Audubon Nature Center Supports Fall Regional Bird Count


This Black-capped Chickadee photographed by Suzette Paduano is one of the species that will likely be spotted during the Buffalo Ornithological Society’s Bird Count on Saturday, October 8. To be part of this major endeavor that began in 1939, you can contact the Audubon Nature Center.

Jamestown, NY – The Audubon Nature Center supports the Buffalo Ornithological Society’s (BOS) ambitious effort every fall to count birds in Western New York.

Whether watching on their own property or committing to a larger area, it takes many people — beginning to advanced birders — to cover the four-county territory that is counted. 

If you have experience in bird counting, you can be part of this important work by volunteering on Saturday October 8.  If you’re interested but inexperienced, you could observe others and learn for future counts.

The BOS count has been held every second Saturday in October since 1939.  The date was chosen to coincide with the end of the fall migration.

The count provides a historical reference for bird species found in Western New York. For more information you can visit the BOS website,

In addition to providing a fun day of birding, the count generates data which make a real contribution to the understanding of local bird populations.

It is important that each person has an assigned territory to cover the broadest coverage without overlapping.

Reservations are required by October 1 to get an assigned count area. Contact Audubon Nature Center President Ruth Lundin at (716) 569-2345 or to be given an area.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. The building, with its collection of live animals, interactive exhibits and the Blue Heron Gift Shop, is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays.  The grounds, including trails, gardens, picnic tables, arboretum, and Liberty, the Bald Eagle, can be visited from dawn until dusk daily.

To learn more about the Nature Center and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or visit


Posted in Birds, News Release | Tagged

Monday, October 3, is Audubon Birdseed Order Deadline


This male Cardinal would like to remind you that Monday, October 3, is the deadline for ordering specially formulated birdseed and other bird treats from the Audubon Nature Center. (Original photo by Terry LeBaron)

Jamestown, NY – With fall just around the corner, now is the time to stock up on birdseed to be sure our feathered friends visit your home throughout the winter.

Monday, October 3, is the deadline for placing orders for the Audubon Nature Center’s fall sale of a variety of birdseeds and related items. In addition to the exclusively formulated Conewango Blend for local birds, specialty seeds, “cakes,” suet cage feeders, and other treats are also available.

Your many choices can be found by clicking on the “Bird Seed” page at or calling the Nature Center at (716) 569-2345 during business hours.

Orders can be submitted online, phoned, mailed, or faxed. Friends of the Nature Center receive an 18% discount on pre-ordered birdseed. (You can become a member by clicking on “Membership” at

Orders will be ready for pick-up on Saturday, October 15, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and volunteers will help you load your vehicle. The downloadable and printable order form on the website includes a coupon for an additional 10% off anything in the Blue Heron Gift Shop, good only on October 15.

All proceeds benefit the Nature Center’s programs, exhibits, buildings and grounds.

Conewango Blend is available year-round at the Blue Heron Gift Shop in the Nature Center and at the Ashville General Store, Ashville, NY; Bridgeview One Stop, Bemus Point, NY; Hamlet Farms, Sheridan, NY; Herbs R4U, Jamestown, NY; Warren True Value, Warren, PA; Lakewood Apothecary, Lakewood, NY; Lighthouse Point Grocery, Mayville, NY; Oneida Lumber, Warren, PA; Russell Veterinary Hospital, Russell, PA; and Wegmans, Lakewood, NY. You can find it seasonally at Anderson’s Produce in Jamestown, NY, and Robert’s Nursery in Kennedy, NY.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.  Building and Blue Heron Gift Shop hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Trails, gardens, arboretum, picnic tables, and Bald Eagle viewing are open dawn to dusk every day.

To learn more about the Center and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit


Posted in Birds, News Release | Tagged , , , , ,

An Enchanted Forest


I saw a mouse in the kitchen the other day. Out from underneath a cookie sheet cooling on the stove popped a little furry head. It happened so fast I wasn’t sure what it was. The second time the mouse took a minute to assess its surroundings so I got a good view.


Now, I’ve seen mice before. We feed them to our snakes. I’ve taken pictures of them outside. One summer a day camp group found two small Jumping Mice on the side of the trail. We surmised they got flooded out of their home and, with no mom in sight, we took them into our care. From these experiences I’ve seen survival, beauty and helplessness in a mouse.

