Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

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Immature Little Blue Heron - photo by Alec Humann

Scoping August

Shorebird migration is in full swing this month. Juvenile shorebirds are arriving in the region and some of the better locations to look include Tifft Nature Preserve, Gallagher Beach, Times Beach, Wilkeson Pointe, Dunkirk Harbor, Tonawanda WMA and Modern Wetlands.

Neotropical migrants are also moving in decent numbers - check Forest Lawn Cemetery, Tifft Nature Preserve and other migrant traps. Late August is the best time to find a Golden-winged Warbler. Yellow Warblers are moving in huge numbers this month.

At the end of the month, Purple Martins are amassing in the thousands off the north end of Buckhorn Island SP in their communal roost. It's recommended to arrive an hour before sunset to observe the massive flock of birds as they congregate above the cattail island. Blackbirds also roost here this time of year and Common Nighthawks patrol the late summer skies.

This is also the time of year for southern wading birds to occasionally disperse north so keep an eye out for southern herons, egrets and ibis.

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. (BOS) was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.

The Buffalo Ornithological Society has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

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  Yes, it's August but Keep on Atlasing!

Northern Flicker feeding young

Even though it's August, it's not too late in the season to confirm breeding species in Western New York. It's easy to join the effort of the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas III project. Birds are still feeding young and there are lots of begging young and fledglings scattered about all over the region! For those in the US, check out how you can help with this important project at: https://ebird.org/atlasny/home.

  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

For a full list of our upcoming field trips, meetings, and events, visit our calendar page. You don't have to be a member to join our field trips or meetings! (Note that meetings run from September through June.)

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Sep 08, 2021   (Wednesday)

Meeting - Member's Night!

Details: (click for more info)

Buffalo Museum of Science

Meet at 7 pm in the Cummings Room.

Our first meeting back after summer break. Members...please bring photos from your summer travels to share with the rest of us.

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Sep 11, 2021   (Saturday)

Field Trip - Woodlawn Beach SP

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3580 Lake Shore Rd, Blasdell, NY 14219


Leader - Seaghan Coleman (seaghanc@gmail.com) 716-435-7753

Meet at 730am in the main parking lot.

Join Seaghan this morning as our group seeks out migrants during the busy month of September. Even without a good cold front, migrants are moving through the region nightly and you never know what the day might bring.
With its range of diverse habitats, Woodlawn offers respite to weary winged travelers in the form of sand beach, riparian woods, open lake, grassy dunes and a creek! Neotropical migrants may entertain us in the woods while various sandpipers use the beach to pick through the high water mark for food. Gull flocks that loaf on the beach may offer up more unusual species such as Franklin's or Little.
Woodlawn regularly supplies the BOS statisticians with review species. Among them are gems such as Piping Plover, American Avocet, Blue Grosbeak, White-eyed Vireo and Cave Swallow.
This will be a half day trip wrapping up around 1130. Wear footwear appropriate for walking through grassy trails and loose sand.
Photo of a Semipalmated Plover with a Piping Plover in the background by Sue Barth on 8/15/16.

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Sep 12, 2021   (Sunday)

Field Trip - Tifft Nature Preserve for Migrants

Details: (click for more info)

Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14203

Leader - Jajean Rose-Burney (jajean.rose@gmail.com; 716-247-1255)

Meet at 730am at the first bridge past the visitor center. From here Jajean will decide which trails we will wander. Plan on this being a 1/2 day trip, wrapping up around 1130.

Tifft is one of Buffalo's premier birding hotspots. With over 250 species recorded at this urban preserve, we are sure to end up with a great checklist for the day. Tifft includes ponds, cattail marsh, riparian areas and a grassland. The trails are level and easily walk-able and there are also short boardwalk sections.

At this time of year we will be focusing on Neotropical migrants and there's always a chance at Virginia Rail or Least Bittern along the boardwalk. If water levels are low in the marsh, we will hope to cross paths with shorebirds.

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Sep 18, 2021   (Saturday)

Field Trip - Birding Buffalo Harbor and Niagara River Islands by Boat

Details: (click for more info)

Canalside, 44 Prime Street, Buffalo, NY 14202


Saturday, September 18 with a weather date of Sunday, September 19 (so please keep both days open).
Departure will be 6:45am and the trip will run approximately 3 hours, until 9:45am. Cost per person for the boat trip is $50 (for the boat trip only) or $75 if you’d like to include the after-event brunch at RiverWorks.

The BOS is very excited to offer a birding by boat field trip this year! We have teamed up with Rich Hilliman of Buffalo River History Tours to plan a 3-hour excursion of the Buffalo Harbor and the upper Niagara River. We will board the Harbor Queen, a 73’ catamaran vessel featuring an upper deck, accessed by stairs, with plenty of elbow room. Catamaran boats are very stable and offer a smooth ride! The Harbor Queen has a capacity of 145 people but we are limiting the number of participants to 60. Our boat offers wheelchair access, to the lower level.
Our route will take us around Donnelly’s Pier and the Reef Lighthouse and then down the Niagara River to circumnavigate Strawberry and Motor Islands, returning to Canalside via the Black Rock Canal. Leaders will be strategically positioned around the boat to help spot birds and broadcast sightings via the PA system. The list of rarities that have been seen at the locations we will be viewing include Brown Booby, Brown and American White Pelicans, Snowy Egret, American Avocet, Common Eider and Black-necked Stilt! We hope to see several shorebird species (most likely on Donnelly’s Pier sandspit) as well as Osprey and Bald Eagle (Strawberry Island nest), herons and Great Egrets at the Motor Island rookery, Common and Caspian Terns and more.
Boarding begins at 6:15am and the trip will depart Canalside at 6:45am, returning around 9:45am. Paid parking is available at any of the nearby surface lots as well as at Harbor Center - parking fees are not included in the boat trip cost.
The trip is set to embark on Saturday, September 18 with a weather date of Sunday, September 19. Please make sure to leave your social calendar open both of these days in case Saturday gets weathered out! Boat reservations are on a first come, first served basis. Your check will ensure your space!
Saturday’s trip will be followed by a brunch at RiverWorks! Whether you decide to go on the boat trip or not, please join the BOS family for a fun social brunch from 10:00am-1:00pm on Saturday the 18th. Cost per person is $25 and brunch includes eggs, bagels and cream cheese, fresh fruit, yogurt cups, home fries, sausage and more! Even if the boat trip gets weathered out, the Saturday brunch will take place rain or shine! There is no limit to the number of people joining the brunch at Riverworks but please e-mail me sooner than later so I can get an idea of the number of people interested...thank you (alechumann@msn.com)!

Option #1 - Birding by boat and brunch...$75
Option #2 - Birding by boat ONLY...$50
Option #3 - Brunch ONLY (Saturday)...$25

Please make your check out to Alec Humann and mail to:
Alec Humann
20 Queens Drive
Grand Island, NY 14072-1424

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