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.

Acres for Owls - Online Campaign to Raise Funds for 64 Acres

Please Help us purchase and protect 64 Acres of critical habitat for state endangered Short-eared owls and other at-risk grassland birds! Short-eared owls were once one of New York’s most common owls. Now, less than 100 remain. Friends of the IBA is the only nonprofit acquiring and conserving critical habitat in the Washington County Grasslands for NY’s endangered and at-risk grassland birds. Birds like Short-eared owls, Northern harriers, American kestrels, Eastern meadowlarks, Upland sandpipers, Grasshopper sparrows, Bobolinks and dozens more!


Fall Bird Migration Kicks Off with New Signage Added to 38 Bird Conservation Areas

I Bird NY Challenge Engages Young People in Beginning Birding  


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the progress of I BIRD NY, launched in May to build on the State’s efforts to increase access to New York’s vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature.

Friends of the IBA Awarded $50,000 for Grassland Bird Conservation!

Friends of the Washington County Grasslands IBA had an exciting announcement to coincide with the public launch of a fundraising campaign to purchase a 64-acre parcel of land in Washington County. The purchase will preserve critical habitat for New York’s endangered and threatened grassland birds.

“Thanks to a generous grant of $50,000 from the Open Space Institute we’re more than half way to our goal,” Friends of the IBA president Mark DiIanni and director Laurie LaFond told enthusiastic crowds at Winter Raptor Fest on May 13 & 14.


CALL Assembly Leaders - TELL THEM YOU WANT BILL #A6759 PASSED this year! 

FIBA Receives $75,000 NYS Grant!


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.