If you ask residents and visitors what attracts them most to the Finger Lakes, you will likely hear mostly about our sweeping vistas, stunning shorelines, orchards, farms, culture and arts, food and wine. But for me and countless other enthusiasts, one different answer rises to the top – the diversity of birds and the abundance of protected lands where one can enjoy them.
Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in the Finger Lakes region. If you are a beginning birder, it’s a great place to get started. If you are already a die hard, you can devote hours and hours, week after week, to birding here and never run out of rewarding discoveries. And whether you live in our region or are here just for a short visit, you have endless options about where to find the birds, all year round.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) has created a website, gofingerlakes.org, to help you in your planning. The site presents an interactive map of protected lands all across our region, enabling you to home in on individual locales to learn more. You can also apply filters to your search to find places best suited to specific activities, including birding. Here are just a few highlights from the dozens of birding destinations you’ll find on the website.