Streams

It's Bird Week

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New York Times senior producer at the Metro desk Emily Rueb discusses the launch of the WNYC and New York Times collaboration for Bird Week. The New York Times and WNYC are collaborating to create an interactive map of bird-watching spots throughout the five boroughs as part of Bird Week, a celebration of avian life in the city. Plus, bird-watching expert Tom Stephenson answers questions about bird-watching in our area.

To Participate: Tell us your favorite place in the city to watch birds. Text BIRD to 30644 from your cellphone and follow the instructions to submit the location and your most recent bird sighting. We’ll present the map with highlights of your contributions by the end of the week. 

Go here for more information.

Guests:

Emily Rueb and Tom Stephenson

Comments [19]

James Karl Fischer from New York

The Zoological Lighting Institute just initiated a campaign for bird-safe architecture with the American Bird Conservancy and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA-USA), and is hosting a fundraiser at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas during the AIA National Convention for 'SAVE A BILLION BIRDS'. Would love to build public support http://saveabillionbirds.eventbrite.com/

May. 10 2011 04:26 PM
Sandy Morrissey from Hartsdale, NY

Bank Rock Bridge (near 77th St. on West side) is hot spot this "Bird Week." Bronx River - Sound Shore Audubon Society's field trip started here and we were off to a great start with Worm-eating warbler along with many other beautiful species. I returned there today (May 6) with my sister and we spent 1 1/2 hours there, recording 33 species. Highlight was a Wilson's warbler.

May. 06 2011 09:18 PM
Jim Brennan from Jersey City NJ

Best bird-watching spot in NYC? Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Best National Park Service Ranger to tell you everything about every species on Earth? Dave Taft - he ran Jamaica Bay until recently; now assigned to Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island - watch him in doc from Channel 13 a couple years ago on National Park Sites in and around NYC - click on the "Jamaica Bay" chapter:
http://www.thirteen.org/nycparks/

May. 05 2011 05:22 PM
Peggy L Maslow from Central Park, Forest Park, Alley Pond Park, Jamaica Bay WIld

While I don't live in NYC, I live close by in Port Washington, Nassau County. But even if I lived further I would always visit NYC parks during migration season especially. Central Park, Alley Pond Park, Forest Park and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge are my favorites. NYC parks are hot spots for migrating birds who see green surrounded by buildings while flying above. This causes the birds to be concentrated in the parks and makes bird watching easier than in areas which have large expanses of habitat. If you want to go on guided walks look up the local Audubon societies. Almost all of them arrange a trip to one or more NYC Parks during migration.

May. 04 2011 07:50 PM
Peggy L Maslow from Central Park, Forest Park, Alley Pond Park, Jamaica Bay WIld

While I don't live in NYC, I live close by in Port Washington, Nassau County. But even if I lived further I would always visit NYC parks during migration season especially. Central Park, Alley Pond Park, Forest Park and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge are my favorites. NYC parks are hot spots for migrating birds who see green surrounded by buildings while flying above. This causes the birds to be concentrated in the parks and makes bird watching easier than in areas which have large expanses of habitat. If you want to go on guided walks look up the local Audubon societies. Almost all of them arrange a trip to one or more NYC Parks during migration.

May. 04 2011 07:48 PM
Heather Spilkin from Brooklyn

There are actually some really pretty and rare types of pigeons that are bred by local pigeon fanciers on rooftops in Brooklyn. I have a documentary about it called Above Brooklyn, screening next Wednesday, May 11th, 6 PM at Anthology Film Archives. Come check it out for some indoor bird watching!

www.abovebrooklyn.net

May. 04 2011 12:15 PM
Janine from Alphabet City

Tompkins Square Park is great for bird watching, however I have a private viewing out on my building's backyard. We get a lot of cardinals and they're are lovely in pairs with their "singing". Just recently I took pictures of a peregrine falcon (!) munching on its prey on a bed of snow. It stopped for a moment and stared right into my camera...

May. 04 2011 11:45 AM
Jeff Cordulack from Greenwich, Connecticut

Bird Collisions & the new LEED standard for Bird-friendly Building Design
With Dr. Christine Sheppard from the American Bird Conservancy

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
At Audubon Greenwich

3:00-5:30 pm: Bird-friendly Window & Building Design 202 (an in-depth program for architects and building professionals; with AIA credit. $20 per person. Space limited. Please RSVP to Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239. )

7:30-8:30 pm: Bird-friendly Window & Building Design 101 (a fun, monthly ‘green’ networking event that, for this month's gathering, will be at Audubon Greenwich. Suggested donation: $5 for those who did not attend the reception)

From high-rises to single-story structures, large glass windows are a common feature in buildings. Sadly, bird mortality from collisions is a "biologically significant" issue and can lead to local, regional, and national declines in bird populations. Songbirds – already imperiled by habitat loss and other environmental stressors – are especially vulnerable to nighttime collisions during migration, and to daytime glass collisions as they seek food and resting perches among urban buildings. NYC Audubon estimates that 100 million birds are killed every year in the U.S. alone through building collision and some experts believe the number is perhaps as many as one billion killed annually. While this is tragic, it is also avoidable.

