Ospreys, revered world-wide as indicators of good water quality and robust ecosystems, now make their home around Cayuga Lake. These iconic birds are specially adapted to fishing in lake shallows and surface waters. Ospreys first nested in 1980 at the Montezuma Refuge, the out flow at the north end of Cayuga Lake. Now the shores and outskirts of the lake host over 160 Osprey families with more spreading along the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario shores.  

Children and adults alike marvel at the “Fish-Hawk” and its many fascinating adaptations which makes it an apex predator in the Cayuga Lake ecosystem. Discover Cayuga Lake celebrates our watershed’s Ospreys by offering educational opportunities such as Osprey Eco-Cruises with interactive activities on board, videos such as The Ospreys of Cayuga Lake (see below), and the self-guided Cayuga Lake Osprey Trail, a driving tour around the lake. 

Please join us to to protect, see and learn more about these iconic birds!

osprey eco-cruise

Come learn about the ecology and natural history of Cayuga Lake through the eyes of our resident osprey while enjoying a 1.5 hour cruise. A great cruise for children and adults alike! Our interpretive crew are on board to point out osprey nests and other natural features of the ecological landscape. View the plankton they eat through microscopes and the surroundings they live in through binoculars (we have a few on board but please bring your own if you have them).

  • Offered weekly May – August, 4:30-6pm

  • $30/adults, $10/child (3-16)

Cayuga Lake Osprey Trail – Driving Tour

Download the Pocketsights app and take a driving tour of the Osprey nests around Cayuga Lake. DCL interns have described and marked the sites of 62 of the most accessible nest sites on this GPS navigated tour. There are many beautiful stops you can make along the way, including parks, marinas, wineries and more to create a half or full day tour. When viewing the Osprey we recommend you use your car as a blind in order to avoid disturbing them. Please be mindful of the busy roads when stopping, and avoid trespassing. Gas stations are sparse on the North and West shores of the lake–check to be sure you have a full tank of gas before embarking on the tour. Enjoy yourself and please send us any great pictures you take!

    Great Experiences with Discover Cayuga Lake

    Our Mission

    At Discover Cayuga Lake, our mission is to cultivate informed and equitable relationships between people and the watersheds upon which they depend and we do all this while providing memorable, breathtaking family, friend, and community experiences on the beautiful Cayuga Lake.

      We’d Love to hear from you!

      with Us


      Local Learning
      Direct Experience
      Equal Access
      Citizen Science

      1000 Allan H. Treman Park Rd. Ithaca, NY 14850

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      Discover Cayuga Lake 2023
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