Luzerne County


Ross Twp. • 25.2 Acres

The 25-acre Alexander property in Lake Township, Luzerne County consists of a mixed northern hardwood forest, an Appalachian oak forest and a conifer forest. The conifer forest provides habitat for seed-eating mammal species such as southern flying squirrel, red squirrel, gray squirrel, eastern chipmunk and white-footed mice, along with bird species such as golden-crowned kinglet, black-capped chickadee, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, blue jay and white-breasted nuthatch.

The Northern Hardwood Forest Community, the most dominant habitat type, adjoins unbroken forested parcels that are in close proximity to the immense Pennsylvania State Game Lands. Wildlife observations indicate that mammals frequently use this forest community as a travel corridor, feeding area and refuge; mammal trails and tracks were quite evident during snow-covered winter visits. Tree species found in this habitat type include sugar maple, American beech, red maple, red oak, chestnut oak, tulip tree, white pine, eastern hemlock and basswood.

Shrubs include witch-hazel, late low blueberry, mountain laurel and barberry, and ferns are plentiful—hay-scented fern, New York fern, Christmas fern, evergreen woodland fern and sensitive fern. Breeding bird species include broad-winged hawk, red-shouldered hawk, hooded warbler, American redstart, and ovenbird. Springtime bird migration offers phenomenal stopovers; as many as 71-species of birds were reported within a two-hour period.

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