eBirding at MHLC Preserves

Join us for eBirding training to help with MHLC’s bird conservation effort!

Barred Owl. Photo by Lisa Bowdish.

On Saturday, April 6, from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM, we will host an eBirding training seminar in partnership with Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology. This FREE event, open to novice and more advance birders alike, will take place at the First United Methodist Church in Delmar. Space is limited to the first 30 registrations—sign up today!

The morning will begin with a 30-minute classroom presentation and training that will provide you with the tools to hone your bird identification skills. Guest instructor, Andrew Dreelin, from the Lab of Ornithology, will educate us on the Merlin and eBird apps, two smart phone applications that help the user identify birds and store sightings by location. These two apps make it easy to record the birds spotted in the field, and seamlessly link these observations with a global online database of bird records used by recreational birders, scientists, and conservationists around the world! Following the classroom instruction, we will head out on a guided 1.5 hour field walk on the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail to apply our new knowledge. Can’t make it to the event- no problem! You can download the free eBird app and get started on your own.

Mark your calendar for the next eBirding event…

As a follow-up to this initial training, we will host the “Walking with Warblers” birding hike on Saturday, May 11th, at 7 AM, guided by WAMC’S bird guru Rich Guthrie. This free outdoor event provides an opportunity to use eBirding skills as well as learn more about bird identification and behavior from this local specialist. Space is limited for this free event so be sure to sign up early!

Goldfinch. Photo by Bob Stone.

Your participation is important to our conservation goals! 

When establishing our annual conservation priorities, MHLC relies on data that is collected from citizen science surveys such as these. Our recent acquisition in 2018 of 35 acres on the corner of Fisher Blvd. and 85 in the towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland as an expansion of Five Rivers, was prioritized because it provided a buffer for wildlife to the built environment. Five Rivers is listed on the eBird app as being the largest “hotspot” in Albany County for birds, with 210 unique species identified on its grounds.

In fact, throughout Albany County local residents have identified 293 bird species across 100 natural bird “hotspots”. Eight of the hotspots listed are MHLC preserves.

Visiting a preserve this year?

Please help us collect information about the birds on our nature preserves using the eBird app.  By hosting these events and empowering citizen science volunteer efforts, MHLC hopes to gain a better understanding of the bird species utilizing our public lands, providing important information about species in decline and guiding our local conservation efforts.

We hope to see you at our birding events and at our preserves this year!

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