March 2024 Programs

As the days grow longer, birds start singing more. It’s a beautiful sound, and it fills us with anticipation of the coming season.

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.

Do you want to help protect native habitats, support educational outreach, and help connect people to nature? Would you like to join our flock?
Become a Bedford Audubon volunteer! Our volunteers do everything from trail stewardship & sanctuary restoration to native garden cultivation or helping in the office. They help with our monthly lectures, act as ambassadors at community events, drive our seed sale fundraisers, and more! Stop by our table at the Lewisboro Community Volunteer Fair to chat with our Executive Director Bill Cavers and Board Member Dr. Linda Burke. They’ll give you the scoop on the many volunteer opportunities we have for teens and adults alike, and you can tell us how you might like to help!
Saturday, March 2, 11:00am-1:00pm. Lewisboro Library, 15 Main Street, South Salem, NY. Registration is not needed.

It’s here… the last official bird walk of the winter!
We’re talking about our First Wednesday’s Bird Walk with Naturalist Tait Johansson who will lead us through the habitats around Dean’s Bridge in Somers. Along with the more expected winter birds like Bufflehead & Ring-necked Duck, some possibilities this month are Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, and maybe Red-shouldered Hawk.
Wednesday, March 6, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of difficulty: Moderate (due to a steep incline on the trail). Email Susan to register.

Whooooo hopes to see a Great Horned Owl?
There’s a chance we’ll see one on Naturalist Tait Johansson’s Field Trip to Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary and Marshlands Conservancy. We can expect great birding at these New York Audubon-recognized Important Bird Areas (IBA). On this trip, we’ll be likely to spot waterbirds like Common Loon, Greater & Lesser Scaups, Long-tailed Duck, Killdeer, & possibly Greater White-fronted Goose. This two-for-one trip is a favorite among members so register early before it fills up!
Friday, March 8, 8:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Email Susan to register.

Male Eastern Bluebirds impress females by bringing nesting material into and out of a nest; once a female enters that nest hole with him, the pair bond is typically established.
Give yourself the opportunity to witness this by putting up a nest box you’ll build in a two-part, interactive All About Bluebirds Workshop, all in one day. Board Member Dr. Linda Burke will kick off the session with an informative presentation about bluebirds, and former Board President Simon Brocklehurst will lead us in constructing a nest box to install in your own yard!
Saturday, March 9, 10:00-11:30am. Cost: $35.00 per kit (includes all materials, plans, and Eastern Bluebird info packet). The workshop will take place indoors at Bylane Farm. Please note that this event has been very popular in previous years; due to space constraints, the limit is one person per kit +1. Children aged 10+ accompanied by an adult are welcome. Click here to purchase your ticket online. Email Susan for more information or to pay by cash or check. Due to the popularity of this event, your spot is not confirmed until payment is received.

Rough-legged Hawks are one of three hawk species in the United States that have feathers all the way to their toes, an adaption for life in cold climates. (Fun fact from The Peregrine Fund)
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson for a later-winter Field Trip to Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge and Black Dirt Region. Snow Geese may still be around in large numbers, as well as flocks of waterfowl like Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal, and many open country species like Rough-legged Hawk, Snow Bunting, and Lapland Longspur.
Sunday, March 10, 8:30am-2:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Email Susan to register.

Learn how to live your best life in a meaningful garden with Landscape Designer Betsy Mitchell.
Rescheduled from January, we’re delighted to finally welcome Betsy Mitchell to the Katonah Village Library for our Monthly Lecture Series. Betsy is an expert native-plant landscape designer committed to creating gardens that serve as a sanctuary for the local animal community and an oasis of native plant biodiversity. In her presentation Why Functioning Landscapes are More Important Than Ever, Betsy will discuss how the shifts of the zone maps impact our landscapes, the problems with invasive plants, and insect and plant mutualistic relationships. She’ll touch on best planting and maintenance practices, and above all, how to live your best life in a meaningful garden. Betsy Mitchell has been a landscape designer for 15+ years and was an early adopter of ecologically minded landscaping. She takes hints from the land about which plants will be naturally supported – her preference is to use a combination of native and naturally occurring plants so the landscape integrates with the local ecosystem and provides habitat for wildlife. Working with Bedford Garden Club, Betsy is involved with the extensive restoration of the Native Plant and Wildflower Garden at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation and the restoration of the Sunken Garden at Caramoor.
Wednesday, March 13, 7:00pm lecture; refreshments at 6:45pm. Katonah Village Library. No need to register – all are welcome!

