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!!!


Please note that our March and April 4th programs have been cancelled and will be rescheduled for later in the year.


The Marvels of Avian Migration
Professor Douglas Robinson, PhD
To be rescheduled

Bird migration is one of the most incredible phenomena on our planet and one we are still learning about. In the course of a single year, nearly all the Earth’s birds will migrate some distance, some as far as thousands of miles.  How do they do it?  How does a young bird know where to fly as he prepares to head to his winter home, a place he has never visited before? How do birds find their way back to their breeding grounds each year, navigating cities,forests, bodies of water and weather events?  Professor Douglas Robinson will take us on the fascinating journey of bird migration.  

About the speaker: Professor Doug Robinson is an evolutionary behavioral ecologist whose teaching and research experiences have focused on organismal biology. He has taught classes on animal behavior, ecology, ornithology, vertebrate biology, and a course on conservation biology in New Zealand. The questions that guide his research revolve around how behavior is shaped by ecological and social environments


Attracting Birds to Your Yard: Creating Backyard Habitat Through Living Landscapes
Stella Miller, WBU
To be rescheduled

 Conservation isn't just about protecting wildlife habitat in parks, preserves and wilderness areas. It’s also about creating a network of pocket habitats and refuges for wildlife that provide food, water, shelter and a place to rear young, right in our own backyards! Stella Miller will guide us through creating backyard habitats, no matter how big or small your property. You'll learn why you should be creating backyard sanctuaries, as well the steps required to bring your habitat to life!

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. 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. 

Astronomy: The Night Sky
Ed Anderson
To be rescheduled

This program will consist of a brief introductory talk about stargazing on Long Island, including a discussion on observing the Moon, planets and deep sky objects.  Once the sun sets, the group will go outside were Ed will have two telescopes set-up to observe the Moon and stars as we learn to identify all those sparkles in the sky! 

About the Speaker: A resident of Syosset for over fifty years, Ed Anderson is actively involved in the hobby of astronomy.  He is a featured speaker at the Syosset Library, the Astronomical Society of Long Island, Centerport, and the Custer Institute and Observatory in Southold, discussing topics related to all things astronomy.  


The Bluebirds of Long Island
Tom Damiani, North Fork Audubon
Thursday, April 9th, 7pm

Eastern Bluebirds, the New York State bird, can be tough to find here on Long Island. Tough, but not impossible.  Tom Damiani started an Eastern Bluebird trail on Shelter Island back in 1996, followed by one Mashomack Preserve, which is still going strong today! Through all the those years he gathered a plethora of stories and experiences that he will share with us. This talk will focus on bluebirds but we'll also learn about other cavity nesters as well.   

About the speaker: Tom has been enamored with the outdoors since he was old enough to catch a grasshopper! He spent most days in the woods or by a pond searching for frogs, snakes, salamanders and anything else not made by humans. As an adult, this love of nature has led Tom down the path of avian conservation. Beginning in 1985 as a volunteer for the Nature Conservancy’s Bald Eagle and Piping plover projects, he majored in Natural Resources Interpretation as Columbia College in California in the early 90’s.  His work includes various positions such as tern and plover steward as an employee of the Nature Conservancy, goshawk breeding surveyor for the US Forest Service and Visitor Center Coordinator at the Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island.   He now serves on the board of the North Fork Audubon Society


Birding 101-Classroom and Field Workshop
Stella Miller, WBU
Dates: Classroom-Wednesday, April 29th at 7pm Field Class: Saturday, May 2nd at 7:15am

This class is designed for beginners, but all are welcome. We will cover the basics of identification (sight, sound, behavior), optics, field guides, note-taking, habitats, birding ethics, and many other topics. Our goals are to help class participants become familiar with local birds and to be comfortable on birding field trips. The classroom workshop will be followed by a trip out into the field to put our newly learned skills to the test, as well as learn the proper usage of binoculars and tips and tricks for being a successful birder. Hint-silence is golden, but if you see something, say something! Class size is limited, so don’t delay! Participants should plan on attending both the class and field trip and the field trip is open only to attendees of the class. Location and directions for  the field trip will be given to attendees during the classroom workshop.  

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

September 8, 2019
Christine Burke: Backyard Bird Feeding Workshop

September 19, 2019
Stella Miller, with Volunteers for Wildlife: Discovering the Owls of Long Island

October 3, 2019
Mike Bottini: The Mammals of Long Island

November 3, 2019
Christine Burke: Backyard Bird Feeding Workshop

November 10, 2019
Stella Miller: The Birds in Our Backyards

November 14, 2019
Chris Paparo: From Whales to Plankton, Discovering the Waters of Long Island

December 8th and 12th, 2019
Stella Miller: Why Birds Matter, The Threats They Face, How We Can Help

February 22, 2020
Christine Burke: Bird Feeding Mastery