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, January 15, 2015

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

    Time: 7:00 P.M.

    Program: Jamaica Bay: Past, Present and Future

    Jamaica Bay has undergone many changes over the past century. Despite this, an amazing diversity of wildlife finds a home in the uplands, marshes and waters of the bay. For the past 35 years, Don Riepe has been photographing the birds and other wildlife of Jamaica Bay and will present a slide program depicting the history, wildlife, issues and management of the Jamaica Bay Widlife Refuge and what the future may hold for this unique urban preserve.

    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, February 1, 2015

    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:

    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 or call 631-581-1731.  More information...

  • Connetquot Breakfast and Birding

    Sunday, May 10, 2015

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

    Time: 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

    Program: Hosted by Friends of Connetquot.  Join Friends of Connetquot, Great South Bay Audubon Society and NY State Parks Environmental Education Office at Connetquot River State Park Preserve for a continental breakfast, an introduction to bird identification, and a walk in beautiful Connetquot Preserve to find and identify migrating and other resident 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.

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UPDATE: 1/20/2015
Birding and Breakfast Recap Recap

Birding and Breakfast Recap Recap

We had our annual winter Birding and Breakfast this past January 17. This is a function sponsored and supported by three organizations. NYS Parks is the host at the Connetquot River State park Preserve. Great South Bay Audubon Society provides the nature walk leaders. The Friends of Connetquot supplied the breakfast and moral support.

Breakfast was at 8:00, the room was full. Coffee and juice and tea were served along with fruit and cake and bagels. After a hearty breakfast we started with a presentation by Pam Hunter, of potential winter birds that might be seen. Pam reviewed the ducks that would probably be on the pond and some of the land birds we might see as we walked the park trails.

After breakfast we headed to the pond. At the pond, with a very cooperating sunny day, we saw most of the ducks that was presented in the earlier session. Highlights were Common mergansers, Canvasbacks, Northern Pintail, Red Head and all the expected regulars. We spent time making sure everyone saw all the ducks that were there.

Then we walked the trails and again saw almost all the birds that were presented in the morning. The selection for the presentation by the park staff was spot on. High lights were Both Red and White-breasted Nuthatches. There were Chickadees and Titmice and White- throated sparrows hanging around the feeders. We saw a couple of different woodpeckers,We saw Red-bellied, Downy and a highlight was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker which gave everyone great looks. Some groups saw a Red Fox scamper across the paddock, and some folks saw a Bald Eagle fly over the main pond.

It was a beautiful winter day with mild temperatures and bright sunshine. Everyone had a good time and the birds were very cooperative. We saw over thirty species of birds. Winter birding can be fun. NYS parks and GSBAS and Friends of Connetquot would like to thank every one for coming and enjoying our park.


UPDATE: 1/12/2015
Montauk Nature Walk Recap

Montauk Nature Walk Recap

Recap by Ken Thompson

We had our kickoff of GSBAS weekend field trips at Montauk Point this weekend. Eight hardy birders showed up on a cold windy day. the temperatures were in the teens with the winds out of the WNW at 10 knots increasing to 15 to 20. It was cold but not as cold as we have had on other trips.

Birding at the point was pretty quiet excepting for the steady stream of Common Eiders flying from the west to the east all morning long. There were thousands of them, they were every where you looked. Seeing masses of birds is one of the reasons we go to Montauk in January, the seabirds tend to congregate and put on a show.

On our way to Dune Road after finishing Montauk, Bob Grover spotted a large bird soaring overhead. We all pulled over to look at what was determined to be a Golden Eagle, treat number one. That is a great find for Long Island. Later on Dune Road, we pulled into Triton Lane and someone pointed out a Snowy Owl to us, treat number two. A little further down Dune Road we spotted an American Bittern sunning itself in a roadside ditch, treat number three.

We had a greatfinish to a great day of birding with a hardy bunch of birders.

For photos, please visit the Nature Walk Report page..


UPDATE: 1/6/2015
January Young Naturalist Club Recap

January Young Naturalist Club Recap

Recap by Janet Gremli

On Sunday, January 4, 2015, the Young Naturalists Club enjoyed a lesson on beaks, mouths, noses and nares. Do you have a nose? Do you have a mouth? What about birds? Where are their nose and mouth? The children listened as Miss Lois lead the discussion using bird carvings as models. The children learned why the beaks were shaped differently and guessed at the types of foods best suited for the various beaks. Using drawings of bird heads without beaks, the children identified and attached the beak belonging to each bird head. The children then drew their own bird and beak pictures. The new word learned today was NARES.

The six children and six adults then joined in a hike along the trails, collecting litter and seeking birds. It didn't take long before our hike leaders, Elizabeth, Toussaint and Spiro spotted a Great blue heron wading in the shallow waters of Green's Creek. A beautiful sight to see, the stunning bird gracefully parted ways and flew in the direction of the Great South Bay.

See our Young Naturalists Club page for photos of the meeting


UPDATE: 12/28/2014
December Young Naturalist Club Recap

December Young Naturalist Club Recap

Recap by Janet Gremli

On Sunday, December 7, 2014, the Young Naturalist Club of the Great South Bay Audubon Society met at Brookside County Park for a fun time with Nature. The children gathered around the large meeting table to create pine cone bird feeders. Charter member Vanessa Roe assisted in demonstrating how the feeders are assembled. Vanessa chose a pinecone and with her sleeves rolled to her elbows, she filled her hands with the "special mixture" and began coating the pinecone. Vanessa deftly rolled the suet covered pinecone in a mixture of black-oiled sun flower seeds, cranberries, cracked corn, Nyjer and thistle. A piece of twine was fastened to the seed-studded pinecone. The finished product was now ready for hanging outside. The other children joined in the fun and the pine cone feeder frenzy began!

Observing the talents of YNC member Toussaint, Jaelynn, one of the youngest attendees,was quick to learn the craft and soon had three feeders fully assembled. Friends Vanessa, Victoria, Josie and Lulianna giggled and chatted while making over a dozen of the pinecone feeders. Siblings Gabby, Victoria and Jojo were cheered on by younger brother Anthony as they worked together on their pine cone feeders. With all of the children "up to their elbows" in suet and seeds, the project was completed.

Our group headed outdoors eager to enjoy the bright sunshine and to see what birds we could find. Volunteer Helga Merryman quickly located white-breasted nuthatches and black-capped chickadees playfully darting among the branches of a nearby oak. The children watched and listened as Helga described the characteristics and features that help to identify each species. The children then assisted volunteer Lois Goelz as she had them place seed into the several bird feeders in the park. Lois taught the children about which seeds were appropriate for which feeders and what types of birds would be attracted to the seeds. The children gathered enthusiastically, as this is a favorite activity. The older children readily assisted the younger children with pouring the seed into the mesh feeders, taking care not to spill the seed. It didn't take long for the goldfinches, hairy woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches to begin feeding on their favorite seeds. The children were able to observe the lesson they had just learned.

The children ended their day with a hike along the trails, collecting litter and engaging with Nature.

Special thanks to Juliane for preparing the "special mixture."

See our Young Naturalists Club page for photos of the meeting


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.


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.


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


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?
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