Bentley Nature Preserve Birding Challenge

By promoting mindful attention to the world around us, our current exhibition, Kevin Ebi: Five Minutes in Nature connects us to the healing power of the natural world. Ebi shares his experiences of nature so that we will be inspired to create our own.

When Roger Tory Peterson was a boy, he spent much of his time exploring the woods in our area. During the summer of 1933, he conducted a detailed survey of the woods that are now part of the Bentley Nature Preserve in Ellicott, New York. This preserve is now managed by the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC). It was gifted to the CWC by the Jamestown Audubon Society in 2016. The preserve is excellent for hiking, with a well-maintained trail system, including a foot bridge over the stream. The park is fantastic for outdoor recreation, as well as for spotting local flora and fauna.

RTPI and CWC invite you to follow in Roger’s footsteps with a Bentley Preserve Birding Challenge. Whoever finds the most birds at Bentley Preserve will win some swag! Submit your bird list to RTPI no later than June 15. Winner will be announced June 22.

Stop into RTPI and pick up a bird list postcard to take with you to the preserve or you can print one HERE. For more information about CWC’s Bentley Nature Preserve, click HERE.

Kevin shared this about his time at the Bentley Preserve: “Often when I go birding, I see only forest. There are birds. I can hear them but can’t see them as they work high in the canopy, obscured by thick foliage. Rather than being disappointed, I enjoy such outings. Such days force me to listen more closely and also help me to appreciate even a fleeting glimpse. The Bentley Sanctuary in Ellicott, New York, is full of birds, even though they spend much of their time hidden. Naturalist Roger Tory Peterson conducted a detailed survey of these woods in the summer of 1933, recording 70 species of birds and 60 active nests.”

Featured artwork: Kevin Ebi, Bentley Sanctuary, Ellicott, New York, 2024.