Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is located in central New York State in the State's picturesque Finger Lakes Region. It is located at the north end of Cayuga, one of the larger Finger Lakes. Montezuma NWR provides an important resting, feeding, and nesting area for waterfowl and other migratory birds due to its position in the middle of one of the most active flight paths of the Atlantic Flyway. The large wetland at the end of the lake was first altered in 1826 with the construction of parts of the Erie Canal. This did not materially affect the Marsh until the Erie became the larger Barge Canal in 1910. Large parts of the original Marsh drained into the canal and muckland was opened to farming. Purchase of remaining Marsh began in 1937 by the Biological Survey, the forerunner of the Fish and Wildlife Service. Marsh areas were restored by the construction of low dikes by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today, over 7,068 acres of wetlands have been restored on the refuge. An ambitious plan is now underway that will eventually restore even more of the original 40,000 acre wetland complex. A cooperative effort by the Fish and Wildlife Service, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Ducks Unlimited is mapping out a strategy that will combine federal, state, and private lands in a much larger wetland and grassland complex designed to enhance the wildlife resources of the area. There are currently two bald eagle nests on the refuge, and at least 5 pairs of Osprey within the refuge and nearby wetland environs. Link to the refuge website.