Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Duke Farms’

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…)

Kids are Back in School – but Their Summer Wildlife Lessons Endure!

Thursday, September 29th, 2016
Conserve Wildlife Foundation brought three conservation-themed summer learning experiences to the New Jersey coast.

By: Kendall Miller

I went back to “camp” this summer, seeing schoolkids learn first-hand about wildlife and what biologists do. CWF offered three summer learning experiences for the first time, each with a different theme, content, and location.

Observing the kids’ excitement and enthusiasm for nature was uplifting, and I was also impressed with how knowledgeable they all were. Offering hands-on opportunities – to learn about wildlife while experiencing these habitats – is so important in fostering an appreciation in the younger generations.

“Education is a major goal of CWF’s mission. Through project-based, experiential learning, we hope that camps like these leave impressions with children,” said CWF Director of Education Stephanie DAlessio, who developed the new program. “While we are out having fun, we are also learning about the importance of protecting and preserving wildlife and their habitats in New Jersey.”

This summer was a great start, and CWF is excited for the years to come!

Bayshore Adventure at Leonardo Marina
Seining, special wildlife guests and sandcastles along the Raritan Bayshore!

Located in the harbor, across from Sandy Hook, noisy terns and gulls fight over their catches as kids arrive in the morning to spend the part of their day learning about the bayshore environment. Sunny, sand-filled learning about marine and coastal wildlife and habitats, seining for coastal creatures, mini-science activities and special guests were balanced with a healthy dose of wiffleball games and sandcastle-building contests.

Kids met biologist and beach nesting bird manager Todd Pover. He talked about - of course - the piping plover, and issues with conserving threatened and endangered beach nesting birds.

Kids met biologist and beach nesting bird manager Todd Pover. He talked about – of course – the piping plover, and issues with conserving threatened and endangered beach nesting birds.

NJ State Park police officer Karl Mott and K9 Kelly, a police dog who finds lost cellphones, wallets, and even people. Campers were able to see her in action and participate in hiding drills.

NJ State Park police officer Karl Mott and K9 Kelly, a police dog who finds lost cellphones, wallets, and even people. Campers were able to see her in action and participate in hiding drills.

Wildlife Explorer Program at Duke Farms
Raptors, art and orchids on a North Jersey nature oasis!

Set in the lovely Duke Farms in Hillsborough, every day of this week-long camp was a new and exciting experience featuring different types of wildlife! Kids spent time exploring the grounds at Duke, played games and explored their creativity through art projects alongside famed artist James Fiorentino, met real life biologists and best of all – got up close and personal with all kinds of raptors (like the red-tailed hawk below), amphibians and reptiles. These memorable experiences will hopefully cement in their minds the importance of being stewards to their environment.

Campers explored the Orchid Range and saw a collection of plants from all over the world.

Campers explored the Orchid Range and saw a collection of plants from all over the world.

Bill Streeter of Delaware Valley Raptor Center visited to talk about amazing birds of prey, bringing with him their resident educational birds. Campers sat in awe of these raptors like this red-tailed hawk.

Bill Streeter of Delaware Valley Raptor Center visited to talk about amazing birds of prey, bringing with him their resident educational birds. Campers sat in awe of these raptors like this red-tailed hawk.

Beach.Birds.Biology
A day afield with a beach nesting birds biologist!

Shorebird biologists know the importance of educating people about the plight of beach nesting birds in New Jersey, who rely on the beaches that people flock to in the summertime. So on three different occasions, parents signed their kids up to spend a day on the beach learning about these birds with CWF biologist, Emily Heiser – like the piping plover, American oystercatcher, black skimmer and least tern. Kids got to practice being wildlife biologists. They used spotting scopes to read tags on decoy birds and searched for camouflaged eggs in the sand. The day was also filled with games, beach scavenger hunts, and a fun poster drawing project to be put on display.

Campers spot some plovers and oystercatchers feeding in vernal pools along the inlet at Barnegat Light.

Campers spot some plovers and oystercatchers feeding in vernal pools along the inlet at Barnegat Light.

After learning about the plight of beach nesting birds, the kids got creative by drawing signs to be posted near nesting and feeding sites.

