January 2023 Programs


Waterfowl galore at Dean’s Bridge on our First Wednesday’s Bird Walk
Start the year off with the birds at Tait’s First Wednesday’s Bird Walk in Somers. 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, and possibly Northern Pintail.
Wednesday, January 4, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Email Susan to register.

Field Trip to Greenwich Point, a designated Important Birding Area (IBA)!
Bundle up for our annual Field Trip to Greenwich Point with Naturalist 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 search of waterfowl including Brant, Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, along with both Loons and Horned Grebe. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see a Fox Sparrow or Snow Bunting!
Saturday, January 7, 8:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.

Don’t miss the exclusive re-screening of the 3D film, Wings Over Water!
You are invited! Join the five Westchester chapters for a special re-screening at the Jacob Burns Film Center of the 45-minute 3D film, Wings Over Water, produced by award-winning local filmmakers Andy Young and Susan Todd. Wings Over Water tells the story of the epic journeys of three amazing bird families – the Sandhill Crane, the Yellow Warbler and the Mallard Duck – with extraordinary footage of their fascinating behaviors. The screening will be followed by a reception and panel discussion with Susan Todd and Saw Mill River Audubon Executive Director Anne Swaim, in the Jacob Burns Media Arts Lab.

This presentation is organized by Films on Purpose in partnership with all five Westchester County Audubon chapters: Central Westchester Audubon, Bronx River-Sound Shore Audubon, Bedford Audubon, Hudson River Audubon and Saw Mill River Audubon.
Monday, January 9, 7:00pm. Purchase tickets directly from the Jacob Burns Film Center HERE.

Deer Management in Westchester County and Beyond
“New Yorkers greatly appreciate white-tailed deer and enjoy them in many ways. However, deer often cause problems for farmers, homeowners, and foresters and can cause road hazards. If not properly managed, deer numbers can increase dramatically. This increases problems for people and reduces the quality of the habitat for deer and other wildlife.” – New York’s Deer Management Program, NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Deer numbers in most of New York are controlled by regulated recreational hunting, which is the most practical means of controlling deer populations over large areas. At our January lecture, meet our two speakers who are responsible for implementing local deer management programs:

  • Philip Settembrino, Bedford Audubon Board member and Head of Bedford Audubon’s Deer Management Program
  • Doug Erickson, President of the Westchester County Bowhunters Association

After a short presentation about the where, why and how of deer management, our speakers will be open to questions and discussion.
Wednesday, January 11, 7:00pm, Katonah Village Library.  The presentation will begin at 7:00 PM, but please join us for refreshments from 6:45pm. This is a public lecture so registration is not required.

Wondering where to find raptors in winter? Check out EagleWatch!
Take part in Science in Action this winter by joining Naturalist Tait Johansson and his team from Bedford Audubon and Saw Mill River Audubon for EagleWatch. EagleWatch entails monitoring roosting Bald Eagles within the Lower Hudson Valley Important Bird Area (IBA). The data is shared 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. This event is family friendly—a fun way to introduce ecology to your kids!
Thursday late afternoons from January 12-February 16, about 1.5 hours before sunset. If you’re interested in checking it out, call 914-232-1999 or email Tait.

“Some people come to a fork in the road that changes their life path. I found a dove by the side of the road and a life changing path found me.” — Michele Raffin, CEO, Pandemonium Aviaries
Join Melanie Brocklehurst and members of the Bylane Book Club on Zoom for our Virtual Book Discussion of The Birds of Pandemonium: Life Among the Exotic and the Endangered by Michele Raffin. The author is the founder of Pandemonium Aviaries, a conservation organization specializing in protecting birds by “banking” living birds and growing their numbers with the goal of saving species from extinction. The book is “about one woman’s crusade to save precious lives, bird by bird, and offers insights into how following a passion can transform not only oneself but also the world.”
Monday, January 16, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Registration is required. Email Susan to register. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the lecture. The book is available to borrow through the Westchester Library System, and to buy from the usual sources. It is also available on audio and as an e-book.

Our Continuing Favorite:  Third Thursday’s Bird Walk
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 maybe a Bald Eagle!
Thursday, January 19, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.

The Season Finale to Bedford Audubon’s 2022 Hawkwatch Season!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for a Virtual Round-up of our complete 2022 Hawkwatch season at the Chestnut Ridge viewing platform at Butler Memorial Sanctuary.  From late August up until Thanksgiving, our professional staff, Rich and Adam, were on the platform diligently collecting migration data and helping visitors spot and identify the raptors. It was a fantastic season with absolutely massive kettles (groupings) of broad winged hawks early in the season.  We also saw beautiful Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles.  The raptors we observe here migrate from their northern breeding grounds of Quebec, the Canadian Maritimes and northern New England to their wintering grounds in the southern United States and Central and South America.  We are fortunate enough to be located over their regular flyway.  Long-term data on migratory populations is vital for avian and climate change research.
Friday, January 20, 6:00pm. Cost: Free. Email Susan to register. A Zoom link will be sent to participants prior to the presentation.

Habitat Renewal Volunteer Session – top-rated for vigor!
Get some exercise and fresh air while learning about habitats… Join Naturalist & Properties Committee Chair Steve Ricker for another Habitat Renewal Day!  Yes, there’s some hard work involved in this session as you help remove the invasives in our sanctuary and gardens, but you’ll also learn how to identify and eradicate invasive plants and learn about their negative effect on the ecosystem.  In some sessions, we will be replanting native plants. This is a great and fun way to get some exercise, fresh air, and help improve the local ecosystem. Tools and gloves will be provided, or you can bring your own. (Loppers and hand pruners are the most used tools). Plants with thorns and poison ivy may be present.
Saturday, January 21, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Email Susan to register.

Why do birds migrate?
Bedford Audubon is proud to be a co-sponsor of Bird Migration: Fun Facts and Shameless Speculation presented virtually by Pam Hunt. The phenomenon of bird migration has fascinated people for millennia, and the answers will finally be revealed in this program! Pam will provide an overview of the nuts and bolts of bird migration, including how scientists study it. She’ll also discuss examples of migration routes of some familiar (and unfamiliar) species and touch on the conservation issues facing migratory birds. Pam Hunt bio>>  We’re thrilled to partner with the four other Audubon chapters in Westchester County: Brox River-Sound Shore Audubon, Central Westchester Audubon, Hudson River Audubon, and Saw Mill River Audubuon.
Wednesday, January 25, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Registration is required by emailing info@hras.org and a Zoom link will be sent to participants prior to the presentation.

Want a chance to see a Short-eared Owl?
Come with us 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. 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. 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. 
Saturday, January 28, 3:30-5:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.