Field Trips and Open Houses

In addition to the traditional Sunday field trip, both Braddock Bay Bird Observatory and Braddock Bay Raptor Research will host open houses throughout the weekend.  Open houses and field trips are included with your registration, although some have a limited capacity and pre-registration is required.

 

 

Thursday, April 11

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM       Woodcock Courtship Flights and Owl Banding (BBBO)*

For those arriving early, Braddock Bay Bird Observatory will host a casual get-together to watch the Woodcock courtship flights that take place many evenings just outside the banding station. They’ll open their owl nets at sunset (7:50 PM), and keep their fingers crossed.  The local woods are well-known for the spring flights of Northern Saw-whet and Long-eared Owls, and BBBO is one of the few stations to conduct spring owl banding operations.

Friday, April 12

6:30 AM – 11:30 AM      Passerine Banding Open House (BBBO)

Weather permitting, Braddock Bay Bird Observatory will be open for its regular spring migration banding program starting at sunrise and continuing for six hours.  EBBA attendees are welcome to drop in at any time to walk the net-lanes and observe the banding process.

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM       Raptor Banding Open House (Owl Woods – Main Blind)

Weather permitting, Braddock Bay Raptor Research will be trapping raptors at its main blind, located in the woods on the west side of Braddock Bay.  EBBA attendees are welcome to drop in at any time to observe the banding process.  Park in the lot on the south side of the road, then cross to the woods.  Accessing the blind requires a short walk on well-groomed trails.  When you approach the blind, stay in the woods and yell “Clear!”  Wait a moment for the banders to open the door; if they don’t respond, they are likely working a raptor and will open the door once it has been captured or it has passed by.

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM       Hawkwatch Open House (BBP – Platform)

Weather permitting, Braddock Bay Raptor Research will be conducting its daily hawkwatch, normally conducted on the platform at the Braddock Bay Park.  If the winds are out of the north, they often move to an alternate location a mile inland; updates will be posted here.  EBBA attendees are welcome to drop in any time.  The platform is handicapped accessible, but note that reaching the platform requires a short walk over grass or a slightly longer walk on gravel trails.

9:00 PM – 11:00 PM       Owl Banding (BBBO) *

Weather permitting, Braddock Bay Bird Observatory will open its owl nets on Friday evening, and EBBA attendees are welcome to stop by after conclusion of Friday’s program.  The local woods are well-known for the spring flights of Northern Saw-whet and Long-eared Owls, and BBBO is one of the few stations to conduct spring owl banding operations.

Saturday, April 13

6:30 AM – 8:00 AM        Passerine Banding Open House (BBBO)

Weather permitting, Braddock Bay Bird Observatory will be open for its regular spring migration banding program starting at sunrise and continuing for six hours.  EBBA attendees are welcome to drop in at any time to walk the net-lanes and observe the banding process; leaving the Observatory by 8:00 AM will get attendees to the Greece Canal Park on time for the first speaker.

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM         Early Morning Bird Walk (GCP – Millennium Lodge)

Join us for a casual walk through the woods at Greece Canal Park, to look for early passerines.  We’ll meet at the Millennium Lodge, and depending on trail conditions, will either walk the Deer Trail or the West Trail.

Sunday, April 14

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM        Field Trip – Owls and Early Passerines (Owl Woods) *

The “Owl Woods” of the Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area are well-known for spring flights of both Northern Saw-whet and Long-eared Owls.  Starting in mid-February, Braddock Bay Raptor Research conducts daily surveys of the woods.  A member of the survey team will lead this field trip to look for roosting owls and early migrating passerines.  From here, participants can easily continue on to the Lakeshore trip.  We’ll meet at the entrance to the woods; park in the lot on the south side of the road.

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM      Field Trip – Lakeshore (BBP, Platform) *

This trip will commence on the hawkwatch platform at Braddock Bay Park.  In addition to migrating waterfowl and raptors, the platform often offers up early shorebirds, shrikes, Rusty Blackbirds, and other spring rarities.  From the platform, the trip will travel to nearby hotspots of interest based on local reports. Participants are welcome to duck out at any time.

Locations

BBBO = Braddock Bay Bird Observatory
BBP = Braddock Bay Park
GCP = Greece Canal Park
Owl Woods = Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area