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 Hawkwatch Begins Soon!

March 15th - May 15th

Hamburg Hawk Watch at Lakeside Memorial Park in Hamburg (off Camp Road between Routes 5 & 20). Stop by between 10 AM and 3 PM (weather permitting)!

If you can help out, please contact Jim Landau (716-941-3869 or landaujr@gmail.com).

For more information, visit our Hawkwatch Page  

  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Mar 30, 2019

Field Trip - Lake Ontario Plains

Details: (click for more info)

March 30th, Saturday. Lake Ontario Plain Field Trip for early migrants.

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 06, 2019

Field Trip - Owl Woods at Braddock Bay

Details: (click for more info)

For the last two years in a row, this trip has had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. It is very important that you check with Alec a few days before the trip to make sure it is still a go! Odds are growing in favor of the trip going this year so keep your fingers crossed! Eventually we should hit a decent day! The weather date for this trip is Sunday, April 7th.

Leader - Jim Adams
Meet at 8:00a.m. at the parking lot across from the entrance to Owl Woods. See location map link above.

We are very fortunate this year to have a member of Braddock Bay Raptor Research as our guide through Owl Woods. Our main focus here will be the unequivocally endearing Saw-whet Owl. This migratory species is difficult to detect while roosting but with Jim's assistance we hope to see one. Long-eared Owl is also a possibility. We will spend about an hour and a half walking the spruce grove in search of these owls. If the weather permits, we may be able to get a tour of an operating hawk banding station to boot! This 1/2 day trip will have a 20-person limit. Please email Alec Humann (alechumann@msn.com) to reserve your spot! BOS members will have priority.

Apr 10, 2019

Meeting - Jean Iron Presents on Antarctic Seabirds

Details: (click for more info)

April 10th: Wed. BOS Meeting in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science at 7:00 PM.

Antarctic Seabirds
In this presentation, we will look at superb adaptations and sleek plumages of seabirds from albatrosses to tiny storm-petrels living in remote, windswept, cold Antarctica. In our quest for pelagic birds of the southern ocean, Jean will take us on an Antarctic voyage illustrated with photos and action videos.

Jean Iron
Jean Iron is one of Ontario’s best-known birders, having been President of the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) for nine years and editor of its newsletter for 14. In 2016, she received the Distinguished Ornithologist Award from the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Jean has a special interest in Shorebirds, Gulls and recently in Seabirds. She loves the Niagara River, where she co-led the OFO Niagara trip for 17 years and gave gull identification workshops and quizzes. Jean presents shorebird identification workshops at Point Pelee's Festival of Birds in May. Her passion for shorebirds takes her annually to the James Bay coast to survey for Canadian Wildlife Service.

Jean travels to many parts of the world studying and enjoying wildlife and digital photography. Her photos are featured in many publications.

As an experienced expedition leader, Jean has taken Quest Nature Tours groups to Antarctica, Iceland, Canada’s High Arctic, Svalbard in Arctic Norway, Costa Rica and Panama, Japan, French Polynesia, the Galapagos and other countries in central and South America. This evening Jean will share her fascination for Antarctic Seabirds.

Apr 14, 2019

BOS April Count

Details: (click for more info)

Sunday, April 14th.

All BOS members should participate in the 82nd annual April Bird Count.

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 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 28, 2019

Field Trip - Braddock Bay Hawk Watch with RBA

Details: (click for more info)

Sunday, April 28th

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

David Gordon leads this joint trip with the RBA (Rochester Birding Association).

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 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)

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