CalendarLast updated 7/7/14


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Great Gull Island, with Common Tern chick
                 Great Gull Island - with Common Tern chick
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.

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.
  • Other adults specifically invited. Supporting adults wishing to attend a trip, please as early as possible.

ALL YOUNG BIRDERS UNDER AGE 12 must be transported, and accompanied throughout the trip, by a parent.

Because these trips require a good deal of planning and coordination:
       - Participants OVER 18 are asked to let us know in by email 10 days in advance that they plan to attend, and
       - ANY BIRDER UNDER THE AGE OF 18 MUST SUBMIT A COMPLETED PERMISSION FORM at least 10 days before the trip.
In addition, a 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.

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 19, 2014 (Sunday) - Annual Kickoff Meeting - Muscoot Farm, 51 New York 100, Katonah - Westchester County
Bird Walk Leader: Paul Lewis of Bedford Audubon Society 

Muscoot Farm, Main House 
This is our annual club kickoff. We will start the day with a two-hour 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 Michael McBrien. 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 we did have some fantastic trips last year, like the field trip to Great Gull Island and the tour of the Audubon exhibit, that were club member ideas.

We'll talk about the 2014 field trip schedule, World Series of Birding, Super Bowl 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 pizza for lunch (or bring your own food if you prefer).

The meeting is open to 2014 NYSYBC Youth Members in good standing, their parents, and specifically invited adults only.

Photo taken at the meeting by Mike McBrien (Michael McBrien's dad).

by 1/3/14 (send us a quick email with your name, address, age, and transportation plans); permission form due by 1/10/14.

Sunday February 2, 2014 - Hudson River Eagles (Westchester County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerEdgar A. Mearns Bird Club      Trip Leader: Gerhard Patsch


Bald Eagle, photo by Carena Pooth
Cold temperatures drive 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. This trip will take us to some great spots along the river between the Bear Mountain Bridge and Croton. Bring your camera!

This will be basically be a car trip as we move from place to place, get out for a short time, then move on.

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

by 1/17/14 (send us a quick email with your name, address, age, and transportation plans); permission form (including 2014 medical form) due by 1/24/14.


                                                                                  Bald Eagle, photo by Carena Pooth >>



March 29-30, 2014 (Saturday afternoon & Sunday morning) - NYSOA's Bashakill Weekend (Wurtsboro, NY - Sullivan County)  

Lesser Black-backed Gull (with Ring-billed Gull), photo by Carena Pooth
Birding from Haven Rd., photo by Carena Pooth
The New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA, which is NYSYBC's parent organization) is offering an early spring presentation and field trip at the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area in Sullivan County the weekend of March 29-30, 2014. We will be joining in on this trip to one of our favorite birding hotspots with longtime NYSYBC friends Lance Verderame and John Haas of the Sullivan County Audubon Society, one of our partner organizations.

On Saturday, Lance and John will give a presentation entitled Birds of the Bashakill. More than 200 species have been recorded at the Bashakill including a number of interesting rarities. The talk is free and open to the public and will take place on Saturday, March 29th beginning at 3pm in the Drama Building at Mamakating Town Park, 27-29 Mamakating Road, Bloomingburg. From the parking lot, the Drama Building is to the right of the flagpole.

John Haas and Lance Verderame are intimately familiar with the Bashakill, the largest wetland in southeastern New York. Nestled between the Shawangunk Ridge and the Catskills, this site is famous for its marsh birds and waterfowl. Between the two of them, our leaders have more than half a century of birding experience. John is the author of The Birding Guide to Sullivan County and maintains a blog called Bashakill Birder. Lance leads field trips for NYSYBC, is a licensed bird bander, and studies Northern Saw-whet Owls.

John and Lance will lead the Sunday morning field trip, starting at 7am at the Haven Road parking area (directions below). Their tour of the Bashakill will last 2-3 hours, visiting all the available open water areas and other accessible nearby sites that are likely to support interesting birds. We anticipate an abundance of waterfowl.

For those planning to stay overnight, the most convenient lodging is very close to the Bashakill at the Days Inn, 21 Perron Drive, Wurtsboro, NY 12790, off Route 209 just north of Route 17's Exit 113. There are additional accommodations in Monticello and Middletown, which are both about 20 minutes away. Overnighters are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible. If there is interest after the presentation on Saturday, the trip leaders will arrange for participants to eat dinner together at a local restaurant.

DIRECTIONS FOR SUNDAY MORNING BIRDING: From Rt. 17 Exit 113, take Rt. 209 South just over 2 miles and turn left onto Haven Rd. You will soon see the parking area on the left side of Haven Rd. (before the bridge). When you get there, park your car, look for the early birders, and join them!                         
Download Sullivan County Audubon's totally awesome MAP OF THE BASHAKILL (pdf format).

Permission form due by 3/19/14.

Sunday April 27, 2014 - Derby Hill / Noyes Sanctuary (on Lake Ontario in Oswego County) - meet at 9am
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerOnondaga Audubon Society

If conditions are not favorable for a hawk flight, we will meet at Derby Hill but will then go directly to Noyes Sanctuary. Otherwise we will start by birding at Derby Hill.

Derby Hill
                              Derby Hill on Lake Ontario
Derby Hill Habitat
: Open field with a bluff that overlooks Lake Ontario. Additional fields bordered by hedgerows with an adjoining woodland on the east and a marsh on the west. Special Features: A migratory pathway for migrating birds of prey and smaller passerines. Enormous numbers of Broad-winged Hawks can be seen from this location Target Species include: possible Black Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, possible Swainson's Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Golden Eagle, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon. Note: The hawk flight is dependent on favorable south to southwest winds.

