Field Trips

2018–2019 Hoffmann Bird Club Field Trip Schedule

Hoffmann Bird Club LogoThe Hoffmann Bird Club is Berkshire County’s premier ornithological organization. It was established in 1940 with a mission of promoting the study of birds in the county. The club was founded under the auspices of the Berkshire Museum and is named in honor of Ralph Hoffmann, a naturalist born in Berkshire County.

Monthly Meetings are held at Guardian Life Insurance, 700 South St., Pittsfield, MA or Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, 427 W. Mountain Rd., Lenox, MA. See the schedule for specific dates and locations. Most meetings begin at 7:00 PM. They are free and open to everyone interested in birds. Come enjoy the scheduled program and light refreshments. Bring a friend.

Field Trips: Times listed are departure times; please arrive a few minutes early to meet the leader(s) and carpool when possible. When carpooling, participants are expected to contribute to gas expenses. Local trips generally last until lunch, unless otherwise noted. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Dress for the weather, wear proper footwear, and bring binoculars (if you have them). Please contact the Trip Leader to let her/him know you are coming.

Unless otherwise noted, all telephone numbers are in area code 413.

Important Trip Tips

1. It is recommended that you contact trip leaders in advance to let them know you are coming so they are aware of how many people to expect. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there are occasional changes in the trip schedule. Check eNews, our website, Facebook page, or contact leader(s) for updates.

2. If you are taking a trip where some details are TBA, contact the leader by phone or email or check eNews for more details as the date nears.

3. The trips listed in this guide are those confirmed at press time in July. During the year, other walks may be offered. Check for additional trips and events in HBC eNews or on our website at

2018-2019 Schedule

Note:  You can also access a PDF version of our field trips via the following link:  Hoffmann Bird Club Trip Guide 2018-2019

Contact information for trip leaders is included in the PDF version. 

September 2018

Wed 9/5 Springside Park 7:30 AM
Meet at the playground parking lot off of North St. (Rte. 7), Pittsfield to look for migrating songbirds and sparrows. Leader: Noreen Mole 

Sun 9/9 Housatonic Flats 7:30 AM
A flat, mowed 3/4 mile loop trail along the Housatonic River through flood plain forest and weedy meadow. Meet at the parking lot, 439 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington. Leaders: Greg and Christine Ward 

Mon 9/10 Monthly Meeting 7:00 PM
“Conservation of Cliff and Barn Swallows, Two Species in Decline in the Northeast”
Mara Silver, Northeast Swallow Conservation
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Sat 9/15 Blueberry Hill Hawkwatch & Potluck Picnic 9:00 AM
(Combined event with the Allen Bird Club.)
Bring a dish to share, your favorite beverage, a scope (if you have one), and chair. Ends at 3:00 PM. For carpool information contact Chris Blagdon & Ann Connors.
Rain date 9/16.

Berkshire Bioblitz

Sat 9/15 – Sun 9/16
Hopkins Forest, Williamstown, Ma.
The public is welcome to attend this 24 hour biological survey. Birders are encouraged to help with the avian census. Hours are 12 PM on Sat. until 12 PM on Sun.

Wed 9/19 A Walk in the Woods 8:00 AM
A morning walk at a location of the leader’s choice. Beginners encouraged. Meet at the Lanesborough Post Office on Rte. 7.  Leader: Noreen Mole 

Sun 9/23 Linear Park Williamstown 7:30 AM
This is one of the best locations in North County for Fall birding. Join us as we search for migrating sparrows, raptors and warblers. Meet at the Linear Park parking area, walking is easy, but may be muddy. Leaders: Carrie Jones & Chuck Johnson 

Wed 9/26 Howden Farm Sheffield 7:30 AM
A walk along field, wetland, and hedgerow. Up to 2 mostly flat miles with some uneven terrain. This is restricted access property and not often open to the public. Meet at 303 Rannapo Rd. Leaders: Greg and Christine Ward 

October 2018

Mon 10/1 Monthly Meeting 7:00 PM
“North on the Wing – Travels with the Songbird Migration of Spring

Bruce Beehler, PhD., Research Associate
Division of Birds, Smithsonian Institution
Guardian Life Insurance Co
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Wed 10/3 Springside Park 7:30 AM
Meet at the playground parking lot off North St. (Rte. 7), Pittsfield. We will look for migrant songbirds and sparrows in a variety of habitats. Leader: Noreen Mole 

Sun 10/7 Stafford Hill/Cheshire 7:00 AM
Half day trip to Stafford Hill and neighboring areas in search of sparrows and other migrants. Meet at Allendale Shopping Center on Cheshire Rd. Contact Leader: Ed Neumuth 

HBC Members are welcome at the Hopkins Forest Saw-whet Owl Banding Program that runs from early October to early November. Weather permitting, it is open evenings at the Owl Banding Station at Hopkins Forest in Williamstown. Please contact Drew Jones.

Sun 10/14 Leaders Choice 7:30 AM
Look for sparrows and other Fall migrants in Williamstown. Meeting place will be announced the week before the trip. Contact Leaders: Chuck Johnson and Carrie Jones 

November 2018

Sun 11/4 73rd Bartlett Hendricks Memorial Waterfowl Census 7:00 AM
Join the annual census of Central Berkshire lakes and wetlands. Meet at Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield. Bring lunch and a scope. Trip ends around 3:00PM. Coordinator: Tom Tyning 

Mon 11/5 Monthly Meeting 7:00 PM
“Why Do Birds Sing? How Do They Learn Their Songs? And How Can Birders Learn Them Too?”
Tom Stephenson
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Sat 11/10 NW CT Waterfowl Census 8:00 AM
Meet at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Bring lunch and a scope. Trip ends about 2:00 PM. Co-Leaders: Kate Ryan and Rene Wendell.

Fourth Annual Berkshire Natural History Conference
Saturday November 17, 9 AM – 4 PM
Hosted by The Berkshire School
Rte. 41, Sheffield, MA
Please help us celebrate our return to the site of our first conference. As usual, there is an impressive list of speakers, exhibitors, and displays to entice, inform, and entertain students and adults. Features include Joan Walsh, author of the State of the Birds for Mass Audubon that updates previous publications. Her work highlights actions that we might take soon in order to maintain healthy populations of birds that now appear vulnerable. Other speakers will focus on local endangered species (like the Bog Turtle with Angela Sioris), a Natural History Year at Simon’s Rock (with Sarah Snyder), and Andrew Madden’s return visit with an update on Black Bears. This event is cosponsored by Hoffmann Bird Club, BCC, MCLA, Green Berkshires, BEAT, Williams College Center for Environmental Studies, Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries, Hoosic River Watershed Association, and others.
Contact Tom Tyning for details.

December 2018

Mon 12/3 Monthly Meeting 7:00 PM
HBC Member’s Night”
Bring 10 digital images and holiday sweets to share, and sign up for the Christmas Count!
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Sat 12/15 Central Berkshire Christmas Count
Join a team and keep the tradition going.
Sign up at Members Night, or contact count leader Holly Higinbotham.
Blizzard date:  12/16

January 2019

Tues 1/1 South Berkshire Christmas Count
Join a team and welcome the new year with some winter birding. Contact Rene Wendell to sign up or for more information about time and place.

Raptor Ramble TBA
The timing of this trip will be weather dependent and will take place on a Sunday in late Jan. or Feb. It will be announced in the eNews. This will be a county-wide loop, beginning in Williamstown, traveling to the Sheffield area and back, with several stops along the way, in search of wintering raptors. There will be a lunch stop, or bring your own. Return to Williamstown will be appx. 3-4 PM.
Leader: Chuck Johnson

February 2019

Sun 2/3 Breakfast and Winter Birds 7:30 AM
Meet at Ozzie’s Restaurant, Maple St., Hinsdale at 7:30AM for breakfast. We will then look for wintering birds around Hinsdale and nearby towns. Mostly roadside birding. Leaders: Jonathan Pierce & Tom Begley 

March 2019

Mon 3/4 Monthly Meeting 7:00 PM
“Natural History of the Veery in the Berkshires and Beyond”

HBC Member, Dan Shustack PhD – Mass College of Liberal Arts
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Sun 3/24 Spring Waterfowl Search 7:30 AM
Spring is a great time to look for waterfowl on our local lakes wherever there is open water. Meet at Farnams Causeway (off of Rte. 8) on Cheshire Lake.
Leader: Jonathan Pierce

April 2019

Mon 4/1 Monthly Meeting 7:00 PM
“Fathers and Sons – A Birding Journey”
Manuel Morales, PhD and John Manuel Morales
Guardian Life Insurance Co.
700 South St., Pittsfield 01201

Sat 4/6 Monterey 7:30 AM
Search for early Spring migrants in Monterey. Meet at the Roadside Store on Rte. 23 approx. 2.8 miles over the Monterey line.
Contact Leader: Kate Ryan 

 Sun 4/7 South County 7:00 AM
A search for signs of spring in Berkshire County. Meet at the Price Chopper parking lot on the Pittsfield/Lenox Rd.
 Leader: Jonathan Pierce 

Sat 4/27 Warner Farm, Cummington 7:30 AM
Search for American Bittern, Waterthrushes, Virginia Rails, Cuckoos & more! Meet at The Creamery on Route 9 in Cummington.
Leaders:   Charles Quinlan & Matt Kelly 

Sun 4/28 Leader’s Choice Williamstown 7:00 AM
us as we look for arriving migrants at one or more hotspots in this birdy little town. Meeting location TBA.
Contact Leaders:  Carrie Jones & 
Chuck Johnson 

May 2019

Sat 5/4 Annual Meeting and Banquet 5:00 PM
Join club members for a brief meeting to
elect officers followed by:
“Capturing the Elusive Spirit of Birds – A Cinematographer’s Perspective”
Ann Johnson Prum
Executive Producer & Cinematographer
Cheshire Rod & Gun Club
310 Curran Road, Cheshire, Ma.
Members will receive menu and reservation details thru eNews. Reserve early!