To share how birds can be protected through bird-safe design and innovative materials, Dr. Sheppard will provide an in-depth presentation for architects and building professionals in the afternoon. Then, in the evening, she will give a special presentation to Audubon members and the general public to explain how bird collisions can be reduced with innovative products and properly designed buildings.

ABOUT DR. SHEPPARD: Dr. Sheppard has extensive experience speaking to both professional and public audiences and her visit will include two presentations. Dr. Sheppard has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. She joined the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Bronx Zoo as curatorial intern in 1978 and eventually became the Curator and Chair of the Ornithology Department. In this role, she realized first-hand how glass exhibit walls and windows can cause bird collision problems. With a vested interest in finding ways to make glass safer for birds, she began research to quantify the effectiveness of different materials and patterns in preventing bird collision. In 2007, she joined the board of the Bird-safe Glass Foundation as science advisor and then in 2009, she became Collision Program Manager for the American Bird Conservancy. She has contributed to recently passed and pending legislation that mandates bird-friendly construction and is working with the LEED building standards to incorporate bird safe credits into that program.

Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich, Connecticut 06831 203-869-5272 x239 http://greenwich.audubon.org

May. 04 2011 11:19 AM
John Hannan from Westchester

Just about every City park has a treasure trove of birds if you stand quietly for a moment and listen. Ducks in the winter, warblers in the spring, hawks and nesting birds in summer and fall. Inexpensive apps like the Audubon Guides to birds, flower, butterflies etc give you visual, audio and regional references so you can identify all of NYC's great natural resources. The best thing is to just head out to your nearest park and see what you cna find.

May. 04 2011 10:14 AM
Julia

Great information from Tom!

May. 03 2011 01:16 PM
Nicole Brilliant from Tribeca

I'm a wildlife rehabilitator who works primarily with birds at the Wild Bird Fund. It's important for people who watch birds especially during migratory season, to be on the lookout for birds who strike windows. If a bird is found and appears to be alive, please put it in a paper bag or a cardboard box and bring it to the Wild Bird Fund @ 558 Columbus Ave. (corner of 87th St.). Call (646) 306-2862 for more information.

May. 03 2011 12:17 PM
Faralloneggwar

I'm working on a graphic novel about the egg poaching wars of the 1850's and 1860's on the Farallon Islands.

It was a monumental blow to the bird population of these fog-shrouded islands, and yet through the efforts of a few stalwart individuals, the islands were eventually given federal protection, and the bird population has come back to (almost) pre-poaching levels.

http://faralloneggwar.blogspot.com/

May. 03 2011 11:36 AM
Taylor from Staten Island

As a lifelong birdwatcher and professional artist, I recommend a field guide that has mostly been forgotten -- but, I believe, remains a cut above the rest for i.d. purposes:

The Golden Field Guide to Birds of North America. (Adult version, not the kid's version)

It's better than the Sibley or Kaufmann guides, where the bird illustrations have been enhanced, but NOT improved, by computer.

It's better than the Audubon guides, which use photos that are subject to the vagaries of light, time of day and weather.

It's better than the Peterson guide because the illustrator for the Golden field guide, the late Arthur Singer, was more accomplished at painting birds than Roger Tory Peterson.

Singer not only accurately depicts color and detail, but he captures the posture of his subjects, which can be an important clue to, say, distinguishing a warbler from a vireo. Somehow, Singer captures the "attitude" of a species, for lack of a better word. He breathes life into his birds.

Published by Golden Press, which may be owned by another publisher now.

Thank you.

May. 03 2011 11:19 AM
steve from middle village

We used to live in Sunnyside Gardens - which has many big trees and bushes, etc not only in front of the houses, but behind as well. Every morning about this time every year, we heard the most amazing racket of every kind of bird - some which I had never heard before. Coming from the suburbs, where we had an abundance of trees spread out over miles, I never heard anything like this. One morning is was so loud an varied that my wife could have sworn she heard a monkey out there shouting. Once or twice it stopped and all the birds fled; I'd run to the window and there would be a red tailed hawk sitting in a tree.

We live in Middle Village now and I can tell you that there are not near as many birds in such a concentration as there were in Sunnyside.

May. 03 2011 11:06 AM
CL from NYC

Interesting segment and a welcome relief from the political bloviation.

May. 03 2011 11:01 AM
Clara from Broklyn NY

I saw two northern flickers in Prospect park a couple weeks ago. They were beautiful!

May. 03 2011 10:59 AM
Lee from BPC north

The birds in Tear Drop park loudly sing all night long keeping me up! Is this normal or can it be due to the excessive amount of light from the large buildings in the area (esp Goldman Sachs bldg). More importantly, will they move on soon?

May. 03 2011 10:59 AM
Bob from Pelham, NY

Can suburbanites participate?

May. 03 2011 10:56 AM
art525 from Park Sloppe

Another lovely species you'll find in Prospect Park are Canada Geese. But go see them now because the city will probably be killing them all in June. I think they would qualify as "the city's most wanted birds".

May. 03 2011 10:55 AM

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