Virtual Birding

Virtual Birding Activities and Resources

NYC Bird Alliance 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!
We will continue to post new programs on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages, in eGret eNews alerts (subscribe at the bottom of this page!), as well as right here on this webpage. 
Virtual Birding by Ear with Tom Stephenson

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.

Previous Episodes

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 Bird Alliance 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 Bird Alliance. 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 Bird Alliance 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 live-streamed session "Birding While Black: a Candid Conversation," recorded with National Audubon. The discussion includes six panelists including NYC Bird Alliance Board Member Chris Cooper, Birding Guide and Educator Jeffrey Ward, and ornithologist Corina Newsome. Follow #BlackBirdersWeek on Twitter and Instagram. Join NYC Bird Alliance 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

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 Bird Alliance with the New York Aquarium, Ibex Puppetry, artist Autumn Kioti, and NYC Parks.
4th Annual 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 Bird Alliance with the American Littoral Society, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, New York Aquarium, and Gateway National Recreation Area.
The Masked Birder! Ep. 3: Nelson Apolo

NYC Bird Alliance’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 Bird Alliance'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 Bird Alliance’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
Birders: The Central Park Effect. Produced by Jeffrey Kimball
Watch Birders: The Central Park Effect
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 former NYC Bird Alliance 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.
Nesting Osprey at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Photo: <a href="" target="_blank" >Don Riepe</a>
Nesting Osprey at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Don Riepe
NYC Bird Alliance Staff Favorites
We are also pleased to share a host of digital resources produced by kindred organizations and friends of NYC Bird Alliance 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.

Nest Cams & Feeder Cams
And Because We All Need to Laugh
Games & Activities
Podcast Episodes

More Resources