March 1 – October 31
Walk the trails and visit Liberty, the Bald Eagle, dawn until dusk.
Building hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00am-4:30pm; Sunday 1:00pm-4:30pm
2 Divisions: Adult and Youth (ages 8-18 or still in high school)
- Total of eight $100 cash prizes
- Winners photos printed and exhibited at the Nature Center
- Winners and finalists photos displayed on website
Wildflower Wander (Adult)
A Saturday in May (TBD), 2016, 1:00pm-3:00pm
Location to be determined by weather
$16 Regular Price; $12 Friends of the Nature Center
Reservations: Contact the Nature Center to be placed on a call list. When conditions are right, we will call you with the date and location. Payment is required when you confirm.
Stunning blankets of wildflowers coating the forest floor are one of the surest signs of spring, but wildflower season is a moving target that changes with the weather. This year, we are offering a wildflower walk whose date changes with the weather.
When will we go? Sometime in May, depending on the when the flowers peak. Put your name on the call list and we will let you know when the trip is about a week in advance. Where will we go? There are a host of options and we plan to scout out several to find one that showcases the best flowers in the region. It may be muddy and sloppy, but some of the best flower locations in the county look like that.
Join us for a beautiful look at the wide array of spring flowers in the region. We’ll also look at how to identify them, some of their ore unusual stories and more.
Jeff Tome is a Senior Naturalist at the Audubon Nature Center who has been actively searching for wildflowers for years.
Special Information: We will call ahead of time to let you know when and where the program is and the trail conditions. Bring a wildflower book or camera or notebook if you want to extend your knowledge.
Intro to Volunteering at the Nature Center (All)
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 6:30pm-7:30pm
Nature Center multipurpose room
Reservations are requested by Monday, May 2. Call or click here to reserve.
This introductory training will cover a brief history of Audubon Nature Center, review the many facets of the organization in which volunteers are involved and introduce participants to faces and places at the Nature Center. This training is appropriate for people interested in volunteering or new volunteers.
The workings of the Nature Center depend on the dedication and commitment of a strong volunteer crew. In the past year, we had almost 300 active volunteers who worked over 12,000 hours to support the Nature Center’s mission. On any given day, volunteers can be seen working on the trails, leading school groups, managing our membership program, feeding animals, and more.
Many of our programs and facilities would not be available without the strong support of our volunteers. For the volunteer, there are myriad benefits too. Volunteering provides an opportunity to use skills and pursue interests, meet new people, and become part of a community.
Coffee and tea will be provided.
Not Your Usual First Friday (Adult)
Puffin Project – Derrick Z. Jackson
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Meet & Greet w/ drinks & hors d’oeuvres, 6:00pm-7:00pm
Roger Tory Peterson Institute, 311 Curtis Street, Jamestown, NY
– and/or –
Friday, May 6, 2016, 12:00pm-1:00pm
Jamestown Community College, Carnahan Theatre,
525 Falconer Street
Jamestown, NY 14701
$ Free; Reservations are not required.
Instead of our usual First Friday Lunch Bunch at the Nature Center, we encourage everyone to attend one or both of two talks by Derrick Z. Jackson, co-author of Puffin Project.
While there will be some overlap in content, the two talks will have a slightly different spin. The Thursday night talk will be aimed at birders – beginners through advanced, while the Friday talk will be targeted more to students and community members who may not have as much birding or natural history knowledge.
Derrick Z. Jackson is co-author with Stephen Kress of Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock. An award-winning columnist for the Op-Ed section of the Boston Globe, Jackson is a 2001 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary, a 2-time winner of opinion awards from the Education Writers Association, and a 9-time winner from the National Association of Black Journalists. He also is known for his nature photography, and his images of Barack Obama have been exhibited by Boston’s Museum of African American History.
Special Information: Jackson’s visit is made possible through the teamwork of the Audubon Nature Center, Jamestown Community College’s Hultquist Library, Earth Awareness Club, and college program committee, the Katharine Jackson Carnahan Endowment for the Humanities, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute Ornithological Club. Prints of Jackson’s photographs and signed copies of the book will be available for sale. Audubon members and friends are encouraged to bring refreshments to these presentations.
Fledgling Birdathon Scholarship Fundraiser (All)
Saturday, May 7, 2016, 6:00am-?
Begins at Audubon Nature Center
$ Pledge to the Birdathon Scholarship
Reservations to join us are due by Thursday, May 5.
Birdathon is a day for birders to get out, see birds, have fun, and raise some money for a deserving college bound student. This year’s recipient is Taylor West, from Lakewood, NY.
