Free bird habitat workshop in Gouverneur; lunch included

Posted in the Watertown Daily Times

Thursday, June 18, 2015, by Susan Mende

GOUVERNEUR - A free workshop is being offered to teach St. Lawrence County property owners what they can do to help restore the population of two birds species, Golden-winged Warblers and Wood Thrushes.

“Both of those species have been in decline for the past 60 or 70 years,” said Linnea Rowse, a conservationist with Audubon New York. “We are working to increase the population.”

The June 27 event is at the Gouverneur Public Library, 60 Church St., Registration and refreshments starts at 8:30 a.m. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a provided lunch.

Participants can also visit a demonstration site at Grand Lakes Reservoir, Redwood, Jefferson County, scheduled from noon to 2:30 p.m.

Ms. Rowse said participants will learn from experts about techniques that benefit shrub land, young forest, and mature forest birds like the Golden-winged Warblers and the Wood Thrushes. Birds are in the midst of their breeding season, so participants are encouraged to bring binoculars.

“They are not classified as threatened or endangered, but they are species of concern,” she said. “We want to teach landowners how they can create better wildlife and bird habitats on their land.”

Golden-wing Warblers have been declining mostly due to habitat loss and because of breeding with a closely-related species of warbler, Ms. Rowse said.

Three habitat demonstration sites have been established in the north country, including the Redwood site, the Indian Creek Nature Center in Rensselaer Falls and a site in Alexandria Bay.

In May, a golden-winged warbler nesting site was discovered in Jefferson County, Ms. Rowse said.

“It’s exciting because it’s at one of the sites where we restored the habitat,” she said.

Wildlife experts will explain what type of birds and other wildlife can be attracted through proper habitat management and the basics of Golden-winged Warbler habitat.

Participants will also learn where they can find resources, tools and potential partners to help them plan for managing habitat to benefit wildlife on their property. Presentations will be made by Audubon New York, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Clarkson University, Potsdam, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“This will allow participants to see quality early successional and mature forest habitat and learn about restoring habitat to meet the needs of declining bird species dependent on these habitat types,” Audubon said in a news release.

Those interested are asked to register by June 24, by emailing Ms. Rowse or calling 782-7289 ext.112.