Education

Montezuma Audubon Center Programs and Events

Join the fun with the MAC's nature inspired events!

Winter Programs

Are you looking for something fun and exciting to do this winter? The Montezuma Audubon Center’s programs are a great way to explore the winter wonderland with friends and family! Join us for hot cocoa and snowshoe programs to explore the wild side of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Hop in our van and tour Montezuma to experience majestic raptors, migratory waterfowl, and other wildlife who call Montezuma home. 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 proceed with or without snow. Please call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.

ALL PROGRAMS ARE AT THE MONTEZUMA AUDUBON CENTER, 2295 STATE ROUTE 89, SAVANNAH, NY, 13146 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Eastern Bluebirds Photo: Douglas Racine

Click here to download the Winter programs document. 

Jan. 1, Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  First Day Snowshoe Hike

Join us to ring in 2019 by strapping on some snowshoes and taking a leisurely 1-mile hike through snow muffled forests, across restored grasslands and out to the usually inaccessible Crusoe Lake to explore hearty winter birds and signs of active mammals. After the hike, we’ll warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. Fee: FREE!

Jan. 5, Saturday, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.  Hot Cocoa and Snowshoe Hike

Take a leisurely hike through snow muffled forests, across restored grasslands and out to the usually inaccessible Crusoe Lake. We’ll watch for winter birds and signs of active mammals. After the hike, we’ll warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $7/child, $10/adult. Fee: w/o rental: $5/child, $8/adult.

Jan. 12, Saturday, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.  Birds, Binocs, and Beers

Join us at Fleur de Lis Brew Works (3630 NY-414, Seneca Falls, NY 13148) for this unique and dynamic event. Enjoy a guided snowshoe hike through the brewery grounds, then warm up inside the brewery with beer tastings and light snacks. Krittr Kris and her birds will wrap up the event with a live bird of prey program. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $30/person. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $25/person. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. 

Jan. 24, Thursday, 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Cayuga Lake Birding Van Tour

Cayuga Lake is an Audubon designated Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during the winter and migration seasons. Hop in our van for an excursion to the northern part of the lake where up to 30 species of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald Eagles and other raptors are a possibility too. Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Jan. 26, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  Owl Prowl

Get up close to live owls during an indoor presentation by KrittrKris to find out what special adaptations these birds have that allow them to survive the winter season and be successful hunters of the night. Then, join our staff for a short walk to search for the endangered Short-eared Owls and other birds of prey. It will be a real hoot! Fee: $6/child, $8/adult, $25/family.

Feb. 2, Saturday, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.  Nature of Montezuma Lecture Series:  Bird Banding with Dr. John Van Niel

Dr. John Van Niel, a Professor of Environmental Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College, has been a bird bander since 1999. Participants will learn how to safely capture and handle songbirds, the scientific reasons for placing bands on birds, and what information researchers can obtain from a bird "in the hand". Bring your camera as this will be a great experience to see birds up close and personal. Fee: $5/child, $8/adult, $25/family, *FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.

Feb. 2, Saturday, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.  Paint and Taste  **THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN CANCELED BECAUSE THE ARTIST IS VERY ILL.**

Be a part of our first “Paint and Taste” class and learn how to paint native bird species and sample some local, non-alcoholic beverages as well. All materials will be provided, so join us for an afternoon of artistry and refreshments. Ages 10 and up are welcome with a parent or guardian. Fee: $30/person. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.  

Feb. 9, Saturday, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.  Sweetheart Snowshoe & Bird Friendly Chocolate Tasting

Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day weekend so bring your sweetheart, friends, and family for an adventure to explore Montezuma’s winter wonderland. Then, sample delicious bird friendly chocolates and discover how these sweet treats are grown sustainably to protect important habitats where our breeding warblers and vireos spend the winter months. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $12/child, $15/adult. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $10/child, $12/adult.

Feb. 14, Thursday, 2:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.  Winter Raptor Birding Van Tour

The Finger Lakes Region is home to many migratory raptors, including Short-eared Owls, Gyrfalcons, Snowy Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, and Northern Harriers. Join us for a trip around the Finger Lakes Regional Airport and nearby grasslands to search for these visitors from the Great White North. Binoculars and bird guides will be provided.  Fee: $8/child; $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Feb. 16, Saturday, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.  Walking in a Winter Wineryland

Join us at the Buttonwood Grove Winery (5986 State Route 89, Romulus, NY  14541) for this fun and delicious event! Enjoy a guided snowshoe hike along the gorge trail, award-winning wine and cheese pairings, and a live bird of prey presentation featuring Daena Ford from Braddock Bay Raptor Research and her hawks, owls and falcons. Non-alcoholic beverages are available for kids. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $30/adult, $20/child. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $25/adult, $15/child. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.  **THE WALKING IN A WINTER WINERYLAND EVENT IS FULL**

Feb. 20, Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Winter Break Day of Play

Children ages 6-12 are welcome to join us for outdoor and indoor activities including snowshoeing, crafts, games, and more. Pack a lunch, snack, and water bottle. Fee: $25/child, $40/two children; PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Feb. 23, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Girl Scout Snowshoe Spectacular

Girl Scouts of all ages are welcome to snowshoe through Montezuma’s forests and grasslands to read the stories left in the snow by our resident foxes, coyotes, rabbits and birds. Scouts will also discover where reptiles and amphibians are hiding this winter season. After snowshoeing, we’ll warm up with a delicious cup of hot cocoa. Fee: $10/Scout w/snowshoe rental, $7/Scout w/out rental. $5/rental for accompanying adults.

