CalendarLast updated 10/1/16


        Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun     Jul     Aug    Sep     Oct    Nov     DecPERMISSION FORM

Tom Stephenson teaching us about warbler songs & calls
        Tom Stephenson, author of The Warbler Guide,
teaching us about warbler songs and calls, April 25, 2015

NYSYBC conducts field trips all over New York State with the help of our Partner Organizations. These trips are an excellent way to meet fellow young birders and see some awesome birds! Each field trip is led by an expert birder who is very familiar with the area and its birds. Some of our trips include both a field birding component and a special educational segment, such as a behind-the-scenes tour of a museum, a presentation by an ornithologist, or a visit to a nesting colony of birds.

NYSYBC field trips are open ONLY to:

  • Young birders (age 10-19) and their parents. PLEASE NOTE: Young birders who have attended a previous NYSYBC trip may go on additional field trips only if they have become NYSYBC members.
  • Youth Member alumni who have maintained uninterrupted membership as Supporting Adults since their 20th birthday.
  • Supporting Adult members - if you wish to attend a trip, please as early as possible.
  • Other adults specifically invited.

ALL YOUNG BIRDERS UNDER AGE 12 must be transported and accompanied by a parent at all times.

Because these trips require a good deal of planning and coordination:
       - ANY BIRDER UNDER THE AGE OF 18 MUST SUBMIT A COMPLETED PERMISSION FORM by the stated deadline for each trip.
       - Participants OVER 18 must let us know by email 10 days in advance that they plan to attend.

An annual MEDICAL AUTHORIZATION FORM is required for all minors before the first trip they attend each calendar year.
Parents, please understand that we require your written signature in the interest of your child's safety.

Non-members may attend one NYSYBC field trip (and their parents may attend with them if they wish) but must become NYSYBC Youth Members before attending any subsequent field trips. Exception: Out of state residents between the ages of 10 and 19 who visit the state occasionally may attend two field trips per year as non-members.

Some of our events involve special arrangements and/or additional cost to NYSYBC. Participation in these special trips is usually limited to NYSYBC members only.

TRIPS ARE SUBJECT TO CANCELLATION due to weather or if too few registrations are received by the stated deadline. We use email to communicate in these situations.  

Sunday January 17, 2016 - Annual Kickoff Meeting - Alley Pond Environmental Center (Queens)
Sponsored by Queens County Bird Club, a NYSYBC Partner Organization           
       Snow / Ice date:  January 24
                              ~ OPEN TO NYSYBC MEMBERS ONLY ~
Alley Pond Park, near the APEC - photo by Joe Hernandez 
This is our annual club kickoff, a one-day conference. We will start the day with a bird walk. After that, we'll head inside and warm up with hot drinks and snacks. Thus fortified, we will begin our annual kickoff meeting!

As the club continues to grow, these meetings are a great way for us all to connect and plan our activities for the upcoming year.  The kickoff meeting will be run by club President Joe Hernandez. Your ideas will be heard and really do matter.  Think about what you would like to do and see this year.  We can't promise that we can do them all, but many of our past trips have been based on club member ideas.

The meeting will feature group discussions as well as presentations. We'll have some fun with a "Book & Stuff" swap along with a bird ID photo quiz. We'll also talk about the highlights of 2015, some general birding topics, 2016 field trip schedule, NYSYBC Big Day & World Series of Birding, NYSYBC scholarship program, NYSOA annual meeting, and election of officers as well as volunteer leadership positions.

Youth Members are encouraged to attend. It's YOUR club, and this is your chance to have a say in how it is run and what activities it will offer.

A morning snack and beverages will be provided, along with lunch (or bring your own food if you prefer).

The meeting is open to 2016 NYSYBC Youth Members in good standing, their parents, and other specifically invited adults only.

Permission form due by 1/8/16.

Sunday February 21, 2016 - Winter Specialties Along the Hudson (Westchester County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerEdgar A. Mearns Bird Club      Trip Leader: Gerhard Patsch
Charles Point Pier, photo by Donna Loomis
Cold temperatures drive waterfowl and eagles southward as their favorite fishing holes freeze up in the north. As lakes become covered with ice, the eagles gather along the Hudson River and ducks, cormorants, and scoters fish the open locations on the river or its bays. This trip will take us to some great spots along the river between the Bear Mountain Bridge and Croton.

