Centers, Sanctuaries & Chapters

Montezuma Muckrace: Fun and competition for birding enthusiasts

Registration now through Sept. 5th!

Original story published by the Syracuse Post-Standard, by David Figura, August 18, 2015

Enjoy birding? Competitive?

The 19th annual Montezuma Muckrace might be right up your alley.

The 24-hour event, set for Sept 18-19, is a fund-raiser put on by the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Audubon New York and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Money raised by the competition goes toward improving habitat and bird-watching opportunities in the area.

Teams are entered in several categories (competitive, recreational, low carbon, family and youth). The goal is to see or hear as many bird species as possible during the contest. It kicks Friday evening and lasts until Saturday evening.

The competition is limited to the 242-square-mile Montezuma Wetlands Complex, which is also referred to as the Montezuma Focus Area. It includes federal, state and Nature Conservancy-owned lands, with the largest tract being the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

The winning team in the competitive division wins this trophy/plaque, which must be returned for next year's competition.

According to the Friends' website: "This 50,000-acre region at the northern end of Cayuga Lake, known for its abundant wetlands is a major migration stopover for waterfowl, shorebirds, and land birds and provides breeding habitat for several species of conservation concern, including bald eagles, black terns, and Cerulean warblers. Designated as an Important Bird Area of global significance in 1997, the Complex is a hub of bird conservation activity and research – past, present and future-- that has benefits extending far beyond it boundaries."

The registration deadline is Sept. 5.

For further information or to download a registration form, go to the Friends website or email Friends treasurer Steve