Sounds of Sapsucker Woods

Listen to the sounds of Sapsucker Woods throughout the seasons.

Sounds of Sapsucker Woods

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Tour Information

Join the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's walking tour of the most popular trail at Sapsucker Woods, the Wilson Trail. The trail goes around Sapsucker Woods Pond, crosses the Poddell boardwalk and stops at several observation points. Throughout the tour, you'll be listening to the sounds of birds, along with the occasional amphibians and mammals. Each stop features a handful of the most notable sounds for that location, organized by season. Listen to the differences between spring, summer, and our year-round residents. The tour begins with a historical clip narrated by the Cornell Lab's founder, Dr. Arthur Allen.

Some tour stops have multiple photos. Swipe left to see all the photos.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Welcome to Sapsucker Woods bird sanctuary! The building in front of you is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a world leader in ornithology research, education, and conservation. The sounds that you will hear in this tour are all provided by M... Read more
Hidden from the trail by a thick screen of trees, bushes, and a wooden privacy fence, is the Cornell Lab's feeder garden. Inside, the garden contains a natural stone bird bath, a variety of native plants, and bird feeders filled with seeds... Read more
Timmy's Walk is a short trail detour that takes you to the edge of Sapsucker Woods pond, close to two of the pond's islands. A small channel, filled with cattails and other marsh plants, separates this point of land from the feeder garden... Read more
This transitional habitat contains a diverse mix of meadow plants, low bushes and shrubs, and taller trees at the forest's edge. Many warblers can be found foraging for insects here during migration. Some year-round residents, such as card... Read more
The Podell Boardwalk spans the best example of swamp habitat along the Wilson Trail. (Check out the Woodleton Boardwalk along the Stadlen Trail for a larger swamp that attracts even more species!)  The combination of forest shade and lus... Read more
In breeding season, this mature forest is a reliable spot to hear several distinctive, easy-to-recognize songs. Keep an ear out for the strident teacher-teacher-teacher! of the male Ovenbird, who loudly claims a territory at this trail ... Read more
Like the previous stop, this is an area where the birds are more easily heard than seen, as they sing from the treetops! The mature forest around this shelter is a consistent breeding territory for the Red-eyed Vireo, whose short phrases an... Read more
As the trail approaches the boundary between forest and pond, keep an ear out for birds that enjoy this particular type of edge habitat! The Gray Catbird alternates between complex, improvised songs and simple cat-like meows while foragi... Read more
There are times in the spring and early summer, especially in the evenings or after a rain shower, when the deafeningly loud choruses of frogs and toads drowns out all other sound around the wetlands. This shallow, marshy corner of the pond... Read more
The boardwalk leading to the Sherwood Observation Platform passes over a shallow marsh, densely vegetated with cattails, sedges, and water-tolerant shrubs. This marsh is an excellent place to hear the buzz- and trill-filled phrases of the S... Read more
The Wilson Trail splits briefly, offering two options: one path crosses a short bridge over a small stream, fed by the pond's outflow, then meanders through a thicket-like young forest. The other path follows the edge of the pond for a sh... Read more
This young forest habitat contains some tall trees, with sunny gaps in the canopy, intermixed with a dense thicket of shrubs, vines, and other understory vegetation. This thicket is popular with a variety of insect-gleaning migrants, includ... Read more
The Owens Observation Platform overlooks the Fuller Wetlands, a smaller pond surrounded by cattails, with islands covered with alder and willow trees. In spring, the alders and willows are favorite spots for warblers to sing and display. ... Read more
The Wilson Trail comes to an end at the visitor parking lot, surrounded by an eclectic mix of tall native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs, and borders of mowed lawn with scattered trees. In summer, Cedar Waxwings and American Robins are drawn... Read more


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