Honeywell will host an Onondaga Lake bird photography showcase March 25-26. (Photo by Greg Craybas)
Local wildlife photographers will display incredible images of birds taken in recently restored and enhanced areas along the Onondaga Lake shoreline at the “Images of a Restored Habitat” bird photography exhibit March 25 to 26. The exhibit highlights the diverse range of bird species, including northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, great egret, merlin and bald eagles, that have returned to Onondaga Lake. The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps is hosting the bird photography exhibit in partnership with Audubon New York and Honeywell. The exhibit is free and open to the public, and will take place at Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, along the southwest lakeshore in Geddes.
“Onondaga Lake was named an Important Bird Area because it provides critical habitat for migratory and overwintering species of the Atlantic Flyway,” said Erin Crotty, executive director, Audubon New York. “Thanks to the cleanup and restoration efforts of Onondaga County, Honeywell, the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, and the Syracuse community, a variety of bird species can once again depend on Onondaga Lake for year-round nesting, breeding, and stopover habitat. Thank you to the event photographers for sharing their talents with us and allowing us to showcase the significant role Onondaga Lake plays in the Atlantic Flyway.”
The exhibit runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26. Visitors will meet the photographers who captured the images and have an opportunity to look for birds in their natural habitat with experts from the Montezuma Audubon Center and Onondaga Audubon Society.
Onondaga Lake became a priority Audubon Important Bird Area (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, to connecting local communities to the importance of stewardship, and to improving the quality of 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 70 acres of wetlands have been restored and more than 180 species of birds, fish, and other wildlife have returned to restored habitat near the lake. More than 80 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 restoration of Onondaga Lake has transformed the shoreline into an unrecognizable wetland that people and wildlife have not seen before,” said Greg Craybas, a local photographer who will be exhibiting at the event. “With the opportunity to photograph birds and waterfowl on Onondaga Lake, it is sure to become a key destination for photographers for years to come.”
The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps 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 650 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 at facebook.com/onondagalakecc or visit youtube.com/onondagalakecc to learn more. For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, visit lakecleanup.com.
TO ACCESS THE VISITORS CENTER: From Points West: Take I-690 East to Exit 7, turn left onto State Fair Boulevard, take the first left passing under I-690, drive straight toward the lake and follow signs to the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center. From Points East: Take I-690 West to Exit 7, turn right at the off ramp and follow signs to the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center.