Welcome

Welcome to the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club. We like birds, birders, and birding! If you enjoy watching a Bald Eagle soar over the icy Hudson River, a Great Blue Heron patiently hunting at the edge of a pond, or a Northern Cardinal perched in a snow-covered evergreen, the Mearns Club might be for you. Check us out by attending one of our monthly meetings—or, better still, join us for a field trip. Although we’re based in Orange County, New York, we venture beyond the county boundaries to explore the Hudson Valley’s diverse birding habitats and to seek out migrating birds. Did you know that more than 250 bird species have been observed in Orange County?

Orange County Checklist

Come explore the birding world with us. We’re certain you’ll enjoy spending time outdoors, experiencing the scenery and all the exciting and enlightening things nature has to offer in the Hudson Valley. You can start with the beautiful images on this site, which were generously shared by Mearns Club members.

Some Mearns Club members on the annual Cape Ann trip (December 2017)

 

About Us

Club Activities

During the spring, winter, and fall, club members lead weekly birding field trips in and around Orange County. In addition, we hold monthly meetings, which feature a presentation on birding-related topics, such as habitat, ecology, and travel. We take part in the statewide Audubon Christmas Bird Count, as well as the winter waterfowl count for Orange County. The club is also a partner member of the New York State Young Birders Club. Mearnsers are integral participants in the hawk watches at Mount Peter and Bear Mountain and assist with the Hawk Migration Association of North America’s Winter Raptor Survey.

  • Wood Ducks. Photo by Alan Wells.

 

How to Join

We welcome new members—please join us! Membership entitles you to attend all club events and field trips, and you’ll also receive our semiannual newsletter, “The Orange Feather.”

Annual dues are $20 for an individual membership, $30 for a family membership, and $8 for a student membership.

MEMBERSHIP FORM

Please mail a completed membership form, along with a check made payable to E. A. Mearns Bird Club, to the club treasurer: Linda Strohl, 8 Park Road, Salisbury Mills, NY 12577.

  • Merlin. Photo by Dave Baker.

 

Yahoo Groups Site

At the Mearns Yahoo Groups site, the club maintains extensive records, links, and up-to-date information about birding in the Hudson Valley, including rare bird alerts. To access all the resources on the site, you’ll need a Yahoo account. After creating one, request to join the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club group or email Ajit Antony at aiantony@earthlink.net. You can then receive group e-mails about birding in the area, as well as about club activities/business.

  • Hooded Merganser. Photo by Alan Wells.

 

Board of Directors

President: Karen C. Miller
Vice-president: Kathleen Ashman
Treasurer: Linda Strohl
Secretary: Georgann Goulding
Chair of Outings and Christmas Count: Bob Slechta
Program Chair: Alan Wells
Membership Chair: Della Wells

Our History

The Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club—founded in 1959 and based in Orange County, New York—takes its name from ornithologist and naturalist Edgar A. Mearns, who was born in Highland Falls in 1856. Mearns’s fascination with nature began at an early age, and he published his first paper, “The Capture of several Rare Birds near West Point, N. Y.,” when he was only 22. He continued his work as a naturalist during his long career as an Army surgeon, collecting specimens and making observations wherever the Army posted him; and he maintained extensive records of the flora and fauna of our area. Mearns was a founding member of the American Ornithologists’ Union. At the time of his death, in 1916, it was estimated that he had collected or contributed more than a tenth of the total number of bird specimens in the U.S. National Museum (now part of the Smithsonian).

Edgar A. Mearns. Source: Smithsonian Institution.