Bird of the Month!
Each month we pick the Bird of the Month! Do you want to pick the bird of the month? If it is your birthday month, you get to let us know what you want the bird of the month to be to celebrate your birthday month. You can even share a picture you took or drew of the bird!
November 2023: Dark-eyed Junco
October 2023: Common Nighthawk
Sept 2023: Black-crowned Night Heron!
August 2023: American Kestrel!
July 2023: Roseate Spoonbill!
The Roseate Spoonbill is a magnificent and funny bird! They usually live more down south in Florida and the Gulf Coast as well as Central and South America. But recently we've had a juvenile one hanging around in Western New York! If you want to go see it, check out Tifft or Senaca Bluff (and make sure to practice your best ethical birding behavior when you do). If you are one of the lucky ones who has gotten to see it while it is visiting, let us know if you want to share your picture and/or story!
June 2023: Painted Bunting!
The Painted Bunting is a beautiful rainbow colored bird. We chose this bird because June is Pride Month. We wanted to recognize that by celebrating with this awesome little bird. You will find them down in the southern United States but some folks may remember the visits that occasionally turn up on local rare bird alerts! Learn more about how the birding community celebrates Pride Month with Let's Go Birding Together at https://www.audubon.org/news/lets-go-birding-together.
May 2023: Cedar Waxwing!
There are three types of waxwings - the Cedar Waxwing, the Bohemian Waxwing, and the Japanese Waxwing. The Cedar Waxwing lives around here in the summer months. They eat mostly fruit and they have red "waxy" tips on their wings made of keratin. They also have yellow tips on their tail feathers. Banders age and sex waxwings using these features - 8 or more waxy tips means it is an adult, 6 or less means it is a juvenile. The black under the chin indicates male or female with males having more black under the chin. Look for them in groups high up in fruit trees and listen for their buzzy calls! The banding code for a Cedar Waxwing is CEDW. Learn more about waxwings on the Science of Birds Podcast - https://www.scienceofbirds.com/podcast/waxwings-bombycillidae.
April 2023: Purple Martin!
The Purple Martin was chosen to highlight our upcoming walk at Graycliff Estates, built almost 100 years ago for the Martin family, and to showcase the growing number of Purple Martin houses being put up around the region to help conserve these beautiful birds!
March 2023: Common Loon!
Sometimes you can hear the Common Loon out on a lake making a ghostly sound. If you are lucky you can see one of these birds and hear their cry. Loons have been spotted locallt at a bunch of our best nature areas - click here to see a local map of recent eBird sightings!
February 2023: Bald Eagle!
January 2023: Snowy Owl!
The January 2023 Bird of the Month is the Snowy Owl! Snowy Owls are very pretty birds. They are some of the largest owls right next to the Great Gray Owl. They make their nests on the ground instead of in trees. They come around Western New York in winter - sometimes there are more of them, sometimes there are less. This year there seems to be less! As with so many birds, you can look for recent sightings using eBird - here is a link to the world map of Snowy Owl sightings - you can set the date range or zoom in on a location if you have a free eBird account! You can learn more about Snowy Owls and Snowy Owl research at https://www.projectsnowstorm.org/.
December 2022: California Condor!
The December 2022 Bird of the Month is the California Condor! California Condors are the third largest bird in the world. Native to California and the Southwest, they were nearly extinct in the 1970s due to DDT, other pesticides, and habitat loss but now due to breeding programs there are close to 300 in the wild. WNY Young Birder founders Sam and Maisie were lucky enough to spot the juvenile California Condor pictured here at Navajo Bridge while on a trip west. Many thanks to fellow birder Anya Fineman for the picture and to the eBird app's "Explore" feature for letting us know where to look for these amazing birds!
September 2022: Common Eider!
The Common Eider was selected in honor of WNY YBC member Phoenix's birthday - a favorite bird from a wonderful bird-filled trip to Massachusetts! Happy Birdday Phoenix and thanks for the photo and artwork!
July 2022: Wood Duck!
The Wood Duck was picked because if you go out in a marsh, a pond, or even a vernal pool in the woods and you look they are probably there. You can even see baby Wood Ducks this time of year following their mama! Did you know that Wood Ducks nest in tree cavities up to 20 feet in the area and the fledglings are so well padded with down it doesn't even hurt to plop to the ground?
May 2022: Great Blue Heron!
The Great Blue Heron is truly one of our most impressive local birds and leaves little doubt that birds are the descendants of dinosaurs! A number showed up through the mist on our walk at College Lodge yesterday adding to the other-worldliness of the foggy day.
March 2022: American Woodcock!
We picked the American Woodcock because our March wander was all about woodcock and we even saw them! Also, they are amazing :)