Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘nest’

NJ Bald Eagles: Fall Update

Friday, October 28th, 2016

By Larissa Smith:  Wildlife Biologist

The fall is a great time of year to spot a bald eagle anywhere in New Jersey. Eagles that nest and live further north are migrating south. Many will be staying to spend the winter months in NJ where there is usually warmer weather, open water and a supply of food. We’ve had a report of an eagle with an orange band sighted in Burlington County, NJ. The orange band means that the bird was banded in Massachusetts and the plumage shows the bird to be a first year bird banded this past season.

NJ nesting pairs are here year round and we’ve had reports of pairs already sprucing up their nests for the nesting season.

Adult brining stick back to nest 10/23/16@Alex Tongas

Adult bringing stick back to Nest 10/23/16@Alex Tongas

New Jersey eagles also travel out of state, a green banded eagle (NJ) was spotted down at High Rocks Lake in North Carolina October 16th by Carolyn Canzoniere. The code on the band wasn’t readable, but going by the plumage the bird was banded in 2013. This bird hasn’t yet reached sexual maturity, perhaps it’s checking out the area for future nesting in North Carolina.

NJ Banded eagle 10/16/16, High Rocks Lake, NC@Carolyn Canzonieri

NJ Banded eagle 10/16/16, High Rocks Lake, NC@Carolyn Canzonieri

Telemetry

CWF and NJ ENSP have been tracking two eagles outfitted with transmitters. The telemetry maps on the CWF website are currently being updated and redesigned to allow for easier viewing of “Nacote” and “Oran’s” movements. We hope to have the new maps up and running in the next few weeks.

Nacote D/95 continues to spend time around Cape May and Atlantic Counties.

He was photographed by Peggy Birdsall Cadigan on 10/23/2016 at Forsythe NWR, near his old nest site.

"Nacote" 10/25/16@ Peggy Cadigan

“Nacote” 10/23/16@ Peggy Cadigan

Oran” E/17: From July 18th until September 21st Oran was out of cell range. His last known location was near the Quebec/Maine border and then on the September 21st came back into range along the Maine coast. He made his way back down to southern New Jersey and was at Dennisville Lake, Cape May County on October 3rd. Mid-October he made a trip to Delaware and came back to NJ a day later and has been foraging and roosting in Cumberland County.

 

 

New Story Map Shows How Turtle Gardens Actually “Grow” Baby Terrapins

Monday, September 12th, 2016
Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Releases a New Story Map: “Turtle Gardens”

By: Michael Davenport, Wildlife Biologist & GIS Program Manager

The northern diamondback terrapin is an imperiled species of turtle found in brackish coastal waters along the northeast coast of the United States. Within New Jersey, much of the nesting habitat once used by terrapins has been lost to development and rising sea level. What little suitable nesting habitat remains is often inaccessible to terrapins due to bulkheads or other construction and road mortality is a major cause of terrapin mortality as they cross roadways seeking nesting sites.

Screen-shot of the Turtle Gardens story map.

Screen-shot of the Turtle Gardens story map.

Turtle gardens provide suitable nesting habitat for diamondback terrapins where little natural suitable habitat remains or is inaccessible. By enhancing the existing habitat at a site within the terrapin’s range to meet their nesting habitat requirements, terrapins can more safely lay their eggs within an area specifically set-aside for them.

CWF recently partnered with the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) on a pilot project turtle garden on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. The newly released Turtle Gardens story map details this project.


LEARN MORE


 

Time to Get Muddy!

Thursday, September 8th, 2016
Volunteers needed to help maintain and repair osprey nests

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Map of nests that are in need of repairs in Absecon, NJ.

Map of nests that are in need of repairs in Absecon, NJ.

