BOS Field Trips and Events



BOS Travel Trip - Puerto Rico with Alec Humann

Date: 3/3/2024   (Sunday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE 11/01/23
Both of these tours are full.

There will be two date spans for these Puerto Rico trips:
Sunday, March 3 thru Friday, March 8, 2024
Sunday, March 10 thru Friday, March 15, 2024

The commonwealth of Puerto Rico hosts 18 endemic birds as well as many unique Caribbean species. We will enjoy a week-long adventure on this emerald isle during March of 2024. The island's vegetation and bird populations should be recovered by 2024 after Hurricane Maria decimated the island in 2017.

As we traverse the island, we will start off heading west through the northern karst terrain, travel down the west coast to the salt flats of Cabo Rojo in the SW and then head to the interior highlands to see the Elfin-woods Warbler. In addition to the 18 endemic species of birds residing on Puerto Rico, we will aim to see Caribbean specialties such as West Indian Whistling-Duck, White-cheeked Pintail, Key West Quail-Dove, Red-legged Thrush, Antillean Euphonia and Antillean Crested Hummingbird. We should also catch up with White-tailed Tropicbirds along the coast!!!

I have hired a local guide for the entire trip so as to maximize our chances at seeing all 18 endemics plus a good number of Caribbean specialties. Please email Alec if you would like to review the itinerary (alechumann@msn.com).

Meeting - Presentation by Gavin Leighton

Date: 3/13/2024   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 7 pm in the Cummings Room.

Gavin M. Leighton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology at
Buffalo State University, will present on The Evolution of Complex Communication and Visual Deception in Birds

Field Trip - Dunkirk Harbor and Fredonia area with Devin Banning and Katelyn Davis

Date: 3/16/2024   (Saturday)

Location: Dunkirk City Pier, 8 Central Avenue, Dunkirk, NY 14048 (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 8:00am on the Dunkirk Pier (parking available on the pier and by the shops right before the pier).


Leader: Devin Banning (716) 260-8889, Devin.Banning@fredonia.edu

Our trip will begin at Dunkirk Harbor scoping for various waterbirds. With that in mind, please bring your spotting scope if you have one as it will greatly enrich your experience! Raptors, including Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon, are often in attendance with the plentiful food supply. We will also have a chance at migrant raptors, weather-permitting. Eared Grebe and Little Gull have been seen here in the past, and occasionally the harbor hosts Iceland and Glaucous Gulls! We should be able to see many species of waterfowl including Scaup (Greater and Lesser), Ruddy Duck, Redhead, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, and Northern Pintail.
After birding the harbor, we will explore a few other nearby hotspots offering different habitats; Berry Road Marsh, Van Buren Road Pond and the Dunkirk Airport.

Trip report from March 2023
https://ebird.org/tripreport/171937?welcome=true

Photo of an Eastern Meadowlark by Bill Massaro on March 19, 2022 at the Dunkirk Airport.

Field Trip - Purple Martin Set-Up Social at Batavia WWTP with Sarah Balduf and Janie Mellas

Date: 3/23/2024   (Saturday)

Location: Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant, 17 Treadeasy Ave, Batavia, NY 14020 (map)

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE - Celeste will be joining in the fun as well!

Leaders - Sarah Balduf, Janie Mellas and Celeste Morien
s_balduf@yahoo.com
(585) 356-2432
janiemellas@yahoo.com
(716) 345-3376

WEATHER DATE - Sunday, March 24

Location - Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant, 17 Treadeasy Ave, Batavia, NY 14020

Meet at 10:00am at the Batavia WWTP main building to sign in. This is a different type of field trip - one with a purpose other than listing! Come help Sarah, Janie and Celeste set up the Purple Martin gourd-style houses on the rack at the Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant. Who knows - if time allows, we can organize a quick spin through the facility to check for migrant waterfowl. If you plan to attend please e-mail Sarah to let her know and so we have a head count for coffee and donuts!

Purple Martin photographed by Joshua Ketry on 5/20/2018 at Batavia WWTP.

Meeting - Topic TBD

Date: 4/10/2024   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 7 pm in the Cummings Room.

The meeting topic is to be determined.

BOS April Bird Count

Date: 4/14/2024   (Sunday)

Location: Throughout the BOS Study Area

Details: (click for more)

Sunday, April 14, 2024

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 (joelstrong78@yahoo.com ) 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 »

Photo of a Common Tern by Chris Hollister, Beaver Island SP on April 23, 2023.

