"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein
"Wilderness…the word suggests the past and
the unknown, the womb or earth from which we
all emerged. It means something lost and
something still present, something remote
and at the same time, intimate, something
buried in our blood and nerves, something
beyond us and without limit."
The Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society is a chapter
of the National Audubon Society serving Northern
Oyster Bay and Huntington Townships. Our territory
reaches from Fort Salonga in Suffolk County to
Centre Island and Oyster Bay in Nassau County....click
here to see the complete list.
Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon works to protect birds and other wildlife, and the habitats upon which they depend through education, public advocacy and conservation action.
The American Crow...Not Your Average Songbird with Doug Robinson, PhD Wednesday, March 12, 2014 7:00 PM
much maligned, yet loved bird, the American Crow has
a complex social life and amazing intelligence.
Crows have been proven to recognize familiar human
faces! Join us tonight to learn about this very cool
songbird's social behaviors, nesting habits and
Sharing our Beaches with Birds - Poster Workshop for Kids Sunday, March 30, 2014 2:00 PM
Today we will first learn about beach nesting birds with an interactive program. Once we have learned just how interesting, important and imperiled these birds are we will turn artsy and create posters with the help of an artist. Ten of these posters will then be chosen to be made into signs for Hobart Beach in Northport to educate the public and help protect the birds’ nesting grounds. This is your chance to make a difference in the lives of birds, while doing something fun at the same time! If your poster is chosen to be made into a sign you will be invited to join us at a Be a Good Egg Campaign Awareness Day at Hobart Beach!
More than a year ago, Hurricane Sandy breached the freshwater West Pond in
the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (JBWR) located in Queens, New York City.
JBWR is part of the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area
and is a very popular destination because of its diverse wildlife and the
opportunity to see many of the 330 species of birds that have been recorded
there. Now salt water flows freely from the bay into the West Pond, and has
utterly destroyed its prized freshwater ecosystem. Before Sandy, the pond
teemed with a diversity of birds and other wildlife at all seasons, but now
it is virtually devoid of interesting wildlife. The National Park Service
has not acted to restore the pond and is making decisions that could
potentially result in the permanent loss of this avian oasis!
45-acre West Pond, situated along the Atlantic flyway, was the only
significant freshwater habitat in the coastal ecosystem of New York City. It
is listed as an international Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife
International and the National Audubon Society.
The West Pond used to
be home to many breeding and migratory waterfowl and coastal birds. Several
of these species are listed by the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. In
addition, the area around the West Pond had been critical nesting habitat
for the threatened Diamondback Terrapinand a great variety of butterflies
and other insect life.
The NPS and Gateway National Recreation Area
are considering restoration options, and there is a real risk that they will
decide not to restore the West Pond at all (see The New York Times, February
10, 2014). The time for action is now. Tell the National Park Service that
you want the West Pond restored, to support freshwater habitat for birds and
other wildlife. By
signing this petition, you will help to restore this
local, national and international treasure.
VOLUNTEER: Birders Needed for Caumsett State Park Bird Surveys
Grassland Bird Stewardship Program
The Caumsett Foundation and HOBAS have recently initiated a joint volunteer stewardship program at Caumsett State Park located in the township of Huntington, NY. The purpose of this program is to observe and formally document those bird species associated with the field habitat within the 1500-acre Preserve. Of this total the Preserve contains approximately 150 acres of field habitat. Observations made by stewards will help support appropriate management of this habitat, which potentially can increase species diversity and encourage the nesting of grassland dependent birds. The Stewardship Program will document birds seen during the entire year, providing a more complete picture of species utilizing the fields for wintering, migrating and breeding activities.
Background During the 1980 NYS Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), a total of four grassland species were present in the Caumsett block: Horned Lark, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink and Savannah Sparrow. Of these four species two were confirmed breeders; the Horned Lark (Species of Special Concern) and the Eastern Meadowlark. In comparison, only one grassland species was recorded once during the 2000-05 BBA, the Bobolink.
Statewide decreases in grassland birds have been attributed to the decline of suitable habitat as a result of farmland abandonment, succession to shrub and forest habitats, and conversion of agricultural grasslands to row crops. These changes in habitat are not easily applied to Caumsett whose grassland species decline may reflect the lack of required early successional stage fields. In response to the decline of grassland habitat and its associated species, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) has ranked the implementation of management plans for grassland restoration as a high priority as part of its 2010 Master Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for Caumsett. The Master Plan specifically calls for strengthening partnerships with HOBA to help monitor breeding and migratory birds in the park.
Recent Developments In June of 2010 during a HOBAS field trip to Caumsett, two Eastern Meadowlarks were observed flying into the fields located in the vicinity of the southwest corner of the park. Coordination between HOBAS, the Caumsett Foundation and the Regional Environmental Office of NYS Parks resulted in protecting the Meadowlark area from visitor usage, which led to successful breeding season.
