Northern Rough-winged Swallows. John Hannan

May 2024 Programs

It’s time for migration madness! We have so many field trips and bird walks, not to mention book club, lecture, habitat renewal, and more. Please join us at this most wonderful time of year!

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.

Our Spring Seed Sale Shop is Open!
Birds are on the move at this time of year, whether they’re coming “home” to nest or just passing through. Either way, you’re sure to get pleasure from seeing them at your feeder! And when you shop our sale, you’re providing funds needed for our bird and habitat conservation work. Order through May 8th.
CLICK HERE to shop.

Go from wetland to woodland in one walk!
Join Naturalist Tait Johansson on our monthly First Wednesday excursion to the birding areas in and around Deans Bridge in Somers. We’ll explore water, wetland, grassland, and woodland habitats too! We hope to see the first real rush of migrants arriving from the tropics, including Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, many warblers, and more colorful favorites.
Wednesday, May 1, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Please email Susan to register.

Birding in the big apple? Yes, please!
Did you know that Central Park is a key stop on the Atlantic Flyway, welcoming more than 210 bird species each year? Naturalist Tait Johansson will lead this perennially popular field trip into the heart of New York City to seek out migrating birds as they use the park to rest and feed during their journey. We’ll be on the lookout for flycatchers, cuckoos, warblers, vireos, kinglets, tanagers, grosbeaks, and other songbirds, along with Black-crowned Night-Heron. We will stop at the boathouse where you can buy lunch or bring your own, if you prefer.
Thursday, May 2, 7:15am-1:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register.

Ready, set… bird!
Your birding will benefit the birds with this fun, friendly competition! Help support our important research, conservation efforts and educational programming by registering for our Bird-A-Thon fundraiser. You can form a team of your own, join a team, or support a team through your donation. Click here for information. If you have questions or would like more information, please email Susan.
Friday, May 3 – Sunday, May 5.

Find your moment of Zen with us.
Take a break from your morning routine and enjoy our beautiful native garden and sanctuary by joining us at Bylane Farm for a Nature Meditation session and walk. Master Reiki Practitioner Catherine Downs will lead us in a seated, guided reiki inspired meditation, followed by an immersive slow walk focusing on using the senses to connect to the natural world around us.
Thursday, May 9, 10:00-11:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register.

Learn about the plight of New York’s Piping Plovers…
Don’t miss our Monthly Lecture to hear Chris Allieri on The Piping Plovers of the Rockaways: the threats they face and the movement to save them. The Piping Plover is a federally-threatened and New York State-endangered species. The threats facing this tiny, yet mighty shorebird are numerous, ranging from human disturbance to predation, intense storms, rising seas, and coastal erosion caused by climate change. Fewer than 8,000 of these fantastic shorebirds remain in the world. Chris’ organization has worked tirelessly to protect plovers and other birds that nest along some of the busiest beaches of New York City through conservation efforts including community engagement, nest monitoring, signage near nesting habitat, data collection of nesting outcomes, and more. Come learn about the challenges that Piping Plovers and other shore birds face, the incredible work that Chris’ organization does to protect them — and find out ways that you can speak up for Plovers and help protect beach-nesting birds. Chris Allieri is the Executive Director and Founder of the award-winning NYC Plover Project. Awards include Volunteer Group of the Year for the National Park Service in 2022, National Audubon’s Keesee Award in 2023, and the Linnaean Society of New York Natural History Service Award in March of this year.
Wednesday, May 8, 7:00pm; refreshments at 6:45pm. Cost: Free. Katonah Village Library. Registrations is not required.

Let the birds watch you as you explore your artistic side.
Grab your supplies and join us for Art in the Garden: Outdoor Free Draw/Nature Journaling with Charlotte Holden. We’ll spend a meditative morning making art working “en plein air,”  drawing or painting anything that inspires you in our gracious sanctuary. Charlotte will be there to provide instruction, guidance, and feedback, as needed. This is your time to create through discovery, be inspired by nature, express yourself and maybe learn a little about the flora and fauna that surround you. Bring whatever materials you require — even your morning coffee if it helps your process! Charlotte Holden is a trained artist and illustrator who has worked with Bedford Audubon for several years, initially running our first Paint Night while still a student at RISD, and most recently offering a series of introductory drawing and watercolor workshops.
Saturday, May 11, 10am-12:00pm. Cost: Suggested donation of $20, to be collected on the day. Please email Susan to register.

