BCR 138: Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival 2018

Jamaica Bay wildlife Refuge, East Pond. Photo Courtesy of ©Kevin T. Karlson. All Rights Reserved.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, East Pond. Photo Courtesy of ©Kevin T. Karlson. All Rights Reserved.

On today’s show, I am reporting live at the 13th Annual Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival that is held at the Gateway National Recreation Area unit of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge within the U.S. National Park Service.

This Festival is Founded & Hosted by Don Riepe; Jamaica Bay Programs Director, American Littorial Society NE Chapter; and in partnership with New York City Audubon and Gateway National Park Service.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a remarkable place. Part of Gateway National Recreation Area, the 9,000-acre refuge lies virtually in the shadow of New York City’s skyscrapers, close to JFK International Airport. And yet it’s one of the best birding spots in the Northeast, where thousands of birds—raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl, songbirds, wading birds, and more—stop to rest and feed during migration.

The refuge boasts a diversity of habitats, including ponds, woods, upland fields, saltmarshes, and a bay with small islands, which explains the wide variety of species it attracts. Both spring and fall are good times to visit to see the largest numbers of birds—both in terms of species and individuals. The shorebird watching is particularly good in June and September when the water in the East Pond is lowered to create a mudflat for the birds.

The daylong activities was packed with shorebird experts surrounding the peak shorebird migration time at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Many learn about behavior, biology and how to identify shorebirds with talks and in the field with naturalists Tom Burke, Kevin Karlson, Don Riepe, Lloyd Spitalnik and many other bird experts.

Several people agreed to be interviewed by me for this episode of BirdCallsRadio and they tell us why they come to this area for this segment on the 13th Annual Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival. 

Show Notes:

Don Riepe – Jamaica Bay Programs Director, American Littorial Society NE Chapter

Lloyd S – Wildlife Photographer

Kathryn Heintz – Excutive Director, NYC Audubon

This is another favorite place I like to visit yearly in the fall to see beautiful Shorebirds that stopover before heading south bound to their wintering habitats. I look forward to next year’s 14th Annual Jamaica Bay Shorebird Festival 2019 that will take place at the end of August 2019.


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