Southern Adams County Grasslands Important Bird Area
Panorama from Oak Ridge observation tower looking west
Panorama from Confederate Avenue observation tower looking east
Adams County Boundary shown in red
Size: 167,800 acres.
Geography/habitat: Grasslands and fallow fields located in and around Gettysburg National Military Park.
Features/trails: The IBA (Important Bird Area) is also known as Freedom Township IBA. The area is a combination of privately owned and National Park Service land and offers roadside viewing only; drive slowly and pull off the road with extreme caution. The area provides critical habitat for Pennsylvania’s diminishing grassland bird species, and is the only location in the Commonwealth that has, in the past, been an occasional nesting site for the Loggerhead Shrike. Please respect private property.
Must see: Consider bicycling through this unique landscape as traffic volume is typically low (rentals are available in Gettysburg).
Key Species: Include Upland Sandpiper, Barn Owl, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Field Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Dickcissel. Alert and patient birders may also spot the Short-eared Owl, Rough-legged Hawk, Horned Lark, Snow Bunting, Lapland Longspur (in winter), Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, and Eastern Bluebird.
Directions: From Gettysburg, take Baltimore Street south to Steinwehr Avenue. Bear right onto Steinwehr Avenue and proceed approximately 1 mile to Millerstown Road. Turn right onto Millerstown Road. Proceed approximately 0.5 miles to the 4-way intersection and stop sign. Here the road becomes Pumping Station Road. Grasslands are on both sides of the road.
Latitude: 39° 48.035’N Longitude: 77° 15.971’W
Nomination: this Important Bird Area was nominated by Deb Siefken and Nancy Locher.