Sun 5/5 Post Farm Marsh 7:30 AM
Morning walk in search of spring migrants and rails. Meet at the Price Chopper parking lot on the Pittsfield-Lenox Rd., Lenox.
Leader:  Gael Hurley 

Wed 5/8 South Stream WMA, Pownal 6:45 AM
Scope out waterfowl and bullfrogs at South Stream Pond and stroll wooded paths in search of warblers. Meet at the Williamstown Public Library off the town green (Rte. 7, opposite the Williams Inn) to carpool.
Leader: Katharine

Fri/Sat 5/10-5/11 Birdathon/Century Run TBA
Join a team and continue the tradition, and support Mass Audubon’s annual Birdathon to benefit our local sanctuary. Contacts, count format and other details will be announced in the Hoffmann eNews. Sign-up sheets will be available at the banquet. Coordinators: Jonathan Pierce & Gael Hurley 

Sat 5/18 Leader’s Choice 7:00 AM

Join us to explore a spot in the New Ashford area at the leader’s discretion. Meet at JW Kelly’s Real Estate, Rte. 7, New Ashford.
Leader: Matt Kelly 

Sun 5/19 Stafford Hill 6:30 AM
A search for migrant and resident birds; one of our target species will be Prairie Warbler. Meet at Farnam’s Rd. Causeway (off of Rte. 8) in Cheshire.
Contact Leader:  Jonathan Pierce 

Wed 5/22 Tyringham 7:00 AM
Search for summer residents at several sites in the Tyringham Valley. Meet at the BigY on Rte.102 in Lee.
Contact Leader:  Ed Neumuth 

Thu 5/23 Hand Hollow Conservation Area and Ooms Pond, East Chatham, NY 7:00 AM
Morning walk in search of warblers and other migrants. Hand Hollow portion is an easy 2 hour walk. Contact Leader:  Clellie Lynch 

Sat 5/25 October Mountain 6:00 AM
Join our annual trip to October Mountain State Forest. Meet at Washington Town Park on Rte. 8 in Washington.
Contact Leader: Ed

June 2019

Sun 6/2 Springside Park 7:30 AM
Meet at the playground parking lot off North St. (Rte. 7), Pittsfield to look for resident songbirds and sparrows in a variety of habitats.
Leader: Noreen Mole

Fri 6/Picnic & Birding at Pleasant Valley
427 West Mountain Road, Lenox
5:00 PM Birding – 6:00PM Picnic
Main courses (including a vegan option) and beverages are provided. Bring a side dish or dessert to share. Please bring your own place setting and utensils to help lighten the impact on the sanctuary.

Sun 6/9 Birds & Breakfast on Mt. Greylock 6:00 AM
Meet at the Greylock Visitor’s Center, bird Rockwell Rd. and the summit, followed by breakfast at Bascom Lodge.
Leader:  Ed

Sun 6/23 Top to Bottom Walk Williamstown 7:00 AM
June is perfect for finding active family groups, parents feeding chicks, and fledglings begging for food. We will choose an active road, meet at the top, walk leisurely to the bottom, watch and listen to all of the rich activity taking place. Location TBA. Leaders: Carrie Jones & Chuck Johnson 

July 2019

Sat 7/6 Hopper Rd./Money Brook Trail 7:00 AM
Meet at the Hopper Rd. parking lot near the trailhead, off Green River Rd./Rt. 43 in Williamstown to look for nesting and juvenile birds (Bobolinks!) We’ll walk past fields down to Hopper Brook, then through the woods and along Money Brook.  Leader: Katharine Wiencke 

Our walks are greatly enhanced by our association with the Berkshire Natural Resource Council (BNRC), Massachusetts Audubon, Allen Bird Club, and the Trustees. These organizations have similar events that may be open to the public. We try to alert you to these in the HBC eNews.

The Guardian Life Insurance Co. graciously provides us  with excellent meeting facilities equipped for making outstanding presentations.

Join The Hoffmann Bird Club

The Hoffmann Bird Club is Berkshire County’s premier ornithological organization. It was established in 1940 with a mission of promoting the study of birds in the county.. The club was founded under the auspices of the Berkshire Museum and was named in honor of Ralph Hoffmann, a naturalist born in Berkshire county.

Meetings are held from September through May and are open at no charge to anyone interested in birds and bird study.

Field trips are led by experienced birders, and everyone, including beginners, is welcome. Field trips offer an excellent opportunity to explore first hand the bountiful nature and natural history of the Berkshire region.

The Marilyn Flor Day Camp Scholarship Fund is sponsored by the Hoffmann Bird Club. Annually, the club supports scholarships for aspiring young local naturalists to Mass Audubon’s Summer Camp Program at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox.

Check for updates and more detailed information on field trips and presentations in this schedule, along with links to birding-related sites on the Web.

Membership in Hoffmann Bird Club is open to anyone interested in birds and bird study.

Membership runs from September through the following August. If you join after April 1, your membership is extended through the following year.

Note:  You can download the membership form in PDF format here:
HBC Membership Form

New members – please email in order to receive the HBC eNews.