Celebrate Urban Birds-NYC!




Celebrate Urban Birds-NYC!, part of a 3-year national/international collaboration with Cornell's Lab of Ornithology (CLO), is Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC's (CUCE-NYC) local effort to reach thousands of NYC residents and community-based organizations, enabling them to participate in activities focused on birds and neighborhood habitat improvement, through hands-on citizen science data collection and other experiential learning and to document and report their efforts on the project's website and to the CLO.


Urban residents are disconnected from their local natural environment, which is critical not only for ecosystem functions but also in providing a greenspace and sanctuary within an otherwise highly built landscape. Bird and other wildlife habitat have continued to decline precipitously, especially in cities, where remaining vacant land is developed without consideration of broader implications to biodiversity and conservation needs. Urban youth have limited opportunities to engage in hands-on citizen science in their own backyards, community gardens, and greenspaces, while gaining knowledge and awareness of scientific concepts based on their local natural resources.


In 2007, 1400 NYC residents took active part in ten "Celebrate Urban Birds/NYC" events citywide during May 10-13, 2007 planned by CUCE-NYC and CLO. Among these, approximately 550 residents, mostly families with children from the Harlem area, took part in a "Celebrate Urban Birds-NYC!" Festival on May 12 in Central Park at the Harlem Meer and Dana Discovery Center. Activities included: \n--Live raptor demonstration of falcons, owls and hawks presented by the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary Audubon Center\n--"The Science Behind the Celebration," hands-on education by Cornell University Cooperative Extension – NYC and Cornell Lab of Ornithology;\n--Bird walks and data collection, led by volunteers from Central Park Conservancy and the Urban Park Rangers; \n--Native bird habitat creation, workshop led by Solar One; \n--"Birds of Central Park," book signing by Cal Vornberger;\n--Cardboard bird sculpture creation, guided by artist Jimmy Grashow;\n--Public mural creation involving Harlem youth from The Renaissance University for Community Education and college students from the New School, led by artist Youme Landowne; and\n--A dance performance by Kristen McArdle & Dancers.\n


--As a result of recruiting organizations citywide, CUCE-NYC developed partnerships that resulted in the planning and conduct of 10 unique "Celebrate Urban Birds-NYC!" events citywide during May 10-13, 2007, involving 1400 city residents.\n--Project r

Submitted by: 

  • Dickinson, Janis L

Researchers involved: 

  • Babcock, Lisa
  • Lambert, Veronique T
  • Gayton, Emily G
  • Dickinson, Janis L
  • Purcell, Karen

International focus: 

  • United States of America

United States focus: 

  • New York

New York State focus: 

  • Bronx
  • Kings
  • New York
  • Queens
  • Richmond