12th Annual Shorebird Festival at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge


Saturday, August 26, 2017, 8:30am-5pm

A partnership program among NYC Audubon, Gateway National Recreation Area,
and the American Littoral Society

[b]Shorebirds in Flight[/b][br] © Don Riepe

During the past 40 years, over 40 species of shorebirds (including rare and accidental vagrants) have been recorded at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge’s East and West Ponds from mid-July through October, with the greatest diversity and abundance usually occurring in August. We invite you to attend our 12th annual celebration at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, August 26.

Suggested contribution: $20 per person.

For more information about the Shorebird Festival, contact NYC Audubon at 212-691-7483 x306, the American Littoral Society at 718-474-0896, or Don Riepe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Free bus transportation from Manhattan to Jamaica Bay is available for NYC Audubon members at the Student/Senior level and up. Meet at 71 West 23rd Street at 7:30am. Contact the office at 212-691-7483 x306 to reserve a seat.


Program Schedule

8:30am
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (Google map) for registration and continental breakfast (coffee, donuts, juice, etc.)

9am
Hike to the West Pond to view shorebirds during the incoming tide (Kevin Karlson, Lloyd Spitalnik, Sean Sime, Tom Burke, et al.)

10:30am
Welcome from the National Park Service (Gateway Superintendent Jennifer Nersesian)

10:45am*
Family activity with a National Park Service Ranger

10:45am
Overview of Jamaica Bay conservation issues and wildlife (Don Riepe)

11:15am
NYC Audubon shorebird research (Dr. Susan Elbin, Debra Kriensky)

11:45am
Lunch (bring lunch or drive to deli located in nearby Broad Channel)

12:30pm 
Hikes to East and West Ponds at high tide or other sites to be selected (all leaders)

2pm*
Family activity with a National Park Service Ranger

3pm
Shorebird photography (Lloyd Spitalnik)

3:30pm
Birding by impression (Kevin and Dale Karlson)

4:30-5pm
Discussion and wrap-up

*Family activities are intended for children and will run concurrently with principal festival events.

Early Spring Bird Walk at Jamaica Bay

[b]Osprey[/b][br]© Steve Nanz


Saturday, March 24, 2018, 10am-1pm
Guide: Don Riepe
With American Littoral Society and Gateway National Recreation Area
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for a slide program and walk to look for Eastern Phoebes, American Oystercatchers, Osprey, and other early migrants. For more information and reservations, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . No limit. Free

New Year's Day Beachwalk, Fort Tilden, Queens

Snowy Owl, copyright Lloyd Spitalnik

Monday, January 1, 11am-2pm

Guides: Don Riepe, Mickey Cohen

With American Littoral Society and Gateway National Recreation Area

Welcome in the New Year with a brisk hike along the beach, dunes, and woods of Fort Tilden to look for loons, scoters, and Long-tailed Ducks. Visit the hawk-watch platform for views of New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy champagne, coffee, and cookies afterward at the Rockaway Artists Alliance. For more information, contact Don Riepe at 718-474-0896 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . No reservations necessary. No limit. Free

Jamaica Bay Sunset Ecology Cruise

[b]Semipalmated Plover[/b]  © David Speiser

Monday, May 28, 2018, 5-8pm
With American Littoral Society and Gateway NRA
NOTE: Due to a scheduling conflict, the date of this cruise has been changed from Sunday, May 27, to Monday, May 28.

Meet at pier 4 in Sheepshead Bay to board the 100’ boat “Golden Sunshine”. Learn about the Bay and its history, management and ecology. See egrets, herons, ibis, terns, laughing gulls, Osprey, peregrine falcons, and shorebirds. This narrated tour of the bay’s backwater marshes includes wine & cheese, fruit, drinks, and snacks. For information and reservations call Don Riepe at (718) 474-0896 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . $55 (children under 16 $25)

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