Queens Bird Alert

I created Queens and L.I. Bird Alert in January 2018 and continue to manage it to provide Queens and Long Island birders with a convenient way to share real-time birding information and birding photography and videography.

Queens and L.I. Bird Alerts can contain any information you believe to be of interest to local birders, but largely they should be any excellent birding or wildlife photo taken in our coverage area OR real-time reports of rare, uncommon, or otherwise notable wild birds in Queens or Long Island.To contribute alerts, photos, or videos, you can tweet @BirdQueens or with a mention, and this usually will get our attention eventually. Introducing yourself with a direct message to us is a good way to start, as Twitter reliably shows these messages, and then we can follow your account. If you tweet mostly birding stuff relevant to us, let us know and we can set notifications on your account and this will save you from having to mention us each time.With all alerts remember to give as exact a location as needed (for someone else to find the bird), and feel free to attach a pinned Google Maps image if it helps. Often attaching a photo of the area, the tree, or the bird can be helpful, too. We cover three New York counties: Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk, so it helps to state the county to which your report refers.Users follow the Twitter account @BirdQueens, which I manage. I review information and submissions from a variety of sources to compose my own tweets and to choose what to retweet.David Barrett: For experienced birders trying Central Park for the first time: see my map of Central Park birding locations and study them before arriving; follow the Manhattan alerts (@BirdCentralPark) on Twitter; look at eBird lists submitted for Central Park in recent days and you will know what birds to expect.

The following day drew multiple hundreds of birders from New York and surrounding states, and the Kirtland’s Warbler was seen almost continuously. It even was observed for part of the following morning, and then suddenly it was gone, and never re-found — as mysterious in its departure as it was in its arrival.
You may be surprised to learn that each year over 200 species of birds reside in or migrate through Manhattan. Observing and accurately identifying them poses many challenges. You need to know what they look like, what they sound like, and where and when they are likely to appear. Birding can be a leisurely walk in the park, or it can be something much more demanding. Manhattan is home to a number of talented and obsessive birders for whom birding is a test of brains, logistics, and physical stamina, requiring both an understanding of nature and a knack for technology.

David Barrett: It was more exciting than stressful, as a great many of my year-birds also were life-birds — I still was relatively new to birding. But stress also was present throughout the year, as I battled back from an early deficit to Andrew Farnsworth, sought to maintain a large lead, and then saw that lead dwindle by the end of October.
Download the free Merlin birding app (Android and iOS). It is loaded with bird photos and sound files. Use it both for learning bird ID and as a handy reference in the field.

David Barrett: That’s easy: Snowy Owl! I found the first confirmed Snowy Owl in perhaps two decades for Manhattan, which was also the first-ever for Randall’s Island, in January 2014 — an amazing and unexpected sight.
David Barrett: Most of my Central Park birds come from the Ramble. It helps that I live right by it, and that it is the most heavily-birded section of the park — maybe one of the most heavily-birded places in the nation — so rarities there have a good chance of being found and reported.Birding a big city also requires knowing how to pick the fastest transportation options. When I need to get around Manhattan quickly, some combination of running and taking the subway usually proves best.David Barrett: I saw that Twitter had built a powerful, widely-used, free system for rapidly sharing information, and that it could be employed to improve upon what Manhattan already was using for bird alerts.

David Barrett: My own excitement level was mild to nonexistent until the photo came out, because the chances of a Kirtland’s Warbler being there, in general, were infinitesimal. I passed the alert along right away, as “possible,” but I was not expecting much. Then the finder posted a photo and I realized that it probably was a Kirtland’s! This is when it got exciting, and I started running much faster.
David Barrett: In a big city, all areas have multiple uses, including parks, and often these uses conflict with birding. For example, people bring their dogs to Central Park, and that’s great — both have fun and get their exercise. But dogs scare ground-dwelling birds away (so do people). In general, birding early helps you avoid disturbance from other park-goers.

What is the rare bird in New York City?
The Prospect Park anhinga is the first devil bird observed in Kings County, and only the second sighting in New York City since 1992. When Radka Osickova first spotted it with the Brooklyn Bird Club, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
What is it like to spend nearly every day for a year trying to observe as many bird species as possible within the confines of Manhattan? In 2012 I did just that — it’s called having a “big year” — and I was not the only one. In this book I tell how I learned birding and how I went on to become a competitive birder. Then I give a detailed account of my 2012 battle with one of the nation’s best, ornithologist Andrew Farnsworth, and others to have the biggest of big Manhattan years. In the North End of the park, the Great Hill and the Loch are productive. But rarities can show up almost anywhere, so checking less-birded areas can bring rewards. The Manhattan Bird Alert: Followed by nearly 3,000 people, the Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) is a “Twitter-based system for quickly sharing information about birding in Manhattan.” Followers are notified anytime there is a bird sighting of note or important birding news in Manhattan. The account was the first to publicly announce what was arguably one of the biggest birding stories (picked up by the New York Times and New York Post) of 2018 – the May 11 sighting of a Kirtland’s Warbler in Central Park. Barrett has also created Alerts for other New York City boroughs (Bronx Bird Alert, Queens Bird Alert, and Brooklyn Bird Alert). Following these accounts is highly recommended to anyone who birds or plans to bird in NYC.

David Barrett: I was a long-time competitive middle-distance runner, looking for ways to improve my racing. I already was running as much as I could. Walking builds mitochondria without requiring extra recovery time, so I decided to walk more. To make my walks interesting, I began observing birds while doing them, and I kept track of what I saw. As my Central Park list grew, I quickly became interested in birding for its own sake, and I challenged myself to keep the list growing. Once I found out about eBird and its “Top Birders” ranking (of species observed for the year in one’s county), my competitive instincts kicked in and I worked on moving up the ranks.
David Barrett: Inwood Hill Park, Sherman Creek (in the Inwood neighborhood), Randall’s Island, and Governors Island are excellent places to bird. If you want to observe all the good birds in Manhattan, you will need to visit each of these places often. They also offer beautiful scenery and are generally less crowded than Central Park.I used my coding skills to develop cloud-based software that drives my alert systems. My software gathers birding data, presents it to me, and automates hashtag-based retweeting.

