Power through November with a strong connection to nature. We have excellent birding adventures on tap and special events focusing on raptors as Hawkwatch winds down.
November 2023 Programs
Registration is required for all programs by emailing Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org unless otherwise specified.
Hawkwatch is winding down!
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.
All About Birds Cool Fact: Per unit weight, the Winter Wren delivers its song with 10 times more power than a crowing rooster.
We hope to spot one of these “plump round balls with a stubby tail that it usually holds straight up” on our First Wednesday’s Bird Walk. On this monthly visit to Deans Bridge in Somers, Naturalist Tait Johansson will lead an exploration of water, wetland, grassland, and woodland habitats. In prior early November walks at this location, we’ve seen Green-winged Teal, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, and of course Winter Wren. Come along with us and see what we find!
Wednesday, November 1, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (due to a steep incline on the trail). Email Susan to register.
Explore the largest peninsula on the Hudson River – we’ll lead the way!
Come on a Field Trip to Croton Point Park, one of Westchester’s four Important Bird Areas (IBA). This capped landfill, once the feeding grounds for thousands of gulls, is now meadow, and the star attractant for birds year-round. Under the guidance of Naturalist Tait Johansson, we’ll focus on grassland birds like Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, American Pipit, Horned Lark, and perhaps Snow Bunting and Eastern Meadowlark. Bald Eagles and thicket birds like Fox Sparrow are also possibilities!
Saturday, November 4, 8:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.
That’s a wrap… almost!
Have you seen the numbers? This season’s Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch has had spectacular days of massive kettles (groups) of migrating raptors. Come to Hawkwatch 2023: The Recap, presented by our Hawkwatch team: Lead Counter Rich Aracil, Interpreter/Spotter Adam Bradley, and Site Coordinator and Naturalist Tait Johansson as they share highlights and data from the season. Daily from late August through mid-November, team members collect data on raptor migration at a viewing platform located on an east-facing ridge at The Nature Conservancy’s 350-acre Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary. These raptors migrate from their northern breeding grounds of Quebec, the Canadian Maritimes, and northern New England to their wintering grounds in the southern United States and Central and South America. From the highs to the lows, the daily challenges and rewards, come hear what Rich, Adam, and Tait have to say about Hawkwatch ’23!
Wednesday, November 8, 7:00pm (refreshments at 6:45pm). Katonah Village Library. Cost: Free. Advance registration is not required.
Raptors – if you’ve been up at the Hawkwatch platform, you’ve seen them from afar, and now you can see them up close! Please join us for Live Birds of Prey for close encounters with raptors at Bylane Farm. A licensed specialist will introduce us to one or more raptors on a bird handler’s glove. You’ll learn about the natural history of these magnificent birds, while discovering their unique physical and behavioral adaptations. We’ll discuss different raptor species and their amazing behavioral and predatory adaptations, as well as their conservation status and critical role in the environment.
Saturday, November 11, 10:00-11:00am. Cost: Member $10; Non-members $15; Children are free (but you must register them).* Apple cider and donuts are included. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets online. Have questions or prefer to pay by check or cash? Email Susan.
*This fee will help offset the cost of programming and conservation research such as Hawkwatch.
Raise your hand!
Once again, we’re seeking Habitat Renewal Day volunteers to help us with some fall clean-up at Bylane Farm. Working outside to remove invasive plants around the habitat garden and surrounding sanctuary, Naturalist and Board Member Steve Ricker will teach you how to identify and remove invasive plants and explain why this is so vital to the ecosystem. This is a great and fun way to get some exercise, fresh air, and contribute to the communities’ wild animals and plants. Tools and gloves are provided, but you can bring your own loppers and hand pruners. Poison ivy and plants with thorns may be present.
Saturday, November 11, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Email Susan to register.
Time to chill…
Take a break from your morning routine and enjoy the benefits of being outdoors on our November 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 is the last outdoor Nature Meditation until the spring; look for a special Winter Solstice Meditation Walk with Catherine in December.
Tuesday, November 14, 10:00-11:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy Moderate (depending on where we walk). Email Susan to register.
Come on a monthly favorite walk – everyone is welcome!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson in marking the passing of the seasons and changing of birds on our monthly Third Thursday’s Bird Walk in the Cross River Dam area of Katonah. We’ll be on the lookout for Bald Eagles and waterfowl such as Common Merganser and Bufflehead that should be starting to arrive from the north; we may also see lingerers like Eastern Towhee and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. This is an easy and friendly walk, great for beginners and experienced birders alike.
Thursday, November 16, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.
Don’t miss the last chance to visit two IBAs with us this month.
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for a Field Trip to Milford Point and Silver Sands State Park and visit two Important Bird Areas (IBA) in one day. Milford Point is one of Connecticut’s most-visited bird viewing areas as the marsh, sandbars, and barrier beach are some of the most important shorebird migratory stopover areas on Long Island Sound. This habitat provides foraging and resting areas for tens of thousands of shorebirds each year. Silver Sands is comprised of woodland edge, grassland, beach, and restored salt marsh and dune areas. It’s also an IBA for wintering and nesting birds. We hope to see Brant, flocks of Sanderlings and Dunlins, Horned Larks, and Snow Buntings on the sandbars, and maybe something special like Cave Swallow, as November is the month for rarities.
Sunday, November 19, 8:00am-1:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. Email Susan to register.