However, in the kitchen I experienced fear and disgust in the mouse. It took me a few moments for my practical sense to overcome my initial emotional reaction. I had to slow down and say to myself, “It’s only a mouse. It came inside to get warm and to find food just as you do. You can pick this mouse up (in a container) and put it outside.”

We all have a line that separates what is comfortable and what is uncomfortable in the natural world. The line is in a different location for each individual. For some people, they want nothing to do with spiders, inside or out. You can identify them from their screams. Others will scoop them up and gently place them outside. Others will let them live in the corners of their house undisturbed. For me, when the mice come inside, they have crossed my line.

Why is it that? How can the same animal in a different situation change my feelings? My simple answer is that a mouse outside is in its rightful place and a mouse next to my food is, well, gross.



The same thing happens with light and dark. The same location after the sun goes down or the lights go off can illicit different feelings. Walk a trail in the daylight. Walk the same trail at night. It is a different experience. Sounds that you could listen to with interest, or completely ignore during the day become spooky and threatening at night. Merriam Webster dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger.” The sounds and things we can’t see at night are a possible danger to us. What if it is some wild animal? More often I think – What if it is a person who intends harm? The night can be a fearful time for both adults and children. Sight is one of our most powerful senses. Scientists estimate that over 80% of our information is processed by our sense of sight. At night much of that sense is taken away because human eyes are designed to work in a well-lit environment. So, how do we get over our fears? By confronting them, of course. I’m not suggesting you immediately go outside tonight for a walk after dark. You could, but you could also ease into a challenge. And that pill of fear is much easier to swallow when taken with a little bit of humor and fun.


Audubon is hosting an event this fall that allows both kids and adults to experience the woods at night in a safe, nonthreatening, sometimes even funny way. Join us on Friday or Saturday, October 7 or 8 for Enchanted Forest. Trail guides lead groups on a luminary-lit path to meet talking animals. These costumed animal actors will engage your imagination and maybe make you laugh while sharing some of the interesting facts about their life.

Some of the animals featured this year, such as the Spider and Black Bear create fear in people. Seeing them in a different way – as a costumed, talking creature – may put them in a different light.

To take part in the event prepaid reservations are required. There will be no ticket sales at the door. Time slots are still open. Tours begin every 10 minutes between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. To register, call (716) 569-2345 or stop by the Nature Center. The event takes place rain or shine.

In addition to snacks and crafts, this year we have added a touch table inside the nature center with furs, bones, feathers to continue the learning about the animals featured on the trail. Also new, scouts can participate in the Enchanted Forest and other activities that night to earn a Night Animals Patch.

This event is made possible by numerous volunteers assisting in both the planning and the day of the event. A special thank goes to the organizing committee of Bill Colter and Bob Ungerer and Amanda Spencer. Thank you also to our sponsors: Forecon, Michaels Arts and Crafts, Kings’ Heating & Cooling, Timberland Realty, Courier Capital LLC, and ERA Team VP Real Estate. I am pleased to work for an organization that has such support from the members and businesses in the community.

The question can also be asked – Why overcome our fears? The second definition of fear is “a feeling of respect and wonder for something very powerful.” Being outside at night and visiting with these talking animals may teach you something about the real animals out there. We live in a world full of amazing things that could do with a little more respect and wonder rather than fear. Sometimes we just have work at growing that sense of wonder and minimizing that sense of fear.

Katie is a naturalist at Audubon and has appeared as a talking animal for Enchanted Forest.

Audubon is located at 1600 Riverside Road, just off Route 62 between Warren and Jamestown. The Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. except Sunday when we open at 1:00 p.m. Visit our website or call (716) 569-2345 for more information.

Posted in Article | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Early Bird Deadline Nearing for Audubon’s OctoberFEAST


With an exciting new format for 2016, the Audubon Nature Center’s OctoberFEAST Early Bird Reservation deadline will soon be here. Featuring tapas food stations and amazing auction items – like box seats and parking at a Buffalo Bills game — the gala evening will be Saturday, October 22, at the Nature Center. Lively bidding at last year’s auction is pictured here. (Photo by Bill Smith)

Jamestown, NY – “Food, Folks, and Auction Fun” is the theme for the Audubon Nature Center’s OctoberFEAST. With its new format for 2016, it is expected to be their most fun gala dinner and auction ever.

“We decided to bring our annual gala dinner and auction to the Nature Center,” said Audubon President Ruth Lundin, “where we can show off our building and have a relaxed, laid-back evening.”

Sunday, September 23, is the deadline for early bird prices for the event on Saturday, October 22.

Items to be auctioned are everything from Qing Dynasty embroidered silk wall hangings to special dinners and experiences to tickets to professional sports events.

“Would you believe we have four box seats and parking to a Buffalo Bills game!” said Lundin, adding there are also opportunities for the Buffalo Sabres, Cleveland Indians, Erie Otters, and Erie Seawolves. To see the dates and particulars of these items, click on “Auction Items” at “And Whirley Drinkworks is donating 100 travel mugs you can customize for a wedding, graduation, family gathering, or a charity of your choice.”

Major auction items are provided by Gold Sponsors: Jamestown Container Companies, PNC Bank, and Whirley Drinkworks.

Tapas food stations will feature chicken, vegan dishes, and local favorites prepared by Shenandoah Valley BBQ and Miley’s Catering.

Silent auction selections range from hand-carved wood items to artwork and collectibles to a coin appraisal.

The hilarious banter anticipated between the two board member auctioneers, John Beard and Nate Welker, guarantee an entertaining live auction.

For details and to make reservations, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or click on “Tickets” at

To receive a printed invitation, call the Nature Center during business hours at (716) 569-2345 or email To donate your own distinctive item or gift certificate, click on “Contribution Form” at


Posted in Press Release | Tagged , , , , ,

Audubon Gift Shop 50% Off Sale Through Sunday, September 25


The Blue Heron Gift Shop in the Audubon Nature Center is running a pre-inventory sale during the month of September. All logo merchandise – like the jacket and t-shirt at the left in the picture – is 50% off through Sunday, September 25.

Jamestown, NY – Whatever your gift needs – holidays, celebrations, remembrances — it’s always a great time to shop at the Blue Heron Gift Shop in the Audubon Nature Center.

With 50% off all logo merchandise through Sunday, September 25, now is an especially good time to visit. Logo merchandise — t-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, car window stickers, travel mugs, and even bandanas with maps of the Audubon property – will be half price, as long as supplies last.

“Since we’ll soon be doing inventory in the Gift Shop, we’re giving both ourselves and our customers a break by having a sale,” said President Ruth Lundin.

Lundin noted that the Blue Heron carries a wide range of items. Regular merchandise features puppets, puzzles, distinctive jewelry, notecards and stationery, handcrafted walking sticks, and locally-made soaps and jams and jellies.

“In addition to our great selection of nature-related books and field guides, we now have adult coloring books and nature journals, as well as those by the very popular artist Julie Zickefoose,” said Lundin.  The Zickefoose choices include Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest, Natural Gardening for Birds, and The Blue Bird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds as well as notecards.

Nature Center hours through October are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sundays.

There is never an admission fee to visit the Blue Heron Gift Shop. Sundays are free admission days for the Nature Center, where visitors can enjoy displays of local reptiles and amphibians, plus tanks of fish. Other indoor exhibits include Frogs, Energy, and Pollination. There is also seating to observe a beautiful view of birds, chipmunks, squirrels and sometimes even deer at the Center’s birdfeeders.

Friends of the Nature Center receive a 10% discount on all Blue Heron Gift Shop regular price merchandise. (You can become a member by clicking on “Membership”

Blue Heron Gift Shop sales support Audubon’s wide-ranging environmental education programs, physical facilities, education animals – including Liberty, the non-releasable Bald Eagle – and 600-acre wetland preserve.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. The grounds, including trails, gardens, picnic tables, arboretum, and Liberty, are open from dawn until dusk daily.

For more information, call (716) 569-2345 or visit


Posted in Gift Shop | Tagged , , , , , , ,

A Lifetime of Opportunity

The world is huge and there is no way to truly grasp that hugeness. In my head, I know that someone is experiencing the opposite season somewhere in the world. I understand that person may be going to sleep when I wake up, but the sheer variety of things happening outside that are rarely noticed is astonishing.

It is not hard to live in an area for decades and not notice most of what is happening around you. Audubon gets phone calls all the time about birds, insects and other animals that people are seeing for the first time in their lives after they retire.

It’s not hard to do. My life is spent outside, but there are always new things to discover. That is one of the reasons I love working at Audubon. There is always the chance to introduce people to the world around them in new ways, show visitors things that they have never seen and get people interested in topics they never knew existed.


