Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Raptors’ Category

Quick Action Ensures Survival of Poisoned Eagles

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
Bald eagle rescued, rehabilitated and released with satellite transmitter to track movements

by Kathy Clark, Endangered & Nongame Species Program, NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife

Pedro takes flight! photo by Marian Quinn.

On Sunday, April 15th, I got a call that three bald eagles were spotted in a farm field. Not too unusual in rural Salem County, but this good neighbor was rightly concerned that something was wrong.  Pedricktown resident Steve Wilson approached the eagles and not only did they not fly away from him, but two could barely sit upright and a third was stumbling away.  Steve made phone calls and, at 7:30 at night, couldn’t reach any of the wildlife centers or offices.  Persisting, he made a connection with Dr. Erica Miller, a wildlife veterinarian who for over 20 years was both clinician and surgeon at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in Newark, Delaware.  Erica is also a long-time partner on the NJ Bald Eagle Project, and called me about 7:45 that evening. (more…)

Management of Urban Nesting Falcons in New Jersey

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
Human Interaction and Quick Action Ensure Survival of Young Falcons in Urban Areas

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Yesterday NJ Fish & Wildlife Zoologist Kathy Clark and I visited 101 Hudson St. after watching the Jersey City Falcon Cam for several days since the first and only egg hatched on Wednesday evening, we became more and more concerned for the health of the 5 day old eyas. We also came upon a brood of three young (and healthy) falcons who were displaced (we’ve called them orphans) from the old Goethals Bridge, which is currently being deconstructed. Knowing that the orphans needed a home, we decided to visit JC and assess the health of the lone eyas, collect the unhatched eggs, and possibly foster in the orphans here. (more…)

Falcon Comeback Continues in Union County

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

By Jasmine Lee, CWF Education Assistant

Spring has sprung, and peregrine falcon eggs have hatched! Viewers of our Union County Falcon Cam have enjoyed an exciting few days with the last of the four eyasses (baby falcons) emerging yesterday.

The adult female falcon 91/BA (“Cadence”) originally hails from Rochester, New York. She staked her claim on this nest last year and laid eggs very late last season, but the eyasses did not survive. This year, 91/BA got a timely start, with her first egg being laid on March 29, 2018. Incubation of her clutch of four eggs began on April 3.

While peregrine falcon feathers provide excellent insulation, it can be difficult for body heat to get past the feathers and to the eggs. An adaptation for this is the brood patch on the male’s and female’s chest. This patch has a high concentration of blood vessels close to the surface of their skin to allow for easier and better body heat transfer to the eggs.

After about 32 days, it is time for hatching to begin. The chicks begin by using a small “egg tooth” to peck a hole through the egg shell: this is called the external pip. After breaking the membrane, the chick can breathe some fresh air, and vigorously start the final process of hatching.

Around 8 AM on Saturday, May 5, the first eyas at Union County emerged! As we watch over the next few weeks, we will see a lot of activity in the nest as the parents work hard to feed the hungry chicks. The eyasses are completely dependent upon the adults and will eat an incredible amount, but they typically double in size in just six days! They will continue to be under constant care until they are ready to fly in approximately seven weeks.

An Inspiring Recovery

A peregrine hunts on the wing. ©Brian Kushner

In 2017 there were 34 nesting pairs of peregrine falcons were reported in all of New Jersey. Around two-thirds are known to have made their homes in buildings like the County Courthouse.

Until recent decades, the peregrine falcon population was in steep decline along with other birds of prey due to habitat loss and the pesticide DDT. By 1964, peregrine falcons had disappeared completely from New Jersey and all other states east of the Mississippi River.

Peregrine falcons were one of the first birds to be the focus of conservation efforts after the 1960’s.

In the 1980’s an intensive re-introduction effort began in the tri-state region, with biologists from the Endangered and Nongame Species Program and CWF leading the way in New Jersey. Since 2000 the New Jersey population has stabilized at approximately two dozen nesting pairs annually.

Livestreaming in Union County

2018 marks CWF’s second year partnering with Union County, providing a live stream of the action in and around the peregrine falcon nest located on the roof of the County Courthouse in midtown Elizabeth. CWF is proud to share the excitement in livestreaming the UCNJ Falcon Cam on our website and to use the webcam in our Union County school presentations, generously funded by Phillips 66.

Go to our website today to watch our new feathered friends as they continue to interact, and to learn more about the Peregrine Falcon. For more information about peregrine falcons, you can also visit the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish & Wildlife.

Identifying “Bandit” at Pete McLain Osprey Cam Nest

Friday, May 4th, 2018
The Amazing History of a Breeding Adult Male Osprey at Island Beach State Park

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Bandit in flight while carrying nesting material. He has been nesting at the Pete McLain Osprey Cam nest since 2013. photo by Karl Soehnlein.

Around 3% of ospreys who were banded with USGS aluminum bird bands as nestlings in New Jersey are re-sighted after fledging or leaving their nest. Most of those recoveries or resightings are centered around mortality based events where a bird is injured or killed and the band is then close enough to read. Since the numbers on the leg bands are so small, it is often hard to read when they are still alive. However, when enough photos are obtained or a camera is installed on a nest then the likelihood of reading the band on a live bird increases.  (more…)

Osprey 04/D Back in Jersey!

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Barnegat Bay Osprey Returns to New Jersey After Two Year Vacation

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

04/D was photographed in Allendale at the Celery Farm by Barbara Dilger on Monday, April 23.

North American ospreys migrate long distances to and from their breeding and wintering grounds in the southern U.S., Central America, Caribbean Islands, and N. South America. For the past four years we have been banding young ospreys who originate from nests on Barnegat Bay with an auxiliary band to help determine their movements after fledging. Project RedBand was designed to help track the migration, dispersal, life span, and foraging habits of ospreys from Barnegat Bay, a unique estuary along the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey. The project was also designed to help engage the public in osprey management and conservation. Since the red bands are highly visible and readable with optics, it allows the public the ability to identify the individual and then learn about their past. Lastly, we now rely heavily on citizen scientists who report nesting activity on Osprey Watch(more…)

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