Albany Pine Bush News

Spring is a great time to see and hear our feathered friends on the annual migration to breeding grounds in and north of the Pine Bush. On Saturday May 12th the Commission and the Audubon Society hosted a celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. More than 80 people attended a host of family friendly activities including several bird walks. Visitors also had the opportunity to see Commission scientists banding live songbirds as part of our ongoing research to beter understand how Preserve management effects wildlife. Guided bird walks through a variety of habitats offered visitors 59 species of birds, while the banding station treated observers with up-close views of 21 birds from 10 species.

~Neil Gifford, Conservation Director

Category: Conservation
Neil @ 3:02 pm


Whip-poor-will photo by Michael Drummond

Once abundant here whip-poor-will have all but dissappeared from the Pine Bush and most of their former habitat across the northeast. Feeding primarily on moths, these are loud nocturnal birds most active on clear moon-lit nights. Commission scientists are participating in a multiyear regional effort to track these birds; for the first time since 2009 a whip-poor-will was heard recently in the Kings Rd Barrens by Field Ecologist, Amanda Dillon. We’d appreciate your help in documenting whip-poor-will. Please let us know If you hear whip-poor-will in the Preserve area by dropping an e-mail to

Click here to listen to a whip-poor-will that was recorded in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in April 2012.


~Neil Gifford, Conservation Director




APBPC science staff confirmed that the 2012 adult Karner blue butterfly flight season has begun. The first Karner was observed on Friday May 4, ten days earlier than our previous record of May 14 set in 2001, and 21 days earlier than the 20-year median date of May 25. The record setting early start is most assuredly the result of record setting warm wather we experienced in March. If you’re in the Preserve keep your eyes open this most famous and endangered resident of the pitch pine scrub oak barrens.

~Neil Gifford, Conservation Director

Neil @ 2:07 pm

Nocturnal singing ground surveys in the Preserve reveal that American wood cock, a.k.a. timberdoodle populations are high here. Eggs and hatchlings of these cryptic ground nesters, however, are anything but revealing. The keen eye of a trained biologist with a private consulting firm found 5 hatchlings this spring and snapped this photo.

Neil @ 2:02 pm