Tifft Nature Preserve
|Description: Tifft Nature Preserve, dedicated to the protection of natural resources, scientific
research, environmental education and public enjoyment, is living proof that
good things come in small packages. Part of this beautifully restored natural area
was created atop a former landfill, which was carefully sealed so it could be safely
reclaimed. Tifft provides valuable wildlife habitat and green space only three
miles from downtown Buffalo. Major habitats include a 75-acre cattail marsh—
the largest in Erie County—woodlands, grasslands, Lake Kirsty, three ponds and
a small stream. Tifft is an important stopover for migrating birds along the shore
of Lake Erie. It also is a nesting habitat for rare marsh birds, and Audubon New
York has designated it as an Important Bird Area.|
Wildlife to Watch: Note the beaver and muskrat lodges in the marsh, Tifft’s most prominent feature.
Most likely, you will see these mammals as they are swimming. Beavers are active
all year, while muskrats are best seen from spring through fall. Several species
of frogs, snakes, turtles and dragonflies add to the diversity of marsh creatures.
White-tailed deer are frequently seen browsing at dawn and dusk and can be
encountered all year on the preserve.
A total of 265 bird species have been recorded at Tifft, representing exceptional
diversity for a preserve of its size. Its location along Lake Erie allows birds to
hug the shore and skirt the lake, rather than risk a flight across the vast waters.
Several species of songbirds, ducks, geese, wading and shorebirds are regularly
seen. At-risk birds regularly seen include common loons, bald eagles, northern harriers, red-shouldered hawks, peregrine falcons, common terns, short-eared
owls and willow flycatchers. Vigilant birders regularly observe the area’s secretive
Special Tips: The trails are open dawn to dusk, year-round. The visitors center
is open from Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and
Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
The visitors center, boardwalks near the marsh and other select trails
are easily accessible.
716-825-6397, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo, NY 14203
Other Activities: From the visitors center, you can hike 5 miles of trails, which include three
boardwalks with viewing blinds. Many enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country
skiing during Buffalo’s famously snowy winters.
Ownership: Buffalo Museum of Science
Size: 264 acres
Closest Town: Buffalo
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: