2024 Great Adirondack Birding Celebration
Friday, May 31 - Sunday, June 2

The Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (GABC) is designed to introduce birders of all ages and skill levels to the unique boreal bird species and habitats in the Adirondack Park. The celebration features birding field trips to local Important Bird Areas (IBA's). Full day trips are available Friday and half day trips on Saturday and Sunday, including presentations by accomplished ornithologists. Field trips have limited capacity and early registration is recommended. The Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths, NY will host beginner bird walks, expert presentations, interactive programs and activities for the whole family in addition to the off site field trips.

This year, the celebration is working in conjunction with the Uihlein Foundation. The Uihlein Farm is also hosting ADK Action with a native plant sale as part of the Adirondack Pollinator Festival. Please see their full schedule below! 

Paul Smith's College VIC

Designated an Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy, the Paul Smith’s VIC property contains every habitat type found in the Adirondack Park with the exception of alpine vegetation. Included on the property is a 60-acre marsh, five ponds, several brooks and swamps, bogs, fens, and varied forest types; most notably northern boreal forest. The 25-mile trail system traverses a variety of habitats with extensive boardwalks through wetland ecosystems.

Full Day Field Trips: Friday May 31st

Champlain Valley  7:30 am ~ 4 pm 

Guided by Brian McAllister 

Participants leave the VIC for an all-day field trip “down the mountain” to the beautiful shoreline of Lake Champlain in search of migratory birds. This field trip will feature stops at many birding hotspots as we look at a cross-section of bird life from high elevation to low.  

Pre-registration required. Transportation included. Bring a bag lunch, plenty of water and bug repellant if you use it. 

 Franklin County Hotspots 7:30 am ~ 4 pm 

Guided by Rich Hanlon

Description: Explore four incredible seldom-seen Adirondack birding locations between the towns of Duane Center, Mountain View, and Owl’s Head. Begin the day by traversing a 2-mile level path while observing Lincoln’s sparrows, palm warblers, and more at an expansive spruce-fir peatland. Next, follow a 1.5-mile level path in a quintessential boreal forest that’s home to a great diversity of warblers and other forest songbirds as well as raptors like the northern goshawk. Enjoy lunch where Canada jays and black-backed woodpeckers make a home. After lunch, walk a 1-mile round trip trail on a moss-carpeted forest path to a vantage where we’ll look for olive-sided flycatchers at the edge of a beaver meadow in the shadow of Titusville Mountain.

Bring: Bug protection, hat, sunscreen, water, binoculars, hiking boots, lunch, and appropriate clothing.

Pre-registration required. 

Full day trips $125

Half Day Field Trips : June 1st - June 2nd

Click arrows for descriptions on each trip.
Each slide has a button to book field trips or you can use this:

Madawaska

Sat 7:30-11:30 am Guided by Alan Belford
Sun 7:30-11:30 am Guided by Connor Vara
Madawaska has been a favored boreal birding area for a half-century or more. The area encompasses conifer forest, mixed hardwood forest, a variety of wetlands, as well as Madawaska Pond. Sightings may include: (Yellow) Palm Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Black-backed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Northern Parula, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Olive-sided Flycatcher. As the habitat changes to white pine forest, the Brown Creeper can be found nesting behind loose bark. Madawaska Pond may have Green-winged Teal, American Bittern and Bald Eagle.
$75
Book Field Trips
Bloomingdale

Sun 7:30-11:30 am
Guided by Betsy Miner & Mar Bodine
Walk roughly three miles of the level Bloomingdale Bog Rail Trail path bordering quintessential Adirondack boreal forest and spruce bog habitats. Some anticipated highlights include experiences with Canada Jay, Black-backed Woodpecker, Nashville Warbler, and Lincoln’s Sparrow with a chance of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Boreal Chickadee and Sandhill Crane. Last year’s highlights included most of the above as well as some very good looks at an American Bittern.
$75
Book Field Trips
Whiteface

