Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Join Adirondack Birding Center Director Brian McAllister for a series of bird walks at the Paul Smiths VIC. Learn to identify the many birds that make the VIC their summer home. You will be challenged to see and hear many of the bird species identified by a young Teddy Roosevelt in his research while visiting Paul Smiths in the 1870s (See: Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. The summer birds of the Adirondacks in Franklin County, NY).
Birders meet at the VIC building at 9:00 AM. The cost is $20/person. Free for Friends of the VIC Warblers; $15 for Friends of the VIC. Please preregister by 5 PM the day before by calling the Paul Smith's College VIC at (518) 327-6241. To get a preview of the bird species usually observed along the VIC trails for specific dates, check out the Trip Reports (below) from previous Teddy Roosevelt bird walks.
Bird walks during the summer and fall of 2015 are scheduled for the following dates:
- Saturday, 23 May: Participants will search for singing and calling birds who make the Adirondacks their home. Some birds may be establishing territory; others are carrying nesting material, while still others may already be sitting on eggs, quiet and discrete. Birds seen and heard at this time include Northern Parulas, Cedar Waxwings, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Wood Ducks, and Alder Flycatchers. Trip Report from the 23 May 2015 Bird Walk
- Saturday, 30 May: By the end of May, breeding season is in full swing. Among the many bird species seen and heard along the VIC trails at this time of year are Winter Wrens, White-throated Sparrows, Common Mergansers, Blackburnian Warblers, American Bitterns, and Great Blue Herons. Trip Report from the 30 May 2015 Bird Walk
- Saturday, 13 June: Search for the VIC's summer resident birds with Brian McAllister of the Adirondack Birding Center. By this time, the birds are setting up nesting territory, singing, and showing off their mating display. Birds commonly seen and hear in mid-June at the VIC include Common Yellowthroats, Blackburnian Warblers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Northern Flickers, Northern Parulas, Blue-headed Vireos, Red-eyed Vireos, and Ovenbirds. Trip Report from the 13 June 2015 Bird Walk
- Saturday, 20 June: Continue the search for the many bird species that make the VIC their summer home with Brian McAllister of the Adirondack Birding Center. Birds seen or heard in late June at the VIC include American Black Ducks, Nashville Warblers, Palm Warblers. Eastern Phoebes, Ring-necked Ducks, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Trip Report from the 20 June 2015 Bird Walk
- Saturday, 27 June: The end of June is a good time to observe a wide variety of birds nesting or feeding their young. We might see juvenile Red-winged Blackbirds and White-throated Sparrows being fed by their mother. We might also see some juvenile American Bitterns, still sporting white down on their heads. Listen for young Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers squawking for food in their nest cavities. Trip Report from the 27 June 2015 Bird Walk
- Saturday, 4 July: In early July, the VIC's summer resident birds continue to focus on caring for their young. We'll look for Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-throated Sparrows, and Golden-crowned Kinglets feeding their chicks. On Heron Marsh, we'll be on the lookout for families of Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks, American Black Ducks and Red-winged Blackbirds. Trip Report from the 4 July 2015 Bird Walk
- Saturday, 11 July: Mid-July promises continued opportunities to observe family behavior. Many birds have fledged by this time, and parents are busy feeding them. The woods and the edges of Heron Marsh and Barnum Bog are full of families and juvenile birds, including warblers. Look for recently-fledged Black-throated Blue Warblers and families of Golden-crowned Kinglets. Trip Report from the 11 July 2015 Bird Walk
- Saturday, 18 July: In late July, the birds are continuing to focus on rearing their young. Look for Ring-necked Ducks and American Black Ducks paddling on Heron Marsh with their ducklings. We might also see a Cedar Waxwing on her nest or a family of Merlins on Barnum Bog.
- Saturday, 25 July: Late July provides an opportunity to develop listening skills. The woods are quieter than in the noisy courting period of May and early June, providing a chance to focus on individual birds. Bird species commonly seen and heard in late July include Winter Wren, Northern Flicker, Hermit Thrush, White-throated Sparrow, Great Blue Heron, and American Bittern.
- Saturday, 8 August: During August, activity picks up in the woods, as fledglings come out and can be heard making begging calls to their parents. Bird species often seen on the VIC trails in early August include Great Blue Heron, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Cedar Waxwing.
