Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve
Crow's Nest is, simply, a beautiful place and considered highly significant from numerous standpoints. Topography is varied, with the high narrow ridgeline rising 200 feet above two tidally influenced creeks: Potomac and Accokeek. The peninsula is deeply dissected by a series of deep ravines. Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve supports 2,200 acres of mature hardwood forest including two forest types that are recognized as globally rare by DCR's Natural Heritage Program. At the southern edge is the Coastal Plain Dry Calcareous Forest featuring chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) with common associates such as chestnut oak(Quercus montana), northern red oak (Quercus rubra), tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), and white ash (Fraxinus americana). In the tidal wetlands the Fresh Tidal Hardwood Swamp is characterized by green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and red maple (Acer rubum), with occasional additional canopy and subcanopy associates. Crow’s Nest supports habitat for about 60 species of neotropical migratory songbirds, nearly 60 percent of which are experiencing population declines, including ten species that are high global priority species of Partners In Flight. There are also nesting bald eagles and great blue herons. These lands and waters have played important roles in the Native American, Colonial and Civil War histories of Virginia.