Virtual Birding Activities and Resources
NYC Audubon has been creating a wide variety of virtual programming to connect you with the City’s birds and their conservation while we have been social distancing and staying safe. Get to know the birds and wildlife of NYC through our virtual festivals. Or watch episodes of our short-form educational series “The World of Birds” with Conservation Associate Aurora Crooks and “Virtual Birding by Ear” with The Warbler Guide author Tom Stephenson. And, find a list of digital resources we've compiled for you: videos, bird cams, podcasts, and more. Enjoy!
Virtual Birding by Ear with Tom Stephenson, Ep. 10: "Doodletown Assortment"
Tom Stephenson, author of The Warbler Guide and creator of the Bird Genie app, examines the birdsong he heard last spring and summer in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and along Rockland County's Doodletown Road. Tom explores the birds' songs through spectrograms, focusing each episode on particular species to help us identify the singers by sound. In his final episode 10, Tom returned to birding mecca Doodletown to study nesting species such as the American Redstart, Black-and-white Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, and Scarlet Tanager.
The World of Birds Ep. 4: Migration
"The World of Birds" is a four-part educational series exploring the mystical and ever-evolving world of our avian friends. Aimed at ages 11-14, this series introduces kids to bird anatomy, behavior, and scientific facts that bridge together the worlds of both humans and birds through the lens of ecology. In our fourth and final episode, NYC Audubon Conservation Associate Aurora Crooks delves into migration, one of the great mysteries of the natural world. Funding for this series is provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the New York City Environmental Fund.
15th Annual Shorebird Festival at Jamaica Bay
August is the perfect time to explore the diversity and abundance of NYC's shorebirds, particularly at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The festival was produced by the American Littoral Society, Jamaica Bay-Rockaways Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service, and NYC Audubon. Hosted by Alex Zablocki of JBRPC, the event included a boat tour of Jamaica Bay with Don Riepe, a puppet show produced by staff at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Center, as well as talks by Kevin Karlson, Lloyd Spitalnik, NYC Audubon Senior Conservation Biologist Kaitlyn Parkins. Segments were also provided by Shirley Chisholm State Park and NYC Parks.
Birding While Black: A Candid Conversation
In May, an ardent group of Black birders, scientists, and nature enthusiasts launched #BlackBirdersWeek. Watch the profound and moving livestreamed session "Birding While Black: a Candid Conversation," recorded with National Audubon. The discussion includes six panelists including NYC Audubon Board Member Chris Cooper, Birding Guide and Educator Jeffrey Ward, and ornithologist Corina Newsome. Follow #BlackBirdersWeek on Twitter and Instagram. Join NYC Audubon in proudly sharing in this effort and striving to be sure that its impact goes well beyond the week at hand.
7th Annual "It's Your Tern!" Festival Online
Explore all the different tern species that share our coastlines and discover what makes this little seabird so special. Take a trip to the beach with live footage of NYC tern colonies, get your hands dirty with a DIY tern printmaking workshop, or learn a few fascinating facts from our scientists! Hosted by NYC Audubon with the New York Aquarium, Ibex Puppetry, artist Autumn Kioti, and NYC Parks.
4th Annual Virtual Jamaica Bay Horseshoe Crab Festival
Virtually celebrate the annual arrival of the 400-million-year-old Atlantic Horseshoe Crab with this information-packed webinar recording. During full and new moons of May and June, female horseshoe crabs lay billions of eggs at the high tide line. At the same time, thousands of migrating shorebirds arrive to feed on the eggs, regaining the body weight they've lost during their long journey north. During this virtual festival, you’ll see experts handle live horseshoe crabs and learn about their important ecological and medicinal values. Hosted by NYC Audubon with the American Littoral Society, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, New York Aquarium, and Gateway National Recreation Area.
NYC Audubon's First Virtual Annual Meeting and Conservation Program Update
It's not too late to see NYC Audubon's first "virtual" Annual Meeting and Conservation Update, held on June 10. The event includes short presentations from our entire conservation team on the past year's work and accomplishments, including passage of landmark bird-friendly building legislation in New York City, and words from Board Member Chris Cooper on NYC Audubon's commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. We also present tributes to the late Harry Maas, our past board president and longtime ally, and to recently retired Conservation Scientist Emerita Susan Elbin, PhD. During the meeting, we elected new Board President Karen Benfield, as well as other board, committee chair, and advisory council positions. (View our newly elected board of directors and advisory council.)
