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New York State Ornithological Association
58th Annual Meeting

September 23-25, 2005

Hosted by The Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club, Inc.

Surrounded by water with the mighty Hudson River to the east and the Mohawk River to the north, you will visit an area steeped in history. We have a weekend packed with field trips, outings, social activities, workshops and more.

Arrive early on Friday to take advantage of nearby field trips followed by a cocktail reception, dinner, poster sessions and an ongoing slide presentation of nearby areas including the Adirondack and Catskill mountains. After dinner, you can choose any two workshops out of the four that are on tap for the evening, including Digiscoping and Bird Population Monitoring Techniques in Important Bird Areas. Vendors will be available with interesting products including a binoculars/scope
diagnostic clinic by Dan Rubino of Mirakel Optical (bring those battered and abused binocs along).

Saturday will be filled with the delegates' meeting, paper sessions, numerous field trips including some for non-birding companions, plus the vendors will be on hand. Prepare to win a fabulous prize in the raffle offerings.

How Birds Do It! will be our keynote speaker's topic on Saturday night. Ever wonder how birds are equipped to produce those warm, fuzzy chicks in the nest? Not all is as it seems. Join Dr. David M. Bird as he takes you on a humorous “bird’s eye view” of the seemingly indecent world of avian reproduction involving the Mile-High Club, incest, homosexuality, sex changes, divorce and infidelity. It simply puts television soap operas to shame! You may never look at birds the same way again.

We will wrap up our last day together with breakfast on the Hudson. Join us for an early morning cruise complete with continental breakfast. The Dutch Apple, with a large covered area, will be our host as we sail south for a two hour voyage. A final field trip to nearby Heldeberg escarpment should yield a weekend-capping look at some migrating hawks. Peregrine Falcon and Merlin are among the possibilities in this location with great views of the Mohawk River Valley.

Meeting Schedule
FRIDAY, September 23
1:00pm - 7:00pm
3:00pm - 5:00pm
5:30pm - 6:00pm
6:00pm - 7:00pm
5:30pm - 7:30pm
7:30pm - 8:10pm
8:10pm - 8:25pm
8:25pm - 9:05pm
Registration, vendors, and exhibits
Field trips (see below)
Cocktail reception
Buffet available
Poster session, Slide show
First workshop session
Second workshop session
SATURDAY, September 24
6:45am - 8:45am
8:30am - 2:30pm
8:00am - 4:00pm
7:30am – noon
9:00am – noon
1:30pm - 2:30pm
2:30pm - 3:00pm
3:00pm - 4:00pm
5:30pm - 6:30pm
6:30pm - 7:30pm

Field trip for delegates (see below)
Exhibits and vendors available
Field trips (see below)
Delegates meeting
Lunch on your own
First paper session
Second paper session
Cocktail reception
Awards, raffle, keynote speaker

SUNDAY, September 25

7:00am - 9:00am
10:00am - 1:00pm

Boarding for Dutch Apple cruise
Dutch Apple cruise on Hudson River with birding and breakfast
Terrestrial field trips (see below)

  Kevin and Jay McGowan, Cornell Lab of Ornithology will present a demonstration of the techniques involved in using digital cameras and spotting scopes to photograph birds. They will touch on equipment and techniques used to document rarities from field to computer to print.
Bird Monitoring Methods with a Focus on IBAs
  Mike Burger of Audubon NY will present a workshop on the variety of methods to be used by volunteers to monitor bird populations in New York's Important Bird Areas. The areas will need local monitoring by birders to document population changes over time. Methods of monitoring that can easily be done by amateurs will be emphasized.

Mountain Birdwatch

  Joan Collins of High Peaks Audubon is involved in the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences monitoring project that keeps track of Bicknell's Thrushes and other mountain species on the higher peaks of New York and New England. Volunteers are essential to accurate monitoring of this endangered species. Joan will present the scientific protocols used and show how you can be involved.
NY eBird
  Brian Sullivan of the Cornell Lab of O will conduct a workshop on this new state-specific eBird program. This is a data-collection and analysis method that uses birders' input to a computer data base that is putting the vast amount of information about bird populations and distribution collected by amateurs into the hands of conservation biologists.

