Please Wear a Mask!
The RBA recommends that birders wear protective masks in the field during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even when we are not on organized field trips, birders often congregate closely while viewing birds, especially when there’s a rarity to see. In our excitement over a sighting, it’s easy to forget to maintain social distance. Keep in mind that we have no way to know which birders may be in the high risk group, as age and an outward appearance of good health are not reliable indicators. It’s also possible for someone to carry the virus without symptoms, placing others at risk.
Please wear a mask when you encounter other birders, and maintain six feet or more of distance between you. This allows us all to continue to enjoy the birds, and to share the pleasures of the outdoors with our friends and fellow birders.
The RBA is committed to following NYS guidelines and directives regarding social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, all field trips, meetings, and birds-and-brews through the end of June, including the annual picnic, are cancelled. As the situation is dynamic, we will continue to monitor conditions and make changes to our schedule as needed. Should the situation improve and Governor Cuomo lift restrictions on gathering sizes, we may reinstate currently cancelled trips. Visiting the event posting on our website is the surest way to tell if an event has been cancelled.
While we are not currently able to bird together during this difficult time, we encourage everyone to keep birding on their own. To keep yourself and others safe, we remind you to follow best practices for social distancing:
- Staying close to home minimizes your exposure, as long drives require more stops at gas stations and communal restrooms.
- Bird alone or with others from your household; do not go birding with friends.
- Avoid birding in highly trafficked areas. Instead of crowding into the Owl Woods or piling on the Hawkwatch Platform, find somewhere less populated. Visit https://rochesterbird.wpengine.com/birding-hotspots-map/ to find other spots to bird
- Avoid touching shared surfaces like railings and benches.
- Stay six feet away from others, even outdoors.
- Do not share scopes, binoculars, or field guides.
- Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer or some alcohol wipes with you.
Enjoy the fresh air and migrating birds as spring unfolds. The sooner we all do our part to not spread the virus, the sooner we can all enjoy being together again.
Stay well and safe,