Any birder is invited, but children should understand that birding requires patience and quietness! In lieu of program fees, we ask that participants pledge to the Birdathon for the Ryan Exline Memorial Scholarship, either per species or a flat amount. Participants can join staff/leaders for any part of the day. Exact meeting points will be determined closer to the date to account for weather.
We will divide into 2 groups – the Hard-Core Birders (HCs) and the Leisurely & Learning Birders (L&Ls). The HCs know their birds and are going to find them and list them for hours and hours! The L&Ls know some birds, want to learn more about birds, and take their time to help others learn too. Their schedule is a bit more leisurely. Both groups begin at 6:00am at the Nature Center and you can join with a group then, and even switch groups later on!
Taylor West is the recipient of the Ryan Exline Memorial Scholarship this year. Taylor attended Audubon Day Camps for many years as a camper and as a counselor. He is pursuing a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management at Paul Smiths College. He is an avid fisherman and hopes to use his degree to return to Chautauqua County and work on lake restoration.
Birdathon Schedule by time (subject to change due to weather and people):
- 5:30am – 6:00am – Meet & eat at the Nature Center, 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, NY 14701
- 6:00am – 6:30am – Bird from windows while eating breakfast. Gather at the back windows, watch birds, meet each other, eat breakfast, drink coffee, assign list takers.
- 6:30am – Head out to do a loop around the paved trail, maybe out Bunny depending on interest and weather.
- 8:00am – 12:00pm -At the Nature Center, eat more, drink more coffee. Divide into “leisurely and learning” and “hard-core” birding groups. The L&L’s head out Maple West to bird banding, the HC’s head out Maple East and around Big Pond (Yellow) Trail.
- 10:00am –NORTH COUNTY Ruth will host a group in the northern part of Chautauqua County to go waterfowling.
- 12:00pm – meet at Nature Center for lunch; L&L’s are done! (Or L&L’s that feel up to it can join the HC’s).
- 1:00pm-2:30pm – HC’s head to Akeley Swamp in Pennsylvania
- 4:30pm – WARREN COUNTY A deep woodland somewhere to get thrushes, wood warblers, and other woodsy things. Most likely in PA, but could also be in NY somewhere.
- 6:00pm – Meet at a restaurant (TBD based on people) to eat dinner and compare lists. Past locations have included Southern Tier Brewery and Miller’s Coconut Grove (Shorty’s).
- 8:00pm – Owling with Katie at Audubon Nature Center. We will use recordings to call in owls and may be out until 9:30 or 10:00pm. Bring a headlamp or flashlight.
Audubon Nature Center staff and volunteers will be leading the walks. Ruth Lundin, Jeff Tome, Sarah Hatfield, Katie Finch, and Don Watts will lead participants (and each other) to hot birding spots and hopefully have a good time while racking up some species!
Special Information: Come prepared to spend all day outside! If you are joining us at the Nature Center at 6:00am, please bring a breakfast item to share. Bring binoculars, a bird book (if you have one), water, and snacks for the trail. Depending on the weather you might also want sunscreen, a hat, or insect repellent.
Bird Banding – Spring Demonstrations (All)
Saturdays, May 7, 14, and 21, 2016, 7:00am-11:00am*
Nature Center Pavilion at West Entrance
$ Free. Donations encouraged.
Reservations are not required.
*Drop in for any amount of time. If weather is too foul, the nets will not be open.
Join ornithologists on the west side of our property on Saturday mornings through May 21, weather permitting. Watch how they capture migrating and resident birds, fit them with identification bands, measure and weigh and then release them to go on with their lives.
Bird banding is an age-old technique used to discover details about the lives of birds. You can drop in any time between 7:00am and 11:00am on four Saturdays starting April 30 to learn from the ornithologists exactly how it is done and why. If weather is too foul for the safety of the birds, the nets will not be open and an alternate date will be chosen.
This program is made possible in part by an S. Knox Harper grant from the Northern Allegheny Conservation Association.
Dr. Scott Stoleson, from nearby Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, is a professional ornithologist who has published over 60 scientific papers on the ecology and conservation of birds. He has conducted avian research in the western U.S., Central and South America, and has led natural history tours to the Caribbean and Latin America. He currently is the Research Wildlife Biologist at the USFS Northern Research Station lab in Irvine, Pa., a Research Associate of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, a member of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey’s Ornithological Technical Committee, and serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology and the Association of Field Ornithologists. He holds a Master Banding permit and has 37 years of bird banding experience.
