Important Bird Areas

Powdermill Nature Reserve

Pennsylvania

Powdermill Nature Reserve is located on a site that contains mixed and deciduous forest, woodland streams, managed grassland habitats, and old fields. Dominant tree species include beech, yellow poplar, Sugar Maple, Red Oak, hemlock, and rhodedendron in the riparian woodlands. The reserve was established in 1956 to serve as a field station of The Carnegie Museum of Natural History for long-term studies of natural populations-their life histories, behaviors, and ecological relationships. It is one of the few areas in the state where Eastern Wood Rat is found.

Directions: 3 miles south of Rector on PA Rt. 381.

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Ornithological Summary

Owned and operated by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Powdermill is an important area for long-term research and monitoring, mainly through bird-banding activities, and particularly for Neotropical migrants and other songbirds. Breeding warblers include Northern Parula, Cerulean, Kentucky, and Hooded. Adjoining open fields contain Bobolink, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow.

Current research projects include: Long-term population dynamics and population ecology of the Louisiana Waterthrush; Analyzing body mass variation and patterns of fat deposition in relation to migratory behavior in passerines; Determining the effects of wing-molt on the aerodynamics and behavioral ecology of selected wood warblers; Studying the evolution of molt in North American passerines.

Papers include: 1997 Mulvihill, R. S., and R. L. Winstead. Variation in the extent of the first prebasic molt of Dark-eyed Juncos. J. Field Ornithol.

Mulvihill, R. S., and C. Rimmer. Timing and extent of the molts of adult Red-eyed Vireos on their breeding and wintering grounds. Condor.

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