Mohonk Preserve is a sanctuary where we take refuge, recreate, see birds and nature, and restore ourselves from the daily grind, so we’re thrilled to donate three intoBirds’ Birch Dream Journals to support the preserve’s 23rd Annual Benefit.
This beautiful preserve is in New Paltz, N.Y. off Exit 18 on the NYS Thruway.
Stunning Shawangunk Mountain Ridge
The first thing you see visiting New Paltz after going through the NYS Thruway toll are the magnificent white quartzite conglomerate rock formations straight ahead with a tiny tower far in the distance.
You’re looking at the Shawangunk Mountain Ridge and the Smiley Tower at the Mohonk Preserve.
The picturesque Mohonk Preserve is part of the Northern Shawangunk Ridge, and the mountain range runs between the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains.
The Gunks are a spectacular rock formation seen from many viewpoints in Ulster County, N.Y. where we hike and enjoy birdwatching and where others enjoy rock climbing.
Mohonk Preserve Migratory Corridor
The 6,600 acre Mohonk Preserve is part of a migratory corridor that exists along the entire upland plateau of the Northern Shawangunks.
It’s home to many forest-dwelling bird species, including:
-Northern Saw-whet Owl
-Black-throated Blue Warbler
And breeding shrub/scrub bird species like the Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Indigo Bunting, and the Prairie Warbler.
But what the Mohonk Preserve is most known for is the Peregrine Falcons that nest on the cliff face.
Protecting Peregrine Falcons in the Gunks
Mohonk Preserve has a long history of monitoring and protecting Peregrine Falcons on the Shawangunk Ridge.
Protecting Peregrines dates back to the 1920s when brothers Dan and Keith Smiley began recording Peregrine sightings.
On June 17, 1929, the brothers made history when they scrambled down to “Duck Hawk Ledge” on Sky Top and banded two young Peregrines.
They banded a male falcon that day that flew east to west, traveling 1,300 miles in 3 months.
This event marks the first documentation of an east to west, rather than north to south migration.
As Peregrines declined in numbers in the 1940s and 1950s because of DDT and other pesticides, by 1968, there were no known Peregrine nests east of the Mississippi River.
Peregrine Comeback at the Gunks
After a 40-year absence, Peregrines raised in captivity in the 1970s were reintroduced to the gunks.
As a result, Peregrines returned to nest in the Gunks almost every year since.
Peregrine Falcons are an integral part of our ecosystem.
Mohonk Preserve cooperates with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure the Peregrine’s recovery continues.
As people who love birds, you can appreciate why it’s crucial to protect and support places like the Mohonk Preserve.
Supporting the Mohonk Preserve
Use this dream journal (5.5” x 8”) as a field guide for chronicling bird sightings, a sketchbook for your bird art, or a diary for preserving your precious memories.
You can say the Gunks are in our backyard, and as neighbors of this beautiful sanctuary, we’re proud to do our part for this important fundraiser.
COVID-19 makes places like the Mohonk Preserve more critical than ever as people unplug, get outdoors, and reconnect with nature.
John Burroughs, the great American naturalist and leader of the U.S. conservation movement said, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed and have my senses put in order.”
Mohonk Preserve is one of those unique places in the natural world, offering endless adventures.
Mohonk Preserve is a fabulous place to enjoy fall migration. Learn more about the preserve and get directions here.