Albany Pine Bush News

Citizen Science: Drop-in Nighthawk Watch

Click here for photos and video

ALBANY, NY- On August 24, 2016, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is teaming up with the Hudson Mohawk Bird Club (HMBC) to monitor migrating birds in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Volunteers who are ages 10 and up are invited to count Common Nighthawks that fly over the Preserve on their over 6,000-mile journey southward. Participants can meet with local bird experts in the Discovery Center parking lot at 195 New Karner Road any time between 5:30pm and 7:30pm on Wednesday August 24th. For more information or to sign up, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655. Pre-registration is required for this free event.

According to Education Program Director Erin Kinal, “This is a great opportunity for anyone who has an interest in the outdoors to contribute to our scientific research. It doesn’t require any previous experience and all skill levels are welcome. The phrase “citizen scientist” means just that – local citizens who contribute to scientific research.”

With a 2-foot wingspan and a habit of feeding in the air near the ground, Common Nighthawks are easy to spot. Dozens to hundreds of the birds are seen each evening before sunset during migration as they fly over the Preserve. A New York State designated Species of Greatest Conservation Need, the Common Nighthawk is neither common (outside of migration) nor a hawk, and is experiencing declines throughout many parts of its breeding range including New York.

This year will represent the fifth year the HMBC has been conducting this survey in the Preserve. “It’s important for us to understand the relationship between the Pine Bush habitat and the way the nighthawks may utilize it during migration,” says survey coordinator and long-time HMBC member Tom Williams, “Doing the counts will help inform scientists about population dynamics and the ecology of this declining species.”

The 3,200+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 69 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.

 

###

Wendy @ 10:54 am

Science Lecture Series
Lessons from the Adirondacks: Studying Vernal Pool Amphibians in an Intact Wetland Landscape

ALBANY NY – At 7:00 pm on Thursday August 18, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission and Friends of the Pine Bush Community will cohost an evening lecture at the Discovery Center on wetland ecosystems presented by Dr. David Patrick, The Nature Conservancy Director of Conservation in New Hampshire. This lecture is part of a monthly science lecture series presented by local scientists and the Commission’s own expert staff. Recommended for ages 15 and above, lecture series topics vary from tiger beetles, to wild turkeys, to climate research and more.

Wetlands represent some of the most threatened ecosystems in the United States. While wetland loss and degradation continues in the present day, the roots of these changes can be traced back to the arrival of European settlers on the continent and the subsequent expansion of agriculture. This long history of loss and alteration presents a challenge for those seeking to conserve and restore wetlands, like those found in the globally rare Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Specifically, our understanding of the functioning of wetland systems and the biodiversity that relies upon them is often built upon research conducted in systems that are already highly modified.

“I am really excited to be returning to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve,” says Dr. Patrick. “As a conservation biologist, I see the Pine Bush as a real success story in terms of how we can restore vital habitat and natural processes in a human-dominated landscape.”

Dr. Patrick will demonstrate how his research of wetland communities in the Adirondack Park provides an ideal opportunity to assess how wetland biodiversity functions across a largely intact wetland landscape and how we can use this information as a baseline to inform restoration efforts.

Science Lecture Series programs are free and open to the public. This program is recommended for ages 15+. Pre-registration is required for all programs. The Discovery Center is located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. To sign up for any of these programs, please visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655.

The 3,200+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 69 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.
###

FHF logoThe Friends of the Pine Bush Community, as a non-profit organization, will benefit from a special fundraiser event Tuesday, October 18, 2016 hosted by Boscov’s Department Store. The Friends is being supplied with $5 shopping passes to sell to friends, neighbors and family. Everyone who purchases a $5 Friends Helping Friends pass receives a 25% discount shopping pass for purchases at Boscov’s made only on October 18.

The Friends gets to keep the entire $5 from every shopping pass sold. Purchasers of a pass can easily recoup their $5 and much more through the savings they enjoy with their pass at Boscov’s. And they’re helping the Friends!

Passes will be available from Friends outreach events, the Friends donation box at the Discovery Center, Science Lecture Series, an offer on Facebook  and locations to be announced.

For more information about the Friends Helping Friends fundraiser, please email info@PineBushFriends.org.

Friends @ 9:48 am

Call for Submissions to Pine Bush Perspectives: A Juried Photo Exhibit

2015 Exhibit Award WinnersALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is now accepting submissions for the Pine Bush Perspectives juried photo exhibit. Now in its third year, this event has engaged the Pine Bush community in a unique way. “Photography slows you down forcing you to take a second look. It changes your perspective of the world”, said Blake Etchison, Discovery Center Manager. “We hope that this challenge will motivate beginners and advanced photographers alike to share with us all their inspirational moments captured in the preserve.”

Entrants may be any age or skill level. Minors must have parental permission in order to submit photos. Photos must be submitted by the original photographer and must have been taken in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Each photographer can submit up to three photos. Photos can be submitted until October 18, 2016 online www.AlbanyPineBush.org/photo-exhibit or you can schedule an in-person submission by calling 518-456-0655.

Entries will be judged by jurors selected by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Juried Photo Exhibit Committee. Submission does not guarantee entry. Entrants will be notified by November 1, 2016 of their entry status. The finalists will be displayed in the Pine Bush Perspectives exhibit that will open on December 2, 2016 at 5pm, with an awards presentation and small reception in the Discovery Center. For more details, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/photo-exhibit or call 518-456-0655.

The 3,200+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 69 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.

###