Adult Day Camp is one of those programs. We had hundreds of children in Day Camp over the summer, and they found everything from mushrooms to salamanders to deer and more. The excitement children show when they explore and discover new things is electric. Adults are the same way. Adult Day Campers go out and explore, catch things, and discover more about the world they live in, just like kids. Adult Day Camp runs on September 20, 22, and 23 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. It costs $80 for the three days, or $60 if you are a Friend of the Nature Center. It seems strange to leave a big gap in the middle of camp, but it was necessary to allow time for the annual Elk Field Trip on September 21. We are fortunate to live just a couple of hours from one of the the largest Elk herds in the Northeastern United States. Over 1,000 elk live in an 800 square mile area near Benezette, Pa. The elk field trip goes to see the Elk Visitor Center, with its amazing interpretation, 4-D movie theatre and trails, as well as some of the surrounding elk viewing areas. The elk are in the rut during the trip, and the bugling sounds of elk echo through the air at dusk.

The trip has become an annual tradition and this year’s excursion is already filled. In past years we have been able to run a second trip if there is enough interest, so if seeing the Elk is an adventure you’d like to share with Audubon, call to add your name to the waiting list. The trip leaves at 10:00 a.m. and returns at 10:30 p.m. in the Audubon’s van. It cost $30 for the public or $20 for a Friend of the Nature Center member.



September ends with a Bonsai program. Go home with your own Bonsai tree after the “Art of Bonsai” class on September 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Learn the history and art of bonsai while creating a tree of your own. The class costs $56 for the public and $52 for Friends of the Nature Center.


Families can also discover new things at the Nature Center. Tickets are now available for the Enchanted Forest. Walk with a guide on luminary lit trails to visit talking animals that tell visitors about their lives. There is also a campfire, crafts, cider and more! The Enchanted Forest is October 7 and 8, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Children cost $6. Adults cost $12, with Friends of the Nature Center adults paying $8. Pre-registration is required to avoid overcrowding and make sure visitors go in small groups. Call (716) 569-2345 to pre-register or download the form at


There is always something new to see, something new to do and a piece of the world that is new and different and exciting. The staff at Audubon is always excited to share new things and experiences with visitors. There is more going on in nature than one person can discover in a lifetime.

Learn more at or visit the nature center at 1600 Riverside Road, off Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren.

Jeff Tome is a Senior Naturalist at Audubon Nature Center.

Posted in Article, Jeff Tome, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Audubon Taking Reservations for Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest great horned owl w kids2.jpg

This Great Horned Owl is one of several creatures that will greet visitors and share stories along the trails at the Audubon Nature Center’s Enchanted Forest. Reservations are necessary and can now be made for the event on Friday and Saturday evenings, October 7 and 8.

Jamestown, NY – Combine a luminary-lit trail with talking animals and what do you get? A magical fall evening called the Enchanted Forest, where adults are as fascinated as the children they accompanied.

The Audubon Nature Center’s annual Enchanted Forest is a wonderful non-scary Halloween treat that will engage your imagination, maybe make you laugh, and teach you something about the wildlife in our region.

The Friday and Saturday, October 7 and 8, evenings will begin with stories and songs at a backyard campfire. Then participants will be escorted around a luminary-lit trail by volunteer “fireflies” who light the way with lanterns. Larger-than-life-sized animals tell about their lives, sharing fun and educational information through dramatic and entertaining stories.

After about a 45-minute walk, you can enjoy crafts and snacks as you explore the Nature Center inside.

Pre-registration with payment is necessary to reserve a specific time slot from 6 p.m. through 8 p.m. (Sunset is approximately 6:45 p.m.) Tours begin every 10 minutes. Enrollment is limited, and there will be no ticket sales at the door. The program takes place rain or shine, and there are no refunds.

Reservations for the Enchanted Forest can be made by the public beginning Monday, September 12. The fee is $12, $8 for Friends of the Nature Center, $6 for children 3-15, and free for children two and under.

To register, call (716) 569-2345 or print and mail the online registration form at Tickets will be mailed upon receipt of payment by cash, check or Visa/MasterCard/Discover.

Enchanted Forest sponsors are Forecon, Michaels Arts and Crafts, Kings’ Heating & Cooling, Timberland Realty, Courier Capital LLC, and ERA Team VP Real Estate. To learn how you can be a sponsor, visit

Enchanted Forest is made possible through the dedication of many volunteers, some of whom are registered with RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. To learn you can volunteer,

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

To learn more about Audubon and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit


Posted in Event | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,