Bird-lover’s event marks spring migration and offers birder’s paradise

Birders of all experience levels welcome

Event includes early access to the zoo and all-day admission

Birdathon kicks off new “JetBlue Presents Birds in Flight:” Three weekends of live, free-flight, exotic bird shows – Saturday and Sunday, May 9/10; 16/17; 23/24

Bronx Zoo Birdathon

Saturday, May 9; 7am to 2pm

Register at

Slideshow: Wild birds & zoo birds

B-roll download:

BZ Birds Birdathon

Bronx, NY – April 20, 2015 – Following a successful inaugural event last year, WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) is bringing back the Bronx Zoo Birdathon on Saturday, May 9 during the peak of the spring migration season. This year’s Birdathon promises to be bigger and better with prizes, keeper chats, conservation experts, family activities, and a free-flying bird show, all presented by JetBlue Airways.

The second annual bird-watching event is open to birders of all skill levels, including families and novices.

The Bronx Zoo is a birder’s paradise. The park sits on 265 acres of hardwood forest that is transected by the Bronx River – the only freshwater river in New York City. The diverse habitats and access to water make the zoo the perfect environment for dozens of migratory and resident bird species including warblers, vireos, thrushes, woodpeckers, ducks, wading birds, and more.  Many of these birds travel from as far away as South America and other areas of the tropics.

Participants will receive a checklist of the bird species found in and around the zoo. Zoo staff will guide birders to areas of the zoo where they will most likely observe wild birds.  Interactive areas will allow participants to try out new binoculars; build their own bird feeders and nestboxes; have children dress up as their favorite birds; and talk directly to the Bronx Zoo’s ornithology staff about how they care for birds at the zoo and work to save birds in the wild.

WCS bird expert David Oehler, Bronx Zoo Curator of Ornithology, will be on-hand along with the zoo’s bird keepers to chat with bird-watchers about WCS bird conservation programs, offer birding advice and answer questions.

Said Oehler: “Conservation starts in your backyard.  What better way for WCS to celebrate birds and bird conservation than by allowing everyone, especially children, to see one of nature’s wonders, the multitudes of Neotropical birds as they migrate through our park, and have an opportunity to talk directly to the staff about our avian programs.”

Prizes will be presented to those that are able to observe the most birds on their checklists. For more information and to register for the Bronx Zoo Birdathon, visit

Following the Birdathon activities, participants are encouraged enjoy the rest of the day at the Bronx Zoo and stop by Astor Court where Animal Behavior & Conservation Connections (ABCC) will be flying various species of birds from around the world, during JetBlue Presents Birds in Flight. The live show will run twice a day for three weekends – 11:30am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, May 9/10; 16/17; 23/24.

Social media-savvy Birdathon participants can share their photos of key Bronx Zoo bird-sightings with the hashtag #NYisWild as part of the 120 Ways #NYisWild campaign marking the 120th anniversary of WCS. The city-wide photo safari includes #29 white-throated bee eater; #32 owl; #35 condor; #39 flamingo; #42 penguin; #45 Inca tern; and #48 blue curacao. Visit to register.

WCS thanks presenting sponsor JetBlue and the following organizations for their support of this year’s Bronx Zoo Birdathon:

  • NYC Audubon
  • NY Audubon
  • Audubon Greenwich
  • American Bird Conservancy
  • ABC Bird Collisions Campaign
  • Westchester Community College Native Plant Center
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Wild Bird Center
  • Vanguard USA
  • American Littoral Society

WILD VIEW BLOG birding assignment: Photos submitted to WCS’s Wild View photo blog will have a chance to win Orros 8420 waterproof binoculars or a Reno 41 backpack. Visit for details.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends from April to October; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m November to March. Adult admission is $19.95, children (3-12 years old) $12.95, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $17.95. Parking is $15 for cars and $18 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit or call 718-367-1010.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit:;;  Follow: @thewcs.