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This land’s rugged outcrops and boulder-strewn hills provide a solid foundation for deciduous forests, flowing streams, and swamps teeming with flora and fauna.
In 1954, Mrs. Butler donated 225 acres of land to The Nature Conservancy in honor of her husband, making it the organization’s first donated preserve and the first wildlife refuge in the town of Bedford. Since then, it has grown through additional donations and purchases to its present size.
Each fall, visitors flock to the preserve to observe migrating birds of prey. The Nature Conservancy posts interpretive materials that explain the phenomenon of mass migration and help to identify the many raptor species passing overhead.
There are six forest communities on the preserve: oak-dominant mixed hardwood, oak-hickory, mixed mesophytic, hemlock-mixed hardwood, hemlock dominant and wetland swamp forest. There are also several areas of white pine and Norway spruce plantations.
The Robert J. Hammershlag Hawkwatch is an excellent spot to observe a variety of hawks, falcons and other raptors during the autumn hawk migration. Other animals on the preserve include white-tailed deer, red fox, coyote, great-horned owls, barred owls and screech owls. The summer brings songbirds such as wood thrush, warblers and scarlet tanagers.
This 363-acre preserve is located in Bedford, Westchester County, New York. Download a preserve map to help plan your visit to the Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary.