Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘new jersey wildlife’

Stormy Spring Impacts Osprey Productivity

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

by Ben Wurst / Habitat Program Manager

An osprey nest with hatchlings on May 16, 2022. One of many nests that eventually failed to produce young this year.

Whenever we look at how ospreys are faring, weather is always taken into account. When we summarize and report on the results of our summer osprey nesting surveys, we also look at the local climate. Being situated along the Atlantic coast, our weather is influenced by the ocean. As aerial predators of fish, ospreys are reliant on favorable water conditions to forage.

Preliminary results of the 2022 New Jersey Osprey Project Census show that the osprey population was not as productive this year as they have been over the past ~20 years. This was largely due to a low pressure system (nor’easter) that stalled off the coast in early May — when the majority of pairs were incubating eggs. The strong onshore winds caused moderate coastal flooding, windy conditions, increased wave action and water turbidity, which made it more difficult for ospreys to find and catch prey in coastal waters. Males do 100% of the foraging from the onset of egg laying until young begin to fledge, so when they are unable to provide food, females must abandon their nests and eggs to forage for themselves. The nor’easter in May appears to have affected the outcome of many coastal nests and in some cases, complete colonies. Of course there are many other causes for nest failure but this year weather played a major role.

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Leave The Leaves This Fall

Thursday, October 6th, 2022

By Leah Wells


Once leaves fall to the ground, leave them be! Deciding not to rake, blow, and dispose of your leaves not only benefits native wildlife but provides nourishment to your garden and lawn. 

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Special Guests During Bat Survey Nights

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

by Leah Wells

The Bat Team setting up a mist-net in the Pine Barrens

Surveying for bats means staying up late and spending a lot of time in the dark. Our evenings begin a few hours before sunset, giving us just enough time to set up for the night. We start off by scouting locations to set up our mist-nets which we use to capture bats. These fine nets, ranging from 8 – 30 ft across and 16 ft high, are attached to tall poles stationed along corridors which bats often use to forage for food. With our nets ready to be deployed, we use the last of the daylight to set up our work station where we will process the bats we hopefully catch.

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Summer Mist Netting Surveys for Northern long-eared bat Come Up Short Handed

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022

by Meaghan Lyon

Biologists Leah Wells and Meaghan Lyon banding a Big Brown Bat

Since 2018, CWF has partnered with the USFWS New Jersey Field Office in completing summer mist netting surveys for bats in the Pinelands. The goal of these surveys is to capture the federally threatened Northern long-eared bat and track these bats to maternity roosts.

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Photo from the Field: Failed

Monday, June 27th, 2022

by Ben Wurst / Habitat Program Manager

An empty osprey nest on a sandbar located on Barnegat Bay.

In the coming weeks CWF staff, NJDEP Biologists, and a handful of dedicated volunteers will descend onto the coastal saltmarshes of New Jersey to conduct a census of nesting ospreys. The last census was conducted in 2017 when 668 nesting pairs was recorded. They will survey remote areas of back bays by boat. Nests are surveyed in a variety of methods, with ladders being the traditional method, which allow for closer inspection of nests and banding of young for future tracking. Other nests are surveyed from a distance using optics or cameras with telephoto lenses, a mirror, smartphone or GoPro on an extension pole and a sUAS (when operated by a FAA licensed unmanned pilot). The goal is to recorded the total number of nesting pairs throughout the State.

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