After learning about the plight of beach nesting birds, the kids got creative by drawing signs to be posted near nesting and feeding sites.


For more information about these educational programs, please visit our website at www.ConserveWildlifeNJ.org , or contact our  Director of Education Stephanie DAlessio at (609) 292-9451.


Kendall Miller is a Program Coordinator at Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

Duke Farms “Alumni” C/94: Update

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
 “Tiny” has another successful nesting season in Connecticut
 By: Larissa Smith: CWF Biologist
D/94 "Tiny" 6/3/2016@ Cyndi Pratt

C/94 “Tiny” keeps a watch over nest in CT; 6/3/2016@ C.Pratt Didan

In 20015 we were contacted by Cyndi Pratt Didan regarding a pair of nesting eagles she has been observing in CT about 150 miles from Duke Farms. She was able to get a reading of the green band on the male C/94. It turns out that C/94 is a Duke Farms eagle from the 2009 nesting season. In 2009 there were three chicks in the nest and all were male. C/94 was the youngest and considerable smaller in the beginning as he was a week younger than the oldest chick and got the nick name “Tiny”.

May 18, 2009, C/94 after banding with siblings @M.Valent

May 18, 2009, C/94 after banding with siblings @M.Valent

His mate is also a banded bird from Massachusetts banded on June 11th, 2008. The pair nested in 2014 fledged two chicks and fledged one chick in 2015.

Cyndi reports that the pair built a new nest seven miles away from their old nest. This nest is in a pine tree on an island in a Reservoir. This season they fledged two young birds.
We thank Cyndi for keeping us updated on this NJ bird. It’s always good to get news about one of “our” chicks.
 
"Tiny's" mate with one of the chicks 6/3/2016@ C.Didan Pratt

“Tiny” with one of the chicks 6/3/2016@ C.Didan Pratt

CWF Celebrates American Eagle Day

Monday, June 20th, 2016
Spotlight on the Bald Eagle’s All-American Comeback in New Jersey

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

Photo by Northside Jim.

Photo by Northside Jim.

In 1985 — just 31 years ago — a single bald eagle nest remained in the state of New Jersey. In 2015, CWF and partners monitored 161 nests throughout the Garden State. Just this year (as of June 20, 2016), over 50 young eagles have already fledged from their nests! What sparked this All-American comeback of the United States’ National Bird?

 

DDT use was banned in the United States in 1972. That ban combined with restoration efforts by biologists within the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) resulted in 25 bald eagle pairs by 2000.

 

Since then, CWF and ENSP biologists have worked together to not only conserve New Jersey’s existing bald eagle population, but help young eaglets in the state thrive. We manage the New Jersey Bald Eagle Project, a network of passionate, dedicated volunteers that monitor bald eagle nests and help reduce human disturbance in eagle habitats. These incredible volunteers, like the late Elmer Clegg, have been an integral part in the recovery of bald eagles throughout the Garden State.

 

CWF and ENSP have even begun tracking bald eagles to see where they travel and to learn more about their behavior! During the summer of 2014, two juvenile bald eagles were fitted with a GPS tracking device (a wearable backpack). Our team of biologists chose one eagle from Atlantic County (a male) and one from Cumberland County (a female) to be tagged in this telemetry study. Then in May 2015, a juvenile male from a nest in Cumberland County was fitted with another GPS transmitter. You can follow the journey of “Nacote” and “Oran” on our website.

 

CWF also partners with Duke Farms on a webcam that provides a live look at a bald eagle nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey. During the eagle nesting season (late January-July), the EagleCam allows viewers an up close and personal view into the lives of a pair of bald eagles as they breed, incubate, and raise young. Between the general public and classrooms up and down the east coast, the EagleCam has many fans – over 11 million viewers and growing! This year, CWF’s eagle expert Larissa Smith launched a new citizen science program to engage these viewers in gathering scientific data on the eagles’ diet.

 

Today, American Eagle Day, we celebrate the hard work of the biologists, volunteers and concerned citizens throughout New Jersey that have made a difference for the birds and contributed to their comeback.

 

The bald eagle was selected as the central image of the Great Seal of the United States by the Second Continental Congress on this day, June 20, in the year 1782. For 234 years, the bald eagle has served as the living symbol of freedom, courage, strength, spirit, democracy, independence, and excellence. Today, we celebrate the recovery of the bird and the All-American comeback the population has made in the Garden State.

