Activities and Walks

Monthly Walks

Please join us on our monthly Second Saturday bird walks held at Avalon Park and Preserve in Stony Brook and Frank Melville Park in Setauket.  These walks are free for all; no registration is required.  Binoculars are recommended.

Avalon Walk:  Meet in front of the Stony Brook Grist Mill next to Stony Brook Pond at 8 a.m. (November through March walks are held at 9 a.m.)  

Frank Melville Park Walk:  Meet at the Setauket Post Office located at 101 Main Street at 11 a.m. 

The walks usually last 1 to 2 hours. Note that the walks may be canceled due to cold weather, rain, or snow.  Please wear appropriate attire for the weather conditions.


Upcoming Walks and Events



Saturday, September 8, 2018:

  • Avalon Park & Preserve Bird Walk, 8 a.m.
  • Frank Melville Memorial Park/Mill Pond Bird Walk, 11 a.m.

Saturday, October 13, 2018:

  • Avalon Park & Preserve Bird Walk, 8 a.m.
  • Frank Melville Memorial Park/Mill Pond Bird Walk, 11 a.m.

Saturday, November 10, 2018:

  • Avalon Park & Preserve Bird Walk, 9 a.m.
  • Frank Melville Memorial Park/Mill Pond Bird Walk, 11 a.m.



Enjoy a weekday bird walk at West Meadow Wetlands Reserve. Meet at the kiosk located at the entrance to Trustees Road.  We will bird along Trustees Road and return via the beach.  Walk is approximately 2 miles.

  • September 12, 2018, 7:30 a.m.
  • October 10, 2018 – 7:30 a.m.
  • November 14, 2018 – 8:30 a.m.



Bird Migration on Long Island

Presented by Shaibal Mitra
Thursday, September 20, 2018, 6:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                     Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, Setauket

Long Island is an exceptional place to observe birds, owing to its diversity of habitats and geographic position. It is also a challenging environment for birders to navigate, for these same reasons, and because it is so densely urbanized. This talk will survey some of the many places on Long Island where birds can be sought, with special attention devoted to shorebirds during spring, pelagic birds from land during summer, the visible migration of hawks and many other species during fall, and gulls and waterfowl during winter. Similarities and differences between the North and South Shores, and between western and eastern Long Island will also be discussed, with tips on how to tailor one’s field approach by region and season. Bird migration occurs throughout the year on Long Island—and elsewhere as well. Birders can deepen their appreciation of birds and their insights into the natural world by learning to recognize seasonal movements at unexpected times and in unexpected places—including right in one’s own neighborhood.

Shai Mitra has studied birds in the northeastern United States and around the world for more than 35 years.  He received a BA in Biology from Cornell University in 1989 and a PhD in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago in 1996. From 1996-2000 he operated a major bird-banding station at the Fire Island Lighthouse, on the South Shore of Long Island. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the College of Staten Island, with research interests in the areas of avian ecology, evolution, and conservation. Shai is Editor of The Kingbird, the quarterly publication of the New York State Ornithological Association; co-compiler of bird records for the New York City and Long Island region; Chair of the Rhode Island Avian Records Committee; and co-compiler of the Captree Christmas Bird Count and two other CBCs on Long Island and Rhode Island.

Light refreshments will be served. 

Free and open to all, Reservations required.  Email: 


COMMON NIGHTHAWK MIGRATIONNOW – October 6, 2018                                         Join us at the Stone Bridge at Frank Melville Park to witness the exciting annual migration of one of our most beloved nightjars – the Common Nighthawk. Migration might be any or all days during the last week in August through early October.  Stop by at any time from 5:30 p.m. to dusk as we conduct our annual nighthawk census, and enjoy the show! 


  • Friday, September 7, 2018 – Nature: What Plants Talk About
  • Friday, October 5, 2018 – Trashed This movie has been cancelled.
  • Friday, November 9, 2018 – NOVA: The Big Energy Gamble
  • Friday, December 7, 2018 – Vanishing of the Bees

 All movies will be shown at 7 p.m. at The Smithtown Library, Main Building, One North Country Road, Smithtown.  Free and open to all.  Reservations required.  Call Joy Cirigliano at 631-766-3075, email, call the Smithtown Library (631) 360-2480, ext. 232, or visit the Smithtown Library website to reserve seating.


