News

Short-eared owl returns to wild!

This little Short-eared owl was found starving to death in late December. He’s pictured here with wildlife rehabilitators Dave Larrow and Cathy Lehman at the moment of his release during FIBA’s March field trip.  (photo courtesy Gordon Ellmers - see link below for more photos...)
 

WASHINGTON COUNTY GRASSLANDS IBA, FORT EDWARD

“Everyone ready? I’m going to open the box.”

The Short-eared owl erupted from the carrier and winged rapidly across the snowy expanse in front of us...   

Grassland Birds Benefit Everyone!

Grassland birds prey on insects and rodents that damage crops or carry diseases such as Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses. They share their habitat with bees and butterflies that pollinate fruits, vegetables, hay and other crops. Farmers and gardeners would see their crop yields decrease without the FREE ecological services these birds provide. Losing these services could encourage producers to increase chemical usage, resulting in more harmful substances in our food, soil and water.

Join the Winter Raptor Fest 2018 Honorary Committee!

Winter Raptor Fest is FIBA’s largest fundraiser…

Help make this year the best Winter Raptor Fest ever!!

Become a WRF 2018 Honorary Committee Member and show your support for New York’s endangered and threatened grassland birds.

You’ll be acknowledged in the Winter Raptor Fest 2018 Program and our official Winter Raptor Fest website. Joining is easy!

Make a contribution of:

  • $250 – receive 2 WRF 2018 VIP PASSES
  • $500 – receive 4 WRF 2018 VIP PASSES

Is a closer view or photo worth an owl's life?

Snowy owls and Short-eared owls journey south from breeding grounds in the Arctic every year to spend the winter in the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area (IBA).  They come seeking abundant populations of the mice, voles and other small prey they depend on for survival.

Thousands of bird watchers and photographers flock to the area soon after.  Most of the owls’ fans understand the need to keep a respectful distance, but there are always some who try to get too close.

FIBA Awarded $50,000 from OSI!

FIBA's announcement of a $50,000 grant from the Open Space Institute launched the public phase of our fundraising campaign to purchase 64-acres of critical habitat in Washington County for New York’s endangered and threatened grassland birds. The land is within the viewshed of FIBA's Alfred Z. Solomon Grassland Bird Viewing Area.

FIBA Receives $75,000 NYS Grant!

WE DID IT!!

Friends of the IBA has been awarded a $75,000 Professional Development grant from the 2017 New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP)!  Thanks to the generosity of our members, supporters and the Board of Directors we raised the $25,000 in matching funds required to apply for the maximum amount. We were one of only seven land trusts to receive this grant.

DEC Guidelines to Wildlife Viewing... Putting Their Survival First

Short-eared owls, a New York State endangered species, nest and roost on the ground. The owls emerge from the tall grasses where they hide and rest around dusk each day to hunt for mice and voles. The sight of a dozen or more "Shorties" flying low over a field is a spectacle you'll never forget - but for them it's all about survival. Disturbing nesting and roosting birds is harmful - and illegal.

Friends of the IBA Conservation Success!

Friends of the IBA’s conservation of critical habitat in the heart of the Washington County Grasslands IBA is paying off! At least six Short-eared owls wintered at our site in 2016! We’re also seeing increased activity by threatened Northern harriers, hawks and breeding songbirdsincluding a rare pair of threatened Upland sandpipers that nested at the site this summer. 

Alfred Z. Solomon Viewing Area Open for Birding!

Friends of the IBA's Alfred Z. Solomon Grassland Bird Viewing Area offers premier bird viewing year-round. This site is a known "hot-spot" for wintering raptors such as Short-eared owls, Snowy owls and Rough-legged hawks.  Northern harriers and Red-tailed hawks hunt the fields year-round.