Noyes Sanctuary Habitat: Secondary forest composed of Eastern Hemlock, Sugar Maple, American Beech, Black Cherry, Yellow Birch and White Birch. Small reforestation plots are composed of Scotch Pine, White Pine and Norway Spruce within walking distance of Lake Ontario. Special Features include: a migratory stop-over for early spring migrants and diving ducks. Target Species include: Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and Caspian Tern. Target Species inland include: Blue-headed Vireo, Winter Wren, both Kinglet species, Hermit Thrush, and Pine Warbler.

It is recommended that participants bring a hat and sunglasses for Derby Hill. Other suggested items would be chapstick and suntan lotion, and insect repellent in case of an unusually warm day at Noyes Sanctuary. Appropriate clothing would include a long-sleeve sweater and warm jacket in case there are cool breezes off the lake. Waterproof hiking shoes or rubber boots are a must for Noyes Sanctuary. Please bring food and beverage; we will have lunch at Derby Hill, where there are bathroom facilities. An old blanket would be helpful if you want to sit on the ground during lunch.

Note: Noyes Sanctuary is not recommended for anyone who is highly sensitive to poison ivy. Our trip leader will make every effort to avoid poison ivy plants by taking other trails.

Permission form due by 4/16/14.

Saturday May 24, 2014 - Sterling Forest (Orange County)    Trip Leader: Shai Mitra

Golden-winged Warbler, photo by Benjamin Van Doren 
Sterling Forest is a gem near the New York metro area. Many warblers nest here, including the beautiful Golden-winged Warbler, designated as a species of special concern by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, a Partners In Flight national priority species, and an Audubon Watchlist species. NYSOA's Dr. John Confer has studied Golden-winged Warblers at Sterling Forest for many years.

The field trip will begin at 7 am, we will bring picnic lunches, and there will be opportunities for additional birding after lunch for those that can stay.  Watch your email for meeting location details.

Permission form due by 5/14/14.


                             Golden-winged Warbler, photo by Benjamin Van Doren


June 7 (Saturday) - Breeding Bird Survey at Mohonk (near New Paltz, Ulster County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerJohn Burroughs Natural History Society     Trip Leader: Lynn Bowdery

     Mohonk Preserve
       Photo copyright by the Mohonk Preserve

This trip will be fun and educational, and we will be participating in a real field work project. Our birding activities will be centered on the Breeding Bird Census (BBC) area at the Mohonk Preserve that is being studied this year. The emphasis will be on data collection and research, so participants will learn and apply the survey protocol (the methodical field work approach and steps defined for the BBC project).

Lunch will be at the Mohonk Mountain House picnic lodge (bring your own lunch or buy one there). After lunch, we will enjoy a tour of the Mohonk Preserve Daniel Smiley Research Center, which embodies over a century of unparalleled research and natural history records and collections. Here we will learn about past and ongoing research at Mohonk and gain an understanding of what the BBC is used for. There are wonderful trails and gardens at Mohonk that trip participants can explore on their own at the close of our tour.

Permission form due by 5/28/14.

July 20, 2014 (Sunday) - Roger Tory Peterson Institute (Jamestown, Chautauqua County)

Roger Tory Peterson Institute, photo by Twan Leenders 
We will enjoy an awesome day in Jamestown, NY on Sunday. This is the town where Roger Tory Peterson, "the father of modern birding," was born. Roger Tory Peterson's Guide to Birds was published in 1934 and sold out its first printing of 2000 copies in one week.

There will be a group dinner Saturday (7/19). On Sunday we will be treated to a special tour of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and do some birding as well. We're keeping our fingers crossed for the elusive HENSLOW'S SPARROW in nearby grasslands!

Permission form due by 7/9/14.


August - TBD


September 19-21, 2014 (Friday-Sunday) - NYSOA Annual Meeting (Ithaca, NY - Tompkins County)  

Lesser Black-backed Gull (with Ring-billed Gull), photo by Carena PoothThe 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, many well-known speakers, fascinating workshops, an informative paper session, and a banquet highlighted by the event's keynote speaker. Check back for more details!

More information is available on the NYSOA website.

NYSYBC Youth Members who attend the entire conference will be given a stipend of $75-100 by NYSYBC to help defray expenses. To qualify for the stipend, a special NYSOA/NYSYBC permission form must be submitted by SEPTEMBER 5, 2014.

<< Lesser Black-backed & Ring-billed Gulls, Montezuma NWR
     photo by Carena Pooth

October - Sunday, October 5, 2014 - Collins Lake, Scotia (Schenectady County) 
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerAlan Devoe Bird Club     Trip Leader: Bill Cook

We will be looking for migrating waterfowl. More details will be posted as we get closer to the date.

Permission form due by 9/25/14.

November 8 or 9, 2014 - Franklin Mountain Hawk Watch (near Oneonta, Otsego County)
The specific date depends on the weather forecast and will be announced in early November.
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerDelaware-Otsego Audubon Society
    Trip Leader: Andy Mason

Franklin Mountain panorama, photo by Andy Mason

Golden Eagles (and other raptors) migrate south from late October through mid-November.  During the 2013 season, 129 Golden Eagles were counted at Franklin Mountain, with four double-digit days: Nov. 3—16 birds; Nov. 12—11; Nov. 19—15; and an excellent late season flight of 18 on Dec. 7.

Raptor flights are very weather-dependent so we will keep two dates open for our trip—a Saturday and Sunday—and make a final decision on the date a few days before.

Permission form due by 10/22/14.

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!