July 2023 Programs

Registration is required for all programs by emailing Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org unless otherwise specified.

We have binoculars!
If you’d like to borrow a pair, please ask when you register.

Have some fun with a battle of bird calls.
Got a bird call you want to show off? We have a new game to add to your July 4th festivities! Before you set the grill going, join Native Garden Intern Mason Rowe and Summer Field Biologist Dana Heikkila for Bird Call Charades. Like regular charades, players will organize into teams and try to mimic and guess each other’s bird calls for fun prizes! Imitation expertise not required; snacks provided. Family-friendly.
Tuesday, July 4, 10:30am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.

Let’s look for red, white, and blue the day after independence day.
Walk off your July 4th celebrations by joining us bright and early for our regular First Wednesday’s Bird Walk at Deans Bridge in Somers. As always, we will be tracking the changing seasons through the birds we see. Some possibilities here in early July include Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Warbling Vireo, and Indigo Bunting.
Wednesday, July 5, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate (due to a steep incline). Email Susan to register.

Most monarch butterflies live for about five weeks; those born at summer’s end can live for approximately eight months.
Enroll in our Butterfly Workshop with Naturalist Tait Johansson to learn all about butterflies! Indoor instruction will include the natural history and identification of our local butterflies followed by an outdoor butterfly walk. Some of the butterflies we will be looking out for at this point of the summer are Viceroy, Great Spangled Fritillary, Mulberry Wing, Black Dash, and possibly Dion Skipper. Bring binoculars, close-focusing ones if you have them.
Saturday, July 15, 10:00am-1:00pm. Cost: $25 for members; $60 for non-members(includes a one-year membership). Price includes light, seasonal lunch and take-home information. Registration is limited for this small workshop; please register by Monday, July 10. REGISTER ONLINE HERE or email Susan to pay with cash or check.

Summer is the best time to relax, and we can help!
Escape the bustle of your day for an hour and join local Reiki Master Practitioner, Catherine Downs, at Bylane for a Nature Meditation. Based on the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku), it will include a seated, guided reiki inspired meditation, and an immersive slow walk focusing on using the senses to connect to the natural world around us. The session will take place in the native garden or lower part of the Hunt-Parker sanctuary. Sturdy shoes are recommended, plus layers of clothing depending on the weather and maybe a hat. Participants should also bring something to sit on – a blanket, cushion, or beach/camp chair.
Tuesday, July 11, 10:00-11:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (may include an incline on the trail). Email Susan to register.

The Pine Warbler is the only warbler that eats lots of seed (primarily those of pines). This means you could see one at your bird feeder (unlike almost all other warblers).
But if you join Tait for this month’s Third Thursday’s Bird Walk, you might see one of these small, yellowish warblers in its natural habitat. We’ll also be looking for Indigo Buntings and other breeders that might still be around including Spotted Sandpiper and Yellow-throated Vireo. We will also get a good view of the dam’s resident Cliff Swallow colony. This is a popular, easy walk – and a perfect way to connect with nature before heading into the rest of your day.

Thursday, July 20, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy (this walk is mostly flat with only a gently incline). Email Susan to register.

How competitive are you?
Round up your family and friends, brush up on your bird trivia and try your luck at BINGO as you join us for a spirited summer Game Night on the patio at Bylane Farm. Come as a team or come solo and make new friends by leaving the teams to us (maximum 5 people per team). Sips and snacks will be served – and there will be prizes! The games will commence at 6:30pm but you are welcome to join us from 6:00pm in the garden.

Thursday, July 20, 6:30pm (doors open at 6:00pm). Cost: $10 per person, taken at the door (cash or check), but you must register by Tuesday, July 18. Email Susan to register. (The entrance fee for this event will help offset expenses.)

Birder, activist, daughter: this is her story.
Join us on the patio at Bylane for the Bylane Book Club discussion of our July read, Birdgirl: Looking to the Skies in Search of a Better Future by Mya-Rose Craig. The author is a British-Bangladeshi birder, environmentalist, activist, and is an international force. In this moving memoir, she chronicles her mother’s struggle with mental illness, and shares her passion for social justice and fierce dedication to preserving our planet. The book follows Mya-Rose and her family as they travel the world in search of rare birds and astonishing landscapes. But a shadow moves with them, too—her mother’s deepening mental health crisis. In the face of this struggle, the Craigs turn to nature again and again for comfort and meaning. The book is relatively new but there are plenty of copies to borrow in Westchester Libraries, and it is available as an eBook and audiobook if that is your preference.
Monday, July 24, 6:30pm*. Cost: Free. Email Susan
to register. *For regular book club members, please note the earlier start time of 6:30pm.

Luna moths do not eat in their adult form and rely on energy they stored up as caterpillars.
Check out the nightlife in our Native Habitat Garden with our Summer Garden Intern Mason Rowe and Naturalist Tait Johansson at our first Moth Night. Learn how to use a light trap to attract nocturnal insects like moths, beetles, and net-winged insects. Frequent fliers include the Sphinx Moth, Woolly Bear, Gypsy Moth, and Luna Moth. Watch a pinning demonstration and learn some fun moth trivia!
Thursday, July 27, 8:30-10:00pm (rain date is July 28). Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy
Email Susan to register.

Don’t miss our bird banding swan song!
Since early June, Naturalist Tait Johansson and Summer Field Biologist Dana Heikkila have been getting up before the birds to operate an active Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (MAPS for short) Station in our Hunt-Parker Sanctuary. MAPS is a North American research project led by the Institute for Bird Populations, and Bedford Audubon’s banding data is submitted alongside more than 500 other MAPS Stations to provide critical information relating to everything birds.

Interested in checking it out in person without trekking to the banding station? Register for our Bird Banding Demo for a bird’s eye view of what our team does in the field. We’re excited for Tait and Dana to show us how it’s done right in our own back yard!
Saturday, July 29, 8:00-10:00am. Cost: Free (but donations to support our MAPS program are appreciated). Email Susan to register. Family-friendly; children must be accompanied by an adult.

Are you a fun-guy (or gal!) that’s taken a lichen to mushrooms?

If so, you’ll want to join Summer Garden Intern Mason Rowe for pop-up Fungi Walk at Bylane to find some common species of fungi and learn identification basics. Walking the lower trails, Mason will give an informal talk in the outdoor classroom about what makes a fungus, the mycorrhizal network, and the different parts of a mushroom and fungal organism.
Date TBD following an overnight rain when there is the best chance of finding fungi. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate as the lower trails can be steep! Email Susan if you’re interested and you’ll be the first to know the date. Wear hiking shoes and remember the bug spray!