PSO is partnering with Hawk Mountain, the Manada Conservancy and the Western PA Conservancy. All funds raised will be split equally between the three. Read more below about how your donation will help to conserve habitat important birds and other wildlife across PA. (Click on our partners logos to go to their websites)
Hawk Mountain is located on the Kittatinny Ridge, an international, national and state Important Bird Area, and one of two primary corridors within the Eastern flyway for southbound raptors and songbirds.
Founded in 1934 as the first sanctuary to conserve birds of prey, Hawk Mountain has grown from 1400 acres in the 1930s to 2500 acres in 2020. In 2019 most of the land was put under conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy. Research suggests raptors and other birds seek out natural habitats along the base of the Ridge on their migration south for stopover and refueling. As development accelerates along the slopes of the Mountain and in farming areas to the south, the landscape is rapidly changing.
Hawk Mountain seeks to work with neighboring landowners to keep key properties in forest, wetland and grasslands. Twenty-two acres of farmland were recently purchased and is being restored to grasslands. In 2018, 78 acres were purchased and donated to the Game Commission to manage in native grasses and flowers. In both sites, habitat for nesting or migrating Northern Harrier and Bobolink as well as other grassland birds is being developed, as well as countless warblers that may feed on stopover sites along the riparian and woodland edges.
In 2020, Hawk Mountain is raising funds to purchase 43 acres along their border that would protect a forested stream ravine that harbors nesting Louisiana Waterthrush, Wood Thrush, Broad-winged Hawk, and a stream with native brook trout. Hawk Mountain has pledged to use B4C funds to conserve Northern Harrier habitat in the Kittatinny Ridge corridor. Your donation to the B4C will help make this a reality.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, a nonprofit conservation organization that works to conserve native habitats in central and western Pennsylvania, is proactively addressing the issues facing forest birds by protecting important high-quality forests, conducting science-driven ecological studies of priority bird species and their habitats, and assembling powerful conservation partnerships.
The Conservancy is working on three different forested land conservation projects in the Ligonier Valley that may benefit the Wood Thrush, one of the flagship birds identified by the PSO for the Breeding Bird Blitz for Conservation (B4C). The three potential forested properties, ranging from 50 to 188 acres, were identified as likely containing habitat for the Wood Thrush, along with other species of greatest conservation need and sensitive species. These species were identified in the 2015 PA Wildlife Action Plan, through the Conservation Opportunity Area Tool, and in consultation with Conservancy biologists. With funding awarded to the Conservancy through the B4C program, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s goal is to permanently protect at least one of these three properties within the year that contains forest habitat likely to support the Wood Thrush through a donated or purchased conservation easement (including bargain-sale purchased easement), and possibly the purchase of a property, with a later sale, subject to a conservation easement. Your donation to the B4C will help make this a reality.
Manada Conservancy is a land trust dedicated to preserving the natural, historic, agricultural and scenic resources of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, through land conservation, environmental education, and community engagement. In 2019, Manada Conservancy protected a little over 400 acres. This included the fee acquisition of the 44.3-acre Elizabeth Woods property in Lower Paxton township located on the Kittatinny Ridge. Two other easement projects within the Kittatinny Corridor preserved 130.85 acres in Rush and Jefferson Townships, Dauphin County, with the help of the Army Compatible Use Buffer program through Fort Indiantown Gap and 225.63 acres in Halifax, with the help of DCNR grant funding.
In 2020, Manada Conservancy will be celebrating the milestone of 2,500 acres preserved of valuable farmland, forests, creek-sides, and wetlands with unique and threatened species. Just recently, Manada Conservancy obtained a 30-acre conservation easement project in a Lower Paxton Township, wooded property within the Kittatinny Ridge Corridor. Another 165 acre-easement project is also within the corridor, in Middle Paxton Township. Future easements will protect important Wood Thrush habitat within the Kittatinny Ridge corridor. Your donation to the B4C will help make this a reality.