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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 April are cancelled, and we anticipate canceling events in May and June as well. 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,

Liz Magnanti
President, RBA

***CANCELLED***Arctic birds have a special attraction for birders and are amongst our most sought-after species. In this presentation, Jean will take us north to look at birds whose exceptional endurance and lifestyle are determined by the relentless forces of nature. Physical adaptations of arctic birds, their colour schemes, short breeding season, populations, and impressive migrations are characteristics that Jean will highlight in photos and videos.

Jean Iron is a well-known Ontario birder. She was president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) for nine years and editor of its newsletter for 14. In 2016, she received the OFO Distinguished Ornithologist Award.

Jean has a special interest in the qualities and adaptations of arctic birds. As an expedition leader for Quest Nature Tours to Canada’s High Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, and Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic, she experienced arctic birds in their natural habitats.

Annually since 2002, Jean went north to Hudson Bay and James Bay to survey shorebirds and geese for Canadian Wildlife Service and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Here at home, Jean loves gulls and the Niagara River, where she co-led the OFO Niagara trip for 17 years and gave gull identification workshops and quizzes.

Ivory Gull

Ivory Gull

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