Annual Fall Meeting

September 22, 2017 – September 23, 2017 all-day

You’re invited to the NYSBS Annual Meeting                                                                                

September 22nd and 23rd, 2017                                                                                                              

Join us for a great weekend and bring along a friend; one does not need to be an NYSBS member to attend!

Schedule of Events

Friday, September 22nd

5:30 PMBuffet dinner at Old Erie Restaurant (8924 N. Seneca St., Weedsport, NY) followed by Board of Directors meeting. Both dinner and the Board Meeting are open to NYSBS members. The cost of the dinner is $23.00 and advance reservations are required. Email by September 15th.

Saturday, September 23rd

7:00 AMField trip: Birding by car along the 3.5 mile Montezuma Wildlife Drive. A significant stop along the Atlantic Flyway, the more than 50,000 acre Montezuma Wetlands Complex provides crucial habitat for migratory waterfowl and other birds. The 3.5 mile gravel road loops around the main marsh, allowing for up-close views of the wetlands and mudflats and the thousands (literally) of birds utilizing them from the comfort of your vehicle, which also acts as a moving blind and prevents the birds from being spooked. Bring your binoculars and a camera- you’ll get some fantastic views and likely even some photography opportunities.

The Wildlife Drive has something to offer throughout the seasons, but the timing of our meeting is perfect for fall migration! Mid-August through mid-October offers great opportunities to view shorebirds (peak mid-September). Killdeer, yellowlegs, and plovers feast on the exposed mudflats. Mid-September to freeze-up, geese and waterfowl come back through the refuge on their way south to wintering grounds. Herons and egrets will use shallow water areas throughout the day. Waterfowl numbers be heading toward peak in November, when geese will number 50,000 and ducks over 100,000! In the fall, eagles and other birds of prey are also abundant as they make their way to open water and/or winter grounds further south. On the field trip, you’ll see waterfowl, herons and other marsh birds, Canada geese, bald eagle, osprey, harriers and other birds of prey, shorebirds, and turtles. You may also see muskrat, white-tailed deer, mink, fox or coyote.

Meet in the lobby of the Days Inn, 9050 State Route 34, Weedsport, NY at 6:30 AM to caravan to the Refuge Visitor Center, or if coming from the west, meet at the Visitor Center by 7:00 AM. The Visitor Center and entrance to the Wildlife Drive is located at 3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY, 13148, between Auburn and Seneca Falls, NY. We’ll leave some cars in the Visitor Center parking lot and carpool for the birding drive, returning for those cars after the field trip to avoid an extra trip back to the Days Inn and expedite travel to Auburn for the meeting. 

Directions to the Visitor’s Center/Wildlife Drive: From the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90), take exit 41. Turn right (south) onto NY-414 and follow approximately 200 yards to the traffic light. Turn left (east) at the light onto NY-318 and follow for approximately 5 miles to the end, where NY-318 meets NY-5/US-20 and NY-89. Turn left (east) onto NY-5/US-20 and follow for 1.25 miles. Turn left into the refuge entrance.

9:30 AMAnnual Meeting begins, Community Room at the Finger Lakes Mall: 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY. Light morning refreshments will be served.

10:00 AM— Welcome and introductions; election of officers; presentation of the annual Fran Hanes Memorial Conservation Award and the Herman Bressler Distinguished Service Award.

11:00 AMPresentation: “The Bird That Owned the Sky: New York’s Legacy of Raptor Recovery Work and Its Lessons for Conservation Today,” Darryl McGrath

Learn from journalist Darryl McGrath about the history of the intertwined peregrine falcon and bald eagle rescue projects, which started 10 years apart and relied on shared information and techniques between the public and private sector, and set the stage for New York State to emerge as a national leader in bird conservation work. Then, explore three contemporary conservation efforts: the short-eared owl, common loon, and eastern bluebird, and discuss our responsibility to carry on the tradition of bird conservation in today’s changing climate.

For this talk, Darryl will draw from her book, Flight Paths: A Field Journal of Hope, Heartbreak, and Miracles with New York’s Bird People, which has been critically acclaimed by The Journal of Field Ornithology and The Condor for its storytelling and research, and has been a top-selling title for the State University of New York Press since its publication last year. Copies of the book will also be available for sale.

12:00 PMLunch: A catered lunch will be available for $8.00; advance reservations required. Email by September 15th.

1:00Presentation: Sheltering Bluebirds, Dr. Bill Zitek

NYSBS Vice President, Dr. Bill Zitek, retired veterinarian, has maintained a nest box trail along with other volunteers at Mashomack Preserve, a Nature Conservancy Preserve on Shelter Island, NY, for 17 years. This 2039 acre preserve is on an island in Peconic Bay and has a 60 nest box trail for the eastern bluebird, tree swallow and recently, purple martins. This maritime setting has had good results in fledging bluebirds and tree swallows each year along with the osprey and bald eagle. The use of cameras at some of the nest boxes has helped monitors to learn about the bluebirds’ movements when they can’t be there and banding helps track returning birds from year to year. We will discuss the natural history of the eastern bluebird and its nest box neighbors along with the elements necessary for providing nest sites, beginning with the nest box itself (for it is not as simple as just putting up a nest box!)

2:00 PM— Closing activities

Expert Panel Q&A session: Bring your questions, thoughts and experiences to discuss with our panel as we work together to continue this eastern bluebird conservation effort.

Silent and Live Auctions: Please bring an item (or a few!) for the auction, and plan to bid high and bid often! There will also be a selection of NYSBS items for sale.

Accommodations: For those staying overnight on Friday, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Days Inn, 9050 State Route 34, Weedsport, NY. Please call the hotel directly for room availability and rates: 315-834-6198.

A final note: Meeting and field trip reservations, although not required, are appreciated and help us plan for adequate supplies and seating. Reservations for the Friday buffet dinner and/or Saturday catered lunch are required and must be received by Friday, September 15th. The Finger Lakes area is a beautiful and popular vacation destination, especially in September, so make your plans now. We hope to see you for what is sure to be a fun and informative weekend!