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Tivoli Bay Bird Conservation Area

General Site Information: The BCA contains the only large freshwater tidal marshes on the Hudson River that are primarily surrounded by undeveloped forest. It is part of Audubon's Tivoli Bays Important Bird Area. The area includes 1,722 acres of freshwater tidal emergent marshes, open water and tidal vegetated shallows, as well as forested and shrub habitat. The North Bay consists of freshwater tidal marsh dominated by cattails. The South Bay includes open water and vegetated tidal shallows (at this point largely water chestnut) that are mud flats during low water.

This area is used by a great diversity of dabbling ducks during spring and fall migration with especially large numbers of black ducks. Bald eagle (threatened) and osprey (special concern) regularly forage at Tivoli Bay during migration. Forest and shrub areas provide important migratory stopover habitat for warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, blackbirds, and many other songbird migrants. Marshes support a diversity of species during migration as well as substantial populations of marsh wrens during the breeding season. Least bitterns (threatened) also utilize the area.

Tivoli Bay BCA Management Guidance Summary

Site Name: Tivoli Bay

State Ownership and Managing Agency: Department of Environmental Conservation

Location: Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area, Dutchess County, Town of Red Hook; East side of Hudson River.

Size of Area: 1,722 acres

DEC Region: 3

Vision Statement: Manage the area to conserve all of the diverse habitats and birds present. Manage the site to benefit migratory birds, both upland and aquatic, and enhance the use of the site by marsh birds and waterfowl.

Key BCA Criteria: Waterfowl concentration site, migratory stopover site, diverse species concentration site, individual species concentration site, species at risk site. King rails have occasionally been documented on site. The area is used by a great diversity of dabbling ducks in spring and fall migration with especially large numbers of black ducks (peaks of 1,000+). Bald eagles and ospreys regularly forage at the site during migration. It supports considerable numbers of migratory songbirds and other migrants, including: many species of warbler and flycatcher, swallows (10,000+), and blackbirds during migration. The site also supports large numbers of individual species such as: marsh wrens (with 1,000+ present during breeding season), large flights of tree swallows and blackbirds, as well as black ducks. Diverse species include marsh species and early successional species (migration). Species at Risk include state listed species such as least bittern and bald eagle.

Critical Habitat Types: Freshwater tidal emergent marsh, open water and tidal vegetated shallows, forested and shrub habitat for migratory stopover habitat.

Operation and Management Considerations:

  • Identify habitat management activities needed to maintain site as a BCA.
    The vegetated South Bay shallows are dominated by water chestnut. Control of this invasive exotic may be needed to maintain the diversity of the bays. Phragmites has begun to encroach on the North Bay and control may be needed. Purple loosestrife control may also be needed, particularly in the North Bay.

    Potential leachate from a closed nearby landfill should be monitored.

  • Identify seasonal sensitivities; adjust routine operations accordingly.
    Removal of vegetation during the nesting season could have negative impacts on nesting birds. Vegetative removal should occur outside the nesting season (May through July) whenever practical.

  • Identify state activities or operations which may pose a threat to the critical habitat types identified above; recommend alternatives to existing and future operations which may pose threats to those habitats.
    The largest threat may be lack of adequate efforts to control invasive exotic plants.

  • Identify any existing or potential use impacts; recommend new management strategies to address those impacts.
    Use of the area by migrating waterfowl, raptors and songbirds could be affected by over use of the area. Human disturbance should be monitored and access limited as needed to minimize disturbance to migrants.

Education, Outreach, and Research Considerations:

  • Assess current access; recommend enhanced access, if feasible.
    See above.

  • Determine education and outreach needs; recommend strategies and materials.
    A kiosk that explains the importance of the marshes to waterbirds and importance of the site to migrating birds of all kinds would be beneficial.

  • Identify research needs; prioritize and recommend specific projects or studies.
    Population levels of marsh birds should be monitored. Leachate levels from the closed landfill should be monitored.

Other Issues:
None identified.

Region 3 Wildlife Manager, 845-256-3060

Burger, M. and J. Liner. 2005. Important Bird Areas of New York, Second Edition: Habitats Worth Protecting. Audubon New York.

NYS DEC. 1996. Tivoli Bay Wildlife Management Area Biodiversity Inventory Report. NY Natural Heritage Program. Albany, NY.

Wells, J. V. 1998. Important Bird Areas in New York State. National Audubon Society, Albany, New York.

Date Designated: 9/25/06

Date Prepared: 10/31/05