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Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area

 
 
Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
1. Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area Marker
Inscription. The Important Bird Area (IBA) program began in Europe around 1985. The United States and Canada entered into the program in 1996. Since then, over 2,000 areas have been identified in both countries with 127 of them located in New York State as of 2002. the goal of the IBA program is to identify and conserve a global network of sites that are important to birds for feeding, nesting, and migration.

What makes the Niagara River so important? The Niagara River corridor was designated as an IBA in December of 1996. Canada and the United States participated in the designation, making the 32-mile Niagara River the first binational IBA. The designation of this globally significant IBA was based on the river's importance to the North American bird population. The river provides resting and feeding areas along a major bird migration flyway. Birds that choose to spend the winter in Western New York can seek protection within the river corridor when fierce winter storms hit the Great Lakes.

Why focus on birds? Bird watching is becoming a popular pastime. The attraction to important bird areas will grow as more people look to these areas for recreation, education, and enjoyment. More importantly, the changes in the bird population can serve as a measuring tool in determining the health of the surrounding ecosystem. For this reason,
Trail to the Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
2. Trail to the Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area Marker
This is the end of the pedestrian bridge at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center and at the Great Gorge Railway marker. Walk under the bridge here to begin the gorge rim trail to the marker.
monitoring of the Niagara River corridor has become important in the eyes of scientists and bird enthusiasts. Protection of this valuable habitat lies in the continued cooperation between government agencies, private interest groups, and the public.

Did you know? The Peregrine Falcon preys upon other birds, and the gorge is favorable to its remarkable hunting style. This predator dives on other birds in mid flight, knocking them out of the air at speeds of over 220 miles per hour.

Bonaparte's Gull. Tens of thousands of Bonaparte's Gulls descend upon the lower Niagara River annually during migration. Their journey takes them from Alaska and Northern Canada all the way to the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico. Exclusive to North America, local bird counts show that 60% of this small gull's population uses the Niagara River corridor.

Bald Eagle. Bald Eagles have been seen soaring in the gorge. Navy Island, located a few miles upstream from Niagara Falls is a popular late-winter stopping point during their migration.

Songbirds, Waterfowl, Gulls.

Songbirds value the habitat along the river's edge, but the river is most known for its waterfowl. twenty-five species of waterfowl and nineteen species of gulls utilize the river with yearly numbers reaching in the hundreds of thousands. The churning water of the river rapids provide
Niagara Gorge Rim Trail Head image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
3. Niagara Gorge Rim Trail Head
Notice part of a white footing in this picture; it's a pier for the pedestrian bridge.
these birds with an abundance of fish that have been stunned by the powerful current. Furthermore, the forested rock walls provide nesting places for many birds including the endangered Peregrine Falcon.
 
Location. 43° 5.749′ N, 79° 3.665′ W. Marker is in Niagara Falls, New York, in Niagara County. Marker is on Niagara Scenic Parkway (New York State Route 957A) half a mile north of Main Street (New York State Route 104), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area Marker is located on the gorge rim trail. It is can be seen through a break in the trees from the Parkway. Marker is not accessible by car. I accessed this marker by parking at the Aquarium of Niagara Falls (posted for patrons only) and crossing the pedestrian bridge to the gorge rim trail at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center (See the Great Gorge Route Marker). Marker is in this post office area: Niagara Falls NY 14303, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Niagara Gorge Industrial Heritage (here, next to this marker); The Great Gorge Route (approx. 0.2 miles away); Park Place Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); In Honor of the Soldiers, Sailors & Marines (approx.
Niagara Gorge Rim Trail image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
4. Niagara Gorge Rim Trail
Northward to the Niagara Important Bird Area Marker. Trail to the marker is level.
mile away); The Most Combat Decorated World War II Soldier (approx. mile away); Niagara Falls Medal of Honor Memorial (approx. mile away); The Carnegie Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Boundary Waters Treaty (approx. half a mile away in Canada). Click for a list of all markers in Niagara Falls.
 
More about this marker. The GPS coordinates for this marker are approximate. The portion of the Niagara Scenic Parkway (nee: Robert Moses Parkway) adjacent to the marker has been redesigned since the most recent satellite photographs and Google street views were posted. The marker cannot be seen at all from satellite or street view. The pedestrian bridge is the best visual reference point to approximate the coordinates by satellite or street view at the time of this posting. The Niagara Scenic Parkway (nee: Robert Moses Parkway until 2016) is NY Route 957A, but the route number is not posted.
 
Categories. EnvironmentWaterways & Vessels
 
Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area and Niagara Gorge Industrial Heritage Markers image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
5. Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area and Niagara Gorge Industrial Heritage Markers
The Important Bird Area marker is the farther marker in this view, northward.
Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area and Niagara Gorge Industrial Heritage Markers image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
6. Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area and Niagara Gorge Industrial Heritage Markers
The Important Bird Marker is in the foreground. Southward view.
Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, July 7, 2014
7. Niagara Gorge Important Bird Area Marker
View from the separate pedestrian/bikeway lane of the Niagara Scenic Parkway (nee: Robert Moses Parkway). The marker may be glimpsed through the break in the tree line at right. Note the pedestrian bridge in the background.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 175 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 12, 2016.
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