Education

Montezuma Audubon Center Programs and Events

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

Winter Wonderland Programs

Are you looking for fun and exciting activities this winter for your friends and family? The Montezuma Audubon Center’s programs are a great way to explore our winter wonderland, the birds we all love and their habitats. Join us for hot cocoa and snowshoe programs to explore the wild side of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex in the snow. Hop in our van and tour Montezuma and Cayuga Lake to experience songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl who use these Important Birds Areas. 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. Programs will go on with or without snow. Space is limited and registration is required for all programs. Please call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.  

Jan. 1, Monday, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm  First Day Showshoe Hike   Join us as we celebrate the first day of the New Year with a snowshoe hike! Weather permitting, we’ll hike through snow muffled forests, across grasslands and out to the usually inaccessible Crusoe Lake shoreline to explore hearty winter birds and signs of active mammals!  After the hike, warm up with a cup of hot cocoa in the Montezuma Audubon Center.  Snowshoe rentals are available for $3/child and $5/adult. RSVP/Contact: Jim Eckler, NYSDEC Northern Montezuma Field Office  office (315) 365-2134,   james.eckler@dec.ny.gov.

Jan. 6, Saturday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm  Hot Cocoa and Snowshoe Hike   Celebrate the New Year with our first snowshoe hike in 2018! We’ll hike through snow muffled forests, across grasslands and out to the usually inaccessible Crusoe Lake to explore hearty winter birds and signs of active mammals! After the hike, warm up with a cup of hot cocoa in the Center!  Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $6/child, $8/adult. Fee: w/o rental: $5/child, $7/adult.

Jan. 12, Friday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm  Home School Nature Series: Wonder of Trees, Leaves, and Bark  Homeschoolers ages 5-12 will explore our winter trees and learn how important they are to birds and other wildlife. Homeschoolers will use a dichotomous key to identify trees without their foliage. If there is snow we will strap on snowshoes to explore the forest so be prepared to spend part of the program outside. Winter hats, gloves, scarves, jackets, and snow pants are recommended. All students must be accompanied by a parent or chaperone. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $10/student, $5/adult. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $8/student.

Jan. 13, Saturday, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm  Walking in a Winter Wineryland   Join us at the Buttonwood Grove Winery for this fun and delicious event! Enjoy a guided snowshoe hike along the gorge trail to explore winter birds and mammal tracks, delicious wine and local cheese pairings, and a live bird of prey presentation.  Buttonwood Grove Winery is located at 5986 State Route 89, Romulus, NY  14541.  Space is limited. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED prior to January 10th. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $30/person $20/kids under 12.  Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $25/person, $15/kids under 12.

Jan. 18, Thursday, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm  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 the Audubon 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.

Jan. 20, Saturday, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm  Owl Prowl   Get up close to live owls during an indoor presentation featuring KrittrKris and her feathered friends! Learn about the special adaptations these birds have that allow them to survive the winter season and be successful hunters of the night. Then, join Audubon staff to search for endangered Short-eared Owls and other raptors in the grasslands around Montezuma. It will be a real hoot! Fee: $6/child, $8/adult, $25/family.

Jan. 27, Saturday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm  Wild Game for the Big Game   Have you heard of “living off the land”, “sustainable living” or the “locavore movement”?  Growing, raising, and hunting your own food is not only cost effective, it also leads to a healthier life.  Join us for the 3rd annual program that will be led by Montezuma’s wildlife biologists and conservation officers. The morning session will highlight the proper way to harvest and store wild game. The afternoon session will showcase the proper cooking techniques to ensure the tastiest meals. This program will provide new and seasoned wild game chefs with delicious recipes to serve at your upcoming football party to score a touchdown!  Lunch will be a locavore potluck, so please bring a small dish to pass. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.  Fee: $15/child, $20/adult.

Feb. 3, Saturday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm  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 and he will share with participants 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". Don’t forget to 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. 8, Thursday, 9:30 am - 11:30 am  Home School Nature Series:  Winter Duck Banding    Montezuma is an Audubon Important Bird Area for thousands of wintering ducks including the American Black Duck.  Homeschooled children ages 5-12 are invited to join Montezuma’s wildlife biologists to band ducks and gather data that helps scientists learn more about winter waterfowl populations, health, and distribution. Be prepared to spend this session onsite at a designated banding area so bring winter hats, gloves, scarves, jackets and snow pants! **Please note** This program is a weather dependent event.  In case of unfavorable weather, the students will be given a guided van tour by a Montezuma wildlife biologist. All students must be accompanied by a parent or chaperone. Fee: $8/student.

Feb. 10, Saturday, 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm  Sweetheart Snowshoe & Bird Friendly Chocolate Tasting    Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day weekend so bring your sweetheart, friends, neighbors, and family for an adventure to explore Montezuma’s winter wonderland. Sample delicious bird friendly chocolates and discover how these sweet treats protect important habitats where our breeding warblers spend the winter months. Choose one of the sessions. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $12/child, $15/adult. Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $10/child, $12/adult.

Feb. 15, Thursday, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm  Montezuma Raptor Van Tour    Raptors invade the Montezuma Wetlands Complex each winter and now is a great time to see them! Hop in the Audubon van for an excursion to our premier birding locations to encounter Short-eared Owls, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, Rough-legged Hawks and more! The tour will involve minimal walking.  Binoculars and birding guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child; $15/adult.

