CalendarLast updated 10/22/15


Jan      Feb      Mar      Apr      May      Jun      Jul      Aug      Sep      Oct      Nov UPDATED 10/22     Dec

Mohonk Preserve - Daniel Smiley Research Center
       Mohonk Preserve - Daniel Smiley Research Center
       John Thompson with young birders, June 7, 2014

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 an 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.
  • 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, 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.

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 18, 2015 (Sunday, Martin Luther King Day weekend)
Annual Kickoff Meeting - Muscoot Farm, 51 New York 100, Katonah - Westchester County

Bird Walk Leader:  Eric Stone of Muscoot Farm 
                              ~ OPEN TO NYSYBC MEMBERS ONLY ~
Muscoot Farm 
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 Eamon Freiburger. 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.

NYSYBC alumna Lila Fried, now a senior at Oberlin College, will be our guest speaker. 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 2014, some general birding topics, 2015 field trip schedule, 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 pizza for lunch (or bring your own food if you prefer).

The meeting is open to 2015 NYSYBC Youth Members in good standing, their parents, and other specifically invited adults only.

Permission form due by 1/9/15.

February 15, 2015 (Sunday, President's Day weekend) - Shawangunk Grasslands NWR (Ulster County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerRalph T. Waterman Bird Club 

Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, photo by Carena Pooth

We are doing a rare afternoon trip in the hopes of seeing Short-eared Owls (a NYS endangered species), Northern Harriers (a NYS threatened species), and possibly Rough-legged Hawks. 

We will meet at 2:30 pm at the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge. To see owls, we may need to stay until dusk.

For more information about the refuge, visit the official Shawangunk website

Permission form due by 2/5/15.  If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

Sunday, March 29, 2015- Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge (Orange County)

Wallkill River NWR, Liberty MarshSponsoring NYSYBC Partner
Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club

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.

Permission form due by 3/20/15.  If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.


April 25-26, 2015 (Sat-Sun) - A NYC WARBLER WEEKEND with Tom Stephenson, co-author of The Warbler Guide
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerBrooklyn Bird Club                           
 ~ OPEN TO NYSYBC MEMBERS ONLY ~Yellow-throated Warbler, original art by Silas Hernandez

This amazing NYSYBC weekend will feature three fabulous segments!

Tom Stephenson (co-author of The Warbler Guide) will give a warbler song ID talk on Saturday April 25th at 3 pm. 

Saturday evening Andrew Farnsworth from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will lead a trip to the observation deck of the Empire State Building to listen for the flight calls of birds during their nighttime migration.

Sunday morning we will head to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, where Tom Stephenson will lead a bird walk. 

More details to come!


< Yellow-throated Warbler, original art by Silas Hernandez


Permission form due by 4/16/15.  If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

May 1-17, 2015 - World Series of Birding (May 9th) ... or Bird your own NYSYBC Big Day and help raise funds for our Scholarship Program!

Young Birders on a Big DayThe NYSYBC Razorbills will once again be competing in the World Series of Birding in Cape May, New Jersey on May 9th to help raise money for our Scholarship Program. But even if you are not on that team, you can pitch in! From May 1st through the 17th, you have 3 weekends (Saturdays or Sundays) and the two weeks in between to select from to do your Big Day. Some of you will be coming to Cape May for the pre-WSB scouting. Why not do your Big Day while scouting?

The NYSYBC Big Day covers 24 hours (midnight to midnight, whichever day you choose) but you can start birding as early or late as you choose.  You can bird for as many hours as you choose - but remember early birders tend to see more, and the longer you stay out the more likely you will tally more species.  You are in charge or your own schedule within those 24 hours.

You can do a Big Day as an individual or find a friend or three to join you on your birding adventure.  You can visit your local hotspot, park, NWR, or woodlands.  You are not limited to one location; you can put together a route containing just a few or many locations.  If you happen to be traveling away from home on the day you pick, you can do your birding in Texas, Arizona, Puerto Rico, Israel, or wherever you are! 

For more information or if you want to ask questions, contact Adult Advisor . In the meantime, brush up on those spring birdsongs!

Sunday June 7, 2015 - Peach Hill Park (Dutchess County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC Partner Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club  Blackburnian Warbler, photo by Carena Pooth

This is a town park, but what a gem! For birders in Dutchess County (like Carena and Herb), this is a super hotspot for warblers and other passerines in spring! One of the advantages at Peach Hill is that many birds are found in the apple trees (there are no peach trees), so you don't even get "warbler neck" trying to locate them! Herb monitors the bluebird trail at Peach Hill and will explain what that project involves.

Peach Hill Park also includes the highest point in the Town of Poughkeepsie, with scenic views of the Hudson Valley, the Catskills, and the Taconic Hills.

Bring good walking shoes. The trails are not very rugged, but there are hills to climb as you tally the birds and take in the nice views. Bring insect repellent, sunscreen, and your camera!

Permission form due by 5/29/15.  If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

Saturday July 18, 2015 - Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (Kings/Queens County)
NYSYBC Jamaica Bay trip, 8/16/08, photo by Mary BatchellerSponsoring NYSYBC PartnerBedford Audubon Society

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  early migrant shorebirds (the East Pond can have up to 1000's of shorebirds in late Jul., though there can be far fewer than that, depending on water levels), 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 7/8/15.  If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

Sunday August 16, 2015 - Montezuma NWR
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerRochester Birding Association

Montezuma NWR, photo by Carena PoothMontezuma NWR is one of New York State's top birding destinations.

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 RBA guide is very familiar with the refuge and promises to show us her secret birding spots. We will have lunch at a wonderful local diner and after that, more birding for those that wish to continue. MNWR covers a vast area of varied habitat.

Visit (go to Hotspots Montezuma- NWR for complete details on this birding mecca.

Note from Rochester Birding Association: No fee; donation to MNWR appreciated

Permission form due by 8/6/15.  If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

Sunday September 6, 2015 - Bashakill Wildlife Management Area
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerSullivan County Audubon Society

Bashakill Wildlife Management Area, photo by Carena Pooth 

Here's how Jacob Drucker described the Bashakill in his NYSYBC trip report back in 2009: "a large scrape in a valley that has accumulated with runoff water and turned into an absolutely gorgeous body of water and swamp." Jacob went on: "Standing on Haven Road, a causeway running across “the Bash,” we were surrounded by water, vegetation, and of course birds. Ducks were everywhere, and we quickly found American Wigeon, Gadwall, American Black, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green Winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Common and Hooded Merganser, and Ring-Necked, and Wood (which practically covered some of the trees) Ducks. All of these were present in substantial numbers. There were also a few instances of a Pied-Billed Grebe or two around, and of course, Red-winged Blackbirds. 

Wrap up your summer by comig with us to bird this magical place!

Permission form due by 8/27/15.  If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

October 2-4, 2015 (Friday-Sunday) - NYSOA Annual Meeting & New York State Birders Conference (Albany, NY)  
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerHudson-Mohawk Bird Club

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 banquet highlighted by the event's keynote speaker.

NYSOA Annual Meeting bannerYoung birders are encouraged to make poster or 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 will be available this spring on the NYSOA website.

STIPEND FOR NYSYBC YOUTH MEMBERS WHO ATTEND: Check your email for details. To qualify for the stipend, a special NYSOA/NYSYBC permission form must be submitted by SEPTEMBER 18, 2015.

CANCELLED Saturday Evening, November 7, 2015 -Saw-whet Owl Banding (Ellenville, Ulster County) 

NEW TRIP Sunday November 8, 2015 - Rockland Lake - Rockland County
Sponsoring NYSYBC PartnerRalph T. Waterman Bird Club

We will be spending the morning at beautiful Rockland Lake, known as a location where migrating waterfowl congregates to rest and feed. There are also many landbirds in the woods and brushy areas surrounding the lake. The trail is level and paved.

Permission form due by 10/28/15.  If you have not yet submitted a 2015 medical form (page 2 of the permission form) please submit it with your permission form.

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!