Located on the north shore of Long Island, this site extends from
Sunken Meadow State Park in the west to Crane Neck Point in the
east, including the offshore waters of Smithtown Bay, and inland to
Blydenburgh County Park. Ownership is a mix of private, municipal,
county, and state. Sunken Meadow State Park, Nissequogue River
State Park, and Caleb Smith State Park Preserve are administered by
NYS OPRHP, while Long Beach and Short Beach are owned by the
Town of Smithtown. The site includes sandy/cobble shoreline, small areas of spartina marsh, mudflats, and riparian habitat. Blydenburgh
County Park is mainly wooded, with an L-shaped shallow pond.

{link:For IBA map, click here.|http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/usibac/2008_P7/NY847m_Nissequague08.pdf}

Ornithological Summary

This site supports colonial nesting birds, including Piping Plovers,
Common Terns, and Least Terns, as well as more than 100 herons and
egrets. The site also contains freshwater wintering waterfowl habitat
that supports at least 1,500-1,800 individuals (500 Canvasbacks and 500
Ring-necked Ducks were reported in winter 1996 at one location).
WaterbirdsTerns Estimated 1 pair in 2002,107 in 2001, 99 in 2000,790 in 1999, 723 in 1998,1,043 in 1997, 879 in 1996,905 in 1995, 410 in 1994,429 in 1993.
Congregations-Wading Birds Great Egret, Snowy Egret, and
Black-crowned Night-Heron 214 pairs in 2004.

Conservation Issues

This site is listed in the 2002 Open Space Conservation Plan as a
priority site under the project name Long Island Sound Coastal Area.
Management efforts are needed to eliminate or minimize human
disturbance and intrusions into nesting colonies of terns and Piping
Plovers on beaches during the critical nesting season (mid-April to
August) via all means available?including fencing, beach closures,
posting, beach warden patrols, and public education. In colonies where
predation is a significant problem, whether from pets, feral animals,
or native species such as foxes, raccoons, or gulls, predator control
programs should be considered. Current ordinances prohibit dogs on
beaches during nesting season, and prohibit the use of ATVs. Predator
exclosures are constructed around Piping Plover nests and string
fencing is installed around Piping Plover and Least Tern nesting areas
to minimize human disturbance. Boat landing is prohibited during the
nesting season on Young?s Island, where most Common Terns nest.
These regulations should continue to be enforced. Certain upland
portions of the area are subject to increasing pressure for commercial
and residential development. A 153-acre portion of the former New
York State Kings Park Psychiatric Center has been transferred to NYS
OPRHP as the Nissequogue River State Park. The Nissequogue River
has been designated as a state Bird Conservation Area. A secluded 3-
acre pond at the mouth of the Nissequogue River in the Nissequogue
River State Park has served as a roost for wading birds and is currently
undergoing habitat restoration. Monitoring of at-risk species and
waterfowl use of the area should continue.

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