Field Trip - Montezuma NWR

Date: 4/27/2024   (Saturday)

Location: Montezuma NWR

Details: (click for more)

April 27, 2024 (Saturday) 8:30 AM Field Trip - Montezuma NWR with David and Debbie Suggs. Meet at the Visitor's Center, 3395 US-20, Seneca Falls, NY. The refuge is a two hour drive from Buffalo. Plan for a full day to explore the main pool and the extensive Northern Montezuma areas. DSuggs@Buffaloornithologicalsociety.org.

Dr. Gregory Cunningham St. John Fisher University Topic TBD

Date: 5/8/2024   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 7 pm in the Cummings Room.

The meeting topic is to be determined.

Field Trip - Letchworth SP with Matt Nusstein

Date: 5/11/2024   (Saturday)

Location: 6773 Trailside Road, Castile, NY 14427 (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader - Matt Nusstein (Matthew.Nusstein@parks.ny.gov; (716) 446-3376)

Location - Meet at 8am at the Humphrey Nature Center, 6773 Trailside Road, Castile, NY 14427 (see map link above).

Scenic Letchworth State Park, embracing the Genesee River, boasts incredible numbers of migratory birds in May and June. In addition, more than twenty species of warblers nest in the park annually making for an exciting birding destination. This list includes the local Louisiana Waterthrush as well as gems like Hooded, Blue-winged and Mourning Warblers. Acadian Flycatcher is another local species we hope to cross paths with during our outing. We will be birding along the gorge making various stops with short hikes as we go. The trip could last 5-6 hours and we will have lunch overlooking the river. Carpooling is suggested. Bring a lunch, snacks and beverages.

Photo of a male Common Yellowthroat taken by Sue Barth on June 26, 2019 at Letchworth SP.

Field Trip - Chautauqua County Hotspots with Katelyn Davis and Devin Banning

Date: 5/18/2024   (Saturday)

Location: Dunkirk City Pier, 8 Central Avenue, Dunkirk, NY 14048 (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 8:00am on the Dunkirk Pier (parking available on the pier and by the shops right before the pier).

Leader: Devin Banning (716) 260-8889, Devin.Banning@Fredonia.edu

This trip will be targeting various habitats around the Dunkirk-Fredonia area. After looking over Dunkirk Harbor, we will continue to Point Gratiot where we will look and listen for newly arrived migrants as well as the local Red-headed Woodpeckers. Point Gratiot serves as a migrant trap in the city of Dunkirk and funnels northbound migrants into the DEC woodlot; the crown jewel of the park.
In years past, Gratiot has produced such coveted rarities such as Harris's Sparrow, Worm-eating and Kentucky Warblers, Summer Tanager and others.
Our next birding destination will be dependent upon the weather and migration patterns on the days leading up to our outing. We may travel to the Dunkirk Airport for grassland species including nesting Grasshopper Sparrow, Berry Road Marsh and/or Lake Erie State Park.
Last year's trip report can be viewed here
https://ebird.org/tripreport/171944

Photo of a Harris's Sparrow by Gale VerHague at Point Gratiot on May 19, 2021.

BOS May Bird Count

Date: 5/19/2024   (Sunday)

Location: Throughout the BOS Study Area

Details: (click for more)

Sunday, May 19, 2024

All BOS members will hopefully participate in the 86th annual May 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 Bob DeLeon who will put you into contact with the correct section compiler. Please visit the May Count information page on the website at the address below. Thank you so much!

More about the May Count: more info »

Photo of a male Blackburnian Warbler by Josh Ketry at Wilson-Tuscarora SP on May 22, 2019.

Field Trip - Floating Fen with Andrew Gaerte and Marcus Rosten

Date: 6/8/2024   (Saturday)

Location: See the Google Map link (map)

Details: (click for more)

Please note:
Due to limited parking, we can carpool for those who are interested. For those looking to carpool, please meet at the Burger King at 5597 Camp Rd, Hamburg, NY 14075 at 8:00 a.m. For those who would like to meet us at Floating Fen, we will start the walk at 9:00 a.m.

Leaders: Andrew Gaerte (585) 610-6842, agaerte@wnylc.org
Marcus Rosten (716) 713-7651, mrosten@wnylc.org

In 2023, the Western New York Land Conservancy was able to permanently protect an amazing 225-acre forest and wetland property in northern Chautauqua County. The heart of the Floating Fen property is a beautiful fen, a peat-forming wetland, which provides a unique habitat for rare wildflowers and carnivorous plants. The Buffalo Ornithological Society, under guidance from the BOS Conservation Committee, provided a grant to assist the Land Conservancy in purchasing and protecting this unique property.

Please join Andrew Gaerte and Marcus Rosten, of the Western New York Land Conservancy, for a guided bird hike at the Floating Fen on Saturday, June 8 th . Last year’s outing to Floating Fen in May found 13 species of warblers including Mourning and Hooded, Veery and Wood Thrush, and many other species.
With this outing taking place in early June, we should have nesting birds like
Mourning and Chestnut-sided Warblers, and Least Flycatcher, all of which can be added to the final year of the NYS Breeding Bird Atlas!
Here is the link to last May’s walk: https://ebird.org/checklist/S137725918


Photo of a Barred Owl by Thomas Riley on May 15, 2021 at the nearby College Lodge property.

Meeting - Picnic and a walk through Tifft Nature Preserve

Date: 6/12/2024   (Wednesday)

Location: Tifft Nature Preserve - Visitor's Center (map)

Details: (click for more)

The annual BOS picnic meeting will be held at Tifft Nature Preserve on Wednesday, June 12, at 6 PM.

Weather permitting, bring your meal, a folding chair if you like, and meet at the picnic tables outside the Visitor Center.

The gates will be open to drive back to the staff parking area outside the building. Also, the restrooms will be open 6:00 to 6:30.

After our meals, we will hike the preserve until sunset.

Field Trip - Darien Lake SP with Matt Nusstein

Date: 6/15/2024   (Saturday)

Location: Gravel lot off Alleghany Road (Route77) across from 10271 Alleghany Road. (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meeting time is 8:00am in the gravel lot off Alleghany Road (Route 77) across from 10271 Alleghany Road.

Leader is Matthew Nusstein - (716) 446 3376; matthew.nusstein@parks.ny.gov

Matt will be leading our group in search of grassland breeding birds at Darien Lake SP in Genesee County. In the fields at this location, we will be looking for Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Savannah Sparrow. This trip will last approximately 3 hours.

Photo of a Northern Bobwhite taken by Schuyler Lawson at Darien Lakes SP on July 4, 2023.

Field Trip - Franklin Gulf County Park with Joe Petre

Date: 6/22/2024   (Saturday)

Location: 9998 Larkin Rd, Eden, NY 14057 (map)

Details: (click for more)

Leader - Joe Petre
josephpetre@gmail.com
(716) 207-9555

Start time - 7:30am in the parking lot at 9998 Larkin Rd, Eden, NY

Franklin Gulf County park in North Collins, Erie County, formerly known as Larkin Woods, is a 600+ acre forest with numerous creeks, ravines, ledge outcrops, waterfalls, and extensive hemlock stands which should feature Acadian Flycatcher and Louisiana Waterthrush. Join Joe at one of his favorite locations to hike and bird. This will be a 1/2 day trip wrapping up before noon.

Photo of a male Black-throated Green Warbler by Mike Zebehazy on May 6, 2021 at Franklin Gulf.

BOS Travel Trip - Falsterbo, Sweden with Alec Humann

Date: 9/8/2024   (Sunday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE - This departure is full. Please reach out if you are interested in the next trip to Falsterbo in September of 2025!
Alechumann@msn.com

This is just a heads up that this trip is currently being planned by my contact/guide. This trip will be limited to 7 participants, plus myself, and will span a week; we fly home on Monday, September 15. Flights for western Europe depart in the afternoon from the eastern US, fly overnight and arrive at destination the following morning/afternoon.
Our flight will depart Buffalo for Copenhagen, Denmark where our guide, Stephen, will pick us up and then we drive 45 minutes across the Oresund Bridge to southwestern Sweden.
Falsterbo has a bird observatory where point counts and banding are conducted and our tour will be based nearby. Daily itinerary will be dictated by the weather as this is a migration bottleneck, like legendary Cape May, NJ or Point Pelee, Ontario. This tour will coincide with a wide variety of migrants, and if migration isn't especially active we will head inland to search out forest species such as Black Woodpecker! Target birds will be pretty much everything…Eurasian Hobby, Bearded Reedling, Eurasian Curlew and Oystercatchers, Pied Avocet and Lapwing, several species of Harrier, Wagtails, Pipits, Green Woodpecker and so forth and so on! Stay tuned for updates! If you are interested, let me know so that I can add your name to the participant list.

