Important Bird and Birding Areas
Palisades Interstate Park

IBBA Site Guide

Bergen County
Coordinates: N 40.95589
W 73.92649
Piedmont Plains: New England / Mid-Atlantic Coast

Area: 3,727 Acres     

Habitat: Deciduous woods of mixed oak species

Site Description: In 1900, New Jersey and New York created the Palisades Interstate Park Commission to protect and maintain over 100,000 acres of parklands and historic sites in NY and NJ. The Palisades have since been designated a National Natural Landmark. New Jersey’s section of the park consists of approximately 12 miles of deciduous forest along the Hudson River. This site also contains the Palisades Scree Natural Heritage Priority Site. Designated by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Natural Heritage Priority Sites are considered the state’s most significant natural areas.

IBA Criteria:
Conservation Concern – State-endangered (B)Peregrine Falcon
Significant Migrant Stopover/Flyover (FM)Landbirds, Raptors
Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine FalconJim Gilbert
Birds: Since 2003, the Palisades Interstate Park has provided rare natural cliff habitat for up to four nesting pairs of Peregrine Falcons. As many as 15 Bald Eagles have been observed during the winter months. Each fall, over 8000 raptors are counted at the Stateline Hawk Watch in Alpine, NJ as they fly over during their southward migration.

Conservation: Extensive eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) loss and several overabundant and invasive species threaten the health of the Palisades Interstate Park’s upland forests. Invasive plant species include the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum) and Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii). The abundant deer population facilitates establishment of invasive plant species by overbrowsing. Appropriate methods of reducing the impact of these species, including mechanical removal, use of herbicides or hunting, must be identified and implemented. Brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds has also negatively impacted the reproductive success of nesting Wood Thrush and Common Yellowthroat at this IBA.

Additional Information: Site Report
Cliffs at Palisades Park
Cliffs at Palisades ParkJohn Parke