If you've tried to catch us in the office here at NYC Audubon this past month, you may not have had much luck: We've been out in the field!
We've been busy counting and tagging horseshoe crabs; surveying the harbor's nesting population of egrets, ibis, and cormorants; banding migration songbirds at our Bronx Zoo flight tunnel; monitoring wildlife atop the Javits Center green roof; and even banding herring gulls on the roof of Rikers Island prison! One of the best opportunities for YOU to see some of the harbor's birdlife is our Sunset Ecocruise program: Don't forget to get your tickets. Cruises begin this Sunday
. And please put our June 10 lecture and annual meeting
on your calendar: We'll review the past year's accomplishments and share some refreshments.
Also in this issue: Our Staten Island eagle pair
keeps us hopeful; NYC Audubon contributes to a new State Wildlife Action Plan
; a memorial walk for our friend Jean Bourque
; celebrating New Jersey's Wildlife in The Creature Show
; trips to Green-Wood Cemetery
and Freshkills Park
; and upcoming member trips
Great and Snowy Egrets on Elders Point East Island © Jeff Kolodzinski
This Sunday: The Harbor's Wildlife Awaits You!
Our Sunset Ecocruises begin this Sunday, June 7! Experience the wonders of New York's famous harbor at sunset—and visit some of the harbor’s best kept secrets and proudest conservation stories on NYC Audubon’s Sunset Ecocruises to the Harbor Heron Islands. Get up close and personal with some of the 3,000 herons, egrets, and ibis nesting on these lush islands right here in the City’s harbor. Led by Gabriel Willow, the tours sail from South Street Seaport Pier 16 Sundays through August 16, alternating between three different routes: Sail up the East River to the fascinating Brother Islands, under the Verrazano Bridge to the egret rookeries of Hoffman and Swinburne Islands—or out to the wild expanses of Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Bald Eagle © Laura Meyers
Visit New York Water Taxi's website for cruise details and tickets.
Vito and Linda: Keeping Our Fingers Crossed
Our contacts on Staten Island have been keeping their eyes on the City's first nesting bald eagle pair in over 200 years, Vito and Linda... but so far due to the difficulty accessing the nest and viewing its contents, we do not have much to report. The birds may have chicks, but at this point it is impossible to be sure--and observers are exercising caution in not getting to close, so as not to risk disturbing the birds. The Staten Island Advance posted a nice update on the pair this week. We will post any more definite news on our website as soon as we learn more.
State Wildlife Action Plan © USFWS
Proposed State Wildlife Action Plan Now Available for Public Comment
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has just released for public comment its newly proposed State Wildlife Action Plan. NYC Audubon staff scientists were involved in the process of creating the draft ten-year plan, which identifies 366 Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCNs) in New York that need conservation actions to thrive. The DEC will hold a public information session in New York City on June 10, 2-4 pm, at the Federal Office Building, 90 Church Street, in Manhattan. The draft plan is available online here.
Savannah Sparrows Breed in Floyd Bennett Field, Beloved and Protected by the Late Jean Bourque. Photo © Steve Nanz
A Memorial to Jean Bourque
Join us to remember our friend Jean Bourque, who passed away in 2014. A longtime advocate for wildlife conservation in New York City and wife of past NYC Audubon President Ron Bourque, Jean was particularly instrumental in the protection of grasslands at Floyd Bennett Field. This walk in her memory will focus on plants, insects, birds and overall nature, in the setting she nurtured and loved. Click here for more information on the walk. To learn about our member trip to the walk, click here.
The Creature Show - Introducing New Jersey's Wildlife
The Creature Show, a new webseries dedicated to the rare, threatened, and endangered species of New Jersey, will debut this summer. This new project by director Jared Flesher, creator of the films Sourlands and Field Biologist, will highlight Jersey's wildlife, and the people who are working to protect it. The first episode, available free online at www.creatureshow.com on July 15, will profile native salamanders and the obstacles they face in habitats criss-crossed with roads, as well as the coalition Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey, which is working to solve the problems faced by salamanders as well as other wildlife through the construction of wildlife tunnels. Learn more and help support The Creature Show through its Kickstarter campaign at http://kck.st/1IIYGK3.
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
Fresh Kills Park © Kristine Paulus*
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Freshkills Park
Saturday, July 11, 10am-5pm
Guide: Cliff Hagen
Don't miss this special opportunity to see Freshkills Park in transition from what was once the world’s largest landfill into an expansive park. Currently closed to the general public, the Park is home to rolling grasslands, tidal marshes, successional woodlands and a freshwater pond system, which host an array of breeding birds, butterflies, mammals, frogs, and turtles. Sparrows, osprey, yellow warblers, and blue grosbeaks nest alongside wrens, blackbirds, orioles and shorebirds. Wading birds feed on the mudflats at low tide while hawks and vultures soar above. On calm, sunny days, one can expect to find nearly two dozens species of butterflies as they nectar among the grasses and woodlands. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included. Limited to 12. $57 (40). Click here to register
A Banded Snowy Egret on Hoffman Island © NYC Audubon
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.
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.
Red Knots and Ruddy Turnstones © Lloyd Spitalnik
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.
VAN TRIP TO THE SHOREBIRD FESTIVAL AT JAMAICA BAY WILDLIFE REFUGE
Saturday, August 29, 6:30am-6pm (end time approximate)
Bus transportation is available from Manhattan to Jamaica Bay for the 10th Annual Shorebird Festival at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (click here to learn more). Meet at 71 West 23rd Street at 6:30am. (We will return to 23rd Street by approximately 6pm.) Free for contributing members at the Student/Senior level and up. Contact us at 212-691-7483 x306 to reserve a seat.
Great Egret Nestlings on Hoffman Island © Andrew Maas
Top and Sidebar Photos: great egret © Steve Nanz; glossy Ibis © Kenny P.*; great shearwater, common tern, bald eagle © Lloyd Spitalnik; northern harrier © dfaulder* .
* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.