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Birders in Buffalo this Weekend.

Peregrine Falcon over cityscape – photo by Kevin Rybczynski

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

Lead image by Karen Lee Lewis

Written by Arete


Megan Mills Hoffman, Alaskan-born and raised, arrived in Buffalo in 2003 thinking she'd stay for a few months, much like her other brief sojourns in Missoula, Montana; Oxford, Mississippi; Portland, Oregon; and Albany, New York. Then she discovered Wegman's cheese aisle and Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House, the first of which reminded her of her mother's experience living outside Manchester, England and the second of her father's experience in construction in Alaska. While discovering Buffalo's others treasures, she worked with Buffalo Rising as it first expanded online, the Burchfield Penney Art Center's New Museum Project, Buffalo State College, Western New York Land Conservancy, Young Audiences, and The Gow School. She has served on the boards of the Allentown Association, Mandala School, Western New York Environmental Alliance, and Field and Fork Network. With a B.S. in Sociology and twenty plus years of experience working in community development and grassroots organizations, she has embraced, developed, launched, and established, to varying degrees of success, a variety of local social movements, all directed at changing the way we think about our education and learning. She lives in a small town south of Buffalo, much like the one she grew up in, with her Buffalo-born husband, daughter, and Bernese Mountain dog.

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