Montezuma Audubon Center Announces Winter Program Schedule

Northern pintails. Photo by Andy Saunders
12/26/2019

Birding Tours, Scout Programs, And Snowshoeing Will Be Featured During The Winter Season

The Montezuma Audubon Center’s programs are a great way to get outside and explore the winter wonderland. Join us for hot cocoa and snowshoe programs to get out on the trails and search for winter birds and signs of wildlife. Ride along in our van to experience majestic raptors, migratory waterfowl, and other birds who live and visit Montezuma throughout the winter months. Be sure to experience the live owls that will be the stars of our Owl Prowl program. If you’d like to explore at your own pace, rent a pair of snowshoes from us to enjoy the beautiful winter landscape on our 2 miles of trails. Space is limited and registration is required for all programs. Programs will proceed with or without snow. Please call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.

 

First Day Snowshoe Hike

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join us to ring in 2020 by strapping on snowshoes and taking a leisurely 1-mile hike through snow muffled forests, across restored grasslands and around frozen marshes to explore hearty winter birds and look for signs of mammals. We have a special commemorative gift for you to take home and will raffle off a 2020 Empire State Park pass, provided by NYS Parks. Note, if conditions are not conducive for snowshoeing, we will still hike.  After the hike, you are invited inside to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. Fee: FREE! Pre-registration is required as snowshoes are limited. 

 

Hot Cocoa and Snowshoe Hike

Saturday, Jan. 4, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Take a leisurely snowshoe hike through snow muffled forests while looking and listening for signs of birds and other animals. We will walk about 1 mile and welcome all ages and skill levels. After the hike, warm up with a cup of hot cocoa in the Center. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $8/child, $10/adult, $30/family. Fee: w/o rental: $6/child, $8/adult, $25/family. Pre-registration is required as snowshoes are limited. 

 

Cayuga Lake Birding Tour

Wednesday, Jan. 8, 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Cayuga Lake is an Audubon designated Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during the winter months. Hop in our van for an excursion to the northern part of the lake where up to 30 species of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald eagles and other raptors are a possibility too. Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Nature of Montezuma Lecture Series: The History of Howland’s Island

Saturday, Jan. 11, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Travel back in time with local archaeological enthusiast Christopher Cramer, Town of Montezuma Historian Cheryl Longyear, and Montezuma Audubon Educator Alyssa Johnson as they explore the known history of Howland’s Island during the last 500 years. Native American history to present day NYSDEC ownership will be discussed and illustrated with locally found artifacts, historical maps, and a variety of photographs.  Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $25/family, FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.

 

Family Outdoor Time: Climate Watch

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Want to use your birding skills to advance our understanding of climate change’s impact on birds? Then Climate Watch is for you. This innovative community-science program enlists volunteer birders across North America to count certain bluebirds and nuthatches in the same place (or places) twice each year. By sticking to a scientific protocol and sharing their results, these community scientists help track whether birds are moving in accordance with projections from Audubon’s climate models. If there’s snow, plan on snowshoeing.  Fee w/ snowshoe rental:  $7/person, $20/family. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental:  $5/person, $15/family. Pre-registration is required as snowshoes are limited. 

 

Audubon Climate Watch Community Science

January 15 to February 15

According to Audubon’s 2019 climate change report, ‘Survival By Degrees,’ up to two-thirds of North American birds are vulnerable to extinction due to climate change. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to protect birds from this existential threat, and Audubon members have been leading the way for years. In 2014, after the publication of Audubon’s first climate change report, thousands of people asked how they could help make the world a better place for birds, and Climate Watch was born. You can join us in this fight by observing birds in your area, using our specific protocol, and helping us learn about how birds are responding to the changing climate.  If you are able to donate a couple hours to count birds, please join us. Contact Donna Richardson for more information: drichardson@audubon.org.

 

Introduction to eBird and the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas

Saturday, Jan. 18, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Jumpstart your birdwatching adventures by learning about two community science programs. eBird helps you and scientists keep track of birds you’ve seen and in so doing you contribute to a global effort to track bird populations. After a hands-on demo of how to use the eBird app and website, you’ll learn how you can use your new skills for the third New York Breeding Bird Atlas, a five-year community science project that will form the definitive resource to guide bird conservation in New York. Please bring a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and create a free eBird account at ebird.org prior to the event. If you bring a mobile device, please install the free eBird app and make sure you can sign in to your account. Appropriate for ages 12 and up. Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $25/family. FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Cayuga Lake Birding Tour

