Salmon Creek Bird Sanctuary
We invite you to meet some special Finger Lakes seasonal residents, the
handsome blue and white Cerulean Warblers. These birds weight no more
than a few ounces, yet migrate between our area and South America -- wintering
there, breeding here. Although this species has been declining steadily
in parts of its range, the tall trees along Salmon Creek in Lansing provide
an oasis where it is thriving. Come listen for their buzzy song!
While the causes of the decline of Cerulean Warblers and other forest bird species are not completely understood, ornithologists believe that forest fragmentation by clear-cutting and development play a major role. Large tracts of uninterrupted forest are crucial for the protection of this and other neotropical migrants.
This bird sanctuary's forest of tall cottonwood, sycamore, willow and black locust has a dense understory of shrubs and herbaceous vegetation, including many non-native invasive species. While these species are a concern to humans, most birds are more influenced by the structure of the habitat than with whether or not the plants are native--provided, of course, that the plants can fulfill their needs for food, shelter, and nesting sites.
Salmon Creek and several tributaries meander through the preserve, frequently changing course during floods or following tree-falls and logjams. Cerulean Warblers are found both in the forest along the flood plain and on the forested slopes of the valley.
To help protect the Sanctuary's birds, there are no trails on the preserve. However, Salmon Creek Road is lightly traveled (especially early on Sunday mornings!), and many of the birds can be seen and heard easily while walking slowly along the road.