Shorebirds were the order of the day on Saturday August 25th as over 100 shorebird enthusiasts came together at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for the seventh annual Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival. Thousands of shorebirds visit New York City’s largest wetland during fall migration to rest and refuel and large numbers take advantage of the refuge’s East Pond, which provides good foraging habitat on its abundant mud flats. Festival participants heard presentations from several shorebird experts but the highlights of the day were walks around the pond and excellent views of a number of shorebird species, including black-bellied plover, semi-palmated sandpiper, stilt sandpiper, greater and lesser yellowlegs, ruddy turnstone, dunlin, short-billed dowitcher and American avocet (perhaps the find of the day!). Jamaica Bay is an incredible oasis that sustains wildlife and humans alike; all New Yorkers should celebrate, enjoy, and protect it.
- John Rowden