Thursday, Jan. 23, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Cayuga Lake is an Audubon designated Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during the winter months. Hop in our van for an excursion to the northern part of the lake where up to 30 species of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald eagles and other raptors are a possibility too. Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Birds, Binocs, and Beers

Saturday, Jan. 25 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us at Fleur de Lis Brew Works (3630 NY-414, Seneca Falls, NY 13148), a brewery located in the heart of the Finger Lakes, for this exciting and dynamic event. Enjoy a guided snowshoe hike through brewery grounds and then warm up with beer tastings and light snacks inside. Krittr Kris and Feathered Friends will wrap up the afternoon with a live bird of prey program. Don’t forget a camera. Must be 21+ to taste. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $30/adult, $20/child. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $25/adult, $15/child. Pre-paid registrations are required as snowshoes are limited. 

 

Girl Scout Snow Adventure Badge

Saturday, Feb. 1, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Girl Scouts of all ages are welcome to snowshoe while completing some of the requirements for the Girl Scout Snow Adventure Badge series.  Scouts will learn how to prepare for snow adventures, plan for the level of difficultly, and play winter games. All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone.  If there is no snow, Scouts will explore the forest and grassland with a nature hike. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $10/Scout, $5/adult. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $7/Scout, free for adults. Pre-registration is required as snowshoes are limited. 

 

Bird Friendly Chocolate Tasting & Snowshoe

Saturday, Feb. 1, 1:00 p.m.  – 3:00 p.m.

Bring your sweetheart, friends, neighbors, and family for an adventure to explore Montezuma’s winter wonderland. Sample delicious bird friendly chocolates and discover how these sweet treats are created while protecting important habitats where warblers and other neotropical migrants spend the winter months. If there is no snow, participants will explore the forest and grassland with a nature hike. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $20/adult, $15/child. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $15/adult, $10/child. Pre-registration is required as snowshoes are limited. 

 

Family Outdoor Time: Mysteries of Ice

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Winter is a great time to explore wetlands and the wildlife that live there.  Families will discover how wildlife survive in these delicate areas by exploring the frozen marshes and swamps and conducting scientific experiments.  If there is snow on the ground, plan on snowshoeing. Fee: w/snowshoe rental:  $7/person, $20/family. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental:  $5/person, $15/family. Pre-registration is required as snowshoes are limited. 

 

Winter Raptors Birding Tour

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The Finger Lakes Region hosts many migratory raptors, including (but not limited to) Short-eared Owls, Bald Eagles, Snowy Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, and Norther Harriers. Join us on a trip to the Finger Lakes Regional Airport and nearby fields to search for migratory and resident raptors. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Scouts BSA Merit Badge: Plant Science

Saturday, Feb. 15, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Plant Science Merit Badge during a fun and interactive program. Scouts will need to complete a few requirements prior to the program. As always, please be prepared to go outside. All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone.  Fee: $8/Scout. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Walking in a Winter Wineryland

Saturday, Feb. 15, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us at the Buttonwood Grove Winery (5986 State Route 89, Romulus, NY  14541) for this fun and delicious event. Enjoy a guided snowshoe hike along the gorge trail, award-winning wine and food pairings, and a live bird of prey presentation featuring Daena Ford from Braddock Bay Raptor Research and her hawks, owls and falcons. Must be 21+ to taste. If there is no snow, participants will explore the grounds on a guided nature hike. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $30/adult, $20/child. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $25/adult, $15/child. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Scouts BSA Merit Badge: Mining in Society

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Mining in Society Merit Badge led by retired regional geologist, Fred Hayes. Scouts will learn the history of mining while exploring the status of mining in the 21st century. Scouts will need to complete a few requirements prior to the program. All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone. Fee: $8/Scout. Pre-requisites/pre-registration is required.

 

Winter Kids Day of Play

Thursday, Feb. 20, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Children, ages 6-12, are welcome to spend the day the Montezuma Audubon Center. The fun and interactive activities will include playing outside (snowshoeing if there is enough snow), crafts, and games. Pack a lunch, shoes for indoors and your snow clothes/boots. Fee: $25/child, $40/two children. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Owl Prowl

Saturday, Feb. 22, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Get up close to live owls during an indoor presentation by KrittrKris and Feathered Friends and find out what special adaptations these birds have that allow them to survive the winter months. Then, join Audubon staff for a stroll through Montezuma’s grasslands to search for the endangered Short-eared Owls. It will be a real hoot! Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $25/family.

