Birding at the Finger Lakes Museum

Red-headed woodpecker by Helen Heizyk

To read more about birding at the Finger Lakes Museum, subscribe here to get the MayJune 2022 issue of the magazine.

Branchport is home to the Finger Lakes Museum, a campus providing the perfect backdrop for the sights and sounds of birding in the region. With over 29 acres of land, 16 of which are wetlands on the shore of Sugar Creek and Keuka Lake, the area surrounding the museum holds many types of flora, fauna and wildlife species.

The museum’s 9th Annual Bird Walk is taking place Saturday, May 14, at the Townsend Grady Wildlife Preserve. This morning program is on the calendar just in time for peak migration and is the official start of the spring programming season with the museum. Traditionally a smashing success for avid and novice birdwatchers alike, participants shouldn’t worry if they’ve never bird-watched before as resident bird experts, Mahlon and Eleanor Hurst, share tips and tricks for bird identification.  

Recent years’ Bird Walk programs through the lush trees of the wetlands area have identified over 48 species by sight or sound and this year’s two-hour trek will undoubtedly produce the same results, if not more!

As the birds make their migration journey after the chilly winter months, May is the perfect time to spot these impressive creatures as they make their flights across the area. Hear the distinct call of the noisy blue jay, a Finger Lakes year-round resident. Perhaps you’ll be fortunate enough to spot a red-winged blackbird, a symbol of good luck and protection. Will you see a red-bellied woodpecker with its bright red cap or will it be a red-headed woodpecker with its completely red hood covering its head, neck and throat? Chances are high that you can identify the most commonly seen oriole in New York, the Baltimore oriole, with its sweet whistling song – a sure sign of the return of spring.

Registration for this delightful event, as well as others in the programming season, is available at the museum’s website

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