Birding & Spring Nature
May 17 – 19, 2019
As springtime awakens, Mohonk is the perfect place for bird watchers of all levels.
Join us on Birding & Spring Nature weekend with environmental educators for hikes, bird walks, workshops, and an exploration of the natural world as it awakens on our mountaintop. Our Birding and Spring Nature display tables will be available throughout the weekend: peruse our collection of reference material on the natural world, and some of our natural items.
Throughout the weekend, visit our Birding and Spring Nature display tables in the Sunset Lounge throughout the weekend and peruse our collection of reference material on the natural world and some of our natural items. An ideal spot to relax with fellow birders or to look up a mystery bird or peculiar plant you can’t identify.
Birding & Spring Nature program be led by Kurt Weiskotten, who has been the program leader since 1976.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: COMING SOON
Please check back for an updated schedule 3 months prior to the event.
Preview last year’s schedule:
First Walk – Garden Birds
Meet the leaders and fellow participants on this casual search for the first birds of the weekend. An easy walk through the varied habitats of the beautiful Mohonk gardens hoping to spy bluebirds, swallows, wrens and more.
After Dinner Constitutional to Copes Lookout
Work off the evening meal on this casual stroll to Copes Lookout in search of evening singers in the treetops.
Through the Seasons in an Upstate New York Backyard
Kurt Weiskotten will present a visual journey documenting the day-by-day changes to the wilds of his backyard in Saratoga County. Relax and experience the progression of spring wildflowers to summer heat, through the colors of fall to the return of deep snow. Birds encountered along the way will also be shared.
Early Morning Bird Walks
The leaders invite all birders, of all levels, on a variety of early morning jaunts in search of spring migrants that dropped in overnight. More species of birds occupy the property during this weekend than any other time of year, so don’t miss the feathery excitement.
Long Bird and Plant Walk to Duck Pond
A long moderately strenuous hike down off the mountain to Duck Pond and Warbler Alley where there are a variety of habitats to explore for an abundance of birds, and plants! Van transportation back to the Mountain House in time for lunch.
*Space is limited and pre-registration is required for transportation. Please call to make your reservation.
How to Listen to Birds
Of all the animal sounds in nature, those of birds dominate the landscape of the human ear. Birdwatching is much more enjoyable when one can key in on, and better understand, what it is they are hearing. Come learn a few basic techniques on how to “better listen” to those common sounds of the gardens, fields and forests so that your nature experiences are enhanced.
Botanical Wonders of the Spring Path
The natural history and identifying features of Spring Path’s beautiful flora will be discussed. Expect to see up close early flowering shrubs such as pink azalea, red elder, and black huckleberry; herbs such as columbine and wild sarsaparilla; and cliff-face and boulder-lovers such as polypody fern and the floppy lichen called rock tripe.
Seining Lake Mohonk
Join Wayne and Kurt as they explore the shoreline of Lake Mohonk with seines and D-framed aquatic nets. Fish, aquatic insects, and other invertebrates and amphibians such as the eastern newt, will likely be captured, briefly examined, and then released.
Common Mohonk Songbirds – An Audio Review
Join Greg as he plays for you a variety of bird songs and calls brought to you from the archives of the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Many of the common birds of the Mohonk grounds will come alive inside for your listening pleasure.
Art Workshop with Holly
Unleash your creativity with this hands-on opportunity to mold a beautiful little clay bird to take home with you. Holly Rizzo returns again to guide you in this relaxing and fun activity for all levels of armchair artists.
The Conservation Biology of Panama
The Republic of Panama is slightly smaller than South Carolina, yet it famously harbors a great deal of the world’s entire biodiversity. Despite its tiny size, it is home to more species of birds than in the United States and Canada combined. It is also home to 125 animal species found nowhere else in the world. This presentation is a journey through the rainforests, coral reefs, and rare cloud forests of Panama over a 28-day period where Dr. Michael Losito encountered amazing plants and animals and met extraordinary wildlife conservationists helping to save this critically important portion of planet earth.