Emily Thomas Perlock holds an Associate’s degree in Wildlife Technology from Penn State DuBois, a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State, and a Master’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Penn State. She has worked as a wildlife biologist for the USFS Northern Research Station’s Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Irvine, Pa. and is currently employed as an Instructor in Wildlife Technology at Penn State DuBois. She learned how to band in 2005 and has banded over 4000 birds since. She holds a Master Banding permit and is a certified bird bander by the North American Banding Council. She established a banding program at The Arboretum at Penn State and has participated in banding programs for Audubon and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
Don Watts, Warren County Pennsylvania native, has been an active outdoorsman since a teenager hunting in the Allegheny Forest area. As a young adult he became more interested in birding activities. Through the mentoring process of Mr. Bill Highhouse and Mr.Ted Grisez, Don assumed the task of monitoring the American Kestrel Nestbox trail in Warren County. In addition, some of his other birding activities include: participant in the first Pa. Breeding Bird Atlas; Regional coordinator in the second Pa. Breeding Bird Atlas; Master Bird Bander; participant in USFW breeding bird surveys for over 20 years; conducted grassland surveys for Pa. Game Commission; past president of Roger Tory Peterson Ornithological Club; and Coordinator of the Warren Pa. Christmas Bird Count; Wildlife Technician for the USDA Forest Service for 7 years in the study of the Cerulean Warbler, monitoring of sensitive species and conducting bird surveys.
Program Location: Look for a “Bird Banding” sign at the Pavilion parking lot on the west side of our property. Drive right in and park on the grass.
Special Information: Dress for the weather. While not necessary to enjoy the demonstrations, you may want to bring bird guides & binoculars if you have them. Please listen carefully to the scientists and follow their instructions carefully. Safety of the birds is our priority.
The annual wildflower walk starts at the entrance to Bentley Sanctuary and meanders through the woods in search of the spring wildflowers. Jack Gulvin leads this hike that features all the spring flowers, from Spring Beauties to False Mermaid.
Take time to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of even the smallest and the most common of our wildflowers. Learn which are native and which were carried here by Europeans, anxious to see a familiar sight from the home country. Also learn about some that tagged along, uninvited.
Meet at 2:00pm at the entrance to Bentley Sanctuary, located on Bentley Road, just off Fluvanna Avenue, north of Jamestown. Bring sturdy, mud-proof footwear and dress for the weather. Jack provides wonderful background information, so a pencil and paper are often welcome accessories. It is also a great time for birds, so consider bringing binoculars.
Jack Gulvin is a naturalist at Chautauqua Institution, where he leads nature walks Friday mornings at 9:00am during the season and oversees the Purple Martin colonies, leading walks the first four Fridays of the Chautauqua season at 4:15pm.
Special Information: Wear mud-proof footwear. Dress for the weather. Directions: North on Bentley Avenue off of Fluvanna Ave. (State Route 430) in Greenhurst.
Audubon Nature Photography Club
Thursday, May 12, 2016, 6:30pm-9:00pm
Camera tips and tricks, photo critique, guest speaker. For more information about the club, visit www.jasphotoclub.wordpress.com and www.facebook.com/jasphotoclub789?fref=ts, call Cathy Abers-Kimball, club president, at (716) 664-3707 weekdays, or email email@example.com. $5 to visitors.
Beginning Birding (Adult+)
Saturday, May 14, 2016, 8:00am-12:00pm
Nature Center building & grounds
$16 Regular Price; $12 Friends of the Nature Center;
$12 Children 9-15
Reservations with payment are required by Monday, May 9.
Stop by, call with a credit card, or click here to pay and reserve.
Beginning birders will learn the basics of bird identification and how to use binoculars and spotting scopes. The program will include a walk to look for birds in their natural setting, and a visit to the bird banding station (weather permitting).
While this program is open to the public, the activities and lessons are appropriate for the Boy Scout Bird Study Merit Badge. Boy Scouts working on that badge are welcome to attend and are encouraged to download and print the Bird Study Merit Badge Workbook and bring it along. (http://www.usscouts.org/usscouts/mb/worksheets/Bird-Study.pdf) Some of the requirements in the workbook will be covered in the program. Additional resources will be provided that may help with other requirements outside of the program as you continue your study. Boy Scouts and their families may sign up at the member price.
Special Information: Dress for the weather. Bring binoculars and field guides, if you have them. Bring snacks and a water bottle if desired.
(Children ages 3-8 and a grown-up)
Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10:00am-11:30am
Nature Center multipurpose room and grounds
$8 Regular Price; $6 Friends of the Nature Center;
$6 Children ages 3-8
Reservations with payment are required by Thursday, May 12.
