Upcoming Events

Sat 13
Sat 13

Duck Banding on Cayuga Lake

February 13 @ 10:30 am
Sat 13
Wed 17

Winter Breakout– Day Camp

February 17 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Photos of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex provided by Doug Racine

What’s New

MAC Winter Wonderland Programs

Our serene winter wonderland provides a plethora of opportunities to get outside and explore the Montezuma Wetlands Complex with friends and family. Come out for a Hot Cocoa and Snow program to explore the wild side of Montezuma on snowshoes. Hop in our van and tour Montezuma to encounter majestic bald eagles, hawks, owls and waterfowl. Don’t miss the live owls that will be the stars of our Owl Prowl program. You can also rent snowshoes from us to explore the winter landscape on your own.

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Montezuma Winter Raptor Survey

The 2015/2016 Montezuma Winter Raptor Survey season will begin November 18th.

Surveys have been conducted annually at Montezuma since 2010, and will be conducted weekly on Wednesdays, one half hour before sunset to one half hour after sunset. Our work generates important data for use by the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and Department of Environmental Conservation in managing habitat. Accurate data collection is our number one priority. Our work is important, and I assure you that it will be appreciated.

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The 19th Annual Muckrace Musings

This ‘Big Day’, 24-hour birding event and premier fundraising effort of the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex continues to provide good times for birders of all ages. Although rain paid a visit mid-day on Saturday, and returned with about a half-hour to go, spirits were not dampened for the all-time record numbers of 135 participants and 37 teams.

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MWC and Bald Eagles in NYC

Chris Lajewski Center Director at the Montezuma Audubon Center was interviewed by the National Audubon Society for an story about Bald Eagles. After the nesting pair near Watertown was found in 1980, the DEC decided to ramp up their efforts towards a goal of establishing 10 stable nesting pairs of Bald Eagles in New York state, a number that they believed sufficient to sustain a population indefinitely. They reached that goal by 1989, and their belief was soon borne out: today, there are around 200 nesting pairs in the state, according to Montezuma Audubon Center director Chris Lajewski. In fact, there are 10 pairs just within the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge where the hacking began! Read the article on audubon.org... read more

Guy’s Marsh Update July 2014

Friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, and former students have contributed more than $20,000 to help ensure that “Guy’s Marsh” would become a reality. an 80-acre area of State-owned land was selected for the project Ducks Unlimited developed plans for a 55-acre wetland restoration all major construction (dikes, excavation, grading, water control structures) and seeding of upland areas was completed in 2014 students and faculty from SUNY-ESF’s Department of Landscape Architecture provided concept plans and drawings for visitor use facilities a variety of marsh-nesting birds and shorebirds have found it! volunteers will begin building visitor use facilities in summer... read more

Guy’s Marsh August 2013 Update

August 20, 2013 marked one year since the passing of Dr. Guy A. Baldassarre, Distinguished Teaching professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). Guy was an internationally respected waterfowl and wetland ecologist and a beloved educator, researcher, mentor, husband, father, and much more. The memory of Guy’s energy, intellect, and passion will live on in everyone who knew him, and in other notable ways. ESF has established a scholarship fund in Guy’s name, and Dr. Sue Sheaffer has committed to completing Guy’s work on a brand new edition of Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America. In addition to these tributes, a wetland habitat restoration project will be completed and dedicated to Guy at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex in central New York. Guy always stressed the importance of habitat conservation for waterfowl, and this project will honor that belief. Planning for “Guy’s Marsh” is well underway – an 87-acre area of abandoned farmland owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been selected for the project; Ducks Unlimited (DU) has developed detailed engineering plans to restore 55 acres of emergent marsh and establish 32 acres of grassland cover (see figure); federal and state permits are in hand; and construction is expected to begin this fall. Planning for public use of the area, including waterfowl viewing facilities and an outdoor classroom, will begin this fall too, with the help of Landscape Architecture staff at ESF. We anticipate project completion in 2014, with a dedication event to be held in the spring. The concept of Guy’s Marsh was announced last... read more