Early Morning Bird Walks
Join the leaders once again on woodland journeys for a second chance to add to the weekend bird list. Early morning is a magical time at Mohonk!
Big Hour Birding Blitz
Make a team or join another and head out around the Mohonk grounds for an hour to record the most birds possible – most species gets a prize!
Last Chance for Garden Birds
Before the weekend birding program ends, venture forth with a seasoned ornithologist in search of a few spring migrants or dazzling resident birds of Mohonk.
Edible, Medicinal, and Poisonous Plants
Wayne will carefully guide you on the identification and uses of select wild plants. For example, did you know that twigs of yellow birch yield a wintergreen-flavored tea? Or the oils in the roots of sassafras were once used to make tea and flavor root-beer, but are now known to contain a carcinogen? And berries of black huckleberry are edible but those of red elder can be toxic without preparation.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
MEET OUR PROGRAM LEADERS
Kurt has devoted his life to birds and nature in all forms and enjoys spending time on ocean shores and Adirondack mountain tops. He recently attained 46er status; climbing all peaks over 4,000 feet in the Adirondacks. He has a BS and MS from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, and spent a summer deep in the north woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan studying boreal flora and ornithology. His furthest travels have taken him to Mt. Everest base camp and Mandalay. He has worked as a freelance artist, environmental educator, wetland scientist, and is currently an environmental scientist with Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. Consultants in Albany.
Mike Losito, Ph.D.
Mike created the baccalaureate program in Wildlife Management at the State University of New York at Cobleskill in 1995 and has been teaching Ornithology and Herpetology there ever since. He is a recipient of both the Outstanding Professional Award by the New York State Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching by the State University of New York. Mike is life member of the National Geographic Society. He earned his Ph.D. from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, M.S. from Auburn University, and B.S. from the University of Maine.
Birding & Spring Nature 2018 marks Wayne’s 13th year as a program leader at Mohonk. Wayne served as the Buffalo Museum of Science’s first Administrator/Naturalist of Tifft Nature Preserve from 1983-1987, then Research Fellow and Curator of Entomology for the museum from 1987-2001. From 2001-2016 he was Western Regional Entomologist for the NYS Department of Health. Since May 2016, Wayne has been Entomologist (Identifier) for US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Wayne earned his MS in Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and PhD in Zoology from the University of Toronto. He has led nature tours from the Canadian Rockies to the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas, and Acadia National Park to the Florida Keys.
Greg is the Curator of Collection Development at the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. In 1984 he conducted the first in a series of annual sound recording training courses, a program that now spans thirty years and that has trained over 500 scientists and volunteers worldwide. His work with birds has taken him to Africa, Australia, South America, Antarctica, and throughout North America. He has produced numerous audio guides of wildlife sounds for the public and research use. Greg holds a B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York at Geneseo. When he is not working with bird sounds, he is recording birdsongs for pleasure.
Holly’s artwork has been featured in galleries from New York City to Woodstock. She received a Woodstock School of Art fellowship, and has worked as a fine arts educator and Director of Creative Arts Therapy for rehabilitation programs.
When you visit for Birding & Spring Nature Weekend, your overnight package includes:
- Three meals daily featuring fresh, locally sourced cuisine from our farm-to-table partners
- Access to more than 85 miles of the Hudson Valley’s best hiking trails
- Boating, fishing, and swimming on Lake Mohonk
- Daily Guided “House History” Tours of our National Historic Landmark resort
- Guided Nature Hikes with stunning views of the Catskill Mountains
- Yoga, Meditation, and Fitness Classes
- Indoor Heated Pool with underwater music
- Afternoon tea and cookies in our historic Lake Lounge
- Complimentary greens fees on our Scottish-inspired golf course
- Nightly Evening Entertainment
- Special Events and more! See schedule of activities >
A la carte experiences available to overnight guests:
- A full menu of nature-inspired treatments at our award-winning spa
- The Carriage Lounge, featuring a full bar and handcrafted cocktails as well as hyperlocal draft beer and hard cider
- An award-winning wine list in our Main Dining Room
- Horseback riding, carriage rides, and pony rides