David Barrett: Once you have binoculars, birding is almost no-cost. You can get as much exercise as you want, keep your mind and senses sharp, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Those new to birding will learn along with me as I begin by exploring one of the world’s premier birding locations, the Central Park Ramble. As my own knowledge and experience grow, I introduce the reader to a series of beautiful and rare birds to be found not only in Central Park but also in the many excellent but less well-known parks of Manhattan. Journey with me from the waters of New York Harbor, where Red-breasted Mergansers and Horned Grebes swim, to the top of Inwood Hill Park, where Black Vultures and Great Horned Owls fly.When I arrived, the bird was not being seen, and it had not been seen for at least five minutes, so the fear of missing it set in. Soon enough, though, a small group of us, the finder and a few others, were on the bird. I confirmed it and issued a definitive Kirtland’s Warbler alert.

What is New York's famous bird?
ew York’s state bird, the Eastern blue- bird is one of the first birds to return north in the spring. Members of the thrush family, bluebirds occur in open areas, like fields, orchards and gardens, where they dine on a variety of insects and occasion- ally fruit.
David Barrett: I rely heavily on weather forecasts and eBird analytics in planning my birding. As a big-year birder, every day involves solving logistical problems: how do I allocate my time and choose where to bird? Which species do I pursue? eBird’s historical and real-time reports provide the data I need to plan wisely.One of New York City’s preeminent birders, David Barrett is the founder of the famous Manhattan Bird Alert and author of the widely acclaimed, A Big Manhattan Year.One of the most challenging birds of 2012 was Green-winged Teal, as I never actually found it! It also was the most common bird I missed (as did nearly everyone else). I ran to the Reservoir and the Meer many times looking for it. Of course, as soon as 2012 was over it showed up on the Reservoir, in January 2013.

David Barrett: The most challenging aspect of my 2012 big year — as with every one of my big years — was the need to bird early, for many hours a day or even all day, and to chase reports on a moment’s notice. All three of these demands peak during spring migration. The rest of the year is relaxing by comparison.A Big Manhattan Year: A widely acclaimed book that details Barrett’s fascinating attempt at a Manhattan Big Year (an attempt to observe as many species of birds in one year, in Manhattan, as possible). This includes his competition with top ornithologist Andrew Farnsworth and an exploration into Manhattan’s top birding locations, including an in-depth look into birding at Central Park (one of the top migratory birdwatching locations in America). A Big Manhattan Year also covers how Barrett learned to bird and how he became a competitive birder. Full book description is included below. Birders began streaming in. Within an hour over a hundred were on the scene, and they stayed until dark as the crowd grew large enough to draw police attention. Even the birders who usually don’t bother to chase alerts chased this one. Kirtland’s Warbler was a first for Central Park, Manhattan, and even all New York City. For Central Park it was the most improbable bird of the decade. It was history in the making. Birders felt euphoric to have witnessed this once-in-a-lifetime event. David Barrett: I am delighted with the wide following it has attracted, which has far exceeded my expectations, and with its successful expansion to similar alert systems for the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Now, birding finds are being shared across New York City faster and in greater numbers than ever before. We also showcase the best birding photographs and videos from our followers, a feature that was not around in the beginning when most users chose to receive the alerts simply as text messages.As the follower count has risen, so has the number of contributors, those who issue bird alerts or post images, particularly so in the last year as more people have taken up birding and nature photography.

What is the number 1 rarest bird in the world?
Overview: Perhaps the world’s rarest bird, only one Stresemann’s Bristlefront is known to survive in the wild. Unfortunately, this bird is confined to one of the most fragmented and degraded – and vulnerable – forests in the Americas.
Since then, the #birdcp hashtag has been used for a variety of purposes, but going forward, with the intense birding activity of spring migration on the horizon, I want to limit its purpose, which is to say, the use of #birdcp, to the original intent: real-time (or nearly so) alerts of rare, uncommon, or otherwise interesting birds (and other wildlife, when appropriate).An account that tweets eighty bird alerts per day might be great for active Manhattan birders, but it could be annoying to the other 97% of our followers. It also puts a strain on the account’s manager—that would be me—for whom re-wording and clarifying the alerts of others is time-consuming and distracting.

#birdcp: prompt alerts of rare, uncommon, or otherwise interesting birds in Manhattan (including first arrivals of migrants), with or without photos or videos
This is true! All we can control is who is approved for automated retweeting. If you use these hashtags in ways inconsistent with our recommendations, we will not retweet you! So, in September 2020, I created mbalerter, an entirely automated account that is much like what Manhattan Bird Alert was in its initial years. It natively retweets approved users who tweet with the #birdcp hashtag. Issue an alert for any observation or comment you believe may be of immediate interest to active Manhattan birders and nature enthusiasts. No species are off limits. In particular, owl reports are welcome. (If you want to pass along a report without having your name or username publicly disclosed, just direct message the @BirdCentralPark account and say so. I will issue the alert myself without attribution.)

Let’s give this new hashtag a try and see if it can catch on. I think it will help to better organize birding posts so that followers can get what they want when they want it.

You should tweet from the Twitter app on your mobile device. See Twitter support if you need help with this. Of course, you also can tweet from your PC using the Twitter website.
As new migrants arrive throughout the year, even common ones like Eastern Phoebe and Yellow Warbler, users often alert their first and subsequent next few appearances. Doing so is helpful and encouraged, but use your judgement regarding when to stop. Ask yourself: would birders want to go out of their way to see my bird?Bird alerts should have these two data: 1) the full common name of the species (abbreviations are discouraged because they can be cryptic to new birders) and 2) the location, as precise as practical, of the bird, including the park name. If the time is not reasonably close to now, that, too, should be noted. Just use the hashtag! If we see you tweeting well about birds, we eventually will approve your account. You can send us a direct message to speed up approval. Birders use longstanding names of Central Park birding locations in their alerts. Here they are: map of Central Park birding locations. If you want to post or chase bird alerts, you should learn these locations.In the first few years of operation, Manhattan Bird Alert was an automated account and it had only bird alerts (hence the clever choice of name). In more recent years, it has ceased to be automated—I compose all tweets myself— and it has featured both, with the daytime generally (though not exclusively) being reserved for images of today’s noteworthy birds and the evening for a variety of images of both common and uncommon birds. By using #birdcpp, you will make your alerts and images easily searchable so that others can view them and so that I can find them and possibly retweet them from Manhattan Bird Alert. We also post excellent butterfly and insect photography, along with that of reptiles (such as frogs and snapping turtles) and even mammals (such as woodchucks, coyotes, and seals). That said, alerts primarily should be of rare, uncommon, or noteworthy wild birds in Manhattan that currently observable or that might be refound.

