Water Bird Safe Haven
— Natural History —A Safe Place to Rest The sheltered waters of Dunkirk Harbor provide a place where water birds and waterfowl can escape strong winds blowing across the open waters of Lake Erie. Gulls, terns, cormorants and other water birds shelter, loaf, and feed in these calmer waters. Caspian Tern. In late summer, many family groups of this largest of North American terns, are here feeding. Young birds hone their fishing and flying skills here before migrating south. Gulls. Gulls species can look similar until studied closely. A dozen or more gull species occur regularly here. Common species include Ring-billed, Herring, Great Black-backed, and Bonaparte's Gulls. Uncommon or rare species include Iceland, Glaucous, and Little Gulls, and Black-legged Kittiwake. Boneparte's Gull. This small, tern-like gull is a very common gull with a dark hood during the summer breeding season. Little Gull (immature). This is the smallest gull that migrates through the region. Its small size and dark wings help in identification. Black-legged Kittiwake (immature). A true "sea" gull, this species occurs primarily on the oceans in most seasons, and breeds on rctic sea cliffs. Some immature birds migrate through the Great Lakes in fall. Open Water. The harbor remains ice free during the late fall and winter as a result of the warm water discharge from the power plant. Break Walls. Break walls are used for loafing and resting by many water bird species. These man made islands provide an open, predator-free place where young birds can develop survival skills. Double-crested Cormorant. This large, dark, native water bird is present from April to November. Some, mostly young of the year, occassionally attempt to winter here. Ducks. Diving ducks, including Greater Scaup, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, and Long-tailed Duck abound in the colder months. Look for rarities, including Harlequin Duck and Barrow's Goldeneye. City Pier. Scan the pier, other structures, and the water, for a good variety of water birds and waterfowl, binoculars will help you identify the species. Common Merganser. This handsome duck occurs in large flocks in the colder months. Their courtship activities animate the scene in mid-winter. The catrmine red bill of the male is in striking contrast with his green and white plumage. Great Lakes Seaway Trail harbors shelter birds as well as boats. Seaway Trail, Inc. Corner Ray & West Main St., Sackets Harbor, NY 13685. www.seawaytrail.com . America's Byways. This project was funded in part by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Scenic Byways Program of the New York State Department of Transportation and Seaway Trail, Inc.
|Series||This marker is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway series|
|Placed By||Seaway Trail, Inc|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Sunday, June 14th, 2015 at 10:01pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||17T E 636738 N 4705370|
|Decimal Degrees||42.48861667, -79.33615000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 42° 29.317', W 79° 20.169'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||42° 29' 19.02" N, 79° 20' 10.14" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling South|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 45-111 Central Ave, Dunkirk NY 14048, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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