 

Throughout the entire country, there are an estimated 14-15,000 bald eagle pairs! Though the bald eagle was removed from Endangered Species Act protection in 2007, it is still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

 

The 501(c)(3), not-for-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF) of Tennessee has been a major proponent and organizer in establishing and promoting “American Eagle Day.” The AEF is celebrating its 30th year of protecting and caring for bald eagles and other birds of prey. CWF thanks AEF for their support of our work in New Jersey!

 

“On American Eagle Day, and every day, let us continue to treasure and protect the Bald Eagle all across this great land for future generations to enjoy,” says AEF Founder and President Al Cecere, who has been spearheading the American Eagle Day effort for two decades.

Learn More:

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Creative Somerset County Science Teacher Wins EagleCam Lesson Plan Contest

Friday, May 27th, 2016
Manville School District science teacher Lauren Kurzius joined biologists to help band Duke Farms EagleCam chicks earlier this month

by Lindsay McNamara, Communications Manager

2016 Lesson Plan Winner Lauren Kurzius

2016 Lesson Plan Winner Lauren Kurzius

Manville School District science teacher Lauren Kurzius was recognized by Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation for winning our EagleCam lesson plan contest earlier this month! Kurzius joined wildlife biologists to help band the new Duke Farms EagleCam chicks on Monday, May 9. The EagleCam lesson plan contest, jointly organized by Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation, called upon educators to submit lesson plans incorporating the Duke Farms EagleCam into their classrooms.

 

Installed in 2008, the Duke Farms’ EagleCam has provided a streaming look into the daily lives of the eagle family for over 10 million viewers. Kurzius is working with the Duke Farms and Conserve Wildlife Foundation EagleCam team to expand the camera’s potential as an educational vehicle by including her lesson plan for use in classrooms across the country.

 

“Duke Farms is pleased once again to support dedicated New Jersey teachers that bring wildlife ecology into their classrooms. Lauren Kurzius’ winning lesson plan (“Birds of Prey – Who Done it?”) is a terrific introduction to predator-prey interactions, patterns among organisms, and ecosystem viability while allowing them to take on the role of student detective” explained Michael Catania, Duke Farms Executive Director. “Her participation in this year’s banding of the Duke eagle chicks was one of the highlights for our staff, and certainly a thrill for her students in Manville, New Jersey to watch.”

 

The EagleCam became a prominent teaching tool in Kurzius’ classroom in 2013. She had begun viewing the eagles in 2011 and recognized its potential for using it in the classroom immediately. Regarding the banding process, she says it was “priceless,” adding, “I connected with educators, scientists, and environmentalists. I get to share that with my current students and my future students. When you have new experiences, it leads to authentic teaching. Maybe my experience will inspire one of my students to follow a career path in science and that makes the banding all worth it.”

From left to right: David Wheeler, Lauren Kurzius, Duke Farms Programs and Community Garden Manager Tanya Sulikowski, Duke Farms Executive Director Michael Catania.

From left to right: David Wheeler, Lauren Kurzius, Duke Farms Programs and Community Garden Manager Tanya Sulikowski, Duke Farms Executive Director Michael Catania.

CWF’s David Wheeler stated that “by exploring science with creativity and a sense of wonder, Lauren Kurzius inspires her students to connect with the natural world around us. That personal connection reveals just how much people can strengthen the environment and benefit wildlife like bald eagles, which have made an awe-inspiring comeback. The Duke Farms webcam offers Lauren’s students and so many others the opportunity to intimately experience the lives of these magnificent creatures.”

 

We were thrilled at the enormous response received from teachers across the state, and will continue to offer the amazing opportunity to teachers in New Jersey! Congratulations, Lauren!

 

Learn More:

 

Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

  • Subscribe!

    Enter your email address to subscribe to the Conserve Wildlife Blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Support Conserve Wildlife Foundation

    Support our efforts to protect New Jersey’s rarest animals, restore important habitat, and foster pride in New Jersey’s rich wildlife heritage.

    Join - Donate - Adopt a Species
  • Get Connected

  • Recent Comments