 

Cayuga Lake Birding Tour

Thursday, Feb. 27, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Hop in our van for an excursion to the northern part of Cayuga Lake where up to 30 species of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald Eagles and other raptors are a possibility too. Cayuga Lake is an Audubon Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during the winter season. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Family Outdoor Time: Bird Migration

Saturday, Feb. 29, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Ever wonder how scientists track migratory birds? Families will learn about the different tools scientists uses to track bird populations while exploring wetlands, forests, and grasslands and the migratory birds. If there is snow on the ground, plan on snowshoeing. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental:  $7/person, $20/family. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental:  $5/person, $15/family. Pre-registration is required as snowshoes are limited. 

 

Montezuma Migration Birding Tour

Wednesday, March 4, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is Audubon’s first globally significant Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that stop here during the spring and fall migrations. Enjoy a leisurely ride in our van for an excursion to Montezuma’s birding hot spots where thousands of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and other raptors are a possibility too. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Bird Dissection & Discussion Workshop

Saturday, March 7, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Join us to learn how the Montezuma Audubon Center came to be in possession of these federally protected migratory birds. From heron to hummingbird, if you have ever wanted to see and examine a variety of wild birds up close and personal, this is your chance. Participants will explore the internal and external anatomy of birds and be guided through a dissection to learn about their unique adaptations. Each participant will be provided a study specimen, a dissection kit, disposable gloves, and a face mask. No parts or pieces of the birds may be kept by participants. Headlamps are recommended.  Appropriate for children ages 12+ and must be accompanied by a parent. Fee: $15/child, $20/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Montezuma Migration Birding Tour

Saturday, March 14, 9:00 a.m.  – 11:30 a.m.

The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is Audubon’s first globally significant Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that stop here during the spring and fall migrations. Enjoy a leisurely ride in our van for an excursion to Montezuma’s birding hot spots where thousands of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and other raptors are a possibility too. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Family Outdoor Time: Project NestWatch

Saturday, March 14, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

March is a great time to start watching for migrating and nesting birds. Families will explore the forest to search for tree cavities, canopy trees and other potential nesting sites to discover how monitoring bird nests is an important community science project for families. Fee: $5/person, $15/family.

 

Wine and Wings Raptor Tour

Saturday, March 14, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us in our van as we tour the Montezuma Wetlands Complex to search for eagles, hawks and falcons.  During the tour, we will stop at Izzo’s White Barn Winery and enjoy tasting award-winning wines and learn how vineyards and Important Birds Areas can exist side by side. Must be 21+. Fee: $20/adult, includes wine tastings. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Spring Migration Birding Tour

Thursday, March 19, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Celebrate the first day of spring and explore the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, Audubon’s first globally significant Important Bird Area. Enjoy a leisurely ride in our van for an excursion to Montezuma’s birding hot spots where thousands of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and other birds are a possibility too. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Family Outdoor Time: Wildlife Conservation

Saturday, March 21, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

March is a great time to start planning spring yardwork projects.  Did you know, some yard maintenance can be harmful to our wildlife?  With a few simple changes to yardwork activities, not only will backyards look beautiful, they will also be more bird-friendly for native birds.  Families will also learn ways to keep invasive birds from taking over bird houses. Fee: $5/person, $15/family.

 

Braddock Bay Raptor Research Hawk Watch

Saturday, March 21, 9:00 a.m. – 4:oo p.m.

Braddock Bay is a bird migration “hot spot” located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario just west of Rochester, NY. Early spring is the perfect time to look to the skies for many migratory raptor species so join us for a field trip to Braddock Bay Raptor Research (BBRR) for the chance to see hundreds of hawks, vultures, eagles, owls. We will meet with the President of BBRR, Daena Ford, for a live Bird of Prey presentation, take a short walk to search for Saw Whet Owls and Long-eared Owls, and we’ll visit the raptor banding station. Please pack a lunch, wear sturdy shoes, and dress for the weather. *RAINDATE- Sat. April 4. Fee: $20/child, $30/adult. Fee to meet on location: $15/child, $25/adult. Pre-paid reservations required.

 

Inaugural Finger Lakes Birding Festival

March 26-29, 2020

The Finger Lakes Region is a critically important stopover for millions of waterfowl and birds of prey as they migrate north to their breeding grounds. The Montezuma Audubon Center, Braddock Bay Raptor Research, Sterling Nature Center and Onondaga Audubon will lead a variety of birding tours, lectures, and workshops during this four-day event at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, Braddock Bay, Sterling Nature Center and Onondaga Lake. Participants can expect to see up to three dozen waterfowl species and 20 species of raptors that utilize the region’s forests, wetlands, grasslands and waterways. Discounted hotel accommodations and program registrations will be available at www.facebook.com/fingerlakesbirdingfestival.