Local Audubon Chapter Celebrates Spring at Fundraiser

Membership or attending events a way to learn and enjoy nature

By Kevin E. Foley

The Putnam Highlands Audubon Society (PHAS) held a fundraising dinner last Saturday, April 6, at the Taconic Education Center. Amid silent and live auction bidding and plenty of good cheer about the coming of spring, the group underscored the local chapter’s mission and some upcoming events that offer residents an opportunity to learn more about the natural world around them, especially about birds.

PHAS fundraiser

The PHAS fundraiser

The highlight of the evening was a photographic presentation by retired research scientist and nature photographer Douglas Goodell on the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Goodell took his audience through a pictorial tour of the four distinct regions of the Central American country indicating significant differences in topography rainfall and other factors while displaying colorful photos of a variety of bird species as well as other wildlife. Goodell also signed copies of his book, Costa Rica: Nature’s Paradise.

Upcoming events for the PHAS include April 27 at the Hubbard Lodge, off Route 9 just north of 301. Audubon naturalist Pete Salmansohn will host a presentation on basics of bird watching. See page 13 for more information.

May 11 is the date for the organization’s annual bird-a-thon, wherein teams working in areas of Putnam, Westchester and Dutchess, as well as Long Island, scan the region’s habitats, competing for the highest number of species sightings. People interested in early rising and a long day with the binoculars can contact the chapter. Another way to participate is to sponsor a team, as this is the chapter’s main fundraising vehicle. For more information on all PHAS activities go to putnamhighlandsaudubon.org.

The nature photographs below are the winners of the recent PHAS contest.

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