February 2023 Programs
Let us win your hearts this month and help you fall in love with nature! We’ve got you covered from bird walks, Bald Eagle sightings, garden planning and doing, and so much more.
What birds might you see on or around the 8-mile-long Muscoot Reservoir?
Bundle up and join Naturalist Tait Johansson for our First Wednesday’s Bird Walk at Dean’s Bridge in Somers to find out! There’s a chance we’ll see Redhead, Lesser Scaup, and Ruddy Duck, all of which have been in this area recently, along with the usual Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks, and other waterfowl concentrated here at the north end of Muscoot Reservoir.
Wednesday, February 1, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. Email Susan to register.
Bald Eagles are often solitary but tend to congregate en masse at communal roosts and feeding sites, especially in winter.
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for a Field Trip Along the Hudson River in search of Bald Eagles. Whether it’s your first or 101st time, seeing a Bald Eagle is always a thrill and the stretch 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 at multiple stops from Peekskill to Croton Point. This trip was so popular in 2022 that Tait decided to offer it twice this year!
Tuesday, February 7, 9:30am-1:00pm and Saturday, February 11, 1:30-5:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.
What Can You Learn from Branches, Bark, and Buds?
Find out what you can learn by joining Naturalist Tait Johansson and long-time Bedford Audubon Member Paul Lewis on a Nature Walk: Winter Tree Identification at Muscoot Farm. Tait and Paul will explain how to use a tree’s structure, bark, and other clues to identify it even after the leaves have fallen. Families are welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult). This is a popular walk so register early to secure your spot.
Sunday, February 12, 9:00-11:00am, Muscoot Farm, Katonah. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.
How would you like to hear from a writer, speaker, storyteller, and humorist who is also a trustee of the American Bald Eagle Foundation?
What is a spark bird and where do I get one? What makes us birders? Who do we thank? Have some fun at a Virtual Presentation of Gone to Birds with Al Batt for what we’re sure will be a delightful evening. Al has received the Ed Franey Media Award from the Izaak Walton League, one of America’s oldest and most successful conservation organizations, and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union (MOU) for lifetime contributions to birding. He is a former president of the MOU and current columnist for BWD (the successor publication to Bird Watcher’s Digest). He speaks to anyone who will listen, and his mother thinks he’s a big deal.
Bedford Audubon is proud to co-sponsor this event together with the Bronx River Sound Shore, Central Westchester, Hudson River, and Saw Mill Audubon chapters.
Wednesday, February 15, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Register through Bronx River Sound Shore Audubon by clicking HERE. A Zoom link will be sent to participants ahead of the presentation.
Start your day on an easy, fun, and friendly bird walk!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson at this local hotspot for our regular Third Thursday’s Bird Walk on Maple Avenue in Katonah. Last month we saw a Bald Eagle, a Belted Kingfisher and other songbirds, and Tait even heard an American Pipit! If there is any open water – meaning the reservoir isn’t completely frozen – we should also see water birds such as Bufflehead and Common Merganser.
Thursday, February 16, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.
We’re heading to Newburyport/Cape Ann for a Winter Birding Weekend! The coast of northeast Massachusetts is the winter home to a spectacular array of seabirds. Our masterful naturalist, Tait Johansson, 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, Snowy Owl and so much more. Highlights include: Tait’s expertise for a full birding weekend; a welcome reception on Friday evening, an optional group dinner on Saturday evening, bonding over daily recaps. This is an easy-going trip with lots of flexibility!
Friday, February 17-Monday, February 20. Cost: $150.00 per person for members; $185.00 for non-members (non-member price includes a one-year membership). Email Susan for more details or to register. There are only a few spots left!
Let’s work together… outside!
Did you know that Theodore Roosevelt established over 50 national bird refuges through executive action during his presidency? Honor his legacy this Presidents’ Day weekend by joining Naturalist & Properties Committee Chair Steve Ricker for another Habitat Renewal Day in the garden and sanctuary around Bylane. We will continue to identify and remove invasive plants around the property, so come prepared to work. This is a great and fun way to get some exercise, fresh air, and help improve our local ecosystem. After all, it’s for the birds!
We have some shears, loppers, and clippers, but please bring your own if possible. Plants with thorns and poison ivy will be present so wear work attire and gloves.
Saturday, February 18, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. Email Susan to register.
Top: American Avocet. Donald Quintana/Audubon Photo Awards
Sidebar (top to bottom): Phlox divaricata “clouds of perfume” and Tiarella wherry “wherry’s foam flower” in bloom (Adobestock); Bluebird Building a Nest (Susan Fisher)
Incorporating Native Ground Covers
into the Landscape
Wednesday, February 8th
7pm (lecture); refreshments @ 6:45pm
Katonah Village Library Garden Room
Dead or alive… which would you prefer?
Are you tired of repeatedly buying and spreading traditional mulch in your garden beds? Learn how to break out of this endless cycle at this month’s Public Lecture on native gardening. Join us for Living Mulch: Incorporating Native Ground Covers into the Landscape presented by Missy Fabel of Plan it Wild. In this info-packed evening, Missy will discuss why green mulch is a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly option than traditional mulches and how it increases biodiversity for birds, pollinators, and other fauna. She will demonstrate the best practices for adding this crucial layer to all areas of the landscape, whether in sun or shade, wet or dry, in a perennial border or foundation planting.
About Missy Fabel
Missy is the VP of Ecological Design at Plan it Wild, an ecological landscape design company that transforms private yards and landscapes into beautiful native habitats that increase biodiversity and capture carbon.
Missy has been practicing ecological gardening and design in Westchester County for almost two decades. She has a certificate in Field Botany from the New York Botanical Garden and a certificate in Designing with Native Plants from the Westchester Native Plant Center, where she teaches and is also a Steering Committee member. An avid naturalist, Missy looks to the woods and fields of Westchester County and the north woods for inspiration in her naturalistic planting designs.
Save the Date
All About Bluebirds Workshop
Attracting Eastern Bluebirds to your yard could be as easy as placing the right sized nesting box in an ideal location. Get started by registering for our Interactive Workshop: All About Bluebirds. This two-part program will consist of an informational session where you will learn all about Eastern Bluebirds, followed by a workshop where participants will construct their own bluebird nest box to take home.
Saturday, March 4, 10:00-11:30am. Cost: $35 per bluebird box (includes all materials, plans, and an information packet). Spaces are limited and registration is required. Click here to register online. Questions? Email Susan.
We thanks Kelloggs & Lawrence in Katonah for generously helping prepare the next box lumber and materials.