Breeding bird atlases, created by NY Department of Environmental Conservation, are citizen science events designed to survey the populations of breeding birds. The data collected from these events is used in New York environmental planning efforts and has long-lasting impacts on bird conservation. Every 20 years birders gather in designated “hot spots” to document and share the behaviors of breeding birds, and this year The Uplands Center’s property fell into a priority block. Charles Scheim, regional coordinator for NY Breeding Bird Atlas, led a walk at The Uplands through fields and forest focusing on observing birds and their breeding behaviors.
The group meandered down the Vista Trail, noting behaviors and songs from Bobolinks, Red-winged Blackbirds, Song sparrows, Field Sparrows, and more. After spending a few moments searching for an Indigo Bunting at the Vista Shed, the group headed for the shade of the Wellness Walk. The sounds of Wood Thrushes, Eastern Towhees, Blackburnian Warblers, and Chestnut-sided Warblers surrounded the birders as they wandered through the forest. The highlight of the walk was watching a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers feeding their young fledglings in a cavity nest.
At The Uplands Center, we are committed to maintaining a diverse ecosystem to support breeding birds and beyond. Our conservation-based mowing schedule promotes ideal nesting habitat for grassland birds, and our varied forest communities offer a home to many woodland species. We are pleased to contribute to the atlas’s effort to document breeding birds, and hope that our small conservation strategy can support the larger-scale mission of providing reliable and safe habitat state-wide.