This site includes a large area of northern hardwood and mixed forest
along and atop the Helderberg Escarpment; it is administered by NYS
OPRHP. Jefferson and spotted salamanders migrate in spring from
below the top of the escarpment to the ponds in the center of the park.
The escarpment contains world-renowned fossil beds and provides
spectacular views of the valley.

Ornithological Summary

The forest habitat supports some of the Albany area?s highest densities
of breeding songbirds, including the Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush,
Wood Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler,
Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Worm-eating
Warbler, Louisiana and Northern Waterthrush, and Canada Warbler.
The cliffs historically harbored breeding Peregrine Falcons and could
still support this species. The site supported the first Common Raven
nest in the region, and is now the nucleus for the area?s population.
A large roost of Turkey Vultures can be seen in the spring and fall.
At-risk species supported at the site include the Bald Eagle (rare),
Northern Harrier (breeding evidence), Sharp-shinned Hawk (breeds),
Cooper?s Hawk (breeds, year-round resident), Northern Goshawk
(breeds, year-round resident), Red-shouldered Hawk (uncommon),
Peregrine Falcon, American Woodcock (breeds), Common Nighthawk
(uncommon migrant), Olive-sided Flycatcher (uncommon migrant),
Willow Flycatcher (breeds), Wood Thrush (breeds), Blue-winged
Warbler (breeds, common migrant), Golden-winged Warbler (breeds),
Prairie Warbler (breeds), Bay-breasted Warbler (uncommon migrant),
Worm-eating Warbler (breeds), Canada Warbler (breeds), and Vesper
Sparrow (rare).

Conservation Issues

This site is listed in the 2002 Open Space Conservation Plan as a
priority site under the project name Helderberg Escarpment. Portions
of this site have been designated as a state Bird Conservation Area.
Residential and other development in areas immediately adjoining the
park may increase fragmentation and predation by human-associated
predators, including cats and raccoons.

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