Owls of the Grasslands

Owls of the Grasslands

Owls of the Grasslands

Short-eared owls. Photo by Gordon Ellmers.

Short-eared owls. Photo by Gordon Ellmers.

The Hebron Preservation Society presents a program by Laurie LaFond, executive director of Friends of the Washington County Grasslands IBA (Important Bird Area), at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, at the Organ Barn Bed and Breakfast just off Route 22 between Salem and Granville, N.Y., at the intersection of North Grimes Hill Road. A 2,000-acre core of the grasslands located in the towns of Fort Edward, Argyle and Kingsbury, N.Y., provide wildlife habitat for endangered, threatened and sharply declining populations of grassland nesting birds such the northern harrier, upland sandpiper, Henslow’s sparrow, killdeer, bobolink and eastern meadowlark. Endangered short-eared owls migrate from Canada to these grasslands to spend their winters. Sightings increased dramatically this winter, highlighting the importance of preserving this habitat. “It was not until we had a rare visit from a hawk owl that I fully realized the importance and potential of the grasslands. Within a week of announcing the bird’s presence, we had visitors from 38 states driving the roads seeking to add to their life list. I support the grasslands as chairman of the County Board and as supervisor of the Town of Argyle,” said Robert Henke. The program is free and open to the public.

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