In early May of 2013, Meadowlarks displaying breeding behavior were again observed in this same area. The Caumsett Foundation and NYS Parks Environmental Office marked the site with symbolic fencing with informational signs. In late June the birds abandon the site for reasons unknown.
These two recent events highlight the potential of this area for attracting the Eastern Meadowlark. It is hoped with increased observations through out the park, park management will be able to protect other grassland species that may be attempting to nest. Additionally, sightings of wintering and migratory species will also support proper management.
If you are interested in volunteering please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
VOLUNTEER: Birders Needed for Rusty Blackbird Research
Calling All Birders: Will you accept a Rusty Challenge? This spring, help to advance our understanding of one of the most rapidly declining landbirds in North America!
Although scientists have made huge strides in understanding Rusty Blackbirds on their breeding and wintering grounds - partly thanks to the original Rusty Blackbird Winter Blitz - we know surprisingly little about the migratory requirements and habits of this species.
To address this lack of information, the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group, in partnership with eBird, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, is coordinating a Spring Migration Blitz for 2014. This Blitz will challenge birders to seek out the elusive Rusty Blackbird throughout its migratory range, from the southern United States, through the Midwest and along the East Coast, and up into Canada.
The Spring Migration Blitz will kick off in March of 2014; Looking to get involved? Volunteers like you are critical to the success of this initiative!
http://rustyblackbird.org/outreach/migration-blitz) for information about identification, vocalizations, habitat preferences, and types of data to collect to support this initiative. Also, check with your NYC/LI coordinator Derek Rogers (email@example.com)
In Memoriam Remembering William (Bill) Brett Reeves September 10, 1935 – November 24, 2013
On November 24, 2013, our beloved board member Bill Reeves passed away after a long illness. Bill was a HOBAS member since 1962 (we became a chapter in 1961!) and served on our board of directors for over 40 years. His knowledge, dedication and loyalty to the chapter were truly inspiring to the other directors on the board. We are proud to announce that we are establishing the Bill Reeves Scholarship Fund in order to send even more children and teens to nature based camps than we have done before. It is our small way of demonstrating how much Bill meant to us, to the chapter and to the cause of conservation of birds on Long Island. Bill was respected and beloved by so many of us and we will truly miss him.
Bill's story can be found here.
Plum Island: The Latest News and How You Can Help
less than a mile from Orient Point, the tip of Long
Island’s North Fork, lies this 840 acre island. An
ecological gem, Plum Island is home to federally
threatened and N.Y.S. endangered piping plovers,
along with approximately 200 other bird species that utilize the island for breeding or migratory purposes. In addition, it is the most significant seal haul-out site in southern New England, playing host to up to several hundred grey and harbor seals each winter. Forty rare and protected plant species round out the treasure trove of ecological abundance that this island possesses
We are proud to announce that we have established
The Bill Reeves Scholarship Fund in order to send
under-served children and youth to nature based
By providing opportunities for kids to discover and explore the wonders of
nature, we hope to help foster the next generation of conservationists, for
young people who grow up spending time in nature are more likely to become
strong advocates for the environment.
The Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society Board of Directors was proud and honored to serve with Bill Reeves and in his name we hope to nurture the next generation in order to carry on our mission of protecting wildlife and preserving habitat.
Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society ("HOBAS") has
funded two wildlife surveillance cameras that have
been placed in areas where evidence of river otters
have been found within the chapter territory.
Photo Instruction From an Expert Photographer
of you have commented on the beautiful
photographs that we feature on our website.
Here's your chance to learn how to shoot
professional looking photos from our
favorite photographer, Lloyd Spitalnik.
Lloyd is now available to lead half or full
day photos tours to Jamaica Bay Wildlife
Refuge, Jones Beach, Marine Nature Study
Area in Oceanside, Nickerson Beach to shoot
at a Tern Colony or a place of your choice.
Tours include teaching proper shooting
technique, hints on exposure, composition,
flash photography, etc. He is also available
for private instruction of Adobe
Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. For rates
and more information, please contact Lloyd
East End Lodging - Rental Studio in the
Heading out east for some birding, kayaking or other kind of adventuring? Spend the night in East Hampton at a sunny and spacious
rental studio with its own private entrance. This area is ideally suited for outdoor enthusiasts and triathletes. Within four blocks, you'll find hiking and mountain biking trails, the Hamptons marathon course, open water swimming, paddling areas and nature preserves. Two miles from Amagansett Village, LIRR, Hampton Jitney and farmers market.
Learn about the area's rich natural history on a paddling trip (SUP or kayak) with wildlife biologist, Mike Bottini (author of acclaimed paddling and hiking guides to the area). Surf's up? Learn to surf or improve your surfing skills in a clinic with local surf instructor, Juliana Duryea. Just looking to mellow out and relax? Go for it! No matter what your plans, this is an ideal place to settle in for the perfect time!