FRIENDS OF THE IBA’s 7th annual 


Returns May 13th & 14th to the 
Washington County Fairgrounds!

VIP SPECIAL! Your $25 Donation guarantees your premium RESERVED SEATING at all shows! Admission Included; Click for details… 

Exciting NEW Live Bird of Prey programs and demos featuring some of our most majestic raptors in flight!

LEARN about endangered Short-eared Owls, threatened Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, Snowy Owls, American Kestrels and many other owls, hawks and falcons!!

MEET the raptors up close in the Exhibitor Barn where you can take pictures and talk to the educators.

Horse-drawn wagon rides, hands on activities for kids, food vendors and more round out this fun and exciting weekend where raptors rule!

ADMISSION FEE: $12 Adult, $6 Child: see Schedule for details

MEMBER FEES: $10 Adult, $5 Child – Bring Membership card

Presented, organized and founded by:


Friends of the Washington County Grasslands IBA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit land trust working to protect critical habitat for New York’s endangered Short-eared owls and other threatened and rapidly declining grassland birds. Our goal is to restore populations of at risk birds to sustainable levels.

Once one of New York’s most common owls, there are now less than 100 Short-eared owls left in the state!  Learn more at:

photo above: WRF 2016, courtesy Connie Bush


About the Washington County Grasslands
Important Bird Area

The Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area, or IBA, is “critical” to the survival of Short-eared Owls in New York State! The area supports hundreds of other bird and animal species, including almost a dozen threatened, at risk and rapidly declining grassland bird species. Northern Harriers, Upland Sandpipers, American Kestrels, Horned Larks, Eastern Meadowlarks, Bobolinks and Grasshopper Sparrows are just a few of the species you’re likely to encounter!

Birds in Peril…

Short-eared Owls are one of the few owl species active during daylight hours. They flock together in winter, emerging between late afternoon and dusk to forage for food. They’ll often swoop over and under each other, emitting sharp, yip-like cries before flying off to hunt. Short-eared Owls nest and roost on the ground, although you can often find them roosting on fence posts or hay bales when they come out to hunt. Keep a respectful distance and you’ll be rewarded with great views and an experience you’ll never forget!
Status: Endangered (NYS)  
photo courtesy Laurie LaFond

Northern-harrier-catch_GE_020116_3Northern Harriers: These slender raptors hunt on the wing, coursing low over the fields as they search for the mice and voles that are their usual prey. They can cover over 100 miles a day! The beautiful grey plumage and clean white underside of the male has earned him the nickname “Grey Ghost” (see photo at left). Both the male and the larger mottled brown female sport an owl-like facial disk of feathers and a prominent white rump patch. Unlike most raptors, these birds nest on the ground, making them more vulnerable to human disturbance and predators.  Status: Threatened  
photo courtesy Dr. Gordon Ellmers

Special thanks to the Town of Fort Edward!

Visit Friends of the IBA’s website to learn more about us, the birds and this rapidly disappearing habitat…


Thanks to our leading Sponsors:


Be An Event Sponsor!

Call us at 518-499-0012 or email:

Winter Raptor Fest VIP Seating               Guarantee your seat at all programs -  click here!!

Vendors & Exhibitors:

space available; contact Sandy at (518) 854-3382 for details


AZS Bird Viewing Area Opens!

Short-eared owls flock to IBA!          Rare birds breeding in IBA!         Dr. Gordon Ellmers photos  learn more at


Short-eared owl, Connie Bush        Meet the birds!   Snowy owl, Sandi Sullivan  


FIBA's Interview on Look Today!

Click image to watch!!


FIBA Closes on Loftus property

Loftus-Ceremony-Jerry-NOHA_W-11-2014 Jerry-Joanne-Loftus-Gre-Laurie_CO_9373 Thanks to the generosity of Gerald and Joanne Loftus Friends of the IBA has permanently protected 14 acres of critical habitat in the heart of the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area for endangered and at risk birds! This area is critical to the survival of Short-eared owls in New York State!  It supports 10 of 11 of New York's grassland bird "species of greatest conservation need" and is a favorite hangout for wintering Snowy Owls and Rough-legged Hawks. More info...

FIBA Receives $20,000 Grant

Snowy-Owl-GE_021714_1 Friends of the Washington County Grasslands IBA (Important Bird Area) received a terrific gift just in time for the holidays – a $20,000 grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust for the creation of the Alfred Z. Solomon Grassland Bird Viewing Area! Friends of the IBA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Fort Edward.  More info...
WCF Logo Mark your calendar for the best agricultural fair in the region when the Washington County Fair returns on Aug. 21 - 27, 2017! Sample rural living with live entertainment, 4-H and Community Displays, food, music, rides and more farm animals than anywhere else - there's something for everyone at the fair!