MONTEZUMA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge lies at the north end of Cayuga Lake, in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Located between Syracuse and Rochester, in Seneca and Wayne Counties, Montezuma serves as a major resting area for waterfowl and other waterbirds on their journeys to and from nesting areas in northeastern and east-central Canada.
Fall peaks of Canada geese reach over 60,000 birds; in spring this number has exceeded 100,000. Spring migration peaks of snow geese have recently exceeded 100,000 birds. Late fall use by mallards has exceeded 100,000 birds. Use by American black ducks in the fall often reaches 25,000.
Bald eagles have resided on the refuge since 1986, first producing offspring in 1987. Several pair of osprey also nest on the refuge. There are established nesting colonies of black terns, black-crowned night-herons, and great blue herons. Dewatered refuge impoundments provide significant foraging habitat for shorebirds during the late summer and fall.
Currently, the refuge consists of more than 8,000 acres as efforts to restore and preserve the marsh continue with the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. This project involves the Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, conservation organizations, corporations, and private landowners, all working together to restore and enhance wetland habitats and the populations of wetland-dependant wildlife on 36,050 acres of the former Montezuma Marsh. The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is part of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that seeks to restore, conserve, and enhance wetland habitats and waterfowl populations throughout North America. The National Audubon Society recognized the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as its first Important Bird Area in New York, as well as a Globally Important Bird Area.