This site is found in the Great Lakes Plains eco-zone just south of
Oneida Lake. The area includes abandoned agricultural lands, forests,
and recently constructed wetlands. According to the NY GAP land
cover data, approximately 30% of this site is forest habitat, which
includes sugar maple mesic, oak, successional hardwood, evergreen
northern hardwood, and deciduous wetland forests; 20% of this site is
open habitat, which includes cropland and old/field pastures. The site
is owned by the Great Swamp Conservancy, Inc. (30 plus acres), United
States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), NYS DEC (the 3,787-acre
Cicero Swamp Wildlife Management Area), Save the County Land
Trust (73 acres), and private landowners. Many of the wetlands were
built by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as part
of the Wetlands Reserve Program, and NRCS holds easements on a
number of parcels included in this site.

Ornithological Summary

The forested habitat at this site is relatively intact compared to other
forests in the region. It supports characteristic breeding species,
including the Sharp-shinned Hawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern
Wood-Pewee, Wood Thrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Baltimore Oriole. The grassland habitat at this site is also relatively intact
compared to other grasslands in the region. It supports characteristic
breeding species, including the Killdeer, Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink,
and Eastern Meadowlark. Habitat restoration efforts have increased
the diversity and density of breeding birds. Rare to uncommon wetland
breeders include the Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler (nested
in 2002), Green-winged Teal, Common Moorhen, American Coot,
Sora, Black-billed Cuckoo, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Historically,
Henslow?s Sparrows bred in the area (Smith Road) and some may still
be supported at the site. A large Long-eared Owl roost (more than 10
birds) has been noted in the area. In spring and fall, waterfowl numbers
average between 2,000-4,000, with numbers peaking in mornings and
evenings. The site also supports a number of at-risk species, including
the American Black Duck (one pair), Pied-billed Grebe (at least two
pairs), American Bittern (at least one pair), Least Bittern (at least one
pair), Osprey (confirmed breeder), Bald Eagle (two individuals during
migration), Northern Harrier (at least two pairs), Sharp-shinned
Hawk (confirmed breeder), Cooper?s Hawk (two pairs in 2001-2002),
Red-shouldered Hawk (probable breeder), Virginia Rail (six to eight
breeding), Upland Sandpiper (two pairs in 2000), American Woodcock
(10 pairs), Willow Flycatcher (confirmed breeder), Horned Lark (two
pairs), Sedge Wren (probable breeder), Wood Thrush (10-20 pairs),
Blue-winged Warbler (two to eight pairs), Cerulean Warbler (five-10
pairs), and Vesper Sparrow (two pairs). High numbers of shorebirds
also use the area during fall migration. Documented numbers include
50 plus American Golden Plovers, 50-80 White-rumped Sandpipers,
and three Buff-breasted Sandpipers.

Conservation Issues

The Great Swamp Conservancy, USFWS, and NRCS have undertaken
conservation measures at this site. Wetland easements exist at more
than 50 sites throughout the area and additional wetlands are being
constructed. Hunting is allowed at this site. The Great Swamp
Conservancy owns a nature and education center at the site and is
involved with a number of conservation activities, including working
with local landowners to protect and manage their lands. They are
also monitoring the breeding success of Mallards, Tree Swallows, and
Eastern Bluebirds, and re-establishing Ring-necked Pheasants and
Northern Bobwhite. Monitoring of at-risk species is encouraged.

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