Mar. 2, Saturday, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.  Bird Dissection & Discussion Workshop

Join us for a bird dissection and discussion to learn about the interesting differences and similarities between various species. If you have ever wanted to examine birds up close and personal, this is your chance. There will be opportunity for attendees to explore the internal and external anatomy of their own study bird if they wish, and to dissect the bird. All children must be accompanied by a parent. Fee: $10/child; $15/adult, $40/family. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Mar. 7, Thursday, 2:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.  Winter Raptor Birding Van Tour

The Finger Lakes Region is home to many migratory raptors, including Short-eared Owls, Gyrfalcons, Snowy Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, and Norther Harriers. Join us for a trip around the Finger Lakes Regional Airport and nearby grasslands to search for these visitors from the Great White North. Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child; $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Mar. 9, Saturday, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.  Boy Scout Bird Study Merit Badge

Boy Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Bird Study Merit Badge during fun and interactive activities. Please be prepared to go outside and dress for the weather. Pre-requisites are required.  All Scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone. Fee: $8/Scout

Mar. 16, Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  Wine and Wings Raptor Van Tour

The spring migration is here so join us to search for migratory waterfowl, elusive Northern Harriers, breeding Bald Eagles and more! During the tour, we will stop at Izzo’s White Barn Winery and enjoy award-winning wines and learn how vineyards and Important Birds Areas can exist side by side. Fee: $20/adult, includes wine tastings. Must be 21+. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Mar. 21, Thursday, 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Migration Mania Birding Van Tour

The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is Audubon’s first globally significant Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that stop here during the migration seasons. Enjoy a leisurely ride in our van to explore Montezuma’s birding hot spots where thousands of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and other raptors are a possibility too. Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child; $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Mar. 30, Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Braddock Bay Hawk Watch Trip

Braddock Bay is a bird migration hot spot located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario just west of Rochester, New York and early spring is the perfect time to look to the skies for many species of raptors migrating through the area. Join us for a day-long van trip to Braddock Bay Raptor Research (BBRR) for the chance to see hundreds (thousands if the conditions are right) of hawks, vultures, eagles, owls, waterfowl and songbirds migrating overhead. We’ll meet with BBRR President Daena Ford for a live bird of prey presentation, take a short walk through Owl Woods searching for roosting Saw Whet Owls and Long-eared Owls, and we’ll also explore the raptor banding station. Please pack a lunch, wear sturdy shoes, and dress for the weather. Fee: $20/child, $30/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

 

Bald Eagle Photo by Greg Craybas

“Onondaga Lake Birds of Prey”: An Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Photography Exhibit

Saturday, March 30, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 31, from 1 - 4 p.m.

Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Visitors Center

Suggested donation $5/person and $15/family

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Join us for the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Photography Exhibit: “Onondaga Lake Birds of Prey”

Local wildlife photographers will display colorful images of birds of prey taken in recently restored and enhanced areas along the Onondaga Lake shoreline at the “Onondaga Lake Birds of Prey” photography exhibit. The event will showcase the diverse range of species, including Bald Eagles, Osprey, Turkey Vultures, hawks, owls, and falcons, that have returned to Onondaga Lake. The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps is hosting the exhibit in partnership with Honeywell, Audubon New York, and NextEra Energy.

Visitors will meet the photographers who captured the images and will have an opportunity to look for birds in their natural habitat with experts from the Montezuma Audubon Center and Onondaga Audubon. For the first time, the images displayed will be for sale to the public. Images of designated smaller sizes can also be ordered during the event. All proceeds will benefit Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps bird conservation and environmental education.

Onondaga Lake became a priority Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA) in 1998 and was subsequently adopted by Honeywell, Montezuma Audubon Center, and Onondaga Audubon because of its value to waterfowl and Bald Eagles during the winter months. The IBA program serves as a catalyst for achieving bird conservation.

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 850 community members have participated in Corps events.

The Corps was founded by Honeywell in partnership with Montezuma Audubon Center and Onondaga Audubon and is now an Audubon New York program. Additional Corps supporters include Parsons, OBG, Anchor QEA, Bond Schoeneck & King, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Wild Ones Habitat Gardening in CNY Chapter.

As part of the Onondaga Lake cleanup, Honeywell has already restored about 90 acres of wetlands and about 1.1 million native plants are being planted. More than 260 wildlife species are now calling these areas home, and 130 unique bird species have been identified in and around Onondaga Lake. Honeywell also is working with federal and state governments on additional projects to restore and protect wildlife habitats and enhance recreational opportunities, including creating 100 acres of new native grassland habitat and conserving about 1,600 acres within the watershed.

To learn more about the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps or participate in future activities, please contact montezuma@audubon.org, visit http://ny.audubon.org/OLCC, or call 315-365-3588. Schools, community groups, local organizations, and individuals are welcome. Like the Corps on Facebook or Instagram, or visit YouTube to learn more.

When:

Saturday, March 30, 2019  9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sunday, March 31, 2019  1 - 4 p.m.

Where:

Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake 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.

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Scout Programs

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School Field Trips