The Catskill Center is pleased to present the 4th annual Taking Flight Conference in conjunction with the New York State Ornithological Association’s (NYSOA) Annual Meeting.
The 2019 schedule includes birding field trips, a Hudson River birding cruise, scientific paper and workshop sessions, keynote by Dr. Nathan Pieplow, and a boisterous Bird Trivia Hour will keep NYSOA members and general bird lovers chirping for more.
September 13-15, 2019
based at the Kingston Best Western Plus Conference Center
503 Washington Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401
2019 HIghlights include
Slide Mountain, at 4,180 feet, is the Catskill’s highest peak and the site of the original discovery of Bicknell’s Thrush. At higher elevations there is an extensive balsam fir-red spruce boreal forest where Bicknell’s Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush, Blackpoll Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher nest. The lower elevation deciduous forest hosts numerous species of breeding thrushes, warblers, woodpeckers, and Scarlet Tanager, Winter Wren, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Crossbills, Pine Grosbeaks, and rarely Boreal Chickadee are potential winter invasion species.
Please note: This is a VERY CHALLENGING hike with multiple sections of rocky scramble, a considerable elevation gain and a stream crossing, which may be running high and fast. Hiking poles are highly recommended.
936.5 acres of preserved land located on the slopes and top of Shaupeneak Ridge, part of the Marlboro Mountains offers a cornucopia of treats for nature lovers — wildflower-filled grasslands, woods, a waterfall and pond, stunning rock formations and an abundance of wildlife. Nearly 9 miles of trails provide access to impressive vistas, stretching to the Hudson River and, once the leaves have fallen, the Catskill Mountains.
Louisa Pond and an adjacent wetland provide food and shelter for birds, dragonflies and other creatures.
The Great Vly is a large freshwater marsh bordered by rock cliffs and wooded hills. Osprey, Golden Eagle, American Bittern, blackbirds, and thirty species of warblers pass through The Great Vly during spring migration. Common Nighthawks assemble in small flocks to rest and feed over the open marsh. Common and Black Terns have been observed in migration. Woodcocks, Swamp Sparrows, rails, and herons nest here, along with 3 species of vireos, warblers and other woodland birds. In late summer and early fall, unique floating mats of vegetation provide good shorebird habitat.
To register for Saturday or Sunday morning Vly Paddle field trips, call Peter at his #914-466-2707. Each trip is limited to 6. People must provide their own kayak (no canoes), paddle, and life vest.
This is a strenuous paddle through vegetation to view shore birds.
A part of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge is managed for grassland species of concern and for protection of the watershed of the Wallkill River.
A reclaiming of the site of the old Galeville Airport in the Town of Shawangunk, Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Bluebird, Upland Sandpiper, and Vesper, Grasshopper and Savannah sparrows nest at the refuge, as historically have Henslow’s sparrows. Winter brings Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, and Short-Eared Owls. In early spring, American Woodcocks perform their twilight courting flights.
Jockey Hill is a destination close to our conference site that has become a popular quick stop for local birders.
A powerline cut with wet meadow and surrounded by mature woods offers a nice blend of both breeding and migratory species.
Beginning in the 1950s, Dan Smiley archived daily counts of migrating raptors over the Ridge during the fall migration. Today, Hawk Watch volunteers continue to observe raptor migration from September through November at a migration count station on the Near Trapps off of the Millbrook Mountain Trail. Migrant raptors are identified and counted daily by volunteers. This data is then submitted to the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA). Between 2,000 and 5,000 raptors can be expected to migrate over the Shawangunks Ridge each autumn.
12 participants max.
Your list of top things to do in the Hudson Valley has to include a sightseeing cruise on the Hudson River!
For more than 30 years, Hudson River Cruises has been sharing the beauty and history of the Hudson River with thousands of people – visitors and locals. Don’t miss your chance to observe the birds of the Hudson with birders from across New York State. Also enjoy views of historic Hudson River lighthouses, waterfront mansions, and other notable sites aboard the Rip Van Winkle 2-hour Sightseeing Cruise.
Light fare, snacks and drinks will be available for purchase during the cruise.
This is a supplemental offering.
“Plant it and they will come” is the new mantra for those wishing to attract birdlife to their yards and gardens—the “it” being native plants, which have co-evolved for millions of years with our native birds.
Join Audubon’s former Plants for Birds program manager Tod Winston for a fun and bird-song-filled exploration of the deep connections between native plants and birds: Learn why native plants are so important, and how you can create a bird-friendly, bird-filled habitat in your own yard.
It’s gonna be good!
Banquet will be served at 6pm, followed by the keynote address by Nathan Pieplow: The Language of Birds
All around us, the birds are constantly telling us who they are and what they are doing. In this keynote presentation, Nathan Pieplow unlocks the secrets of their language. You’ll listen in on the pillow talk of a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds, and learn the secret signals that Cliff Swallows use when they have found food. You’ll learn how one bird sound can have many meanings, and how one meaning can have many sounds—and how, sometimes, the meaning isn’t in the sounds at all. This talk from the author of the Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds is an accessible, entertaining introduction to a fascinating topic.