Friday, September 10, 2010

Great Lakes Seaway Trail bird checklist now online

Interested in finding more than 300 bird species while birding along the freshwater shoreline of New York and Pennsylvania? The Great Lakes Seaway Trail Birder's Checklist can help you do that while traveling the 518-mile route.

This America's Byway route includes waterfront and sandy dunes, field, forest and wetlands, and the checklist covers species commonly seen in areas ranging from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation on the St. Lawrence River to the Pennsylvania-Ohio border on Lake Erie. The list also includes rarities and vagrants.

Birding the Great Lakes Seaway Trail author and professional ornithologist Gerry Smith says, “The big fresh waters of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River attract a diversity of bird species year’round. Avid birders flock to this byway in all four seasons to add to their life lists.”

For example, Smith says, “The fall season is particularly good to see waterfowl and waterbird migration at several locations along the byway, including at Sodus Bay, Little Sodus Bay and Derby Hill Bird Observatory near Mexico Point on Lake Ontario. Along Lake Erie, migrant shorebirds join warblers, vireos, flycatchers and thrushes moving south.”

Smith says the stars of the fall season at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory west of Rochester include kinglets and Hermit Thrushes seen by the hundreds and the many landbirds banded by observatory staff each autumn to provide data on the movement of individual birds and bird populations.

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