White Deer Tours is Now Offering Bird Watching Experiences

One of the pair of resident bald eagles watches over their nest at the Seneca Army Depot.

White Deer Tours will offer special 2-hour bird watching tours at the former Seneca Army Depot on selected Monday mornings in May and June of this year. For the first time ever, birdwatchers will be able to access the rich habitats of the former Depot, with guidance from an experienced birding expert. Recognized by the Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, the former Depot has been off-limits to bird watchers for more than 75 years. 

Participants in the tours will travel on White Deer Tour buses to specially selected locations in the former Depot, where they will be able to leave the bus and, with the help of the tour leader, explore the nearby habitat. Photography is encouraged.  Binoculars will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. 

The tours will be led by Chris Lajewski, Center Director of the Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, New York. Chris is a passionate conservationist and avid birder. He has led birding tours throughout New York State for the last 13 years.  hris will help in spotting and identifying birds, and will provide background information on the types of birds and individual species sighted. His extensive background and experience will be a valuable asset to the novice, as well as the experienced birdwatcher.

Chris Lajewski

As a former military base, much of the Depot area is successional habitat. It supports characteristic species including the American woodcock, willow flycatcher, brown thrasher, blue-winged warbler, eastern towhee, and field sparrow.  Approximately 80% of the site is shrub habitat, which includes old field and pastures, shrub swamps, successional hardwoods, and successional shrubs. The site also has extensive forest and some wetland habitat. 

A White Deer Tour staff member will also accompany the tours to provide information on the world’s largest herd of white, white-tail deer and the history of the former Depot.

Seneca White Deer, Inc., the non-profit organization offering White Deer Tours of the former Depot, is pleased to be cooperating with the internationally respected Audubon Society in this ground-breaking effort.

Tours will take place only on six Mondays: May 6, 13 and 20 and June 3, 17, and 24.  All Birding Tours start at 9 a.m. and leave from the Ingle Welcome Center at 5479 State Route 96A, Romulus 14541, about 10 miles south of Geneva.

The fee of $40 per person includes access to the former Depot, transportation from the Welcome Center to selected viewing areas, and guidance from Chris Lajewski, as well as insights into the history and mystery of the former Depot from the White Deer Tour staff.

Book online at www.senecawhitedeer.org or call the welcome center at 315-759-8220 to book tours.

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