Depending on the weather, this could either be basically a car trip as we move from place to place, get out for a short time, then move on, OR it may include a short walk or two if the weather is being kind to us. A winter walk at Croton Point can turn up some interesting land birds!

We will start at 8am and bird until lunchtime, when we'll go have lunch in a nice warm eatery!

Bring binoculars and a camera (and a spotting scope if you have one).

Permission form due by 2/12/16.

Saturday March 12, 2016 - Marshlands Conservancy & Read Sanctuary (Rye, Westchester County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerBedford Audubon Society     Trip Leader: Tait Johansson
Marshlands Conservancy, photo by Mary Batcheller
Marshlands Conservancy is a 147-acre wildlife sanctuary composed of diverse habitats. Forest, meadow, salt marsh and shore can be explored and appreciated here. There are three miles of trails and one-half mile of shoreline along the Long Island Sound. More than 230 species have been sighted.

The Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary is a 179-acre wildlife sanctuary that features a shoreline on Long Island Sound, Manursing Lake, salt-marsh wetland, trails through a deciduous forest, a bamboo grove, and fields of native grasses and wildflowers. The National Audubon Society has acknowledged the sanctuary as an Important Bird Area.

Bring binoculars and a camera (and a spotting scope if you have one).

Permission form due by 3/3/16.


Sunday April 17, 2016 - Central Park - New York County (Manhattan)
Trip Leader: Isaiah Sigman
Central Park birding, photo by Carena Pooth

NYSYBC member Isaiah Sigman, who is very familiar with birding and birders at Central Park, will lead our walk.

Central Park is one of the best birding spots in the United States, attracting birders from all over the world. Birds migrating, spring and fall, along the East Coast find Central Park a welcoming place to rest and stoke up energy for the next leg of their journey. For more details about birding in Central Park, visit

Watch your Inbox for directions and details on meeting time and location.

Bring binoculars and a camera.

Permission form due by 4/8/16.


Sunday May 29, 2016 (RAIN DATE May 30th) - Whiteface Mountain for Bicknell's Thrush (Adirondacks)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerNorthern New York Audubon Society     Trip Leader: Joan Collins
                                                         ~ OPEN TO NYSYBC YOUTH MEMBERS ONLY ~
View from Whiteface Mountain, photo by Carena Pooth

This trip will require an overnight, because we'll have special permission to drive up Whiteface Mountain long before dawn! We'll be looking for Bicknell's Thrush, which is seriously threatened by climate change and will likely be on the endangered species list soon.

Our trip leader, Joan Collins, is the president of NYSOA (NYS Ornithological Association, our parent organization). Joan is a professional bird guide who leads Adirondack birding trips year-round. She is a New York State licensed guide who has climbed all the Adirondack fire tower peaks.

Bicknell’s Thrush begins to sing at 4am, so we'll be gathering at 4:30. We'll have the mountain to ourselves for several hours before we head back down for a breakfast break. After that, Joan will take us to some boreal bird habitats in the area.

Booking 2 nights' lodging would be a good idea. Extra time in the Adirondacks is never a bad thing! 

Permission form due by 5/16/16 (earlier than usual due to the more complex logistics of this trip).

Sunday June 19, 2016 - Doodletown (Rockland County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerEdgar A. Mearns Bird Club      Trip Leader: Gerhard Patsch
Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Doodletown, photo by Carena Pooth
          Yellow-billed Cuckoo, photo by Carena Pooth

Doodletown is part of the Palisades Interstate Park. It is the site of a former hamlet just south of Bear Mountain and north of Dunderberg Mountain. The site was settled by at least 1762 and, at its peak (about 1945), was home to about 300.

Today this site is a fantastic birding hotspot with a great variety of warblers (including Cerulean and Hooded). Many other species are found here as well. To get an idea of what our trip might be like, check out Eamon Freiburger's report about our last trip there in June 2013. 

The beginning of the outing will involve a steep walk along an old roadway. At the top of the hill is a reservoir. Everyone should carry water and a snack if they desire. Sneakers or light boots are suggested.

Watch your Inbox for directions and details on meeting time and location.

Permission form due by 6/10/16.

