Citizen Science: Pine Bush Big Birding Day
ALBANY, NY- Join the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission for their first ever Pine Bush Big Birding Day from Friday June 30, 2017, 6:00pm–Saturday July 1, 2017, 8:30pm. Teams can register and participate together in the preserve for 24 hours from 7:00pm Friday to 7:00pm Saturday, trying to observe as many bird species as possible. Each team will be self-guided and participants must provide their own transportation. Teams can work at their own pace for as much or as little of the 24-hour time period as they want. The event will kick off with light refreshments on Friday evening at 6:00pm and then participants will get back together for dinner and a closing ceremony on Saturday evening at 7:00pm. All ages are welcome to participate but all teams must have at least one member who can identify birds with them at all times. Teams can sign up by calling 518-456-0655 or visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events
“A big birding day allows the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission to learn what species of birds are in the preserve. Detecting birds this time of year also suggests that those birds may be breeding here,” says Amanda Dillon, Field Ecologist and Entomologist. “Commission staff regularly conduct surveys during the summer months where we record every bird we hear and see at points located around the preserve. This event will help us get more eyes and ears on the ground and expand our coverage area. Birds are very sensitive to changes in their habitat and some can only be found in particular types of habitats like the inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens found the in the Albany Pine Bush. Knowing which species are present in the preserve tells us a lot about how effective our efforts are in restoring this globally rare landscape.”
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE PINE BUSH:
The 3,300+ – 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 75 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.