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April 2018 eNews
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Winter Raptor Fest 2018 Goes WILD!

See live owls, hawks and falcons up close and in flight at FIBA’s 8th annual Winter Raptor Fest!  Event returns to the Washington County Fairgrounds on May 19 & 20 with exciting new “WILD ENCOUNTER” exhibit, programs and activities for 2018! 
 
Explore our all NEW Wild Encounter to see the birds in their “natural” habitats, including some of our most endangered species!  Keep an eye out for live fox, fisher, porcupine and other animals along the way!  Horse-drawn “Birding” wagon, hands-on kids’ activities, exhibitors, vendors and more round out this exciting weekend where raptors rule! 

NOTE: All activities except Birding Wagon are under cover. For Schedule, fees and more info go to: www.winterraptorfest.com or call 518-499-0012

Winter Raptor Fest is a fundraiser for FIBA's work to protect critical habitat for NY’s endangered Short-eared owls and other imperiled grassland birds. 
Learn more at:
www.ibafriends.org  
VIP ADMISSION GUARANTEES FRONT ROW SEATS!
Make a donation of $25 or more to reserve your seats at all Live Bird of Prey programs for one day!
You’ll also receive a FREE Winter Raptor Fest event poster!

GET RESERVED SEATING

Thank you Winter Raptor Fest 2018 Premier Sponsors:

GlensFalls.com, Stewarts Shops, Odd Duck Farm, PKHB,Ferradino Firm

Short-eared Owl Released Back into Wild!

by Laurie LaFond

(photo courtesy Gordon Elllmers; click link below to see more photos)

“Everyone ready? I’m going to open the box.”

The Short-eared owl erupted from the carrier and winged rapidly across the snowy expanse in front of us...   

I held my breath as he slowed and began gliding back and forth at the far end of the field. He seemed to be orienting himself to the familiar surroundings of the Washington County Grasslands Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Within minutes he flew off into the setting sun.

I looked around at the huge smiles on the faces surrounding me. Most of the trip participants had never seen a Short-eared owl. Not unusual, considering these state endangered owls have almost been extirpated (exterminated) from New York State - and the northeast U.S.

“There are no words,” said an emotional Lehman when asked how it felt to release the now healthy Short-eared owl. “It was just a joy to see him fly, knowing all the work I put in gave him his life back.”

I understood how she felt. Seeing one of only a few dozen owls remaining in the state released back into the wild brought tears to my eyes. It gave me a sense of awe - and a feeling that our struggle to conserve their habitat is worth the sacrifices we're making...  READ MORE

Birding Walks & Field Trips

Spring – Summer 2018 

May 12, Greenwich - Spring Migrants, Warblers & More!
Join FIBA Executive Director Laurie LaFond and avid birder Bo Harris for a guided walk at the peak of spring migration!  We’ll explore the open fields and wooded hills of a 600-acre private retreat located in southern Washington County. Expect to see colorful and sweet singing warblers, thrushes, tanagers, orioles, vireos and dozens of other migratory and breeding songbirds. 
Meeting Time: 7:30 a.m.  Call Bo to register: 518-677-3350
June 2, Fort Edward - Grassland Breeding Birds "Peak Preview"
Join Laurie LaFond and Rich Speidel for a private preview of the 64 acres we’re working to purchase in the heart of the IBA! Likely sightings include Northern harriers, American kestrels, Eastern meadowlarks, Bobolinks, Savannah sparrows, Red-tailed hawks and dozens more; Grasshopper sparrow and Upland sandpiper possible.  Meeting Time: 7:30 a.m.
Call Rich to register: (518) 623-2587.
 
Field Trip FEES:  FREE to Members, $10 Non-members  
CLICK HERE
for details...
Honoring Eric Krantz
Eric Krantz was a regular on FIBA's guided bird walks and field trips and a long time member and supporter of our work. He died in a bicycling accident at the end of March. Eric enjoyed entertaining us with his jokes and stories whenever we got together. He also enjoyed hiking, biking and paddling and kept a life list of birds he'd seen from his Lake George home (over 100!). We'll miss his ready smile and outgoing personality.
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