Love is in the Air: February Progams

by Feb 1, 2022News0 comments

February might be a short month, but you’ll fall head over heels in love with our long list of programs…

Take part in Science (and Advocacy) in Action this winter!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson and his team from Bedford Audubon and Saw Mill River Audubon for EagleWatch to monitor roosting Bald Eagles within the Lower Hudson Valley Important Bird Area (IBA). We share the data with Audubon New York to monitor and advocate for IBAs, and with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to supplement their eagle monitoring efforts and to facilitate decision-making that impacts this Important Bird Area. Family friendly—a fun way to introduce ecology to your kids!
Thursday late afternoons through February 17, approximately 1.5 hours before sunset.  If you’re interested in checking it out, call us at 914-232-1999 or email Tait directly at taitjohansson@hotmail.com.

Let your boots do some walking…
Bundle up in your winter gear and join Naturalist Tait Johansson for our First Wednesday’s Bird Walk at Dean’s Bridge in Somers. At this time of year, 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. We’ll be on the lookout for Ring-necked Duck, Gadwall, Bufflehead, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Red-breasted Nuthatch.
Wednesday, February 2, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Registration is required by emailing Susan at bedfordaudubonsociety@gmail.com or calling 914-302-9713.

Can we interest you in the world’s largest living species of owl?
Join Melanie Brocklehurst for the Bylane Book Club discussion of Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl by Jonathan C. Slaght. It was longlisted for the National Book Awards; named a New York Times notable book, and made it onto numerous Best Book of the Year lists for 2020. When he was just a fledgling birdwatcher, Jonathan C. Slaght had a chance encounter with one of the most mysterious birds on Earth. Bigger than any owl he knew, it looked like a small bear with decorative feathers. He snapped a quick photo and shared it with experts. Soon he was on a five-year journey, searching for this enormous, enigmatic creature in the lush, remote forests of eastern Russia. That first sighting set his calling as a scientist. The bird was a Blakiston’s Fish Owl. Through this rare glimpse into the everyday life of a field scientist and conservationist, Owls of the Eastern Ice testifies to the determination and creativity essential to scientific advancement and serves as a powerful reminder of the beauty, strength, and vulnerability of the natural world!
Monday, February 7, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Registration is required by emailing Susan at bedfordaudubonsociety@gmail.com or by calling 914-302-9713.

We’re heading out in search of the ultimate American bird.
Naturalist Tait Johansson invites you to join him on his first Hudson River Eagle Trip in search of our national symbol – the Bald Eagle. Many people don’t realize this once-endangered species resides around here, but the section of the Hudson River that borders northwestern Westchester holds the largest concentration of wintering Bald Eagles in the Northeast north of Chesapeake Bay. The river and its banks provide food and nesting opportunities, which will give us the chance to spot these majestic raptors along the river from Peekskill to Croton Point. Don’t miss this exciting field trip!
Wednesday, February 9, 8:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Registration is required by emailing Susan at bedfordaudubonsociety@gmail.com or by calling 914-302-9713.

What can you learn from branches, bark, and buds?
Find out by joining Naturalist Tait Johansson on a Nature Walk: Winter Tree Identification at Muscoot Farm. Tait will explain how to use a tree’s structure, bark, and other clues to ID it even after the leaves have fallen. Familes welcome, but all children must be accompanied by an adult. This is a popular walk so register early to secure your spot.
Saturday, February 12, 10:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Registration required by emailing Susan at bedfordaudubonsociety@gmail.com or call 914-302-9713.

Can you imagine seeing three coyotes on a bird walk?
We couldn’t, at least not until last month’s Third Thursday’s Bird Walk! Naturalist Tait Johansson scoped out the coyotes, at least four Bald Eagles, a Raven, and many other species on this popular, monthly walk in January. Register today for February’s Third Thursday’s Bird Walk before it fills up – it’s a field trip that rarely disappoints!
Thursday, February 17, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Registration is required by emailing Susan at bedfordaudubonsociety@gmail.com or calling 914-302-9713.

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.

United we count!
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBD) is fast-approaching, and it’s a way for the world to come together for the love of birds. For four days each February, people spend time watching and counting as many birds as possible and reporting them. The observations help scientists better understand global bird populations. More info on GBBD here>>

Please join us at Bylane Farm for Bedford Audubon’s Backyard Bird Count for a morning of counting. We’ll stay cozy indoors while observing the birds at the feeders through the windows. This is a great opportunity to introduce your children and other family members to the birds that they are most likely to see in your own backyards while adding to this great community science project. And with a couple of days left to count you can take your newfound skills home and add your own backyard count to the project. No experience is necessary, just keen eyes! If you have them, you can bring binoculars although they are not required. Masks are required when indoors; multiple windows in various rooms will be available for viewing at a safe distance from one another.
Saturday February 19, 8:30-10:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Registration is required by emailing Susan at bedfordaudubonsociety@gmail.com or calling 914-302-9713.

Photo: Raven (Adobestock)

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