Take time to visit Kiwanis Lake Rookery in the heart of York City. Kiwanis Lake was designated as the 82nd Important Bird Area site in York City in 2004. Initial reports and sighting provided crucial information about three different Pennsylvania state endangered bird species roosting at Kiwanis Lake. Kiwanis Lake Rookery is the only location in Pennsylvania with heron and egret species (yellow-crowned night heron, black crowned night heron and great egret). This site is one of only two in Pennsylvania with breeding yellow-crowned night heron (Nycticorax violaceus) colonies, one of two great egret (Ardea albus) colonies, and only one of four black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) colonies.
What makes a place an Important Bird Area?
The Important Bird Areas Program (IBA) is a National Audubon Society global effort to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds and other biodiversity. By working with Audubon chapters, landowners, public agencies, community groups, and other non-profits, Audubon endeavors to interest and activate a broad network of supporters to ensure that all Important Bird Areas are properly managed and conserved.
In Pennsylvania, before a location is recognized as an IBA, the supporting research and data is reviewed by the Ornithological Technical Committee (OTC) of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey. The OTC serves as the selection committee for all of Pennsylvania’s designated IBA locations. (Pennsylvania IBA)
Since being designated an Important Bird Area efforts are being made by many organizations and partners to improve the habitat in and around Kiwanis Lake. Students of the York City School District William Penn High School take time each year to plant native tree seedlings, trees and perennials to create beneficial riparian buffers along Willis Run. These plantings are in the park at Kiwanis Lake, Noonan Park and Lincoln Park. The student’s hard work as been recognized and certified to meet the criteria for the Audubon At Home Bird Habitat Recognition Program. The improvements being done also help clean the water and make the water temperature cooler and help support fish and attracts many other bird species to the area.
Directions to Kiwanis Lake Rookery
York Project – Kiwanis Lake IBA
- Pennsylvania Audubon
- York Audubon Society
- Penn Extension Office
- 4H of York
- Silva Native Plant Nursery
- York City Parks and Recreation Department
- York City School District
- William Penn High School
- Codorus Creek Improvement Partnership
- Lower Susquehanna River Keepers
- PA Federation of Sportsmen (provided sign)
- York County Conservation District (donated trees)
- Bird Refuge of York County (Theresa Deckard rehabs the younger birds from site who have fallen from nests)
- PA Game Commission (Chad Eyler, Wildlife Conservation Officer monitors site weekly)
Important Bird Area Sign
4-H participants visit Kiwanis Lake