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Minnewaska Bird Conservation Area

The Minnewaska BCA is located within the Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County. The Preserve is located on the Shawangunk Mountain ridge, which rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level. The Minnewaska BCA has many spectacular rock formations, soaring precipices, windswept ledges with pine barrens, fast-flowing mountain streams, mountain lakes and several scenic waterfalls. The Nature Conservancy has designated the entire ridge as one of the "Last Great Places." The Shawangunks, including Minnewaska, are among the highest priority areas for biodiversity conservation in the northeastern United States. The Minnewaska BCA is part of Audubon's Northern Shawangunk Mountains Important Bird Area. Evaluation of the BCA criteria for designation has shown that most of the Preserve qualifies as a BCA.

Minnewaska is part of a migratory corridor that exists along the entire upland plateau of the Northern Shawangunks. It is an exceptional example of a higher elevation forest community with a high diversity of forest dwelling species. The BCA includes birds of forest habitat including breeding northern saw-whet owl, black-and-white warbler, black-throated blue warbler, Canada warbler, eastern wood-pewee, northern flicker and scarlet tanager; and breeding shrub/scrub species eastern towhee, field sparrow, gray catbird, indigo bunting and prairie warbler. Species at risk include a pair of peregrine falcons (Endangered) that nest on the cliff face.

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