Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Volunteer Programs’ Category

Duke Farms Eagles-Waiting For The Hatch

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Has it Begun?

Guest Blogger, Diane Cook: NJ Eagle Project Volunteer & Duke Farms nest monitor

Egg 1 was laid on February 14th this year. Bald Eagle eggs are incubated for about 35 days. That means the first hatch could be next week, Wednesday, March 21st! What are the signs hatching has begun? As an observer for many years, viewing the live cam has taught me much. These are some behaviors I’ve seen in the past to alert me that hatching will soon begin or is already underway.

Believe it or not, the adult and chick can “talk” to each other through the shell. Watch for the adults to stand over the eggs with their heads bent closer to them. You may even see movement of the adult’s bill, as it “chirps” to its chick inside the egg.

If food begins to show up in the nest, the adults could be preparing for another mouth to feed. They are stocking the “pantry”.

Restless adults, with lots of moving around on the nest, or more frequent egg rolls, is another sign to watch carefully. When you get a clear view of the eggs, look for a tiny hole or a spider web-like cracking. This first hole in the shell is called a pip, and is made by the chick. The chicks do all the work!

Pips can be difficult to spot with protective adults blocking the view. You may wonder if you are looking at a spot of dirt or piece of grass on the egg or a real pip. Trust your eyes and keep watching, that pip will increase in size. This is exhausting and hard work for a little one. The complete hatching process can sometimes takes a day or two.

It is amazing to watch the progress once the first pip has appeared. Get ready for the most eggciting time of year for eagle watchers!

Eagles and Nor’easters

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Larissa Smith: CWF, Wildlife Biologist

We are honored to have Diane Cook as a guest blogger, over the next few months. Diane will be discussing Duke Farms eagle cam and how she uses it in her classroom. Diane is a K-2 Technology Literacy teacher at both Copper Hill and Robert Hunter Elementary schools.  She has been an avid and enthusiastic eagle cam viewer since 2008 and now she is the official nest monitor for the Duke Farms nest.  As the monitor Diane records important data into the Eagle Project database, Nest Story. Diane also uses the eagle cam in her classroom and was the winner of a contest held by Duke Farms and CWF in 2015, to choose the best bald eagle lesson plan.

Diane was home from school during yesterday’s snowstorm and able to document the eagles during the storm.

March 7, 2108, Diane Cook’s blog

Thankfully the live cam was back up and running by the time school started on Monday following the first Nor’easter to hit our part of NJ. Was glad to be able to tell the students all was well, and that they could see for themselves! The good news was soon replaced by worry with yet another Nor’easter predicted for today. The day began slowly. Yes, it was snowing, but lightly. Things didn’t look too bad.

Within minutes, the snow really picked up in intensity. The storm hit quickly and the snow fell fast and heavy. Within minutes snow had covered the ground.

There was an exchange at some point on the nest. Mom won the rights to incubation. Then something I’ve never seen before happened. BOTH eagles stayed on the nest through the storm. They laid side by side.

Thanks to Charles T. Barreca who mans the camera at Duke Farms for the awesome close up view. As the camera moved, the eagles looked up at the noise.

They would shake off the snow, but remained on the nest together.

More snow fell. Still the eagles sat.

Finally the male flew off the nest, but stayed on a nearby branch.

No matter how much snow fell, these dedicated parents remain with their eggs and incubation continues.

Osprey Numbers Surge Above Post-DDT Milestone

Monday, January 22nd, 2018
Statewide Census Documents over 650 nesting pairs in New Jersey

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

An osprey prepares to land on a natural nest. Barnegat Bay, NJ.

Since we began to work more closely with ospreys in 2006, we have documented the population grow beyond the historic population estimate of 350-450 nesting pairs (Henny 1977) to a new historic milestone. In 2017, a total of 668 active nests were recorded during a statewide census of nesting ospreys, which is well above the post-DDT milestone of 500 nesting pairs, and show that the population continues to grow. This is the second census conducted without the use of manned aircraft since 2009 after all known osprey nests were released and mapped online in 2013. Despite the lack of aircraft, we’re still able to obtain an accurate representation of the size and health of the statewide population, while reducing the overall project cost. (more…)

2018 NJ Bald Eagle Nesting Season

Friday, January 19th, 2018


By: Larissa Smith, CWF, Wildlife Biologist

NJ eagle pair 12/28/17@Randy G. Lubischer

The NJ Eagle season has officially begun. Nest monitors reported  incubation on January 15th at two bald eagle nests in Burlington and Salem Counties.

Now is the best of time of year to see eagles in New Jersey since there are both resident and wintering eagles around the state.

The Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival

CWF will be at the festival on February 3rd. There are presentations, walks, viewing sites and exhibitors.  It’s a great way to learn about NJ’s eagles and other raptors.

To learn more about the NJ Bald Eagle Project

Photos from the Field: Cheesequake Osprey Platform Replacement

Thursday, December 7th, 2017
Boy Scout Dylan Green gives osprey nesting platform a needed upgrade

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Dylan and his father John pose for a quick portrait in front of one of the new platforms.

This past Sunday we assisted Dylan Green, along with his family and fellow Troop 65 scouts to install three new osprey nesting platforms. The project was done by Dylan as part of his Eagle Scout Service Project. He self funded the project using his own money to purchase the supplies needed to construct the platforms and built the platforms together with his fellow Boy Scouts. The platforms were used to replace two platforms that were in bad condition. The third was installed in a location where a platform used to be located. The osprey population at Cheesequake State Park is small, but it is good habitat for ospreys. (more…)

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