We have an obligation to care for and protect our wildlife, and for me, that’s what drew me into my current position. Osprey nesting platforms have been a focus of my work over the past 10+ years. They are designed specifically for ospreys and if built properly, can withstand the impacts of severe weather, including coastal flooding, high winds, and storm surge. For ospreys these platforms protect their nests from predators and flood tides, but over time the extreme salt marsh environment takes its toll on them. With the added weight of the large, perennial stick nests it can shorten the life span of a properly built platform drastically. Over the years I’ve seen older nests topple, from the weight of the nesting material and aging hardware, during the middle of the nesting season during severe storms. This is hard to prevent at every nest, during every storm, which we know are becoming more and more frequent, but we are adapting and in turn, helping our ospreys become more resilient (and productive) in the end.

New stainless screws are installed in an existing osprey nest to help prevent future catastrophe.

New stainless screws are installed in an existing osprey nest to help prevent future catastrophe.

In the past we (myself and other volunteers who survey ospreys and help maintain platforms) used to visit a nest only once a year, during nesting surveys in late June and early July. At that time we would note the condition of the platform and if repairs were needed, schedule those for the seven month long non-breeding season. Those who have volunteered to help and worked with me, know the task at hand. Most tasks include using hand tools to construct nest platforms and perches and to install them. I always say the hardest part is getting the platform to the saltmarsh where they will be installed.

To help engage and inspire others to help care for our growing osprey population, we are looking for volunteers who live within the watersheds were we are planning to conduct repairs of osprey platforms. Tasks vary by watershed but most are to add new (stainless) screws to existing platforms, install predator guards/perches, clean off excess nesting material, and do any other repairs to platforms (including moving and replacing some). We are hopeful to meet some local baymen and fishermen who are looking to help keep the nesting population stable as it has been over the past 10 years.

The work will occur in mid-late October and will be carried out through these watersheds:

  • Barnegat Bay (Point Pleasant south to LEHT)
  • Great Bay – All nests here need new hardware and one nest needs to be replaced.
  • Absecon Bay – In this area we have four platforms to replace. Three will be moved and one new one installed. Four other nests need critical repairs.
  • Sea Isle – several nests here need predator guards and a couple need minor repairs.
  • Wildwood/Cape May – After the strong storms in late June hit this area, many nests need new platform (tops) and others need to be cleaned off.

If you are interested in being notified when these platform construction and repairs occur, please email me. Let me know what you are interested in helping with and if you have a boat (and a ladder!) that can be used.

Calling all Osprey Watchers!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
Filling in the gaps

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Approaching a natural nest inside Barnegat Inlet. Photo by Northside Jim.

Approaching a natural nest inside Barnegat Inlet. Photo by Northside Jim.

Each year, while conducting osprey surveys by boat, our volunteer banders and biologists try to reach the majority of known osprey nests in the most densely populated colonies in New Jersey. The data that is collected (active nest, # of young) help to determine the overall health of the population. Since 2013, we have surveyed more than we have ever have, after releasing all of the known locations of osprey nests in New Jersey. All osprey nests can be viewed on our partners website, www.osprey-watch.org, which is run by the Center for Conservation Biology. It has helped us reach 80% of the known population. Publishing and mapping all the known nests was an attempt to engage citizen scientists (by them going out to observe ospreys) and save critical funding (for more endangered species of wildlife) while collecting data to monitor and manage our ospreys. So far it has proved to be an amazing tool for the future management of ospreys, who nest in very close proximity to humans. (more…)

Emergency Osprey Nest Surveys in Cape May, Wildwood and Stone Harbor

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

What you won’t hear on the news!!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Matt Tribulski places a young osprey back in its nest.

Matt Tribulski places a young osprey back in its nest.

It’s osprey season. Osprey Survey Season, that is. However, we never like to start the season off with these types of emergency surveys, but with the increase of strong storms and extreme straight line wind events, they are becoming an annual event. Ospreys nest on platforms in open areas near water, so their young can easily become victims during these types of storms. After receiving a text message from my colleague Kathy Clark yesterday evening about the intensity of the storms, she said we should try to do a survey of the affected areas. I had other plans but I knew that those could wait. (more…)

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