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Fall Migration

Marsh Hawk Hunting

The well maintained trails at the refuge provide many opportunities to view the wide variety of migrating sparrows and raptors that are passing through the refuge at this time of year. Another good place to start is at our new observation platform that is easily reached right from the parking lot. A good variety of sparrows are passing through on their way south – you can expect to see many of the common species such as Song, Swamp, White-throated and Savannah and if you are fortunate you may see White-crowned, Lincoln’s or Vesper Sparrows although they are not common. As the season progresses raptor numbers should be on the increase. Expect to see the most common hawk – the Red-tail Hawk along with Northern Harriers. Rough-legged Hawks and Short-eared Owls may arrive by late November and will usually be seen here throughout the winter.

About the Complex

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

This complex also includes Wallkill River and Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuges.

Shawangunk Grasslands is managed as part of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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Important Things to Know

Page Photo Credits — Shawangunk Grasslands - Steven Brooks., All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Shawangunk grasslands in winter - Steven Brooks, Winter at Shawangunk - Steven Brooks, Spring meadow - Steven Brooks, Short-eared owl - Ed Frampton
Last Updated: Oct 15, 2015
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