Hanson and Halifax

Virginia Rail (Photo by Chris Buelow)
Virginia Rail (Photo by Chris Buelow)

The Great Cedar Swamp and Burrage Pond area of Hanson and Halifax was a very large Atlantic White Cedar Swamp, which was diked and altered for cranberry bogs. In 2002, DFW bought 1,638 acres here from the Northland Cranberry company, including the cranberry bogs, the open water of Burrage Pond, Red Maple Swamps, regenerating Atlantic White Cedar, and grassy marshes along the small streams draining the wetlands.

For decades this has been an important birding site, for its waterfowl, marsh birds, and migrating passerines. Wood Ducks breed here in good numbers, and Virginia Rails can be heard calling. In the June 2004 issue of Bird Observer, a journal covering the birds of eastern Massachusetts, Kathleen Anderson and Wayne Petersen wrote of the long history of birding at this site and note some of the birds and other flora and fauna to be found here.

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