Photography Exhibit Features Birds Who Rely on Onondaga Lake Along the Atlantic Flyway
Local wildlife photographers displayed stunning images of migratory birds taken along the Onondaga Lake shoreline at the “Onondaga Lake: An Important Stop for Birds on an Impressive Journey” photography exhibit April 2-3. The exhibit provided an opportunity for hundreds of Central New York community members to view Onondaga Lake wildlife through the lenses of local photographers. The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps hosted the photography exhibit in partnership with Audubon New York and Honeywell.
“I love the fact that you can do bird watching any time of year on the shores of Onondaga Lake,” said Michele Neligan, a photographer exhibiting at the event and a member of Onondaga Audubon Society. “Seeing the Bald Eagles and ducks arrive in January is amazing, but in the spring and fall the area is teeming with migratory songbirds. I’m very proud to be a part of this project and to bring awareness and information to the community.”
Onondaga Lake is a priority Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA) and a vital stop for migratory birds along the Atlantic Flyway. Flyways are the general pathways that birds use to migrate each year between their breeding and wintering areas, including places where they stop to rest and forage, or refuel, on the way. The Atlantic Flyway follows the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains and encompasses some of the hemisphere’s most productive ecosystems, including forests, beaches, and coastal wetlands. The Atlantic Flyway is home to a wide variety of ecosystems and more than one-third of the population of the United States.
“Everyone involved in helping to restore Onondaga Lake’s habitats and wildlife should feel proud,” said Audubon New York’s Director of Bird Conservation Jillian Liner. “The lake has become a place of statewide significance for birds, especially for waterfowl and Bald Eagles that choose to stop on their flight south and spend the winter months on the lake because of the habitat and abundant food. It is incredibly exciting to think about the additional successes we will see because of the continued efforts of the Corps and other conservation partners.”
View photographs that were on display at the exhibit.
Onondaga Lake became an IBA in 1998 and was subsequently adopted by Honeywell, Montezuma Audubon Center, and Onondaga Audubon Society because of:
- its value to waterfowl and Bald Eagles during the winter months,
- the connection of the local community to environmental stewardship,
- and the improvement in habitat for birds and other wildlife.
The IBA program serves as a catalyst for achieving bird conservation.
As part of the Onondaga Lake cleanup, Honeywell is planting about 1.1 million plants, shrubs, and trees in the Onondaga Lake watershed. To date, more than 50 acres of wetlands have been restored and 170 species of birds, fish, and other wildlife have returned to restored habitat near the lake. More than 85 unique bird species have been identified in and around Onondaga Lake, including several species categorized as threatened or of special interest in New York State. Pied-Billed Grebe, Northern Harrier, and Bald Eagle are among the notable bird species that have returned.
The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, which hosted the exhibit, seeks to inspire future stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities that help restore and sustain Onondaga Lake and its value as an IBA. Since its formation in 2012, more than 600 community members have participated in Corps events.
To learn more about the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps or participate in future activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 315-365-3588. Schools, community groups, local organizations, and individuals are welcome. Like the Corps on Facebook or visit YouTube to learn more.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, please visit www.lakecleanup.com.