Archive for August 2012

Celebrating Shorebirds!

Shorebird Festival participants enjoy the birds on East Pond © NYC Audubon

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

Talking about Citizen Science in Portland

Discussing NYC Audubon's conservation work in Jamaica Bay (c) NYC Audubon

For the past two days, I’ve been participating in the Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR) Conference in Portland, Oregon. PPSR is another name for Citizen Science, which is one of my areas of responsibility for NYC Audubon. The conference has been really stimulating, with about 300 practitioners from all over the country convening to share ideas, create synergies and plan for the future. NYC Audubon has a very strong Citizen Science program and I presented a poster on our monitoring work in Jamaica Bay. This conference has given me new ideas about how to create stronger partnerships and include more people in our work, to ultimately improve how we learn about and protect birds in New York City.

- John Rowden