COVID-19 Response Update, June 1, 2020: The HMBC Board has decided to cancel all Club field trips through August 2, 2020. The June 1 meeting was also canceled, but the scheduled program will be presented at a later date. We will continue to monitor New York State Executive Orders and guidance related to social-distancing requirements. As the details of orders and guidance are revised, we will re-evaluate whether or not to hold subsequent events. Please check hmbc.net frequently for any updates.

HomeHUDSON-MOHAWK BIRD CLUB

Building the birding community in New York's Hudson-Mohawk Region

Field Trips

    • 24 Aug 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
    • Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center

    Monday, August 24 through Thursday, August 27 COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/24 & 8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176 trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/25 & 8/26)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.


    • 25 Aug 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
    • Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center

    Monday, August 24 through Thursday, August 27 COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/24 & 8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176 trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/25 & 8/26)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.


    • 26 Aug 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
    • Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center

    Monday, August 24 through Thursday, August 27 COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/24 & 8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176 trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/25 & 8/26)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.


    • 27 Aug 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
    • Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center

    Monday, August 24 through Thursday, August 27 COUNTING COMMON NIGHTHAWKS (Albany County; evenings)

    Coordinators: Scott Stoner & Denise Hackert-Stoner 518-785-6760 scottjstoner@aol.com (8/24 & 8/27) and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176 trwdsd@yahoo.com (8/25 & 8/26)

    The Common Nighthawk is an aerial insectivore that feeds at dusk and dawn. It breeds throughout much of North America, although in decline as it is no longer observed during the summer in many urban and suburban areas. A long-distance migrant, Common Nighthawks often travel in large flocks, on one of the longest migration routes of any North American bird. Most travel over land through Mexico and Central America to reach their wintering grounds in southern South America. Common Nighthawks are also among the last migrants to return to their breeding grounds in spring. In the Capital Region, the bulk of southbound migration occurs from mid-August until early September with a peak around the end of August.

    We will conduct our viewing from the parking lot at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany. Bring a chair and binoculars. We will begin each night at 6:00 p.m.


    • 30 Aug 2020
    • 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Meet at parking area, Clark Ave., Cohoes

    Sunday, August 30, PEEBLES ISLAND STATE PARK/COHOES FLATS (Saratoga/Albany Counties; morning)

    Coordinator: John Hershey 518-371-3114 hersheyj@nycap.rr.com

    The wooded areas of Peebles Island are good for seeing a variety of songbirds. The river area and rocky flats around the island are usually good for Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Bald Eagle as well as shore birds, herons, egrets, Chimney Swifts and ducks. From the meeting place, we will check out the Cohoes Flats and then consolidate vehicles before proceeding to Peebles Island since there is a fee for each car entering.

    Meet at the NY State Dam Recreation area behind the U-Haul Rental in Cohoes at 8:30 a.m. From 787 going north, turn right onto Route 470 (Ontario Street) in Cohoes. Then turn left onto Clark Ave. and proceed to the end.


    • 5 Sep 2020
    • 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Colonie

    Saturday, September 5, ALBANY RURAL CEMETERY (Albany County; morning)

    Coordinator: Tristan Lowery 646-323-8914 tristanlowery@gmail.com

    Albany Rural Cemetery in the Town of Colonie is one of the most historic burial grounds in the United States – and it’s also a great place for birding in a beautifully-landscaped, park-like setting.

    We’ll visit Albany Rural Cemetery at the very onset of the peak weeks for fall songbird migration, so a variety of southbound warblers, vireos, kinglets, and flycatchers may be possible, in addition to many year-round species. Depending on where the birding takes us along the cemetery’s meandering trails, we may also find ourselves by the graves of such national and local luminaries as 21st President of the United States Chester A. Arthur, Erastus Corning and Erastus Corning 2nd, Daniel Manning, Erastus Dow Palmer, Stephen Van Rensselaer, and Thurlow Weed.

    Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the cemetery chapel and mausoleum. From Broadway (NY-32) HEADING north through Menands, turn left onto Cemetery Avenue at the prominent Albany Rural Cemetery gate. Continue west on Cemetery Avenue, keeping right at the St. Agnes Cemetery gate and continue past the Albany Rural Cemetery office to the chapel. There is adequate visitor parking at the chapel.


    • 6 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • New Lebanon, Columbia County

    Sunday, September 6, HAND HOLLOW CONSERVATION AREA (Columbia County; morning)

    Coordinator: Marian Sole 203-710-9096 mrnsole7@gmail.com

    Columbia Land Conservancy owns and manages 433 acres at Hand Hollow Conservation Area for the protection of wildlife and open space. The property has an active beaver pond and two lakes, and trails that pass by ponds, creeks, wet meadows and a hemlock ravine. We will be looking for migrant songbirds as well as lingering residents.

    Meet 8:00 am at the parking lot. From the intersection of Route 22 and 20 in New Lebanon, take US 20 4.5 miles to CR 9. Take CR 9 south 1.2 miles and turn west (right) into a parking lot at the farmhouse just past the pond.


    • 12 Sep 2020
    • 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM (EDT)
    • Meet at Key Bank, Guilderland

    Saturday, September 12, HAWK WATCHING AND SONGBIRDS AT THACHER STATE PARK (Albany County; morning) Coordinator: Gary Goodness and Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176 trwdsd@yahoo.com

    We will be looking for migrating Broad-winged Hawks that use the warming air thermals along the face of the escarpment to continue their migration south. Other raptors may be seen using the thermals for similar reasons. Osprey, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks are among those that can be seen soaring over the Helderbergs. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds also migrate over the escarpment very low and fast, and sparrows and warblers can also be found along the trails around the overlook.

    Meet at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Key Bank at the southwest corner of Routes 20 and 155 in Guilderland.


    • 13 Sep 2020
    • 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center

    Sunday, September 13, FALL MIGRANTS AT ALBANY PINE BUSH PRESERVE (Albany County; morning)

    Coordinators: Tom and Colleen Williams 518-857-2176 trwdsd@yahoo.com

    We will explore the Karner Barrens East unit of Albany Pine Bush Preserve, via the "yellow" perimeter trail, and "blue" dune overlook trail. We will be looking for warblers, vireos, and flycatchers. The dune overlook trail has a moderate climb and descent. This is approximately a three-mile loop. Take proper precautions to avoid ticks.

    Map: http://www.albanypinebush.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/1-KBarrensEW-2-pages.pdf

    Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center parking lot, located at 195 New Karner Rd. (Rt. 155) in Albany.


    • 14 Sep 2020
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
    • TBD, possibly virtual

    Kevin McGrath will speak on birding Ecuador. Details to be announced.

    • 19 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Saratoga National Historical Park

    Saturday, September 19, SARATOGA BATTLEFIELD (Saratoga County; morning)

    Coordinator: Marne Onderdonk marne37@icloud.com

    This popular trip features beautiful foliage and a good chance to see hawks, woodpeckers, sparrows, bluebirds and late migrants as we walk the woods and grasslands of the battlefield. We will carpool to several trailheads. You never know what will turn up.

    Meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot near the park’s visitor center off SR 32.


    • 20 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs

    Sunday, September 20, SARATOGA SPA STATE PARK (Saratoga County; morning)

    Coordinator: Lindsey Duval and Naomi Lloyd 518-596-5964 naomi_kestrel@yahoo.com

    Picnic table graveyard? Hardly! Explore this very productive area at the south end of Saratoga Spa Park. From weedy brush lot to capped landfill, and through woods, this spot has earned attention as a haven for migrants in its many edge habitats. Expect warblers, sparrows, flycatchers and vireos. The path is level and mostly gravel.

    Meet at 8:00am at the Carlsbad parking area. From Rt. 50 or Rt. 9, take East-West Road through the south end of the Park. Carlsbad parking lot is just west of the Peerless Pool lot. Admission is charged after 8:30 so please be prompt.


    • 26 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Nutten Hook, Stuyvesant

    Saturday, September 26, NUTTEN HOOK (Columbia County, morning)

    Coordinator: Kathy Schneider 518-248-8665 fallline@nycap.rr.com

    Nutten Hook is part of Stockport Flats, a Hudson River Estuarine Research Reserve site in Colombia County. The area includes the remains of the largest icehouse on the Hudson as well as a loop trail that borders the river for a quarter mile. The return path cuts inland through oak woods, abandoned farmland, and tidal marshes. Bald Eagles and early fall migrants are expected.

    Meet at 8:00 AM in the parking area by the pavilion, which is west of the railroad tracks, and the buildings on Ice House Rd. Ice House Rd. is off Route 9J in Stuyvesant.


    • 27 Sep 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Meet at Petsmart, Schenectady

    Sunday, September 27, WOODLAWN PRESERVE (Schenectady County; morning) **beginner-friendly**

    Coordinator: Bill Lee 518-374-3426 bileej@hotmail.com

    The Woodlawn Preserve is in the Southeast corner of Schenectady County abutting the western edge of the Pine Bush. The area contains a flood control pond, forested sand dunes and

    general wetland habitat. Trips in prior years have seen migrating warblers and sparrows. The pond may attract various waterfowl.

