our vision for restoring the West Pond, click here. 
 


Atlantic Puffin © Harald Deischinger (Creative Commons Attribution License)
Our May Maine Tour Will Visit an Atlantic Puffin Colony Near Monhegan Island. Photo © Harald Deischinger*
 

Last Chance: The Coast of Maine Awaits You this May

Saturday, May 24–Saturday, May 31
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Join Maine native Gabriel Willow in exploring the Maine coast, home to Atlantic puffins, moose, shorebirds, warblers, and other migratory songbirds. Stay in charming Camden and on the lovely and remote Monhegan Island, a birder’s paradise where seeing 25-30 warbler species in a day is not uncommon. Includes double occupancy lodging, some meals, and van transportation in Maine (airfare not included). Limited to 12. $1,775 ($500 single supplement). Click here to see a full tour description, day-by-day itinerary, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). Please contact Adriana Palmer at apalmer@gmail.com or 212-691-7483 x304 to learn more and register. 
 


 
 Nesting Red-Tails © Sandrine Lee

Two Eggs Are Visible in Chris and Dora's Nest.
Photo © Sandrine Lee

 
New Parent Red-Tails Come to Tompkins Square Park!

Research Assistant Kaitlyn Parkins Reports on Tompkins Square Park's Newest Residents: Chris and Dora 

The morning of Monday, March 31 started off slowly, but took a quick turn for the exciting when we received a call about the pair of red-tailed hawks nesting next to Tompkins Square Park. After a few years of hosting juvenile red-tails, Tompkins Square Park is finally home to two nesting adults! Click here to view the rest of Kaitlyn's post on our blog, Syrinx.
 
 
 
 Double-crested Cormorant Print by John James Audubon, Courtesy New-York Historical Society

Double-Crested Cormorant Print by John James Audubon, Courtesy New-York Historical Society
 
"Audubon's Aviary" Returns to New-York Historical Society with "Parts Unknown" 

"Audubon's Aviary: The Complete Flock," the tripartite exhibition series showcasing over 400 of John James Audubon's stunning avian watercolors, returns to New-York Historical Society with its second installment: "Parts Unknown." Part II follows Audubon into uncharted territories—geographic, artistic, and scientific—as he encountered and mapped new species and grappled with the disappearing illusion of America’s infinite wilderness.

Running through May 26, "Parts Unknown" 
features over 100 of Audubon's watercolors, mostly of waterbirds and waders. Learn more by visiting New-York Historical Society’s accompanying online exhibition, which features photo galleries, audio recordings from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and much more.
 
 
 

Belted Kingfisher © François Portmann
Belted Kingfisher © François Portmann

Member Events

COME TO CENTRAL PARK FOR OUR FIRST KIDS MEMBER WALK
Sunday, April 13, 3-4pm

Meet at 72nd Street and Central Park West, and bird Central Park's best birding hotspots with expert naturalist and birder Gabriel Willow!
To become a NYC Audubon KIDS Member and participate in KIDS Member events, parents should email KIDS@nycaudubon.org. Click here to view our KIDS Membership webpage for more information.  



MAY MEMBER WALK IN CENTRAL PARK
Friday, May 2, 7-8:30am
Meet at Central Park West and 72nd Street and come ramble in the Ramble of Central Park with NYC Audubon Board Member Harry Maas during the height of spring migration. 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

 
 
International Coastal Cleanup Day 2013 © NYC Audubon
 

Volunteer!

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 volunteer@nycaudubon.org or 212-691-7483 x304. Click here for info on more ways you can volunteer.    

Jamaica Bay: You can help us count shorebirds and horseshoe crabs in Jamaica Bay, an important stopover for migratory shorebirds. The data you collect in either program will help NYC Audubon scientists understand how our beautiful bay fits into the larger picture of shorebird migration and survival along the Atlantic Flyway. Orientations will be held Thursday, April 17, and Friday, April 25, 6-8pm.

Harbor Herons Foraging Study: Observe herons and egrets as they forage in City waterways. Find out more about how you can can get involved in this research effort by attending our training session, held on Monday, May 5, 6-8pm. Registration required.



Gray Catbird © Laura Meyers
Gray Catbird in the Snow © Laura Meyers

Top and Sidebar Photos:  great egret © Steve Nanz; tree swallows © Laura Meyers; tricolored heron, Atlantic puffins, prairie warbler © Steve Nanz; American bittern © David Speiser; Wilson's storm petrels © Don Faulkner*; blue-winged mountain tanager © Francesco Veronesi*.

* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
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