Sat 7-11:30 am Guided by Rich Hanlon
Sun 7-11:30 am Guided by Alan Belford
The trip will begin with a flat, easy walk around Lake Stevens Tree Trail at the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway toll house. Then participants will carpool up the toll road, stopping at pull-offs and searching for mountain birds. Sightings may include: Bicknell's Thrush, Blackpoll Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Boreal Chickadees.
$75
Book Field Trips
Beginner Birding at PSC VIC

Sat 8-10am Guided by Stephanie & Jesse Rock
Sun 8-10am Guided by Jeff Biby
You may feed the birds in your backyard and enjoy the beauty they bring, but lately you’ve been asking yourself what the other birds are that visit the trees in your neighborhood during the spring and summer months. Well now’s the chance to start learning those birds! Our Beginner Birder Workshop will take you step-by-step through the intricate lives of birds. Leaders will introduce field identification and song identification skills in a relaxed manner so you can fully absorb the intricacies of the lives of birds. As students of bird study, you can then “graduate” from your Saturday course and join the other birders for one of the Sunday field trips. This is a great spot to join in the fun, challenging and enjoyable activity of birding. Register to start your birding adventure.
FREE
Book Field Trips
Loon Watching Canoe Paddle on Little Clear Pond

Sat 7:30-11:30 am
Guided by Nina Schoch
Little Clear Pond is a haven for Common Loons, with crystal clear water and abundant food sources. It is a great destination for watching the behavior of loon families. Our guide will lead us on a slow-paced educational paddle to observe these beautiful symbols of Adirondack wilderness. The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation’s research has focused on using Adirondack loons as a sentinel species to better understand the impact of environmental contaminants on aquatic ecosystems. Contact the VIC if you need to rent a canoe and paddling equipment.
$75
Book Field Trips
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Events at the Paul Smith's College VIC 
Saturday June 1st

Click the pre-register text to reserve your spot. 

Read more about our special presenters in the slider below. 

 

8 am – 10 am: Beginner Bird Walk with Stephanie & Jesse Rock FREE (pre-register)

10 am – 11 am: Ornithology in an Hour Lecture by Dr. Val Titus – FREE

 11 am – 12 pm: Bird Box Painting for Kids $10 (pre-register)

  1 pm – 3 pm: Adirondack Raptors with Mark Manske $10 (pre-register)

 2 pm – 5 pm: Keynote Speaker Presentations FREE 

2 pm Tim Neilsen – North American Warbler Project

3 pm Matthew Young from Finch Research Network  

4 pm Kyle Horton from BirdCast and CSU AeroEco Lab

 5 pm : Reception with the Experts $20 (pre-register)

Presenters at the VIC

Ornithology in an Hour
This workshop will introduce the beginner birder to the basics of bird ID and natural history. We will focus on common feeder and forest birds, discovering what makes them who they are. We will discuss different types of feathers and plumage, male and female differences, bird songs, and more! We will begin in a classroom setting and end by testing your newly-found knowledge at the VIC feeders. All ages welcome!

Dr. Val Titus is an Associate Professor of Natural Resources Conservation and Management and Wildlife at Paul Smith's College. She is a herpetologist by training, and she loves to teach and learn about all living things, including our winged reptiles! She teaches a variety of courses at PSC, including Ornithology Lab.
Sat 10 am
Adirondack Raptors
Mark Manske returns to the VIC! Experience the thrill of being up close and personal with live raptors while learning about the unique adaptations and skills of this amazing group of birds. Seating is limited.
Sat 1 pm - 3 pm $
North American Warbler Project
Tim Neilsen
Video & lecture - Tim Neilsen has travelled across North America over the past decade in effort to film every warbler species. Join us to hear about his research and view an updated version of his video.
Sat 2 pm
Keynote Presenter: Matthew A. Young
Finch Irruptions, the Winter Finch Forecast, and The Finch Research Network (FiRN)

