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Birding Sites in the Finger Lakes


Beebe Lake

Coordinates: 42.450°N  76.474°W 



History: If you have a only a short amount of time to bird and want a lovely and profitable birding experience, Beebe Lake is the place to go. Located on the Cornell University campus, Beebe Lake was created in 1838, when university founder Ezra Cornell dammed Fall Creek to create a water source for a mill downstream. He named the lake for Jeremiah Beebe, who had provided Cornell with a job when he was young.


Habitat: The lake is in the gorge created by Fall Creek. A path of about 1 mi./1.6 km. winds around the lake and is used regularly by students and employees of the university. The path runs either between the lake and a woods around the lake or under the trees. The woods is known for its interesting wildlife and wildflowers. (I have seen garter snakes mating near the lake and have found morels in the woods.)


Birds: In the spring and autumn, the woods around the lake is a great spot to find migrating warblers and other passerines. Geese and ducks rest on the lake. Raptors frequent the area. In the summer and winter, you will find a variety of local birds like blue jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and cardinals.


Other activities: Canoeing and kayaking are permitted on the lake and rental is available at the western end of the lake. Swimming and ice skating are not permitted. Picnic tables are located along the path. There are waterfalls above and below the lake, and the entire area is a popular place for people to take photographs.


Parking: The best place to park is in the lot of the Tobaggan Lodge on Forest Home Drive. You can access the path from either end of the lot, but going west will take you to the western end of the lake.


Nearby birding site: The Rockwell Azalea Garden on Tower Road often has a variety of passerines in the spring through autumn.


See also:

Cornell Plantations > Beebe Lake and Woods

Cornell University > Natural Beauty > Beebe Lake

Cornell University maps


21 September 2008








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