Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Duke Farms’

Duke Farms Alumni D/99: All Grown Up

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

by Larissa Smith: CWF Biologist

On Sunday January 13th, 2019 photographer, Bob Cook was taking photos of the ~20 eagles at a lake in a Mercer County park. He noticed that one of the eagles had a green tag on it’s right leg. After reviewing the photos it was established that the band was D/99.

D/99;1/13/19@ Bob Cook

D/99 is from the Duke Farms nest located in Somerset County. He and his two siblings grew up as a celebrities their every move being watched by viewers of the Duke Farms eagle camera.  The three chicks were banded on May 12th, 2014. Measurements showed that there there were two males and one female, D/99 was the youngest male.  All three fledged from the nest in June 2014.

chicks at Duke Farms nest 5/12/14. D/99 is in the middle.

Unfortunately, in August of 2014 we received a report that D/98, the oldest male, was found dead up in Maine.  He most likely died of injuries that occurred during a fight with another eagle. This most recent sighting of D/99 is the first report of either of the two remaining chicks. D/99 will be five years old in April and reaching the age where he will be looking for a mate and establishing his own territory.  It is always nice to know that a chick has survived to adulthood and most likely has come back to NJ to nest.

D/99 @Bob Cook


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.


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.

Duke Farms’ Tanya Sulikowski Honored for her Conservation Education

Monday, November 21st, 2016

By Mara Cige

Tanya Sulikowski, 2016 Education Award Winner

Tanya Sulikowski, 2016 Education Award Winner

We had the pleasure of interviewing our 2016 Women & Wildlife Education honoree, Tanya Sulikowski, and are pleased to share some excerpts below.

As a Program Manager at Duke Farms, 2016 Women & Wildlife Education Award Winner Tanya Sulikowski works tirelessly to connect New Jersey’s people and wildlife. A champion in environmental education, she hosts hands-on creative projects that include bird banding and monitoring, as well as rain gardens and barrels just to name a few. However, Ms. Sulikowski considers her creation of the Teen Action and Leadership Opportunities for Nature program to be her greatest professional achievement because it inspires urban students to make lifestyle changes that incorporate their newly discovered love of nature. Her reach has extended statewide through her various roles within the Alliance for NJ Environmental Educators, where she currently serves as Vice President. (more…)

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