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Montezuma Wetlands Complex Bird Conservation Area

The Montezuma Wetlands Complex BCA is part of a larger complex of state, federal and private lands. The habitats include high quality wetlands bordered by deciduous forest, shrub/scrub and open agricultural fields. The site hosts one of the largest migratory concentrations of waterfowl in the Northeast. Over 500,000 Canada geese pass through the complex during migration. During spring migration, over 25,000 snow geese regularly use the area. In late fall, mallard numbers peak at 100,000 and American black ducks at 25,000 or more. This BCA is one of the most significant stopover and foraging locations for shorebirds in upstate New York, regularly hosting 1,000 or more individuals of 25 species. The site supports breeding colonies of great blue heron and black-crowned night heron and hosts one of the largest fall swallow concentrations in the state, sometimes estimated at more than 50,000-100,000 individuals. The area also supports a large breeding population of cerulean warbler. Grassland management is also underway.


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