Public Nature Programs

Join us for one of our monthly speaker programs Topics will range from birds (of course!) to mammals to the natural areas of Long Island to everything in between.

Seating is limited, please be sure to register early!!!

  

Attracting Birds to Your Yard Through Bird Feeding Mastery
Christine Burke, co-owner Wild Birds Unlimited
Sunday, September 8, 2019 9 am 


North America is filled with an amazing diversity of feeder birds. From tiny hummingbirds, chickadees, nuthatches and titmice to heftier cardinals, orioles and woodpeckers, we all have the chance to experience the joy of feeding birds and watching their delightful antics wherever we live.
How do we attract these birds? What are the best feeders to set up? The best food to use? How can we deter other hungry critters that seem determined to eat us out of house and home?
This program will provide information on how to set up a backyard refuge for birds. You’ll learn the 12 elements of a thoughtful bird feeding station, as well as the right foods to serve to attract specific birds. You will also learn how you can improve your backyard habitat, attracting even more birds.

 

Discovering the Owls of Long Island
Stella Miller, Wild Birds Unlimited & Volunteers For Wildlife
Thursday, September 19, 2019 7pm

Owls are charismatic and beloved birds that just happen to be formidable and skilled hunters. Stella Miller will discuss the various owls that call Long Island home as well as the amazing adaptations that make them such remarkable predators. The program will be followed by some very, very special guests!

 About the speaker: Stella Miller, Conservation, Education and Outreach Manager at Wild Birds Unlimited, is the former president of Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon, a position she held for over ten years. Since 2006, Stella has spearheaded conservation advocacy efforts such as a national “Save Our Raptors” campaign, “Long Island to Guatemala:The Avian Connection” partnership, and a Bird Friendly Communities Initiative which included designing a native demonstration garden at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. She is also the co- founder of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition.  While at Audubon she coordinated habitat restoration projects in three local preserves with her volunteer group, the Habitat Heroes. After creating a Youth Outreach Committee, Stella mentored teenagers, teaching these teens the valuable skills they needed to become community leaders themselves. She created a “Bridging the Generation Gap: Connecting Teens and Seniors Through Nature” program which was implemented in various nursing homes. Believing in the critical need to form collaborations and build bridges, she worked with other community organizations as well as stakeholders on a state, county and town level, in order to protect our natural areas. 

She is a recipient of the Norman Stotz Award for Outstanding Chapter Leadership, awarded by Audubon New York, was honored as one of the Oyster Bay Historical Society’s “Top Advocates for Historic Preservation and Education” for her dedication to preserving Long Island’s natural history and in 2016 was recognized by the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce for her work on behalf of Audubon.

About Volunteers For Wildlife: 

Volunteers for Wildlife, Inc., founded in 1982, is a nonprofit wildlife hospital and education center dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of Long Island's wildlife and natural ecosystems. Their center is located on the grounds of Bailey Arboretum in Locust Valley, New York. Each year Volunteers accepts nearly 2,000 patients who are in need of our care. A large portion of these patients are songbirds, waterfowl, and small mammals, with many of these patients arriving in the spring in the midst of "baby season". They also treat raptors, reptiles, and amphibians. All of their patients are native to Long Island.

Volunteers for Wildlife strives to educate the public about Long Island's native fauna and the importance of preserving these species along with their habitats. Through their education programs, they have been able to reach thousands of adults and children with this critical message. Volunteers believes that through these efforts, and the efforts of other organizations such as theirs, Long Island's wildlife and natural habitats will prosper for generations to come.

 

The Mammals of Long Island
Michael Bottini
Thursday, October 3, 2019 7pm

Grey foxes?  Skunks?  River Otters?  Weasels?  Flying Squirrels?  Did you know that Long Island is home to these species?  Tonight we  will discuss  the wild mammals currently found here, including  interesting facts about their life histories, as well as those species that have been extirpated from the island but are found elsewhere in New York and nearby states.   Mike will also have    several of his books for sale and to sign.

About the speaker: Mike Bottini is a veteran naturalist, outdoor educator, and environmental consultant. After completing graduate studies in wildlife ecology at the University of British Columbia, Mike worked for fourteen years at the Group for the South Fork, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. He has taught field ecology, environmental science, and natural history courses at St. Lawrence University, Southampton College, and CUNY, has published three books, and is an award-winning columnist. Mike's wildlife research studies have included elk, spotted and tiger salamanders, spotted turtles, piping plovers, and river otters. Recently he attended the International Otter Congress conference in China, where he presented on the “Natural Recolonization of Long Island, NY by River Otters.” He continues to introduce people to the outdoors through his field naturalist classes, nature walks, and paddling trips.

 

Attracting Birds to Your Yard Through Bird Feeding Mastery
Christine Burke, co-owner Wild Birds Unlimited
Sunday, November 3, 2019 9am 

North America is filled with an amazing diversity of feeder birds. From tiny hummingbirds, chickadees, nuthatches and titmice to heftier cardinals, orioles and woodpeckers, we all have the chance to experience the joy of feeding birds and watching their delightful antics wherever we live.
How do we attract these birds? What are the best feeders to set up? The best food to use? How can we deter other hungry critters that seem determined to eat us out of house and home?
This program will provide information on how to set up a backyard refuge for birds. You’ll learn the 12 elements of a thoughtful bird feeding station, as well as the right foods to serve to attract specific birds. You will also learn how you can improve your backyard habitat, attracting even more birds.

 

 Birds in Our Backyards-Tips for Identifying Your Feathered Visitors
Stella Miller
Sunday, November 10, 2019 9am

Long Island is home to numerous bird species, from the majestic bald eagle to tiny hummingbirds. What birds can you expect to see in your backyard?  What’s the  difference between purple and house finches? How can you tell nuthatches apart? How can you determine if you’re looking at a male or female bird? Stella will explain how you can easily identify the birds in your yard and give a little natural history on the most common species.   Winter is on it's way and fall migration is bringing new and exciting birds to our feeders. Come learn all about them!

