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29. Whiskey Hollow Road, Baldwinsville, New York

This road just outside of Syracuse is home to dozens of breeding birds and plenty of warblers.
By Joseph Brin | Published: 10/18/2007

Known initially as a wildflower hotspot, Whiskey Hollow is one of my favorite birding locations. The road measures less than 1.5 miles but shelters a wealth of breeding birds, especially warblers.

Birders started visiting in the late ’60s, and the local Audubon chapter has been sponsoring field trips since 1988. Except for a few parcels that are privately owned, much of the land belongs to the Central New York Land Trust, a private, membership-supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of central New York’s rapidly diminishing natural areas. The land is open to anyone to explore.

In the block that includes Whiskey Hollow in the recent New York State Breeding Bird Atlas (2000-05), 85 species were listed as possible breeders; 58 species were eventually confirmed as breeders. On a recent walk in May, I counted 17 singing Mourning Warblers in an hour. — Joseph Brin

Joseph Brin is a retired music teacher from Baldwinsville. He leads field trips for the Onondaga Audubon Society and Beaver Lake Nature Center and writes a weekly Rare Bird Alert covering the five counties of greater Syracuse.

 

29. Whiskey Hollow Road, Baldwinsville, New York

Directions

Whiskey Hollow Rd. is a little-traveled dirt track about seven miles west of Onondaga Lake near Syracuse. From Syracuse, take S.R. 690 north to Van Buren Rd. and turn left. Drive 0.6 miles to Connors Rd. and turn right (west). Proceed 3.4 miles, then turn left (south) on W. Dead Creek Rd. Follow it 0.9 miles to Whiskey Hollow Rd., a right-hand turn.

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At a Glance

Click on the coordinates below to view location:
43°6’47.34N 76°22’59.19W

Baldwinsville, New York 13027

Habitat

Hemlock, oak, maple forest.

Terrain

V-shaped valley with creek. Ravines with flat tops on both sides. Rough, steep, but easy-to-follow trails lead off the road.

Birds

Breeding: At least 12 warblers, including Hooded, Mourning (plentiful), Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, and Cerulean. Also, Wood Thrush and Veery, Red-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireos, Acadian Flycatcher, Yellow- and Black-billed Cuckoos, Scarlet Tanager, Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl, and Northern Saw-whet Owl.

When to go

Early May for migrants, May and June for breeding woodland birds.

Amenities

None, but restaurants and motels can be found in Baldwinsville, three miles east, and Syracuse, 10 miles southeast.

Access

Privately owned land preserve. Most people bird Whiskey Hollow from the road.

Tips

Don’t be afraid to explore off the road on the right at the spring on the Save the County land. You’ll find birds you can’t hear from the road. Since the trees are high, it’s helpful to know your bird songs.

For more info

Central New York Land Trust
Onondaga Audubon Society

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