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, October 16, 2014

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

    Time: 7:00 P.M.

    Program: Migration of Monarch Butterflies

    Annie McIntyre will be presenting a program about the beautiful and fragile monarch butterfly that undertakes an arduous journey each fall and spring to and from Mexico. The annual migration cycle of this butterfly has been described as the most spectacular in the insect world. Come learn about this fascinating animal life cycle, habitat requirements and the challenges they face with the present threats to its breeding, migration and winter habitats. Ms. McIntyre is the L.I. Regional Manager of the Environmental Office of N.Y. State Parks.

    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.

  • GSBAS Seed Sale Fundraiser

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Place: 140 Brook Street, West Sayville (Johnna's House)

    Time: 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM

    Orders must be received by October 11, 2014

    Download the Order Form

  • Young Naturalists Club

    Sunday, November 2, 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: 10/14/2014
Avalon Preserve Nature Walk Recap

Avalon Preserve Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

Nine people showed for a walk on a beautiful, warm fall morning. We met at the grist mill and scanned the pond for ducks. There were a flock of Wood Ducks at the far end of the pond. There were nine, a mix of male and female. Others sightings included six Black-crowned Night Herons and a pair of Northern Shovelers.

We then walked up the hill through the wood to the upper fields. Things were pretty quiet so we occupied ourselves by looking at the different plants in the fields. We noticed on a Milkweed pod, a bunch of orange and black bugs. They are Milkweed Bugs. They are found primarily on Milkweed plants. By feeding on the milkweed they become toxic similar to the Monarch butterfly. The orange and black color indicates toxicity to predators.

On the way back down to the grist mill we spotted a bathing Northern Parula Warbler. Again making the best of a beautiful day and enjoying all of nature.

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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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UPDATE: 10/9/2014
Young Natural Club Meeting Highlights

Young Natural Club Meeting Highlights

"Pond Life 101"

On Sunday, October 5, 2014, the Young Naturalists Club of the Great South Bay Audubon Society had a special activity awaiting them. Professor Peter Daniel and his lovely wife Lenora gave an exceptional presentation of common aquatic invertebrates. Donning waders, Lenora scooped organic material from the bottom of Green's Creek, along the east side of Brookside County Park. The muck was placed into clear containers for the children to begin their investigation into the unknown. Lo and behold, the children were thrilled to discover a myriad of life forms flitting among the decomposing leaf debris. "I think it is a water strider!" exclaimed Gigi. "No, it looks like a dragonfly nymph," countered Aida. "Over here ! I've got a baby fish!" chimed Toussaint. "Yes, you caught a wide mouthed bass.", Professor Daniel proclaimed. All the children gathered to see the inch long fish darting among the muck and pond water. As if this weren't enough excitement to experience, the children were shown how to carefully collect the aquatic creatures and place them into individual Petri dishes. To their amazement, using the microscopes provided, the children were able to view their catch! Using a laptop attachment, all attendees were able to watch in amazement the beating heart of the bass, the wild flailing of the Caddisfly larva, and the moving body parts of the Backswimmer. The children giggled, squealed and eagerly looked for more creatures to view. Professor Daniel wished all of his lessons were received with such unabashed enthusiasm! A great time was had by all and the YNC is proud to claim many a budding marine biologist among it's members.

See the Young Naturalist's Club page for more information and pictures

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UPDATE: 10/8/2014
Massapequa Preserve Nature Walk Recap

Massapequa Preserve Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

Just when you think the birding is slow, something pops up to remind you that you never know what can happen. As we were heading back to the cars we heard what sounded like a Nuthatch just down the path. As we got closer we saw a White-breasted Nuthatch moving around in a tree right over our heads. Then a second one joined it and we had two Nuthatches climbing up and down the tree.

Around the corner from the nuthatches, on the pond were a pair of Pied-billed Grebes for us to see. You never know what you are going to see unless you get out to see it.

We then headed to Jones Beach and spent time looking around and seeing a few more birds to add to our trip list. A Peregrine Falcon was sitting on a tower and made a feeding run and came back with a Mourning Dove for brunch.

Another nice day.

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UPDATE: 9/30/2014
Robert Moses State Park Nature Walk Recap

Robert Moses State Park Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

On another rainy Tuesday morning six fearless birders showed up to check out Robert Moses SP. We headed along the boardwalk in the direction of the Hawk Watch platform. We did mange to scare up a few of the usual suspects on the way. A Common Yellowthroat and some Eastern Towhees. At the platform it began to rain so we moved to the kiosk and were surprised by a Eastern Kingbird and a flyover Peregrine Falcon. When the rain let up we proceeded to the Fire Island Lighthouse. On the board walk we had a flurry of Yellow-Rumped warblers. Bayside we saw a Belted Kingfisher. At field 2 we checked for and found some sparrows. For the day we had Swamp, White-throated, chipping and Song sparrows. Another day of making the best of what nature gives us.

We had over thirty species for the morning, plus a nice walk in brisk sunny weather.

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UPDATE: 9/23/2014
Heckscher State Park Nature Walk Recap

Heckscher State Park Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

What a great morning. The weather was just spectacular, the sun shining, the wind light and the temperature cool and enjoyable. A wonderful day to be outdoors.

We stared our walk heading west on the trail out of field five. As we turned the first bend we ran into a feeding flock of mixed birds. There were Chickadee and warblers.

We had three species of warbler there the highlight being a Tennessee Warbler in fall plumage. Late on in the walk we were an audience at a show put on by a Black-throated Green Warbler. It entertained us for ten minutes as it was feeding in a low tree top. There were Eastern Phoebes all along the paths, they must be moving south and stopping to feed on their way.

We had over thirty species for the morning, plus a nice walk in brisk sunny weather.

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ACTION ALERT: 9/17/2014
Speak Louder for Plovers!

You Spoke, They Didn't Listen - Speak Louder for Plovers!

Through the spring and summer we were moved and energized by the support you provided to our efforts to protect critical Piping Plover habitat on Fire Island. Unfortunately, the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has ignored our calls for the final Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Stabilization Project (FIMI Project) to be improved to protect communities and plovers. We now find ourselves in the difficult position of having to file a lawsuit to prevent this project from imminently harming areas that are critical to the continued survival of Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers.

This is not a decision that we made lightly, but after numerous unsuccessful attempts to get the Corps to make minor modifications to the project, we had no other option left. We need your help. Below is my statement we issued on Friday's filing:

"The FIMI Project as currently designed is in violation of federal law. Audubon New York has consistently called for an improved plan that protects coastal communities while ensuring the continued survival of the state endangered and federally threatened Atlantic Coast piping plover.

Audubon is concerned about less than 3 miles of the 19 mile project area. Our concerns center around work planned on parkland -- at Smith Point County Park and Fire Island Lighthouse Beach. These areas provide rare nesting and foraging habitat that is essential to the survival of the Atlantic Coast piping plover. The FIMI project as presently designed will destroy that habitat and further diminish the plover population which has been declining in recent years.

The Corps ignored the advice of government scientists who recommended that the project be revised to mimic natural formations to make the areas more resilient and sustainable – precisely Audubon's position.

The process that resulted in the present plan was deeply flawed and cannot serve as a model for future coastal protection projects. The US Army Corps of Engineers has a responsibility to make sure it's done right from the start to protect our communities and the irreplaceable habitat on Fire Island.

Audubon's request for a temporary restraining order preventing the Corps from starting work in these two areas was granted on Friday, September 12, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York."

We can't thank you enough for the support you provided throughout the year on this issue, and you can still help us now! Please click here to send a letter to the Corps today telling them it's not too late to make minor modifications to their proposal at Smith Point County Park and the Fire Island Lighthouse Beach to protect plover habitat and bring it into compliance with the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act.

Now more than ever, we need you to help be the voice for Piping Plovers on Long Island, so please send your letter today and consider making a tax deductible donation to help our plover conservation efforts! We will keep you updated on our work, and for more up to date information make sure you follow us on twitter and facebook.

On behalf of the plovers, thank you!

Erin Crotty
Executive Director
Audubon New York

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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.

Have you found injured or displaced wildlife?
For help contact...STAR Foundation at 631-736-8207 or www.savetheanimalsrescue.org