The Great Backyard Bird Count

Join CLC for a morning counting the birds with an expert birder!

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.

Learning to See: Techniques to Become a Better Birder

Join Erin Talmage of the Birds of Vermont Museum to learn about how to be a better birder. We’ll start out in the CLC office, then head outside to test our new skills.

Kathy Schneider Signs “Birding the Hudson Valley” at the Chatham Bookstore

Kathryn J. Schneider brings her book “Birding the Hudson Valley” to the Chatham Bookstore on Saturday, December 8. The author signs books at 4:00 p.m. as part of Chatham Winterfest. At 5:00 p.m., a conversation with Thomas Chulak from the bookstore and Q & A follow a presentation by the author. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to the Columbia Land Conservancy.

Published by University Press of New England in October, “Birding the Hudson Valley” is a guide to birds and birdwatching in the Hudson Valley. Designed for birders of all levels of skill and interest, the book contains explicit directions to more than eighty locations, as well as useful species accounts and hints for finding the valley’s most sought-after birds. But beyond providing tips about topics like learning bird calls, buying binoculars, and using apps, Schneider also explores Hudson Valley history, ecology, bird biology, and tourism.

According to Jeremy Kirchman, curator of birds, New York State Museum, “This book is an excellent guide to the best birding sites in the Hudson Valley that will lead me to plenty of places I have not yet explored.”

Kathryn Schneider grew up in Claverack, went to Hudson High School, and then attended  Cornell and Princeton Universities, where she completed her PhD. She taught college courses in general biology and ornithology at the University of Richmond and later at Hudson Valley Community College. In 1986, she returned to Columbia County and for 14 years directed the New York Natural Heritage Program, a biodiversity inventory program run jointly by The Nature Conservancy and then the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). In the 1990s she became a member of the NYS Ornithological Association (NYSOA), later serving as president and vice president.

Currently, Schneider is a Master Gardener for Cornell Cooperative Extension and an active volunteer for the Columbia Land Conservancy. As a consultant, she has conducted bird surveys for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She lives in Stuyvesant Falls.

The Chatham Bookstore, located at 27 Main Street in Chatham, NY, features a large selection of books for adults and children, as well as an array of art supplies. For more information, call 518.392.3005. https://chathambookstore.com/

Full Harvest Moon Walk

Join Heidi Bock at Greenport Conservation Area to enjoy the Harvest Moon and watch for migrating birds. This event is part of the Hudson River Valley Ramble.

Please be sure to register so that we can be in touch in the event of a cancellation.

Sip & Stroll: Orioles and Orchards

Join us at Sloop Brewing to sample some tasty brew and talk about birds you might find this time of year on farms. The Sip & Stroll events are casual walks with local refreshments and drinks provided.

Please register so that we can be in touch in the event of a cancellation!

Best Spring Walks at Public Conservation Areas

Spring is finally here and it’s time to hit the trail! Lucky for you, CLC has miles of stunning trails open to the public at our Public Conservation Areas scattered throughout the county. To make it even easier, we have compiled a list of the can’t-miss walks and hikes of the season. What’d we miss? Let us know in the comments!

Blue/Stockport-Greenport Trail (Greenport Conservation Area)
After grabbing lunch in Hudson, take a walk near the Hudson River along the Stockport-Greenport Trail. Once you pass through fields of wildflowers, cross streams, and traverse forested slopes, you will be rewarded with breath-taking views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. To access this trail, follow the Access for All Trail until you reach the Blue Trail. This is a moderate out-and-back route around 2.6 miles.

 

Yellow to Blue Trails (Harris Conservation Area)
A great walk for families—follow the blue trail from the parking lot and find yourself walking upland into a beautiful hemlock forest. After connecting with the yellow trail, which will eventually loop you back around to the parking lot, you will pass a tranquil woodland pond, multiple active vernal pools, and an old stone wall. This site is rich in biodiversity, so while this walk is only one mile, you could spend hours here admiring the cool habitats and even cooler creatures.

Blue Trail to Green Trail (Drowned Lands Swamp)
Start on the relatively flat blue trail and skirt along the edge of the swamp. Your proximity to the wetland will be perfect for wildlife viewing, as well as catching sight of spring ephemeral wildlflowers. On your way back, you can take the Cross Trail to get to the Green Trail, which will lead you to the summit of Old Crocken where you will take in beautiful views of the Taconic and Catskill Mountains. This shorter walk is suited for visitors of all ages.

Green Loop Trail (Ooms Conservation Area)
This trail is beautiful at any time of the year, offering an almost two-mile walk around Sutherland Pond. Be sure to bring your binoculars because the rolling grasslands around the pond provides habitat for grassland birds, including the bobolink and several different sparrows. We’ve also seen eagles at the site, and heard rumors of osprey! If you get tired along the way, take a seat at one of the benches you pass or at the gazebo, which offers Catskill Mountain views to your west.