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

featured bird photo
Lapland Longspur © Sue Barth

Scoping March

They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but around here, March exits with a roar as well! Hang in there, the Hamburg Hawkwatch is open for business officially on the 15th. Please stop by and say hello to the volunteer posted at the site for the day. This hawkwatch is covered by volunteers daily from March 15 thru May 15. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Jim Landau (Landaujr@gmail.com). In addition to migrant raptors, the first blackbird and robin flocks are on the move this month.

Waterfowl migration also begins in ernest during March. If you're looking for Snow Geese, head to the eastern side of Niagara County, as well as Orleans and Genesee Counties. This species is far less frequently encountered in Erie County. The ponds and marshes at Iroquois NWR and the Tonawanda WMA are thawing and attracting scores of dapper ducks. Just what the doctor ordered...Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and other puddle ducks are looking smitten in their high breeding plumage.

Red-throated Loons and Red-necked Grebes are also on the move in March and if looking for these birds, check the Lake Ontario overlooks at Ft Niagara SP, Golden Hill SP, Wilson-Tuscarora SP and Wilson Harbor. These birds can also be found in the upper Niagara and at Erie Basin Marina (if ice free). Do yourself a favor and spend some time watching Red-breasted Merganser drakes displaying to the ladies in the aforementioned waterways.

This is a great time of year to put in some time looking for Saw-whets. Spruce and pine groves along the Lake Ontario plain are great places to peek into after a night of light southerly winds. As always with any owls, if you do find one of these magical tiny birds, please keep a respectable distance.

At the end of the month, herons and egrets are returning to their rookeries. Bring your spotting scope to the foot of Sheridan Drive and scan Motor Island from the boat launch to see these newly arrived migrants displaying on their nests.


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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  Hamburg Hawk Watch Resumes March 15!

The Hamburg Hawk Watch is already on the near horizon! Raptor counts will resume beginning March 15th and will continue through May 15th.

See our Hawk Watch page for more details: Hamburg Hawk Watch »


  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.)

Mar 10, 2021   (Wednesday)

Meeting - "NYS BBA III Project Update and Overview"

Details: (click for more info)

Our March meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, March 10th, at 7 PM via Zoom. Connection details are below.

Sue Barth will report on how the 3rd NYS Breeding Bird Atlas is progressing as well as offer an overview and some guidance on entering YOUR data to help the 5-year project and the state-wide effort to document evidence of our breeding birds here in WNY.

Launch the Meeting »

Meeting ID: 681 967 4773
Passcode: 7654321


Mar 27, 2021   (Saturday)

Field Trip - Lake Ontario Plains

Details: (click for more info)

March 27th, Saturday. Lake Ontario Plain Field Trip for early migrants.
**Weather Date is Sunday, 3/28/2021**

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

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

This popular field trip seeks returning birds, like Killdeer, blackbirds, and Eastern Meadowlark, overwintering birds, like Rough-legged Hawk, Snow Bunting, and Lapland Longspur, and an abundance of waterbirds. We will look for loons, grebes, a variety of ducks and geese, and any goodies that might be around. Seven species of geese have been found on this trip in the past! We will also keep our eyes to the skies in search of migrating raptors, which are often prevalent in spring up by Lake Ontario. Previous trips have recorded Golden Eagle. Come join us and start to get over your spring fever!


Apr 07, 2021   (Wednesday)

Meeting - TBD

Details: (click for more info)

The content of our April meeting has yet to be determined. Stay tuned for details!


Apr 11, 2021   (Sunday)

BOS April Bird Count

Details: (click for more info)

Sunday, April 11th, 2021

All BOS members will hopefully plan 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 Joel Strong who will put you into contact with the correct section compiler.
Please visit the April Count information page on the website at the address below. Thank you so much!

More About the April Count: Click here »


Apr 24, 2021   (Saturday)

Field Trip - Braddock Bay Hawkwatch

Details: (click for more info)

Saturday, April 24th

Meet at 9:30 AM in the parking lot at Braddock Bay State Park, 199 E Manitou Road, 14468.

David Gordon (dgordonphoto@yahoo.com; (716) 390-1429) leads this trip.

Weather permitting, we will indulge in the spectacle of spring hawk migration from the hawkwatch platform. The bay should also have good numbers of waterfowl and the nearby woods may hold new arrival passerines. If owls are present, a short trip to Owl Woods will also enliven the day!

This is a full day trip so bring drinks, lunch, snacks, sunscreen and a chair (for hawk watching). Bathrooms are likely available at the park. Be aware that a lake breeze can develop this time of year which is a cool/cold breeze out of the north compliments of Lake Ontario. Dress appropriately.

Leader David Gordon (dgordonphoto@yahoo.com)


Apr 25, 2021   (Sunday)

Field Trip - Montezuma NWR

Details: (click for more info)

Leader is Christopher Bertola; chris.bertola10@gmail.com

This trip is new to the BOS field trip menu, and what a great addition it is! The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge complex is a massive wetland that occupies 15 square miles at the north end of Cayuga Lake. Please join Christopher Bertola as we explore this unique hotspot and work on building your Seneca County life list.

This vast area is a critical stopover site for many migrants and at this time of year, we will be looking for various waterfowl, including rarities like Eurasian Wigeon and Ross's Goose, and early arriving shorebirds such as Pectoral Sandpipers and Dunlin.

Most of this trip will take place along the Wildlife Drive with frequent stops to scan flocks of ducks. Bring your scope if you have one! Marsh Wrens should be singing from the cattails as Black Terns bound across the open waterways in search of insects and minnows.

If any rarities have been found recently, we will try for those as well. With 267 species recorded along the drivable berm alone, something stand-out is bound to await us! This trip is anticipated to wrap up around 1pm. Plan to bring a lunch/snacks and beverages. Bathrooms are available at the visitor center.



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