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NYC Audubon Board Member Tom Stephenson Helps Lead Inaugural "Photo Big Day"

[b]An Ivory Gull, Accompanied by Admiring Photographers[/b][br]© Scott WhittleAn Ivory Gull, Accompanied by Admiring Photographers
© Scott Whittle

As spring migration picks up, birders around the country are finalizing plans for their "Big Day" of record-breaking bird-watching. For Tom Stephenson, NYC Audubon board member, expert birder, and author of The Warbler Guide, his team's big day will be in Texas around April 22. But this year, Tom and his team wanted to make the day more accessible for bird-lovers everywhereand support some worthwhile organizations' causes while doing so.

Tom's team, including Warbler Guide co-author Scott Whittle, will post a photo online of every bird species they see that day. Realizing this "Photo Big Day" could also grow into a great future opportunity to compete against other teams of photographers, Tom reached out to the American Birding Association, which is sponsoring this pilot season of photographic Big Days, along with NYC Audubon. In the future, Tom, the ABA, and NYC Audubon hope to recruit more teams for Photo Big Days, anywhere, all through the yearand expand this new, creative way to support worthy causes.

While Tom attempts to set a US record, Executive Director Glenn Phillips will try to set a record for New York City, when his team sets out around May 6 for a full day of photography in Jamaica Bay. Since his past bird-a-thons have yielded nearly 100 species, Glenn is confident his team can photograph more than 50 species.

To create a new photo team, donate to a team on behalf of NYC Audubon or another charity, or see what birds Tom and the other teams photograph, click here and visit the official "Photo Big Day" website at

Top Banner Photo Credits: Atlantic puffins © USFWS Northeast Region**; group of birders © Kati Solomon; all others © Francois Portmann.

** This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.


Act Now to Determine the Future
of Jamaica Bay's West Pond

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge's West Pond, breached by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, needs your help! Jamaica Bay is an Important Bird Area of global significance, and the freshwater supplied by the West Pond was an integral feature of the ecology of the Bay. A final decision on restoration is yet to be made by the National Park Service, and we need you to voice your support of bird-friendly restoration.

Please sign a petition to restore the West Pond right now.  

To learn more about the West Pond and NYC Audubon's suggested restoration plan, please click here.


Adopt an Oystercatcher(...or a Snowy Owl)

The American oystercatcher nests on sand dunes, flat low beaches with good cover, and marsh islands in New York City. During the summer months, pairs of oystercatchers can be seen calling loudly and flapping their wings as they court and then raise their young. Oystercatcher populations are threatened due to coastal development and habitat loss, disturbance from recreational activities, introduced predators, increased pollution, and sea level riseand need our protection to insure their continued survival here.

You can adopt an oystercatcher, snowy egret, or snowy owl by clicking here!

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