Taking it all in at our Butler Preserve
Butler Preserve Taking it all in at our Butler Preserve © Charles Gleberman Photography

Places We Protect

Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary

New York

Rugged outcrops and boulder-strewn hills are teeming with life.

Note: The annual spectacle of fall hawk migration is happening right now. The Butler Memorial Sanctuary platform used to track migration and educate visitors is badly in need of repair. We’ve launched a campaign to restore the hawk watch.  To learn more and donate, visit conservewith.us/hawkwatch.

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.

Before you visit, please read our Hunting Guidelines and download a trail map.

Why We Selected This Site

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.

What We Do Here

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.