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    Burdett, New York

    60 Acres | February 26, 2002
    John and Suzanne Gregoire
    Conservation Easement

    Connected with the Finger Lakes National Forest and a large hemlock wetland, this 60-acre sanctuary is known as Kestrel Haven Avian Migration Observatory. An inviting migratory stopover and year-round sanctuary for birds and other wildlife, this sanctuary and bird banding station provides invaluable data for assessing the biological health of the area.

    In addition to the many trees and other plantings that owners John and Suzanne Gregoire have added to restore and enhance the habitat, there are also several ponds that they helped to establish, all of which are teeming with life. Numerous nesting boxes for kestrels, wood ducks, and others are fully occupied as well.

    The Kestrel Haven Avian Migration Observatory is a full time, non-profit avian research (banding) station. John and Suzanne Gregoire are both field ornithologists, and their bird banding is under the aegis of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Their data is published in scientific journals as well as being publicly available through the Department.  As of January 2008, over 74,000 birds of 136 species have been banded here. A total of 219 avian species have been reported as a part of daily point counts. The overall data is invaluable in assessing the biologic health of the area. The KHMO website has more information as well as their most recent report.

    Among the sanctuary's ever-increasing array of wildlife inhabitants are 208 avian species, several reptile and amphibian species, white-tailed deer and red and gray foxes, red and gray squirrels, coyotes, skunks, opossum, three bat species, several rodents, including deer mice, meadow voles, and house mice, two mole species, woodchucks, chipmunks, and many species of butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies. Through the Gregoires' foresight and generosity, the sanctuary is now protected by a conservation easement with The Wildlife Land Trust.

    Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met.  These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.

    HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept.  If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate here.

    Hawks Close-up

    With a hooked beak and talons perfect for catching and tearing meat, the hawk is an efficient hunter capable of great speed and precision.


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