- Saturday, 15 August: We will continue our search for full-time residents and birds who make the VIC their summer home. Bird species observed in mid-August along the VIC trails include Blue-headed Vireo, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Chimney Swift, Ovenbird, and Red-winged Blackbird.
- Saturday, 22 August: In late August and early September, many of the birds we see at the VIC are migrants stopping here on their way south. The birds tend to move in small mixed-species groups, apparently for protection against predators or to help find food. They keep in contact through chipping calls. Groups of migrating birds can often be located by listening for the chatter of Black-capped Chickadees, who produce constant chip notes which help keep the small mixed flocks together. Bird species observed in late August along the VIC trails include Ruffed Grouse, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Swamp Sparrow, and Common Yellowthroat.
- Saturday, 29 August: The last week in August is a great time to monitor birds in the early stages of migration. We will see lots of young birds feeding in preparation for the trip south. Warblers, for instance, are fattening up before their long trip to the southern parts of the US. Look and listen for Black-throated Green Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.
- Saturday, 5 September: Join Adirondack Birding Center Director Brian McAllister to search for late summer/early fall birds as they migrate through the Adirondacks. Birds observed during previous TR bird walks at this time include: Great Blue Heron, Yellow-rumped Warbler Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, Common Yellowthroat, and Ring-necked Duck.
- Saturday, 12 September: Participants will continue the search for birds migrating through our area from Canada. These birds usually travel at night, when it is safer to fly. By morning, they come down to relax and start feeding. These fall migrants join up with groups of Black-capped Chickadees to feed and refuel for the next night's journey. Species observed on previous TR walks at this time include: Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-throated Green Warbler, Brown Creeper, and Blackpoll Warbler
- Saturday, 19 September: The fall migration is continuing, so we will continue to employ the "follow the chickadees" strategy to hunt for the fall migrants moving through our area. Birds traveling through the area from the north often join up with permanent residents like Black-capped Chickadees, who know the best places to feed. Many birds have stopped singing by this time, so we will be listening for the soft chip notes that indicate mixed flocks. Species observed on previous TR walks at this time include year-round residents (such as Black-capped Chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-Breasted Nuthatches, and Hairy Woodpeckers) and warblers migrating through the area on their way south (such as Black-throated Green Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Pine Warblers).
- Saturday, 26 September: Join Adirondack Birding Center Director Brian McAllister as we continue to monitor the VIC's bird population. Late September is a good time to check out the duck population on Heron Marsh. Male Wood Ducks are now sporting their colorful plumage and are often seen on the marsh at this time. We will also be on the look-out for Great Blue Herons, American Kestrels, American Black Ducks, and Belted Kingfishers. Although the Hermit Thrush is no longer singing the plaintive, evocative song of the breeding season, there are usually a lot of juveniles traveling through the forest. We also hope to catch a glimpse of the North American River Otters who make their home on Heron Marsh.
Designated an Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy, the 3,000-acre Paul Smith’s College 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. Common sightings at the Paul Smiths VIC include: Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Great Blue Heron, American Bittern, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. Warblers include (Yellow) Palm Warbler, Northern Parula, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Nashville Warbler. Other sightings may include Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Wilson’s Snipe, Broad-winged Hawk, Hooded Merganser, Black-backed Woodpecker, and Ring-necked Duck. Click here for a list of birds seen along the various trails at the Paul Smiths VIC.
Trip Reports from the 2014 Spring & Summer Bird Walks
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (17 May 2014)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (24 May 2014)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (31 May 2014)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (14 June 2014)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (21 June 2014)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (5 July 2014)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (12 July 2014)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (19 July 2014)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (26 July 2014)
Trip Reports from the 2013 Fall Bird Walks
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (7 September 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (11 September 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (14 September 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (18 September 2013)
Trip Reports from the 2013 Spring & Summer Bird Walks
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (4 May 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (8 May 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (22 May 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (8 June 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (15 June 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (29 June 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (6 July 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (18 July 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (20 July 2013)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (27 July 2013)
Trip Reports from the 2012 Fall Bird Walks
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (12 September 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (19 September 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (22 September 2012)
Trip Reports from the 2012 Summer Bird Walks
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (16 May 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (19 May 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (23 May 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (26 May 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (30 May 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (7 June 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (10 June 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (16 June 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (23 June 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (28 June 2012)
- Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (30 June 2012)
Trip Reports from the 2011 Summer Bird Walks