New Year, New Programs: January Environmental Education

by Jan 3, 2022News0 comments

It’s 2022 and we’re still celebrating with NEW programs and returning favorites… inside and out!

Big news… a new bird walking tradition starts in the new year!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for our First Wednesday’s Bird Walk: Dean’s Bridge, Somers, a local birding hotspot. Start the year off right by registering for the start of our new series of walks that will take place at Dean’s Bridge the first Wednesday of every month. In winter, there are often impressive numbers of waterfowl concentrated here at the north end of Muscoot Reservoir, especially after other bodies of water in the area have frozen over. Gadwall, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, and Hooded Merganser are some of the species we should find here this month.
Wednesday, January 5, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.

We have a favorite outing to a place that is “justly celebrated for its bird life!”
Bundle up for a Field Trip to Greenwich Point with Tait Johansson. Greenwich Point is an Important Bird Area (IBA) and is essentially an island connected to the mainland by a causeway on which the park access road, Tod’s Driftway, is located. One of the factors for the IBA designation is due to the presence of high concentrations of winter waterfowl. Tait will lead us in the search for waterfowl including Brant, Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, along with Loons and Horned Grebe. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see a Snow Buntings like those pictured above!
Saturday, January 8, 8:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. This field trip is full; Email Susan to be placed on a waitlist.

Thinking of stealing a Bald Eagle? Talk with author Suzie Gilbert this month!
Join Melanie Brocklehurst AND author Suzie Gilbert for January’s Bylane Book Club to discuss Suzie’s novel, Unflappable. “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). Read more about writer and wild bird rehabilitator Suzie Gilbert here>>
Tuesday, January 18, 6:00pm
. Cost: Free. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the lecture. A recording will be available to Bedford Audubon members upon request.

You’ve heard that native plants are the way to go, but then what?
Register for Garden Director Mathew McDowell’s NEW Virtual Workshop: Next Steps: Focusing the Native Garden to find out! The benefits of planting native for birds and other wildlife are established. But planting native isn’t the whole story. In this workshop, Mathew will cover theming gardens, either by meeting the needs of specific species like hummingbirds or replicating wild native plant communities to create “authentic” habitats at home.
Tuesday, January 18, 6:00pm. Cost: Free. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the lecture. A recording will be available to Bedford Audubon members upon request.

Let’s do some local birding!
You’ll find friendly faces at Tait’s popular Third Thursday’s Bird Walk, not to mention potential sightings of Common Merganser, Bufflehead (if the reservoir still has some open water), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Towhee, and sometimes Bald Eagle!
Thursday, January 20, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.

How do migratory birds react to a changing environment?
Find out by registering for Migration from a Bird’s Eye View: A Zoom with Benjamin Van Doren. Benjamin Van Doren studies global bird migration across scales, from individuals to continents, and his work spans ecology, evolution, behavior, and conservation. In this talk, he will explore how migratory birds respond to changing environments – including the influences of light pollution, bird feeding, and warming temperatures. Benjamin began birding as a teen among the Audubon chapters of Westchester County, New York and is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology with a Ph.D. from Oxford University and B.Sc. from Cornell University. More at: bvandoren.com. This event is sponsored by the Audubon chapters in Westchester County: Bedford Audubon, Bronx River-Sound Shore Audubon, Central Westchester Audubon, Hudson River Audubon and Saw Mill River Audubon.
Thursday, January 27, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Register here through Eventbrite>>

You’re cordially invited to a wildlife refuge that protects ~600 acres and was established in 1999 to support grassland-dependent migratory birds and wintering raptors.
Register early for Naturalist Tait Johansson’s Field Trip to Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge before it fills up. Tait says to be sure to dress warmly for this late-day trip, as we are going to be basically stationary for 2+ hours or so. The main quarry is the Short-eared Owls that winter here and start flying over the grasslands at dusk, or a little before, to hunt. There will also be Northern Harriers, and Rough-legged Hawk is a good possibility as well.
Friday, January 28, 3:00-5:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.

SAVE THE DATE

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: Blue Jay (Adobestock)

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