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NY DEC Watchable Wildlife

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Shawanqunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge
Description: Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge is one of New York’s top areas for observing grassland migratory birds. Several grassland species use the refuge as a nesting, wintering or migratory stopover. This exceptional mosaic of grasslands, shrubs and trees was formerly the Galeville Military Airport, which closed in 1994. The Department of Defense transferred the property to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1999.

At more than 550 acres, Shawangunk is one of only a few sites in the Hudson Valley large enough to support a wide assemblage of grassland birds. Due to habitat loss since the late 1970s, grassland birds have declined more consistently and across a wider geographic area than any other group of North American birds. The refuge is also designated as an Important Bird Area by Audubon New York, with more than 150 species sighted.

Wildlife to Watch: Red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures are year-round residents, commonly seen soaring above the refuge. Broad-winged hawks are also observed, but only during migratory periods. In the fields below, wild turkeys forage throughout the year. Eastern bluebirds, northern cardinals, blue jays, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers are seen here year-round as well. Spring and summer are good times to see savannah sparrows, eastern kingbirds and many other sparrow and flycatcher varieties that come here to nest and raise their young. Bobolinks are the most unusual of the blackbirds at Shawangunk,

Special Tips: This site is open from sunrise to sunset, year-round. There are no restrooms.

973-702-7266, Hoagerburgh Rd., Shawangunk, NY 12589, www.fws.gov/northeast/ shawangunk/index.htm

Other Activities: Shawangunk offers hiking on existing roadways and a single trail. Some areas are restricted to protect visitors from hazards that remain from when the refuge was a military airport and also to protect bird nesting sites.

Size: 566 acres 
Closest Town: Shawanqunk

ParkingCross Country SkiingHikingPicnic tables

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
Take I-84 to exit 5. Head north on NY-208. At the stop light in the Village of Walden, turn right to stay north on NY-208. At the stop sign in Wallkill, turn left onto Wallkill Ave. Turn left on Bruyn Tpke./Co. Rte. 18. Continue straight on Bruyn Tpke. After 1.4 miles, turn right onto Hoagerburgh Rd. After 1.5 miles, turn right into Shawangunk Grasslands NWR.

Map Link

Shawanqunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge : Wildlife Viewing Area