Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘bald eagle’

New Jersey Eagle Nesting in PA

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

the story of “Jersey Girl”

Larissa Smith: Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager

NJ banded bird B-64 taken in PA @ Linda Oughton

NJ banded bird B-64 taken in PA @ Linda Oughton

Each year biologists with the NJ ENSP & CWF band chicks at eagle nests though out NJ. Each chick gets a green (NJ) band on one leg and a silver federal band on the other.  The Green band indicates that the bird was banded in NJ and the letter over the number combination is recorded so we know where and when.  There are at least 20 pairs of eagles nesting in NJ where at least one of the adults is a NJ banded bird.  Over the past few years we’ve gotten reports of NJ birds seen in other states and if we’re lucky (and someone has a really good camera) the green band can be read.

We recently heard from Linda Oughton who lives in PA.  She  has a pair of eagles nesting near her home and was able to get a photo of the perched female with green band B/64.  She was able to tell us that this pair has been nesting for the past three years near her development in Montgomery County and raised and fledged four young for two of those years. They were active this season and had two chicks, which unfortunately didn’t survive due to the severe winter weather.  Before nesting in this tree they nested for three years at another location where they raised seven young.  The banded eagle is a female which is known because she is larger than her mate (female eagles are larger than the males).

B-64 with two chicks raised and fledged in 2013 @ L. Oughton

B-64 with two chicks raised and fledged in 2013 @ L. Oughton

B/64 was one of three chicks banded in 2004 at the Hopewell West nest which is located in Cumberland County along the Cohansey River. Linda has named  B/64 “Jersey Girl”  and she keeps everyone in the development where she lives informed about the nest. No doubt that this former NJ bird is well loved and protected.

Living with eagles as your neighbors

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Brochures now available

by Larissa Smith: Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Coordinator

Bald Eagle Project Brochures.

Bald Eagle Project Brochures.

The New Jersey Bald Eagle nesting population is on the rise with 148 nesting pairs monitored in 2013 and 177 young fledged.  As the eagle nesting population increases so do the incidences of eagles nesting in close proximity to humans and human activity. It’s exciting to have a pair of bald eagles nesting and people often want to get a closer look but this can cause disturbance to the nesting eagles and have detrimental impacts. Over half of NJ’s eagle nests are located on private property which makes it important to advise and educate land owners, land managers about living with eagles.

To address this issue CWF received a grant to produce two informational brochures about co-existing with bald eagles in NJ. One is a general brochure for anyone interested in eagles in NJ and the other is specifically for landowners/land managers with eagle nests located on their property.  The brochures contain information on eagle history, living with eagles as you neighbors, how to be a good eagle watcher or steward, as well as phone numbers for information and law enforcement. As the eagle project volunteers monitor their nests they will have these brochures available to educate interested people.

New Jersey’s 1st Annual Super Bowl

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
This Week, Play in New Jersey’s Super Bowl…of Wildlife

wildlife superbowl

This Sunday, for the first time ever, New Jersey will host the Super Bowl. Millions await the drama between two evenly matched high-flying teams.

You mean the Seahawks versus Broncos in the NFL Super Bowl?

Guess again.

Try the Falcons versus Eagles in the CWF Super Bowl!

As in peregrine falcons, the fastest animal on earth, against the bald eagles, the symbol of All-American grandeur. These two “teams” have overcome incredible odds to make it to the biggest stage imaginable: the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) battle for the first annual state wildlife championship. The winner will be announced on Monday morning, after a week of Facebook “likes” and donations in favor of the Falcons, or of the Eagles.

All donations will help support CWF’s work on that species, with falcon support dedicated to our Jersey City webcam program and eagle support helping our statewide stewardship work. At stake is not the NFL’s Lombardi Trophy, but an extra boost in CWF’s efforts to protect one of these imperiled species and ensure its inspiring recovery continues.

Surviving the Regular Season

How did these CWF champions make it this far? From their home stadium in downtown Jersey City (and 23 other nests across New Jersey), the Falcons have soared through the season in a continued recovery from decades of struggle against opponents like DDT and pollution. The Falcons then entered the CWF playoffs with momentum, defeating the Bobcats, Terrapins, Ravens, and Fishhawks (ospreys) in succession to reach this big stage.

