Charlotte-Mecklenburg Area Professional Review and Guide
"McDowell Nature Preserve, encompassing over 1,100 acres, contains relatively large expanses of various second-growth forest habitats in a variety of successional stages. The preserve contains moderate to steep topography and is drained by several small streams, which feed into the adjacent Lake Wylie. The 140-acre McDowell Piedmont Prairie restoration area, with a variety of early successional habitats ranging from prairie to shrubland, is located in the northeast corner of the preserve. Nearly 160 species have been documented at McDowell Nature Preserve. Cowan’s Ford Wildlife Refuge is a 668-acre peninsula surrounded by the Catawba River.
Habitats: Upland hardwood forest, mixed pine-hardwood forest, pine forest, floodplain, Piedmont Prairie, shrubland. Key birds: Summer: Osprey; Broad-winged Hawk; Cliff Swallow; Eastern Kingbird; Grasshopper Sparrow; Summer and Scarlet Tanager; Indigo Bunting; Blue Grosbeak. Winter: Snow Goose; Loggerhead Shrike; American Pipit; Vesper Sparrow. Year-round: Red-headed Woodpecker; Brown-headed Nuthatch."