Piney Tract

The Piney Tract is an area of reclaimed strip mines in excess of 5,000 acres in central Clarion County, south of the Clarion River. These high, rolling hills, last strip mined in the 1970s, have been re-vegetated with grasses and trees (locust and pine). Grassland habitat occupies the hilltops, transected by brushy or forested stream bottoms. The large size of this area, particularly the contiguous fields, is a significant component to its importance to grassland birds. Bird surveys have documented notable diversity and remarkable numbers of grassland birds. Piney Tract supports the largest Henslow's Sparrow breeding colony in Pennsylvania (in excess of 100 pairs) and exceptionally high numbers of Grasshopper Sparrow (1000 pairs) and Savannah Sparrows (1,000 pairs). The exceptional numbers of grassland breeding birds present here has qualified this area as a Globally Important Birding Area #21 by The National Audubon Society.

In 2005, after nearly 20 years of efforts by local conservation organizations, 2254.4 acres were acquired by the PA Game Commission and designated as State Game Lands #330. This acquisition will insure that this area will be preserved for birds and birders for future generations.

Henslow's Sparrow photo by Mike Leahy

Grasshopper Sparrow photo by Gary Edwards

Savannah Sparrow photo by Mike Leahy

© 2021 by Seneca Rocks Audubon Society

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