DEC adds 12 new sites to its New York State birding trail
For publication: Wednesday, September 13, 2023
The new sites bring the total number of sites statewide to 344
The trail provides birding opportunities for all New Yorkers, regardless of age, ability, identity or background
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the addition of 12 new sites to the New York State Birding Trail. These new sites bring the total number of birding trail sites across the state to 344 and provide a wide range of high-quality birding experiences for everyone, regardless of age, ability, identity or background.
“The New York State Birding Trail helps enhance access to nature for countless New Yorkers, from Long Island to Buffalo.” Commissioner Seggos said. “The 12 new bird trail locations announced today will help attract more visitors to experience the outdoors close to home, especially during key times of year for bird watchers, such as the current fall migration, and will bring the total to more than 340 diverse and unique birding opportunities. Its species is a bird. Available throughout New York State.”
Bird watching has become one of the fastest growing recreational and tourism activities in New York. DEC manages the New York State Bird Trail in collaboration with partners including the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The statewide network of trails includes meadow birding sites accessible by car or public transportation, providing a one-stop experience for all visitors to enjoy birding among beautiful natural settings at little or no cost or investment in equipment.
State Parks Commissioner Eric Kolesid said“The New York State Bird Trail helps people see and learn about our state’s diverse bird species in their native habitats. These 12 new sites add to all the great places New Yorkers and visitors can enjoy and appreciate the natural world — and we encourage everyone to check them out.” ”
“This fall, as visitors and birders flock to New York, we are excited to have more areas on the New York State Birding Trail to appreciate our feathered birds,” said Ross D. Levy, Empire State Vice President of Development and Chief Tourism Officer. Several prime locations welcome birdwatchers of all ages and experiences.Along with the expansive trail, there are endless opportunities for a fall getaway—from one of the longest foliage seasons in the country, to fall festivals, delicious food and craft beverages, and unique accommodations—make “It’s easy to love New York.”
The new sites are located on public and private lands throughout the state:
- Middle Finger Lakes: Baltimore Woods Nature Center (Onondaga County)
- Greater Niagara:
- Amherst Canal Veterans Park (Erie County)
- Eight locations within the City of Buffalo (Erie County)
- Cazenovia Park
- Delaware Park
- Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park
- Commons Ship Canal/Buffalo Lakeside Mall
- South Park/Buffalo Botanical Gardens
- Unity Island
- Broderick Park
- Bird Island Pie
- Long Island: Theodore Roosevelt Preserve and Audubon Center (Nassau County)
- South Tier: Audubon Community Nature Center (Chatauqua County)
Now is an exciting time for birding with the fall migration underway, and these new additions provide visitors with one-of-a-kind experiences, from large reserves and nature centers with diverse habitats to urban oases steeped in history and teeming with wildlife. When birds return to their winter homes, the birds’ preferred location can change within a few days, with different species moving in and out of the area.
The New York State Birding Trail map is available on the New York State Birding New York web page and provides valuable information about each site such as location, available facilities, species likely to be seen, directions, and more. Digital information for the Birding Trail will be updated periodically, so budding outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to check back often. DEC encourages bird lovers to visit I Bird NY for more information on where and how to observe birds, upcoming bird walks, a downloadable Beginner’s Guide to Birding (PDF) (available in Spanish (PDF)), and additional resources.
DEC also reminds New Yorkers to turn off lights at night during fall migration. The “Lights Out” initiative aims to prevent unnecessary outdoor lighting from affecting birds’ ability to migrate successfully. Many species of shorebirds and songbirds rely on constellations to help them navigate to and from their summer breeding grounds across the state. Excessive outdoor lighting, especially in adverse weather conditions, can disorient these migratory birds.
In addition to state-owned and managed bird trail sites, publicly and privately managed sites can complete a simple self-nomination process to be considered for inclusion in the trail. Nominations are reviewed and added to the Birding Trail on a quarterly basis.
