IBA Criteria Category 4

Sites containing assemblages of species characteristic of a representative, rare, threatened, or unique habitat within the state or region.

This category is meant to cover relatively large areas capable of supporting significant bird populations, especially of species with specialized habitat types  and requirements. Selection of sites will be based on avian assemblages within the habitat community type, not on the habitat community type alone. Therefore, whenever possible, characteristic species of birds indicative of the habitat type should be identified and quantified.

Major avian habitat types and categories in Massachusetts

  • Spruce/Fir forest
  • Northern hardwood forest
  • Oak/conifer transitional forest (Red Oak, Eastern Hemlock, White Pine, etc.)
  • Pitch Pine/Scrub Oak forest
  • Early successional shrubland
  • Cultural grassland
  • Cultivated field
  • Emergent freshwater wetland (i.e. cattail marsh)
  • Peatlands (bogs and fens)
  • Maritime heathland /sandplain grassland
  • Palustrine wooded swamp (White Cedar, Red Maple, or floodplain)
  • Shrub/scrub wetland
  • Saltmarsh
  • Coastal beach/dune/island
  • Marine
  • River/stream
  • Lake/pond
  • Urban/suburban