Habitat Projects in the Mid-Atlantic

Southern New Jersey Young Forest Habitat Network

Birds in Passage Point the Way

It’s a dramatic sign of autumn: the southward migration of birds. In the East, millions of these migrants follow the Atlantic Flyway down the coastal seaboard east of the Appalachians. A critical part of this route runs through southern New Jersey, where birds funnel down the Cape May Peninsula to the mouth of Delaware Bay.

Mount Nebo Wildlife Management Area, Western Maryland

Remembering a Committed Conservationist

Al Geis was an accomplished and persuasive man. A scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, he did pioneering research on birds in urban settings, including discovering their food preferences. (You can thank him for pointing out that so many of our birds love to eat black-oil sunflower seeds.) He turned his farm into a wildlife sanctuary – and persuaded a neighbor to set aside more than 1,000 acres of prime real estate for wildlife. Recently a new habitat demonstration area was set up in his memory.

Albany Pine Bush, Hudson River Valley, New York

An Urban Oasis for Wildlife and People

Albany Pine Bush Preserve protects a pitch-pine scrub-oak barrens a scant six miles from New York’s capitol building. At the preserve’s south end Interstate 87, the Adirondack Northway, meets I-90, the New York State Thruway. Parts of the preserve abut the Albany landfill and the sprawling development of the town of Colonie.

Bald Eagle State Park, Central Pennsylvania

Helping Warblers and Woodcock (and Other Wildlife, Too)

At this Pennsylvania park, 5,900 acres of land surround a large flood-control lake. When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bought the acreage in 1965, most of it was farmland. Since then, the fields have grown up in brush and forest. Today Bald Eagle is a popular destination for birders, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts. To keep the park wildlife-friendly, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – along with several other agencies and organizations – are creating young forest habitat while promoting scientific research.

Georges Valley Cooperative Project, Central Pennsylvania

Landowners Team Up in a Keystone State Watershed

What happens when a bunch of landowners decide to help the American woodcock, a bird whose numbers have fallen as its young-forest habitat has dwindled? Add a local conservation group and a university-based watershed center, and good things can happen fast. In central Pennsylvania, this sort of team approach may provide a blueprint for similar projects throughout the East.