In time for warmer weather, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, has announced a wide range of spring and summer programs that help individuals learn a new skill in an outdoor setting.Early May, is the best time to see colorful songbirds, and the best way to ensure first-time success is to join an expert. To that end, Hawk Mountain volunteer and naturalist Fred Wetzel will lead an early-morning Warbler and Wildflower Watch on May 12 from 7 to 10 a.m. near the Sanctuary. This program fills quickly.
The popular Mountain Moonwalk Series will be held each night of the full moon through September. This program offers the unique opportunity to discover Hawk Mountain in the dark while learning to identify the nighttime sounds of the forest. Moonwalks will be held June 1, 20, July 30, and Aug. 28 and typically begin at 8:30 p.m. All moonwalks are limited to just 15 participants.
For those interested in arts and the outdoors, the 2nd Annual Hawk Mountain Arts Tour and Sale will be held on June 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Celebrating the unofficial start of summer, this self-guided driving tour promises that all roads lead to the discovery of local craftsmen (and women) and their art, including wildlife and local landscape paintings, celtic jewelry, contemporary baskets and woven seats, carved folkart, Native American totem poles, handcrafted cherry wood utensils, quilts, redware pottery, and photography. The event features the work of 10 artists at nine locations, all in scenic Albany Visit Township. www.hawkmountain.org to download a tour map or pick one up in the Hawk Mountain Visitor Center.
An Appalachian Trail Overnight on June 2 to 3 will offer a unique opportunity to explore the Appalachian Trail without the agony associated with backpacking. Participants will begin at Bake Oven's Knob lookout, and meet up with their overnight gear at the Blue Mountain Summit Restaurant on Route 309. After a dinner at the restaurant, the group will camp at the nearby shelter, then continue on to Hawk Mountain, again without gear. The cost includes meals, shuttle and gear transportation to and from the campsite. Even with help, this trip still requires the ability to walk six to nine miles in one day while carrying a full daypack that includes water.
Rounding out June programs, visitors are invited free of charge to see a truly amazing presentation by New York falconers, "Talons! A Bird of Prey Experience." The educational group will present several live birds of prey including the world's largest owl, a European Eagle Owl, as well as an African Pied Crow, a Harris Hawk and an Augur Buzzard. Visitors may chat with their handlers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and see a flying demonstration at noon and 2 p.m.
For more information, visit www.hawkmountain.org To register for programs, call 610- 756-6961.