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Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge




Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge consists of a one and a half mile long peninsula that separates Little Peconic Bay from Noyac Bay. The Morton NWR is perhaps the most picturesque of the Long Island refuges.

Attractions - The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge consists of a one and a half mile long peninsula that separates Little Peconic Bay from Noyac Bay. The Morton NWR is perhaps the most picturesque of the Long Island refuges. The habitats of the refuge are diverse.

Three miles of narrow undeveloped shoreline consists of sand and rocky strand habitats. The tip of the peninsula has steep and heavily eroded bluffs approaching fifty feet in height. Habitats at the refuge include bay, brackish pond, impoundment, kettle holes, tidal flats, salt marsh, freshwater marsh, upland shrub, grasslands, maritime oak forest, red cedar stands, and pioneer hardwoods.

The wildlife community at the refuge is also diverse. The strand habitats attract many beach using species including nesting piping plovers, roseate terns, least terns, common terns, harbor seals, and numerous shorebird species. The waters surrounding the refuge are considered critical habitat for juvenile Kemp's Ridley sea turtles and are also used by loggerhead sea turtles.

Waterfowl use of the refuge is most heavy during the colder months when over one thousand waterfowl have been documented with the most common being oldsquaw, white winged scoter, goldeneye and black ducks. The north/south axis of the peninsula also makes it serve as important habitat for migratory birds including shorebirds, raptors and songbirds.

During November, up to 100 each of common loons and horned grebes can be viewed from the refuge's beach. Morton provides habitat to several State and Federal endangered and threatened species, including piping plover, roseate tern, common tern, least tern, osprey, peregrine falcon, northern harrier, Kemp's ridley sea turtle and loggerhead sea turtle.

Recreation - The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge consists of a 1.5 mile peninsula that separates Little Peconic Bay from Noyac Bay. The NWR is characterized by a sand and stone shoreline with steep bluffs. A deciduous forest, small ponds, brackish marshes and open field offer protected living and nesting areas for numerous waterfowl including the piping plover, roseate tern, common tern, least tern, osprey and peregrine falcon. Management of migratory birds plays host to bird watchers and nature lovers.

Climate - The Long Island Travel Region experiences average January temperatures above 22 degrees Fahrenheit (above -6 degrees Celsius). Summer temperatures average above 72 degrees Fahrenheit (above 22 degrees Celsius). Precipitation in the region ranges from 40 to more than 44 inches of rain and snowmelt. Typically Long Island has more than 200 days of frost-free growing season.

Location - The Amagansett National Wildlife Refuge is located along the north fork of Long Island off SR 38.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Rosanne Veilson-Levine (Long Island, NY)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Was there last weekend (May 17, 2003). Spring is great time for hand feeding the chickadees! They greet you as you enter the refuge....and seem to be all around as you walk throughout. The pond we visited has croaking bullfrogs, turtles and a pair of mallards. Saw osprey flying overhead, swallows by the nest boxes, male and female red-wing blackbirds, woodpecker (red-bellied?), tufted titmouse, white breasted nuthatch, cardinals, blue jays, robins, catbirds, chipmunks, rabbits. Never even made it down to the beach shoreline...will save that for next trip! Only saw 8-10 other people while there (we were 3 photographers/videographers), so it was very quiet. Sat on a bench by the pond ...and watched the turtles and ducks and listened to the frogs croaking. Stop at one of the local delis for a bag of Tate's Chocolate Chip cookies....they are pricey but, in my opinion, the best ever!


More Information

Contact Information:
Elizabeth A. Morton NWR, P.O. Box 21 , Shirley, NY, 11967, Phone: 516-286-0485
, r5rw_linwr@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Long Island Travel Region - Millions of annual visitors find Long Island to be a recreation haven, particularly along the southern coast. Extending 118 miles, this urban stretch of land offers everything from historical sights to mammal observations.
New York National Wildlife Refuges - The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife manage nine wildlife refuges in New York found in three travel regions. These refuges protect and manage biological diverse habitat while offering an educational and recreational opportunity to the public.

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