Important Bird Areas

Fort Edward Grasslands

New York

This site consists of a large agricultural grassland complex in the Hudson
River Valley. The area contains many working farms and grassland
areas interspersed with cultivated fields, small woodlots, and wetlands.
According to the NY GAP land cover data, approximately 50% of the
site is open habitat, including cropland and old field/pasture land.

Ornithological Summary

Fort Edward is an exceptional grassland bird breeding and wintering
area. The site supports breeding Northern Harriers (two pairs in 2000),
Upland Sandpipers (average six, maximum 10 individuals from 1993-
1996, 1998-2001), Grasshopper Sparrows (average one, maximum four
individuals from 1994-2001), Henslow?s Sparrows (four individuals in
1997, four in 1998, two in 1999, and seven in 2001), Vesper Sparrows,
Savannah Sparrows (25 plus pairs in 1997), Bobolinks (75 plus pairs
in 1997), and Eastern Meadowlarks (10 plus pairs in 1997). It is also
an important raptor wintering area with large numbers of Northern Harriers (average 10, maximum 17 individuals from 1993-2003),
Short-eared Owls (average 13, maximum 22 individuals from 1993-
2001), and Horned Larks (average 115, maximum 190 individuals
from 1993-2003).

Conservation Issues

Much of this area is for sale for residential development. There is
an urgent need to find ways to work with agricultural interests and
other conservation partners to maintain pastures and other parts of the
agricultural landscape. The Audubon Society of the Capitol Region,
Southern Adirondack Audubon Society, and the Hudson-Mohawk
Bird Club have advocated for the protection of this area by maintaining
working farms. Monitoring and inventory of grassland species should
continue.