Southern Adirondack Audubon Society

Protecting the environment through the preservation of natural habitats
 and the advancement of environmental education

Birding the Denton Wildlife Sanctuary 
in the Town of  Greenwich, Washington County, NY


Denton Sign

The Denton Wildlife Sanctuary, owned by the Nature Conservancy, is located on both sides of Rt.4 in the Town of Greenwich.  The eastern parcel features walking trails varying in length from 1-3 miles, meandering through mixed hardwoods and swamp, stream, and forest habitats which offer varied birding opportunities.  Spring wildflowers can be studied here as well, and periods of rainy weather will produce a variety of fungi.  The property to the west of Rt.4 is mostly wetland, including river frontage and a small pond.

The Denton Preserve Bird Species List


From the north, head south on Rt.4, 9.5 miles from the traffic light at the intersection of Rt. 197 and Rt.4 in the Village of Ft. Edward.  The parking area is on the left.  From the south, go north on Rt.4 from the Village of Schuylerville.  After crossing the bridge over the Hudson River, proceed .5 mile to the parking area on the right.  The wetland and river frontage is accessed by turning west onto River Rd. at the north end of the bridge over the Hudson.

View of wetland
This wetland and stream area provides habitat
 for many insect-eating birds.

Looking down one trail in early fall.

New Sign
This new sign prohibits dogs, motorized vehicles, mountain biking, collecting, etc.

Birding the Denton Trails

Spring is a very active time in these woods.  In the open area at the beginning of the trail, listen for Yellow-throated Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, House Wren, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Blue-winged warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, and Indigo Bunting.  As you explore the woods you will hear, and with patience, see, several flycatchers, such as Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher and Great Crested Flycatcher - the only flycatcher that nests in a cavity! Wood Thrush and Veery will both be found as you move deeper into the moist woods.  Several warbler species can easily be found, such as Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Ovenbird, and Common Yellowthroat.  Other birds to listen for include Red-eyed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, and Chipping Sparrow.  American Woodcock has been observed here as well.

During summer keep a lookout for Eastern Kingbird, Baltimore Oriole, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, and Brown-headed Cowbird.  Be sure to take inventory of the swamps and streams for Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Tree and Barn Swallow, and occasionally Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  Also, if approached discreetly, Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, and Mallard can be viewed feeding in the swamps.  Throughout the sanctuary listen for Red-tailed Hawk and both Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.  Turkey Vulture and Canada Goose can often be seen flying over and an occasional Killdeer will be found moving among the fields nearby.

Fall is a good time to get your woodpecker fix.  All six common species are here:  Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Pileated, and Northern Flicker can often be seen on one visit, with the addition of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in early fall before it migrates south. Other residents include Blue Jay, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, American Robin, Mourning Dove, and Song Sparrow.  You can also hear Ruffed Grouse drumming, American Goldfinch calling as they fly about, and the occasional White-throated Sparrow.

Winter hosts many resident favorites such as Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, and Cedar Waxwing.  Less common are Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Dark-eyed Junco.  Barred Owl is occasionally heard as well.

Along the Hudson
During spring migration, a drive along the River Rd. section of the preserve will afford opportunities to see many species of waterfowl; over a dozen species have been recorded in this section of the river.  Yellow-throated Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and several warbler species have been seen as well.  Woodpeckers love this section, as there are many dead trees to provide food for their young.  The small pond on the right as you head north nearly always has  Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, and Belted Kingfisher, and often Green Heron can be found as well.

We know this location hosts many species not yet observed, so if you have any
additions to this list, please send us the species name, your name,
 and the date the bird was observed.