AUTUMN BIRDING BY KAYAK OR CANOE, Saturday, October 20, 2018,

Join us on a kayaking or canoeing trip down the Nissequogue River, on Saturday, October 20th. Meet at Paul T. Given County Park (across from the Smithtown Bull on West Main Street/Route 25, Smithtown at 9 a.m. High tide at the river’s mouth is at 8:44 am. Low tide is at 3 p.m. We’ll be looking for fall migrants: warblers, ducks, and other waterfowl, shorebirds, and migrating raptors, including eagles and Turkey Vultures. We will launch by 9 a.m. Portage back to cars will be available for those who rent kayaks/canoes. We will arrange for a ‘kayak/canoe-sitter” to watch our personal kayaks while Joy transports those who have cars at the launch site at Paul T. Given Park so they can drive to the end-site at the Kings Park Bluff Boat Dock, by the river’s mouth in Kings Park. Additionally, one can paddle back after tide turns at 3 p.m. at the river’s mouth. We anticipate the trip will take about 3-4 hours, depending on sightings, stops, and crowd size. The main part of the river is 5.5 miles long. Bring water/beverages, snacks/lunch, and a kayak, paddle and pfd (life jacket). We also suggest bug spray, binoculars, field guide, camera, ziplock or other waterproof bags, and a light jacket. Kayaks and canoes will also be available for rent. Call Joy Cirigliano (631)766-3075 for more information. Rain Date October 21, 9:30 a.m. at Paul T. Given Park – high tide – 9:03 a.m., low tide 3:20 p.m. Reservations required:  call Joy Cirigliano at 631-766-3075 or email:


  • Saturday, September 22, 2018, 8 a.m. – EPCAL, ENTERPRISE PARK, Calverton, NY 11933

EPCAL is one of the only remaining grasslands on Long Island and is well known for grassland birds such as the Eastern Meadowlark, Horned Lark, Grasshopper Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, and for raptor species that can easily be seen migrating through or hunting over the open grasslands. Kestrels, sometimes in impressive numbers, can be seen hovering over the grasslands hunting for small prey.  Northern Harrier are here also.  Migrating Bald Eagles and Rough-winged Hawks may pass through during fall and winter.  EPCAL is also known for the Short-eared Owls that are usually present during the winter.   The varied habitat at EPCAL also attracts migrating warblers, flycatchers, and other songbirds. Meet at the end of Line Road where it intersects with Grumman Blvd.  Please reserve at


  • Sunday, October 14, 2018: 8 a.m. CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK PRESERVE, 25 Lloyd Harbor Road, Huntington, NY 11743.  Situated on a scenic peninsula extending into Long Island Sound this English-style estate offers miles of pathway winding through woodland, meadows, shoreline and salt marsh.  Caumsett is host to over 200 species of migratory and breeding birds.  We will be on the lookout for lingering terns, loons, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and other raptors, sparrows such as White-crowned, Savannah, Vesper, and Grasshopper, and some rarities such as the American Pipit.  There is an entrance fee unless you have an Empire Pass. Email to reserve.


  • Saturday, November 3, 2018: 9:30 a.m. ELIZABETH A. MORTON NWR. This walk has been cancelled due to the possibility of inclement weather. Join us as we explore this 187-acre peninsula on Noyack and Little Peconic Bays. Morton consists of upland forest, fields, ponds, salt marsh, beach and a lagoon. We expect to see a variety of wildlife including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, eastern chipmunk, painted turtles, green frogs, songbirds and raptors. We may see some early waterfowl, or shorebirds such as Sanderling and Dunlin as well.   The refuge is located at 2595 Noyack Road, Sag Harbor, NY 11963.  Take Sunrise Hwy. (27) east, turn left (North) onto North Sea Road (CR 38). Go approximately 1.5 miles (at stop light veer left). Turn right onto Noyack Road. Go approximately five miles. Refuge entrance is on the left.

Vehicle fee is $4.  Email to reserve.


CALEB SMITH FALL FESTIVAL, Sunday, September 30, 2018. This event has been cancelled.


YOUNGS ISLAND CLEANUP – Date TBT                                                                                                               Youngs Island, also known as Porpoise Channel Island, is a NYS DEC protected Bird Conservation Area nestled within Stony Brook Harbor and located south of West Meadow Beach. The island is home to nesting gulls, terns, shorebirds, and wading birds. Four Harbors will be conducting a clean-up of the island in the Fall. Access to the Youngs Island is by kayak only, so you will need one to reach shore. If you are interested in helping with the cleanup, please contact Joy Cirigliano at 631-766-3075.


See current newsletter for additional FHAS activities

Directions to Avalon Park and Preserve – 200  Harbor Road. Stony Brook NY.

From the Long Island Expressway:
Take EXIT 62 (C.R. 97, or Nicolls Road) NORTH until it ends at 25A in Stony Brook. Turn LEFT onto 25A and proceed approximately 1.5 miles to Main Street. Immediately before the stoplight, bear RIGHT onto Main Street. One block ahead on the LEFT is Harbor Road. Parking is available along Main Street, on Harbor Road, and in the village shopping center just past the park on Main Street. The park’s boardwalk entrance is on Harbor Road.
Trail maps are available in the kiosk at the Harbor Road entrance.