April 2016

Spring-Summer-Fall Hours
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

For required reservations please stop by, pay online, or by phone with a credit card  (716) 569-2345.


Ava at work.

First Friday Lunch Bunch (Adult)
Forest Hawks and Their Kin – Ava Turnquist
Friday, April 1, 2016, 11:00am-12:00pm
Nature Center multipurpose room
$8 Regular Price; $6 Friends of the Nature Center
Reservations are not required.

Learn about life histories of forest hawks and their kin (eagles, ravens and vultures) from Natural Resource Specialist Ava Turnquist of the U.S. Forest Service.

Hawks have specific habitat requirements. The presentation will identify the local hawks that are forest dwellers, describe their habitat for nesting and foraging, and some of their unique behaviors. Bring your own lunch as an informal lunch session follows the program.

A graduate of SUNY Fredonia, Ava Turnquist has spent the last 27 years as a Natural Resource Specialist with the US Forest Service.

Program Location: Audubon Nature Center
Special Information: The presentation is followed by BYO brown bag lunch and conversation. The Nature Center will provide coffee & tea.

Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast (All)
Saturday, April 2, 2016, 9:00am-11:00am
Nature Center multipurpose room
$ Free for Nature Center Volunteers
Reservations are requested by Thursday, March 31. Call or click here to reserve.


Volunteers enjoying a staff served breakfast.

As a celebration for all they do, Nature Center volunteers are invited to enjoy breakfast on us- with a new twist this year.

As in past years, Nature Center staff will prepare and serve breakfast to our volunteers. Volunteers can sit back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company around a good meal. New this year, staff will be preparing and soliciting donations for breakfast casseroles and other breakfast dishes. For a little friendly competition, breakfast-goers can vote for their favorite casserole. Local businesses – and the staff – will be competing to win Best Volunteer Breakfast of 2016. Fruit, coffee, and tea will also be provided.

From building exhibit pieces and maintaining the trails to leading groups and organizing mailings, our volunteers are an integral part of all the operations here. This is a small token of our appreciation for all the time that our volunteers put in to help connect people to nature and promote environmentally responsible practices.

Program Location: Audubon Nature Center

1st Tuesday Birthday Lunch Bunch (All)
April 5, 2016, 12:00pm-1:00pm
Nature Center multipurpose room
$ No Charge
Reservations are not required.

Join staff and volunteers celebrating birthdays during the month. Bring a brown bag lunch. The Nature Center provides coffee and cake.

This is an excuse to get together and break bread with people who make the place run. Enjoy their company and celebrate a milestone in their lives.

Program Location: Audubon Nature Center

Trail Guide Training (Adult)


Who becomes a trail guide? Anyone with a passionate enthusiasm for sharing nature with children.

Thursdays, April 7, 14, 21, 28, 2016, 10:00am-12:00pm
$ Free
Reservations are required by April 4, 2016. Call or click here to reserve.

Learn how to lead a Discovery Walk with groups of students that visit the Nature Center. This multi-day training will introduce you to how to work with small groups of children for an hour and a half walk.

Walks consist of a series of activities that engage the students in learning. We will teach you tips and tricks to keep them on task, show you fun things outside that you can share with them, and more about how they are organized. Suitable topics for new and seasoned trail guides. Attend the entire series, or choose a la carte if you have been through training before. Call for a detailed schedule.

Program Location: Audubon Nature Center
Special Information: We will be inside and outside. Come dressed for the weather.


Honey bees in their hive.

Little Explorers (Children ages 3-8 and a grown-up)
Buzzing bees
Saturday, April 9, 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; Free children 2 and under
Reservations are required by Thursday, April 7, 2016.
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 honeybees!

Do you know all about honeybees? There are three different types in a hive and they all have different jobs! Learn about honeybee biology, how they make honey and why, and all of the things honey and beeswax are good for in human lives! The program includes a craft and snack. Dress for the weather.

Program Location: Audubon Nature Center
Special Information: Come prepared to go outside.

Bird Banding Highlights (Adult+)
Monday, April 11, 2016, 7:00pm-8:30pm

BOCES LoGuidice Center,
9520 Fredonia-Stockton Road Fredonia, New York 14063
$ Free of charge thanks to funding from the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.
Reservations are not required.


White-throated Sparrow. Photo by Terry LeBaron.

Program director Jennifer Schlick shares some highlights from the bird banding research that takes place each spring and summer at the Nature Center.

Bird banding is a scientific research technique. Birds are captured safely in fine mesh nets. Each is then identified, weighed, measured, fitted with a uniquely numbered metal “bracelet” and then released. When these birds are later recaptured, scientists learn a great deal about their travels and their life spans.

This program is the first 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.

This particular program is also sponsored by the Lake Erie Bird Club which meets regularly at the BOCES LoGuidice Center.

Jennifer Schlick is program director at the Nature Center where she oversees the education programming for schools, Scouts, other groups and organizations, and the general public.

Program Location: BOCES LoGuidice Center, 9520 Fredonia-Stockton Road Fredonia, New York 14063
Special Information: Free of charge thanks to funding from the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.

Audubon Nature Photography Club
Thursday, April 14, 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 jasphotoclub@gmail.com. $5 to visitors.

Volunteer Day (All)
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 8:30am-1:00pm
Nature Center and grounds
$ Free
Reservations are required by Thursday, April 21, 2016. Call or click here to reserve.


Our crew hard at work cutting back brush.

Join us at the Nature Center to celebrate Earth Day! We’ll be working hard to make the Nature Center buildings and grounds more beautiful and friendly for visitors and our animal residents. We’ll work rain or shine and have a blast doing it! After all the hard work, lunch will be provided to all volunteers.

