BIRDS ON THE NIAGARA: A Winter Celebration
Bird life along the Niagara River Corridor is fascinating year-round, but during wintertime, birds flock to the river from all corners of the world. On January 25th and 26th, Buffalo Audubon, Tifft Nature Preserve, Friends of Times Beach, Pollinator Conservation Association, Niagara River Greenway and NYS Parks will launch a weekend celebration of all things avian, from Buffalo to Lewiston. This FREE, family- friendly event will include guided bird-watching activities, hands-on workshops and demonstrations, and keynote address by Twan Leenders, President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) in Jamestown, New York.
The weekend’s events will highlight the Niagara River Corridor as a designated Globally Significant Important Bird Area, due to the diversity of habitat and migratory bird species that call the river home throughout the year.
Keynote speaker Twan Leenders is an internationally known expert on conservation, birds, mammals, plants, and tropical amphibians, and has ventured around the globe on research and educationalexpeditions. The RTPI, named for one of America’s best known bird experts, is a widely regardedorganization that was founded to house Roger Tory Petersons personal collections and promotes conservation, art, and education.
Other programs include a Friday night kick-off on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor with birding at the Buffalo Harbor State Park starting at 3 pm, and a Celebration Kickoff at Tifft Nature Preserve starting at
Saturdays events will include displays and information at the Western New York Welcome Center on Grand Island from 8am-noon. Guided birding events will include guided walks at Beaver Island State
Park starting at 9am, Birding for Families at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo starting at 10am, Goat Island Gulls at 11am.
Special vendor and displays will take place at Niagara University from noon-5pm at St. Vincents Hall, with programming including workshops for birders from 2:00pm- 2:45pm, a community science workshops (eBird) from 3-345, with keynote address at 4pm at St. Vincents Hall.
“Birdwatching is such a gift during these winter months when outdoor activities can be limited and/or costly. It’s a delight to find birds right in our backyard that have traveled from Alaska and beyond to winter along the Niagara River. Most Western New Yorkers are unaware of the incredible diversity of
species that can be found only here, and we’re hoping to share that story with a broader audience,engaging new folks in birding as an accessible activity that can be enjoyed in any part of the region, any time of year.”, said Melissa Fratello, Executive Director, Buffalo Audubon.
“This festival is an important way to both recognize the significance of the Niagara River Globally Significant Important Bird Area and the species that use it, its conservation needs, and the importance of this resource to an eco-tourism economy.”, said Jay Burney, Friends of Times Beach and the Pollinator Conservation Association and Festival Co-organizer. “Our programming will include important lessons about how and where to see winter birds, and provide ethical guidelines for both bird watchers, the general public, and photographers that work hard to capture the beauty of our incredible diversity of winter birds in the Niagara River strait.”
“This is a great event that uplifts natural assets that all of us benefit from. The incredible natural biodiversity that depends on the Niagara, including the many species of birds and fish that help make our local and global natural systems healthy and productive, and the very valuable economic development contexts that involve tourism, quality of life, and conservation will all be on display during this festival.
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM – Birding the Buffalo Harbor: Gulls, Fowl and Owls! Meet at Buffalo Harbor State Park Parking Lot
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Celebration Kickoff at Tifft Nature Preserve: Why WNY is a Big Deal in the World of Birds, and Be a Responsible Birder!
7:00 PM – Owl Prowls with Chuck Rosenberg and Tom Kerr, Tifft Nature Preserve January 26th
9:00-10:00AM -BeaverIslandBirds:MorningGuidedWalk Meet at the Casino
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM OR 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Birding for Families Guided Walk at Tifft Meet at in the Nature Center at Tifft
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Goat Island Gulls Meet at Parking Lot 3
12:00PM-5:00PM -TheBirdHub:Workshops,Vendors,DemonstrationsandSpecialGuests, Niagara University, St Vincents Hall 4th Floor
2:00 PM – 2:45PM – So You Want to Be a Birder? Optics, ID Workshop for Beginners with Tom Kerr OR WNY Wildlife Rehab with SPCA Erie County
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM – Community Science/E-Bird
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Keynote Speaker Twan Leenders of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Niagara University St Vincent’s Hall
*There will be warming stations at the WNY Welcome Center at Alvin Rd, Grand Island from 8AM –12PM and at Niagara University, St Vincent’s Hall, 4th Floor from 12PM – 5PM on Jan 26th
Facebook Event Page: www.facebook.com/events/339833690173613/Buffalo Audubon Society: www.buffaloaudubon.org/
Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve: www.friendsoftimesbeachnp.org/ Pollinator Conservation Association: www.pollinatorconservationassociation.org/
Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History www.rtpi.org/
Western New York Welcome Center: www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/travelplazas/welcome- centers.html
The Buffalo Audubon Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that promotes appreciation and enjoyment of the natural world through education and stewardship.