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
Glossy Ibis © Kenny P. (Creative Commons Attribution License)

Upcoming June and July Events
(Note: Only events with open registration are listed.)

Click here to see ALL Events & Adventures

6/7: Sunset Ecocruise to the Harbor Heron Islands - Hoffman and Swinburne Islands

6/10: Conservation Program Update and Annual Meeting with Susan Elbin, PhD, and NYC Audubon Conservation Staff

6/13: The Parakeets of Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn with Gabriel Willow

6/14: Summer Birding at Wave Hill, the Bronx with Gabriel Willow

6/14: Sunset Ecocruise to the Harbor Heron Islands - Brother Islands

6/20: A Memorial to Jean Bourque: Nature of Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn

6/20: The Breeding Birds of the Hudson Highlands, NY with Gabriel Willow

6/21: Sunset Ecocruise to the Harbor Heron Islands - Jamaica Bay

6/28: Sunset Ecocruise to the Harbor Heron Islands - Hoffman and Swinburne Islands

7/5: Sunset Ecocruise to the Harbor Heron Islands - Jamaica Bay

7/11: Birding Gems of Staten Island - Freshkills Park, with Cliff Hagen

7/11: Prospect Park Bird Walk, Brooklyn, with Gabriel Willow

7/12: Sunset Ecocruise to the Harbor Heron Islands - Brother Islands

7/12: Summer Birding at Wave Hill with Gabriel Willow

7/14: Twilight Bat and Insect Walk in Central Park with Paul Keim

7/19: Sunset Ecocruise to the Harbor Heron Islands - Hoffman and Swinburne Islands

7/21: Twilight Bat and Insect Walk in Central Park with Paul Keim

7/25: Croton Point Park, NY, with Gabriel Willow

7/26: Sunset Ecocruise to the Harbor Heron Islands - Brother Islands

7/28: Twilight Bat and Insect Walk in Central Park with Paul Keim

7/30: Shorebird Identification Workshop with Joe Giunta


Ongoing Events

Van Cortlandt Bird Walks, the Bronx: Saturdays, through November 28, 8-9:30am


Upcoming Overnight Trips

Great Shearwater © Lloyd Spitalnik


Thursday, August 13 - Sunday, August 16
Guides: Don Riepe, Mickey Cohen
With American Littoral Society

A fun-filled, 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 half-day whale watch boat trip, an evening Essex River Cruise, easy canoeing on Ipswich River, birding at Parker River Wildlife Refuge, and guided hikes, plus a lobster dinner. To register, contact Don Riepe at (718) 474-0896 or Limited to 40. $395

Common Tern © Lloyd Spitalnik


Saturday, September 26, 9am - Sunday, September 27, 7pm
Guides: Joe Giunta

Cape May, NJ, is one of the best birding venues in the United States, especially during fall migration. Visit the Cape May hawk watch on two days, once late in the day and then early to get a good variety of hawks. Also visit birding hotspots such as Higbee Beach, Jake's Landing, Cape May Meadows, and Nummy Island. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 10. $335 ($50 single supplement). Click here to register.

Northern Harrier © dfaulder (Creative Commons Attribution License)


Saturday, October 3, 9am - Sunday, October 4, 7pm
Guides: Gabriel Willow

Cape May, NJ is the East's capital of birding, and is particularly bird-rich in the fall. On good fall migration days, the area's forests and marshes are swarming with warblers, vireos, thrushes, and other songbirds, and of course the hawkwatch is legendary as well. We'll visit Cape May Point, Higbee Beach, Cape May Meadows, and more in search of songbirds, raptors, wading birds, ducks, and terns. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 10. $335 ($50 single supplement). Click here to register.

Bald Eagle © Lloyd Spitalnik


Thursday, November 19, 9am - Sunday, November 22, 6pm
Guides: Don Riepe
With American Littoral Society

A great natural history weekend on the Virginia coast. See wild ponies, Snow Geese, Bald eagles, migrating hawks, waterfowl, shorebirds and lots more. includes 3 nights lodging at the luxurious Refuge Inn ( heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna, exercise room, observation deck), breakfast, Safari bus tour of back dunes area, 5 guided hikes, evening programs, plus an "All-you-can Eat" oyster & seafood dinner. Contact Don Riepe at (718) 474-0896 or for info regarding transportation, itinerary, and reservations. Presented in partnership with American Littoral Society. $395 ( $180 single room supplement)


Great Egret © Steve Nanz

The eGret
June 2015

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

Happy June!

Egrets on Elders Point East © Jeff Kolodzinski
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.

Visit New York Water Taxi's website for cruise details and tickets.

Bald Eagle © Laura Meyers
Bald Eagle © Laura Meyers

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 Sparrow © Steve Nanz
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 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  


Monk Parakeets © Ferran Pestaña (Creative Commons Attribution License)
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 (Creative Commons Attribution License)
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
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.

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
Red Knots and Ruddy Turnstones © Lloyd Spitalnik

Member Trips


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.


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 © Andrew Maas
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.

New York City Audubon, 71 W. 23rd St. New York. NY, 10010, 212-691-7483

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