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Queens Chronicle

Flocking to see the flocks at Gateway

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Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:51 am, Thu Sep 4, 2014.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane ... actually, yes, it is a bird.

Approximately 125 birders from across the tri-state area came out to enjoy the day-long annual Shorebird Festival at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge near Broad Channel last Saturday.

The event, held every year two weekends before Labor Day, was sponsored by the American Littoral Society in partnership with NYC Audubon and the National Park Service and brings birders to popular sites for shorebirds including East Pond and West Pond, where the feathered creatures are enjoying the last days of summer.

Highlights of the day included, clockwise from top left, flocks of sandpipers, oystercatchers, and a rare Marbled Godwit seen on East Pond.

More than 30-plus species use the refuge ponds as stopover sites where they feed and replenish their body fat during their long journey southward to Central and South America for the winter.

Also seen were the many egrets, herons and other species found in Jamaica Bay during summer.

During the day presentations on shorebird identification, behavior, photography and conservation were given by bird experts Kevin Karlson and Lloyd Spitalnik as well as Don Riepe, president of the American Littoral Society’s Northeast Chapter.

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