Birdwatchers get ready for The Big Sit

Photo of a nest-building pair of osprey near the Saugerties Lighthouse taken by JBNHS member Bob Miller. Osprey have been known to migrate through Ulster County, but it wasn’t until 2016 that there were confirmed local breeding records. This spring, there are two different nests in the vicinity of Kingston Point as well.

The John Burroughs Natural History Society’s one fundraiser of the year, The Big Sit, will be held at several locations around Ulster County on Saturday, May 5. It’s a creative (and slightly competitive) birding challenge, in which participants are required to stay within a 17-foot circle and identify as many species of birds as possible within a 24-hour period. Birdwatchers, who have solicited pledges before the big day, will sit in an area that has a diversity of habitat in line of sight and earshot and document the number of species they observe on May 5. Observers can come and go in shifts, or stay for the entire 24 hours of The Big Sit. Donors typically pledge a quarter to a dollar per species.

To participate or to pledge, visit Proceeds from The Big Sit help fund camp scholarships for children, support local environmental causes and provide free educational materials for JBNHS’s great nature walks and talks.