Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club

Birding by canoe for Global Big Day

Global Big Day! A perfect time for our first official tour of the season. 
Global Big Day is an annual celebration of the birds around you, and part of World Migratory Bird Day. Birder’s observations help scientists (and citizen scientists like us!) better understand global bird populations. This year we contributed to the global bird observations by creating an e-bird list of our sightings during our birding-by-canoe paddle led by Loyan Beausoleil of Local Nature Lab. Their work in encouraging birding in under-birded areas is supported by a Blake-Nuttall ornithology grant. 

We saw a lot of common-to-Gowanus birds, but Loyan helped make them feel special by sharing fun facts about our local friends. Canada Geese may be one of the most common birds that we see, but who doesn’t love their fuzzy little goslings? The roosting pair near our dock started their breeding early this season, so it was fun to compare their ‘tweens’ to the little balls of fluff who struggled to hop up and over a floating boom to catch up with their parents. The most interesting sighting of the day was a red-throated loon on the shore near ‘rebar beach’. We were worried that it might be injured, it’s behavior seemed off, but when spotted later in the day it seemed to be okay. Here’s hoping it heads on it’s way to join it’s friends who have already migrated! Get outta here, silly loon, you’re running late! 

If you like canoeing AND like birds (like a lot of us do!) come on down to 19th St. and help us turn it into a birding hot-spot! We think it’s a pretty great location, if we do say so ourselves. 😛 

(Photos by Nicole Vergalla)

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