May 2023 Programs

We’re getting into the beat of migration and invite you to dance along!

For birders and gardeners, spring is a magical time of year. We hope you’ll connect with us this month for one (or more!) of our birding and native gardening events! Read on for details… if you like what you see, please consider joining Bedford Audubon. Click to join>>

We’re starting the month by visiting a top birding area along the Atlantic migratory flyaway…
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson on his spring Field Trip to Marshlands Conservancy/Rye Nature Center: both are great spots for spring migrants that have diverse habitat. We hope to see Scarlet Tanager and Baltimore Oriole and will 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 2, 7:00am-12pm.Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register.

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 3, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Please email Susan to register.

Birding in the Big City… Yes!
Located along the Atlantic Flyway, Central Park welcomes more than 210 bird species each year. Many live in the park year-round, with others making an important stop to rest and feed during spring and fall migration, making this a famous concentration point for migrating birds. Join Naturalist Tait Johansson on our perennially popular Field Trip to Central Park – birding highlights should include flycatchers, cuckoos, warblers, vireos, kinglets, tanagers, grosbeaks, and other songbirds; and Black-crowned Night-Heron. We will stop at the boathouse for lunch or you can bring your own.
Thursday, May 4, 7:15am-1:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register. The group will meet at 72nd Street and Central Park West at 7:15am.

If migrating birds can travel, so can we!
Garret Mountain State Reservation is 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. It is a migrant trap in the league of Central Park! Join Tait on this Field Trip as he guides 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.
Saturday, May 6, 7:30am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Please email Susan to register.

Get an insider’s view of The Birdsong Project at this month’s lecture!
At a time when the world quieted and people globally were forced to isolate at home, their eyes and ears tuned into the little songsters right outside their windows every day: birds. Audubon’s For the Birds: The Birdsong Project is an historic and unprecedented outpouring of creativity by more than 220 music artists, actors, literary figures, and visual artists, all coming together to celebrate the joy birds bring to our lives and elevate the message they have for us about the environmental threats we all face. We are delighted that our very own Sean O’Connor will share an insider’s view as he is Audubon’s executive lead on this project!
Sean O’Connor joined National Audubon as Chief Development Officer in 2017. Under his leadership, Development has evolved into a more sophisticated philanthropic partner, and participation in giving by volunteers and friends, including national and state boards, has increased significantly since he took the helm. Sean is a Goldens Bridge resident, and a board member of Bedford Audubon and our current Vice President, and has also served on the boards of various other global and local organizations.
Wednesday, May 10, 7:00pm (lecture); Refreshments at 6:45pm. Cost: Free. No registration is needed.

It’s a first!
Tait has chosen another new location for a Migration Madness Bird Walk, so come and see what we find! Washington Road is a dirt road next to west Branch Reservoir that is a very good spot for migrant warblers and other songbirds. The spruces sometimes attract Bay-breasted Warbler in mid-May, and Spotted Sandpiper and Green Heron frequent the reservoir.
Tuesday, May 16, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: EasyEmail Susan to register.

Will the ravens be nesting… what do you think?
There is a good chance we’ll find out on Naturalist Tait Johansson’s Third Thursday’s Bird Walk which begins at the Cross River Dam. The Indigo Buntings and Blue-winged Warblers that breed here should also be back, and we will likely get a great view of a Cliff Swallow colony. This is a popular local walk so register early If you want to join us!
Thursday, May 18, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register.

We know the best place to find breeding Hooded & Cerulean Warblers…
And it’s also an excellent spot for Olive-sided Flycatcher and Mourning Warbler in late May. Naturalist Tait Johansson will happily take you along to look for them on his Field Trip to Doodletown Road. Doodletown is part of Bear Mountain State Park, and was designated a New York State Important Bird Area in 1997 and is a New York State Bird Conservation Area. It is renowned for its unusual abundance and diversity of warblers but is also a fine spot for many other songbirds, migrants and breeders alike.
Sunday, May 21, 7:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Please email Susanto register.

Let’s chat – after reading!
Come join the discussion of this month’s Bylane Book Club pick, The Private Lives of Public Birds by Jack Gedney. Gedney’s studies of birds provide resonant, affirming answers to the questions: Who is this bird? In what way is it beautiful? Why does it matter? Masterfully linking an abundance of poetic references with up-to-date biological science, Gedney shares his devotion to everyday Western birds in fifteen essays. Each essay illuminates the life of a single species and its relationship to humans, and how these species can help us understand birds in general. Knowing that we hear birds much more often than we see them, Gedney offers his expert’s ear to help us not only identify bird songs and calls but also understand what the birds are saying. The crowd at the suet feeder will never look quite the same again!
Monday, May 22, 7:00pm. Please email Susan to register. The discussion will take place at Bylane (outside on the patio if the weather cooperates).

It’s May Madness for birders!
Be a part of it with Naturalist Tait Johansson as he heads to Yorktown for a Field Trip on the North County Trailway. This is another local hot spot for spring migrants, and last year we saw American Redstart, Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Towhee and Yellow-throated Vireo.
Tuesday, May 23, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register. 

You’re invited to our happy place!
Come bird with us in our own backyard! Our final Migration Walk of May will be at Bylane Farm, where we will be on the lookout for Orchard Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and possibly Virginia Rail. Head into the holiday weekend with a visit to our Native Garden and check on the restoration progress while enjoying the birds.
Thursday, May 25, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register.

It’s time to dig in again!
It may be a holiday weekend, but our small group of volunteers will still need some help! Get some exercise and fresh air by joining Naturalist & Properties Committee Chair Steve Ricker for our monthly Habitat Renewal Day.  You’ll learn about invasive plants, including identification and their negative effect on the ecosystem while working to remove the invasives in our sanctuary and gardens. 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, May 27, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Please email Susan to register.

Get Artsy With Us… Al Fresco Style!
Embrace spring by joining us for very special Paint Night this spring. Inspired by the gardens and sanctuary we’ll be overlooking at Bylane Farm on this night, you’ll create your own “masterpiece” guided by Zoë Fisher. Each participant will have an easel and personal canvas.
About Zoë Fisher
At age five, Zoë took her first drawing class  in NYC; she spent one 2-hour session perfecting  the eyes on a self-portrait. Her passion for painting & drawing hasn’t wavered, and she currently does commissions while studying at Berkeley Law School. Zoë has been leading Bedford Audubon Paint Nights since 2021.
Thursday, May 25, 6:15-8:00pm. Cost: Members $28; Non-members $32; Fee includes all supplies (paint, easel, personal canvas), seasonal drinks, and hors d’oeuvres. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets online, or email Susan to register and pay by cash or check.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red-winged Blackbird by Bedford Audubon member Sue Stempler Bloom.