The primary mission of the Great South Bay Audubon Society is to advocate for the conservation of habitats for native birds and other native wildlife on Long Island.

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  • General Membership Meeting

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Place: Connetquot River State Park Preserve - Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, NY

    Time: 7:00 P.M.

    Program: "Winter Birding Strategies"

    Ken Feustel will discuss winter birding strategies with emphasis on Long Island's east end and south shore beaches.  The program will focus on the variability of winter weather and how this affects the birds that show up on Long Island in any given winter as well as illustrating many of the historically productive locations for Long Island's winter birds such as the state parks at Montauk Point and Jones Beach.  Winter Finches, waterfowl and raptors are among the groups of birds that will be highlighted.

    Directions: Approaching from the East, the entrance is on the north side of Sunrise Hwy (Route 27). From the west, exit Sunrise Highway (Route 27) at Oakdale-Bohemia Rd., cross over Sunrise Highway, merge onto westbound Route 27 and watch for the park entrance sign on the right. Please do not park on the grass or in the circle in front of the building. Park near garages in the rear of the building. There is a handicap ramp at this entrance. Call 631-563-7716 with any questions. Join us at 7:00 for pre-program refreshments and casual conversation. Our bird experts will be on hand to answer any questions, discuss equipment, and share their favorite birding spots.

  • Young Naturalists Club

    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    Time: 1:15 - 2:15 PM

    Great South Bay Audubon Society (GSBAS) would like to invite the Long Island community and GSBAS Chapter Members to join us on the first Sunday of every month

    Place: Great South Bay Audubon Society's Headquarters - Brookside County Park, 59 Brook Street, Sayville, NY

    RSVP: RSVPs are encouraged but not required. Please call 631-581-1731 or email: info@gsbas.org

    The Young Naturalists Club focuses on learning about nature and stewardship of a natural area. Outdoor activities include crafting nature boxes and pinecone feeders, nature scavenger hunts, hiking the trails, gardening, and maintaining bird-feeding stations. Indoor activities include examining birds’ nests and feather displays and special presentations on subjects such as the Northern Bobwhite Quail, local marine creatures, and bird watching. For details on upcoming Young Naturalists Club activities, please email info@gsbas.org or call 631-581-1731.  More information...

  • Connetquot Breakfast and Birding

    Saturday, January 17, 2015

    Place: Connetquot River State Park Preserve - Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, NY

    Time: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

    Program: Hosted by Friends of Connetquot.  Join us for a continental breakfast, an introduction to bird identification, and a walk in beautiful Connetquot Preserve to find and identify birds.

    RSVP required: call Connetquot State Park Preserve at 581-1072 to register. Registration fee $4 plus $8 parking fee per car (unless you have yearly NYS) Park pass.

Newest Items/Announcements

UPDATE: 11/18/2014
Morton Wildlife Refuge Nature Walk Recap

Morton Wildlife Refuge Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

Today we did our annual walk at the Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge in Sag Harbor. The weather was a little overcast but no wind and moderate temperatures. As soon as we stepped onto the path the birds were hollering at us to start feeding them. We wonder who is trained, us or them?

We had the usual Chickadees, Titmice and White-breasted Nuthatches eating out of our hands. It is always a pleasure to walk the preserve and have to birds accompany us. At the beach there were Surf Scoters in the bay and Buffleheads in the harbor.

We always enjoy our walks at Morton Wildlife Refuge.

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UPDATE: 11/15/2014
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley - Nature Walk Recap

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley - Nature Walk Recap

On Sunday, November 9, 2014, a cool cloudy fall morning to start, GSBAS's Wertheim Nature Walk took place with 15 plus/minus attendees including Co-Trip Leaders John Gluth and Alice Heller. After our group assembled and met up with Ranger Rebecca Hutton at the Visitor Center, we proceeded to car pooling into Wertheim’s Impoundment Area to begin our Nature Walk/birding.

The highlights were sighted on our way back, two (2) Bald Eagles: both an Adult and Immature, flying the thermals as the morning warmed up and the sun tried to come out. Other highlights included: Wilson’s Snipe (Common Snipe) and Rusty Blackbird, among a total of 48 species sighted.

For photos and the list of species that were spotted, please visit the Nature Walk Report page..

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UPDATE: 11/12/2014
Young Naturalists Club Meeting Recap

Young Naturalists Club Meeting Recap

Recap by Janet Gremli

On Sunday, November 2, 2014, the Young Naturalists Club of the Great South Bay Audubon Society met at Brookside County Park in Sayville to enjoy the splendor of Autumn. The children gathered around a large wooden table which was liberally strewn with leaves of oak, maple, sassafras and dogwood, pine needles, acorns, pinecones, bark, and moss. The children were introduced to the variety of shapes, colors and scents that Nature offers. Hard, oval pitch pinecones were compared with the slender, arcing cones of the white pine. Clusters of pine needles were counted to identify whether they were pitch pine or white pine. The gnarly bark of the pine trees was compared to the smoother bark of birch and sycamore. The bright yellow maple leaves, palmate in shape, were held in contrast to the orange and red of the mitten-shaped sassafras and the scarlet of the round-lobed oak leaves. The children then set out on a scavenger hunt to find the various objects of our lesson. Darting across the grass and scurrying along the edge of the woods, the children collected leaves, pine needles, pinecones and acorns. Not certain if they had a sassafras leaf, they remembered to crush the leaf to release the citrus-like aroma for validation. The children filled their paper bags with all of the items on the scavenger list. Returning to our great table, they let the spoils of their search tumble out for closer inspection. Through their newly acquired knowledge and direct observations, the children were able to connect the information they had learned with Nature's Bounty.

