Say Hello to Winter: December Programs

by Dec 7, 2021News0 comments

Cold weather is here, but we have some

brrr-illiant things for you to do this December!

Giving Feels Good!
It’s December, and that means our Year-end Appeal is underway. As a member, you know how hard we work to protect birds and their habitat. And you are an important part of this work. Please make a donation today – you’ll feel for doing your part!

Bird Seed Pick-up and Delivery Info
We give a big THANK YOU to those who shopped our Fall Seed Sale. We are grateful for your support and happy that you are connecting with nature!
Order pick-up is Saturday, December 4th, 10am-noon at Mill River Supply, 365 Adams Street, Bedford Hills. Deliveries will begin on December 4th and continue throughout that week. Questions? Emailus or call the office at 914-232-1999.

Hoo wants to look for owls?
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for a Field Trip to Read Sanctuary/Marshlands Conservancy, Important Bird Areas (IBA) that provide a mixture of salt and freshwater habitat. We’ll be on the lookout for Great Horned Owl, winter waterbirds, and lingering songbirds. This is a favorite trip among members and a great opportunity for new birders to polish their bird watching skills. After all, waterfowl often stay put and allow for sustained observation! Register early before this popular trip fills up!
Sunday, December 5, 8:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. Depart Bylane at 7:15pm or meet at the boathouse on Playland Lake at 8:00am. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.

How does an insect found in only one state in 2002 become the most destructive forest insect in America by 2021?
Find out at Timothy Morris’ Virtual Lecture: Emerald Ash Borer. Currently found in 35 states, the Emerald Ash Borer has killed hundreds of millions of Ash trees, with potentially more than eight billion to follow. We’re thrilled to welcome Tim, who began working with invasive species in 2015 as the native garden intern at our own Leon Levy Native Garden at Bylane Farm. He is currently a PhD student at SUNY ESF studying the management of the Emerald Ash Borer.
Wednesday, December 8, 7:00-8:00pm. Cost: FreeEmail Susan to register or call 914-302-9713. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the lecture. This lecture will be recorded and shared with Bedford Audubon members upon request.

Give yourself the gift of nature + friendly cheer this holiday season!
Embrace the crisp winter air and join Naturalist Tait Johansson for his monthly Third Thursday’s Bird Walk. There’s a good chance we’ll see wintering waterfowl such as Buffleheads and Common Mergansers on the reservoir, and possibly a Bald Eagle!
Thursday, December 16, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Registration is limited and required. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.

Have breakfast with the birds!
Turn your love of feeding the birds into scientific discovery by joining us for Project FeederWatch.
Former Board member Dr. Jim Jones will help us identify, tally, and submit data on the birds we observe through the windows at Bylane Farm. Jim will also give an overview of this citizen science endeavor that is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada. Freshly baked muffins, coffee, and other goodies will be served.
Friday, December 17, 8:00-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.

The arrival of the winter solstice means things will only get brighter!
Although it marks the astronomical first day of winter and shortest day of the year in our area, it also means the days will start getting longer. Experience this magical day by joining Naturalist Tait Johansson for a Solstice Bird Walk at Dean’s Bridge in Somers. Winter waterfowl congregate at the open water here, sometimes in impressive numbers!
Tuesday, December 21, 8:30-10:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.

It’s Christmas Bird Count Time!
This early-winter bird census is a National Audubon Society community science program that relies on volunteers across the Western Hemisphere to go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds. There are four local Counts in this region – plenty of opportunity to add to the 122-year strong tradition. New or inexperienced birders will be paired with more experienced groups, and fun is almost guaranteed! Each Count is organized by a Compiler who assigns volunteers to specific routes through a 15-mile diameter circle. This year, Covid-19 guidelines will be followed based on local restrictions. Contact the compiler for the Count for which you’d like to participate:

Saturday, December 18, Peekskill, NY Christmas Bird Count. Email Compiler Mike Newhouse at
Sunday, December 19, Greenwich-Stamford Christmas Bird Count. Contact Compiler at 203-219-1963 or
Saturday, January 1, Pawling Christmas Bird Count. (Sorry, this count is already full)
Sunday, January 2, Putnam County, NY, Christmas Bird Count. Email Compiler Charlie Roberto at


Come on an armchair “wild ride!” and then talk about it – WITH THE AUTHOR!!
Join Melanie Brocklehurst AND author Suzie Gilbert for January’s Bylane Book Club to discuss Suzie’s novel, Unflappable. Treat yourself for the holiday with this novel.  “Longtime bird rehabber Suzie Gilbert’s funny, fast-paced novel follows zookeeper Luna Burke’s wacky journey to deliver a stolen Bald Eagle and its mate to a raptor sanctuary” (Audubon Magazine). “This zany rescue tale starring an eagle offers readers a great escape.” (Kirkus Reviews).
Monday, January 10, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Registration is required. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the lecture.

It’s On!
If all goes according to plan, we hope you’ll join Tait for the return of his Newburyport/Cape Ann Winter Birding Weekend! The coast of northeast Massachusetts is the winter home to a spectacular array of seabirds. Our masterful naturalist will guide this special trip around the region in search of such stunners as Harlequin Duck, King Eider, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-necked Grebe, Rough-legged Hawk, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Purple Sandpiper, Black Guillemot, Black-legged Kittiwake, Razorbill, and Snowy Owl. It’s also possible we will find Dovekie, Thick-billed Murre, and Eastern Screech, and Short-eared Owls. Add these to your year (or life) list this February!
Friday, February 18-Monday, February 21. Cost: $110/members, or $145/non-members and we’ll credit $35 to an annual membership. Travel, lodging, and meals not included. Note: The fees for this trip help support environmental education so we can continue to deliver high-quality programs for free. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713. 

Photo: Great Horned Owl (Pixabay)


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