Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’

Tracking NJ Eagles: “Haliae”

Monday, April 16th, 2018

by: Larissa Smith, CWF, biologist

Currently, we are tracking two NJ eagles outfitted with transmitters. One of these,”Haliae” was outfitted with a transmitter on May 31st, 2013, at the Merrill Creek Reservoir. We have been following her movements on NJ EagleTrax. Since 2015 she has spent her time in Maryland and eastern PA along the Susquehanna River. This past November a photo was taken of Haliae at Conowingo Dam, MD.  At that time it appeared that one of the straps on her harness had come loose and we expected the transmitter to fall off in the near future, but continue to receive signals.

On April 12, 2018 Keith Opperhauser photographed Haliae along the Susquehanna River in Darlington, MD.  The harness strap is clearly loose below her chest, but the transmitter is still attached. Haliae will be five years old this May and reaching breeding age.  We don’t know how long the transmitter will stay attached or continue to transmit, but we’re glad to know that she is doing well.

Haliae, April 12, 2018@Keith Opperhauser

When An Eagle Nest Fails

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

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

Nature can be awe inspiring and beautiful. Watching a powerful bald eagle gently offer food to a newly hatched chick is amazing. Cheering awkward chicks walking on wobbly legs, and holding your breath when they take that first flight are the events live cam viewers look forward to year after year.

Duke Farms nest-2016

We are reminded of the harsh realities of nature too. Nest fails can and do happen. Many things can go wrong: storms, predators in the nest, or conflicts with other eagles and territorial disputes. Watching it happen live, can be heartbreaking. Every event is a learning experience for us all.

There is a sad ending this year at the Duke Farms nest. It was hard to see the adult pair defending their nest from younger interlopers again. Harder still was actually witnessing the failure of both eggs. Hatching is a complicated business. We’ve been fortunate to have many years of success. As watchers, we must take the good with the bad. This is nature after all.

So what do we do now? My love of nature and the bald eagle will have me seeking out other live cams, but missing my local wild family. I will remember the successes of past years. I will stare in amazement as I look up into the sky to watch a bald eagle soaring overhead.

Duke Farms- 2016

Life will go on. The cycle will continue, if not in “my” nest, in another. Nature will find its balance.  Thank you to Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ for bringing us the live cam. Thank you to the state biologists who work every day to preserve and protect the wildlife in our state. 

See you next year for a new eagle nesting season.


Tierra del Fuego: The View from Above

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Just above and to the right of the plane shadow, thousands of shorebirds gather. Photo by Joe Smith

CWF scientists recently returned from a trip to Tierra del Fuego where they studied red knots and other migratory shorebirds that spend the month of May at New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore.

CWF consultant Joe Smith captured some incredible aerial images of the coastline holding a flock of thousands of shorebirds in his blog story. See more photos of the flock and read Joe’s introductory overview about the trip here. Stay tuned for more installments about this vital trip.

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!


NJ.com Video: Duke Farms Eagle Cam highlights bald eagles’ recovery

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

by David Wheeler

NJ.com reporter Alexis Johnson at Duke Farms in Hillsborough

Conserve Wildlife Foundation has long partnered on the famed Eagle Cam at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, which has thrilled over 13 million viewers since it started.

In this video, NJ.com reporter Alexis Johnson covers the state’s longest running Eagle Cam with an interview with Duke Farms Executive Director Michael Catania.

Bald eagles have nested at Duke Farms since 2005. Currently the pair has laid two eggs in this nest, with the first egg laid on Valentines Day this year.

From just a single nest remaining in the state in the late 1970s and early 1980s, bald eagles have recovered to over 170 nests, thanks largely to scientists and volunteers from the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program and Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

You can watch the NJ.com video here.

The Duke Farms Eagle Cam can be found here, and author Jim Wright’s e-book “Duke Farms’ Bald Eagles” provides some fascinating additional information about this nest.

CWF’s Bald Eagle webpage and annual Bald Eagle report details the story of bald eagles in New Jersey, with a number of other helpful links.

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