By Scott O’Connor:
Buffalo’s location on Lake Erie and the Niagara River and the corresponding land bridge to Canada makes us a favorite stopover for migratory birds of all types. The spring migratory season which is ramping up now, brings literally thousand and thousands of birds (60 plus different species) to our area. Most of our parks will be hosting these species, making bird watching a pastime that everyone can enjoy.
From the Turkey Vultures that have been showing up circling our skies to the small song birds and neo-tropicals such as the Prothonotary Warbler, Cedar Waxwings, Winter Wrens and Baltimore Orioles (to name just a few), these amazing birds winter-over in the warmer climes and move north to breed and feed. Many of the birds may be passing through, while others will be staying for the summer.
Tifft Nature Preserve, to me, is one of the top ten bird watching spots
in any city in the Northeast (or even close to a city). Peak season is
just around the corner, just before the plants leaf out, making spotting
the birds much harder. A pair of binoculars and a bird field guide is
all you need to enter into this fascinating world.
The Buffalo Ornithological Society in conjunction The Buffalo Museum of Science have a phone number that you can call (716-896-1271) for weekly updates of sightings, along with info on tours and trips. City parks, town parks, Iroquois Wildlife Refuge, Allegheny State Park, Jamestown Audubon, Buffalo Audubon and closer to the city Times Beach, Woodlawn Beach and Reinsten Forest are all great places for birding.
Buffalo Audubon and Medaille College will be hosting an Introductory Birding Class at Riverside Park on Sat. May 28th at 10:00am. Birds are a important of our part ecosystems and can be indicator species for the health of our environment. Their life cycles aren’t all that well known considering that they are some of the most fascinating of all of our living creatures – tracking can be extremely difficult. Take a walk and witness some of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts… our birds.
Lead image: Tifft Nature Preserve