Featured Atlaser: Brendan Fogarty

By Julie Hart February 20, 2020
Brendan Fogarty

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.


Brendan Fogarty

Home County:

(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.

Favorite birds:

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.