Getting In Tune With Spring: May Programs
Spring birdsong is music to our ears. If it strikes a chord with you, join us this month to experience the magnificence of migration!
Do you want the dirt on native and habitat gardening?
Work and learn! Join other volunteers for our Weekly Garden Session and work alongside Garden Director, Mathew McDowell, in our Leon Levy Native Garden. Volunteering is a great way to get hands-on experience with cultivating native plants and gardening techniques, and learning about the birds, butterflies, and pollinators that call our garden their home.
Every Tuesday from 9:00-11:00am. If Tuesdays don’t work for you, keep an eye out for upcoming weekend volunteer events. All experience levels welcome and appreciated! Bring gardening gloves if you have them. No need to register, but please email Susan with questions or for more information.
Have you been to the only open space trail area in the city of Mount Kisco?
If not, don’t miss Naturalist Tait Johansson’s Field Trip to Marsh Sanctuary. We’ll be searching this 156-acre sanctuary for migrating songbirds and resident Blue-winged Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Kisco River runs through the sanctuary on its way to the Hudson River. We’re excited to add this trip to our Migration Madness lineup!
Tuesday, May 3, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
Let’s make this a habit…
We’re talking about Tait’s First Wednesday’s Bird Walk at Dean’s Bridge Road in Somers, of course. Monthly walks like this are perfect for tracking the changing of the seasons based on the numbers and species of birds we see – and we hope there will be lots to see with migration in full swing!
Wednesday, May 4, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
Don’t be a square – instead, check out an 843-acre rectangle.
You won’t feel boxed in if you come on our Field Trip to Central Park. Naturalist Tait Johansson will guide you through this extraordinary migrant trap! Possibilities include flycatchers, cuckoos, warblers, tanagers, vireos, kinglets, freshwater sandpipers, and wading birds and waterfowl. We’ll stop at the boathouse for lunch or bring your own.
Thursday, May 5, 7:15am-1:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713. The group will meet at 72nd Street and Central Park West at 7:15am.
If migrating birds can travel, so can we!
Don’t miss Naturalist Tait Johansson’s Field Trip to Garret Mountain this season. It’s a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) in Passaic County and contains deciduous forests, riparian habitats and ponds that are a significant stopover/flyover for migratory land birds. Tait will guide the group on trails around a beautiful pond in search of migrating songbirds. In addition to viewing beautiful birds, there are sweeping views of northern New Jersey and the NYC skyline from the reservation.
Sunday, May 8, 7:30am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
How would you like to make like a bird and Flyaway?
You’ll have two chances to do just that with Hudson Valley writer and wildlife rehabilitator Suzie Gilbert…
Join the Bylane Book Club to discuss Suzie’s captivating memoir, Flyaway: How a Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings. In it, Suzie tells the rollicking story of how she turned her family life upside down to pursue her unusual passion for rehabilitating wild birds. Often funny, sometimes painful, Gilbert’s encounters with these beautiful creatures reveal profound truths not only about animals but also about our own lives—lessons of birth and death, suffering and empathy, holding on and letting go.
Monday, May 9, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713. The meeting will take place outdoors at Bylane Farm (weather permitting). New readers are always welcome! The book is available to borrow from the Westchester Library System or is available to purchase in print and as an e-book.
Don’t miss our return to the Katonah Village Library for lecture by Suzie Gilbert! Suzie will recount tales of mishap, rescue, and the occasional miracle from her wildlife rehabber days. After 11 years, Suzie Gilbert left her job at a sanctuary for birds of prey and opened Flyaway, Inc., her own small songbirds-only wildlife rehabilitation center. As she and her family slid down the slippery slope of a home-based non-profit, they attempted to find balance while Great Blue Herons took over the spare bathroom, Turkey Vultures recuperated in the garage, released crows circled the house, and nestling songbirds required feeding every 20 minutes. Suzie will also let us in on the bonds she forged with her fellow rehabbers – the slightly off-kilter group of people whose mission is to heal injured wildlife and return them to their homes.
Wednesday, May 11, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Registration is not required.
Dig in and you’ll make the earth smile!
