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

featured bird photo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Scoping June

Shorebirds and late Neotropical migrants are wrapping up the spring migration in the first week or so of June. Local breeding birds are busy nest building and rearing future generations. Now is the time to catch up with birds you may have missed during spring migration!

The Iroquois NWR complex is high priority on many birder's itineraries this time of year. Species such as Cerulean and Prothonotary Warblers which are rare to stumble upon during migration can be found breeding within the swamps and wet woods of Iroquois. Black Terns are hawking insects and looking immaculate in their high breeding plumage. Cayuga Overlook is a great spot to observe these terns. On quiet mornings, visitors may hear the call of Least Bitterns in the cattail marshes.

Two other species that breed locally but are rarely seen during migration are Louisiana Waterthrush and Acadian Flycatcher. These two species can be found near the Eternal Flame at Chestnut Ridge SP in Orchard Park, NY. Broad-winged Hawks nest in this forest as well.

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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  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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Jun 28, 2024   (Friday)

Atlas Big Weekend - Just Go Out and Atlas!

Details: (click for more info)

The NYS Breeding Bird Atlas has decided to simply encourage everyone to go out and atlas this weekend! No special activities are being planned - just atlasing.

1) Pick an incomplete block anywhere in Western New York (use this page: Priority Blocks in WNY)
2) Set your phone app to the New York Breeding Bird Atlas portal
3) Record breeding codes for all the breeding activity you find

(Keep an eye on your checklist that will warn you if you're getting close to the block boundary - then stop the list and start a new one in a new block)

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Jun 29, 2024   (Saturday)

Field Trip - Birding Buffalo Harbor and Niagara River Islands by Boat

Details: (click for more info)

Canalside, 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

UPDATE - 6/5/24
Enough people have signed up for this trip to sail! There are still about 20 spaces remaining so if you are interested, please sign up sooner than later!

Boarding begins at 6:45am with departure at 7:00am. The trip will run approximately 2 hours, until 9:00am. Cost per person for the boat trip is $50.
Saturday, June 29 with a weather date of Sunday, June 30 (so please keep both days open).

We have teamed up with Rich Hilliman of Buffalo River History Tours to plan a 2-hour excursion of the Buffalo Harbor and the upper Niagara River. We will board the Harbor Queen, a 73’ catamaran vessel featuring an upper deck, accessed by stairs, with plenty of elbow room. Catamaran boats are very stable and offer a smooth ride! The Harbor Queen has a capacity of 145 people but we are limiting the number of participants to 60. Our boat offers wheelchair access, to the lower level only. Coffee, tea and mini muffins will be offered gratis.
Our route will take us around Donnelly’s Pier and the Reef Lighthouse and then down the Niagara River to Strawberry and Motor Islands, returning to Canalside via the Black Rock Canal. Leaders will be strategically positioned around the boat to help spot birds and broadcast sightings via the PA system.

The Common Tern colonies will be very busy with adults feeding youngsters. We hope to see Osprey and Bald Eagle (Strawberry Island nest), and numerous Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets at the Motor Island rookery. The Caspian Tern nesting colony on Donnelly's Pier sandspit should also be in full swing.
Boarding begins at 6:45am and the trip will depart Canalside at 7:00am, returning around 9:00am. Paid parking is available at any of the nearby surface lots as well as at Harbor Center - parking fees are not included in the boat trip cost.
The trip is set to embark on Saturday, June 29 with a weather date of Sunday, June 30. Please make sure to leave your social calendar open both of these days in case Saturday gets weathered out! Boat reservations are on a first come, first served basis. Your payment will ensure your space! You may pay by check or money transfer via Venmo. If you plan to join us, please let me know via email (alechumann@msn.com) or text (7166042971) so that I can add your name to the participant list in anticipation of payment to hold your spot.

For Venmo users, use @alechumann and the last 4 digits of my phone number are 2971 if you need that information. Make sure to mark the payment as ‘Birding Tour’ or something similar.

For those mailing a check…
Please make your check out to Alec Humann and mail to:
Alec Humann
20 Queens Drive
Grand Island, NY 14072-1424

Mike Morgante photographed a portion of the Great Egret rookery at Motor Island WMA on June 25, 2021.

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Jun 30, 2024   (Sunday)

Weather date for Niagara River by boat tour.

Details: (click for more info)

See Our Full List of Events