Learn to identify some common invasive plants and then dig in using your new knowledge!
Some gardening projects, like removing invasive plants, are easier to do in the winter. Please join Naturalist and Board Member Steve Ricker for a Habitat Renewal Day just ahead of the spring equinox to continue rescuing native Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) and Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina) from being smothered by Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora) and other invasive species. Steve will start the session by sharing tips to help you discern native plants from invasives followed by hands-on removal of these pesky plants. The goal is improving the rare shrub habitat surrounding Bylane Farm to make it more attractive to many increasingly rare bird species like Brown Thrashers (Toxostoma rufum) and Blue-winged Warblers (Vermivora cyanoptera). Steve will be happy to answer questions throughout as we work together to improve this valuable bird and wildlife habitat.
Saturday, March 16, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Email Susan to register. Note: Tools and gloves will be provided but your welcome to bring your own (loppers and hand pruners are the most used tools). Plants with thorns and poison ivy may be present.

Do you want to delve into complex, critical, yet temporary early spring amphibian habitat?
If so, you won’t want to miss a special Nature Walk to Explore Vernal Pools led by naturalist and long-time Bedford Audubon member Paul Lewis. Vernal pools, also called vernal ponds or ephemeral pools, are seasonal pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. Under Paul’s leadership, we’ll explore these hidden treasures in our own sanctuary and learn about the vital importance of these seasonal wetlands as spawning grounds for salamanders and other amphibians. Family friendly for children 10 years of age and older.
Saturday, March 16, 1:00-3:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. Space is limited and registration is required. Email Susan to register. Nets will be provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Get ready for a rare evening bird walk…
It’s that time of year again, when we head to the meadow at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for Tait Johansson’s ever-popular Dance of the Woodcock Bird Walk. Together with WPRR staff, we’ll watch and wait and hopefully witness the “sky dance” of the American Woodcock. This extraordinary courtship ritual takes place at dusk and dawn, when the male American Woodcock “peents”, struts, and hurls himself into the evening sky and glides back down to the ground again, all in hopes of attracting a mate. Register early – this walk always fills up quickly!
Tuesday, March 19, 6:45-8:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register. This program is co-sponsored by our friends at Westchester County Parks.

It’s a first… for spring!
We made it through the winter! Celebrate by coming on our ever-popular Third Thursday’s Bird Walk on Maple Avenue in Katonah, our first walk of the season. Naturalist Tait Johansson will use his skills to help us find early spring migrants like Tree Swallow and Eastern Phoebe. Of course, we’ll also seek out regulars such as Bald Eagle, Common Raven, and Common Merganser. This easy and friendly walk is perfect for beginners and experienced birders alike.
Thursday, March 21, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Email Susan to register.

This is the perfect time to pick up and good book… and then talk about it!
Join Board Member Melanie Brocklehurst as she leads the Bylane Book Club discussion of Better Living Through Birding by Christian Cooper. In this New York Times bestseller, Central Park birder Christian Cooper takes us beyond the viral video that shocked a nation and into a world of avian adventures, global excursions, and the unexpected lessons you can learn from a life spent looking up. Cooper is a self-described “Blerd” (Black nerd), an avid comics fan, and expert birder who devotes every spring to gazing upon the migratory birds that stop to rest in Central Park, just a subway ride away from where he lives in New York City. In his book, Cooper tells the story of his extraordinary life leading up to the now-infamous incident in Central Park and shows how a life spent looking up at the birds prepared him, in the most uncanny of ways, to be a gay, Black man in America today.
Monday, March 25, 7:00pm. Cost: Free. Email Susan to register. We’ll meet at Bylane Farm or on Zoom depending on the weather.


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