Rice Creek to showcase spring sights, sounds

Spring is in the air at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station, and the public can sample it through regular nature hikes, bird-watching opportunities and other programs.

A series of naturalist-led Rice Creek Rambles—walks introducing participants to the spring birds, buds and blooms of the station—will start at 1 p.m. on five Saturdays: April 12 and 26 and May 3, 17 and 31. Those planning to attend are asked to call on the morning of the hike to check trail conditions. An adult must accompany children for this admission-free program.

A field trip titled “Hawks in Flight” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19, will view raptors and other birds in spring migration. Ornithologist Gerry Smith will discuss bird identification, migration strategies, raptor behavior and conservation efforts. The program is suitable for those age 16 and older. Participants should dress for cool, windy conditions and bring binoculars, though a limited number of binoculars are also available for borrowing. Participation fee is $10, with pre-registration required before April 12.

Children can learn about “Birds of a Feather” at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10. The hands-on program, geared toward children 3 to 5 years old and their adult companions, will feature an opportunity to build a bird feeder and see which feathered friends are feeding at the field station. Pre-registration is required before May 3, and there is a participation fee of $5 per child.

Program size is limited for most events. For additional information on any program or to make reservations, contact Rice Creek Field Station at 312-7961.

SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station includes the 26-acre Rice Pond surrounded by 400 acres of land ranging from open fields to forests. The research building is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Trails are open every day from dawn to dusk.

The field station accommodates the general public and serves as a center for college courses and research. It is located on Thompson Road a quarter-mile south of Route 104 and the main SUNY Oswego campus.

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(Posted: Mar 18, 2008)