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“Birds, Blooms, Butterflies, and Amphibian Breeders” field trip series

Posted on Mar 17, 2014

“Birds, Blooms, Butterflies, and Amphibian Breeders” field trip series – April and May 2014
Springtime Field Experiences of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History
Co-led by Mark Baldwin and Terry Mosher

These field trips are for all levels of experience and are limited to the first 20 who register. The nominal fee of $20 for each trip helps defray the cost of transportation provided. All trips leave promptly from the RTPI parking lot at the start times indicated. To register, call or email Mark Baldwin at 716-665-2473, ext. 228 or [email protected]

Woodcock, Vernal Pool, and Owl Prowl
Friday, April 4
7:00 – 11:00 PM

Nothing brings out the wonder and mystery of early spring like an evening witnessing the American Woodcock’s “sky dance,” the activity of salamanders and frogs in vernal pools, and the haunting calls of Great Horned, Barred, and Eastern Screech-Owls. If weather rules out one (or even two) of those options, the other one(s) will likely work for us. Come dressed for whatever weather brings, wear rubber boots if you have them, and bring a flashlight or headlamp.

Raptor Migration at the Ripley Hawk Watch

Saturday, April 26
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

The peak of Broad-winged Hawk migration – hundreds of these woodland raptors returning to temperate forests to breed from South American wintering grounds – is one of nature’s great spectacles. Citizen scientists at the Ripley Hawk Watch, on the Lake Erie Plain, have been known to record over 1000 Broad-wings in a single day at this time of year. This is a good time for Osprey, Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks, and other raptors to be on the move, too. If the weather isn’t favorable for hawk migration, we’ll search for early wildflowers and/or migrating waterfowl. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars if you have them. Our transportation leaves RTPI promptly at 9:00 and will head directly to join the Ripley Hawk Watch’s dedicated observers in the field.

Wildflowers and Spring Migrants
Saturday, May 10
8:00 AM – Noon

This trip poses a conundrum: Do we look up at the singing, brilliantly colored warblers, thrushes, vireos and other songbirds arriving from the tropics to fill the forest canopy? Or do we look down at the forms and colors of red trilliums, yellow trout lilies, and other wildflowers on the ground? Today we don’t have to choose; we can do both! The SUNY Fredonia College Lodge is located at the very rim of the Allegheny Plateau with a sweeping panorama of Lake Erie. Nesting neotropical migrant birds, stands of old growth eastern hemlock, pink lady’s slipper orchids, and wood frogs are just some of the treats that await a walk through this extraordinarily rich biological preserve. The morning includes a slow drive through breeding bird habitat along Chautauqua Road and discussion of the region’s geological history.


Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator