Important Bird Areas

Herricks Cove IBA

Vermont

Site Description
Herrick's Cove IBA consists of 2 parcels of about equal size in the town of Rockingham. Herrick's Cove is located where the Williams River enters the Connecticut River north of Bellows Falls. A southward extending peninsula separates the cove from the Connecticut River. Upper Meadows lies to the north and consists primarily agricultural lands bordered by wetlands to the west and floodplain forest to the south. Vermont Natural Community types include Cattail and Deep Broadleaf marsh, Alder Swamp, Silver Maple-Ostrich Fern Riverine Floodplain Forest. Honeysuckle is a major understory component of the Herrick's cove peninsula.

Birds
The juxtaposition of these two parcels along the Connecticut River accompanied by a wide diversity of habitat types makes this site an ideal stopover for migratory birds. More than 221 species have been documented here representing all bird groups. The dense honeysuckle understory provides idea cover for migrating landbirds and the agricultural fields and wetlands attract hundreds of waterfowl in the spring and fall. Several priority marshbird species including Pied-billed Grebe (S2), American Bittern (S3), Sora (S2) and Virginia Rail inhabit the Herrick's Cove marshes.

Conservation
Herrick's Cove/Upper Meadows IBA is owned and managed by the Pacific Gas and Electric as flowage and mitigation areas associated with the power dam at Bellows Falls. Herrick's Cove is a popular recreation site and has suffered from overuse and abuse. Recent efforts to protect the site by gating the entrance have successfully limited some disturbance. Marshbird populations are monitored through the Vermont Marshbird Monitoring Program. Exotic species including honeysuckle, Japanese Knotweed and fragmities are well established. Ironically the abundance of honeysuckle may actually enhance the site as a migratory stopover.

Ornithological Summary

The juxtaposition of these two parcels along the Connecticut River accompanied by a wide diversity of habitat types makes this site an ideal stopover for migratory birds. More than 221 species have been documented here representing all bird groups. The dense honeysuckle understory provides idea cover for migrating landbirds and the agricultural fields and wetlands attract hundreds of waterfowl in the spring and fall. Several priority marshbird species including Pied-billed Grebe (S2), American Bittern (S3), Sora (S2) and Virginia Rail inhabit the Herrick's Cove marshes.

Conservation Issues

Herrick's Cove/Upper Meadows IBA is owned and managed by the Pacific Gas and Electric as flowage and mitigation areas associated with the power dam at Bellows Falls. Herrick's Cove is a popular recreation site and has suffered from overuse and abuse. Recent efforts to protect the site by gating the entrance have successfully limited some disturbance. Marshbird populations are monitored through the Vermont Marshbird Monitoring Program. Exotic species including honeysuckle, Japanese Knotweed and fragmities are well established. Ironically the abundance of honeysuckle may actually enhance the site as a migratory stopover.

Invasive species, water pollution, human disturbance

Ownership

Herrick's Cove/Upper Meadows IBA is owned and managed by the Pacific Gas and Electric as flowage and mitigation areas associated with the power dam at Bellows Falls.

Habitat

Herrick's Cove is located where the Williams River enters the Connecticut River north of Bellows Falls. A southward extending peninsula separates the cove from the Connecticut River. Upper Meadows lies to the north and consists primarily agricultural lands bordered by wetlands to the west and floodplain forest to the south. Vermont Natural Community types include Cattail and Deep Broadleaf marsh, Alder Swamp, Silver Maple-Ostrich Fern Riverine Floodplain Forest. Honeysuckle is a major understory component of the Herrick's cove peninsula.

Land Use

Herrick's Cove/Upper Meadows IBA is owned and managed by the Pacific Gas and Electric as flowage and mitigation areas associated with the power dam at Bellows Falls. It has utility use: to be flooded or drawn down as needed for power and flood control. Herrick's Cove is a popular recreation site and has suffered from overuse and abuse.

Recreation, hunting/fishing, agriculture

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