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News of Otsego County

conservation

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Environmentalism Of Susan Fenimore Cooper 03-13-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, MARCH 13

Environmentalism Of

Susan Fenimore Cooper

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ART LECTURE – 2 p.m. Discuss naturalist author Susan Fenimore Cooper and her work ‘Rural Hours’ with leading scholar Rochelle L. Johnson and what her contributions mean in the era of climate change. Free, registration required for Zoom conference. Dontions of $10 or more requested. Presented by Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Celebrate Black History Month 02-25-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25

Celebrate Black History Month

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WORD THURSDAY – 7 p.m. Celebrate Black History Month with area poets online. Opens with open mic, followed by presentation by award winning novelist Jeffrey Colvin. Presented by Bright Hill Press & Literary Center. 607-829-5055 or visit www.facebook.com/brighthp/

VOICES OF THE GAME – 10:30 a.m. Continue celebrating Black History Month with discussion with Players’ Alliance President, Curtis Granderson on his career and his role as the president of the Players Alliance to better the game and society. Free, registration required. Presented by The Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-voices-of-the-game-curtis-granderson?date=0

Despite All, Birds Flourish

Despite All, Birds Flourish

Mother Nature Victorious, Audubon Census ’20 Says

By CHRYSTAL SAVAGE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

For DOAS Bird Count organizer Sandy Bright and Charles Schweim, DOAS treasurer, birdwatching is a year-’round activity, and their backyard on Fair Street, Oneonta, is set up to maximize their hobby. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

The year was 1889, the day was Dec. 25. In many rural parts of the nation, the festive “Christmas Side Hunt” was underway, where – according to one description – “armed participants wandered the countryside shooting at every bird and small animal they saw.”Concerned about the toll on the bird population, a year later American ornithologist Frank Chapman of New York City attempted to undo this now-infamous tradition by replacing it with the Christmas Bird Count.

Since 1970, the Delaware Otsego Audubon Society (DOAS) has participated in the new tradition. This year, as usual, there were three counts: Dec. 19 in Oneonta, Dec. 26 in the Mohawk Valley and, finally, Jan. 2 in Delaware County.

Because of COVID-19, the DOAS discouraged new participants during this year’s Christmas Bird Count. “We’re dealing with a high-risk population,”

DOAS co-President Susan O’Handley, Hartwick, said of the bird-counters. “Many of our birders are elderly, which has guided many of our decisions.”

Still, there are a number of records set within the Oneonta circle. For instance:

Blue jays, with 546 upsetting the previous high of 500 in 1970.

Carolina wrens and dark-eyed juncos, with more juncos spotted than any other species.

Winter wrens, which tied their highest recorded 2019 count.

Fox sparrows and red crossbills, spotted for the first time in a number of years.

The DOAS bird count spotted more blue jays, right, than ever. And the dark-eyed junco, left, was spotted more often than any other bird.

This year in the Oneonta count, 4,500 birds were spotted, compared to the average 4,600 birds. And 52 species were spotted, compared to the 41.8 average.

That could have been because it was a nice day, compared to a stormy one the year before, said Sandy Bright, Oneonta, DOAS count coordinator.

The second DOAS co-president, Andy Mason, didn’t notice the day was that different from the year before, and suggested weather and food availability in Canada may have encouraged more birds to fly into this area.

The third and final DOAS co-president, Becky Gretton of Springfield, had another take.

“Normally we go out with our birding buddies,” she said. “However, this year, due to the coronavirus, we were divided up more.”

That resulted in 11 teams of 16 individuals each, instead of the usual larger nine teams. The teams didn’t have to move as quickly from one location
to another, giving them more time to record birds at each stop.

This allowed the teams to be more relaxed and more thorough, said Gretton, allowing care to ensure the same bird wasn’t counted more than once.

Each count occurs within a 7.5-mile radius, DOAS Treasurer Charles Scheim of Oneonta wrote in “Christmas Bird Counts”, published in a 2012 edition of The Belted Kingfisher, the DOAS publication.

“One might think that the experience of birding each of our assigned areas would be very similar. They are, after all, separated by a mere 25 miles, as the crow flies,” he wrote. “But geographical features can make a world of difference in attracting different species.

“There is no expectation that a team will find all the birds in an area, or even count all that can be found: many quiet woodland species may go uncounted; large flocks of geese or buntings can only be estimated.”

Nonetheless, the counts are consistently performed at the same time of the year, year after year, to maintain some standard.

Despite the inability to host in-person events, Mason, O’Handley and Gretton encouraged anyone interested to join the DOAS and help contribute to science.