The Masked Birder! Ep. 3: Nelson Apolo
NYC Audubon’s new video series, produced by Lark Song Media, spotlights how people everywhere are turning to birds and nature to find comfort during the Covid-19 pandemic. In our third episode of The Masked Birder, take an armchair journey to Ecuador with professional naturalist and guide Nelson Apolo as he shares the colorful avian biodiversity of his country. With no one to guide during the pandemic, Nelson shares magnificent specialties like the Andean Emerald, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Ocellated Tapaculo, and Harpy Eagle. To see more of the birds of Ecuador, get to know Nelson and Ecuador Nature Tours on Instagram where he posts highlights of his birding and photography tours. Contact Nelson at +593 95 978 2457 or via Ecuador Nature Tours on Facebook, Instagram: @ecuadornaturetours
Birds After Flight: The Art & Importance of Bird Taxidermy
Enjoy this recording of "Birds After Flight: the Art & Importance of Bird Taxidermy," from the Feminist Bird Club. Panelists include NYC Audubon's Aurora Crooks and Molly Adams (also the Feminist Bird Club's founder). Also with Divya Anantharaman, Kayleigh Kueffner, and Frances Kane. Divya and Kayleigh discuss both scientific and artistic preparations, taking a peek into the process and history, and discussing the different ways specimens aid the advancement of conservation. Aurora does a brief overview of NYC Audubon’s Project Safe Flight, dBird, and shares ways that you can get involved. The casual presentations are followed by a Q&A.
Birders: The Central Park Effect. Produced by Jeffrey Kimball
Stream Birders: The Central Park Effect with 30-day trial of Music Box Direct
There is nothing like being in Central Park during spring migration, but viewing the film Birders: The Central Park Effect may be the next best thing during this time. Directed by NYC Audubon President Jeffrey Kimball, the acclaimed documentary reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds gracing Central Park and the equally colorful birders who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration. Featuring gorgeous footage of our beloved migrants and fascinating interviews with passionate Central Park birders, the film is a great way to visit Central Park virtually and a reminder of the importance of green spaces for our city's birds.
You can view the film, as well as other acclaimed movies and TV series such as the Johnathan Franzen-inspired documentary Emptying the Skies, on Music Box Direct. Music Box Films is offering a special 30-day free trial of the service to NYC Audubon members. Use the coupon code birders (all lower case) when signing up to get the 30-day free trial. Be sure to enter this code in the "coupon" field when inputting your payment information (you will not be billed until after the 30-day trial period and can cancel at any time).
Nesting Osprey at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Don Riepe
NYC Audubon Staff Favorites
We are also pleased to share a host of digital resources produced by kindred organizations and friends of NYC Audubon to help you connect with birds and nature. These staff favorites include videos, bird cams, podcasts, and other activities that hopefully provide you a lift, insights, or just a welcome distraction while indoors. We hope you enjoy our suggestions.
Please stay safe! We look forward to seeing you in the Parks or at a NYC Audubon event when we can safely reconvene together.
Nest Cams & Feeder Cams
And Because We All Need to Laugh
Games & Activities
BirdNote: "Birds and Glass - Community Science" featuring Project Safe Flight Volunteer Calista McRae
Bar Crawl Radio: "Urban Farms Above: NYC Roofs Going Green" featuring NYC Audubon Ecologist Dustin Partridge
Science Friday: "SciFri Extra: Bird Nerds Of A Feather Flock Together" featuring NYC Audubon Senior Conservation Biologist Kaitlyn Parkins
BirdCallsRadio: "Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival 2018" with NYC Audubon Executive Director Kathryn Heintz
Birders: The Central Park Effect
Available through Music Box Films. Use code birders for free 30-day month of Music Box
Available through Music Box Films. Use code birders for free 30-day month of Music Box