Feb. 24, Saturday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm  Birds, Binocs & Beers    Join us at Fleur de Lis Brew Works, a new brewery located at 3630 State Route 414 Seneca Falls, NY, for this exciting and tasty event! Audubon staff will lead a guided snowshoe hike around the brewery grounds and then we’ll warm up inside the brewery with craft beers and local cheeses. Daena Ford from Braddock Bay Raptor Research will wrap up the event with a “Live Bird of Prey” presentation featuring hawks, owls, and falcons. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.  Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $30/person.  Fee: w/o snowshoe rental: $25/person.

Mar. 3, Saturday, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm  Owl Dissection & Discussion Workshop   Please join the Audubon staff for our first public owl dissection and discussion! Learn how we came to be in possession of these federally protected birds and about the management efforts that are occurring in the western U.S. If you’ve ever wanted to see an owl up close and personal, this is your chance! There will be an opportunity for each attendee to explore the internal and external anatomy of their own study owl if they wish, and to dissect a bird while learning all about unique owl adaptations along the way. All children must be accompanied by a parent. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED by Feb. 28. Fee: $10/child; $15/adult, $40/family.

Mar. 3, Saturday, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm  Hot Cocoa and Snowshoe Night Hike    A white blanket of snow covering the rolling hills, the hoots from hunting owls, and twinkling stars overhead will set the scene for this guided hike through forests and grasslands. Join us for a 1-mile hike over level terrain to explore the nighttime sights and sounds of Montezuma. Then, warm up inside the Center with some hot cocoa. Fee: w/ snowshoe rental: $7/child, $10/adult.  Fee: w/o rental: $5/child, $8/adult.

Mar. 9, Friday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm  Home School Nature Series:  Montezuma Van Tour    Spring migration is underway and our marshes, ponds, fields and lakes are teeming with waterfowl.  Homeschoolers ages 5-12 will ride in the Audubon van and tour the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Students will improve their bird identification skills while viewing massive flocks of Snow Geese, Tundra Swans and other birds during their long journey. All students must be accompanied by a parent or chaperone. Fee: $8/student.

Mar. 10, Saturday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm  Nature of Montezuma Lecture Series: Glacial Geology of the Finger Lakes Region    Join Dr. Bruce Gilman, Professor of Environmental Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College, as he walks us through the glacial history of the Finger Lakes Region. Learn about how glacial ice is formed, how drumlins, eskers and Finger Lakes formed, and the megafauna animals that used to call NY home about 10,000 years ago. Dr. Gilman will lead a 1-mile hike around our forest and grassland to showcase the area’s glacial features. Fee: $5/child, $8/adult, $25/family. *Free for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.

Mar. 15, Thursday, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm  Montezuma’s Bird Migration 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 spring and fall migrations. Enjoy a leisurely ride in the Audubon van for an excursion to 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.

Mar. 17, Saturday, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm  St. Patrick's Day Wine and Wings Van Tour     Wear your green and head out in the Audubon van to look for Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and millions of migratory waterfowl! During the tour we’ll stop at Izzo’s White Barn Winery to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while tasting award winning wines and nibbling on cheese and crackers. You’ll learn how vineyards and Important Birds Areas can exist side by side. Fee: $20/adult, includes wine tastings. Must be 21+.

Mar. 17-18, Saturday 10:00 am - Sunday 12:00 pm  Cub Scouts Camp-In     Cub Scouts of all ages are invited to a Montezuma camp-in and complete various badge requirements such as nature exploring, hiking, and bird-watching. Afterwards, Cub Scouts will have access to the Center’s grounds for other Cub Scout activities. On Sunday morning, Cub Scouts will enjoy a guided sunrise nature hike. This camp-in program is ideal for smaller packs that aren’t ready to camp outside.  Pre-paid registration is required. Please pack camping meals.  All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone.  Fee: $30/Scout.

Mar. 24-25, Saturday 10:00 am - Sunday 12:00 pm  Girl Scouts Camp-In     Girl Scouts of all ages are invited to a Montezuma camp-in and complete various badge requirements such as nature exploring, hiking, bird-watching.  Afterwards, Girl Scouts will have access to the Center’s grounds for other Girl Scout activities. On Sunday morning, Girl Scouts will enjoy a guided sunrise nature hike.  This camp-in program is ideal for smaller troops that aren’t ready to camp outside.  Pre-paid registration required.   Please pack camping meals.  All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone. Fee:  $30/Scout.

Mar. 28, Wednesday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm  Derby Hill Hawk Watch Trip    Visit Lake Ontario for the spectacular spring raptor migration and leave the driving to us. Travel with other birders in our van to view hundreds of migrating birds of prey like hawks, eagles, falcons, vultures and more! This program is sponsored by the Onondaga Audubon Society. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Please pack a lunch and folding chair. Fee: $18/child, $25/adult.

Mar. 31, Saturday, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm  Boy Scout Bird Study Merit Badge     Boy Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Bird Study Merit Badge during our fun and interactive program. As always, please be prepared to go outside, and dress appropriately for the season. Pre-requisites/pre-registration is required.  All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone. Fee: $8/Scout

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Scout Programs

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School Field Trips