If September of 2024 doesn't work for you, I will be planning to go again in September of 2025. If 2025 works better for you, let me know and I will add you to the participant list for then.


Sample checklists from the same time of year…
https://ebird.org/checklist/S150047728

https://ebird.org/checklist/S150783940

Photo is of an Eurasian Green Woodpecker.

Meeting - Member's Night

Date: 9/11/2024   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meet at 7 pm in the Cummings Room.

Our first meeting back after summer break. Members...please bring photos from your summer travels to share with the rest of us. Load your photos onto a thumb drive and bring with you.

Also looking to sign members up for the October bird count; whether as compilers or volunteers within the sections. Please help us improve our coverage from last year.

Meeting - Topic TBD

Date: 10/9/2024   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

BOS October Bird Count

Date: 10/12/2024   (Saturday)

Location: Throughout the BOS Study Area

Details: (click for more)

Saturday, October 12th, 2024

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 »

Photo of an Orange-crowned Warbler by Gale VerHague from the Town of Sheridan, Chautauqua County on October 12, 2021.

BOS Travel Trip - Cape May, NJ with Alec Humann

Date: 10/23/2024   (Wednesday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

Please Note - At this time, the dates have NOT been set in stone but will run Wednesday-Saturday. Please let me know if you are interested in this event so that I can keep you updated!


We will focus our time on Cape Island (south of the Cape May canal) at all the famous hotspots. Being a migration bottleneck for southbound birds, our itinerary will be greatly influenced by the werather. The great thing about Cape May is that there is ALWAYS great birding to be had - whether a NW wind is blowing birds our way or not!
A pontoon boat trip into the salt marsh, Higbee Beach, the Hawkwatch, South Cape May Meadows, and other hotspots will be on our itinerary. We will also visit Stone Harbor/Nummy Island and the Avalon Seawatch. and I will try to arrange for hawk and owl banding demos. I will be plugged in to the local RBA so we can keep up on reported rarities. Participants are expected to book their own accommodations (I will assist with this) as well as travel to/from/around Cape May. All BOS members are invited. Below is a sample itinerary...

Wednesday, October 23
730-900. Coral Avenue Dune Crossing on Cape May Point. We will gather on the wooden deck overlooking the Delaware Bay and enjoy the dawn passerine flight, early raptor flight, gulls, terns and shorebirds.
900-1200. Stop for breakfast/lunch at Wawa and then go the the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge aka 'The Meadows' (Nature Conservancy Property). We will walk the gravel trail through the freshwater marsh out to the ocean/beach. Birds of interest here include shorebirds and herons/egrets, bittern, terns, possibly hawk flight overhead and VA Rail and Sora.
1200-400. Hawkwatch. If the hawk flight isn't happening we will walk the trails at Cape May Point State Park. If raptors are flying, it will be awesome! Not only do raptors pass over the hawkwatch but so to many other birds. Bunker Pond, in front of the platform, will have a great collection of waterfowl, usually including several Eurasian Wigeon. We will have plenty to look at!
400-630. Siesta, shower, catch your breath.
630. Group dinner at Lucky Bones
830. Possible owl banding demo if any birds have been caught at the net check around this time and then to bed!

Thursday, October 24
730-900. Coral Avenue Dune Crossover for the morning passerine flight - as yesterday.
900-200. Pick up breakfast/lunch at Wawa and head north to the Avalon Seawatch; weather permitting. This is staffed by a CMBO employee for the entire fall season. We should expect to see plenty of scoters, Red-throated Loons, Gannets, Brant and others. More uncommon species include Purple Sandpiper, Parasitic Jaeger and occasionally Humpback Whale!
200-400. Drive back to Cape May (about 30 mins), take a nap, visit CMBO bookstore on your own if you like
430-600. Sunset at The Meadows. We will walk out to the observation tower and look west for possible Long-eared Owls to come out of roost, as well as American Bitterns flying up out of the marsh in front of us and whatever else we may be privy to see!
600-630. Possible owl banding demo if any birds are caught upon opening nets.
730-830. Group dinner at The Blue Pig Tavern in Congress Hall.