 

From Plankton to Whales- Why Our Local Waters Are Worth Protecting
Chris Paparo
Thursday, November 14, 2019 7pm

 With endless stories and photos of fish kills, harmful algal blooms, oil spills, beach closures, etc. filling our daily newsfeeds, it appears that our environment is in a horrific state of “Doom and Gloom”. Although we do face many environmental challenges, this constant bombardment of negativity creates a lack of enthusiasm among local communities when it comes to protecting our environment. Regain your enthusiasm for protecting our marine environment by learning about some of the fascinating marine life that inhabits the waters of Long Island.

About the speaker: Born and raised on Long Island (New York), Chris Paparo has been exploring the wilds of the island for over 30 years. As a wildlife photographer, writer and lecturer, he enjoys bringing public awareness to the diverse wildlife that calls the island home. His passion for coastal ecology, fishing and the outdoors led him to obtain a BS in Marine Science from LIU/Southampton and currently manages the new Marine Sciences Center at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University.
In addition to freelance writing for several fishing and wildlife related publications, Paparo currently writes the monthly Naturalist’s Logbook column for the NY/NJ edition of On The Water Magazine. Although his work tends to focus on marine life, everything in the natural world is fair game.

 

Why Birds Matter, The Threats They Face, How We Can Help
Stella Miller, WBU
Sunday, December 8, 2019 9am

More than ever, people are beginning to appreciate birds. Yes, they are gorgeous, but we are also impressed and humbled by their athleticism and awe-inspiring feats. But, according to the 2016 “State of the Birds Report”, one third of all of North America’s birds are in need of conservation action due to a myriad of factors. The gravest threats are habitat loss, window collisions, climate change, cat predation and accidental bycatch and overfishing of forage fish stocks and pollution. But why should we even care? And what can we do to help? 
This newly updated program will explain why birds matter, the perils they face, and how we can, as individuals and communities, work together to help protect them.

 

January and February: Documentary Night Series. Check your inbox and in-house flyers for details!

 

 Seating is limited, please register early by calling 516-226-1780! 

Don't forget we hold our Birds, Bagels and Brew events the first Saturday of each month at 9:30am! Now with Double Points for DSC members!!

 

Previous Programs

August 3, 2017
John Turner: Exploring the Other Island, A Seasonal Guide to Natural Long Island

August 19, 2017
Christine Burke: Bird Feeding Mastery

September 14, 2017
Mike Bottini: The Expansion of Coyotes Onto Long Island

October 5, 2017
Douglas Robinson, PhD: The Marvels of Avian Migration

November 2, 2017
Stella Miller: Birds: Why They Matter. The Threats They Face. How We Can Help

December 2, 2017
Lauren Eddings, Volunteers for Wildlife:  Raptors of Long Island

December 9, 2017
Stella Miller, WBU:  Backyard Birds and Pinecone Feeder Workshop for Kids

December 14, 2017
Chris Paparo: Falconry, an Ancient But Not Forgotten Sport

January 25, 2018
John Turner: The Wonderful World of Woodpeckers

February 3, 2018
Christine Burke: Bird Feeding Mastery

February 23, 2018
Stella Miller: Owls, Their Natural History and Adaptations (DSC members event)

March 8, 2018
Stella Miller: Creating Backyard Habitats

April 9, 2018
Douglas Robinson, PhD: Ravens & Crows, Our Smartest Birds

May 3, 2018
Lloyd Spitalnik: Warblers, Gems of the Avian World

June 18, 2018
Katie Fallon: Vultures, The Story of an Unloved Bird

July 19, 2018
Louise Harrison: Plum Island, Saving an Ecological Gem

August 23, 2018
Stella Miller: Birds, Why They Matter, The Threats They Face, How We Can Help

September 13, 2018
Rob Cahill: The Birds of Guatemala and the Long Island Connection

September 22, 2018
Christine Burke: Bird Feeding Mastery

October 13, 2018
Christine Burke: Bird Feeding Mastery

October 17 2018
Douglas Robinson, PhD: How Wildlife Survives Winter

November 16, 2018
Martyn Kenefick: The Birds of Trinidad and Tobago

November 29, 2018
Stella Miller & Volunteers for Wildlife: Discovering The Owls of Long Island

November 29, 2018
Volunteers for Wildlife: Living With Long Island's Wildlife

January 12, 2019
Christine Burke: Bird Feeding Mastery

January 19, 2019
Stella Miller: The Birds in Our Backyards

February 19, 2019
Christine Burke: Bird Feeding Mastery

February 17, 2019
Stella Miller: Birds, Why They Matter, The Threats They Face, How We Can Help

February 21, 2019
Stella Miller: The Birds in Our Backyards

March 24, 2019
Stella Miller: Creating Backyard Habitats Through Living Landscapes

April 25, 2019 
Don Riepe: Jamaica Bay, an Urban Refuge for Wildlife

May 2, 2019
Christine Burke: Attracting Birds to Your Yard Through Bird Feeding Mastery

May 4, 2019-
Stella Miller: The Birds in Our Backyards

May 16, 2019
Stella Miller: The Wonderful World of Long Island's Woodpeckers

June 6, 2019
John Turner: The Goatsuckers of Long Island

June 23, 2019
Christine Burke: Getting to Know...American Robins

July 18, 2019
Lois Lindberg: Sagamore Hill and Teddy Roosevelt-A Conservation Legacy

August 15, 2019
John Potente: The Tale of the Monarch

August 18, 2019
Christine Burke: Getting to Know...Chickadees