Here’s how it works. Sign up ahead of time so we can better plan for the day. On Saturday morning, choose a crew to work on a project. Past projects included pulling non-native plants, planting native seeds and shrubs, sprucing up the gardens, picking up trash as part of our Roadside Cleanup, and trail blazing. You’ll be dirty and tired at the end of it all, but oh-so-satisfied with the work that got done!

8:30am -9:00am- Registration
9:00am- Select a work crew and learn about the importance of what you are doing.
9:30am-12:00pm- Work, work, work (and have fun!)
12:00pm-1:00pm- Lunch and prizes

Program Location: Audubon Nature Center building and grounds
Special Information: Dress for the weather; bring work gloves if you have them. Lunch will be served at noon.8551060551_8ed4326038

The Nature Center is especially grateful to Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant for sponsoring the 2016 Volunteer Day. This sponsorship pays for supplies, lunch, and a thank you take-home for volunteers. Cummins employees also donate their time during the week to help get a head start on projects.

Adult Day Camp (Adult)
Wednesday, April 27 – April 29, 2016, 12:30pm-4:00pm
Nature Center multipurpose room and grounds
$80 Regular Price; $60 Friends of the Nature Center;
Reservations with payment are required by April 25, 2016.
Stop by, call with a credit card, or click here to pay and reserve.


Graduates of last fall’s adult day camp, who had an amazing time! This spring, we will look at completely different topics than the fall camp.

Learn about all the amazing things that are happening outside in spring! Adult Day Campers go out to explore and learn about amazing things, from vernal pools to birds to wild foods over the course of three afternoons.

In that time, you will learn about trees, birds, vernal pools and all the interesting ways those things interact with each other. Our nature center staff will each choose one of their favorite topics and teach things they are passionate about. Come and learn with us and discover some new ways to look at nature!

This class will be taught by Ruth Lundin, Sarah Hatfield, Katie Finch, and Jeff Tome. Each brings a high level of expertise to the topics.

Program Location: Audubon Nature Center.
Special Information: Be prepared to walk outside and sit inside. May walk as far as a mile each day.


Baltimore Oriole, banded and ready for release.

Bird Banding – Spring Demonstrations (All)
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 7:00am-11:00am*
Also 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.


Meet a Screech Owl like this one with Barb Haney, Director of the Wildlife Department at the SPCA of Erie County, NY.

Living with Wildlife by SPCA of Erie County NY (All)
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 11:00am- 12:00pm
Nature Center multipurpose room
$8 Regular Price; $6 Friends of the Nature Center;
$6 Children 3-15; Free children 2 & under
Reservations with payment to guarantee seats due by Thursday, April 28, 2016. Unsold seats, if any, available to walk-ins.
Stop by, call with a credit card, or click here to pay and reserve.

Barb Haney, Director of Wildlife at SPCA of Erie County NY will visit the Nature Center with her animal ambassadors to discuss how we all can help preserve and protect wildlife. Additional option: Bring a donation for the SPCA from their wish list at http://www.yourspca.org/wishlist.

Spring time brings warm weather and baby animals. There are times when we think these animals need our help. Sometimes our intervention can be lifesaving but there are other times when creatures are best left on their own. Learn from Barb and her non-releasable animals when it is appropriate to help and what we can do to live with wildlife in our neighborhoods. Also, find out what the SPCA does to care for injured and orphaned wildlife at their Tonawanda facility.

The mission of the SPCA’s Wildlife Department is to rehabilitate and release sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife. The department is one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation centers in New York State! There were more than 2,843 wild animals admitted in 2014 of more than 100 different species of birds, mammals, and reptiles! In 2014, the department fielded 7,475 calls from community members with wildlife inquiries.

SPCA of Erie County Wildlife Department Wish List (More information can be found at http://www.yourspca.org/wishlist.)

  • Heating pads without automatic shut-off feature
  • Ceramic food dishes
  • 1-quart and 1-gallon Ziploc bags
  • Digital weight scales
  • Coffee mug warmers
  • Cabin kennels with wire tops
  • Red, black, green and blue dry-erase markers
  • Dry erase board cleaner
  • 9″ x 6″ clip boards
  • Small-sized legal pads
  • Pens
  • Black Sharpie markers
  • Fleece blankets
  • Baby receiving blankets
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Anti-bacterial hand soap
  • Kitchen handled brushes

Edible Audubon- Spring Greens and Other Things (Adult+)
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Nature Center multipurpose room and grounds
$20 Regular Price; $16 Friends of the Nature Center;
$16 Children 9-15
Reservations with payment are required by Thursday, April 28, 2016.
Stop by, call with a credit card, or click here to pay and reserve.


Cuckoo Flowers and Dandelions.

With a little bit of knowledge, nature can be your grocery store. Learn to identify spring greens, flowers and other wild edibles that are available this time of year.

Some people forage for survival, others to save on the grocery bill. Foraging can also be a wonderful way to spend time outside, learn plant identification, try new foods, and strengthen your connection to the earth and the food it produces to nourish our bodies.

In this class, we will start with some basic ground rules and safety considerations about harvesting wild edibles. Then we will head outside to identify edibles growing and blooming in the spring. We will also cover edibles you definitely do not want to eat. Back inside, we will taste some samples (optional) and discuss easy ways to make wild plants part of your meal.

Katie Finch is a naturalist at the Nature Center and has been eating “weeds” for several years.

Program Location: Audubon Nature Center
Special Information: Dress for the weather. We will walk up to 1 mile.

Click here for May programs!