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
Laughing gull © Steve Nanz

Late July and August Events

Click here to see ALL Events & Adventures

Ongoing Events

Van Cortlandt Bird Walks:  Saturdays, 8-9:30am, year-round


Upcoming Overnight Trips

Click here to see ALL overnight trips
Friday, August 12, 10am - Sunday, August 14, 7pm
Guide: Don Riepe
With American Littoral Society
Travel to southern New Jersey to observe the spectacle of thousands of purple martins on migration to their wintering grounds, and get to know this beautiful landscape of marsh and woodland just a few hours from New York City. Visit remote salt- and freshwater marsh and woodland habitat to see bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and a great variety of wading birds, terns, shorebirds, and more. Explore the wild and scenic Maurice River by canoe or flat-bottom boat, and visit the abundant wildlife of Brigantine NWR. Includes transportation and double-occupancy lodging. Limited to 60. $375 ($95 single room supplement).  Contact Don Riepe for more information at or 718-318-9344.  

Thursday, August 16–Sunday, August 19
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 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. Limited to 40.  $395 ($180 Single room supplement). Contact Don Riepe for more information at or 718-318-9344.   

Saturday, September 29, 9am - Sunday, September 30, 7pm
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
Cape May, New Jersey 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, Cape May Point, Jake’s Landing, Cape May Meadows, and Nummy Island. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 10. $300 (single room supplement $50). Click here to register.


The eGret
August 2012

August is usually our "slow month"... but this year it hasn't turned out that way! Please read below about how you can help protect Gateway National Recreation Area for wildlife. Your input is crucial. Also in this issue: the 7th Annual Shorebird Festival, exciting news for our egret wing-tagging project, ways to volunteer this autumn, and more. Happy August!

Brant at Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge © Don Riepe
Brant at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, © Don Riepe 

Your Help is Urgently Needed! Plan for the Future of Gateway

On July 17, the National Park Service issued an updated newsletter about the new General Management Plan for Gateway National Recreation Area, coming on the heels of the announcement by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of a cooperative agreement to manage Jamaica Bay. The public comment period is open till September 21, and represents a critical moment in the future of Jamaica Bay and the other natural areas within Gateway. We urgently need all concerned members and friends to contribute to this effort. There are many ways to help; you can attend information sessions, submit comments, or sign our petition. First, though, please take a moment to read more about the plan...


White-Rumped Sandpiper © François Portmann
This white-rumped sandpiper is among the species likely to be seen at Jamaica Bay. Photo  © François Portmann

Come to the 7th Annual Shorebird Festival

Saturday, August 25, from 8:30am-5pm
Leaders: Kevin Karlson, Don Riepe, John Rowden, Lloyd Spitalnik

Migrant shorebirds have already begun arriving on our area beaches and marshes, as they make their way south from their northern nesting grounds--and the 7th Annual Shorebird Festival at Jamaica Bay is scheduled to coincide with the peak of their migration. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about shorebird behavior, biology, and field identification through lectures and walks around the East and West Ponds. Click here to learn more about the festival, including our members-only transportation from Manhattan.

Piping Plovers at Breezy Point, © François Portmann

Piping plovers at Breezy Point © François Portmann

Be a Good Egg!

On July 3, two endangered piping plover nests were vandalized at Breezy Point; the protective enclosures at two separate sites were ripped open and all eggs were taken. This violation underscores the need to educate the public about endangered wildlife and our shared responsibility for protecting important nesting and foraging habitat. In this vein NYC Audubon, Audubon New York, and NJ Audubon will soon launch a new website for a joint project, Be a Good Egg. The Be a Good Egg campaign seeks to raise public awareness about the vulnerability of beach-nesting shorebirds such as piping plovers, black skimmers, least terns, and American oystercatchers--all of which nest on our area beaches--as well as migratory shorebirds. The Be a Good Egg website is scheduled to launch soon, but it's not quite ready yet--check our website for more information in mid-August.  To read more about the recent plundering of piping plover nests, click here

International Contemporary Ensemble
International Contemporary Ensemble is among the musical groups that will perform at the Mostly Mozart Festival, including Bird Concerto on Saturday, August 11.

