Seaside Sparrow in the Delaware Marshes
Delaware Bird-A-Thon

Passmore Farm Property

Matthew Sarver | April 27, 2018 | 1 Comment

The 635-acre Passmore Farm includes a variety of habitats, from mature coastal forest to fresh and brackish tidal marsh, isolated freshwater wetlands, and agricultural fields and buffers, all of which provide valuable habitat for birds, including tidal marsh specialists, migratory shorebirds, and migratory songbirds.

Unique Pristine Habitat

The tidal marsh of Blackbird Creek is one of only two extensive pristine marshes in Delaware that have not been historically ditched for mosquito control (the other is Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge).

A Haven for Wildlife

Birds of conservation concern that have been documented at or near the Passmore Farm include: Saltmarsh, Seaside, and Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, King, Clapper, and Virginia Rail, American Black Duck, Barn Owl, Short-Eared Owl, and American Kestrel, among others.  

In addition to birds, the Taylor’s Bridge Complex supports many other species of conservation importance, including rare plants, amphibians, butterflies, and dragonflies.

Threat of Development

This property also provides a key buffer between existing protected lands and rampant suburban development occurring immediately west of the site. Communities in the immediate area grew 206% from 2000 to 2010. Adjacent to this property sits a golf course, sandwiched between 2 sprawling neighborhoods.

Pieces of a Puzzle

This acquisition adds a key piece to a large area of contiguous protected land totaling some 10,000 acres, 5,500 adjacent acres owned by the State of Delaware (the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area) and 4,500 acres owned by Delaware Wild Lands (Taylors Bridge Complex).

A Conservation Legacy

Wills Passmore and his family dedicated their lives and livelihoods to ensure Delaware’s natural resources and important agricultural lands would provide on-going sources of food and diversified habitat for the communities of people, wildlife, and birds that depend on them. Following his passing, Wills’ family wished to continue their father’s legacy of protecting important land, water, and habitat in Delaware.

Now DOS is proud to join our conservation partner Delaware Wild Lands, and the Passmore family in ensuring that this land is forever protected.

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Matthew Sarver

Matt has been a member of the Delmarva Ornithological Society since 2009, and was president from 2011 until 2013. He is currently the Conservation Committee Chair, and is the owner/principal of his own ecological consulting company, Sarver Ecological, LLC.

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