Vulcan Materials Company

Havre de Grace Quarry

Havre de Grace, Maryland, United States

Certified Silver through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
Raptor Nesting Platforms
Avian
Wood Duck Nest Box Project
Avian
Common Raven Nesting Site
Avian

About the Program

Vulcan Materials Company's Havre de Grace Quarry is located along the Susquehanna River in Harford County, Maryland's only certified Important Bird Area. The 680-acre site contains an open pit mine with many vertical high rock faces on different levels of the property. The team has installed two raptor nest platforms and several wood duck nest boxes within the mine, on which avian species such as black vultures, turkey vultures, bald eagles, peregrine falcons and common ravens are known to perch. In 2017, Vulcan established a 1-acre vegetated mitigation wetland, in which removal of invasive species takes place, to provide habitat for wildlife. 

Practices and Impacts

  • Over the past three years, osprey (Pandion haliaetus) sightings have increased 64% in a 14.2 square mile area around the quarry. Since 2014, an osprey pair has continually returned and has fledged two juvenile birds each season. During the 2020 season, the team succeeded in encouraging a second breeding pair to go from nesting on their former site - a dangerous power line - to a newly relocated perch nearby. 
  • The team monitors and fosters a population of common ravens (Corvus corax) on site and provides data to the Maryland Ornithological Society Records Committee and the Maryland & DC Breeding Bird Atlas Project. The quarry is the only location in Harford County where common ravens are known to nest, and eBird lists the Common Raven as rare for the area. Over four years, 12 Common Ravens were reported to eBird in a roughly 1,565ha (6.4 square mile) area around the quarry.
  • The team maintains seven wood duck (Ais sponsa) nesting boxes each fall in preparation for the spring breeding season. During the 2017-2020 breeding seasons, 26% of the available boxes were utilized. There were six successful nests in which 77 eggs were discovered. Out of these, 62 eggs hatched (an 80% hatch rate.)
  • The team instituted a controlled hunting program to balance the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population across the property, and is working to reduce the currently-estimated density of 59 deer per square mile down to 15-20 deer per square mile. Employees participating in the hunting program are required to volunteer hours on the property to maintain the habitat in exchange for their hunting quadrant. These volunteers have done activities such as removing invasive species, planting trees, seeding meadows, and building footbridges.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY