May 2024 Volunteer of the month

May 13, 2024

Long-time volunteer Brianna Denoncour is Volunteer of the Month for May 2024.

Growing up in southern Oswego County, Brianna would spend most of her time outside. An early interest in birds and other wildlife eventually led her to becoming a biologist with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, where she’s worked for the last 19 years. She began volunteering as a bird bander at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in 2011.

Brianna enjoys that she plays an important role in helping to support long-term scientific studies on bird communities that use Pine Bush habitat. She has encountered plenty of wildlife over her time spent volunteering- with a favorite of hers being breeding red crossbills. She is also fond of seeing brown thrashers and blooming lupine. When not working or volunteering, Brianna enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, cooking, and traveling- usually to see birds!

Having been actively volunteering for several years, she has many fond memories. When asked to choose a favorite, she commented “So many to choose from! Sharing in the excitement of catching a new or rare bird, being swarmed by Karner blue butterflies between net runs on a hot summer morning, and just being present as the creatures in the Pine Bush waken and become active as dawn breaks.” Brianna is most familiar with Karner Barrens East, noting that she finds the wetland areas along the yellow trail to always have something to pique her interest.

Brianna was nominated by Conservation Director Neil Gifford for her significant amount of time donated, skill, and enthusiasm for both banding and public education. Her dedication to expanding both scientific and public knowledge is commendable and greatly appreciated. Congratulations Brianna- thank you for all you do!

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