The 18th Annual Muckrace Musings

Cool weather prevailed and a mid-day rain shower confounded some of the best laid birding strategies, but a crazy good time was had by all at the 2014 Montezuma Muckrace. This ‘Big Day’, 24-hour birding event is the premier fund-raising effort of the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. A new record of 29 teams registered. This included 11 Recreational teams, 6 teams in the Family/Mentor category (a new high), 2 teams in a new Photo category which required participants to identify AND photograph their birds, 1 Low-Carbon team (no fossil fuels used), and 9 Competitive teams. The total of 107 participants was second all-time. As of this date, over $10,200 has been raised to support conservation efforts in the Complex, especially those efforts that will contribute to more birds and better viewing of birds. Congratulations to the winning teams in each category. In the competitive category it was Wind Birders (L & B Farms) with 121 species including a new species for the 18-year old Muckrace – a Cackling Goose. Wind Birders also had ‘good finds’ of Ruddy Turnstone and Hudsonian Godwit. In the Recreation category, the Geneseedeaters (Rochester Davis-Fetch Corporation), topped the tally with 111 species, including ‘good finds’ – Stilt Sandpiper, Common Nighthawk, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. The Blue and Bluer team (self-sponsored) topped the Family/Mentor category with a remarkable 100 species and ‘good finds’ of Hooded Merganser and Lincoln’s Sparrow. The Shutterbirds (Eaton Birds) won the new Photo category with 70 species and notable species of Merlin and Bank Swallow. Finally, the Low-Carbon category was won by Team Sittidae (Eaton Birding Society) with notable finds of... read more

Cross Country Skiing at the MWC

One of my favorite winter activities is crosscountry skiing in the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. While most visitors to Montezuma come in the spring, summer, and fall, winter has its own attractions – especially when there’s been a lot of snow. There is nothing like being outdoors in January, warm from physical activity, and quietly swishing along trails enjoying winter scenes. Three of my favorite areas to ski are described here. The Refuge’s Wildlife Drive is closed to automobiles when there is snow but skiing is allowed. Note that the drive is open to the wind, drifts easily, and is exposed to the full glare of the sun which can cause icy patches. Pick a day when there’s fresh snow and no wind, and you’ll have miles of flat road to travel. On a cold but sunny afternoon last February, we enjoyed seeing two bald eagles, a solitary heron fishing near the carp outlet, and small flocks of waterfowl taking off and landing on the open water. To ski the Wildlife Drive, park at the Refuge Visitor Center lot off of Rte. 5&20. If you are looking for a more protected spot, the Esker Brook Trail provides a nice loop through woods, along a stream, around a pond, and up the glacially formed ridge and back through the woods (approximately 1.5 miles). Chickadees may accompany you on part of your trip and a variety of animal tracks usually crisscross the trail. You can also connect from the ridge portion of the trail to the South Spring Pond Trail that travels east through open fields and along the pond, adding an... read more

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Check us out on Facebook

Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands ComplexThursday, February 11th, 2016 at 5:02am
WILDLIFE PAINTING/ MASTER CLASS with Jennifer Miller
April 11, 13 & 15/ 6-8pm
Cattagraugus County Arts Council
Fee: $90 - members/ $100 non-members
Award winning wildlife artist (2015-2016 Federal Duck Stamp winner), Jennifer Miller, will lead you in the nuances of painting birds in acrylic in this three-day class. Explore anatomy, light, color and shape as it relates to composing and painting our feathered friends, through the use of demonstration and guidance. Students will better appreciate this class if they have some basic painting experience. You may bring your own photos of birds or use one of Jennifer's as a reference for your painting. All supplies are included in the class fee.
Visit http://www.myartscouncil.net/adult-classes.html for more information and location.
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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex shared Auburn Permaculture Park's post.Saturday, February 6th, 2016 at 3:09am
Something very cool is coming to our neighbors in Auburn! Plans are underway to deveop a Permaculture Park - a natural edible garden with place to play and enjoy nature - right in the midst of the urban lanscape.

Check our their Page and also, if you are so inclined, take a look at the Concepts they have laid out for the future of the park and take the survey!
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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands ComplexWednesday, February 3rd, 2016 at 11:55pm
Cayuga Lake Birding Van Tour
Thursday, February 4, 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cayuga Lake is an Audubon designated Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during winter and migration seasons. Hop in the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) 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 Northern Harriers are a possibility too! Participants are encouraged to bring their camera. Fee: $8/child, $13.50/adult. Call 315-365-3588 to reserve your seat. Meet at the MAC 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. Photo by Doug Racine.
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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands ComplexTuesday, February 2nd, 2016 at 8:40am
Don't forget about Montezuma's Winter Book Club! February's read is Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail, by Ben Montgomery.

Discussion is Sunday, Feb. 21, 2:00 PM, in the Refuge Visitor Center. Sign up by calling (315) 568-5987.

This book is more than a story about a long-distance hike. People take to the trail for a reason, and this book reveals "Grandma's" in such a way that you cannot put the book down!
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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands ComplexSaturday, January 30th, 2016 at 1:57am
Just a note out to our Facebook friends, you can now sign up for membership to the Friends online. We welcome your support and, if possible, your participation. Great things are happening at the complex, and the Friends are an important support both financially and through the many volunteers.
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