Lake Louisa / 7am
Hudson Valley Farm Hub + Hudson High Banks Preserve / 6:30am
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.
Scenic Hudson High Banks Preserve / 7am
Once a renowned, family-owned sweet corn farm, the Hudson Valley Farm Hub is developing a comprehensive applied research program that will be tailored to the Hudson Valley and focused on resilient agriculture and climate-smart farming practices.
The Farm Hub provides a land-base for experimentation to support partnerships with research institutions, regional educators, and farmers. In this way, it is uniquely positioned to realize its intention to become a true center, or “hub,” for sharing information, innovations and ideas. Projects on soil health, perennial grains, novel crops, riparian habitats and flood management are being developed in conjunction with Cornell University and other partners. Research can also play a critical role in providing information to Hudson Valley farmers on production and marketing of new crops.
A great habitat for field birds and pollinators alike.
Great Vly Paddle / 7am
This 287 acres preserve was opened in October 2016 and has three miles of trails. It contains bluffs offering superb vistas of the Hudson River as well as extensive wetlands, wildflower-filled meadows, hardwood forests and shoreline along Esopus Lake. A steep trail climbs 200 feet to the upper parkland with features that include additional Hudson River views, former carriage roads that lead to the lake, and a 110-foot boardwalk spanning a wetland. It is a good location for foraging neotropical migrants and raptors overhead.
Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area / 7am
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.
John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary / 8am
The “bays” are a choice destination for anyone wishing to explore the coves and tidal marshes of the Hudson River estuary in the Mid-Hudson region. , This 1,722-acre area is teeming with avifauna and a walk down Cruger Island Road will visit forested upland to wooded swamp to open tidal marsh and all the possibilities of birds drawn to these habitats.
Registration / 9am-5pm
200 acre sanctuary is where literary naturalist John Burroughs built his rustic cabin retreat Slabsides in 1895.
There is a four and a half mile network of trails, including five that are newly constructed. They are rated easy to moderate and take you among rocky ridges, deep forests, and onto a peninsula in a stunning two-acre pond enabling you to experience the same forest, geologic formations, waterfalls, fern valleys, wildflowers, birds, and wildlife that Burroughs reveled in over a hundred years ago. Our visit here will include a timely passage from Burroughs by his great granddaughter Joan as well.
Beginning Birding / Andy Mason / 1:30-2:10pm
You'll receive a booklet, schedule, a map and a-birding you shall go!
Create a Bird-Friendly Yard / Tod Winston / 2:20 - 3pm
Andy will introduce the basic skills of birdwatching in the field, focusing on habitats, behaviors and characteristics of birds along with resources and guides needed to enjoy observing them.
Breeding Bird Atlas / Julie Hart / 3:10-3:50pm
“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.
Book Signing / 4:30-5:30pm
Julie Hart, the Project Coordinator for NY’S third Breeding Bird Atlas, will share insights into the findings of most recent bird census.
Dinner + Keynote /Nathan Pieplow / 6pm
With Nathan Pieplow, Kathy Schneider, and Maude White and... Cash Bar.
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.