Rice Creek Field Station slates spring sessions

Bird-watching sessions, nature hikes and an educational environmental workshop are among the spring sessions scheduled at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station.

A series of naturalist-led Rice Creek Rambles—walks introducing participants to the birds, buds, blooms and creatures of the station—will start at 1 p.m. on alternate Saturdays: April 9 and 23, May 7 and 21. Attendees are asked to call on the morning of the hike to check on trail conditions. An adult must accompany children for this admission-free program.

At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16, “Timberdoodle Time” will introduce attendees to the singing, mating habits and natural history of the American woodcock. The evening session will start with an indoor educational program followed by field observation of this feathered friend. Participants should dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Pre-registration is required before April 6, with a $5 program fee. An adult must accompany children 10 years old or younger.

Ornithologist Gerry Smith will lead two hawk-watching field trips from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on consecutive Sundays, April 24 and May 1. Smith will teach participants how to identify birds of prey at a distance and details about hawk behavior and how the weather affects migration flights. Information about the hawk-watching field trips will be mailed to those who register. Registration deadline is March 30, with the program fee $10. An adult must accompany those 16 years of age or younger.

A new educational workshop, “Flying Wild,” will familiarize teachers and youth leaders with activities geared to introduce children to bird ecology and conservation. The program will run 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 25. Because parts of the hands-on workshop will be held outside, participants are encouraged to dress appropriately. Participants will receive a “Flying Wild” activity guide and other environmental education materials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Teachers attending the workshop are encouraged to check with their districts about receiving in-service credit. There is no admission fee for participants, but pre-registration is required before April 15.

Program size is limited for most workshops. For additional information on any program or to make reservations, call 312-7961.

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, which features exhibits and an indoor viewing gallery, is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Trails are open every day for hiking and biking 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 State Route 104, just west of the main SUNY Oswego entrance.

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CONTACT: Diann Jackson, 312-7961

(Posted: Mar 16, 2005)