Join us for the 10th anniversary of Spring Bird Quest – a series of birding trips in May – celebrating birds and the Finger Lakes Land Trust’s work to preserve their vital habitats across the region.
To commemorate the anniversary, Mark Chao, Ithaca birder and creator of the SBQ, will lead walks on FLLT preserves throughout the region during the month of May! Come experience the dazzling spectacle of migrant and breeding birds, learn about their behavior and ecology, and help support the Land Trust!
Spring Bird Quest Events
- May 2 – Wesley Hill Nature Preserve
- May 9 – Bahar Preserve & Carpenter’s Falls
- May 9 – High Vista Nature Preserve
- May 16 – VanRiper Conservation Area & Whitlock Nature Preserve
- May 23 – Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary
- May 24 – Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve
- May 25 – Goetchius Wetland Preserve
- May 25 – Roy H. Park Preserve (south)
- May 30 – Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve
Help Us Raise $10,000!
- The bird quest events are free, but Mark’s goal is to visit 10 preserves and raise $10,000 to support the Land Trust’s efforts to conserve critical bird habitat.
- Gifts can be made online – Please click the box that says “This gift is in honor or memory of someone” and type in: Spring Bird Quest.
- Please let us know if you would like to make a pledge per bird species found and we will let you know the total count once the numbers are in. Contact the Land Trust at email@example.com or by calling (607) 275-9487.
About Mark Chao and Spring Bird Quest
In 1993, far from Ithaca, before ornithologist and writer Miyoko Chu married Mark Chao, she gave him a set of binoculars. They proved to be an investment of compound interest for the Land Trust, eventually leading to Mark’s becoming one of the most capable, passionate and vigorous volunteers the Land Trust has ever had. Despite an urban Boston childhood devoid of experience or interest in the natural world, with those new binoculars Mark took to birding like a goldfinch to a field of thistles. His first time out he was hooked.
Mark and Miyoko settled in Ithaca in 2001. Shortly after, he heard from local birders about the Land Trust’s preserves, which surprised and delighted him in their size, beauty and variety of wildlife. “It’s no accident that these lands have been saved from development,” he said. “It’s the result of great vision and work of the Land Trust, as well as Cornell and other community institutions, and the generosity of everyone who has supported these groups.”
Mark began to think about how to form a link between the Land Trust and the birding community he had grown to love. In 2006 he decided to do a solo bird-count fund-raiser and brought in more than $2000. In 2007 he invited others to join him. With those 25 participants he raised $6000. The main thing, Mark said, is to join the “great fun of … seeing lots of different species of birds at their most active, behaviorally-fascinating time of year, and sharing the sightings with others.”
In honor of the 10th anniversary, Mark’s goal is to visit 10 preserves and raise $10,000 to support the Land Trust’s efforts to conserve critical bird habitat. The walks are free but donations are heartily welcomed. Mark will be keeping a tally of bird species he finds on Land Trust properties throughout the month. Please let us know if you would like to make a pledge per bird species found and we will let you know the total count once the numbers are in. Contact the Land Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (607) 275-9487. General donations are welcome too. Gifts can be made online – please click the box that says “This gift is in honor or memory of someone” and type in: Spring Bird Quest.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust is a member supported, non-profit conservation organization that works cooperatively with landowners and local communities to conserve forever the lands and waters of the Finger Lakes region, ensuring scenic vistas, local foods, clean water, and wild places for everyone. To date, the Land Trust has worked with partners to secure more than 17,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped shoreline, scenic farmland, rugged gorges, and majestic forest. The organization today owns and manages over 30 conservation areas that are accessible to the public and holds conservation easements on over 100 properties that remain in private ownership.
More information About the Finger Lakes Land Trust.