2010-08-20 / Community

Birders Flock To Shorebird Festival At Jamaica Bay

More than 120 birders from the tri-state area came the 5th Annual Shorebird Festival at the Jamaica

Least Sandpiper - the smallest and one of the most beautiful little shorebirds in the bay. Least Sandpiper - the smallest and one of the most beautiful little shorebirds in the bay. Wildlife Refuge on Jamaica Bay last Saturday to witness the annual fall migration of thousands of shorebirds.

“It was apparently a successful nesting year for the birds up in the Tundra regions where they breed,“ said Don Riepe, the Jamaica Bay Guardian and organizer of the event. “There were literally thousands of birds in the East and West Ponds of the refuge.”

During the day, programs on bird identification and photography were given at the refuge visitor center followed by trips outside to view them in the field. On hand to help out were National Park Service rangers Dandelion Dilluvio and Colleen Sorbera; Kevin Karlson, author of the Shorebird Guide; Lloyd Spitalnik, shorebird photographer; Adrian Binns, a birding expert; and seven other guides.

Birding expert and field trip leader Adrian Binns shows people how to identify shorebirds. Birding expert and field trip leader Adrian Binns shows people how to identify shorebirds. About 35 species of shorebirds can be seen at the refuge during the fall migration, which runs from mid- July to the end of October with peak numbers and species around mid-August. Partners in the event included the American Littoral Society, NYC Audubon and Gateway National Recreation Area. For information about upcoming trips and events in the Jamaica Bay area contact the refuge at 718-318-9344 and check the following websites: www.als nyc.org and www.nycaudubon.org.
A flock of semi-palmated sanpipers takes off as birders watch in the background at the East Pond. A flock of semi-palmated sanpipers takes off as birders watch in the background at the East Pond.
Large flocks of dowitchers, sandpipers, plovers and other birds can be seen at the refuge in August and September. Large flocks of dowitchers, sandpipers, plovers and other birds can be seen at the refuge in August and September.
Park Ranger Colleen Sorbera watches over a young birder at the festival. Park Ranger Colleen Sorbera watches over a young birder at the festival.

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