Manhattan Bird Alert has enjoyed enormous growth in followers over the last two years. Most followers come for the excellent bird photography and videography and to get a general idea of what birds are being observed in Manhattan.
Among our followers is a smaller group, likely no more than 1,500 or so, of active Manhattan birders who want bird alerts! They may be happy to view photos of common birds during the off-hours, but when they are out in the park they primarily want to get alerts of rare or interesting birds that they can observe for themselves.Update: as of late April 2023, Twitter has disabled access to the API features that allow us to automate hashtag-based retweeting. While we wait for resolution of this issue, we ask that users take an additional step after tweeting a #birdcp alert: send a Direct Message on Twitter to @BirdCentralPark to let us know you sent an alert, so we can manually retweet it. You can simply say “alert.” This will work, as Twitter still sends immediate notifications on Direct Messages. Everyone can help protect migratory birds. Whether it is taking actions around your home or workplace, designing bird-friendly projects, or just taking actions that reduce resource consumption, every action is one step towards protecting migratory birds for future generations. A few simple actions that can be taken include: We do not guarantee that the websites we link to comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act. Links also do not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Many of the 1,093 species of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act are experiencing population declines due to increased threats across the landscape. Of those 1,093 species, 89 bird species are listed as either threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. An additional 342 species are listed as Birds of Conservation Concern, in one or more geographic scales (e.g., local, regional, or national). For more information about bird declines in the U.S., visit the State of the Birds webpage. Migratory birds are among nature’s most magnificent resources. Their conservation is a critical and challenging endeavor for the Migratory Bird Program and all who value nature. Human-caused mortality impacts are exacerbated by the landscape alterations resulting from a changing climate. Birds in every habitat will be affected by human-caused sources, so conserving migratory bird populations requires a multi-faceted, coordinated approach by governments, conservation organizations, industry, and the general public.In addition, the Fish and Wildlife Service provides information and assistance to industry and public seeking to develop projects in a manner that reduces impacts on birds and their habitats. Some of the resources the Service provides, and is constantly improving upon, are voluntary guidelines, best practice recommendations, and information and resources for developers for conducting environmental reviews striving for bird-friendly projects. This information empowers the public to understand potential impacts from various activities and provides recommendations on how to avoid or minimize those impacts. In addition, web-based applications are in development to make access to bird data, project planning information, and other decision support tools more easily and readily available to biologists, developers, and others that need them for facilitating decision-making where bird conservation is concerned. Finally, the Migratory Bird Program offers training for industry and partners to help understand their legal responsibilities; know where to go to obtain the information and tools needed for successful bird conservation; and understands the benefits of partnerships and how to more actively take advantage of partnership opportunities.

What is a code 3 rare bird?
Code-3: Rare. Species that occur in very low numbers, but annually, in the ABA Area. This includes visitors and rare breeding residents.
True estimates of mortality are difficult to determine. However, recent studies have synthesized the best available data to estimated ranges of mortality to bird populations in North America from some of the most common, human-caused sources of bird mortality. These are listed in the table below. This list addresses only human-caused sources, not natural sources. Many additional human-caused threats to birds, both direct (causing immediate injury/death) and indirect (causing delayed negative effects to health or productivity) are not on this list because the extent of their impact is either not currently well researched or easily quantified. For instance, habitat loss is thought to pose by far the greatest threat to birds, both directly and indirectly, however, its overall impact on bird populations is very difficult to directly assess. Other common human-caused and natural threats to birds that are known, but not listed below include various entanglement and entrapment threats e.g., open pipes and nets); predation by other animals besides cats, including humans (e.g., poaching); weather events; starvation; and disease.

What is the twitter for Birding Central Park?
Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) / Twitter.
The Fish and Wildlife Service mission includes working with others to conserve natural resources. The many successful bird conservation initiatives the Service is a part of with partners are shining examples of how multi-organization collaborative partnerships can lead to conservation success.Human-caused sources of bird mortality contribute cumulative or combined effects to declining bird populations. Millions of acres of bird habitat are lost or degraded every year due to development, agriculture, and forestry practices. These rapidly accelerating impacts can be mitigated only through habitat restoration and protection. In addition, millions of birds are directly killed by human-caused sources such as collisions with man-made structures such as windows and communication towers.

In 1890-91, Schlieffelin and the society released about 100 pairs of European starlings in Central Park, mainly for aesthetic reasons. A common, though disputed, story is that Schieffelin was attempting to introduce every bird species mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare. In the following decades they spread across the country and grew to number in the hundreds of millions.
Nine teenagers from the Bronx founded the Bronx County Bird Club on November 29, 1924, meeting in one of the co-founders’ parents’ attic. Among the founders were Allan D. Cruickshank and Joseph Hickey, who went on to become ornithologists. Roger Tory Peterson, a naturalist and illustrator from western New York, was also admitted as a member due to his skills as a birder. They maintained bird feeders in Van Cortlandt Park, the Bronx Botanical Gardens, and Hunts Point, and participated in yearly Christmas Bird Counts. Several members went on to get involved with the Linnaean Society of New York. The club became less active as the members moved away or pursued other activities, but the surviving members met up for a 50th anniversary reunion in 1978. An article in American Birds notes the club’s outsized influence, considering its membership never exceeded twelve, due to the dedication of its young founding members and cooperation with the Linnaean Society and American Museum of Natural History.In New York City, piping plovers primarily nest in the Rockaways on beaches like Rockaway Beach, Fort Tilden, and Breezy Point. The New York City Plover Project was founded in 2021 to watch over the birds, educate beach-goers, and try to enforce existing regulations. To do so, it partners with Park Police, Gateway National Recreation Center, the Audubon Society, and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Park Conservancy. Volunteers with the organization patrol sections of the beach and try to tell people about the birds and why the regulations exist. This can lead to conflict in rare cases, when beach-goers resent or ignore rules regarding fenced off areas, off-leash dogs, flying kites, or setting off fireworks.

What is the #1 bird threat?
For instance, habitat loss is thought to pose by far the greatest threat to birds, both directly and indirectly, however, its overall impact on bird populations is very difficult to directly assess.
The Queens County Bird Club was founded in 1932 and continues to lead walks and field trips in Queens and the New York City area. Members also participate in the Christmas Bird Count and Waterfowl Count. It used to meet in the Queens Botanical Garden’s administration building, and later in the Alley Pond Environmental Center.The Mount Loretto Unique Area was the first established segment of the New York State Birding Trail in 2021, which later expanded to include Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, Crooke’s Point, Brookfield Park, High Rock Park, Saint Francis Woodlands, Old Place Creek, Goethals Pond Complex, Clove Lakes Park, and Fort Wadsworth.While New York City is commonly associated with pigeons and other common urban birds like house sparrows and European starlings, hundreds of bird species reside in or travel through the city each year. It is situated along the Atlantic Flyway, a major route for migrating birds in the spring and fall. Its particular geographic location along the route, combined with a range of different habitats across the five boroughs, leads to a large number of species residing in, traveling through, or spending a season in the city each year. Migration takes place in the spring and fall, with additional shorebirds and raptors, which took different routes north in the spring, coming through in the fall. Journalists, scientists, and other writers frequently comment about the apparent contradiction between the size and density of New York City with its unusual variety of bird species and status as a birding destination.

What happened to the owl that was in Central Park?
Flaco, the owl who escaped the Central Park Zoo in February, is still alive and well living on his own. CENTRAL PARK, Manhattan (WABC) — Flaco, a Eurasian Eagle Owl, escaped from the Central Park Zoo in February. He was set free after someone cut his mesh enclosure at the Central Park Zoo.
In the 1970s, Audubon surveyors discovered nesting herons and egrets on islands off the coast of Staten Island. Eventually, ten species of the family were identified nesting on islands of New York and New Jersey harbor, sparking a conservation project subsequent legislation to protect the colonies.

There have been disagreements between birders and park officials when the latter have removed trees or made other changes to preserve an overall aesthetic or design of the park as a whole at the expense of trees which are attractive to wildlife. The Feminist Bird Club was founded in New York City in 2016 as a birding organization which prioritizes inclusivity, social justice, and creating a welcoming environment for diverse birders. Founder Molly Adams was initially motivated to go birding with a group for safety reasons, but wanted to form a group which specifically invited participation from people who may feel socially or politically marginalized. It was also around the time of the 2016 presidential election, when feminism was a prominent part of public discourse. Group outings are intended to be supportive rather than competitive, and respectful of a range of experience levels. As of March 2022, the club has grown to have 20 chapters across the United States and others in the Netherlands, Canada, and Scotland. Central Park is the most popular birding location in New York. During spring and fall migration, it is particularly known for a variety of warbler species. The New York Times called it a “birding mecca”, along with the Everglades and Yosemite National Park. The American Bird Conservancy and National Audubon Society consider it an “Important Bird Area”. The part of the park known as the Ramble, in particular, attracts a large number of migrants. 272 bird species have been seen in the park, though a much smaller number actually breed there. Breeding species include American robins and about sixteen others. A few species nest among the tall buildings. In addition to common building nesters like house sparrows, feral pigeons, and European starlings, raptors like American kestrels and red-tailed hawks have built nests on top of large buildings or in cavities. Herring gulls nest on buildings by the coast, like the Farley Building and Javits Center.The Jacob K. Javits Center, a large convention center on the west side of Manhattan with a space frame structure, earned a reputation as a major site of bird fatalities since it opened in 1986. A major renovation in the mid-2010s replaced its many glass panels with fritted glass that birds can see, thus decreasing bird fatalities by 90%. The improvements also added one of the largest green roofs in the country. In addition to being safer for birds, the changes resulted in a 26% lower energy bill for the building.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in birding surged, alongside other outdoor activities. New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States in March and April 2020, and with most businesses and schools closed, people looked for activities they could do while outdoors and socially distanced. Birding provided a pastime which can be done alone or with a group, and which could act as a distraction or otherwise relieve the stress of the ongoing pandemic.
Beaches on the Rockaways, including Fort Tilden, Rockaway Beach, and Breezy Point, are nesting sites for several shorebirds like piping plovers, American oystercatchers, and least terns. Areas of public beaches are fenced off during the breeding season.

Piping plovers are small shorebirds which nest on beaches. Their habitats have largely disappeared in large part due to human development. They were considered endangered in the 1980s, with only 722 nesting pairs remaining. Since then, conservation efforts, which involve fencing off portions of beaches during breeding season, have succeeded in multiplying the population. The plovers are now considered near threatened, and remain vulnerable to a number of dangers. They have several predators, including ghost crabs, other birds like gulls, and raccoons. Their small size and camouflage make them and their nests easy to accidentally harm.

New York City was the site of several species introductions, including two which became widespread invasive species in the United States: house sparrows and European starlings. In the 1850s, linden moths were causing significant damage to plants in New York City, so the city imported house sparrows which they hoped would eat the caterpillars. Other cities did similarly, only to learn that house sparrows prefer to eat seeds and grain for most of their lifecycle. However, the birds are aggressive, rapidly multiplying and pushing out native species. One of the people who pushed for the sparrows’ import was pharmacist and amateur ornithologist Eugene Schieffelin, who went on to lead the American Acclimatization Society, a group focused on introducing European species to North America.The Linnaean Society of New York was founded in 1878, making it one of the oldest ornithological associations in the United States. Though its scope is the natural world, it has long had a focus on birds. It primarily serves people and places in the New York City area, and has a long-standing relationship with the American Museum of Natural History. New York magazine called it a “topflight bird group” in 1978, and said that “sooner or later, most serious birders link up with” it.

