October 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.

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.

We have the best way to learn about invasive plants, hands down!
After a summer hiatus, Naturalist and Properties Committee Chair Steve Ricker is back with another round of monthly Habitat Renewal Days. This is a great experiential learning opportunity to work alongside Steve and other volunteers to help rid Bylane Farm and its environs of invasives. Best of all, you’ll learn about these pesky plants – including their identification and the negative effects they have on the ecosystem while working to remove them from 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. Register for one (or more) of our upcoming sessions.
Saturday, September 30 and Saturday, October 14, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Email Susan to register at info@bedfordaudubon.org.

“A terrific book…A thoughtful explanation of how the dramatic decline of insect species and numbers poses a dire threat to all life on earth.” — Booklist (Starred Review)
That terrific book is Silent Earth by Dave Goulson, and we’ll be discussing it at this month’s Bylane Book Club. In the tradition of Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking environmental classic Silent Spring, Goulson, an award-winning entomologist and conservationist explains the importance of insects to our survival and offers a clarion call to avoid a looming ecological disaster of our own making.

Insects are essential for life as we know it. As they become scarcer, our world will slowly grind to a halt; we simply cannot function without them. Drawing on the latest ground-breaking research and a lifetime’s study, Goulson reveals the shocking decline of insect populations that has taken place in recent decades, with potentially catastrophic consequences. He passionately argues that we must all learn to love, respect and care for our six-legged friends.
Monday, October 2, 6:30pm. Cost: Free. Email Susan to register. (Our discussion will take place in-person at Bylane: hopefully it will be a nice enough evening that we can be out on the patio, but we will meet inside if the weather is against us.)

Blackpoll Warblers have longer wings than other warblers.
And we just might catch of glimpse of one at this month’s First Wednesday’s Bird Walk with naturalist Tait Johansson. This local walk is special because it offers diverse water, wetland, grassland, and woodland habitats giving us the chance to spot many different bird species. In addition to Blackpolls, other fall warblers still going through our area this month include Black-throated Blue, & Black-and-White, plus many other migrant birds such as Swainson’s Thrush and possibly Lincoln’s Sparrow.
Wednesday, October 4, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (due to a steep incline on the trail). Email Susan to register at info@bedfordaudubon.org.

Don’t waste October sunshine…
Let’s hope for a perfect fall morning for our October Nature Meditation guided by local Master Reiki Practitioner Catherine Downs. Catherine will lead us in a seated, guided reiki inspired meditation, and follow with an immersive slow walk focusing on using the senses to connect to the natural world around us. This month’s session will take place at the outdoor classroom behind the stables at Bylane, and the walk will be in the lower part of the Hunt-Parker Sanctuary.
Tuesday, October 10, 10:00-11:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (due to an incline on the trail). Email Susan to register at info@bedfordaudubon.org.

Let us TWEET you to breakfast… with a view!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson and Board Member Steve Ricker for Breakfast with the Hawks during this fall’s Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch. This much-loved event is the perfect opportunity to visit Hawkwatch for the first time visit and is great for families. The viewing platform is perched high above I-684 and offers spectacular views of our area and beyond! The event is timed to take advantage of peak Cooper’s Hawk migration, and hopefully we’ll also see some Bald Eagles. Bedford Audubon Lead Counter Rich Aracil and Spotter Adam Bradley will also be on hand to “show and tell” what they are seeing. We’ll have binoculars to borrow, and spotting scopes set up. This program is co-sponsored by Westmoreland Sanctuary where Steve Ricker is Director of Conservation and Wildlife Management.
Sunday, October 15, 9:00-11:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate (due to the climb to the viewing platform). Email Susan to register at info@bedfordaudubon.org.

The Golden-crowned Kinglet, barely larger than a hummingbird, is hardier than it looks, routinely wintering in areas where nighttime temperatures can fall below –40°F.
Start your morning with fall migration in the Cross River Dam area of Katonah on our Third Thursday’s Bird Walk with Naturalist Tait Johansson. Maybe we’ll see a tiny Golden-crowned (or Ruby-crowned) Kinglet this month! Other mid-October migrants like Blue-headed Vireo, Hermit Thrush, Palm Warbler, and White-crowned Sparrow are a few other possibilities we might see. This is a popular and easy walk, suitable for beginners and experienced birders alike.
Thursday, October 19, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register at info@bedfordaudubon.org

Time for a re-run!
If you missed it in the summer, now is your chance to see bird banding in action with a repeat of our popular Bird Banding Demonstration at Bylane. Naturalist Tait Johansson, Outreach Coordinator Dana Heikkila, and our dedicated volunteers will bring banding to our own backyard. Watch their skills in retrieving birds from the nets; learn what data is recorded; and enjoy a rare up-close encounter with some of our feeder favorites (and maybe the occasional fall migrant).

Bedford Audubon operates an active Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (MAPS) Station in our Hunt-Parker Sanctuary from late May to early August. Our banding data is submitted alongside more than 500 other MAPS Stations to provide critical information relating to the ecology, conservation, and management of North American land bird populations, and the factors responsible for changes in their populations.

Saturday, October 28, 8:30-10:30am. Cost: Free (but donations to support our MAPS program are appreciated). Family-friendly, however children must be accompanied by an adult. Email Susan to register at info@bedfordaudubon.org.


We’re delighted to welcome Lori Adams for our October lecture. Lori is a professional photographer specializing in botanical subjects. On this special evening, Lori will share her secrets on lighting, composition, and color split on subjects ranging from outdoor excursions in the woods and formal gardens to plants and seeds in the studio with professional lighting (plant portraits). She will show the different cameras she uses and share the pros and cons of each.

Although she is not a birder, nor a specific photographer of birds, Lori promises to share the one decent bird photograph she has taken in her lifetime and the shots leading up to it! Please join us at the Katonah Village Library.

More About Lori Adams
Lori has been an amateur photographer since her teenage years, and a full-time professional photographer since 1999. She loves hiking and gardening and is a self-professed weeding machine!
“Other than being enamored by cameras, lenses and light, there is something about weeding that makes me extremely happy. When I get have my hands in the dirt, my nose is close to the soil. It smells good. It feels good and you can look at all sorts of things up close. You get to know the roots of the plants and their smells and their stems. You see the shapes of things and you find things you wouldn’t have seen otherwise, like maybe an interesting rock or a fascinating seed pod that maybe ends up in a photograph”.

Bedford Audubon lectures are free and open to everyone. They are made possible through the generosity of our members.