Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Raptors’ Category

An eagle nest tree reused and an eagle viewing site refurbished.

Friday, March 13th, 2020
2020 nest in original Sycamore tree @ Jim McClain

The Stow Creek Viewing platform was built and installed in 1990 along the Stow Creek in Cumberland County. In 1990 there were only four eagle nests in New Jersey. The Stow Creek pair built their nest in a large sycamore tree in an active farm field. The Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program built the viewing platform across the creek, and it was featured in the first New Jersey Wildlife Viewing Guide. This beautiful site gave the public a safe spot to view nesting eagles without disturbing them.

In 2005, the eagle pair moved to a new location about 1 mile away along the Canton Drain, inside an active blue heron rookery and have nested there ever since. The sycamore tree remained empty until this season when a new pair of eagles built a nest in the tree.

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Bald Eagle Project 2020 Nesting Season Update

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

The 2020 nesting season is off to a good start for New Jersey’s bald eagles. As of early March, eagles all over the state are incubating eggs, and a handful of nests have already successfully hatched chicks. The eagle cam at Duke Farms broadcast the first chick there hatching on February 26, and the second chick made its appearance on March 1st.

View of hatchlings from the webcam at Duke Farms

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Ospreys Continue to Thrive in New Jersey

Monday, February 24th, 2020

Results from 2019 Osprey Nest Surveys highlight another productive year.

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

An osprey nest in a snag on Barnegat Bay. July 2019.

Surveys of osprey nests in New Jersey have occurred annually for the past forty five years. They are conducted to help determine the overall size and health of the population. The first aerial survey over Barnegat Bay counted only five active nests. Ten years earlier there had been over 50. The combined effects of DDT and habitat loss had taken their toll. No osprey nests were productive and the population at risk of being extirpated from the state.

“In 1974 there were only five active osprey nests on Barnegat Bay. Today there are approximately one hundred and fifty.”

After ospreys were listed as endangered an innovative effort to transplant viable eggs from the Chesapeake Bay to Barnegat Bay began. In addition, to help replace natural nest sites that were lost to development, man-made nest platforms were designed and installed away from human disturbance. Slowly osprey pairs became productive thanks to the die hard effort of State biologists like Pete McLain, Kathy Clark and many volunteers and partners. It’s encouraging for us to look back to see how far we’ve come in the statewide recovery of ospreys in New Jersey.

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‘Eyes on Eagles’ Back for Second Year

Friday, February 14th, 2020

Free public events start February 17

Nesting bald eagles return to the capital county. Photo by Kevin Buynie.

Join the Mercer County Park Commission, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF), PSE&G and the Wildlife Center Friends for the the second year of “Eyes on Eagles” programming to celebrate the four pairs of bald eagles that nest in Mercer County, including two pairs that have chosen County parks for nest sites.

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Number of Peregrine Falcons Hatched in New Jersey Rose to 78 in 2019

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020
Ben Wurst, Conserve Wildlife Foundation Biologist, with peregrine falcon. 

The peregrine falcon’s New Jersey comeback story continued in 2019. The number of young produced rose slightly to 78 in 2019, as compared to 75 in 2018. The adult population was slightly lower at 38 known pairs, as compared to 40 known pairs in 2018.

Peregrine falcon populations had plummeted across much of the United States due to widespread use of the pesticide DDT before it was banned in 1972. Since the early 1980’s, peregrine falcons have been recovering at a slow but steady pace in New Jersey. While population numbers continue to increase, peregrine falcons still face a number of serious threats in New Jersey, particularly contaminants like pesticides, PCBs, and heavy metals in the food web.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) and our partner New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) recently released the 2019 New Jersey Peregrine Falcon Research and Management Program Report highlighting the continued recovery of the peregrine falcon in New Jersey.

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