“The organization goes beyond birds,” Mason explained. Our focus is really on general conservation.

Added O’Handley, “We look to introduce and promote policy that benefits wildlife and their habitats, often that coincides with improved human health as well.” Among the issues – the elimination of lead ammo, carbon reductions, protecting and preserving natural resources and more.

“As issues come up, we move to address them in a way that’s beneficial to nature and hopefully to humans as well;” Gretton added. “We look to build our connection with nature and it is a shared source of interest for the members of the chapter.

Scheim concludes his DOAS piece in posing a poignant question, “Why should anyone forego the comforts of home, perhaps by a fire with a hot beverage, to spend a day enduring freezing temperatures, biting winds, or possibly worse, just to count birds?

“The answer is this: it’s all part of the tradition” – a new tradition of course that seeks to preserve nature instead of destroying it.

The chapter currently has approximately 250 members. If you or someone you know has an interest in joining or participating in any of the upcoming self-guided or virtual events, please visit doas.us

 

 

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Tour Art Exhibit By Lantern Light 10-21-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21

Tour Art Exhibit By Lantern Light

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ART IN THE DARK – 6:30 p.m. Tour museums galleries of folk art & fine art by Lantern Light with guides. Learn some of the mysterious, melancholy, untold stories behind the pieces & discover secrets with ultra-violet light. Limited to 8/tour. Cost, $14/non-member. Masks, pre-registration required. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Bump In The Night Ghost Tour At Farmers’ Museum 10-16-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16

Bump In The Night Ghost

Tour At Farmers’ Museum

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GHOST TOURS – 5:30 p.m. Explore historic village by lantern light and learn about the ‘Things That Go Bump In The Night.’ Tours leave at half hour intervals to 8. For social distancing 8 people/tour. Reservation required. Recommended for people aged 10+. Cost, $17/non-member. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1534 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Delicious Fall Benefit Dinners 09-18-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Delicious Fall Benefit Dinners

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CHICKEN DINNER – 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Enjoy take-out for Brooks Chicken dinner for $12/dinner, with $1 processing fee. Pre-orders strongly encouraged by 9/10. Support local church. First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, 21 Elm St., Cooperstown. 607-547-9371 or visit www.facebook.com/ctownfirstbaptist/

FALL PORK DINNER – 5 p.m. Make a donation and enjoy a Roast Pork Dinner this fall. Reservations required, limited to 100 dinners. No reservation day of. Take Out Only. Middlefield Baptist Church, 121 Rezen Rd., Middlefield. 607-547-9093.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Voices Of The Game To Honor Hall of Fame Inductee Ted Simmons 07-25-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 25

Voices Of The Game To Honor

Hall of Fame Inductee Ted Simmons

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BASEBALL – Noon. Virtual Voices of the Game to honor Hall of Fame 2020 inductee Ted Simmons who played alongside hall of famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount for the Milwaukee Brewers. Join them as they reminisce about the Brewers team and their journey to the Hall of Fame. Visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-legends-of-the-game-Ted-Simmons?date=0 for details.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Pull Invasive Plants On Silver Lake 07-18-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, JULY 18

Pull Invasive Plants On Silver Lake

14-19eventspagePADDLE & PULL – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Enjoy fun day on the lake to help pull up Water Chestnut & European Frog Bit from scenic lake. Canoes & Kayaks will be provided, outside craft not permitted. Registration required by 7/17. Silver Lake, Silver Lake Rd., New Berlin. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/paddle-and-pull-silver-lake-2-2020-07-18/2020-07-18/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Paddle & Pull On Silver Lake 06-27-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for  SATURDAY, JUNE 27

Paddle & Pull On Silver Lake

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PADDLE & PULL – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Enjoy fun day on the lake to help pull up Water Chestnut & European Frog Bit from scenic lake. Canoes & Kayaks will be provided, outside craft not permitted. Registration required by 6/26. Silver Lake, Silver Lake Rd., New Berlin. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/paddle-and-pull-silver-lake-2/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: On Spring Bird Watching With The Audubon Society 06-17-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for  WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17

On Spring Bird Watching

With The Audubon Society

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WEBINAR – 4 – 5 p.m. Join the experts of Audubon Connecticut and Audubon New York to learn about what birds are nesting around us, what their behaviors are, how to identify them without disturbing them, how to become a citizen scientist by participating in the Breeding Bird Atlas. Visit www.facebook.com/DelawareOtsegoAudubonSociety/ for info.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103