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Big news in the Pine Bush…
Monarchs in the Albany Pine Bush The past few years have offered scant opportunities to view monarch butterflies in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The once common beautiful orange, black and white butterflies seemed to have practically vanished from the preserve. However, this summer has proven to be different! There has been a noticeable uptick in the number sightings of monarch caterpillars and adult butterflies by our staff and visitors to the preserve. In the Discovery Center’s metamorphosis garden alone, we had the opportunity to watch monarch caterpillars feed on milkweed throughout the summer and observe two transform from caterpillars to pupae to adult butterflies. While it is exciting to see more of these iconic butterflies in our backyards, their national population numbers remain precariously low. Loss of habitat is cited as a major reason for their decline.
Photo by Kirstin Russell.
Photo of monarch chrysalis taken by Grace Barber in the Discovery Center metamorphosis garden.
Call for submissions! Pine Bush Perspectives: A Juried Photo Exhibit Did you capture a great shot on your last visit? Submit your photos by October 18th for a chance to win!
Entrants may be any age or skill level (beginner, advanced or professional). Jurors will select a diversity of photographs to be included in the final exhibit on December 1st. Three juror-selected awards and one People’s Choice award will be given.
Click below to see the official rules and entry forms or stop by the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, 195 New Karner Rd, Albany 518-456-0655
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 at 2PM Would you like to find out more about the 3,300 acre preserve that you live next to? We’d like to meet our neighbors and hear your questions, ideas and thoughts on any aspect of living next door to us. Enjoy a cup of coffee and chat with our staff during this quarterly hour-long gathering.
SMOKEY BEAR DAY MONDAY, OCTOBER 9, 10am-2pm Drop in and meet Smokey Bear and friends at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center! Learn from Smokey how the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission uses prescribed fire to keep this habitat healthy. There will be prescribed fire equipment on hand for visitors to see and try out, a relay race for kids and Smokey goody bags for visitors to take home. All ages. Free! For more info visit our Events Calendar.
Check out in the Karner Classroom!
Browse our nature library
Play a science inspired game
Investigate bio-facts and objects from the preserve
Test drive our new Agents of Discovery App
Visit with one of our live turtles
Create a memento of your experience
For more information about our Karner Classroom, trails and other programs visit the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road in Albany or call 518-456-0655.
Happening on the ground…
Fall is almost here and restoration efforts in the preserve will continue until the snow flies. Most of the autumn seasons focus is on eliminating invasive plants in the preserve. The primary invasive plant, the black locust tree, is benefiting from the more open, sunny landscape that is being created in more and more parts of the preserve as the pine barrens are restored. Crews will be eliminating these resprouting trees along with other invasive plants from September through December, allowing the native plants to thrive again.
Our expert staff…
SEASONAL STAFF Four Invasive Species Technicians started their three month long seasonal positions just after Labor Day. These employees will focus on eliminating woody invasive and overabundant plants from selected preserve areas in order to prepare these sites for prescribed fire next season. Hannah, Heather, Jim, and Sean will be using a variety of targeted herbicide techniques to eliminate black locust, honeysuckle, aspen, red maple, and other invasive species.
Our latest research…
Science Lecture Series: Phylogeography of birds in boreal forest archipelagos of eastern North America THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 at 6:30PM The great swath of spruce-fir forest that stretches from Alaska to the Canadian Maritimes reaches its southern limit in the mountains of New York. Here you find the southern outpost for the Boreal Chickadee, Bicknell’s Thrush, and other boreal forest specialists, their populations isolated as if on an archipelago of islands that rise above a sea of temperate deciduous forest. The evolution of these bird populations is the focus of research led by Dr. Jeremy Kirchman, Curator of Birds at the New York State Museum.
In this talk, Kirchman will describe his work catching and sampling birds in the field and sequencing their genes in the DNA lab, examining the geographic patterns of genetic diversity in the boreal forest archipelagos of northeastern North America. Join us for snacks and discussion at 6:30pm, the lecture will begin at 7:00pm. Ages 15+. Free!
Citizen Science: Snowpack Monitoring WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4 at 7PM Regionally, climate change is altering seasonal weather patterns, especially temperature and precipitation, but little is known about specific changes in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Preserve neighbors can help us track these effects by measuring the depth of snow in their own backyard. If you live within half a mile of the preserve, please join us this evening to learn how to collect and submit measurements that will help us explain how the flora and fauna of the Pine Bush survive the winter. Snow monitoring materials will be provided. Ages 10+. Free! Pre-registration is required.