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
Rd., Shawangunk, NY 12589,
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
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: