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Northern Harrier flying
Northern Harrier © Kyle Wilmarth

Important Bird Area: Peat Meadow

Map of the Peat Meadow IBA site

Nominated By

Joe Hogan



Towns and Counties

Methuen; Essex


municipal, private, nongovernmental organization

Major Habitats

60% emergent freshwater marsh,30% shrub-scrub wetland, migratory stopover site

Land Use

10% utility/right-of-way, undeveloped

Serious Threats

residential and commercial development

Minor Threats

disturbance to birds

Site Description

The property has wetlands with some scrub trees, cattails (65 percent) Common Reed (30 percent), and Purple Loosestrife. A power line right-of-way with two sets of gas pipeline abuts the power line and the town of Methuen water pipe runs north to south through the property.

Current Conservation Status


Ornithological Significance

The Common Grackle roost has been observed at sunset, mostly in the fall, since 1989. Spring observations have occurred since 1992. Groups from the Merrimack Valley Bird Club, Mass Audubon's Blue Hills Trailside Musuem, and individuals from the Brookline Bird Club have visited the site, both in the evening and at sunrise. In the fall, starting in mid-August, regular evening trips are made until mid-October, and then trips take place daily at sunrise and sunset until well into November-and in 2000 into mid-December. Three different observation sites are used: looking from east to west, viewing from north to south, and observing from west to east. Because each site is on private property, each fall the owner or manager is contacted.

Other Flora or Fauna of Significance

None noted.

Data Sources

Joseph Hogan, personal observation