Their opponent, the Eagles, play the majority of their home games on the windswept Delaware Bayshore, but also play at 118 other nests across the state. Like the Falcons, the Eagles had decades with seemingly no hope because of DDT and a rapidly changing landscape. Yet the Eagles bounced back with an inspiring few seasons, capped by victories over the Bog Turtles, Plovers, Tigers (salamanders), and Dolphins.

Among the teams that continued struggling this season were the Rattlers, the Bats, the Tree Frogs, the Skippers (butterflies), and the Goldenwings (warblers). Conversely, the Seals and Snowy Owls had strong winter seasons. Two closely rivaled teams, the Red Knots and the Horseshoe Crabs, overcame the loss of their stadium to Hurricane Sandy with a newly built New Jersey home that greatly improved their odds of success.

Now that the game is on – what are the rules for the CWF Super Bowl?
Do you win, too, if you support the winning team?

All supporters of the winning team will be eligible for a drawing to join a banding of the winning raptor this summer, with eligibility weighted by donations and points – the greater the donation or support, the greater your chance of winning! But EVERYONE is eligible, even for as simple as a Facebook like!

As for you non-football fans out there…just as the NFL Super Bowl attracts attention far beyond regular football fanatics, our CWF Championship is meaningful to all of us who care about imperiled wildlife in New Jersey. Here is a chance to ensure that a magnificent raptor – a bald eagle or a peregrine falcon – continues to grace New Jersey’s skies. Either way, score a win for New Jersey’s wildlife!

So consider this the opening kickoff! Getting out on the field is as easy as clicking a link in this email – but choose wisely. The champion awaits!

2014 NJ Bald Eagle Nesting Season Has Begun

Monday, January 27th, 2014

by: Larissa Smith; Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager

Eight pairs of NJ eagles are currently incubating (sitting on eggs). The earliest pair to start incubating was confirmed on January 12th, so the birds been keeping the eggs warm throughout the snow and cold weather. Eagle Project volunteers report that pairs all over the state are busy working on their nests in preparation for egg laying.

Want to see eagles and other raptors and learn all about them? The Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival is February 8th, 2014.

The following photos were taken by Eagle Project Volunteer Tom McKelvey.

Adult with nesting material. ©Tom McKelvey

Adult with nesting material. ©Tom McKelvey

A pair works on their nest. ©Tom McKelvey

A pair works on their nest. ©Tom McKelvey


Duke Farms 2009 Eagle Chick All Grown Up

Monday, December 9th, 2013
Jersey banded bird re-sighted in Maryland

by Larissa Smith, Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Coordinator

NJ banded eagle at Conowingo Dam, MD © Kevin Smith

NJ banded eagle at Conowingo Dam, MD © Kevin Smith

The Duke Farms eagle camera was put in place in 2008. Since then it has had quite a following of people interested in seeing the pair raise their young. After the young birds leave the nest it is unknown what happens to them. The mortality rate for first year eagles is fairly high since they are just learning how to fly and hunt on their own.  So it was quite exciting when on December 1, 2013 Kevin Smith photographed a NJ banded bird at Conowingo Dam, Maryland. He was able to zoom in close enough to view the green band which read C96. This bird had been banded on May 18, 2009 at Duke Farms. He was the oldest of three males raised by the pair in 2009 while being watched by eagle cam viewers. Below is a photo of the three chicks in the nest following the banding. The largest bird on the right is C96.  Now at 4 1/2 years old he is almost a mature adult but still has just a slight amount of brown in his tail feathers (photo on left).

Conowingo Dam is a popular spot for eagles this time of year due to the abundance of fish. Kevin noted that the eagles were catching smaller fish than usual and eating them on the fly. The photo below on the right shows C96 moving the fish from his talons to his bill. Kevin reports that he (C96) would then circle back around looking for more fish and got his share of food that day. It is good to know that C96 has survived and is healthy.

  • The Duke Farms eagle cam is up and the pair is getting the nest ready for the 2014 nesting season.


NJ banded eagle at Conowingo Dam, MD © Kevin Smith

NJ banded eagle at Conowingo Dam, MD © Kevin Smith

Duke Farms eagle nest at banding May 18, 2009 © Mick Valent

Duke Farms eagle nest at banding May 18, 2009 © Mick Valent