Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Continuing To Track NJ Eagles

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

by: CWF biologist Larissa Smith

We keep track of all re-sightings we receive of NJ (green) banded eagles. This information is important as it lets us know where eagles raised in NJ go after leaving the nest and eventually where they end up nesting. In 2017 we have had NJ banded birds sighted in NJ as well as PA and VT.

On April 15, 2017 Mary Dunham photographed NJ banded D/18 near Lake Como in Belmar, NJ.  The female was banded in March 2011 at the Manasquan Reservoir, Monmouth County. She was with another smaller adult, assumed to be a male. While Mary  watched a third adult eagle came into the area and the pair chased it away. This is an indicator that D/18 was paired up and perhaps was nesting in the area.

D/18 @ Mary Dunham

In August we received a report that D/18 was sighted once again. This time she was up near the NY- Canada border. We don’t know much about the movements of nesting eagles so we can only speculate why she made such a big move north. Perhaps she went north with a recent fledgling or maybe she was kicked out of the pair by an intruder eagle and headed north?

D/40@ Reid Hoffer

In March we were contacted by Reid Hoffer who monitors an eagle nest along a reservoir in Rockland County NY.  He was able to get a photo of a green band, D/40, she was banded May 2011 at Newton Reservoir in Sussex County. Mr. Hoffer reports that unfortunately the pair did not produce any offspring this year.

D/40 & mate at nest in NY@Reid Hoffer

 

 

 

 

 

 


Telemetry

We are also currently tracking three NJ eagle with transmitters attached.  The New Jersey Bald Eagle Tracking project shows the movements of all three of these birds as well as their history.

Two of the transmittered birds  fledged from Merrill Creek Reservoir in Warren County, NJ. Harmony 2, has spent the last four years in a 100-mile swath of western Connecticut and Massachusetts. She fledged in 2012 making her a 5th year bird and breeding age. We suspect she’ll nest in the same area next season.  Haliae fledged in 2013 and has spent the past three years mostly around the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Perhaps she’ll stay in that area to nest? So two birds from the same nest, but one has settled to the north and one to the south.

Nacote, a male from the Galloway nest in Atlantic County, has stayed more “local” to his home area. He’s spent the last three seasons in Atlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties. He favors the CMC landfill and local sand pits where other eagles are known to roost and feed.

All this information helps us to locate roost and foraging areas and protect them.  It’s also fascinating to know where NJ eagles go after leaving their nest area, especially when they begin nesting. Why do some head north, others south and yet others stay near their “home” range? We don’t know, and that’s ok, it’s what makes them wild!


To learn more:

Osprey 78/D: A Second Chance

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
“Chump” is rescued, rehabbed, and released

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Chump, what are you doing down there? Photo by Northside Jim.

On Sunday, August 30 I woke and checked my email early that morning. I had an urgent message from Deb Traster, who lives adjacent to the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences (LBIF). She said that something was not right with one of the young ospreys that fledged from a nearby nesting platform where I banded three nestlings with red bands on July 7. One was on the ground and could not take off. Fearing the worst (entanglement), she checked it out and sought help. After getting in touch with me, I reached out to my buddy, Northside Jim to see if he could get there that morning. (more…)

Grassland birds of New Jersey

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
Part I: The Importance of Grassland Habitat

By Meghan Kolk, Wildlife Biologist

In this blog series, my goal is to examine the importance of grassland habitat in our state, introduce CWF’s new habitat restoration project, and highlight many of the species of grassland birds our project aims to benefit. So, first I’ll start off with a little background information about grasslands and why we need to preserve, restore and create more of this critical habitat. (more…)

An Osprey Rescue

Monday, July 17th, 2017

By Meghan Kolk, CWF Wildlife Biologist

I would like to take the time to share a noteworthy event from last week, as well as highlight a CWF volunteer who deserves recognition for his dedication to wildlife.  CWF received a call last Friday from a concerned citizen about an osprey chick that had fallen from its nest in Avalon.  Osprey chicks are extremely vulnerable to summer storms, and are often blown right from their nests in strong winds.  The storm that pushed through the area Thursday night had likely blown this chick out of its nest onto the marsh below.  This particular nest had just been surveyed on July 6 and had contained three young chicks.