Field Trips

FRIDAY, September 23
Ann Lee Pond (Jocelyn Cole-Calkins)
Indian Kill Nature Preserve (Ray Perry)
SATURDAY, September 24
6:45 - 8:45am

Delegates Field Trip *Leader’s Choice*
Bill Lee, Rich Guthrie
*The Leaders will be receiving the latest reports and watching the weather patterns for the best available birding opportunities at the best available birding venues conveniently nearby enough so delegates may get in some great birding, and return in time to conduct the business of the Federation*

7:30am Regular Field Trip
Albany Pine Bush (Neil Gifford)
Five Rivers (Craig Thompson)
Peebles Island (Frank Murphy)
Vischer Ferry Preserve (Greg Recer and Cathy Graichen)
*Reist Sanctuary will be offered as a self-guided tour only*
11:00am Non-birding Field Trip
(CFP & Schaffer Library will be held as one trip, with a limit of 20 people).  Both trips led by Carl George.
- Center for the Forest Preserve/Assoc for Protection of the Adirondacks
- Union College Schaffer Library-tour & talk of Audubon Collection Plates
SUNDAY, September 25
6:30 - 9:00am Dutch Apple Cruise from 7:00–9:00 with boarding at 6:30am.
The boat holds 150 people. The light breakfast includes bagels, muffins, coffee, tea, and juice.
10:00am - 1:00pm Thacher Park & Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
(Gary Goodness)
11:00am Greene County IDA Grasslands Preservation Site / Coxsackie Flats  (Rich Guthrie)

Field trip destination descriptions:

Ann Lee Pond
  Originally created by Shakers to drain nearby wetlands, Ann Lee Pond is a 170 acre park consisting of a shallow pond, wooded swamps, deciduous woodland and fields. Birdlife is abundant, with at least 130 species seen here. September can provide good views of Cedar Waxwings, Eastern Phoebe, and Eastern Kingbird perched on the bridge railing.
Albany Pine Bush Preserve
  The Albany Pine Bush represents one of the best remaining examples of an inland pine barrens ecosystem left in the world. Intense efforts by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission have protected over 2,940 acres of this beautiful ecosystem, best known as home to the Karner Blue butterfly but also a fun place to bird and explore. Join us for a hike in the best pitch pine-scrub oak barrens in the Preserve.

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center

  Five Rivers is regarded by many as the best place to begin birding in the Capital District. It is centrally located and hosts a variety of bird species. It is set on rolling terrain and is cut by a wide stream valley. The Center’s 345 acres include coniferous & deciduous forest, field, brush land, stream, pond, and marsh habitats.

Indian Kill Nature Preserve

  The Indian Kill Nature Preserve is a 100-acre preserve that protects the Indian Kill and adjacent woodlands. Elevation ranges for 250 to 340 feet. Warblers to watch for in September include Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat and Canada.
Peebles Island State Park
  Peebles Island State Park is a easily-birded undeveloped State Park that provides a good variety of habitat. Early Fall songbird migration should present many opportunities to puzzle out those “confusing” fall warblers plus many other passerine migrants such as vireos, thrushes, kinglets and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Migrant water birds along the Mohawk River may also be found.
Reist Sanctuary
  This 110-acre Sanctuary is owned and managed by the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club. Forests of native hardwoods, a red pine plantation and swampy areas provide habitat for flowers, ferns shrubs and trees and well as birds. Permanent residents include Great Horned Owl, Wild Turkey, Pileated Woodpecker, and Ruffed Grouse.
Thacher Park / Heldeberg Escarpment
  We will bird an area of the Heldeberg Escarpment at an elevation about 1500 feet above the Capital region. This elevation, with a drop in temperature of ~ 10 degrees compared to the lowlands, makes it an ideal place for small flocks of Neo-Tropical migrants. Migrating hawks are also a feature on the escarpment at this time of year under the right weather conditions.

Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center

  The nature center is situated near the shore of Thompson’s Lake, which is an ancient sinkhole formed over one million years ago in fossil-rich Onondaga limestone. There are many species of wildlife including raccoons, white-tailed deer, bats, owls, kestrels, and many songbird species. Visitors may also view a beaver lodge.
Vischer Ferry Nature & Historic Preserve
  Vischer Ferry is one of the Club's most popular birding locations. Herons and egrets should be present and a good variety of shore birds can usually be found.
There is also a possibility of migrant warblers, vireos and flycatchers.
Dutch Apple Cruise
  Take a 2-hour breakfast cruise on the Hudson River. Boarding is at 6:30 AM on Sunday morning.

A block of rooms has been reserved for attendees of the NYSOA Annual Meeting at the Albany Marriott Hotel for $119.00 plus tax per double room occupancy.  Reserve your room by calling 1-800-443-8952.  Rooms rates are not guaranteed for those reserving after September 9.  Please mention the NYSOA Annual Meeting for the special rate.  For directions to the Albany Marriott, go to

Friday dinner will be buffet-style at the hotel, with a charge of $30 per attendee.

Saturday evening's dinner will also be held at the hotel, at a cost of $25 per person.  Three entree choices are offered:  Sole Chardonnay, Adirondack Chicken, and Grilled Vegetable Lasagna Roulade.

Please contact the convention committee by if you have questions regarding this year's Annual Meeting.

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