Celebrating the 18th Annual Shore Bird Festival

 Celebrating the 18th Annual Shore Bird Festival

Photos and Story
By Theresa Racine

What a beautiful day it was for a bird festival on Saturday, August 19. The American Littoral Society, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, Queens County Birding Club, Gateway National Recreation Area, NYC Plover Project and New York City Audubon Society brought the community out for the 18th Annual Shore Bird Festival at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

The day started out with donuts, coffee, and bagels. Then, bird experts, Kevin Karlson, Don Riepe and Tom Burke took participants for a hike around the east and west ponds. One of these hikes was through marshes with lots of mud due to rain in days prior and all that was seen was a Yellow Greater Leg, and another small bird among the marshes. But flying above everyone’s heads were great snowy egrets and a great cormorant. The youth in attendance got treated to a bird walk of their own led by a Junior Ranger.

After a short break, Riepe spoke about the 50 years of Jamaica Bay Refuge calling it, “An Urban Oasis,” full of history involving wildlife and people alike. Karlson spoke of the many shore birds of North America. The day was very successful, with folks from across the city coming out to be educated and enjoy what the day had in store for them. All of the event partners also provided resources and information at various tables set up around the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge visitor center.

Missed out on the shorebird fun? There’s more to come. This Saturday, August 26, myself, a local birder, and NYC Plover Project are hosting a walk along our shores to share information about piping plovers and other shorebirds and their migration patterns. The event starts at 10 a.m. on Beach 58th Street and the walk goes to Beach 38th Street. There will be donuts and coffee for those who join. All ages are welcome, but children must have a parent or guardian present. For more information, call Theresa Racine at 646-408-1200.

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