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Best place for bird watching in the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region has long been a favorite place for bird watching. A variety of water fowl and backyard varieties combined with great natural settings make for a day of great fun. Here is what our area innkeepers have to recommend for the best place for bird watching in the Finger Lakes region.


Montezuma Wetlands Complex

I volunteer there and last fall we had a dozen juveniles and an occasional adult Bald Eagle soaring over the main pool almost every day, plus a real treat in a lengthy visit from 2 Snowy Owls. Spring is near and the Osprey, Canadian geese, Snow geese, Swans, Great Blue Herons and many different varieties of ducks will be back. Plus the 2 resident Eagle nests should be hatching some babies and so will the Ospreys.( If we're lucky, you'll be able to see them live on the large screen TV at the Visitor's Center.) The warblers, swallows, and thousands of other songbirds will follow. In late summer the Egrets and other shorebirds are fun to watch and difficult to identify. There is a drive through road, hiking trails and you can put in your canoe and paddle around a large island. The Visitor's Center is open 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM every day starting April 1st. If Bird Watching is for you then Montezuma is the place to be. Montezuma is on Rt. 5 & 20 just a few miles east of Seneca Falls at the Northern end of Cayuga Lake ~ Glenda Nash - Gentle Giants Bed and Breakfast

I've heard that Montezuma Wildlife Management Area is wonderful. ~ Cristina and Fernando Diaz - The Farr Inn


Finger Lakes B&B's - The best place for bird watching is near the window of almost any Bed and Breakfast in the area. My guests and I have spent time during breakfast identifying the various birds that feed off of our birdfeeders hanging right outside the windows. We have Hairy Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, pairs of Cardinals, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Chickadees, Blue Jays and a few more we have yet to identify. In the summer, there are also plenty of Hummingbirds. It's warm and there's gourmet breakfast. A very civilized way to watch birds, especially in the winter. When you call a B&B, ask if they have an active bird feeder. ~ Sheryl Mordini - 1795 Acorn Inn

Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary and Cornell Ornithology Lab - This place is amazing. There are trails to be walked which are well covered with mulch and some are elevated so you can stay clean. You can even bird watch from inside the lab where there are spotting scopes and sound systems that pipe in the sounds of the birds from outside. If you like birds, you can't help but be amazed by what there is here. Located off Rt 13 in Ithaca on the South end of Cayuga Lake. ~ Steve and Kathy Wirt - Wine Country Cabins B&B

Taughannock Falls State Park - Avid birders might want to try Taughannock Falls State Park where members of the Cornell Birding Club have convened to observe the loons. The park is located on the Southwest side of Cayuga Lake. The woods and waterways of the Finger Lakes offer spectacular opportunities for bird watching.  For instance, Seneca Lake seems to be a migratory path for many common and not so common birds.  We have observed Loons, Blue Herons, Osprey, and Bufflehead ducks along the shoreline.  ~ Bob and Barb Schiesser - Sunrise Landing Bed and Breakfast

Hi-Tor Wildlife Management Area -    You can hike it, mountain  bike it or canoe parts of it.   You will find any section of Hi-Tor filled with sights and sounds of local birds and wildlife as you enjoy the area's beauty no matter what time of year. Located on Route 245 in Naples at the South end of Canandaigua Lake. ~ Al and Nancy - Gorham House Bed & Breakfast

Recommendations made 2/17/05

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