How You Can Help Shorebirds
There are several ways in which you can help New Jersey's shorebirds - donate, volunteer, or purchase a Conserve Wildlife license plate!
Support Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey's work on New Jersey's imperiled wildlife. Information about donation options can be found here.
Re-turn the Favor
The Delaware Bay is one of the most critical breeding habitats for horseshoe crabs in the world... but at the same time, it is one of the most dangerous. During the spawning season in May and June, hundreds of horseshoe crabs are stranded on every falling tide when they are rolled over by waves or become stuck on jetties or behind walls. The result is a significant source of mortality for an already threatened species. So what’s the answer? YOU are!
Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ and NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife have partnered with The Wetlands Institute and the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences to create “Re-turn the Favor,” a volunteer-driven initiative to rescue these stranded horseshoe crabs. Re-turn the Favor volunteers are allowed to enter beaches closed to the public to rescue horseshoe crabs, but also gather valuable data about particularly troublesome beaches, which will be used to advise future restoration efforts.
Interested in taking part? Send your name and contact information to email@example.com, and they’ll be in touch to find out when and where you can help!
Like shorebirds and horseshoe crabs? Like educating the public? Then we’re looking for you! CWF stations “Shorebird Stewards” on most Delaware Bay Beaches during peak shorebird migration. These volunteers help to keep people off of closed beaches, direct birdwatchers to areas of heavy shorebird use, and educate beachgoers about horseshoe crabs and their close link to shorebird survival.
Interested? Potential stewards should submit a one-page resume explaining your interest and any training and experience, both with wildlife and people. Also tell us whether you would be available to work full-time or part-time. Volunteers should be able and willing to work at least two full 7 to 8 hour days during the migration period.
Resumes can be submitted to Larissa Smith, CWF's Volunteer Manager.
Since the mid-1990s, an international team of scientists has banded tens of thousands of shorebirds. The vast majority of these birds are red knots, semipalmated sandpipers, ruddy turnstones, and sanderlings. These bands let scientists identify individual birds, allowing them to track migration routes, nesting and wintering areas, and more.
While some consist solely of a combination of colored bands, the majority of these bands are known as “flags.” Normally placed on a bird’s upper right leg, flags contain a two- or three-letter code consisting of a mix of letters and numerals. These codes can be read using a decent spotting scope, a camera, a pair of binoculars, or even with the naked eye if the birds come close enough - and if you’ve seen one, we want to know!
Report banded birds you’ve seen at www.bandedbirds.org. Simply fill in the online form with information about the sighting, and you can see further information about your bird, including where it was banded and other places it has been sighted. Your reports will help build a valuable and ever-expanding database of shorebird resightings from around the world!
Purchase a Conserve Wildlife License Plate
Looking for another way to show your support for shorebird and other wildlife conservation? When you buy a Conserve Wildlife license plate, you not only let everyone know you believe in conservation – you let them know you're doing something about it! More than 80% of the proceeds from these license plates goes directly toward funding the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP), CWF’s partner in shorebird conservation. This is crucial, because ENSP receives no dedicated state funding and must depend completely on revenue from these license plates, donations from tax check-offs, and generous contributions from the public.
Find Related Info: Shorebirds
Report a sighting
Report a sighting of a banded shorebird or rare species.