Home Nature preserves DEC Announces Opening of West New York Segment of Statewide Birdwatching Trail

DEC Announces Opening of West New York Segment of Statewide Birdwatching Trail


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the grand opening of the Greater Niagara segment of the New York State Birdwatching Trail. New York City to highlight the state’s world-class, high-profile birding opportunities. The Greater Niagara segment includes 36 locations in Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties, offering a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors .

“The state’s birding community continues to grow, and Governor Kathy Hochul understands how important it is to encourage all New Yorkers to connect with nature close to home and in special places like the Buffalo Harbor State Park and DEC’s Reinstein Woods,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “DEC is proud to announce today the official opening of the Greater Niagara segment of New York’s Statewide Birding Trail with our partners at State Parks and I LOVE NY. The new Western New York segment of the statewide birding trail, one of many segments across the state, builds on our ongoing efforts to remove barriers to bird watching and encouraging people to go out.

Birdwatching has quickly become one of New York’s fastest growing recreational activities. The New York State Birding Trail is managed by the DEC in conjunction with partners including the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The statewide trail includes a network of promoted birding sites accessible by car or public transportation, providing an inclusive experience for all visitors to enjoy birding in a beautiful natural setting with little or no costs or investment in equipment.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “With the growing popularity of birding programs and events across the state, the opening of the Greater Niagara segment of the Birding Trail of New York State provides another resource for accessing and exploring the rich natural habitats of Western New York State for meaningful purposes. and unique birds. I’m thrilled that this new segment is introducing more New Yorkers to the opportunity to take part in this joyful activity and highlight the incredible birding spots offered in state parks.

Empire State Vice President of Development and Executive Director of Tourism, Ross D. Levi, said, “The Greater Niagara Birdwatching Trail segment is the new reason for outdoor enthusiasts in the ‘state, nation and world to plan a visit and be part of everyone there. is to love on a Western New York getaway. As more travelers seek new and enjoyable ways to experience the outdoors, I LOVE NY is excited to promote the Birdwatching Trail to potential visitors around the world.

Mike Burger, executive director of Audubon’s Connecticut and New York State office, said, “Looking at the list of 36 locations on the new Greater Niagara segment of the New York Birding Trail, it’s clear that this will be a fantastic resource for anyone living in or visiting Western New York. I’m especially pleased to see several places listed where we’ve worked with state agencies to improve and restore bird habitat, such as Buckhorn Island, Joseph Davis, and Knox Farm State Parks. So much hard work has gone into these sites to make them a healthy habitat for birds and other wildlife, it’s wonderful that more people can enjoy them.

Western New York Land Conservancy Deputy Executive Director Jajean Rose-Burney said, The Western New York Land Conservancy is thrilled that several of our nature preserves are part of the New York State Birding Trail. This will help showcase the incredible diversity of bird life in our nature reserves that so many in the community have protected.

Ed Sirianno, Executive Director of the Buffalo Audubon Society, said, “The Buffalo Audubon Society is proud to support the opening of the second segment of the New York State Birding Trail. With over 1,000 acres of nature preserves here in Western New York, Buffalo Audubon members are passionate about caring for the birds, wildlife, and places they need. We are thrilled to add our efforts to this worthy cause and believe the Birding Trail will raise awareness of the beauty and importance that birds bring to our delicate ecosystem.

Feminist Bird Club of Buffalo co-chair Molly Dreyer said, “We are pleased that the New York State Bird Trail is creating a network of birding hotspots, particularly in the Greater Niagara. We hope this will raise awareness of birding opportunities while expanding access for all nature lovers across the state.

Marcus Rosten, Buffalo Area Naturalist, Environmental Educator and Ornithological Society Board Member, said, “The Greater Niagara Region is one of the best places in the world for birdwatching and I am thrilled that the trail birding doesn’t just include some of the best spots. to look for birds in the area, but also includes sites that are easily accessible and accessible to new birders. This trail will help remove some of the obstacles faced by those new to the business by pointing them in the right direction and guiding them in what to look for. The diversity of trail locations means that anyone from downtown Buffalo to the Lake Ontario shoreline to rural Wyoming County can easily find a great birding spot closest to home. him !

The Greater Niagara segment of the trail includes 36 locations on a mix of public and private lands in Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties. From the impressive Niagara River Corridor, part of a National Audubon Society-designated Globally Significant Migratory Bird Area, to the 292 acres of forests, ponds and wetlands of the Reinstein Woods, the Greater Niagara region offers multiple opportunities to observe migratory birds. In the summer and fall, visitors can take the Discover Niagara Shuttle to Fort Niagara State Park, Stella Niagara Preserve, ArtPark, and several locations along the Niagara River Corridor. Visit the Tifft Nature Preserve and Buffalo Harbor State Park at the south end of the Niagara River to take in views of Lake Erie and spot more than 200 species of birds. Knox Farm State Park is a prime destination for grassland birds and hosts an exhibit of bluebird nest boxes.

Today’s announcement complements the 2022 Birds on the Niagara (BON) International Festival, a winter celebration of birds, to be held February 10-12. BON celebrates birds and highlights the importance of the International Niagara River Corridor in protecting the flyway’s ecology and habitat. Winter is a good time to see some species of birds, including passerines, woodpeckers, owls and eagles. Wintering eagles arrive in December with peak concentrations in January and February. Bird colonies flock to the Niagara River when nearby lakes freeze over, making it easy to see these birds. Additionally, Tundra Swans can be spotted along the river, as well as thousands of ducks and gulls.

New segments of the Birding Trail are opened in a progressive approach. DEC announced the New York City Trails Segment in October 2021, which includes 33 locations across all five boroughs. When completed, the Statewide Birding Trail will provide birding opportunities for everyone, regardless of age, ability, identity or background, throughout New York State.

To promote the trail as an inclusive experience for everyone, CED and its partners are working to select sites that are welcoming and accessible by public transit. DEC also continues to seek input from a wide range of New Yorkers and organizations that represent Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and makes information available in English and Spanish. Birdwatching walks will be organized in collaboration with organizations working with BIPOC communities.

The New York State Bird Trail Map is available at www.ibirdny.org and provides valuable information about each site such as location, amenities available, species likely to be seen, directions, etc Additional birding, educational and interpretive information is also available. Digital information on the Birding Trail will be updated periodically, so budding outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to return often.

In addition to state-owned and state-run sites for the Bird Trail, government and privately run sites can follow a simple self-nomination process to be considered for inclusion on the trail. . The sites all meet the criteria to ensure a positive experience for visitors statewide. In addition, each site will post signage indicating that it is an official location on the birding trail. For more information on the nomination process, see www.ibirdny.org.

DEC encourages birding enthusiasts to visit I Bird NY for more information on where and how to bird watch, upcoming bird walks, a downloadable beginner’s guide to birding (available in Spanish), and additional resources.

DEC manages and oversees nearly five million acres of public lands and conservation easements and plays a vital role in both protecting New York’s natural resources and providing people with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Fishing on scenic streams, hiking and rock climbing, swimming and boating, bird watching and nature study, or just relaxing in a tent under the stars , the adventures are endless. Visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/, connect with us on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

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