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BirdLife’s Global Bird Walks for The New York Times Birding Project

In summer 2023, in support of The New York Times Birding Project, BirdLife International is hosting bird walks around the world, and we invite you to join us. You’ll meet passionate and knowledgeable scientists, naturalists, conservation leaders, and leaders in business and public policy while observing birds and learning about how we work to protect them locally and across the world’s great migratory flyways.

The New York Times Birding Project is a citizen science project with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and encourages people to contribute bird data using eBird and Merlin.

BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership, representing 120 national organizations worldwide in more than 115 countries. As a leader in bird science, BirdLife manages bird data for the IUCN Red List and a database of more than 13,000 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas worldwide. As a conservation leader, we work strategically around Species, Sites, Society and Systems – linking up birds, habitats and nature, and people.

New York City: July 28

When: Friday, July 28, 2023, 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Where: Meet at the entrance to Manhattan’s Morningside Park at 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue

What: This NYC bird walk will cover Morningside Park and Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. New York City’s parks provide nesting habitat for hardy local avian residents like Baltimore Oriole, Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, American Robin, and many others. While NYC parks are birded extensively during spring and fall migration, birding data is limited during July and August. We will be seeking to document the summertime birds who are nesting in these valuable green oases in the city.

Hosted by: BirdLife International and NYC Audubon

Nairobi: July 29

When: Saturday, July 29, 2023, 7:30 a.m.

Where: Meet at the Nairobi National Park main gate—you are responsible for your transportation and entrance fees

What: Nairobi is the world’s birding capital, with more than 600 bird species recorded over the years. Nairobi National Park is within the city limits, and where two great ecosystems meet: the forested or cultivated hills that rise to the Aberdare Mountain range, and the vast grasslands that extend all the way to Kilimanjaro. Nairobi National Park is designated an Important Bird Area, hosting ten bird species on the IUCN Red List, with four more visiting on migration. It is a Key Biodiversity Area, with four of the Big Five mammals, and a number of rare plants. As it is a national park with wild animals, the bird ‘walk’ will be mainly in vehicles. Driving through the forest, we’ll hear the rich songs of Rüppell’s Robin Chat, and we may see Critically Endangered White-backed Vultures in the trees. At the bottom of the hill where the grasslands begin, we’ll pause at Nagolomon Dam to view waterbirds, including African Darters, African Spoonbills and Spur-winged Plovers. A drive through the grasslands may find a Common Ostrich, the world’s biggest bird, or Endangered Grey Crowned Cranes, the emblem of Nairobi. The bird tour ends at Impala Viewpoint, overlooking the grasslands from the forest.

Hosted by: BirdLife International and Nature Kenya

Singapore: July 29

When: Saturday, July 29, 2023, 7:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Where: Dairy Farm Nature Park. If traveling by subway, meet at Carpark A at 7:00 a.m. If traveling by car, meet at Carpark B at 7:15 a.m.

What: Dairy Farm Nature Park sits at the western boundary of Singapore’s Central Forests Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA), which holds the country’s largest extent of lowland rainforest (>2,000 ha). The park perches at the foothills of Bukit Timah, Singapore’s tallest point and is well known as a birdwatching site among local naturalists. The park supports a regular population of the Critically Endangered Straw-headed Bulbul, a species that has otherwise declined catastrophically in Southeast Asia due to the pet bird trade. The Greater Green Leafbird (Endangered) and Long-tailed Parakeet are also regularly seen here, alongside more than 80 species. The Wallace Education Centre provides a useful background to the pioneering work on Singapore’s natural history more than 140 years ago, and a good rain shelter.

Hosted by: BirdLife International and Nature Society Singapore

Bangalore, Brussels, London, and Quito

Walks to be scheduled in August and September—stay tuned!

Manhattan’s Morningside Park

photo by Catherine Merlin

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