Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

NJ.com: Number of birdstrikes on the rise in N.J.

Friday, December 7th, 2018
Story by Ted Sherman, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Photo Credit: NJ.com

Nearly 10 years ago, a US Airways flight out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport memorably ended up in the Hudson River after striking a flock of Canada geese and losing engine power just northeast of the George Washington Bridge.

The passengers and flight crew survived the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson.” But each year, thousands of planes meet up with birds and other wildlife, and those numbers are growing in New Jersey.

In 2017, there was 366 reports of wildlife strikes in New Jersey. That was up from 326 in 2016. Among those incidents included a September 2017 crash of an ultralight aircraft in Cumberland County, after its pilot was forced to bank hard after a flock of small birds entered his flightpath. A moment later, a larger bird struck the support cable on his right wing and he tried to touch down to check for damage. Hitting the ground hard, the kite-like plane was substantially damaged.

David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation  of New Jersey, said the increasing number of bird strikes in New Jersey  may be a matter of better reporting, as well as the increasing number of flights in the Northeast.

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Conserving the Nature of the Northeast Blog: Restoration brings back red knots, piping plovers & saltmarsh sparrows

Thursday, December 6th, 2018
Story by Darci Palmquist, Conserving the Nature of the Northeast

A saltmarsh sparrow photographed in Delaware. Credit: Matt Tillett, creative commons.

Even if you’re not a birder, there are a lot of reasons to care about birds. There are of course their aesthetic qualities — beautiful, charming, euphonious — and their incredible feats of survival as small creatures in a big, ever-changing world.

But like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, when birds aren’t doing well it usually means their habitat is suffering in some way. And if the habitat isn’t functioning, people lose out too; on the benefits that nature provides, from clean air and water to storm defenses.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Fish and Wildlife Service invested in restoring and protecting natural systems up and down the East Coast that provide important habitat for wildlife while also creating natural defenses for people. A big part of building this stronger coast is making sure that wildlife like shorebirds have the habitat they need — the marshes, beaches and dunes — to nest, feed and raise their young.

Here are stories of how restoration efforts are helping ensure a brighter future for three bird species — red knotpiping plover and saltmarsh sparrow.

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Bald Eagles and Lead: A Deadly Mix

Monday, November 19th, 2018
by Larissa Smith, CWF Biologist
Lead poisoning continues to be a serious issue affecting Bald Eagles today.  CWF and ENSP biologists produced a brochure to educate hunters about this issue and ask for their help. Below is an excerpt from the brochure. Please view the entire brochure and pass along to anyone you know who is a hunter.
One person can make a difference!

Thank you.

Eagle with lead poisoning at Tri-State Bird Rescue@Erica Miller

“Bald Eagles have made an amazing recovery in NJ since the 1980s. Today the eagle population still faces challenges and one of those is lead poisoning. Lead in the environment is dangerous to eagles as well as humans, and is often deadly. Unintentional poisoning of eagles can occur when they scavenge gut piles from deer or other game species shot with lead ammunition. It takes just a tiny fragment of lead to sicken and kill an eagle. Each year avian rehabilitators receive eagles that are diagnosed with lead poisoning and most will die. There is no good treatment for lead poisoning.”

Video from the Field: Osprey Platform Install

Thursday, November 15th, 2018
Ensuring Osprey Platforms Remain Resilient

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

On a brisk November morning, a couple dedicated NJ Osprey Project volunteers joined myself and CWF Biologist Larissa Smith to install an osprey platform on the coastal saltmarsh of New Jersey. The new platform was installed to replace a very old and unstable platform that fell this summer. The new structure is more than twice the size of the old one and will give the nesting pair, who return in the spring, a much more resilient nest site. As you can see from the video above, it takes a bit of strength to raise up a 16′ tall wood nest platform. We decided to slow it down when WCC Volunteer, Wayne R. gives it a final push. (more…)

Documenting the presence of plastics in osprey nests

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018
The threats are real and these photos should alarm you!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

U.S. Coast Guard assists NJ Fish & Wildlife with recovering an entangled osprey on a channel marker in Cape May Harbor, Summer 2018. photo by Kathy Clark/ENSP

As I work to finalize data from this summer’s osprey surveys, I wanted to look back and highlight an important observation: more plastic is being found and recovered from active osprey nests. I guess it’s no surprise when you hear that “18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions.(more…)

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