Our May read is a book that was named one of the best books of 2023 by outlets including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Smithsonian, Science News, and Kirkus Reviews.
Please join the Bylane Book Club discussion of Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet by Ben Goldfarb. Some 40 million miles of roadways encircle the earth, yet we tend to regard them only as infrastructure for human convenience. While roads are so ubiquitous they’re practically invisible to us, wild animals experience them as entirely alien forces of death and disruption. In Crossings, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb travels throughout the United States and around the world to investigate how roads have transformed our planet. Written with passion and curiosity, Crossings is a sweeping, spirited, and timely investigation into how humans have altered the natural world—and how we can create a better future for all living beings.
Monday, May 13, 6:30pm. Cost: Free. Please email Susan to register.

Migration Madness in a Mount Kisco Marsh!
Have you been to the only open space trail area in the city of Mount Kisco? If not, don’t miss Naturalist Tait Johansson’s field trip to Marsh Sanctuary, home to the largest freshwater marsh in Westchester County. Join Tait as he searches this 156-acre nature preserve for migrating songbirds such as Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler and Black-and-White Warbler.
Tuesday, May 14, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Please email Susan to register.

Common Ravens like to nest on rock cliff ledges, high up in tall trees.. and on the Cross River Reservoir Dam!
Come and catch a glimpse of a pair of nesting Ravens on Naturalist Tait Johansson’s Third Thursday’s Bird Walk. We’ll also be on the lookout for the Indigo Buntings and Blue-winged Warblers that breed here, and we will likely get a great view of a Cliff Swallow colony, together with Rough-winged Swallows, and possibly later-arriving migrants like Canada Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler. This is a great walk for those new to birding, as well as a return to old favorites for those with more experience.
Thursday, May 16, 7:30-9:30am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register.

Visit an unbroken, deep forest habitat with us!

Sign up for our Field Trip to Sterling Forest in the New York-New Jersey Highlands, where Naturalist Tait Johansson will be on the lookout for Golden-winged, Hooded, and Cerulean Warblers, as well as many other breeding forest birds. This state park comprises nearly 22,000 acres of nearly pristine natural refuge amidst one of the nation’s most densely populated areas. Its habitat is important for the survival of many resident and migratory species, including black bears, several kinds of hawks and songbirds, rare invertebrates and rare plants.
Sunday, May 19, 7:00am-12:00pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Please email Susan to register.

Migration Madness continues in Carmel.
Tait Johansson leads an exploration of Washington Road, a popular spot for the migrant warblers and other songbirds that frequent this country road that runs along the West Branch Reservoir in Carmel. The spruce trees here sometimes attract Bay-breasted Warbler in mid-May, and Spotted Sandpiper and Green Heron frequent the reservoir.
Tuesday, May 21, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register.

Next stop for Migration Madness… Yorktown!
Following the route of the former New York Central Railroad’s Putnam Division line, this section of the North County Trailway is a prime local hot spot for spring migrants! Last year we saw Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Towhee and American Redstart. Come discover what we’ll find this year, as Naturalist Tait Johannson leads the search on this restored rail trail that crosses the New Croton Reservoir.
Thursday, May 23, 7:00-9:00am. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Please email Susan to register.

Get outside and mark the unofficial start of summer by helping our native habitat thrive this Memorial Day weekend!
Naturalist and Board Member Steve Ricker leads this vital restoration work to enhance the quality of the rare habitat that surrounds Bylane Farm. Several projects are underway for this month’s Habitat Renewal volunteer day, including transplanting native honeysuckle vines, installing a trellis, preparing a water feature, or rescuing native Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) and Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina) from being smothered by Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora) and other invasive species. At the start of the session, Steve will provide tips to discern native plants from invasives and will be happy to answer questions as we work. 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.
Saturday, May 25, 11:00am-12:30pm. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Please email Susan to register.


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