Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘WildlifeNJ’

The Story of Osprey 52/K

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

by Ben Wurst / Habitat Program Manager

Osprey 52/K. September 5, 2022. Photo by Chris Kelly.

In 2014, we began to band osprey nestlings produced at nests within the Barnegat Bay watershed with auxiliary bands. This was an effort which came about from the interest of Jim Verhagen, a LBI resident and wildlife biographer. He wondered why young ospreys were not banded with color, field readable bands, like some endangered raptors, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons. This spawned Project RedBand, an osprey banding and re-sighting project. The goal of the project was to learn more about ospreys when they are alive while engaging coastal residents in their management. Just under 500 young ospreys were banded with red auxiliary bands from 2014-2020 from nests all along the Barnegat Bay estuary.


Photo from the Field: Another Successful Year for Great Bay Terrapin Garden

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

A northern diamondback terrapin hatchling in saltmarsh habitat.

Photos from the Field: Giving LBIF’s Terrapins a Boost!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Over the past several years, I have worked with LBIF to help guide their efforts to provide habitat for wildlife on their property in Loveladies. We have always wanted to establish another, larger “turtle garden” for nesting female N. diamondback terrapins, since they are a common visitor during summer months. This spring we received a small grant from the Garden Club of Long Beach Island to establish a new turtle garden at LBIF. Late last month we ordered 15 tons of mason sand from a local supplier, which provides excellent nesting habitat, with small grain size and little organic matter. Myself and Jeff Ruemeli, who is the new Director of Sciences at LBIF, worked to install coir logs to hold the sand before spreading it out by hand. I followed up with planting around 30 seaside goldenrod plants at the site to help stabilize sand and provide foraging habitat for pollinators.


They’re Back: Barnegat Light Ospreys!!

Friday, April 1st, 2022

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Viewers of the BL Osprey Cam this morning saw two males confront each other at the nest. Both with fish that went flying!

By now, most people who live along the coast of New Jersey have seen an osprey. They have returned to claim their waterfront homes and spruce them up. April is the season of upside-down osprey (more on this in a few), and for those who haven’t seen an osprey, then you should tune in to the drama unfolding at the Barnegat Light Osprey Cam! Both a male and female have returned to the BL Osprey Cam nest, but only the female (Daisy) is the same as last year. There have actually been several males seen on the nest so far and just this morning, two confronted each other above the nest!


Build it and they will come

Saturday, February 5th, 2022

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

An adult female terrapin treks across our Turtle Garden in Little Egg Harbor, NJ. June 2021. photo by Ben Wurst

As with many of our conservation projects, they are centered around compassion for a species in need. One of which is the northern diamondback terrapin: a coast hugging turtle who inhabits salt marsh habitat from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras. In New Jersey they range from the Meadowlands south along the coast and in the Delaware Bay. Terrapins are known to have a very small home ranges and some may inhabit the same small creek for their entire lives. During summer months, females leave the protection of their salt marsh habitat to seek out sandy nest sites above the high tide line. Many times, they encounter a roadway and the results can be deadly.