In the early 90s, the New York City Parks Department’s Urban Park Rangers program ran educational programs in the park, including bird walks and species reintroductions, although the practice lessened in the early 2000s. A former parks department bird walk leader, Robert “Birding Bob” DeCandido began leading walks independently. Another birder, Starr Saphir, also become well known for leading bird walks in Central Park for nearly 40 years.
New York state produces a Breeding Bird Atlas, tracking behaviors of birds in the state. The process takes place every twenty years, and spans five years of data. The first atlas was undertaken in 1980-85, with another from 2000-2005, and a third which began in 2020 and is in progress as of 2022. Unlike typical birding, which largely involves spotting, identifying, and counting bird species, “atlasing” requires watching for and documenting a wide range of behaviors, habitats, and even nests without birds.Prospect Park is considered the flagship New York City Park in Brooklyn, and the most active birding location. The New York City Audubon Society operates an educational center in the park’s boathouse. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, just northeast of Prospect Park, has long organized bird-related events.

In May 2020 there was a confrontation in the Central Park Ramble between Amy Cooper, a white woman walking her dog off-leash, and Christian Cooper, a black man who was in the park birding. Dogs are required to have a leash in the Ramble, and when the woman refused to leash it, Christian Cooper beckoned to the dog with a dog treat. This led to Amy Cooper calling 9-1-1 and emphasizing his race in a request for police attention. Christian Cooper recorded the latter part of the conflict, and the video went viral on the internet. The resulting attention led to state legislation classifying as a hate crime the false reporting of criminal incidents by members of protected groups. It also drew attention to racial disparities among birders and inspired the creation of Black Birders Week.
Two locations in New York City, Central Park in Manhattan, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, are listed in Fifty Places to Go Birding Before You Die: Birding Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation established the New York State Birding Trail in 2021-22, with many locations listed in New York City. The New York City Parks Department also maintains more than fifty “Forever Wild” parks, in part to preserve natural areas for birds and other wildlife.

The New York Times characterized the issue as “a vigorous debate … roiling the city’s birding community”. It highlighted a set of Twitter accounts run by birder David Barrett, Manhattan Bird Alert and its counterparts for other boroughs, which have tens of thousands of followers. Barrett aims to “make everyone’s birding more effective” and draw people to a new hobby, while critics like Ken Chaya of the Linnaean Society of New York talk of “a fine line between sharing information about a sensitive bird and creating a flash mob”.
Most of the rural parts of New York City were developed by the early 20th century, and its air and water quality suffered. Ornithologist Ludlow Griscom was critical of urban developments which destroyed bird habitats, and noted decreasing populations of some species as well as a reduction in the number of birds which breed in city parks. Several birds once known to breed in the city, like short-eared owls and upland sandpipers, have stopped due to the encroachment of human activities and destruction of their desired habitats. Even in the mid-20th century, continued development and overall reduction of open space exacerbated population decline.The Brooklyn Bird Club was founded in 1909 by Edward Vietor. In addition to hosting regular walks and field trips for members and the public, it publishes the Clapper Rail magazine and participates in Christmas Bird Counts and Winter Waterfowl Counts.

What is the best time to go birding in NYC?
The best birding is often between dawn and 11am, when birds are most active. This is particularly the case in the spring and early summer, when birds sing in the early morning.
The National Audubon Society, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation of birds and their habitats, is headquartered in New York City. The original Audubon Society was founded by George Bird Grinnell in 1886, in response to widescale killing of birds for variety of reasons, including hunting for the hat trade. The organization attracted 39,000 members in its first year, but only lasted for a few years, followed by the creation of several regional organizations with the same name and mission, including the New York chapter in the late 1890s. The national organization was founded in 1905. The various Audubon groups are visible and active in pursuit of bird conservation, establishing the Christmas Bird Count, managing sanctuaries, and working for public policy changes like a prohibition on plume hunting, the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and a ban on DDT.

Fort Tilden, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Norton Basin Natural Resource Area, Bayswater Point State Park, Kissena Park, Forest Park, and Gantry Plaza State Park are on the New York Birding Trail.The internet has made it easier to share sightings and track what species other people have seen, and whereas the phone systems were updated only a once or a few times per week, social media in particular makes it easy to share sightings instantly and with a large audience. In a densely populated place like New York City, this can result in a large crowd of people flocking to see a rare bird. Platforms like Twitter have been used to share sightings using hashtags since at least 2011. The practice both popular and controversial.

The Wild Bird Fund is the city’s first and only wild animal hospital. It was founded in 2001 by Rita McMahon after she found an injured Canada goose and could not find a veterinarian who would treat wildlife. She ran a hospital out of her apartment at first, incorporating as a non-profit in 2005. It opened a dedicated facility on Columbus Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 2012, treating up to 400 birds at a time and 7,000 yearly patients as of 2020.
New York City is home to several organizations dedicated to birding, ornithology, or bird conservation, as well as a natural history museum, school clubs, a wildlife rehabilitation center, and other natural societies which overlap with birding.New York City is home to a large birding community and diverse range of bird species. Though it is the most populous and most densely populated city in the United States, NYC is home to a range of ecological habitats and is situated along the Atlantic Flyway, a major route for migrating birds. More than 400 species have been recorded in the city, and their concentration in the city’s urban parklands, forests, marshes, and beaches has made birding a popular activity in the city, especially after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staten Island the second highest number of species sighted of the five boroughs, after Queens. Clove Lakes Park is among the most popular birding spots on the island. It includes several bodies of water in its 193 acres, and is known for warblers during spring migration. It is home to the city’s only great blue heron nesting pair.
In addition to scaring away birds, dogs allowed to run around the forested areas of the park can destroy an important bird habitat that migrants rely on. The Brooklyn Bird Club has lobbied the New York City Parks Department and the Prospect Park Alliance to do more to enforce existing rules while other associations of dog owners argue for more access to off-leash space. In general, off-leash rules are only occasionally enforced, in part because of the size of the parks relative to park staffing.New York City is the most populous and most densely populated city in the United States, with 8,804,190 people as of the 2020 census. There is little data available about birding demographics in New York City in particular, although New York state was the second most active state for birding according to the 2021 National Survey of Birdwatchers.

