Salmon Creek Bird Sanctuary

In 1998, 48 pairs of Cerulean Warblers were found near and in the preserve, along with Scarlet Tanagers, Hooded Warblers, Baltimore Orioles, and host of other birds.
Directions No Site Visit Report

129 KB
.PDF file
What's This?

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!

History
The 33-acre Salmon Creek Bird Sanctuary is in the midst of one of New York State's 127 "Important Bird Areas" (IBA), identified by the National Audobon Society. Thanks to an anonymous donor and a collaboration between the Finger Lakes Land Trust and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the Land Trust has purchased the land for the preserve. The Land Trust is hoping to protect additional lands in this IBA in the coming years.

Natural History
In 1998, 48 pairs of Cerulean Warblers were found near and in the preserve, along with Scarlet Tanagers, Hooded Warblers, Baltimore Orioles, and an array of other birds. Two of the known pairs of Acadian Flycatchers in Tompkins County also live in the woods near or in the preserve.

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.

Back to Nature Preserves