The semipalmated plover, a white-rumped sandpiper and more than a dozen other birds provided quite the show at the 7th annual Shorebird Festival, held last Saturday at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. More than 100 avid birders laced up their boots and got muddy watching some of North America’s most popular shorebirds in their natural habitat in Broad Channel.
The all-day event, hosted by the American Littoral Society, NYC Audubon Society and Gateway National Recreation Area included two two-hour birding hikes to East Pond, the larger of the two meers in the bird sanctuary. Rookie birders were able to take a tour of easier-to-hike West Pond. There were also lectures from Don Riepe, president of the American Littoral Society’s Northeast Chapter, and Lloyd Spitalnik and John Rowden of the NYC Audubon Society.
This festival was the first since 2010, last year’s Shorebird Festival was canceled due to Hurricane Irene. The weather for this year’s was perfect — partly cloudy with temperatures around 80 degrees.