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.
Birding & Spring Nature program be led by Kurt Weiskotten, who has been the program leader since 1985.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
FRIDAY, MAY 17
First Walk: The View at Cope’s Lookout
Meet the leaders and fellow participants on this casual search for the first birds of the weekend. An easy walk along carriage paths and through the woods to one of the best views at Mohonk.
After Dinner Visit to the Barn
Work off the evening meal on this casual stroll to the Mohonk Barn with Kurt Weiskotten to see what creatures are out and about in the twilight.
Live Birds of Prey: Hunters of the Sky
The Cornell Raptor Program presents “Hunters of the Sky”, an opportunity to see live hawks, owls, and falcons to learn about their unique physiology and how they’ve adapted to become such proficient predators. Heather Huson will introduce you to birds of prey and the role of the Cornell Raptor Program in teaching the next generation of raptor conservationists and providing a home and purpose for injured, non-releasable raptors.
SATURDAY, MAY 18
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.
Birding Duck Pond And Environs
Join Kurt and Wayne Gall at Duck Pond early in the day when the most species can be seen and heard. The variety of habitats here should produce birds not usually seen at the mountaintop. Back to the Mountain House in time for lunch. Transportation by van to and from Duck Pond.
Essentials Of Birdwatching
Birdwatching is one of the fastest-growing outdoor recreational activities in the U.S. and caters to people of all ages. All that is needed is a pair of binoculars and the simple “know how” on what to look and listen for. This “birding basics” presentation by Mike Losito is designed to spark the curiosity of those looking for new ventures and opportunities in the world of nature.
Bird Song Recording Basics
Join Greg Budney for a demonstration of the equipment and techniques involved in the recording of bird songs and other wildlife sounds. You’ll have the opportunity to listen through the powerful directional microphones used to capture bird songs and see the systems involved in recording. Digital technology has made it possible for anyone to record and contribute to the body of knowledge about bird song. Come see for yourself!
Wildflower Foray Along The Kleine Kill
Join Wayne to witness one of Mohonk’s most diverse assemblage of spring wildflowers. The group will traverse the rich plant community along the Kleine Kill exploring the jewels of the forest floor. Transportation by van to and from the Kleine Kill.
Bird Walk With Kurt
Based on participant suggestions, the group will travel to a popular local spot in search of songbirds to listen to, observe, identify, and discuss.
Beautiful Bird Songs Of The World
Travel around the globe with Greg and eavesdrop on a selection of some of the world’s most amazing bird songs. From the Nightingale to Ruppell’s Robin-Chat to Brown-backed Solitaire these are some of the most beautiful sounds to grace dawn around the globe.
North American Snakes
Hang out for an hour with Mike Losito as he discusses the biology and ecology of North American snakes. Mike’s collection of harmless live snakes from SUNY Cobleskill will be a part of this fun and factual presentation for the general audience.
Nature Trivia And 50th Celebration
Form a team and join the leaders in a fun-filled program of easy trivia all while celebrating the 50th year of the Birding and Spring Nature program with plentiful prizes, bird cookies, cake, comradery, and more.
SUNDAY, MAY 19
Early Morning Bird Walks
Join the leaders once again as we search along woodland paths for any migrating songbirds that may have moved north during the night. Early morning is a magical time at Mohonk!
Birds Up Close
Bird banding dates to 1595, when Henry IV attached a metal ring around the leg of a Peregrine Falcon that was found 24 hours later in Malta (about 1350 miles away). 1.2 million birds are banded each year in the United States and Canada alone. Join Mike Losito for a hands-on demonstration on bird banding and a unique opportunity to meet some of our familiar backyard birds up-close and in the hand.
In Search Of The Prairie Warbler
Join Greg on this walk to the Garden Overlook and Fox Path to where the elusive Prairie Warbler often signs from exposed perches. Many other birds such as towhees, bluebirds, and orioles are seen in this area.
Botanizing From Lake Mohonk To Sky Top
Wayne will lead the group on a botanical saunter along Sky Top Path to the Tower. The group will focus on the fascinating change in the forest community from hemlock-northern hardwoods near the lake to pitch pine-scrub oak at Sky Top. Incredible views along the way!
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 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 is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and Professor of Wildlife Management at the State University of New York at Cobleskill where he has been teaching ornithology for 24 years. He has led students on field trips to more than 17 states as well as Canada and Panama. He received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015 and the University of Maine Professional Excellence Alumni Award in 2018. He is a Master Bird Bander and a Life Member of the National Geographic Society.
Wayne Gall, Ph.D.
Wayne has led numerous nature programs at Mohonk Mountain House. He 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 Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Toronto.
Greg is a former Audio Curator of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds, the world’s largest collection of wildlife sound recordings. He is also a leading bird sound recordist and has produced numerous audio guides to sounds of North American birds. He has trained hundreds of biologists and citizen scientists in techniques for capturing the sounds of wildlife for research, conservation, and education.
Heather is the Director of the Cornell Raptor Program, an undergraduate volunteer program aimed at promoting the conservation of birds of prey through education, research, rehabilitation, and propagation. Her raptor experience extends over the past 20 years with a foundation in education and rehabilitation. She is also an Assistant Professor of Animal Genetics in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. Her roles allow her the opportunity to share her diverse background with a passionate group of dedicated undergraduate students and work one-on-one with live birds of prey.
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