The site is the largest intact grassland habitat in eastern New York and is vital for grassland birds, many of whose populations across North America have plummeted in recent years due to habitat loss. High quality grassland acreage in New York State has been rapidly decreasing due to fragmentation and urban sprawl.
- The IBA hosts many summer breeding bird species, including Northern Harrier, Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Bobolink, and Eastern Meadowlark.
- The IBA is also an important raptor wintering area. Species commonly found include Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl, and Rough-legged Hawk. Non-raptor species that depend on the grasslands include Snow Bunting, Horned Lark, and Lapland Longspur.
- Other interesting sightings in the IBA have included: Merlin, Snowy Owl, Brown Thrasher, Northern Shrike, Blue-winged Warbler, Dickcissel, and Orchard Oriole.
Nearly all acreage in the IBA is privately owned. Pressure from residential development has put this special place at risk for not only the grassland birds, but for residents who value their rural lifestyle.You can help by getting involved with Southern Adirondack Audubon Society's efforts to save the Fort Edward Grasslands Important Bird Area. Please visit their website for the latest information.
Birding in the Ft. Edward IBA? Please consider entering your data at www.ebird.org. This online database will help keep track of the locations and numbers of birds using the IBA.
This information is reprinted from The Fledgling, the newsletter of the Southern Adirondack Audubon Society (links added). Please support SAAS by becoming a member.
Read more about The State of Grassland Birds from the 2009 The State of the Birds Report.