Important Bird Areas

Southern Adams County Grasslands

Pennsylvania

Extensive pastures, hayfields, and large yards form open graqssland habitat suitable for a diversity of grassland birds. The area includes a variety of private owners and national park lands including the Eisenhower Farm National Historic Site. Marsh Creek and several small tributaries tributaries flow through the area. Several large cattle-grazing operations have maintained the open, untilled agriculture features attractive to grassland birds.

Directions: From Gettysburg take 15 south to Millerstown Rd. Turn right. Beyond the intersection this becomes Pumping Station Rd. with grasslands on either side.

{link:For conservation plan, click here|http://pa.audubon.org/IBA_Consplans/IBA41.pdf}

{link:For fact sheet, click here|http://pa.audubon.org/Sites/Site41.pdf}

Ornithological Summary

Ideal habitat for grassland species such as the Upland Sandpiper, Loggerhead Shrike, and Eastern Meadowlark. There is an ongoing Loggerhead Shrike study through the PA Game Commission. This is the only location in the state with regular nesting of the Loggerhead Shrike.

Conservation Issues

Much of the area is unprotected. Most of it is in private farms that are under severe development pressure. Housing is expanding in the area, with many farms being subdivided into building lots (some of which are large, >10 acres). Even large building lots will not support the Upland Sandpiper or most other grassland bird populations under traditional management. Hayfields are cut early in the summer, which interrupts nesting.

There is a need to acquire willing-seller lands and easements and to provide information to private landowners on the benefits/techniques of native plant management, reduction of agricultural chemical use and seasonal timing of mowings. Eisenhower Farm National Historic Site is part of this habitat area.