Friday, October 25
730-1100. Stone Harbor and Nummy Island Loop. We will stop at the Wetlands Institute to check the marsh for possible Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and Glossy Ibis. At Stone Harbor Point we will walk the beach in search of shorebirds like Western Sandpiper, Sanderling, Turnstone, Black-bellied Plover, etc... We will stop on Nummy Island to check the marsh for Nelson's, Saltmarsh and Seaside Sparrows, Clapper Rail, herons and egrets and Oystercatcher.
1100-430. Drive back to Cape May (15 mins), pick up lunch and go to the hawkwatch. Possibly work in a Monarch tagging demo. Bird around the State Park trails/ponds/beach. If the hawkwatch isn't exciting, we will head over to The Rea Farm/Beanery to walk the trails there for songbirds. We will also check Lily Lake for interesting waterfowl.
430-530. Rest back at hotel before dinner.
600-730. Dinner at Sapore Italiano.
800. Possible owl banding demo if birds are caught.

Saturday, October 26
730-930. Walk the trail at The Meadows for shorebirds, rails, herons and other waders.
930-1230. Salt marsh safari aboard The Skimmer, which is a flat-bottom pontoon boat. The boat leaves from Cape May Inlet Marina. We will be hoping for up close looks at Clapper Rail, Tricolored and Little Blue Herons, Oystercatcher, Brant, Seaside and Saltmarsh Sparrows, Great Cormorant and more.
1230-200. We can get lunch and head to the hawkwatch or if the weather isn't conducive, we can eat lunch at The Lobster House which is close to the marina.
230-500. Bird Higbee Beach or Hidden Valley for passerines and then end the trip.

So this is a tentative schedule. We will plan on chasing any rarities that are found during our 4 days and that will of course affect our schedule. Some of the target birds include Clapper Rail, Seaside, Nelson's and Saltmarsh Sparrows, Marbled Godwit, American Oystercatcher, Western Sandpiper and Red Knot, Parasictic Jaeger, Purple Sandpiper and more!
If any of the days sound too intensive, remember, you can always head back to your hotel for a rest or stay at the hawkwatch when we go somewhere else. A WhatsApp group will be set up so everyone can stay in touch. It will make it easier to reconnect with the group of you decide to bow out of a time slot for some reason. Other hotspots we may add in or supplement with are Sunset Beach/Magnasite Plant, Cox Hall Creek and 2nd Avenue Jetty. Whatever we do, we are going to enjoy lots of great birds! If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me (alechumann@msn.com).

Photo is of Marbled Godwits.

Meeting - Topic TBD

Date: 11/13/2024   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Meeting - Holiday Celebration

Date: 12/11/2024   (Wednesday)

Location: Buffalo Museum of Science (map)

Details: (click for more)

Annual Holiday Celebration at 7:00 PM in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Please bring a treat to share and enjoy an evening of birding friendship.

BOS Travel Trip - Amazon of Ecuador with Alec Humann

Date: 1/11/2025   (Saturday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

UPDATE - This departure is full. If you are interested in this trip, I will be running a second departure January 26 - February 8, 2025. Please email me for the itinerary at alechumann@msn.com.

The bulk of the trip will be spent between two Amazonian lodges situated along the Napo River, which is a tributary of the mighty Amazon. Both Sani Lodge and Napo Wildlife Center (links embedded in the itinerary) have canopy towers which will offer spectacular views of the tree tops and close views of birds that would be very difficult to see from the ground as well as a clay lick where parrots/parakeets/macaws come in the early morning to ingest the clay minerals which help to neutralize toxins found in rainforest fruits and seeds. A recent video taken at Napo of an adult Crested Eagle raiding an Oropendola colony had me quite captivated! Travel to/from these lodges is in motorized boats which will offer views of birds and mammals as we come and go.
There are so many iconic species to be seen such as Blue-and-Yellow-Macaw, Zigzag Heron, Hoatzin, Horned Screamer, Gray-winged Trumpeter, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Swallow Tanager, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, several of the large Woodpeckers, and Hawk-Eagles among so many, many others! We will take an interior flight from Quito to Coca to start off our Amazon tour. On the return trip, we will drive back towards Quito with stops along the way.
Our guide has also added Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge which is in the cloudforest belt of the Andes. This will get us into position to see a different suite of birds such as Plushcap, Tanager Finch, White-faced Nunbird and others.

Photo is of male Swallow Tanagers.

BOS Travel Trip - Amazon of Ecuador - second departure

Date: 1/26/2025   (Sunday)

Location:

Details: (click for more)

This will be the second departure for the Amazon of Ecuador Tour. Please see the details in the previous trip description as this trip will mirror-image it.

Date span will be Sunday, January 26, 2025 - Saturday, February 8, 2025. Your arrival date into Quito will be Saturday, January 25.

Photo is of a Gray-winged Trumpeter.