First New York City Bald Eagle Nest
in 100 Years Confirmed
New York City Audubon is very happy to report that a nesting pair of Bald Eagles has been confirmed on the South Shore of Staten Island. The female eagle appears to be incubating eggs, according to local Staten Island birders, who have nicknamed the birds “Vito and Linda.” The presence of breeding Bald Eagles in New York City is a testament to the success of the environmental conservation movement in cleaning up New York's waterways and wild habitats, and is cause to celebrate for all New Yorkers.
Following an unusual winter during which Bald Eagles were spotted in all five boroughs of the City, a pair of eagles was reported to be nest-building off of Staten Island’s north shore in early February. This pair did not stay to breed, but a second pair on the South Shore has now “stuck the landing.” After building a “practice nest” at the site in 2014, the birds returned this spring to a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation property on Staten Island's South Shore. (The exact site is undisclosed, in order to protect the birds from disturbance.)
NYC Audubon is thrilled that America’s iconic national bird is staying to nest within the five boroughs, for the first time in as much as a century. The presence of Bald Eagles in New York City is a testament to the success of the environmental conservation movement in cleaning up New York's waterways and habitats, and in banning environmental contaminants, particularly DDT in 1972. Only one pair of eagles was known to nest in all of New York State in 1960, compared to 173 pairs counted in 2010—and the population is growing. The eagles’ decision to stay and breed in New York City is a reminder that when ecosystems are healthy, wildlife returns. Bald Eagles are back—for now—and New Yorkers should celebrate, cherish, and continue to protect them.
Of note from the NY State DEC: “If you see someone harassing or injuring an eagle, or if you spot destruction of eagle habitat or find an injured or dead eagle, report it at once to DEC's Wildlife Diversity Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754, 518-402-8920.” More on the NYS DEC's Bald Eagle Program can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9381.html.
Register Now for Spring Trips and Classes!
NYC Audubon's Spring Trips & Classes are open to registration for all, members and non-members alike! Be sure to check out some of exciting spring trips still open for registration:
Sunday, May 4: Birding Gems of Staten Island: Clay Pitt Ponds State Park Preserve -- Staten Island naturalist and Cliff Hagen will introduce you to the ponds, wetlands, and woods of this ecologically and historically rich 260-acre natural area, rich with migrating and breeding birds, as well as fence lizards, eastern box turtles, Fowler’s toads, and black racer snakes!
Saturday, June 6: Biking and Birding: Jamaica Bay-- Join Gabriel Willow as we bike our way through Brooklyn neighborhoods and along scenic greenways to Jamaica Bay, to look for migrant shorebirds as well as breeding egrets, oystercatchers, and more.
D-Bird Has a Brand New Home: www.d-bird.org
Contribute Invaluable Data to Project Safe Flight by Reporting Dead or Injured Birds Quickly and Easily to D-Bird.org
Last year, NYC Audubon launched D-Bird, a crowd-sourced data collection tool designed to help our researchers collect information about bird mortality in New York City. Since its inception, D-Bird has collected 242 reports of dead or injured birds in the city–a saddening statistic, to be sure, but one that is loaded with valuable information that can help us to make the City a safer place for birds. We are very proud to announce two new D-Bird developments.
Primarily, D-Bird has moved to a brand new home. If you find a dead or injured bird, you can make a valuable contribution to our research by reporting it at http://d-bird.org.
Second, D-Bird will be undergoing a bit of a renovation. Within the next few weeks, D-Bird will be redesigned to be more user-friendly, and will also feature a mobile-friendly iteration. When users navigate to http://d-bird.org in a web browser on their smartphone, they will have a much different experience than if they were using their desktop computer. As soon as a mobile user finds a dead or injured bird, they will be able to feed their current location, date, and time to D-Bird with the touch of a button; this way, we can collect the most accurate reports as quickly and easily as possible.
Top Banner Photo Credits: group of birders © Kati Solomon; all others © Francois Portmann.
Bottom Photo Credits: Great-horned Owl © François Portmann
** This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Imagining New York City for Birds and Other Beasts: The Welikia Project
A Presentation by Eric Sanderson
Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 6pm
The Arsenal, Central Park, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, 3rd Floor Gallery. Free and Open to the Public
The Welikia Project, formally known as The Mannahatta Project, is an interactive map that adds a 400-year-old visual overlay of the former landscape ecology of New York City and surrounding boroughs. Join the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Senior Conservation Ecologist Eric Sanderson for a discussion of the project, which uses georeferenced historical data and field samples collected over several years to create a multi-layered map of the “Muir Web,” or ecological community, of a specific area. Click here to learn more
Christmas Bird Count Results Now Available
New York City's 115th annual Christmas Bird Count is a wrap! The Count took place from December 14 to January 5, and final tallies for New York City are available for download! Altogether, there were over 189,000 individual birds counted in 157 species, noticeably higher than the 148 species counted last year! Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's counts in NYC.
Click here to view full results and interesting highlights from the City's five boroughs.
Visit NYC Audubon's blog, Syrinx, to see current updates on our work.