Stop by, call with a credit card, or click here to pay and reserve.
Little Explorers are children ages 3-8 and their grown-up, or two. During this program we have a brief lesson, go for a nature walk, come back for a snack, and make a craft. This month we’ll learn about all about nests and how birds build them.
Birds build nests in the spring to protect their eggs and babies. They don’t live in them, but they make great cradles! We will learn about the nests and what they are made out of, why the birds put them where they do, and how they help protect the eggs and nestlings. We will go for a walk, investigate some real nests, and then come in to have a snack and make a craft.
Sarah Hatfield is a naturalist at the Nature Center.
Special Information: Come prepared to go outside, we will go out rain or shine.
Every May, the Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) sponsors a bird count in Western New York. It takes many people, beginning to advanced birders, to cover the four county territory, whether watching on their own property, or committing to a larger area.
The first BOS count was held in 1939. It provides a historical reference for bird species found in Western New York. It is important that each person has an assigned territory, so that we have the broadest coverage we can but don’t overlap. We will then direct you to the compiler for that location, either Bob Sundell, Tim Baird, or Joanne Goetz. For more information you can visit the website, http://www.buffaloornithologicalsociety.org/counts-and-research/may-count.
Warren Gives (Adult)
Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 6:00am-10:00pm
$10 minimum gift; no maximum!
Reservations are not required.
This day of online giving multiplies your dollars! Matching grants will be given by the Community Foundation of Warren County to area organizations proportional to the amount given by individuals.
The money we raise through Warren Gives benefits the environmental education program in the Warren County School District. Our naturalists visit every K-6 classroom twice, and lead walks outdoors for grades 1 through 4. Some of the funding for this comprehensive science-based programming comes from the School District and a grant from the Community Foundation of Warren County. Your contributions through Warren Gives fill the gap!
The minimum gift is $10. The maximum gift per organization is not limited but only the first $1,000 of any donation will be eligible for match dollars. (For example, a donor gives $50 to an organization, $50 is counted towards the match pool; a donor gives $2,500 to an organization, $1,000 is counted towards the match pool.)
Special Information: All major credit cards accepted. If you prefer to write a check, make it payable to Jamestown Audubon Society and bring or mail to 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, NY 14701. We will apply it to the project, however, it will not be eligible for the match; only online donations are eligible.
Figure 8 the Lake (Adult)
Saturday, May 21, 2016, 9:00am-4:00pm
McCrea Point Park on Jones & Gifford Avenue, Jamestown, NY
$75 per person
Reservations with payment are required by Monday, May 16.
Only 1 space left, call to reserve your spot!
Join authors Tom Erlandson and Linda Swanson for a fabulous road trip around Chautauqua Lake, tracing the path of their book, Figure 8 the Lake: A Driving Tour featuring the History, the Science, and the Fun of the Beautiful Chautauqua Lake and highlighting recent changes.
If you missed the Falling for Nature Auction last October, you are in luck! There are four seats still available on this popular event! Departure will be from Jamestown’s McCrea Point Park (the old “boat landing”) on Jones & Gifford Ave. Travelers will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch en route and the program includes an autographed copy of Figure 8 the Lake. Tom and Linda spice up local history with their own memories of the area. You will also learn from each other, as each person brings his/her unique perspective on our region’s rich tapestry of social, cultural and natural history.
Special Information: Dress comfortably for a ride in the Nature Center van. Lunch will be provided, but you may want a water bottle and snacks.
Growing, healthy, blooming, tasty, beautiful plants is one of the best parts of spring! Come and exchange plants, knowledge, tips and tricks at our annual Plant Exchange and Sale.
Gardeners know that there are always volunteer plants that spring up and need new homes. The Plant Exchange and Sale was born to share those volunteers! It started out as a place for people to exchange extra plants with other gardeners. It grew to include donations from nurseries, a sale option for those just starting out who don’t yet have extras, and some seeds and informational displays.
This year we will feature native seedlings from parent plants right here in Chautauqua County. These local natives are better for wildlife than non-native ornamentals and are often hardier!
Not all plants will be accepted on exchange, and it is not an even one-for-one exchange rate. Tickets are given as credit when plants are brought in and can be used towards the purchase of new plants. The Nature Center reserves the right to refuse certain plants based on species or condition.
Special Information: This event will happen rain or shine. Please bring plants for exchange in pots, no plastic bags.