July - No Trip

Saturday August 20, 2016 - Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (Kings/Queens County)
Trip Leader: Tim Healy
NYSYBC Jamaica Bay trip, photo by Carena Pooth

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge—part of Gateway National Recreation Area—is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the Northeastern United States and one of the best places in New York City to observe migrating species. Encompassing 9,155 acres, it has hosted more than 330 bird species—nearly half the species in the Northeast—over the last 25 years, making it a must-see for avian enthusiasts.  In summer, Jamaica Bay supports breeding populations of more than 70 bird species, including breeding colonies of herons and other long-legged waders, nesting grassland birds and the largest concentration of beach-nesting birds in the Northeast. 

The main target for this particular trip will be migrant shorebirds, as well as some nice resident birds:  Glossy Ibis, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Boat-tailed Grackle, Clapper Rail, etc.  

Bring tall waterproof boots, or old sneakers, expecting that said sneakers (and socks and pantlegs) will get quite muddy. There should be a place outside the visitors center where people can hose the mud off their sneakers, etc. afterwards, though since the access point for the East Pond we will probably be using requires a short drive, some trash bags to put the footwear in for the car ride back to the visitors center would probably be a good idea.  

Watch your email Inbox for more details!

Permission form due by 8/12/16

September 9-11, 2016 - NYSOA 69th Annual Meeting & New York State Birders Conference (Elmira, NY)  
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerChemung Valley Audubon Society

The NYSOA Annual Meeting is one of the largest birding and ornithology events in New York State.

There will be AWESOME field trips in the area (including a Friday afternoon trip with John James Audubon!), many well-known speakers, fascinating workshops, an informative paper session, a Friday night buffet and presentation by John James Audubon, and a Saturday night banquet highlighted by keynote speaker, Osprey expert Rob Bierregaard.

NYSOA Annual Meeting bannerYoung birders are encouraged to make paper session presentations at this conference. For a list of past presentations by NYSYBC members, visit our Hall of Fame page on this website.

More information is available on the NYSOA website.

STIPEND FOR NYSYBC YOUTH MEMBERS WHO ATTEND: Check your email for details. To qualify for the stipend, the special NYSOA/NYSYBC permission form must be submitted by AUGUST 26, 2016.

Sunday September 25, 2016 - Rockefeller State Park Preserve (North Tarrytown, Westchester)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerSaw Mill River Audubon      Trip Leader: Anne Swaim
Central Park birding, photo by Carena Pooth
        Blackpoll Warbler (fall), photo by Carena Pooth

This September, we're heading to a migration hotspot that NYSYBC has never visited before! With 180 recorded species of birds and its IBA (Important Bird Area) designation by the National Audubon Society, the Preserve is a great place for us to explore with our knowlegeable local hosts from Saw Mill River Audubon.

Walking the preserve is easy and pleasant, due to the system of carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Designed to complement the landscape, these scenic paths wind through wetlands, woodlands, meadows, and fields and past streams, rivers, and lakes while traversing wood and stone bridges.

Watch your Inbox for directions and details on meeting time and location.

Bring binoculars and a camera.

Permission form due by 9/16/16.

October - No trip this month. Get out there on your own or with a friend and let us know on the mailing list what you found!

Saturday Evening, November 5, 2016 -Saw-whet Owl Banding & Birding the Next Day (Ulster/Sullivan Counties) Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerSullivan County Audubon Society

Open only to NYSYBC Youth Members and one parent/guardian per attending family (due to space limitations).


All members are welcome on the Sunday birding segment - Bashakill permission form due by 10/28/16

Saw-whet Owl banding, photo by Carena Pooth
We will visit a Saw-whet Owl banding station Saturday evening with licensed bander Valerie Freer (weather permitting).

The last time we ran this trip was October 2013. Check out the trip report and photo gallery to get an idea how much fun we had! 

A Sunday morning field trip to the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area with local expert Lance Verderame will cap off this exciting weekend! Those members who can't attend the owl banding segment of the weekend are welcome to join us for the Sunday trip (there are no space limitations at the Bashakill!)

For those planning to stay overnight in the area, accommodations are the responsibility of each attendee's parents.

December - Christmas Bird Count

There is no NYSYBC field trip planned for December. Instead, we ask young birders to participate in one or more Christmas Bird Counts. Each year, the CBC season runs from December 14th through January 5th. Check with your local bird club or visit Audubon's online CBC page to find out how you can get involved in CBCs in your area!