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Go Birding with Us!


We invite you to join John and Pat Thaxton, licensed New York State guides, for a birdwatching tour at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. John and Pat will lead a two-hour guided walk through the VIC trails where they will offer insight on identifying birds by sight and call. We will then meet back at the VIC’s Great Room for refreshments and a recap of the day’s findings.

We are asking for a $20 suggested donation for this outing. We accept donations at the time of the event, or you can always donate securely online through our website. Your donation helps us continue to offer great programming and meet our community-driven conservation goals. We greatly appreciate and rely on your support.

John and Pat are very experienced birders and guides, and we are very fortunate to be able to offer this experience to our members. Make sure to register early. This is an opportunity you won’t want to miss!




*What you need to know*

We will meet at the Great Room at the Paul Smith’s VIC prior to the walk. Please arrive early and be ready for a prompt 9am departure. We will be scouting birds on the VIC trails for a little over 2 hours. You will have access to water and the restroom before the walk.

We recommend the following:

  • Bring a refillable water bottle
  • Wear comfortable clothes, sturdy footwear, and a hat
  • Dress in layers, as the weather in Paul Smiths can be unpredictable
  • Bring binoculars if you have them
  • Apply/bring insect repellant
  • A small notebook and pencils to capture field identification tips

Lastly, if you have a smartphone, we recommend you download iNaturalist. This is a free app that we use to log observations of the plants and animals for our Conservation Monitoring Program. This would be a great opportunity to learn more about our program, receive technical assistance, and start collecting observations. Contact Kerry for more details.


Please note: This is a rain or shine event!


About our guides


John_Pat_ThaxtonJohn Thaxton has written five books, including New York’s 50 Best Places to Go Birding In and Around the Big Apple (City & Company) and Natural Attractions: A Select Guide to Experiencing North America’s Unique Wildlife and Wonders (Warner Books) as well as feature articles for periodicals such as Birder’s World, Conde Nast’s Traveler, Adirondack Life, Nature Photographer and The New York Times.

For the past eleven years John has written the Birdwatch column for Adirondack Explorer. John also wrote a blog for the Albany Times Union.

John has lectured about birds at The American Museum of Natural History, Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center, Adirondack Interpretive Center, Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Adirondack Loj, Vermont Field and Forest Society and the New Jersey Sierra Club.

He serves on the board of Northern New York Audubon and edits their newsletter. He served as president of Happiness Is Camping: For Children With Cancer, and serves as President of Adirondack Wildlife, Inc.

Pat served as Laboratory Director at Long Island College Hospital in New York City and as the Laboratory Manager at Elizabethtown Community Hospital in the Adirondacks. She served as President of the High Peaks Audubon Society and currently serves on the board of Northern New York Audubon and as chairperson of its Membership and Finance Committees; she is on the board of Adirondack Wildlife, Inc.

John & Pat are both Licensed New York State Guides and Adirondack 46ers, fully insured and rarin’ to go. They are members of the American Birding Association and the New York State Ornithological Association. For The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State, 2000-2005 (Cornell University Press) John & Pat covered 25 atlasing blocks, which included most of the Adirondack High Peaks. For the past fourteen years they have led trips for the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center’s Great Adirondack Birding Celebration and for twelve years have led trips for Hamilton County’s Adirondack Birding Festival.

Learn more about Adirondack Birding Tours, Inc.