Known as the “city that never sleeps” and “The Big Apple”, New York City is a vibrant bustling metropolis that has more than a few surprises for visitors – and for native New Yorkers – who choose to explore its natural resources. The New York Water Taxi service offers visitors the opportunity to see the city from the harbor and its waterways. Working with the New York City Audubon Society, in the summer months the water taxi service offers a NYC Audubon Summer EcoCruise to highlight the amazing diversity and abundance of birdlife resident on the small islands in New York Harbor.
Lasting around 90 minutes, the cruise makes its way past world-renowned monuments, under iconic city bridges and along the shoreline of islands where visitors can view some of the more than 3,000 herons that have migrated from the south, along with hundreds of cormorants, egrets, ibis and other birds. Ever mindful of the impact humans have on the habitats of birds, the fleet of vessels used by the water taxi service are fitted with low-emission engines and mufflers, while the hulls are designed to cut through the water with as little disturbance as possible. While on the tour, visitors will learn about the ecology of the harbor and the important role its islands play in the conservation of various bird species.
With more than 10,000 members, New York City Audubon has been protecting wildlife habitats and its residents in all five boroughs for more than thirty years, with the goal of improving and conserving the environment for future generations. Wild birds from more than 350 species either live or pass through the city each year – that is almost a third of all species recorded in North America. They depend on the lush, vegetated areas in Jamaica Bay, the islands of New York Harbor and Central Park for their survival. The society collects data relating to birds across New York City, using the information to monitor bird and wildlife populations, and acts as an advocate for wildlife at government policy-making level.
Education programs formulated by the New York City Audubon inform the public, both young and old, about being responsible environmental stewards. The society welcomes new volunteers to work towards the goal of protecting wild birds and natural habitats in New York City, thereby improving the quality of life for all.
The The 13th annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration is scheduled for 5-7 June 2015, at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Paul Smiths, New York.
The event will feature field trips to boreal birding hot spots, informative lectures, and workshops. Field trips include: two all-day birding trips on Friday (Birding Across the Adirondacks and Birding the St. Lawrence Valley), plus a selection of half-day field trips on Saturday and Sunday (Bloomingdale Bog, Whiteface Mountain, Intervale Lowlands, Madawaska Flow, Birding by Ear at the VIC, Beginner Birder Workshop at the VIC, and Heaven Hill Farm/John Brown Homestead).
The keynote speaker is Chris Rimmer, conservation biologist and founding director of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. He will speak on the conservation of the Bicknell’s Thrush, drawing on the findings of twenty years of research. Some of the boreal species that participants in the birding festival hope to find include the Black-backed Woodpecker, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, Bicknell’s Thrush and a variety of migrating warblers, including the Golden-winged Warbler.
The 3,000-acre Paul Smiths VIC contains every habitat type found in the Adirondack Park with the exception of alpine vegetation. Included on the property is a 60-acre marsh, five ponds, several brooks and swamps, bogs, fens, and varied forest types, most notably northern boreal forest. The site includes significant glacial and geological features and provides scenic vistas of Saint Regis Mountain and Jenkins Mountain. The VIC property includes over 25 miles of trails, including 6 miles of interpretive trails.
For more information: http://www.gabc.info
Date: 5-7 June 2014
Venue: Paul Smiths College Visitor Interpretive Center
City: New York
The 66th annual New York Birders Conference offers birders the opportunity to view the fall coastal migration when it is at its peak, the ideal time to spot rare birds. Keynote speaker for the event is James Currie, a renowned birder who has contributed to a number of publications. Other speakers and presenters are Mark E. Hauber Ph.D., John Turner, Sean Mahar, Susan Elbin, and more. Field trips will have birders exploring Jones Beach State Park, Kissena Park, Sunken Meadow State Park, Francis Purcell Preserve and other lovely birding spots. Book your spot today. For more information visit nybirdersconference.wordpress.com
Date: 1-3 November 2013
Venue: Mariott Hotel
State: New York
Country: United States
Completed in 2010, the Aqua skyscraper in Chicago has been applauded for its revolutionary design and aesthetic appeal, but what is of particular interest to bird conservation groups is the fact that the building is bird-safe. Garnering the approval of PETA and the American Bird Conservancy, the 86-floor building is designed in such a way as to minimize the risk of birds colliding into its windows – a major cause of bird deaths and injury in metropolitan areas. This is achieved, in part, by the undulating concrete terraces which, along with ceramic in the glass, break reflections off the windows. The building is reportedly being reviewed for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Although the New York City Audubon Society in 2007 published a set of guidelines related to designing bird-safe buildings, research has revealed that these are seldom taken into account even when designing environmentally friendly buildings. Even LEED, which is fast becoming a sought after certification for green buildings, only awards one point for the bird-safe factor of a building and does not make it a stipulated requirement. Toronto and Chicago are among the cities promoting bird-safe building design, but as yet there is no nationally recognized certification or requirement for this.
With more and more birds being forced to adapt to city living as their rural territory is encroached on by development, environmentalists are tallying up the casualties, estimating that throughout North America up to 100 million birds are killed every year as a direct result of colliding with high-rise buildings, and even more than that number are injured. Moreover, in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, some architects attempt to make the most of natural light by installing larger windows, thereby creating even more of a hazard to birds. Some progress has been made in producing window glass or glass coatings to reduce the risk, such as the German-made Ornilux, but for any meaningful change to come about architects need to seriously take the welfare of birds into account when designing new buildings.
Taking place on 7-8 September the Montezuma Muckrace is a 24-hour birding event to raise fund for conservation projects within the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. As one of New York State’s prime birding destinations, Montezuma offers birders a memorable event as birds are counted within the boundaries of the complex. For more information on this event, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex and Audubon NY, please visit the Friends of Montezuma Website.
Dates: 7-8 September 2012
Venue: Montezuma Wetlands Complex
State: New York
Country: United States