Local high school students participated in Syracuse Christmas Bird Count Saturday, Dec. 20 with Audubon, SUNY ESF and Honeywell:
The Montezuma Audubon Center and Onondaga Audubon Society announced that through cooperative efforts with Honeywell, they will adopt Onondaga Lake as an Important Bird Area. Onondaga Lake was established as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in 1997 because of its value to congregating waterfowl. The Adopt an IBA program is an educational program facilitated by Audubon New York, a state program for the National Audubon Society.
"The Adopt an Important Bird Area program is designed to connect communities with their local IBA and incorporate a sense of stewardship that works toward improving the welfare of birds and bird habitat," said Frank Moses, Director of the Montezuma Audubon Center. "We are confident the establishment of this joint adoption with the Montezuma Audubon Center, Honeywell, and the Onondaga Audubon Society will help ensure a bright future for Onondaga Lake as a resource for birds and the birding community."
As part of the kick-off, Audubon and Honeywell sponsored a birding field trip around Onondaga Lake for local high school students. Most of the students are part of ESF in the High School and were recruited by Catherine Landis, a National Science Foundation Fellow through SUNY ESF Outreach. Montezuma Audubon Center Director Frank Moses drove the Center's van while Onondaga Audubon Society President Gerry Smith navigated in pursuit of some birds.
"Onondaga Audubon Society is happy to work with the Montezuma Audubon Center and Honeywell on birding initiatives like this, which are just the beginning of what it means to adopt Onondaga Lake as an IBA," Smith said. "Onondaga Lake represents a wonderful resource for birds, other wildlife, and birders in the heart of the Syracuse metropolitan area and we are looking forward to ways this joint adoption can help restore the birding glory the lake has had in the past."