The selected sites meet criteria to help ensure a positive experience for visitors across the state. In addition, sites post signs designating them as official locations on the bird trail. For information on the nomination process, form and updated guidelines, see the New York State Birding webpage.
New portions of the Birding Trail are opening in a phased approach from October 2021 through August 2022. DEC continues to solicit input from a wide range of New Yorkers and organizations representing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and is making trail information available in English and Spanish. Birding tours will be held in collaboration with organizations working with BIPOC communities.
said Anna Stuenkel, Baltimore Woods environmental educator and Onondaga Audubon board member“Baltimore Woods Nature Center is a 270-acre haven for both nesting and migrating birds. Hardwood forests, ponds, streams, beaver meadows and fields provide plenty of food and shelter for birdlife. We are really excited to add to the Center a growing network of trails throughout the state that encourage birding, Especially with recent land acquisitions and ongoing habitat restoration efforts at Baltimore Woods that are helping to increase the diversity of birds in the preserve. Each year, Baltimore Woods, in partnership with Onondaga Audubon, provides exciting data on how birds use protected habitats over time while increasing the diversity of native plants and habitats. “We look forward to people discovering all the special birding opportunities we have here.”
Ralph Wilson Park Conservancy Executive Director Katie Campos said“Ralph Wilson Park will be a destination for bird watchers from near and far. We are rebuilding the park by restoring the shoreline and planting thousands of native trees and plants, all of which will create a healthier, more resilient environment for native birds to call their home.” Ralph Wilson Park is located in an equity-focused area Environmentally friendly, we are excited to welcome new bird watchers and neighbors interested in learning more about the birds of Western New York.
said Roxana Saravia, public programs coordinator for Theodore Roosevelt Preserve and Audubon Center“We can’t wait to welcome more visitors to our 14-acre bird sanctuary at Oyster Bay, which features extensive native plant gardens, several small ponds, and miles of hiking trails. During migration, many different songbirds will be resting “And they refuel here as they make their way south. We just opened our brand-new, ADA-accessible Visitor Center! Our public programs in September include a bird-friendly coffee tasting and a Spotted Lanternfly session. Our grounds are open from dawn to dusk for all to enjoy.”
said Buffalo Women’s Bird Club chapter co-president Lauren Mackenko, “The addition of 8 new sites in Buffalo to the New York State Birding Trail reinforces our commitment to comprehensive, accessible bird watching experiences. Whether you’re an experienced birder or a newcomer, these sites are a great way to explore the beauty of our state’s birding treasures.” The “Lights Out” initiative is a simple and effective way for everyone to help protect bird flights during migration! ”
Audubon Community Nature Center Executive Director Lee Rovigno said, “Audubon Community Nature is excited to be part of the New York Birding Trail. Our property was one of many places where Roger Torrey Peterson raised birds while growing up in Jamestown, New York. The property is carefully managed to create a “diversity of habitat that attracts hundreds of species of birds.” . Our six miles of trails wind through moors, bogs, fields, woodlands, ponds and scrubby areas offering a stunning array of birds to see. ”
said Elizabeth M. Graczyk, resource coordinator for the City of Amherst Youth and Recreation Department“The City of Amherst is honored to host 4 bird trail sites, including the recently approved site at Amherst Veterans Canal Park. This unique waterfront habitat, coupled with an accessible location along the Canalway Trail, provides guests of all abilities the opportunity to To observe a variety of birds throughout the park.”
said WNY Young Birder Club members Macy, 10, and Sam, 13.“The Ship Canal is a great place for families to explore the history of buffalo and birds! We recommend going there to find the ducks, woodchucks, and short-eared owls. The birds are amazing!”
DEC manages and oversees five million acres of public lands and easements and plays a vital role in protecting New York’s natural resources and providing opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors. From fishing in scenic streams, hiking and rock climbing, swimming and boating, birding, nature study, or just relaxing in a tent under the stars, there are endless adventures to be found. Visit DEC’s Outdoor Activities webpage.
Broderick Park in Buffalo.
Baltimore Woods Nature Center
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