Important Bird and Birding Areas
Old Mine Road

IBBA Site Guide

Warren County
Coordinates: N 41.05976
W 74.94636
Skylands: Appalachian Mountains

Area: 64,977 Acres     

Habitat: Mix of deciduous, coniferous and mixed upland and wetland forests, riparian habitat, cultivated and fallow fields and open water

Site Description: Flanked by the contiguous forests of Worthington State Forest, the mixed habitats of this site straddle Old Mine Road along the Delaware River from the northern edge of Warren County south to Mount Tammany Cliffs. The Old Mine Road IBA, designated a globally significant IBA by National Auduon, consists of mixed hardwood forest, riverine forest, hemlock glens, spruce-pine plantings, occasional fields and wetlands. This site includes the Depew Island Natural Heritage Priority Site and intersects the Kittatinny Mountain Macrosite, which are recognized by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) as two of the state’s most significant natural areas. This site is part of the Delaware Valley Water Gap Macrosite IBA. Old Mine Road was built by Dutch copper ore miners around 1650 and is considered the oldest commercial road on the North American continent.

IBA Criteria:
Conservation Concern – State-threatened (W)Bald Eagle
Conservation Concern – State-special Concern (B)Cerulean Warbler
Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 28 Forest (B)Baltimore Oriole, Black-and-white Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, Yellow-throated Vireo
Significant Congregations - Exceptional Diversity (B, FM, SM)Landbirds
Significant Migrant Stopover/Flyover (FM, SM)Landbirds
Adult Male American Redstart
Adult Male American RedstartMichael Hogan
Birds: The habitats of the Old Mine Road IBA support exceptionally diverse populations of breeding and migrating landbirds. Forest breeding birds include state-special concern Cerulean Warblers and Veeries as well as Hooded Warblers, Northern Parulas and American Redstarts. A few pairs of state-threatened Golden-winged Warblers also breed here. Bald Eagles frequently roost and forage within this area during the winter.

Conservation: Invasive plant species are limiting the availability of optimal breeding habitats at this site. In many areas, invasive plant species, including Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) and autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata), dominate the shrub layer and outcompete native vegetation. Additionally, many nesting birds are parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds. Cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, ultimately compromising the parents’ ability to raise their own chicks. In particular, cowbird parasitism has been observed in Louisiana Waterthrush and Yellow Warbler nests. These species arrive early before foliage is complete, allowing cowbirds to easily detect and parasitize their nests. Development of remaining unprotected lands along Old Mine Road also threatens the integrity of habitats at this site. Strategies to reduce development pressure include assisting landowners to restore habitat, prioritizing lands for acquisition, and enforcing and/or improving zoning and land use protection regulations. Active management to maintain early successional habitats is also recommended. Exotic pests and tree diseases also threaten forest health in this area. The hemlock woolly adelgid, for example, has caused extensive mortality of eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis). Bacterial leaf scorch, one of many foliage diseases, has affected American elms (Ulmus americana), sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and oaks. Forest health is further compromised by overabundant deer.

Additional Information: Site Report
Flat Brook at Old Mine Rd.
Flat Brook at Old Mine Rd.John Parke