Research: Breeding and Migrating Bird Census for Ridgewood Reservoir
Within the 50 acres that make up Ridgewood Reservoir are an amazing diversity of habitats including early growth forests, wetlands, bogs and a small lake. These rich and productive ecosystems sit high above , and almost separate from, the surrounding areas on what is one of the highest point in Queens. This, along with it’s location in the eastern coastal flyway, makes it an attractive and vital area for birds during migration and for a surprising number of local breeding birds.
The bird census is a work in progress. So far we have made six short visits to the reservoir. Our first trip was on April 21st, 2007 and our most recent visit was June 9th, with a total of 15 people participating. In this very short period of time, with less than 30 hours of observation, we have counted a total of 101 species of birds making use of Ridgewood Reservoir. Of that total, 28 species of birds have been observed to be Possible or Probable Breeders, including Warbling Vireos and Yellow Warblers. Confirmed Breeders number an additional 8 species, including Black-capped Chickadees and Baltimore Orioles.
Another 40+ species were counted at the reservoir as migrants. We observed a total of 25 species of warblers (2 or 3 which we are hoping to confirm as breeders) along with such treasures as Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting. Of the 25 remaining species, some are winter residents that were observed only on our early visit. Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, and Fox and White-throated Sparrow will return again in the fall. Other birds, such as Chimney Swifts, Red-tailed Hawk, Common Nighthawk and many others depend on the reservoir as an important source of food and water. They most probably nest nearby.
We will be continuing to observe and record the bird life at Ridgewood Reservoir and to enjoy the amazing abundance of nature in this unique and wonderful place.
Bird Census Coordinator for Ridgewood Reservoir, Member of the Brooklyn Bird Club
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Breeding Birds at Ridgewood Reservoir as of August 28, 2007 (PDF)
Ridgewood Reservoir Breeding Bird Survey: April 2007 – September 2007 (PDF)
Ridgewood Reservoir Breeding Bird Survey: Fall – Winter 2007 (PDF)
Breeding Birds at Ridgewood Reservoir as of May 30, 2007 (PDF)
Ridgewood Reservoir Breeding Bird Survey (PDF)
Bird Atlas Breeding Codes