Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

featured bird photo
Juvenile Red Knot by Alec Humann ©

Scoping September

September sees the largest number of southbound neotropical songbird migrants, including the warblers, which are in their more challenging to identify fall plumages. Hotspots like Tifft Nature Preserve, Amherst State Park, Goat Island, Fort Niagara State Park, and Rock Point Provincial Park are some popular places to visit at this time. While fewer in number, shorebirds continue to push through the region. Dabbling ducks continue to build while diving ducks begin to trickle into the region.

Most pronounced movements will be following the passage of a cold front and fallouts are possible if storms usher in those fronts. Migrants can end up anywhere so all local hotspots hold possibilities.

A strong southwest blow down the stretch of Lake Erie can push in all sorts of birds, from rare small gulls accompanying Bonaparte’s Gulls to terns, phalaropes, jaegers, ducks, and a few raptors. Anywhere along the Buffalo waterfront can prove rewarding during these storms.

Buffalo's Outer Harbor is a great place to check for Black-bellied and American Golden-Plovers. The short grass areas near the Seaway Slip at the base of the Skyway are worth a scope. While here, you should also take a walk through Times Beach. Habitat restoration has been initiated here and birding will improve as native plants start maturing.

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. (BOS) was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.

The Buffalo Ornithological Society has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

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  Oak Orchard CBC Help Needed!

Two areas of the Oak Orchard Christmas Bird are in need of coverage because we have lost three treasured and dedicated members - Gerry Rising, Mike Galas and Doug Beattie. As the Oak Orchard compiler, I’m hoping for BOS members to fill these two areas for the long term.

The count will take place this year on Wednesday, December 27th 2023 and is always held on a weekday as close as possible to 12/27 or 12/28, so that Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and DEC state employees can participate.

The available areas are 1 and 11. Refer to the count circle map.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in adopting area 1 or area 11.


  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

For a full list of our upcoming field trips, meetings, and events, visit our calendar page. You don't have to be a member to join our field trips or meetings! (Note that meetings run from September through June.)

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Oct 07, 2023   (Saturday)

Field Trip - A Big Sit at Silver Lake SP with Matt Nusstein

Details: (click for more info)

Silver Lake SP boat launch

Leader - Matt Nusstein
(716) 446-3376

The Big Sit: Saturday October 7th, 8:00am (8 hours, onsite)

Meeting location: Silver Lake State Park Boat Launch

Founded in 1992, The Big Sit is an annual, international birding event similar to a bird-a-thon. The catch is that all observations must be made from within a circle no more than 17 feet in diameter. Our count circle will overlook the southern portion of Silver Lake. You can stay for as little or long as you’d like to help with the count or to learn more about the birds of Silver Lake. Bring a picnic lunch if staying for the lunch hour. At the very least, you will have Matt's undivided attention for the duration! This is in Wyoming County for those of you looking to beef up your eBird list for Wyoming Co!

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Oct 11, 2023   (Wednesday)

Meeting - Member Photo Share Night

Details: (click for more info)

Buffalo Museum of Science

Meet at 7 pm in the Cummings Room.

Members, please bring your photos from your summer birding highlights and travels! After the business part of the meeting, we will share our photos.

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Oct 14, 2023   (Saturday)

BOS October Bird Count

Details: (click for more info)

BOS Study Area

Saturday, October 14th, 2023

BOS members are encouraged to participate. Please help us add to the decades of records that the BOS has collected reflecting population dynamics of the area birdlife. You can be part of a field team or simply count birds at your backyard feeder. All observations are important! If you don't know what section you live in, please contact Marcie Jacklin who will put you into contact with the correct section compiler. Thank you so much!

Compiler: Marcie Jacklin (mjacklin@brocku.ca or 905-871-2577)

More about the October Count: more info »

Eastern Towhee at West Seneca Wetlands on October 7, 2021 by Sue Barth.

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Oct 28, 2023   (Saturday)

Field Trip - Lake Ontario Plains with Willie D’anna

Details: (click for more info)

Top's Market in Wrights Corners, Wilson, NY

Saturday, October 28, 2023 - Lake Ontario Plain Field Trip for fall migrants.
*PLEASE be mindful of the weather date which will be Sunday, October 29, 2023.

Meet at 8 AM at Tops Market in Wright's Corners. This is on the east side of Route 78 and Route 104, north of Lockport.

Leader: Willie D'Anna (716-751-3637 or dannapotter@roadrunner.com)

This trip is a car caravan of sorts, plying the rural roads of Niagara County in search of late fall migrants. Every year is different, but with all of the fields and open space habitat we will check, it is reasonable to see Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, and possibly early winter arrivals such as Northern Shrike and Rough-legged Hawk. Horned Larks should be added to the day's list as well. A few stops along the Lake Ontario shore lookouts should produce Horned Grebe and several species of scoters and other diving ducks.

PLEASE NOTE - this field trip can be moved to Sunday as a rain date. This will be an annual standing possibility due to the likelihood of inclement weather at this time of year!

© Photo by Sue Barth of a Northern Shrike

See Our Full List of Events