Special Event: Our Museum is for the Birds!

Have you seen the birds around the New-York Historical Society? , we have  Audubon’s Aviary, a third of our collection of John James Audubon’s original watercolors for his revolutionary work of ornithology, Birds of America on view until May 19th. These beautiful birds on paper are not to be missed….and neither are the real things!

At the Meet the Fledglings program at 2 pm on May 4th, the Wild Bird Fund will bring live baby birds to the Museum for families to learn about! The Wild Bird Fund and their birds will teach families about wildlife conservation and let us feed the fledglings in their charge — then participants will give back by making tiny nests for future injured baby birds. Best of all, the program is free with Museum admission and no RSVPS are required. Just show up!

We interviewed Wild Bird Fund volunteers about the amazing work they do. Read on and get excited for this once-in-a-lifetime program!

DiMenna Children’s History Museum: What is the Wild Bird Fund?

Wild Bird Fund: The Wild Bird Fund is the first rehabilitation facility to which New Yorkers can bring injured and sick wildlife to be helped and, hopefully, returned to the wild. Last June, after years of operating out of apartments, the WBF opened a storefront facility at 565 Columbus, north of West 87th Street. People bring us animals now from all five boroughs, often by subway.

DCHM: Why does New York City need a Wild Bird Fund?

WBF: We’re a critical stop on the East Coast migratory flyway. Our parks and waterways host 350 species of birds and many mammal and reptile species. This city is very hard on wildlife: 90,000 birds are killed by NYC’s buildings every year, and 90% of the animals brought to us were hurt directly or indirectly by humans. We’re treating about 1,400 animals a year, from baby squirrels to wild swans. At least half are returned to the wild; others go to sanctuaries or a gentler death.

DCHM: What is your favorite kind of New York City bird?

WBF: There are so many to love and admire—red-tailed hawks, mourning doves, egrets, swallows—but the true, true New York City bird—loyal to its mate; street-smart; curious about people; glorious in flight—is the pigeon. We love the lowly rock dove.

DCHM: Where is the best place in the city to see a wide variety of birds?

WBF: Central Park during spring and fall migrations has a particularly diverse mixture of residents and visitors, as do most of the city parks, to different extents. As oases within a concrete jungle, the parks are rich with bird watching opportunities: bird numbers are concentrated. Seashores and waterways are good places to look as well.

DCHM: What kinds of baby birds will you bring to the DiMenna Children’s History Museum on May 4th?

WBF: That will depend on who’s been brought in, but we’d bet on baby pigeons, maybe starlings…

As always, if you have any questions about the Meet the Fledglings program on May 4th, please email familyprograms@nyhistory.org. We hope to see you there!


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