CalendarLast updated 9/18/17


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Owl Banding - November 2016, photo by Carena Pooth
       Valerie Freer, banding Northern Saw-whet Owls
                             November 5, 2016

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:
ALL YOUNG BIRDERS PLANNING TO ATTEND MUST SUBMIT A COMPLETED TRIP REGISTRATION FORM by the stated deadline for each trip. In addition, for those under age 18, an up-to-date MEDICAL AUTHORIZATION FORM must be submitted with the Trip Registration Form for 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.  

2017 Field Trips
Sunday January 15, 2017 - Annual Kickoff Conference - Mariandale Conference Center (Ossining, Westchester)
Sponsored by Saw Mill River Audubon, a NYSYBC Partner Organization       

                              ~ OPEN TO 2017 NYSYBC MEMBERS ONLY ~
This is our annual club kickoff, a one-day conference. Mariandale is not only a topnotch conference facility but an EBIRD HOTSPOT!  It is especially good for waterfowl in winter.  It is 61-acre property that sits on a hill overlooking the Hudson River just south of the Croton-Harmon RR station.  You will have a chance to scan the river for waterfowl during our lunch break.  A raft of 40 Canvasbacks has been there since early December, along with other ducks including Redhead.

We will start the day at 8:00 birding with local experts from SMRA.  At 10:00 we will gather inside for the rest of the day (until about 3 or 4, depending on presentations etc.).  Club President Kai Victor will be running the meeting and club Secretary Garret Van Gelder will be taking the minutes. We’ll have a number of presentations, discussions, our annual Book & Stuff Swap, and a Photo Quiz with club VP Silas Hernandez. We'll also talk about the highlights of 2016, some general birding topics, 2017 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.

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.  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.

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 hot lunch.

The meeting is open to 2017 NYSYBC Youth Members in good standing, their parents, and other specifically invited adults only.

Trip Registration Form due by 12/28/16.

Sunday February 19, 2017 - Point Lookout and Jones Beach (Nassau County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC Partner:  Queens County Bird Club          Trip Leader: Steve Schellenger

Harlequin Duck, photo by Carena Pooth
Our good friend Steve Schellenger will be leading this field trip on Presidents' Day weekend.

We'll start at Point Lookout and bird there for a couple of hours, and then drive over to the Coast Guard Station at Jones Beach, where we will bird another 2 hours or so.


Target birds include loons, grebes, scoters, Harlequin Duck, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, and more...maybe even some shorebirds!

Watch your email Inbox and check back here for details coming soon!

Trip Registration Form due by 2/9/17.

Sunday March 12, 2017- Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge / Black Dirt Region (Orange County)


Sunday April 9, 2017 - Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge / Black Dirt Region (Orange County)

Wallkill River NWR, Liberty MarshSponsoring NYSYBC PartnerBedford Audubon SocietyTrip Leader: Tait Johansson

This trip will be led by Tait Johansson, a longtime friend of NYSYBC who has taken us on great trips to a number of places in the past.

The Wallkill River Refuge was established in 1990 and encompasses 5100 acres.  Most of the refuge is located in Sussex, New Jersey but the northern part, Liberty Marsh, is in Orange County, New York.

The 2.75 mile Liberty Loop links with the Appalachian Trail and circles wetlands and mudflats.  The marsh attracts migrating shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors.  The area is also known for its Black Dirt which is rich in organic matter.  Grassland birds, shorebirds and geese feed from the furrows and ditches.

More than 225 brd species have been observed on the refuge throughout the years.  It offers excellent viewing opportunities for birds and a variety of wildlife.

Be prepared -- trails may be muddy at this time of year.

New Trip Registration Form due by 3/31/17 (even if you submitted one for the March trip).  If you have not yet submitted a 2017 medical form (page 2 of the trip registration form) please submit it with your registration form.

Sunday May 7 - Bashakill Wildlife Management Area (Sullivan County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerSullivan County Audubon Society        Trip Leader: Lance Verderame

Early Morning at the Bashakill, photo by Carena Pooth
                 Early Morning at the Bashakill
                      photo by Carena Pooth
This outstanding birding area in southeastern Sullivan County attracts birders from all over the northeast. Most come in April and May to look for migrating birds that stop to rest and feed in the trees and shrubbery adjacent to the large wetlands, but the birding is excellent much of the year.

This BCA (Bird Conservation Area) is comprised of the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area. Habitat is primarily non-tidal emergent wetland through which the Bashakill River meanders. The wetlands are surrounded by deciduous woods and mixed woods, with some shrub lands. The area hosts a number of rare plants and animals (Spreading Globeflower, Ironcolor Shiner, Spotted Sunfish and Long-tailed Salamander). Limestone caves exist in the area as well. The area supports characteristic breeding wetland-dependent species (such as Great Blue Heron, Virginia Rail, Sora and Common Moorhen), abundant waterfowl, and several species at risk. And in May, WARBLERS!

Species at risk include: Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, and Red-shouldered Hawk.       Trail Map

Trip Registration Form due by FRIDAY 4/28/17 (date corrected 4/27/17).  If you have not yet submitted a 2017 medical form (page 2 of the trip registration form) please submit it with your registration form.           

