This site includes a peninsula extending into Chaumont Bay in Lake
Ontario?s northeast corner, just south of where the St. Lawrence River
exits. The site is primarily privately owned, but includes a small NYS
DEC Wildlife Management Area and the NYS OPRHP-administered
Long Point State Park. The peninsula includes a mix of working and
abandoned farms; most of the working farms produce hay. There is a
small residential human population with heavier summer usage.
This site may be one of the most critical winter concentration areas in the
northeast for arctic breeding Rough-legged Hawks, Snowy Owls, and Shorteared
Owls. During the winter of 1987-88, systematic surveys documented
one-day maximums of 57 Northern Harriers, 33 Red-tailed Hawks, 130
Rough-legged Hawks, six American Kestrels, 10 Great Horned Owls, six
Snowy Owls, 12 plus Long-eared Owls, 30 plus Short-eared Owls, two
Northern Saw-whet Owls, and eight Northern Shrikes. Point Peninsula
Shoal, which is offshore, is an important pre-migratory staging area for
Caspian Terns, Common Terns, and Black Terns (479 in 1991, 281 in 1994,
and 218 in 1996), and also hosts large numbers of waterfowl. Common Terns
and Short-eared Owls have bred at the site as well.
Site hosts thousandsof waterfowl, with offshore numbers in thetens of thousands.
This site is listed in the 2002 Open Space Conservation Plan as a priority
site under the project name Eastern Lake Ontario Shoreline and Islands.
Many farms have been abandoned and sold over the past ten years,
resulting in a loss of grassland habitats to succession and development.
A plan is needed to work with farmers to conserve agricultural lands
beneficial to grassland birds.. Additionally, a program should be
developed to educate landowners and the public about the importance of
grassland habitats to wintering raptors. Disturbance caused by increased
recreational ATV use should be investigated. Regular monitoring of
wintering raptors is needed. Invasion by swallowwort plants is of great
concern; control efforts are underway and need to continue.