We're All About Birds

Putnam Highlands Audubon Society was formed to protect and preserve nature and the wonderful bird population of the Hudson Valley. We produce and present many educational programs to help you learn about and enjoy our birds. Also here are more resources that you will find very useful. Whether you a newbie or a seasoned birder.

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Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Academy

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology presents a great series of online self-paced courses to help both beginning and more experienced birders.  

American Birding Association

The ABA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides leadership to birders by increasing their knowledge, skills, and enjoyment of birding. They are the only organization in North America that specifically caters to recreational birders. They also contribute to bird and bird habitat conservation through varied programs. American Birding Association

American Birding Association Code of Ethics

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Field Guides

Here are links to the best printed field guides. Photo by Camilla Cerea/Audubon 

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Birding Apps for Your Smart Phone


More Resources


Choosing Binoculars (The Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Choosing Binoculars (Audubon)

Eagle Optics


Bird Songs/Calls


Annual Birdathon

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, the Birdathon

Each Spring, teams of PHASers participate in a fun competition to see which team can identify the most bird species in our region.  On a single Saturday in May, teams have 24 hours to head out into fields, woods, lakes, marshes, towns, roadsides, parks, cities, and just about any other place one could think of, to identify by sight or sound, the birds present at that location.  The Birdathon is a fundraising event for PHAS, and is tremendous fun because of its social nature, and it helps us get data.  The information gathered is available to us, the public, and scientists to help answer questions about the health of bird populations from year to year or even to study what effects climate change may have on resident or migratory bird species. 

Click Here for Information on 2018 Birdathon

2018 Birdathon Totals

  • Putnam Valley Bogtrotters = 112

  • Wappingers Creakers = 100

  • Garrison Gumshoes = 108

  • Beakin Beginners = 58

  • Grand Total = 159 Species


2017 Birdathon Totals

  • Putnam Valley Bogtrotters = 81

  • Wappingers Creakers = 79

  • Garrison Gumshoes = 63

  • Beakin Beginners = 39

  • Grand Total = 132 Species

Again, this year, the weather was poor and although our teams spent the time and energy out in the field, many birds had clearly hunkered down to wait out the rain instead of revealing themselves.   Thank you again for all of you who supported our efforts to document the bird species in our region this Spring and for your support of Putnam Highlands Audubon Society.

Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) 

The first online citizen science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.  Since then, more than 100,000 people of all ages and walks of life have joined the four day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.  

We invite you to participate!  Simply tally the number and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more of the days of the count. February 13-16, 2015.  You can count from any location, anywhere in the world. 

Christmas Bird Count

The longest running citizen science survey in the world, the CBC provides critical data on population trends.  Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a lot of fun.  Data from over 2,300 circles are entered after the count and become available to query under the Data & Research link provided on the National Audubon website.

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