A trip to this unique place is by special permit from the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society and will feature nesting birds. The mix of vegetation zones provides secluded nesting habitat for the usual western N.Y. species as well as those more characteristic of the Canadian zone such as Blue-headed Vireo, Hermit Thrush, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Black-and-white, Canada and Nashville Warblers. This is a walking trip of 3–5 miles on variably wet and slippery corduroy trails that must be followed closely for safety reasons and because of the fragile habitat. Sturdy boots (rather than sneakers) are STRONGLY recommended, and hiking or ski poles may be useful. Massasauga rattlesnakes are VERY rarely encountered.
We will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the main trailhead entrance to Bergen Swamp: 6646 Hessenthaler Rd, Byron, NY 14422. From Rochester, take I-490 west to Exit 2. Take Rt. 33 west and turn right (north) onto Route 19. Turn left at the fire station onto Hunter Road It becomes Swamp Road. Follow Swamp Road west past Pocock Road and turn right onto Hessenthaler Road. The swamp entrance is at the kiosk on the right. Park along the right shoulder, but do not park in front of the caretaker’s house.
COVID-19 Policies and Procedures
Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Rochester Birding Association is instituting the following procedures for all field trips. By registering for this field trip, you acknowledge that you have read and will abide by these policies.
- Advance registration through Eventbrite is required in order to attend the trip. NYS guidelines for the allowable number of attendees at an outdoor gathering change frequently. Exact capacity limits will be determined on a trip by trip basis, and they may be subject to change.
- Individuals who did not pre-register will not be allowed to attend the field trip.
- Should you decide not to attend the trip, we encourage you to cancel your reservation to make room for others. Canceling is easily done through the Eventbrite website; see your confirmation email for details.
Health Screening Considerations:
- Full contact information is required at registration, in case contact tracing is requested.
- No one who has a temperature of 100.4F or greater (without having taken any fever-reducing medications) should attend.
- No one who has any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell) should attend.
- No one who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days or who has been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine should attend.
- No one who has been in close (within 6 feet) or proximate (same closed environment, but greater than 6 feet) contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days, should attend.
- No one who has traveled or who lives with someone who has traveled to a country or state on the New York coronavirus travel advisory list in the last 14 days should attend.
- Participants who test positive for the coronavirus within 14 days after attending a field trip are encouraged to contact the RBA.
Social Distancing and Safety Best Practices
- Participants will be required to stay 6 feet apart at all times and wear a mask whenever they are outside of their car.
- Participants that reside in the same household may share binoculars or scopes, but we regret that otherwise optics cannot be shared. We realize this may be frustrating for those who do not have their own spotting scopes. To the extent possible, we will choose birding locations that do not require advanced optics.
- Participants are encouraged to keep hand sanitizer with them in case of accidental contact.
Waive and Release from Liability: By registering for this field trip you acknowledge that you assume all risks and hazards incidental to the activities of the event, including potential exposure to the novel coronavirus. You further release, absolve, hold harmless, defend and indemnify the Rochester Birding Association, Inc. and all individually named organizers, leaders, and participants of the event. In case of injury, you hereby waive all claims against all organizers, leaders, and participants.
Photo/Video Waiver: If you do not consent to have your image used by the RBA in the manner next described, check the appropriate box on the registration form. Otherwise, by registering for this field trip you hereby grant permission to the Rochester Birding Association to take and publish photos or videos of you in connection with the event listed above, with or without your name and for any lawful purpose including for example such purposes as publicity, illustration, advertising, and web content.