Some birders use recordings of bird sounds to help them identify birds in the wild. Others may use a technique known as “pishing”, making a sound that may attract some species in order to get a closer look. A prominent bird walk guide in Central Park, Robert DeCandido, uses pishing as well as a powered Bluetooth speaker connected to a smartphone to amplify various bird songs, warning calls, and other sounds to attract birds for those on his walks. The practice has attracted controversy in the local bird community. DeCandido claims using audio playback does not cause harm and only briefly distracts the birds while others regard the tactics as unethical in the way they disturb or affect the behavior of birds.
The Staten Island Greenbelt is a 3,000-acre collection of parks including a variety of habitats, including the woods and ponds of High Rock Park. Great Kills Park, Miller Field, and Fort Wadsworth are part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Goethals Pond, near Goethals Bridge, is a hotspot for shorebirds, including a large number of unusual vagrant species. The southern tip of Conference House Park, which is also the southernmost point in New York State, has a view of the ocean that provides an opportunity to see seabirds. Most of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, including the parts accessible to the public, are located in Queens. More species have been seen at the refuge than in any other location in the city, with 322 reported to eBird. The refuge includes several islands in Jamaica Bay, an important fish, wildlife, and plant habitat complex. The shape of the bay concentrates migrating species between its coastlines and through its open space between more heavily developed urban areas. The refuge was established by the NYC Parks Department in 1953, and included the creation of two ponds on either side of Cross Bay Boulevard. The West Pond is surrounded by paths and woodlands while the East Pond, with a water level manually controlled to create ideal conditions for shorebirds, is less developed. The refuge was transferred to the National Park Service in 1972, becoming its only “wildlife refuge” (which are typically the domain of the Fish and Wildlife Service). It is part of the Jamaica Bay Unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area, alongside other Queens birding destinations like Breezy Point Tip, Jacob Riis Park, and Fort Tilden. The islands’ salt marshes attract a wide range of birds and other wildlife. Ospreys, which were at one time endangered due to the pesticide DDT, have regularly nested in the refuge since 1991. Glossy ibis and snowy egrets breed there.The coasts to the south and southwest of Brooklyn have several beaches and salt marshes where a variety of shorebirds and marsh birds are common. Seaside sparrows and Nelson’s sparrows are commonly seen around Coney Island and Plumb Beach, for example. Several of these areas, such as Floyd Bennett Field, Plumb Beach, and Shirley Chisholm State Park, are part of the Jamaica Bay unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The New York Birding Trail includes nine locations in Brooklyn: Calvert Vaux Park, Plumb Beach, Floyd Bennett Field, Marine Park Salt Marsh, Shirley Chisholm State Park, Prospect Park, Fort Greene Park, Highland Park Ridgewood Reservoir, and Marsha P. Johnson State Park. Parts of the former industrial waterfront areas of Brooklyn have been converted into public space, included some which attract a range of waterfowl and other aquatic birds. Bush Terminal Pier Park, which opened in 2014, is a common birding spot for the ducks, gulls, raptors, and other species it attracts.

New York City’s five boroughs (the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island) are home to a range of habitats, but most greenspace or natural space is in the city’s parks. Given New York City’s location on the Atlantic Flyway, spring and fall migration are the most popular times for birding. The major city parks are known as “migrant traps” or “migrant magnets”, providing the right combination of food, geography, trees and plants, and weather to attract large numbers of migrants in a relatively small area. During migration, when a large number of birds pass over the city, they have limited options for places to land, rest, forage, or breed. Parks like Central Park, otherwise surrounded by buildings and roads, thus attract a large and diverse quantity of birds. Birding is most popular in the early morning, when the birds are active and there are fewer people in the park.
Most of the major birding hotspots in the city are accessible by public transportation. Many of the best known coastal birding locations in Brooklyn and Queens, and on the east coast of Staten Island, ar
e part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, a US National Recreation Area created by Congress in 1972, owned by the federal government and managed by the National Park Service. The New York City Parks Department increased conservation and public education programs starting in the 1970s with the founding of Urban Park Rangers, and then the National Resources Group (NRG) in 1984. The NRG develops and implements plans to acquire, protect, and restore natural areas within the city while the park rangers guide members of the public to those areas.Artificial light sources can affect animal behavior in a variety of ways. Lights Out New York is an initiative started by Audubon which advocates for buildings to turn their lights off at night during key times of the year, typically after midnight during spring and fall migration. Nighttime lights attract birds, who can fly towards them and collide with a window. The Bloomberg administration endorsed the program in 2005. Tribute in Light, an annual event organized by the September 11 Memorial and Museum, memorializes the attacks by projecting two bright beams of light into the sky signifying the twin towers. It involves dozens of high-power lights shining upward into the sky, and since its first run in 2002, it was found to trap large numbers of migrating birds. A study conducted over seven years concluded that about 1.1 million birds were influenced in some way, likely disorienting them. To address the issue, organizers periodically turn off the lights, during which time birds disperse.