Learn from experience at our monthly Interactive Workshop: Invasives ID + Clean Up at Bylane Farm. Board member Steve Ricker, who is also the Director of Conservation & Wildlife Management at Westmoreland Sanctuary will be on hand to teach you how to identify and remove invasive plants. In some sessions, we’ll be replanting native plants. Please wear outdoor work attire and gloves. We have some shears, loppers, and clippers, but please bring your own if possible. Plants with thorns will be present. This is a great and fun way to get some exercise, fresh air, and contribute to our community’s wild animals and plants.
Saturday, Saturday, May 14, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
Come on one field trip that is comprised of five distinct habitats…
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson on his popular spring Field Trip to Marshlands Conservancy/Rye Nature Center. This will be a great time for later songbird migrants such as Blackpoll Warbler and Canada Warbler. We’ll be looking for Osprey which return to their treetop nests and fly fast and low across the harbor. At the seashore, we could spot American Oystercatcher and Snowy Egret.
Tuesday, May 17, 7:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
Can you tell the difference between a raven and a crow?
Don’t miss a chance to see nesting ravens on Naturalist Tait Johansson’s Third Thursday’s Bird Walk which begins at the Cross River Dam. Last month, we saw a raven carrying food to its partner or nestlings and could see parts of the nest under the dam. We’ll be searching for migrant songbirds and will likely get a great view of a Cliff Swallow colony.
Thursday, May 19, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
We know the best place to find breeding Hooded & Cerulean Warblers.
Naturalist Tait Johansson will happily take you along to look for them on his Field Trip to Doodletown Road. The timing will be right for a chance to see Cuckoos, and possibly some late-May migrants like Olive-sided Flycatcher and Mourning Warbler.
Saturday, May 21, 7:30am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
Learn how NOT to say, “What’s that?”
What’s that bird – sparrow or finch? What’s that plant growing in your yard – friend or foe? Clear away the confusion by coming to our What’s That? Nature Identification Apps Workshop at Bylane Farm. In this interactive workshop, experts will teach you how to use two popular nature identification apps – iNaturalist and Merlin. After an info session, we’ll explore our Leon Levy Native Habitat Garden and surrounding area so you can practice your new skills and see what you can find. All are welcome – bring your family and don’t forget your phone!
Session 1, 2:00: Murray Fisher will teach us about iNaturalist, “an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature.” Murray is a co-founder of the Billion Oyster Project and the New York Harbor School, and partner in Natural Ventures.
Session 2, 3:00: Linda Burke will teach us how to use Merlin, “the best of community contributed photos, songs and calls, tips from experts around the world to help you ID the birds you see”. Dr. Burke is an environmental educator, retired from full-time teaching at John Jay High School but still active in their science department. She is on the Boards of Bedford Audubon, Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
Sunday, May 22, 2:00-4:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
Attract and feed birds the natural way!
Learn how with Mathew McDowell at his Virtual Lecture: Planting for the Birds sponsored by the Lewisboro, Pound Ridge, and Ruth Keeler Memorial Libraries. Mathew will go into detail on gardening with native plants to provide resources and habitat that birds require. With thought-out planting, you can provide these resources to birds all year long and witness foraging and nesting behavior right from your window!
Monday, May 23, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Registration is through the Lewisboro Library: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYld-2vqzgtG91E–0pzz9jNObTYSL2OTv4. A Zoom link will be emailed two days before the program.
The madness continues!
We’re referring to migration madness of course! Be a part of it with Naturalist Tait Johansson as he heads north for a Field Trip: North County Trailway in Yorktown. This is a local hot spot for spring migrants, and maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of an Orchard Oriole.
Tuesday, May 24, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
Come to a “birdwatcher’s paradise!”
Naturalist Tait Johansson’s Field Trip to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is rich in bird life because its borders circumscribe a wealth of habitats – deciduous woods, pine and spruce groves, meadow, old fields, cliffs, marshes, and more. We hope to see Prairie Warbler, Worm-earing Warbler, Hooded Warbler, and Indigo Bunting.
Thursday, May 26, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register or call 914-302-9713.
Photo: Flowering Dogwood in the Leon Levy Native Habitat Garden (Susan Fisher)