The birders are out in full force this weekend, thanks to the Buffalo Ornithological Society’s hosting the 70th Annual New York State Ornithological Association Meeting and Birders Conference. Yesterday they hiked through Tifft Nature Preserve to observe many rare migratory birds, and along Buffalo’s waterfront at the foot of Hertel Avenue in the hopes of seeing diving ducks, various gulls, jaegers, and scoters. In order to spot unusual waterfowl and special gulls, attendees will be meeting in Niagara Falls, overlooking the Niagara River rapids. The conference was scheduled for unusually late in the year specifically to take in the migratory birds passing through the Lake Erie and Niagara River area at this time of year, with particular excitement in sighting Sabine’s Gull (as a very inexperienced birder myself, I’m not entirely sure why, but I plan to find out this weekend!). Field trips are scheduled through Sunday.
The New York State Young Birders Club will offer activities for birders between age 10 – 19. For $10, a gift membership connects young birders with expert leaders, birding friends, information about birding camps and activities, and scholarship opportunities. You can visit their table at the Birders Marketplace during the conference.
Saturday night’s 8:30 p.m. keynote is open to the public. Neil Hayward will talk about his record breaking 2013 Big Year which culminated in sighting 749 species and traveling 250,000 miles, from Boston to Alaska, and Newfoundland to Florida. Originally from Oxford, England, he completed his PhD in genetics at Cambridge University and relocated to Massachusetts. He is the author of Lost Among the Birds.
The Birders Marketplace features artists, vendors, and non-profit organizations and is also open to the public Saturday at the DoubleTree at Hilton Hotel, located right at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park. Parking is free.
For more information, visit www.
Lead image by Karen Lee Lewis