DEC launches Central-Finger Lakes segment of birding trail

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has launched the Central-Finger Lakes segment of the New York State Birding Trail to highlight the state’s world-class and wide-ranging birding opportunities. 

The segment includes 54 locations throughout 15 counties, providing a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy.

“Birdwatching has quickly become one of New York’s fastest-growing recreation and tourism activities. DEC manages the New York State Birding Trail in collaboration with partners that include the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The statewide trail network includes promoted birding locations that can be accessed by car or public transportation, providing an inclusive experience for all visitors to enjoy birds amid beautiful natural settings with little or no cost or investment in equipment,” notes a release.

The trail segment of the trail includes 54 locations on a mix of public and private lands throughout Chenango, Oneida, Oswego, Madison, Onondaga, Otsego, Cortland, Cayuga, Seneca, Yates, Ontario, Wayne, Livingston, Monroe, and Tompkins counties. This large region is home to diverse habitats of woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, open lakes, and even coastal ecosystems that support a huge array of species and something for all visitors to experience and enjoy.

Highlights

Each spring, hundreds of thousands of geese and ducks of some two dozen species migrate through this region on the Atlantic flyway. 

-Visitors can check out the nationally recognized Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge’s wetlands to see where bald eagles make their home. Birds of prey can be observed at Derby Hill Bird Observatory, the location of a spring hawk watch with 40,000 to 90,000 raptors. Make a stop at Braddock Bay just west of Rochester on Lake Ontario to see migrating raptors, waterfowl, and songbirds at a designated Bird Conservation Area. 

-At Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary visitors can watch birds, rain or shine, and explore four miles of trails. 

-At Beaver Lake Nature Center, join a morning bird walk in search of spring migrants and summer residents along the hedgerows, meadows, lakeshore, at the forest’s edge, and across the bog.

The New York State Birding Trail map is available at www.ibirdny.org, and provides valuable information on each site such as location, available amenities, species likely to be seen, directions and more, according to state officials.

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