Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘2022’

Photo from the Field: Failed

Monday, June 27th, 2022

by Ben Wurst / Habitat Program Manager

An empty osprey nest on a sandbar located on Barnegat Bay.

In the coming weeks CWF staff, NJDEP Biologists, and a handful of dedicated volunteers will descend onto the coastal saltmarshes of New Jersey to conduct a census of nesting ospreys. The last census was conducted in 2017 when 668 nesting pairs was recorded. They will survey remote areas of back bays by boat. Nests are surveyed in a variety of methods, with ladders being the traditional method, which allow for closer inspection of nests and banding of young for future tracking. Other nests are surveyed from a distance using optics or cameras with telephoto lenses, a mirror, smartphone or GoPro on an extension pole and a sUAS (when operated by a FAA licensed unmanned pilot). The goal is to recorded the total number of nesting pairs throughout the State.


Photos from the Field: Giving LBIF’s Terrapins a Boost!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Over the past several years, I have worked with LBIF to help guide their efforts to provide habitat for wildlife on their property in Loveladies. We have always wanted to establish another, larger “turtle garden” for nesting female N. diamondback terrapins, since they are a common visitor during summer months. This spring we received a small grant from the Garden Club of Long Beach Island to establish a new turtle garden at LBIF. Late last month we ordered 15 tons of mason sand from a local supplier, which provides excellent nesting habitat, with small grain size and little organic matter. Myself and Jeff Ruemeli, who is the new Director of Sciences at LBIF, worked to install coir logs to hold the sand before spreading it out by hand. I followed up with planting around 30 seaside goldenrod plants at the site to help stabilize sand and provide foraging habitat for pollinators.


Three healthy peregrine falcon eyases in Elizabeth!

Saturday, May 7th, 2022

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Another season of growth and new life is here! As many species are beginning their annual life cycle to reproduce, some peregrine falcon pairs already have young. The eyases (young falcons) at the Union County Falcon Cam are a prime example. They are now a little over a week old and have been examined and treated for a pigeon borne disease, called trichomoniasis, which adult falcons can transfer to their young. If young falcons would get trich., then they could perish. Kathy Clark, NJDEP Fish & Wildlife Supervisory Zoologist, UC staff and colleague Cathy Malok, w/ The Raptor Trust visited the site to ensure the survival of this brood.


DUKE: He’s Back!

Sunday, April 10th, 2022

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

The (soon to be) 16 year old male osprey at the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam returned on April 8, 2022.

Great Horned Owlets Get Some Help

Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

by: Larissa Smith, Wildlife Biologist

We received a call about a homeowner who found two great horned owlets on the ground. They had fallen out of a nest located in a pine tree in her backyard. The female owl was still sitting in the nest with one chick. Great horned owls use the vacant nests of other bird species and this nest was too small for three growing chicks. At this age the young owls are defenseless from predators, plus a rain/wind storm was predicted for that evening. The plan was to keep the owlets overnight in safe location and renest them the next day.

We met Ray Byrant, with Tri-State Rescue & Research, raptor renesting team at the nest site. Due to crowding the owlets would end up on the ground again if placed back in the nest. A basket serving as a substitute nest was secured in a nearby tree that was sturdier than the nest tree. The two nests are close enough that the adults can go back and forth between nests caring for the young. The female owl watched us closely the entire time and the owlets were “clicking” with their bills, so she knew they were there.

The homeowner will keep an eye on the nests to make sure the owlets remain in them until they start to branch. She reports that the adult has been at the basket nest several time since the renest. Thank you to the homeowner for calling to report these owlets, Vicki Schmidt, Matt Tribulski, Ray Byrant and Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research. It takes a team.