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Peconic River Headwaters Bird Conservation Area

The Peconic River Headwaters BCA consists of several parcels that comprise 4,267 acres along the Peconic River in the towns of Brookhaven and Riverhead, Suffolk County. It is located within Audubon's Long Island Pine Barrens Important Bird Area. Habitat types include ponds and riverine wetlands, upland grasslands and old fields, and pine barrens on rolling terrain. This area lies within the core of the Long Island Pine Barrens and provides the largest areas of grassland habitat in state ownership on Long Island. This habitat also supports the only remaining population of ruffed grouse on Long Island.

Breeding species of particular interest include grasshopper sparrow (special concern), whip-poor-will (special concern), vesper sparrow (special concern), yellow-breasted chat (special concern), common nighthawk (special concern), Cooper's hawk (special concern), and northern bobwhite. More than 50 other species have been recorded during breeding season surveys in the area. Migration and winter species include northern harrier (threatened), short-eared owl (endangered), Cooper's hawk (special concern), and sharp-shinned hawk (special concern) as well as a wide diversity and abundance of songbirds and waterfowl.

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