Birders are often delighted to observe winter finches during the winter, and the Winter Finch Forecast is one of the most highly anticipated birding/ornithological reports of the year. Matthew Young, President and Founder of the Finch Research Network, will talk about the Winter Finch Forecast, Red Crossbill call types of the Adirondacks, the Evening Grosbeak Road to Recovery Project, what led to the formation of the Finch Research Network (FiRN), as well as what FiRN plans to accomplish into the future. Matt Young has engaged in the social work field with special needs adolescents for more than 10 years (currently as Care Manager Supervisor), and also at the Cornell Lab across 15+ years doing extensive field work for the Lab’s Cerulean and Golden-winged Warblers atlas projects.
Sat 3 pm
Keynote Presenter: Matthew A. Young
Matt was project lead on the Lab’s first Finch Irruptive Bird Survey for Bird Source in 1999. As the Collections Management Leader/Audio Engineer at the Macaulay Library ~12 years, Matt edited sounds for several Merlin packs around the world. Additionally, he’s the lead audio engineer on several guides; the Songs of the Warblers of North America, Audubon Society Voices of Hawaii’s Birds, and the Cornell Lab’s Guides to Bird Sounds, the North America Master and Essential Sets. He's been a tour guide leader for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, written finch species accounts for breeding bird atlases and Birds of the World, and has published several papers about the Red Crossbill vocal complex and the Spiranthes orchid complex. Currently, Matt is working on Finches of North America with Lillian Stokes, is the President and Founder of the Finch Research Network (FiRN) and Native Orchid Conservation Network (NOCN), as well as owner of Mindful Nature Expeditions.
Sat 3 pm
Keynote Presenter: Kyle Horton
BirdCast & CSU AeroEco Lab

Kyle is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. He was a Rose Postdoctoral fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology from 2017-2019. His research, and that of his lab, focuses on the study of bird, bat, and insect migration using a range of tools and approaches, including the use of radar, acoustics, and citizen science data. His work addresses a handful of fundamental questions of migration and its biology, including understanding avian flight strategies, long-term phenological change, population estimates, impacts of artificial light, and migration forecasting.
Sat 4 pm
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Events at the Paul Smith's College VIC
Sunday, June 2nd

Click a program below to pre-register

 8 am – 10 am:  Jeff Biby Beginner Bird Walk FREE

8:30-11:30 am: Nic Main Summer Breeders $

11 am – 12 pm: Bird Box Painting for Kids $

GABC Partners

This year, the celebration is working in conjunction with Uihlein Farm, Heaven Hill and ADK Action as part of the Adirondack Pollinator Festival. Visit https://www.adkaction.org/plantsale/ for more info. 

7:30 – 9:00 am- Grassland ecology/bird walk at Heaven Hill Farm with Michale Glennon & Brian McAllister

This walk will meet directly at Heaven Hill Farm.

The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute has been working since 2019 to understand the unique challenges faced by grassland birds in Essex County.
Heaven Hill farm hosts a hay meadow and efforts to manage mowing are focused around conservation of bobolinks and savannah sparrows. Learn about the research efforts of AWI and conservation management practices employed by the Uihlein Foundation to benefit grassland species. The orchard at Heaven Hill is used by numerous passerines.
Species commonly observed at both sites include Bobolink, Savannah Sparrow, American Kestrel, Short-eared Owl, Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Indigo Bunting, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Cedar Waxwing, Chipping Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Northern Flicker and possibly Northern Harrier.

9 AM – 3 PM – Adk Action -UF Greenhouse Native Pollinator Plant Sale, with a variety of kids activities (face painting, crafts, wings) with experts on hand to help offer planting tips.

11am -12pm: Uihlein Farm Activities & MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System ribbon cutting

11am: Uihlein Foundation welcome
11:15am: AdkAction & Ausable River Association – The Importance of Native Plants and Pollinators + Native Conservation Nursery Overview – Lisa Salomon, Kiana French & Kelley Tucker
11:30am: Adirondack Land Trust – Farm & Grassland Conservation – Aaron Thomas & Chris Jage
11:45am: MOTUS Wildlife Tracking station- information/video and ribbon cutting- Chris Regan

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Native plant and restoration ecology walk at Uihlein Farm with Ray Curran, Aaron Thomas (Adk Land Trust), Catherine Smith (Northern NY Audubon), and Steve Young. 

12:30pm – 3pm: “Learn 10 Native Trees” walk at Uihlein Farm – Dan Spada, NY Flora Association. 

 

The GABC is sponsored by and in partnership with Northern New York Audubon