Rice Creek Field Station Bulletin No. 3: Preliminary Bird and Associated Vegitational Studies for Navigation Season Extension on the St. Lawrence River

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Maxwell, George
Smith, Gerald
Ruta, Patricia
Carrolan, Thomas
Shearer, Robert
Rice Creek Field Station
The avian component constitutes a visible and vital part of the St. Lawrence River Ecosystem. In numbers of species, birds are the most abundant vertebrates with 260+ species occurring regularly in the region. They range from common species such as the Herring Gull and Red-winged Blackb1rd to the rare and endangered Bald Eagle and Osprey. See Preliminary checklist and notes sections which follow this section. The ornithological history of the region is relatively brief and much of the area is poorly known. In recent years some light has been shed on the status of the birds of the river by observers in the Kingston, Ontario area (Quilliam 1973) and by other local observers. These observations, plus those derived from the study, have provided some preliminary data on the characteristics of the birds of the river region. Some of these aspects will be briefly noted in this report.
This issue contains selected parts of the "Preliminary Bird Studies for Navigation Season Extension on the St. Lawrence River --1976" submitted to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service under Contract No. 14-160005-6067 through the Office of Sponsored Research, SUNY Oswego. This one aspect of the environmental study is being conducted in response to the proposed pl ans to modify the St. Lawrence River so that year round commercial shipping is possible. The authors formed a study team conducting field work along the river from late f1ay to late August. College and university teams from New York State and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are in the process of conducting one of the largest environmental studies ever done on such a river system. In attempting to make year-round navigation possible, ice breakinq, dredging, and construction of ice booms and four nuclear power plants are planned. It is the goal of these teams to gather background data in their respective study areas so that assessments may be made of the possible effects such a project would have upon the avian fauna of the river ecosystem. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has deemed it necessary to conduct such studies for a six year period to adequately assess the potential impacts of the proposed project. Robert I. Shearer Editor