osprey chick down on marsh after severe storms

Often when staff members are not available to respond to calls like this, we rely on our volunteers to represent us.  In this case, when CWF volunteer John King got the call, he hooked up his boat and immediately headed out to assess the situation in hopes of making a rescue.  When he arrived on the scene, John realized that there were actually three osprey chicks on the ground below the nest; however, two of them were unfortunately already deceased.  The parents were also sitting on the ground with the one surviving chick when he arrived.  John picked up the chick and examined it for injuries.  When he determined it was in good condition, he carried it up a ladder and placed it back into the nest as the parents circled and screamed above him.  As he left the site, the parents immediately returned to the nest to check on their chick.

Osprey chick returned to the safety of it’s nest

Even though John was only able to save one of the three chicks, this was still a success story that would not have been possible without the help of a devoted volunteer.  The concerned citizens who had called in the emergency watched the whole rescue from across the lagoon and reported back the following day that the chick was sitting up in the nest looking healthy.  CWF also greatly appreciates citizens who care enough to observe wildlife responsibly and report wildlife emergencies when necessary.

Adult returns to nesting platform after chick is safely returned to nest.

John King has been volunteering for CWF for many years and has worked on several projects including the Calling Amphibian Project, NJ Tiger Salamander project and the NJ eagle project.  He has been very involved with the NJ osprey project, headed by CWF’s Ben Wurst, assisting with osprey surveys during the breeding season and helping to construct and erect nest platforms over the winter.  In addition to CWF, John also volunteers with many other conservation organizations and is always happy to lend a hand.  Although he is retired, his volunteer work is practically a full time job. I sincerely admire John’s continued enthusiasm and his dedication to wildlife, and I believe the world would be a better place if there were more people like him.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ thanks you, John!

 

Fallen Eagle Nest, Leads To Eagle Rescue

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

and one lucky eagle chick.

Larissa Smith, CWF Biologist

Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend I received a call from one of the Eagle Project volunteers, Heiki Poolake. A nest which him and his wife Donna monitor, had fallen out of the tree and the chick was on the ground. The chick was approximately 9 weeks old so still several weeks away from fledging (leaving the nest). On the ground the chick was susceptible to predators. While the adults were in the area and keeping an eye on the chick they most likely weren’t feeding the chick on the ground.  One option would be to build some type of “nest” back up in the nest tree. That option would require a climber and their weren’t any available. The next option was to install an osprey platform at the site and place the chick in the platform. We have done this successfully in the past when an eagle nest had fallen.

Eagle chick on ground 5/26/17@ D. Poolake

ENSP Principal biologist Kathy Clark, CWF volunteer Matt Tribulski , the Poolakes and myself all met out at the site.  The platform was installed close to the original nest tree with extended perches to allow the chick to “branch”.  It was determined that the chick was in good health, no broken bones or other issues from the fall. The chick was banded with a silver federal band and a green NJ Band E/50. Measurements were taken which helped to determine that the chick was a female and almost 9 weeks of age. She was fed some fish since we were unsure when she was last fed and placed in the nest platform along with more fish.

The Poolakes went out the next day and found her once again down on the ground and placed her back in the nest.  The fish we had left were gone which was a good sign she was eating. She remained in the nest until  June 8th when she was perched on the branch of a near by tree.  Both adults were also perched close by, keeping an eye on her.  At this point she was approximately 11 weeks old around the time when chicks her age start to branch and practice flying. She’ll stay in the area for the next few weeks with the adults as she learns to hunt on her own and strengthen her wings.  The first year is tough for eagles as they learn to survive on their own. We wish E/50 luck and hope to see her nesting in NJ someday.

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