For photos and more information on the YNC, please visit the YNC page.

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UPDATE: 11/11/2014
Sunken Meadow State Park Nature Walk Recap

Sunken Meadow State Park Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

Once again shirtsleeve birding in November. With temperatures in the sixties nineteen birders set forth to see what nature can give us. We started by heading to the boardwalk to scan the sound. The water was flat, hardly a ripple as the wind was coming from the south. We some of the sea birds that are expected at this time of year. There were Horned Grebes, Common Loons, Long-tailed Ducks, Black and White-winged scoters. On the shoreline there were Sanderlings scurrying around.

After that we headed around the park to see some land birds. The “dump” was somewhat quiet with Savannah, Swamp and Song Sparows. At the tidal water ponds we saw a variety of Ducks. At the Bridge between the two tidal ponds we had a flock of Cedar Waxwings feeding in the mud flats. for the day we had over forty species of birds. This is our last Tuesday trip of the year. We will resume Tuesday trips in March of 2015.

Thanks to all who participated and made for an enjoyable fall Tuesday birding season.See you next year.

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UPDATE: 11/4/2014
Blydenburgh County Park Nature Walk Recap

Blydenburgh County Park Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

Everything thing this morning was just "ducky." We started our walk at Blydenburgh by going out on the dock in the lake and checking out the waterfowl. The first ducks we saw were a couple of pairs of wood Ducks. The morning sun was striking the ducks a very low angle and lighting them up to display all their brilliant colors. What a treat. There were other ducks as well, we saw Northern Shovelers, American Wigeon, Ring-necked, Scaup, Gadwall and Hooded mergansers.

Then we walked through the woods and saw many of the woodland species of birds, Titmice, Chickadees, Juncoes, Sparrows and Woodpeckers and White-breasted Nuthatches.

On a beautiful fall day the weather was just perfect. No wind, temperatures very mild and bright sunshine. Add in a nice mix of birds and you have a very nice morning spent outdoors appreciating nature.

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UPDATE: 10/28/2014
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Nature Walk Recap

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

Our trip today was to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. It started off being another Sparrow seminar. Right out of the visitor center we encountered a flock of feeding sparrows. They continued all morning long along all the paths we walked. We eventually wound up with six different sparrow species. We had Song, Savannah, Swamp, Chipping, White-crowned and White-throated.

There were Yello-Rumped Warblers everywhere. A guess would put them at over a hundred plus. The day's final tally was thirty one species on a really beautiful fall day at Jamaica Bay.

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ACTION ALERT: 10/10/2014
Audubon Works to Save Critical Piping Plover Habitat

Audubon Works to Save Critical Piping Plover Habitat

Last month, Audubon filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers to protect rare nesting habitat for the threatened Piping Plover in New York.

Fewer than 3,600 Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers survive today, with 20 percent of them relying on the shores of New York for nesting and breeding. With work on the well-intentioned but misguided Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Stabilization Project slated to begin imminently in September, Audubon New York stepped in and was granted a Temporary Restraining Order to protect this critical and rare plover habitat.

Audubon supporters like you have been pressing for an improved plan to ensure the plovers are protected and the plan is in compliance with federal law. Unfortunately, the Corps has ignored us and government scientists who recommended that the project be revised. The US Army Corp of Engineers has a responsibility to make sure this project is done right from the start.

You can still help urge the Corps to modify their plan. More than 20,000 Audubon members have already stepped up to help out, and it's not too late for you to send a letter to the Corps!

The case is being reviewed by the courts, with the next conference with the judge scheduled for December 16.

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PETITION: 3/5/2014
Restore the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, New York

Restore the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, New York

More than a year ago, Hurricane Sandy breached the freshwater West Pond in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (JBWR) located in Queens, New York City. JBWR is part of the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area and is a very popular destination because of its diverse wildlife and the opportunity to see many of the 330 species of birds that have been recorded there. Now salt water flows freely from the bay into the West Pond, and has utterly destroyed its prized freshwater ecosystem. Before Sandy, the pond teemed with a diversity of birds and other wildlife at all seasons, but now it is virtually devoid of interesting wildlife. The National Park Service has not acted to restore the pond and is making decisions that could potentially result in the permanent loss of this avian oasis!

The 45-acre West Pond, situated along the Atlantic flyway, was the only significant freshwater habitat in the coastal ecosystem of New York City. It is listed as an international Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International and the National Audubon Society.

The West Pond used to be home to many breeding and migratory waterfowl and coastal birds. Several of these species are listed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. In addition, the area around the West Pond had been critical nesting habitat for the threatened Diamondback Terrapinand a great variety of butterflies and other insect life.

The NPS and Gateway National Recreation Area are considering restoration options, and there is a real risk that they will decide not to restore the West Pond at all (see The New York Times, February 10, 2014). The time for action is now. Tell the National Park Service that you want the West Pond restored, to support freshwater habitat for birds and other wildlife. By signing this petition, you will help to restore this local, national and international treasure.

Sign the petition here

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Join the GSBAS

As a member of the Great South Bay Audubon Society you will receive our award winning, bi-monthly newsletter "The Sandpiper."

Your membership dues will also go directly to our local conservation and educational endeavors and support our work at Brookside County Park.

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For help contact...STAR Foundation at 631-736-8207 or www.savetheanimalsrescue.org