The individuals behind the atlas effort are just as interesting as the birds we’re observing. Every atlaser brings a distinct set of talents to the project, and there is no single “type” of person who gets involved. This spotlight features Regional Coordinator, Brendan Fogarty.
(The) Nassau County
Role in the atlas:
Regional Coordinator, Long Island and NYC
How you started birding:
My parents took me on guided nature walks and bought me the National Geographic Birds of North America to their later woe back in 2001. I think I got in at a good time, just when lots of resources became available online. I did walks with the local Audubon Societies and spent four years on the board of Huntington Oyster-Bay Audubon. I was lucky to attend Cornell University, where most of my roommates were birders and kept my interest going strong.
It is always a cruel question, but I usually say American Goldfinch for what I perceive as their unbridled joy as they bounce around and carol about potato chips.
Motivation for being a Regional Coordinator:
Wanting to be more present and observant in my birding, and making a difference in conservation with citizen science. Also the glory.
Prior atlas experience:
I began birding during the second New York Breeding Bird Atlas, although I was an aloof tweenager and totally missed it.
What you are most excited for in the third atlas:
Feverishly blockbusting Otsego County in September 2024.
A favorite non-birding thing to do:
When large gull identification feels too easy I sit down and practice the uilleann (or Irish) pipes.