Ludlow Griscom’s 1923 handbook, Birds of the New York City Region, counts 377 species and subspecies divided into categories of “residents” (37 year-round and 89 in the summer), “visitants” (6 in the summer, 30 in the winter, 20 irregularly in the winter, 18 “casual”, and 66 “accidental”), “transients” (78 regular and 21 irregular), and 12 “extinct or extirpated species”. The New York City Audubon Society reports more than 400 documented species in the city, with between 200-300 on any given year. The quantity of pigeons, rats, and mallards attract raptors like hawks and a smaller number of owls. Between 1998-2002, a Parks Department initiative reintroduced eastern screech owls to Central Park after none had been seen since 1955.
Proponents of bird alerts appreciate the opportunity to see a rare bird and argue that it promotes greater appreciation of birds and nature in general among the public. Opponents argue the crowds are harmful, both because of the number of people and because the publicity draws not just ethical birders but members of the public who may not prioritize the well-being of the bird over their own curiosity or desire for photos. Organizations like New York City Audubon specifically criticize sharing information about sensitive birds such as owls, which rest during the day and hunt at night. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology maintains rare bird alerts for each of the New York City counties which are delivered by email on a daily or hourly basis, but restricts some information about sensitive species and the audience is not as broad as social media platforms provide. New York City Audubon formed in 1979. It coordinated protests of the removal of a nest belonging to a red-tailed hawk named Pale Male, which became a minor local celebrity. It started Project Safe Flight in 1997 to monitor and address window collisions, and Lights Out New York Like in 2005 to work with building owners to turn lights off at night during migration. Floyd Bennett Field is a former airport which was added to the Gateway National Recreation Area in 1972. At the time it was not accessible to the general public, and became known for grassland birds like eastern meadowlarks, grasshopper sparrows, and upland sandpipers in the summer, and raptors like northern harriers and short-eared owls in the winter. It has since become a mixed use recreation area for the public and lost much of its grassland area. These changes, plus a broader trends in bird populations led these grassland birds and owls to become uncommon. At the same time, a few species were seen breeding there in the 2000-2004 Breeding Bird Atlas which had not been seen in the 1980-1984 edition: willets, Carolina wrens, brown-headed cowbirds, and savannah sparrows. It is a common nesting site for American kestrels, and regarded as among the best places in the area to see them. It is also the site of a variety of public projects, such as relief operations during hurricane Sandy and construction of a pipeline, which have led to some additional development of former wildlife habitats. At the end of 2014, a Cassin’s kingbird attracted birders from outside New York to the site.

The earliest records of birds colliding with glass in New York City are from 1887, when birds were seen colliding with the Statue of Liberty’s torch when it was left on at night. The dead birds were sent to the American Museum of Natural History’s ornithology department. New York City Audubon has monitored numbers of birds killed in collisions with major buildings in the city since the late 1990s, launching Project Safe Flight in 1997. The initiative is modeled after Toronto’s Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), and involves working with building owners and policymakers to address collision fatalities. According to the organization, between 90,000 and 230,000 birds die due to collisions with New York City buildings each year as of 2019.
In 2019, New York City Council passed a law which requires all new construction or building alterations that replace exterior glazing to use bird friendly materials. It became law in 2020 and applies to construction projects starting in January 2021. In December 2021, New York City Council unanimously passed two bills applicable to city-owned buildings: one which requires outdoor lights to be turned off during peak migration times, and another which mandates the installation of occupancy sensors to turn interior lights off when unnecessary.Birders are known for sharing information with each other about the locations of unusual birds. The Audubon Society and Linnaean Society co-sponsored a rare bird alerts phone line in New York City starting around 1970, inspired by a system that started in Boston in the late 1960s. The hotline, called the Metropolitan Rare Bird Alert System, allowed birders to call in to hear a recording listing rare species seen in the area, including detailed directions of how to find them. As of 1973, when the New York Times wrote about it, it received about 500 calls per week.

Rodenticide is used to curb the city’s considerable rat population, but birds which prey on rats, like hawks and owls, can suffer from secondary rodenticide poisoning. A barred owl known as Barry was killed in the park in 2021 when she collided with a maintenance vehicle, perhaps affected by the quantity of rat poison inside her.New York City was a major center in the debate over hunting and trading birds for fashion. In the late 19th century, a time of prosperity led to increased popularity of luxury goods like fashion accessories. Bird feathers and other parts were common features, especially in hats. Birds like the great egret were hunted in large numbers to use their plumes. In 1886, Frank Chapman, an ornithologist with the American Museum of Natural History, conducted a “feathered hat census”. He walked around the streets of Manhattan, counting hats that used feathers or other bird parts and trying to identify the bird species when possible. Birds were used in about 75% of women’s hats at the time and included at 40 identifiable native species. The New York State Plumage Law, passed in May 1910, prohibited the sale of plumes of native birds.

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is a busy urban park with a ride range of public uses. Among them are dog-walking and other kinds of recreation people engage in with their dogs. The park does not allow dogs to be off-leash except in dedicated locations, and only for a few hours early in the morning and at night. There are frequent conflicts between dog owners who allow their dogs to go off-leash at other times and in other places, including bird habitats, and birders, park rangers, and other park-goers.
Monk parakeets, which are not native to the United States, have set up multiple colonies in Brooklyn, but their origin is disputed. A common story involves the parakeets, considered a nuisance in Argentina, shipped up to New York for the pet trade in the 1950s. After arriving, they reportedly escaped. Alternatively, the colonies may have started by various escaped pets. There are populations in Gravesend, Marine Park, and in Midwood by the Brooklyn College athletic field, but the largest and best known colony is in the landmarked Gothic arch at the entrance to Green-Wood Cemetery, where they have been permitted to reside indefinitely. The cemetery, with diverse plantings in its landscaped space, is also a popular birding destination, especially around its four small bodies of water.Bronx Park, now predominantly occupied by the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo, was a prominent birding location at the turn of the 20th century, when the area was still largely rural. According to George E. Hix, a Lawrence warbler sighting drew attention to the site in 1903. Other popular birding locations include Crotona Park, Roberto Clemente State Park, Van Cortlandt Lake, and Pelham Bay South, which are on the New York State Birding Trail.

Where can I see owls on Long Island?
With an entrance just off of Main Street, the Cold Spring Harbor State Park is a hotspot for a number of songbirds. In addition, the 40 acres of trails wind down gentle hills provide a home for the Great Horned Owl and Red-Tailed Hawks.
Use of the pesticide DDT decimated raptor populations in the mid-20th century. The environmental movement, starting in the 1960s, helped to improve the quality of the city’s air and water and raise awareness of the effects of DDT. The influential book by Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, credited with swaying public opinion about DDT, was in part based on research by New York City birder Joseph Hickey. Many raptor species have recovered, such as peregrine falcons which nest on buildings and atop most of the city’s major bridges.

