Woodlot Alternatives, Inc. (Woodlot) conducted systematic point-counts to characterize the species diversity and abundance of birds breeding in the vicinity of the proposed Top Notch Wind Project in Fairfield and Norway, New York. These efforts were intended to provide a baseline record of the area's breeding avifauna. Information on species presence, abundance, nest building, courtship displays, and any other notable behaviors were recorded.
The project area is located on largely hilltop farms and forests in the towns of Fairfield and Norway in Herkimer County, New York. The project area lies within the Mohawk Valley, Eastern Adirondack Transition, and Western Adirondack Foothills ecozones. The area is rural, dominated by a mosaic of agricultural fields, fragmented woodlands, and low density housing. The site is located on the southwestern edge of Adirondack Park. In some areas, the transition between cultivated fields and woodlands is buffered by early successional or scrub habitat. Avian species tolerant of disturbed areas, croplands, pastures, sharp transitional edges, and fragmented woodlands would be expected to occur in this environment.
Due to the predominance of open agricultural lands in the project area and it proximity to Adirondack Park, species known to prefer or require extensive tracts of intact forest or grassland habitat may breed within the project area. Species listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation that might be expected in the proposed project area include the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), upland sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda), horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus).