September 2023 Programs

Registration is required for all programs by emailing Susan at unless otherwise specified.

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

HawkWatch is here!
Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season. Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats.
HawkWatch takes place daily through mid-November from 9:00am-5:00pm (weather permitting) at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary, 265 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco. The viewing platform is open to the public so registration not necessary. Look for specific HawkWatch programs beginning in September.

Wetland or woodland birds?
How about a chance to see both, plus grassland and water birds? Just register for this summer’s last First Wednesday’s Bird Walk at Dean’s Bridge Road in Somers. In August, we found 38 bird species! (Check out Tait’s list on eBird.) Who knows what we’ll find this month – fall migration will be underway so we’ll be on the lookout for some early migrants!
Wednesday, September 6, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate (due to a steep incline). Email Susan to register.

Come with us to the oldest public park in the United States.
Central Park is an 843-acre rectangle and was designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in 1988. Situated directly in the Atlantic Flyaway, it is a welcoming place for birds migrating along the East Coast to rest and store up energy for the next leg of their journey. Check out fall migration with Naturalist Tait Johansson on his Field Trip to Central Park, a popular stopover for fall-migrating warblers, thrushes, sparrows, and other songbirds.
Friday, September 8, 7:15am-2:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.

Double Exposure!
You’ve been out on a bird walk or had a great bird in your backyard and got the image but it’s just not perfect. What can you do to make it into the picture you want to frame? Join Bedford Audubon member and photo enthusiast John Hannan for his Workshop: Tips & Tricks to Make Your Birding Photos Stand Out. John will lead you through the steps to pick the right image; tweak light, color, sharpness, and noise options so the image pops; and then crop and size for best subject placement. Whether you use a Mac or Windows machine, free or paid software, this workshop will give you the tools to start making your best images ”picture-perfect” and turn those frustrating “almost perfect” shots into great photographic memories. After the workshop, check out the Bedford Audubon Members’ Photo Exhibit that is on display at the library; several of the images were taken by John!

John Hannan works for BirdLife International, the world’s largest partnership of bird conservation organizations. He is a Somers resident, long-time Bedford Audubon member and past President, and an avid naturalist and amateur photographer.

Saturday, September 9, 10:30am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Registration is required with Somers Library; CLICK HERE to register.

Get ready for raptors!
One of the most fun and challenging aspects of hawk watching is identification. Learn how to tell the difference between various raptors by joining Tait Johansson for his popular Raptor Identification Workshop. The two-part program will begin with an information session at Bylane Farm during which Tait will guide you through various traits and behaviors of raptor families that will help you identify them in flight. The group will then head to a viewing platform at the Nature Conservancy’s Arthur Butler Memorial Sanctuary where you can put your new skills into practice. Don’t miss this exciting event!
Sunday, September 10, 9:00am-2:00pm. Cost: $20 (members)/$25 (non-members) and includes a packet of material to take home including a laminated raptor ID cheat sheet. Level of Difficulty: Moderate (due to the hillside trail to the viewing platform). Registration is required. CLICK HERE to purchase online tickets or email Susan to pay with cash or check.

What’s your mantra?
Take an hour out of your busy schedule for our September Nature Meditation with Master Reiki Practitioner, Catherine Downs. We start with a seated, guided reiki inspired meditation, and finish with an immersive slow walk focusing on using the senses to connect to the natural world around us. The session will take place outdoors in the lower part of our Hunt-Parker Sanctuary.
Tuesday, September 12, 10:00-11:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (may include an incline on the trail). Email Susan to register.

What’s up with our trees?
Returning after a summer break, our Monthly Lecture Series will resume with a timely presentation on the state of our forests. Bedford Audubon is pleased to welcome back Westchester County Parks Recreation Supervisor Taro Ietaka to Katonah Village Library for Forests in Flux, a presentation on the challenges our trees are facing from invasive species and disease. What are the biggest threats that Westchester’s forests are facing and what is being done about them? You’ll learn about the impact of pathogens such as Beech Leaf Disease, adapting to climate change, and the actions that individuals and organizations are taking to ensure healthy forests in our future.

Taro Ietaka is the supervisor of Mountain Lakes Park, a professional naturalist, certified arborist, and past president of the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association.

Wednesday, September 13, 7:00pm (refreshments at 6:45pm). Cost: Free. No need to register. This program is possible thanks to the generosity of our members.

Often hard to spot, Broad-winged Hawks are “birds of the forest interior,” but you might catch a glimpse of several hundred if you come visit us at Hawkwatch!
Broad-winged Hawk migration peaks in early fall. Join us on a Field Trip to Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch for a chance to see “kettles” of these beautiful migrating raptors, and many others. Lead Counter Rich Aracil, Interpreter Adam Bradley, and of course Naturalist Tait Johansson will be on hand to give you all the details from a viewing platform that is perched high above I-684 with spectacular views at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary.
Friday, September 15, 10:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate (due to the hillside trail to the viewing platform). Email Susan to register.

Can you recognize warblers in their fall feathers?
Warblers are tricky enough to identify in the spring, but it can be even harder at this time of year when their colorful feathers are replaced with muted ones. Don’t despair! Naturalist Tait Johansson can help ID these little birds on his Third Thursday’s Bird Walk, which will coincide with the peak of warbler migration. On prior September walks at this location, we’ve spotted Bald Eagles, Double-crested Cormorants, Ring-billed Gulls, the local breeding Ravens, and much more. (Tait’s eBird list from last year at this time>>) This popular, easy-going monthly walk takes place at Reservoir Road in Katonah and is a favorite for birders of all levels.
Thursday, September 21, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.

Bedford Audubon’s Photography Exhibit is opening in Somers!

Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity of Birds in our Region is a selection of bird photographs captured by Bedford Audubon members. The images in this series feature birds found in areas where Bedford Audubon leads bird walks, including here in northern Westchester County and the surrounding areas of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Because birds are among the most seen examples of wildlife, people often overlook them or take them for granted. So, apart from showcasing the beauty of these birds, our objective is to create excitement about them so people will take notice and join in Bedford Audubon’s mission of protecting birds and their habitats.

The exhibit first opened in March 2023, at the Katonah Village Library followed by a two-week run at Bylane Farm, Bedford Audubon’s headquarters. Due to overwhelming popularity, the exhibit is going on the road, opening it up to more people in the Bedford Audubon community and beyond!

September 1 – October 31, Weekdays 10am-5pm (8pm on Tues/Thurs); Saturdays 10am-3pm. Somers Library, 82 Primrose Street, Katonah.