Sunday June 4, 2017 - Doodletown (Rockland County) - Rain date 6/11/17
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerEdgar A. Mearns Bird Club      Trip Leader: Gerhard Patsch
The Reservoir Dam, photo by Carena Pooth
         The Reservoir Dam, 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 Josh Cantor's report about our trip there in June 2016 and Eamon Freiburger's report about our 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.

Trip Registration Form due by 5/26/17.  If you have not yet submitted a 2017 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

Sunday July 9, 2017 - Nickerson Beach (Nassau County, Long Island) - Rain date 7/16/17
Trip Leader: Josh Cantor

Black Skimmers on Nickerson Beach, photo by Avery Scott
                         Black Skimmers on Nickerson Beach
                                   photo by Avery Scott
NYSYBC member Josh Cantor, entering his sophomore year at SUNY ESF and a volunteer with Be a Good Egg ("Share the beach with nesting birds"), will be leading this trip. Josh is very familiar with Nickerson Beach and its wonderfully accessible nesting colonies.

This promises to be a very exciting trip! We'll be looking for breeding Common and Least Terns, American Oystercatchers, Piping Plovers, and Black Skimmers, along with other shorebirds on the beach. If you enjoy taking pictures of birds, you should have some really fantastic opportunities on this trip!

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

Plan to bring binoculars and a camera!

Trip Registration Form due by 6/30/17.

Saturday-Sunday August 26-27, 2017 - Special NYSOA/NYSYBC Montezuma Weekend
Saturday Afternoon: NYSOA Workshop - Shorebird Identification, presented by Dr. Kevin McGowan
Sunday morning:  Young Birders' Field Trip - Montezuma NWR (Seneca & Wayne Counties)

Sponsoring NYSYBC Partner for our Sunday trip: Rochester Birding Association

Montezuma NWR, photo by Carena Pooth

If you will be staying overnight, plan to attend an excellent Shorebird Identification Workshop Saturday afternoon. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Dr. Kevin McGowan – past NYSOA president and co-editor of The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State – will teach us a systematic approach to the often tricky task of figuring out shorebird ID in the field. The workshop, sponsored by our parent organization, the NYS Ornithological Association (NYSOA) will prime you for Sunday's field trip!

On Sunday, NYSYBC alumnus Greg Lawrence, a NYSOA Director and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Fish and Wildlife Technician, will lead a trip for us to one of New York State's top birding destinations, the expansive Montezuma NWR.

Shallow pools and cattail marshes are maintained for waterfowl. Pools are often drawn down for shorebirds in the fall. Upland and bottomland hardwood forests attract nesting birds and passerine migrants. Migrants of all types, especially shorebirds, ducks, eagles, osprey, and herons, will be seen. Our Rochester Birding Association guide (a NYSYBC alumnus!) is very familiar with the refuge. MNWR covers a vast area of varied habitat. Visit The Rochester Birding Association's website for complete details on this birding mecca.

Complete details about this NYSOA/NYSYBC weekend and web links to lodging information:

FOR THE NYSYBC TRIP, DO NOT CONTACT NYSOA -- just send in your NYSYBC Trip Registration Form
by 8/18/17.
  If you have not yet submitted a 2017 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

Sunday September 17, 2017 - Central Park
Trip Leader: Jordan Spindel
Central Park birding, photo by Carena Pooth

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

NYSYBC member Jordan Spindel, who is very familiar with birding and birders at Central Park, will lead our walk. According to Jordan, "Target species on the trip are fall migrants, but stuff we would like to see include more uncommon warblers such as Hooded, Nashville, Wilson's, and (a longshot) Connecticut, the latter of which I somehow found last September. Other targets include cuckoos, flycatchers (fewer than a week or two earlier), vireos (especially Philly), raptors (we may stop by Belvedere Castle, a good hawkwatch spot), and a cornucopia of other migrants."

For more details about birding in Central Park, visit

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

Trip Registration Form is due by 9/8/17.

Saturday October 28, 2017 - Croton Point Park (Westchester County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerBedford Audubon SocietyTrip Leader: Tait Johansson

Croton Point Park, photo by Maura Muller 
We'll return to Croton Point, this time for a fall trip, when the species mix will be different from what we've seen there in the winter. This trip will be led by our good and generous friend Tait Johansson of Bedford Audubon Society.

Croton Point Park is a 508-acre park situated on the largest peninsula on the Hudson River. It has been designated an Important Bird Area (IBA). A capped landfill is now a vast meadow abundant in species of birds (and butterflies in summer). Fall brings interesting sparrows and migrating waterfowl. In winter, Croton Point is a Bald Eagle hotspot.

The park is also the site of the Croton Point Nature Center.

Fun fact: the historic wine cellars here are thought to be the oldest in New York State. 

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

Trip Registration Form is due by 10/20/17.

November 10-12, 2017 - NYSOA 70th Annual Meeting & New York State Birders Conference (Niagara Falls)  
Hosted by Buffalo Ornithological 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, many well-known speakers, fascinating workshops, an informative paper session, and a Saturday night banquet highlighted by keynote speaker, Neil Hayward, author of The Accidental Big Year, who set a new ABA Big Year record of 749 in 2013!

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. Also watch your email Inbox!

Trip Registration & Stipend Request Form due by 10/27/17. To qualify for the stipend, you must be a NYSYBC Youth Member, attend the Saturday Paper Session, Banquet, and Keynote Presentation.

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!