Birdwatchers and local spectators will be able to experience the wildlife of Onondaga Lake in pictures as part of a new exhibit. “Birds of Onondaga Lake” consists of wildlife photography of bald eagles and other birds. But according to Erin Crotty, President of Audubon New York, it also tells a story about a recovering habitat that is becoming a place for bird conservation.
“It brings the birds to a broader audience in a way that is very compelling, visually compelling,” Crotty says, “it tells the story of the birds to an audience that might not necessarily grab binoculars and go out on a Saturday when it’s 20 degrees.”
Species encompass a range of migrating waterfowl. But Crotty says the presence of bald eagles at Onondaga Lake is probably the most exciting.
“They’re such an iconic American symbol and such a symbol of a healthy ecosystem. They are using Onondaga Lake as a food source and as their habitat. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to work on a long-term management plan to ensure that Onondaga Lake continues to be a vibrant, healthy ecosystem.”
Crotty says part of that ecosystem includes the restoration of habitats. She notes those efforts have likely contributed to the lake’s recovery of bird life.
“Getting rid of the invasive species, returning the native plant species. This is what attracts wildlife; having the food source available to sustain them. Mostly during their breeding season, but also in the winter. Once you have that balance right -- that ecological balance correct -- the birds pretty much take care of themselves.”
Onondaga Lake received the listing as an Important Bird Area by Audubon in 1997 because of the lake’s significance to bird populations. “Birds of Onondaga Lake” runs Saturday March 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday March 30 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Visitors Center.