This site is located on the shore of Lake Ontario near the city of Rochester,
and includes ponds, creeks, wetlands, woods, and fields. The wetlands
are dominated by cattail marshes while the uplands are predominantly
wet deciduous forests, abandoned farmlands, and private residential
properties. The site includes the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC)-administered Braddock
Bay Wildlife Management Area, and municipal and private land.
Braddock Bay Raptor Research conducts an ongoing hawk banding
program and annually staffs a hawkwatch from March through May.
Braddock Bay Bird Observatory carries out a large-scale passerine mist-netting and banding operation each fall and spring

Ornithological Summary

The Braddock Bay area hosts a remarkable diversity and abundance
of birds. The site is well known for having one of the world?s largest
spring hawk flights (144,000 counted in 1996). Banding efforts have
shown the area to be an important owl migration point, with an average
of 35 Long-eared Owls and 100 Northern Saw-whet Owls banded
each spring from 1985-1995. Woodlands in the area are known to host
large numbers and a great variety of songbirds. A passerine banding
station at the site has operated annually for the last 19 years and bands thousands of individuals (7,966 individuals banded in 2003). The area
also supports breeding populations of at-risk species, including the
Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Northern Harrier,
and Sedge Wren. Historically the site has supported nesting Black
Terns. The site also regularly hosts thousands of waterfowl during
migration.

Conservation Issues

This site is listed in the 2002 State Open Space Conservation Plan as
a priority site under the project name Braddock Bay. Portions of this
site have been designated as a state Bird Conservation Area. Although
much of the wetland marsh habitat is currently protected and under
management by the NYS DEC, most of the upland portions have
become residential or commercial developments. The remaining
forest, shrub, and grassland fragments are vitally important as foraging
locations for migrating hawks, owls, and passerines, and are being
rapidly lost to development. The NYS DEC and Town of Greece
have an ongoing program for acquiring privately owned land in the
Braddock Bay area to increase the Wildlife Management Area. Recent
purchases include the 68-acre Burger Park (2001) and the 130-acre
Dahlheim property (2003), both located on Salmon Creek. The site?s
most well-known passerine concentration site, Island Cottage Woods,
is under threat of development, except for 61 acres transferred to the
Genesee Land Trust (GLT) for permanent protection in 1999. The site
of the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory?s long-term banding operation
is also protected by the GLT. In December 2004, GLT acquired five
acres near the banding station, adjacent to the West Spit. They, along
with the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory and the Rochester Birding
Association, serve as managing partners. There have been localized
problems with unsupervised ATV use, illegal woodcutting, illegal
dumping, and suburban lawn runoff. Die-offs of waterfowl occurred
in one area in 1995 and 1996 due to diazinon, a lawn insecticide. The
site of the former Odenbach ship building plant on the east side of
Round Pond is heavily polluted with organic solvents and heavy
metals. Cleanup efforts are ongoing, but the extent of the pollution
plume is still unclear.