June 2, 2010
- Watchable Wildlife
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
- Long Island
- Hudson Valley - Norrie Point Environmental Center
- Capital District - Five Rivers Environmental Education Center and Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center
- Adirondacks - Adirondack Park Agency Visitors Interpretive Centers at Newcomb and Paul Smiths
- Central New York - Rogers Environmental Education Center
- Western New York - Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center
New York State is home to more than 80 species of native mammals, 240 bird species, hundreds of fish species and 70 species of reptiles and amphibians. This bounty of wildlife can be viewed in every corner of the state, depending on the habitat. DEC's website includes a Watchable Wildlife section to direct you to the best places to view wildlife and interesting facts about your favorite animals.
Mammals that make their home in New York include bear, moose and whales, as well as commonly seen squirrels, white-tailed deer and bats. The 240 bird species are joined by another 200 species that pass through the state during their annual migration. New York birds range from backyard birds like the cardinal to the majestic bald eagle.
New York's reptiles include turtles, lizards and snakes, and amphibian species such as frogs, toads and salamanders. The diversity of the state's waters, from cold mountain streams to tidal rivers and the ocean, support hundreds of fish species. Don't forget the tens of thousands of species of insects in New York-like butterflies and ladybugs-which are also interesting to watch.
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Tips for Watching Wildlife at Night
The best time to witness nocturnal wildlife is about 30 minutes after sunset. Follow these tips to maximize your nighttime wildlife watch:
-Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers or running shoes so that you can walk around quietly.
-Check which direction the wind is blowing and sit downwind so that the animals won't be able to smell you.
-Bring a blanket-it gets cold sitting on the ground.
-Place a piece of red cellophane paper over your flashlight and secure it with a rubber band. The red light allows your eyes to adjust to the darkness better, and you won't disturb the animals as much as with a bright white flashlight.
-Pick an area where there are a lot of night-flying insects-near water, flood lights or street lights. Certain animals feed on insects, and insects are attracted to light and water.
-Use binoculars to get a close view of animals; binoculars enable you to see animals better from a respectable and safe distance.
-Don't feed the animals!
Keep a Nature Journal
If you are patient during your wildlife viewing, you can see a lot of different animals. Keep a record or nature journal (pdf-104Kb) of your experiences and observations. Bring a notebook with you, and write down the date, what you see, hear and even smell. Make sure that you note the location, in case you want to go back to the same spot again. You can draw sketches of things that you see. If you are unsure of what type of animal you are watching, take a picture and look it up later in a field guide or on the Internet. Remember to include the photo in your nature journal.
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
North Shore Family Fishing Clinic (tentative)
Cedar Beach Pier, Mount Sinai
Saturday, June 12 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Kick off the summer with some saltwater fishing at the Cedar Beach Pier. For more information, please call I FISH NY at 631-444-0283.
Norrie Point Environmental Center
Fishing at Norrie
Saturday, June 5 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Public seining and angling. All equipment provided. Call 845-889-4745 for more information.
Art Gone Wild
Saturday, June 5 from 9:00 to 4:00 PM
A day of workshops and activities on the artistic interpretation of nature. Make nature prints with real grasses, paint landscapes and much more. Live music! Some workshops may have nominal materials fees.
Firefly Watch Training
Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 AM
This training is for volunteers who would like to help with our summer firefly programs. Learn some background information about fireflies and our participation in this citizen science project, now in its third season!
Invasive Species: Phragmites
Saturday, June 12 at 2:00 PM
Join us for a presentation on large-scale efforts in the Hudson Valley to control phragmites, and then roll up your sleeves to help keep Five Rivers free from this invasive plant.
Lupine Festival: The Karner Blue Goes Green
Saturday, June 5 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
The festival will focus on the importance of "going green", while celebrating the flowering lupine and endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. The beautiful spring weather will surely provide a perfect day for family-friendly guided hikes, programs, music and games.
Adirondack Park Agency Newcomb Visitors Center
Take a Walk in the Park
Saturday, June 12 at 1:00 PM
Take a guided trail walk on one of the Center's trails. Call 518-582-2000 to register.
Adirondack Park Agency Paul Smiths Visitors Center
Exploring Nature with Little People
Thursday, June 3 from 10:00 AM to Noon
A unique program with a hands-on approach that introduces the natural environment to young children ages 3-5 years. Cost: $4/child; $2/child for Adirondack Park Institute members. Call 518-327-3000 to register.
Bat Box Building/Bat Watching
Saturday, June 5 at 7:30 PM
Bats are very efficient insect eaters and fun to watch. You can attract them to your yard by providing a roosting box. Build a bat box, and then journey outdoors to watch bats swoop over the Ice Pond. Bring a hammer and $10.00 for each box you take home.
Bird Bath or Toad House Creations
Saturday, June 12 from 10:00 AM to Noon
Bring your creativity and construct a bird bath or toad house. By providing habitat, you can attract these critters to your yard for your viewing enjoyment.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Thursdays, June 3 and 10 at 4:30 PM
Enjoy a one-hour program for kids featuring a different, fun, outdoor activity each week. For children in grades K-5. No registration is required.
Introduction to Geo-caching
Saturday, June 5 at 10:30 AM
You will learn how to use a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit to find clues to solve nature mysteries. For adults and children age 8 and older.
Secrets of Plants
Saturday, June 5 at 1:00 PM
Take a closer look at native plants; learn their uses, and hear some interesting stories about their names.
Friday, June 11 at 7:30 PM
Join us as we explore the nighttime world of the only flying mammal. Learn how to build and place bat houses, and take a walk around the grounds looking for bats. For adults and children age 8 and older.
Saturday, June 12 at 10:30 AM
Dive into the world of aquatic organisms, and see what is living in our ponds! For children ages 6 to 12.
Tuesday, June 15 at 10:30 AM
Take a tour focused on non-native plants invading Reinstein Woods. Learn what you can do to help!