Important Bird Areas

Good Hill Farm Preserve

Woodbury, Roxbury (Litchfield County)

Status: Recognized IBA

Ownership: Land Trust and private

Nominator: Hunter Brawley, additional information provided by Angela Dimmitt and Russ Naylor

Size: ~170 acres

Location: 41° 33’ N, 73° 15’ W


Land Use:
Primary—Agriculture/Livestock, undeveloped
Secondary—Airfield, nature and wildlife conservation

Serious—Disturbance to birds or habitat (early mowing)
Minor—None identified
Potential—Predators, invasive species, habitat conversion (succession)

Site Description: Good Hill Farm Preserve is a high elevation grassland area situated on a historic farm that contains a small private airstrip. The grassland is part of a 467-acre parcel of land owned by the Roxbury Land Trust. Approximately 170 acres of this parcel is grassland habitat that is utilized by grassland birds during the nesting season; the rest consists of agricultural lands with no grassland bird usage, a historic farmhouse, and forested habitat. The surrounding area is primarily residential, but there are additional agricultural lands that help to contribute to the open aspect of the site, and attempts should be made to keep them in agricultural use. Both the Land Trust and the owner of the airport are supportive of IBA status for this site, so long as agricultural and airfield use can be maintained.

IBA Criteria: High Conservation Priority Species; Rare, Unique, or Representative Habitat; Single species Concentrations; Long-term Research and/or Monitoring.

Birds: The Good Hill Airport has supported breeding populations of special concern and high conservation priority species including Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Savannah Sparrow for 15-20 consecutive years. There is likely low productivity because of early mowing of the habitat and attempts should be made to work with the Land Trust to find ways to balance agriculture and bird usage of the site in order to increase productivity at the site. The site also provides stopover and wintering habitat for other high conservation priority species in migration or winter, including Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, and Horned Lark. The site has been monitored as part of the Woodbury-Roxbury Summer Bird Count for over 15 years.

Non-avian Resources: There is a historic farm on the property that has been in the same family for three generations. A portion of the property is utilized as a private airport and portions of the property provide hay for a dairy farm operation and used for other agricultural purposes. The site is used by the Astronomical Society of New Haven and the Audubon Center Bent of the River as an astronomy observation site. The dark skies and open view of the property make it one of the premier sky viewing locations in the state.

Existing Conservation Measures: The ownership of the majority of the property has been transferred to the Roxbury Land Trust. The land trust is seeking input into ways to balance the wildlife habitat value of the property and the need to preserve active farmland in Connecticut.

State-listed Species:






American Kestrel, T

Possible, 1985


Northern Harrier, E



Horned Lark, E



Eastern Meadowlark, SC

0-7 males


Savannah Sparrow, SC

3-5 males average


Bobolink, SC

25 males est. average 130 max (1985)



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