One of the largest bird sanctuaries in the country is Berkshire Bird Paradise. It has over 2,000 birds of 100 species with forty percent unable to live on their own in the wild. Its 4 miles east of Grafton off route 2 near the Vermont state border.
Visitors pass through an indoor green house style building to outdoor pens. The sanctuary has a selection of a dozen bald and golden eagles, large hawks, black swans, and exotic pheasants. There are pet songbirds, ducks, geese, chickens, and white pheasants. The large emus are curious when visited perhaps interested in food handouts. A pair of bald eagles may be observed during mating season from a special blind. Eagle chicks are released to live in the wild when ready.
Director Peter Dubacher started his mission of rescuing birds in 1975. His venture has grown over the years with supporters bringing necessary food, building supplies and financial support. Berkshire Bird Paradise is not subsidized by any organization, funds raised by admission fees feed and care for sanctuary birds. Educational programs are offered for schools.
Berkshire Bird Paradise is at 43 Red Pond Road, Petersburg, New York.
Adults $8, children $5
Open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, 7 days a week from Memorial Day to October 31.
Petersburg is a town of 1,525 population near the border of Massachusetts and Vermont. The town was named after early settler Peter Simmons and founded in 1807. The Taconic Mountains are within the town with the Little Hoosic River joining the Hoosic River north of the town. Grafton is a town of 2,130, named after Grafton Vermont.
Tomhannock Reservoir is a man made body of water for Troy, 6 ½ miles to its northeast. It is 5-½ mile long storing 12.3 million gallons of excellent quality water. Fishing is a popular activity for licensed sportsmen.
Grafton Lakes State Park’s 2,357 acres have five ponds on a forested ridge between the Taconic and Hudson Valleys. Its largest Long Pond has a large sandy beach that is populated during summer months. Ponds have launch facilities for canoes, electric boats, rowboats, and sailboats. Ponds are also popular for fishermen with bass, perch, pickerel, brown trout, rainbow trout, and walleye.
The park has 25 miles of nature trails for bicycling, hiking, and horseback riding. Trails are groomed during winter for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Ice fishing and ice-skating are also popular winter activities.
Berkshire Bird Paradise is a 4 hour drive of 250 miles from Rochester NY. Drive east on I-90 Thruway to Albany then from Troy east on route 2 past Grafton. Follow signs turn north on Babcock Lake Road, becoming Red Pond Road to the sanctuary.
Here’s your chance to visit a bird sanctuary with the knowledge your entrance fee will keep this worthy venture functioning. And you may even enjoy your visit.