Moran WMA, Windsor

Birds of Interest

With it's beautiful spruce forests, Moran Wildlife Management Area is a good place to look for Crossbills (Red and White-winged), Pine Siskins, and Evening Grosbeaks, especially during irruption years.

About this Location

The diverse character of Eugene D. Moran WMA attracts hunters, birders, and other wildlife enthusiasts. This high-elevation property is part of a large collection of conserved land scattered across the Berkshire Plateau. The forested areas are primarily northern hardwood interspersed with spruce–fir stands. Abandoned agricultural fields and shrubland habitats along with extensive wetlands can be found west of Savoy Road. Beavers are active on the landscape, so waterways are always shifting. MassWildlife mows in certain locations to maintain grassland habitat and to provide cover for ring-necked pheasant. The Fobes Hill area is managed for shrubland and young forest habitat. Visitors can explore these varied habitats and observe wildlife living there. A walk to the open summit of Windsor Hill offers one of the most impressive views in the Berkshires.

This property is wholly in the town of Windsor with numerous points of entry. The primary access is via two large paved parking lots on the east and west sides of Route 8A. The WMA can also be accessed from the south side of Cheshire Road where there is a small grass parking lot or from the west side of North Street.

The large wet meadows on the WMA offer opportunities to see rare and uncommon marsh and grassland birds. There are many trails in the area for walking, hiking, and biking.

This Important Bird Area (IBA) is a mix of wet grass/sedge meadows, alder swamps, beaver ponds, fields, old field/brush/scrub habitats, deciduous northern hardwoods, and conifers such as red spruce and balsam fir.

Invasive plants in this IBA include European Buckthorn being cut and stump treated with herbicide, and Reed Canary Grass, which may be suppressed by controlled burns. No active management is currently in place to inhibit Brown-headed Cowbirds. Succession: ~90 acres of old field habitat created in recent years. Funding to maintain habitat is uncertain. Habitat conversion: Temporary disturbance to nesting birds during the first year of old-field conversion. RD/Overuse: Snowmobiles are restricted to one trail during winter.

One to four (possibly seven) state-listed species have nested here during the past 20 years. 185 species documented in this area over the past 30 years.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website, Moran Wildlife Management Area IBA webpage, and Noah Henkenius

Last updated November 24, 2023