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Society for the History of Natural History

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Hudson River Almanac

Hudson River Almanac

The Hudson River Almanac is a natural history journal that covers the Hudson from the High Peaks of the Adirondacks to New York Harbor. It seeks to capture the spirit, magic, and science of the river by presenting the observations of many individuals who delight in the diversity of nature in the Hudson Valley.

1/11/04 – Sprout Brook, HRM 43.5: At first light we fished, chilled to the bone, on five inches of black flint ice. On the bare branches of a nearby shaggy white pine were nine black vultures, all perched in a row in their night roost, watching us, looking like a convention of undertakers. The air temperature was +1°F. Not a good morning to be a vulture. If they had any sense they’d be in Virginia looking for roadkill. – Tom Lake, Christopher Letts

Since 1994, observations have been compiled from the contributions of more than 1700 volunteers, ranging from elementary school students to professional biologists. In presenting these records, the Almanac provides valuable river information to the public, places contemporary observations in historical perspective, and encourages others to look more closely at the Hudson and share what they see. In addition to recording what nature is doing over the year, the entries offer a fascinating measure of human emotional responses to natural phenomena.

Over time, the Almanac may serve as a comprehensive program to document changes in the ecosystem. Often, information about obscure animals and subtle changes can come only through direct observations made in many places over long periods of time. By compiling records from volunteers who observe nature as scientists or simply for their own pleasure, the Almanac builds a data base that can be used to guide future studies of Hudson Valley ecology.


From 1994 to 2001, The Hudson River Almanac was compiled and published annually as a bound book. To make its information more timely and to distribute it more efficiently, the Almanac is now a free electronic newsletter delivered weekly via email. To subscribe to the weekly newsletter send an email message to and write E-Almanac in the subject line.

You can read recent almanacs and weekly archives back to 2003 online or order past annual volumes (1995-2005) from the publisher.

Contribute Your Observations

The Almanac is compiled weekly. Share your observations with other Hudson River lovers by e-mailing them to by 9:00 pm on the Monday previous to publication. See something really special? Give us a call at (845)297-8935. The Hudson River E-Almanac is compiled and edited by Tom Lake and e-mailed weekly by the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. To sign up to receive the E-Almanac, send an email message to and write E-Almanac in the subject line.

More about Hudson River Almanac

  • Hudson River Almanac Ordering Information – Ordering Information for bound versions the of the Hudson River Almanac from 1995-2001.