Mostly Mozart Begins This Saturday, July 28

Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival has a special focus this year: birdsong!  Our own Susan Elbin will take part in a panel discussion of bird song and its influence on classical music, and will also give opening remarks for a special screening of the film Winged Migration. Four bird walks will be held in Central Park led by Gabriel Willow and Peter Joost, on August 12, 17, 21, and 24, from 5:30-7pm (space may be limited; call 212-721-6500 to buy tickets). Other bird-related fare includes concerts by International Contemporary Ensemble and the sound installation, A Murder of Crows.  A special discount is also available to NYC members on certain performances. Please click here to learn more.

Plumb Beach, Brooklyn, © Ron Bourque

Plumb Beach, Brooklyn is among the sites recommended by the Exit the Highway program. Photo © Ron Bourque

Take Some Time to Exit the Highway

The National Audubon Society and Toyota are urging Americans to get off the beaten path this summer, via their joint TogetherGreen initiative. The Exit the Highway campaign aims to motivate the public to explore some of our most beauiful and under-explored landscapes--and learn about the efforts that protect them. If you take part in the program, you may also be eligible for a chance to win a new Toyota Prius V. Click here to learn more.

This tagged great egret was photographed in Hanover Township, NJ. Photo © Jonathan Klizas

This great egret, tagged in Jamaica Bay this June, was spotted two weeks ago in Hanover township, NJ. Photo © Jonathan Klizas

Egrets on the Wing

This spring, NYC Audubon iniatiated a new wing-tagging project, with the aim of better understanding the foraging behavior and seasonal movements of nesting great egrets in the NY harbor. Fledgling birds were tagged this June at two sites--Jamaica Bay's Elders Marsh East and Hoffman Island (off Staten Island)--with light plastic tags that will be more visible to observers than traditional leg bands. Data gathered on tagged birds will help us determine what wetland areas birds are using, in order to to understand the interdependence of different habitats in the harbor and their importance for our birds. We're happy to report that two birds have already been found some distance from their nesting islands: In the past two weeks a tagged bird was spotted at the Clay Avenue wetlands in the NJ Meadowlands, while another was seen in Hanover Township, NJ.  If you see any of our wing-tagged birds, please note the tag code, take a photo if possible, and contact Susan Elbin at 212-691-7483 or


Volunteers clean up Plumb beach in 2011, © NYC Audubon
Volunteers gathered several tons of trash at Plumb Beach in 2011. Photo © NYC Audubon

Volunteer With NYC Audubon This Autumn

It's not too early to start thinking about ways to help our NYC birds this fall!  See below for details. To read more about our conservation programs, click here. If interested in attending any of the orientations below, please contact John Rowden at or 212-691-7483. 

General Orientation Session: An orientation session for new volunteers will be held on Monday, September 24, from 6:30-7:30pm, at 71 West 23rd Street. Please contact us to register.

Project Safe Flight: Thousands of songbirds migrate through the City each fall. Volunteers are needed to monitor designated buildings for bird collisions. Learn how to collect data and handle injured birds.  Orientation sessions will be held Wednesday, August 22 and Tuesday, August 28, from 6:30-7:30pm. Please contact us to register.
Tribute in Light Monitoring: Each year a tireless group of volunteers monitors September 11’s Tribute in Light, to ensure that migrating birds do not become entrapped and disoriented by the light beams. A training will be held Thursday, September 6 from 6:30-7:30pm. Please contact us to register.

International Coastal Clean-Up
Saturday, September 15, 10am-2pm
With American Littoral Society and National Park Service
Join us at Brooklyn’s Plumb Beach as the summer winds down, and give back to the beaches and coastlines that give you so much enjoyment. As part of this multi-state effort to improve coastline habitat, we will be picking up debris at Plumb Beach, an important site for shorebirds. Help us make a big impact on the beach and raise awareness of the importance of coastal areas to birdlife. Equipment, refreshments, and transportation from Manhattan provided. Please contact us to register.
Bird Transporters: We often receive calls from concerned individuals who have found injured birds but are unable to transport them to a rehabilitator. We need caring volunteers to transport these birds to licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the area.

Brown thrasher at Jamaica Bay, © Laura Meyers
Brown thrasher at Jamaica Bay, © Laura Meyers

Top Photos:
 Great egret © Steve Nanz; Laughing gull © Steve Nanz

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

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