    Meet at 8:00 a.m. in front of Petsmart in Mohawk Commons at the corner of State Street and Balltown Road (Balltown Rd. side). We will carpool the short distance to the Preserve.


    • 3 Oct 2020
    • 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Clifton Park

    Saturday, October 3, GARNSEY PARK (Saratoga County; morning)

    Coordinator: David Harrison 908-892-5495 david.harrison57@earthlink.net

    Garnsey Park is a new 151 acre Clifton Park open space purchase that features well-marked trails through shrubby overgrown fields and forests. We will look for migrant vireos, thrushes, sparrows and warblers. Trails can be wet and muddy so please wear appropriate footwear.

    Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the parking lot on Rt. 146 west of Waite Rd.


    • 5 Oct 2020
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
    • TBD, possibly virtual

    FROM DESERT VALLEYS TO ISLANDS IN THE SKY: BIRDING SOUTHEAST ARIZONA

    Southeastern Arizona, with its deserts, canyons, grasslands, riparian areas, and mountains close to Mexico, has long been a mecca for birders. From common species in the lovely Sonoran desert to hummingbirds, flycatchers, trogons,and passerines whose range just barely enters the USA, the region entices birders in every season.  The several "sky island" mountains allow the exploration of desert scrub to coniferous forests in a single day!  This slide-illustrated program focuses on the unique birds and key birding destinations in the splendidly scenic beauty of southeast Arizona! 

    Speakers: Scott Stoner and Denise Hackert-Stoner

    The award-winning nature photography of Scott Stoner and Denise Hackert-Stoner has been exhibited in galleries across New York’s Capital Region.  Their work has appeared in  Birder’s World, National Wildlife, New York State Conservationist, the Kingbird, the Albany Times Union, the books, “New York Wildlife Viewing Guide,” “In Praise of Poison Ivy” by Anita Sanchez, and  “Birding the Hudson Valley” by Kathryn J Schneider, and is on display at the NYS Museum and Five Rivers Environmental Education Center.  To view their images, please see www.naturelogues.com 

    Scott and Denise are avid birders as well as photographers. Scott began birding in his childhood on Long Island and birded extensively in southeast Arizona as a graduate student at the University of Arizona in the 1980s, a place he and Denise have subsequently visited many times. Scott is a past president of both the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club and the Audubon Society of the Capital Region, Denise is a field trip leader, and past director and vice president of the HMBC.  


    • 10 Oct 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Bog Meadow Brook Trail, Saratoga Springs

    Saturday October 10, BOG MEADOW BROOK (Saratoga County; morning) Coordinator: Ron Harrower ronharrower14@gmail.com

    Bog Meadow Brook Trail, an old rail trail just east of Saratoga Springs, runs along the northern edge of a swamp and consists of wetland habitat with two ponds with a wet mixed forest in between. In October, sparrows are moving in and late migrants are still present. There should be a good variety of waterfowl and lingering shorebirds are possible.

    Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the trailhead pull-off on Meadowbrook Road, about 0.3 mile west of Stafford Bridge Rd/Rt. 67. If we have enough participants, we will stage some vehicles at the Lake Ave end to save walking the round trip.


    • 11 Oct 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Delmar

    Sunday, October 11, FIVE RIVERS EEC (Albany County; morning)

    Coordinator: John Kent 518-424-2234 jwkent@fastmail.fm

    We’ll walk about 2 miles over generally flat terrain with some small hills, passing through a variety of habitats. Migrating sparrows are often abundant at this time of the year, with a good chance of Lincoln’s and White-crowned as well as more common species. Both species of kinglet may be present, as well as Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler and Blue-headed Vireo. A late Nashville, Black-throated Green, Blackpoll or Magnolia Warbler might be found. Wood Duck and other waterfowl are possible, as well as Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks and Merlin. Wet grass and muddy spots may be encountered, so waterproof footwear is recommended.

    Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot at Five Rivers EEC in Delmar.


    • 20 Oct 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM (EDT)
    • Long Island, NY

    Tuesday, October 20, DEADLINE FOR RESERVATIONS, LONG ISLAND IN WINTER (Dec 12-14)

    Coordinators: Gregg Recer and Cathy Graichen 518-330-4552(GR, c) gregg.recer@gmail.com

    RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Contact the coordinators by October 20th for reservations and logistics details.


    • 24 Oct 2020
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Collins Lake, Scotia

    Saturday, October 24, COLLINS LAKE (Schenectady County; morning)

    Coordinator: Bill Lee 518-374-3426 bileej@hotmail.com

    We will visit Collins Lake to view late migrating waterfowl from the beach and the east side of the lake. We will also take a walk east along the north side of the Mohawk River for fall sparrows. Fox Sparrows have been seen in previous years. Foliage will be off the trees to make finding LBJs (Little Brown Jobs) a bit easier.