Unusual bird sightings in New York City attract enough public interest to receive media attention, sometimes granting a level of celebrity to the bird. When a snowy owl was seen in Central Park in 2021, for example, large crowds converged to see it. Snowy owls are not rare in the region, but are very uncommon in Manhattan, and it was the first seen in Central Park in 130 years. It was only seen in the park for one day, but it was enough to attract local, national, and international news coverage. Rare bird sightings also spark debate over the well-being of the birds, which sometimes appear outside of their usual ranges or during a time of year when they should be further south. When two calliope hummingbirds arrived in Fort Tryon Park in the winter of 2001, they attracted hundreds of people and led to consideration of whether or not to intervene to save the birds, which are not equipped to survive a New York winter.Glass buildings in particular pose a danger to birds, which may be attracted to a reflection or interior lights. Ways to avoid bird–window collisions include signals, screens, films, fritting, and various other window treatments, but they can be costly to retrofit. Often it is only part of the building which causes problems for birds, and usually lower floors or where trees and other vegetation are reflected. The Morgan mail processing center in Chelsea installed an opaque cover over the windows after Audubon members found high numbers of dead birds attracted to a particular reflection of London plane trees. 26 Federal Plaza and the former World Trade Center installed nets to protect birds on its lower floors. The IAC Building, by contrast, was constructed with a curved façade that does not create a perfect reflection and white bands on other windows.We’ve detected that JavaScript is disabled in this browser. Please enable JavaScript or switch to a supported browser to continue using twitter.com. You can see a list of supported browsers in our Help Center.

Birds & Beers is a social get-together open to any interested birders. We meet regularly at the Royal Canadian Legion at 9202 Horton Road SW in Calgary, from 6 to 9 pm. We usually have presentations or other activities. The 2023 meetings from January to June will be held on the second Friday of each month.
“Some of the species include summer tanager, yellow-throated warbler, Acadian flycatcher (now nesting in the park) and others,” said Tom Stephenson, a Brooklyn birder, in an email. “We’ve also seen a number of unusual Western species in Brooklyn, including Townsend’s warbler and Swainson’s hawk.”For two weeks, a strange bird has perched in Brooklyn over the treetops of one of the Three Sisters Islands in Prospect Park Lake. It shows no signs of heading back to the place it most likely came from in the South. “While we’re excited to see the anhinga to N.Y.C., please watch from a distance and respect its space,” said Sarah Aucoin, the chief of education and wildlife for the New York City parks department. “It may not be from around here, but it’s still a wild animal for us to respect.” “Out of the corner of my eye, I saw what I assumed was a double-crested cormorant sitting on a log in the canal on my left,” said Mr. Wing, a bird enthusiast. “The color for the head and neck was much lighter than a typical cormorant, and it didn’t seem right.” “What we are seeing here is likely an expanding population from the previous typical range of the species in the southeastern United States,” said Andrew Farnsworth, a researcher at the Cornell lab. He added that the anhinga “is a strong flier and quite a migrant, so it’s not necessarily a surprise this is happening.” The Prospect Park anhinga is the first devil bird observed in Kings County, and only the second sighting in New York City since 1992. When Radka Osickova first spotted it with the Brooklyn Bird Club, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

Meet the anhinga, a large water bird with a snaky neck that has joined other high-profile vagrant birds in recent years by making a rare appearance outside of its typical migration range.The anhinga in Brooklyn may be on its own, but there were earlier indications that the species had been making forays much farther north. Days before the sighting in Brooklyn, Timothy Wing spotted another anhinga outside his car window in Rome, N.Y., about 180 miles north of New York City.

Anhingas, water birds with snakelike necks, have turned up in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and far upstate, a sign of shifting ranges for birds from the South.The bird’s name comes from the Tupi Indian language of Brazil and means “devil bird.” And according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, it’s not from around here: Anhingas in the United States generally range from the Southern states along the gulf coast to Texas, stretching into the Carolinas in the summer.After taking photos with his cellphone, Mr. Wing confirmed his sighting with a friend. They counted 22 anhingas and logged them into eBird, the online bird observation database.

What does rare bird alert mean?
Rare Bird Alerts are recent reports of unusual birds in a specific county, state, province, or country. Best for: unusual species in your region. ABA Alerts are lists of American Birding Association (ABA) Code 3 rarities or higher reported from the US and Canadain the past 7 days.
Researchers say that this rogue anhinga didn’t merely veer off course, but that it was taking advantage of a habitat that was newly available to it because of rising temperatures.Kenn Kaufman, a bird expert and field guide author, says we’re seeing a broad pattern emerging with Southern birds in search of new nesting territories.

An immature ICELAND GULL was still at Cupsogue Beach County Park last Sunday. CASPIAN TERN was reported from Captree Island Monday and Staten Island Thursday with one around Jamaica Bay and 2 at Croton Point Park today and the first arriving ROYAL TERNS were noted along the coast commencing Thursday.
SUMMER TANAGERS included up to 3 present in Central Park last weekend and one in Forest Park Queens Thursday. Besides the breeding pairs out in the Calverton Grasslands a BLUE GROSBEAK was also found at Brookhaven State Park Tuesday.

Despite quite poor weather for migration this week New York State did benefit with the arrival of an unprecedented 22 ANHINGAS appearing last Saturday up in Rome in Oneida County and as those birds dispersed to unknown sites up north on Tuesday one was found on Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn often staying partially hidden on Three Sisters Island the bird could be viewed from the peninsula and though taking off on Thursday the ANHINGA did return to the lake and was still present today at the same location. Hopefully it will stay through the weekend.
The Greenwich-Stamford Summer Bird Count held last weekend including much of eastern Westchester tallying 132 species including GLOSSY IBIS, 2 BLACK TERNS, ACADIAN and ALDER FLYCATCHERS, BROWN CREEPER, WINTER WREN, MAGNOLIA, BLACKPOLL and HOODED WARBLERS and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH.

Among the decent variety but disturbingly low numbers of warblers still moving through were a KENTUCKY in Central Park last Saturday and some MOURNINGS.A POMARINE JAEGER was photographed Sunday on the beach east of Smith Point County Park and other pelagics featured some WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS offshore including 9 off Breezy Point Monday as well as a few SOOTY and CORY’S SHEARWATERS and PARASITIC JAEGERS.