Getting the Most from your Point and Shoot Camera (Adult)
Sunday, May 22, 2016, 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Nature Center multipurpose room & grounds
$36 Regular Price; $27 Friends of the Nature Center
Reservations with payment are required by Tuesday, May 17.
Stop by, call with a credit card, or click here to pay and reserve.
Learn with photographer Terry Radecki how to create better photos with your point and shoot camera.
Many people are surprised by the results they can get from a point and shoot camera, and this workshop will build upon your photography skills and teach you how to get the most from your camera. Participants will take photos and discuss the results and how to improve them. Question and answer time will be provided. Often, using your creative abilities helps to define you as a person. Terry notes, “It is my goal that your photo skills will strengthen, and your photos will be a self-expression to others.”
A former educator, Terry Radecki is a travel enthusiast who enjoys the arts, particularly photography, and watercolor. He divides his time between Warren, Pennsylvania and Palm Springs, California and finds both very diverse areas to be full of opportunities for nature exploration.
Special Information: Bring your camera with fully charged battery and empty storage card. Dress for the weather. Participants should have some working knowledge of their cameras. If possible bring your camera’s manual to the session.
Birds & Blooms Walk (Adult+)
Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 9:00am-11:00am
Rain Date: Saturday, May 28, 2016
SUNY Fredonia College Lodge
8067 Rt 380
Brocton, NY 14716
Reservations are required by Friday, May 20, 2016. Call or click here to reserve.
Walk beautiful trails with bird and flower experts during the spring woodland wildflower and bird migration season.
From SUNY Fredonia’s website: “The College Lodge is surrounded by a 200 acre Nature Preserve that supports some of the most diverse habitat in Chautauqua County including 16 acres of old growth forest, northern hardwood and hemlock forest, evergreen plantations, forested swamp and other wetlands, shrublands, and open fields.”
Longtime birder and retired SUNY Fredonia professor Terry Mosher will take the lead on this walk helping us to see and hear the many birds that are passing through or settling in to breed in our area. In addition to looking up, we’ll keep our eyes on the ground to look for spring wildflowers. Many of the early bloomers will be “done” by this time; others will just be coming into color.
For thirty-six years, Terry Mosher taught courses in environmental literature, English education, and poetry at SUNY Fredonia. A longtime birder and amateur naturalist, he is Past President of the Lake Erie Bird Club. Now retired, he spends his time gardening, visiting family and friends, watching birds and butterflies, and horseback riding.
This program is the second of six free programs to be offered in the northern part of Chautauqua County. This outreach series is made possible by funding through a Community Benefit Grant by the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation. These programs are designed to introduce residents in northern Chautauqua County to the types of programs offered at the Nature Center.
Special Information: Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes or boots. Bring binoculars if you have them.
Contemplative Photography (Adult)
Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Jamestown Community College, CARN 109
$29 per person
Reservations with payment** are required by Monday, May 23.
Read below for reservation info.
Learn with photographer Jennifer Schlick an approach to photography that encourages clear seeing. **Register for Course Number 7146 through Jamestown Community College. See details on website.
One approach, perhaps the most traditional approach to photography is to go after a particular subject matter. You have an idea to be a landscape photographer, or a wildlife photographer, or a flower photographer. You have a concept that you want to share. This approach has its place and there are plenty of books and workshops to help you refine this approach.
In this workshop, we will introduce a different approach, a purely perceptual (as opposed to conceptual) approach. You may find this approach liberating, meditative, and relaxing. We let go of expectation and artifice and instead give ourselves to the experience of perceiving what the world offers. We walk with no preconceived ideas of what we will photograph or what we will do with the photograph after we take it. Instead, we open ourselves allowing the world to surprise and delight us.
Think of this workshop as a hands-on book report, based on The Practice of Contemplative Photography by Michael Wood and Andy Karr.
- By phone (716) 338-1005 – be prepared to give full name, home address, home phone number and date of birth, (email address is optional). You MUST pay via Visa, MC, or Discover (includes debit cards).
- By Mail: mail your name, address, home phone number, date of birth and the words “Registration for Course Number 7146 – Contemplative Photography” along with payment to (checks payable to JCC): Jamestown Community College, Attn: Continuing Education, P.O. Box 20, Jamestown, NY 14702-0020
- In Person: Stop in to JCC, Carnahan Building, Center for Continuing Education (Room 126) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (excluding major holidays). Checks payable to JCC, if cash you must bring exact amount.
Jennifer Schlick is program director at the Audubon Nature Center and has been practicing photography since 2004.
Special Information: Bring your camera with a fully charged battery and an empty memory card. Dress for the weather. Registration is through Jamestown Community College. See instructions above.