    Meet at 8:00 a.m. near the western end of the Gateway Bridge at Jumpin’ Jacks in Scotia. Bring a scope if you have one.


    • 1 Nov 2020
    • 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
    • Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve, Clifton Park

    Sunday, November 1, VISCHER FERRY NATURE AND HISTORICAL PRESERVE (Saratoga County; morning)

    Coordinator: John Hershey 518-371-3114 hersheyj@nycap.rr.com

    On this trip we’ll be looking for migrant waterfowl and winter residents. Rusty Blackbirds are often observed at this time of year. We will start at the main entrance to the Preserve. We will also explore some of the lesser known areas of the Preserve, such as Ferry Drive and the area around the Vischer Ferry Power Plant where Bald Eagles and migrant waterfowl are often seen. The new hike/bike trail from the Clamsteam Tavern location to Ferry Dr. is completed, and this will open new areas to the east of the Whipple Bridge. The leader may choose to go in this direction.

    Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the VFNHP main entrance, at the intersection of Riverview and Van Vranken Rds. in Clifton Park.


    • 2 Nov 2020
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (EST)
    • TBD, possibly virtual

    Topic: Spruce Grouse.

    Speaker: Angelena Ross of NYSDEC

    Details to follow.

    • 14 Nov 2020
    • 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
    • Tomhannock Reservoir, Rensselaer County

    Saturday, November 14, TOMHANNOCK RESERVOIR (Rensselaer County; morning)

    Coordinator: Naomi Lloyd 518-596-5964 naomi_kestrel@yahoo.com

    Join us for a morning trip around the Tomhannock Reservoir. We hope to find a variety of waterfowl as resident and migrant passerines and possibly shorebirds. Rarities have turned up at the Tomhannock in the fall and we often find Bald Eagles.

    Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the parking area at the intersection of Lake Shore Dr. and NY Route 7 at the west end of the causeway. Bring a scope if you have one.



    • 7 Dec 2020
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (EST)
    • TBA

    This program is presented by licensed wildlife rehabilitator and environmental educator Kitty Rusch. Learn about the steps to take if you find an orphan baby rabbit, a fledgling bird or a snapping turtle in the middle of the road and the reasons why these steps are so important in the ultimate reintroduction the animal back into the wild. We will also discuss personal experiences of heartbreaking failures and uplifting success including the antics of messy Marvin the opossum in the basement.

    If you are interested in becoming a wildlife rehabilitator, want to hear stories of wild animal rescue or just want to save that baby bird that fell out of the nest, please join us.


    • 12 Dec 2020
    • 7:00 AM (EST)
    • 14 Dec 2020
    • 7:00 PM (EST)
    • Long Island, NY

    Saturday-Monday, December 12-14, LONG ISLAND IN WINTER (Out-of-area; overnight stays)

    Coordinators: Gregg Recer & Cathy Graichen 518-330-4552 (GR, c) gregg.recer@gmail.com

    RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED WELL IN ADVANCE FOR THIS TRIP. CONTACT THE COORDINATORS BY October 20th FOR RESERVATIONS AND LOGISTICS DETAILS.

    On this extended trip to NY's Long Island our focus will be on birding sites along the south shore searching for wintering waterfowl and seabirds such as loons, grebes, gulls, and alcids. There should also be good opportunities for wintering landbirds, and we'll keep an eye on reports of vagrants to chase. We plan to leave first thing Saturday morning, returning Monday evening. Our itinerary will be flexible, but we can expect to cover highlight locations during the weekend such as Robert Moses and Jones state beaches, Hither Hills and Montauk Pt. There will be a limit of 10 participants (including the coordinators) for this trip.

    Contact the coordinators for reservations and logistics details.


    • 19 Dec 2020
    • 1:00 AM - 8:30 PM (EST)
    • Schenectady area

    Saturday, December 19, SCHENECTADY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT Coordinator/Compiler: Larry Alden 518-861-6087 overlook@nycap.rr.com


    • 26 Dec 2020
    • 1:00 AM - 8:30 PM (EST)
    • Southern Rensselaer County & vicinity

    Saturday, December 26, SOUTHERN RENSSELAER CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT

    Coordinator/Compiler: Naomi Lloyd 518-596-5964 naomi_kestrel@yahoo.com


    • 2 Jan 2021
    • 1:00 AM - 8:30 PM (EST)
    • Troy area

    Saturday, January 2, 2021, TROY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT Coordinator/Compiler: Larry Alden 518-861-6087 overlook@nycap.rr.com





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