Important Bird Areas

Green Lane Reservoir

Pennsylvania

The park provides both shorebird and waterbird habitats and upland community types for migrant and wintering birds in northern Montgomery County, one of the most rapidly developing areas in Pennsylvania. The Nature Center is on the northeastern end of the lake and includes some open field, scrub/shrub, young hardwood forest, relatively mature upland hardwoods. The mudflats attractive to shorebirds are exposed only during periods of high municipal water demand and low rainfall. Areas most attractive to waterbirds are geographically remote from the Nature Center. Numerous trails are available and horseback and dirt bike riding are just two of the many activities encouraged on the park.

Ornithological Summary

Over 270 species of birds have been recorded at Green Lane. A seasonal checklist, ?Birds of the Green Lane Reservoir and Upper Perkiomen Watershed Area?, was published by the Montgomery County Department of Parks System (1997), which gives relative abundance by season. A log of sightings is maintained at the nature center. Avian diversity is highest during the spring, and late summer and fall migration periods when local breeding and resident populations are enhanced with northern breeding migrant songbirds, waterbirds, shorebirds and raptors. Wintering populations of waterfowl and gulls may remain high when there is adequate open water, however species diversity drops dramatically. Waterfowl hunting is permitted on some areas in the fall. Although the upland portion of the park is heavily used by many outdoor enthusiasts, sufficient suitable breeding habitat is present to attract a pair of nesting Bald Eagles, and this species is now a rare but regular year-round resident.

Conservation Issues

Residential development is greatest threat, especially conversion of fallow, hay field into housing tracts. Lowering of water levels may disturb birds.

Habitat

Areas of exposed mud flats during July and October.

Land Use

The reservoir is a municipal water supply owned by Philadelphia Suburban Water Co. Water levels are dictated by demand for municipal water and prevailing rainfall.