Upcoming Events

Wed 02

Montezuma Winter Raptor Survey

December 2 @ 3:20 pm
Wed 09

Montezuma Winter Raptor Survey

December 9 @ 3:20 pm
Fri 11

Home School Nature Series: Feederwatch

December 11 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

What’s New

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. A grand total of 188 species were recorded by at least one team. In the competitive category, “B.S. in Birding”, a new team of students from U of Rochester and Brockport, topped out with 121 species, which matches last year’s highest single team total. In the Recreational category, the “Geneseedeaters” checked off 101 species and made it to first place in that category for the 3rd time in their 3 years of Muckracing. The “From Heron to Bitternity” team placed first in the Family/Mentor category with 96 species. The Shutterbirds (Eaton Birds) won the Photo category for a second year in a row with 71 species – one more than they tallied last year. The Low-Carbon category was again won by Team Sittidae (Eaton Birding Society) with 57 species recorded at their single location – Knox-Marsellus Marsh. Finally, we were happy to see 2 Youth teams this year, with “Birds R Us” (sponsored by Rochester Birding Association/Gen. Valley Audubon) coming out on top with a very strong 89 species. Nicholas Kachala and Robert Buckert made up that well-prepared, successful new Youth team, and their highlight of the day was seeing and carefully identifying a Long-billed Dowitcher. Highlights and Notables Overall, 19 species of waterfowl, 8 species of diurnal raptors, 21... read more

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

Montezuma NWR Program Schedule

Montezuma NWR 2015 Program Schedule All programs will start at the Montezuma NWR Visitor Center (3395 US Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY) COST is FREE. Must pre-register at (315) 568-5987 Saturday, May 16, 3:00 PM Wildlife Photography Jim Adams “A Responsible Approach” Discover the many facets of wildlife photography, from the types of cameras there are and what kinds of shots to take with them (even your cell phone camera!), to ethics, editing, and sharing your photos. You’ll have a chance to get outside and practice your newfound skill with Jim! Jim Adams holds 52 patents in the field of digital cameras and digital image processing, as well as many professional awards. Since 2010, he has maintained a daily blog of his wildlife photography at http://ayearinoatka.blogspot.com/. Friday, June 19 (rain date Saturday, June 20), 7:00 PM Astronomy Peter Saracino, Ed. D. and Bob Smith “Everything the Sky Has to Offer” Come join astronomy professor Pete Saracino, and amateur astronomer Bob Smith, for a late afternoon/evening viewing of everything the sky has to offer. We will begin with a late afternoon viewing of the Sun through telescopes specifically designed to view features of the solar surface. After sunset, we will focus our attention on the slender crescent moon while discussing current theories of the moon's origin. Finally, after moon set we will turn our attention to various celestial objects including constellations, asterisms, planets, star clusters, galaxies and deep sky objects - with a discussion on celestial mechanics and sky-lore thrown in for good measure. Sunday, June 21, Times & Meeting Places as listed below Wildflowers & Wine Celebration at... 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

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. Space is limited and registration is required for all programs. Programs will run even if there isn’t enough snow for snowshoeing. Please call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org. *Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex receive a 50% discount for programs marked with an... 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

Make a Donation

Help support the Montezuma Wetlands Complex through a tax deductible donation.


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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands ComplexWednesday, November 25th, 2015 at 5:13am
A little pre-Thanksgiving bird count for your birding pleasure!
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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex added 4 new photos.Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 at 11:48am
What an amazing afternoon we had at the refuge becoming raptured by raptors! Thanks to Daena Ford from Braddock Bay Research, Volunteer David Marsh, and Jean & Len Soprano of Kindred Kingdoms for the amazing program on birds of prey! And thanks to Peter Saracino for helping put this program together!
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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands ComplexSaturday, November 21st, 2015 at 6:31am
Your Friday bird count, compliments of Larue & Jackie!
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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands ComplexWednesday, November 18th, 2015 at 7:40am
Here's an updated list of today's birds!
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Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex
Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands ComplexWednesday, November 18th, 2015 at 6:49am
Don't let fall migration fly by (see what we did there? haha) without coming out to the Refuge and seeing all of the waterfowl activity on the Main Pool, Tschache Pool, and Knox-Marsellus. You might even see the sandhill cranes flocking up!
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