Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘raptor’

Help Ensure Ospreys Have a Future in New Jersey

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

ACTION ALERT: Support ecological management of the most valuable public resource for our coastal ecosystem and economy

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Menhaden is a common food source for ospreys during their nesting season in New Jersey. Photo by Northside Jim.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting public comment on the establishment of ecological management of Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus), which is a keystone species. Basically, a keystone species is one that plays a large role in the ecosystem where it lives. If a keystone species is lost then the ecosystem would dramatically change or cease to function, causing widespread effects to other species that benefit. In New Jersey, ospreys have largely benefited from a healthy menhaden population as we’ve had relatively high reproductive rates (more than double what’s needed to sustain population) over the past decade. From 2006 to 2016, the population has grown by 30% and above the pre-DDT, historic milestone of over 500 nesting pairs. Around 82% of the state population of ospreys nests along the Atlantic Coast and we observe menhaden at a huge number of nests during our mid-summer surveys. If menhaden numbers drop, then we will likely see osprey numbers follow suite, as reproductive rates will decline, as they are in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Continuing To Track NJ Eagles

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

by: CWF biologist Larissa Smith

We keep track of all re-sightings we receive of NJ (green) banded eagles. This information is important as it lets us know where eagles raised in NJ go after leaving the nest and eventually where they end up nesting. In 2017 we have had NJ banded birds sighted in NJ as well as PA and VT.

On April 15, 2017 Mary Dunham photographed NJ banded D/18 near Lake Como in Belmar, NJ.  The female was banded in March 2011 at the Manasquan Reservoir, Monmouth County. She was with another smaller adult, assumed to be a male. While Mary  watched a third adult eagle came into the area and the pair chased it away. This is an indicator that D/18 was paired up and perhaps was nesting in the area.

D/18 @ Mary Dunham

In August we received a report that D/18 was sighted once again. This time she was up near the NY- Canada border. We don’t know much about the movements of nesting eagles so we can only speculate why she made such a big move north. Perhaps she went north with a recent fledgling or maybe she was kicked out of the pair by an intruder eagle and headed north?

D/40@ Reid Hoffer

In March we were contacted by Reid Hoffer who monitors an eagle nest along a reservoir in Rockland County NY.  He was able to get a photo of a green band, D/40, she was banded May 2011 at Newton Reservoir in Sussex County. Mr. Hoffer reports that unfortunately the pair did not produce any offspring this year.

D/40 & mate at nest in NY@Reid Hoffer

 

 

 

 

 

 


Telemetry

We are also currently tracking three NJ eagle with transmitters attached.  The New Jersey Bald Eagle Tracking project shows the movements of all three of these birds as well as their history.

Two of the transmittered birds  fledged from Merrill Creek Reservoir in Warren County, NJ. Harmony 2, has spent the last four years in a 100-mile swath of western Connecticut and Massachusetts. She fledged in 2012 making her a 5th year bird and breeding age. We suspect she’ll nest in the same area next season.  Haliae fledged in 2013 and has spent the past three years mostly around the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Perhaps she’ll stay in that area to nest? So two birds from the same nest, but one has settled to the north and one to the south.

Nacote, a male from the Galloway nest in Atlantic County, has stayed more “local” to his home area. He’s spent the last three seasons in Atlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties. He favors the CMC landfill and local sand pits where other eagles are known to roost and feed.

All this information helps us to locate roost and foraging areas and protect them.  It’s also fascinating to know where NJ eagles go after leaving their nest area, especially when they begin nesting. Why do some head north, others south and yet others stay near their “home” range? We don’t know, and that’s ok, it’s what makes them wild!


To learn more:

Osprey 78/D: A Second Chance

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
“Chump” is rescued, rehabbed, and released

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Chump, what are you doing down there? Photo by Northside Jim.

On Sunday, August 30 I woke and checked my email early that morning. I had an urgent message from Deb Traster, who lives adjacent to the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences (LBIF). She said that something was not right with one of the young ospreys that fledged from a nearby nesting platform where I banded three nestlings with red bands on July 7. One was on the ground and could not take off. Fearing the worst (entanglement), she checked it out and sought help. After getting in touch with me, I reached out to my buddy, Northside Jim to see if he could get there that morning. (more…)

An Osprey Rescue

Monday, July 17th, 2017

By Meghan Kolk, CWF Wildlife Biologist

I would like to take the time to share a noteworthy event from last week, as well as highlight a CWF volunteer who deserves recognition for his dedication to wildlife.  CWF received a call last Friday from a concerned citizen about an osprey chick that had fallen from its nest in Avalon.  Osprey chicks are extremely vulnerable to summer storms, and are often blown right from their nests in strong winds.  The storm that pushed through the area Thursday night had likely blown this chick out of its nest onto the marsh below.  This particular nest had just been surveyed on July 6 and had contained three young chicks.

osprey chick down on marsh after severe storms

Often when staff members are not available to respond to calls like this, we rely on our volunteers to represent us.  In this case, when CWF volunteer John King got the call, he hooked up his boat and immediately headed out to assess the situation in hopes of making a rescue.  When he arrived on the scene, John realized that there were actually three osprey chicks on the ground below the nest; however, two of them were unfortunately already deceased.  The parents were also sitting on the ground with the one surviving chick when he arrived.  John picked up the chick and examined it for injuries.  When he determined it was in good condition, he carried it up a ladder and placed it back into the nest as the parents circled and screamed above him.  As he left the site, the parents immediately returned to the nest to check on their chick.

Osprey chick returned to the safety of it’s nest

Even though John was only able to save one of the three chicks, this was still a success story that would not have been possible without the help of a devoted volunteer.  The concerned citizens who had called in the emergency watched the whole rescue from across the lagoon and reported back the following day that the chick was sitting up in the nest looking healthy.  CWF also greatly appreciates citizens who care enough to observe wildlife responsibly and report wildlife emergencies when necessary.

Adult returns to nesting platform after chick is safely returned to nest.

John King has been volunteering for CWF for many years and has worked on several projects including the Calling Amphibian Project, NJ Tiger Salamander project and the NJ eagle project.  He has been very involved with the NJ osprey project, headed by CWF’s Ben Wurst, assisting with osprey surveys during the breeding season and helping to construct and erect nest platforms over the winter.  In addition to CWF, John also volunteers with many other conservation organizations and is always happy to lend a hand.  Although he is retired, his volunteer work is practically a full time job. I sincerely admire John’s continued enthusiasm and his dedication to wildlife, and I believe the world would be a better place if there were more people like him.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ thanks you, John!

 

Calling all Osprey Lovers!

Thursday, July 6th, 2017
Citizen Scientists Needed to help collect data on nesting ospreys

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Two young ospreys and an adult on a nest in Ocean County.

This year we are hoping to get a better estimate of the size and health of the osprey population in New Jersey. Up from only 50 pairs in the early 1970s to an estimated 600+ pairs today. Ospreys are an indicator species and as top tier predators, they show the effects of contaminants in the environment before many other long lived species. They are our new age “canary in the coal mine” so keeping tabs on the health of their population is key to assessing the health of our estuarine and marine ecosystems. (more…)

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