Counts and Research

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. (BOS) was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region, which includes Western New York and nearby, southeastern Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded.

The BOS is a member of NYSOA, the New York State Ornithological Association.


The BOS has bird census information data back as far as 1939. Members are expected to participate in all census counts. We have six counts that are regularly scheduled each year.

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Grants & Research

The BOS awards grants annually for avian research and conservation efforts. We also host a wide variety of programs that the general public is invited to attend and periodically offer volunteer research opportunities.

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Programs are presented at many of our regular meetings which are free and open to the public. Speakers share a diversity of research interests.

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Periodically, the BOS offers opportunities for individuals to volunteer their help for research projects.

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image of the Mike and Mike on a BOS count


The BOS has bird census information data that goes back as far as 1939. Since its inception in 1929, the BOS has engaged in and supported avian research. This emphasis on research has continued up to the present and members are expected to participate in all census counts. Those with less experience can be teamed with more experienced birders to start out. Hundreds of local birders participate in these activities and their records provide valuable information about changes in bird distribution and populations over the years. We have eight regularly scheduled annual counts as follows:

Click on the available links above for more information about each count, including any forms and maps provided by the count compilers.

Please note: the dates above are only TARGET dates for the actual count date. Refer to the BOS Calendar or the last page of The Prothonotary for actual dates and accompanying details.

image of the colony of PUMAs established at Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant
image of eggshell trays for Purple Martins
image of the release of a Short-eared Owl

Projects and Grants

Special Projects Grants

Every year the Buffalo Ornithological Society funds a number of projects that contribute either to ornithological research in our region or to efforts aimed at educating people about our local birds. In deciding how these funds are distributed, our first priority is to support studies that will make a positive impact on ornithological research. The second priority is education of the public about ornithology.

Grants may be requested at any time of the year. Applicants are invited to download the application form at the bottom of this page, fill it out and either scan it and e-mail it or send it to the chairperson of the special projects committee:

Dr. Robert DeLeon
381 Cadman Dr.
Williamsville, NY 14221

 Download the Grant Application  

Recent Special Projects / Grant recipients include:



  • Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant Purple Martin Eggshell Tray Feeder (C. Morien)


  • Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant Purple Martin gourd rack (C. Morien)


  • Short-Eared Owl study (C. Rosenburg)
  • Purple Martin nesting houses at Tifft Nature Preserve (D. Spiering)


  • Grassland bird study (N. Grosse)
  • Effect of Mercury on Red-winged Blackbirds (A. Gillet)
  • Short-Eared Owl study (C. Rosenburg)
  • Wren Nesting Boxes at Tifft Nature Preserve (D. Spiering)


  • Short-Eared Owl study (C. Rosenburg)
  • Funding for student participation in ornithological meetings (S. Morris)

image of Jim Pawlicki


Programs are presented at many of our regular meetings which are free and open to the public. Speakers share a diversity of research interests.

Our grant recipients agree to share their findings, analysis of our count data is regularly presented, and we also invite speakers to give programs.

Our diverse membership includes a wealth of avian experts (both professional and recreational) who are wiling to share before, during and after meetings.

Watch the Calendar and home page for upcoming programs.

image of Mike Galas

Volunteer Efforts

Members are often asked to participate in research efforts, and both meetings and this website are great places to get involved in some of these activities. Some examples of such opportunities enjoyed by our membership in the past:

  • Assistance with DEC-sponsored study of Short-Eared Owls in New York State
  • Assist the NYS DEC with Peregrine Falcon monitoring
  • Participation in the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas III 2020 project

Additional volunteer opportunities will be posted as we are made aware of them. If you are interested in posting a relevant volunteer opportunity, contact the BOS.