Birds of Prey in the Spotlight at Onondaga Lake Photograph Exhibition This Weekend

Mar 28, 2019

Central New Yorkers have probably heard about the bald eagles making Onondaga Lake their winter home. But a photo exhibit this weekend aims to show that many other types of birds of prey have also returned to feed and roost at the lake. Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Director Chris Lajewski says it shows just how far Onondaga Lake has come.

“It used to be the most polluted lake in the country-- no longer.  And we are still getting the word out to the community that it is coming back to life.”

A sign out side the visitor center
Credit Shantelle Willock / WAER News

In fact, Onondaga Lake set a record this year for the largest winter roost for bald eagles in a New York state urban area.  The exhibit also showcases osprey, turkey vultures, hawks, owls, and falcons, which Lajewski says are attracted by the lake’s fish population.  He praises Honeywell for cleaning up the industrial pollution and allowing these animals to return.

“And now that those areas have been cleaned up, and the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps has helped to restore these 90 acres.  It is now a thriving ecosystem.”

Lajewski hopes that the exhibit highlights how valuable Onondaga Lake is.

“This is showing us here that the water is cleaner, the habitats are healthier, and the birds are coming back.”

The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps is a program of Audubon New York and offers volunteers a hands-on way to help restore the lake.  More than 850 have participated in Corps restoration events.  Individuals, schools, community groups and other organizations are invited to join in or partner on projects.  

The Photographs displayed at the exhibit will be for sale and visitors will have a chance to meet the photographers during the event. The exhibit takes place this Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm. The suggested donation is $5 per person and $15 per family.