Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘raptor’

Photos from the NJ Bald Eagle Nesting Season

Monday, July 15th, 2024

Larissa Smith: Senior Biologist

The 2024 NJ Bald eagle nesting season is winding down and so far 221 young eagles have fledged from nests throughout the state. We know that these eagles have fledged due to the eagle project volunteers who monitor all known eagle nests in New Jersey. Being a nest monitor can be a joyful experience when all goes well and the pairs successfully fledge young. But, it can also be heartbreaking when a pair fails to hatch eggs and when adults or chicks are lost during the season. Despite the ups and downs of monitoring eagle nests the volunteers continue to be dedicated to the eagle project. I asked the Eagle Project volunteers to send me their two favorite photos from the season.

Please enjoy the slideshow.

All photos were taken by trained volunteers from a safe distance using high powered scopes and cameras.

Unusual Year for Breeding Ospreys in New Jersey

Friday, June 21st, 2024

by Ben Wurst / Senior Wildlife Biologist

Aerial view of an empty osprey nest. Little Egg Harbor, NJ. June 2024.

So far it has been an usual year for nesting osprey in New Jersey. This spring, the pair that has nested at our osprey cam in Barnegat Light, who arrived on time, the female did not lay any eggs. Then I heard from a woman who watches a nest near the southern end of Long Beach Island who reported the same — pair present but incubation was never observed. Another report came in from an osprey nest watcher on the Mullica River (to the southwest of LBI) who reported the same — no incubation observed. We put out a call on social media for osprey nest watchers to report anything odd like this to us (while also reporting osprey nest activity online via Some people reported seeing the same behavior..


Photos from the Field

Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

by Ben Wurst / Senior Wildlife Biologist

There aren’t many times when you get to climb to the roof of a courthouse in a major metropolitan area. Except if you’re a raptor biologist! We recently joined NJ Fish & Wildlife’s Chief of the Endangered and Nongame Species Program, Kathy Clark and Union County staff and guests to band the four young falcons produced at a nest atop the Union County Courthouse, home to the Union County Falcon Cam.


Photo from the Field / Eclipse Osprey Platform Installation

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

by Ben Wurst / Senior Wildlife Biologist

Last fall I received a text from Kelly Scott, Resource Interpretive Specialist at Island Beach State Park about an osprey platform. She was kayaking within the Sedge Island Marine Conservation Zone and noticed one laying on its side – on a sandbar. I knew exactly which nest she was looking at. Later last year, I flew my sUAS to confirm her observation and make plans to get it back in working order before ospreys returned this year.


Nor’easter and Prey Shortage Impacts Nesting Ospreys in 2023

Friday, February 16th, 2024

by Ben Wurst / Senior Wildlife Biologist

A surfer and osprey at the beach on Long Beach Island. July 2023.

In coastal New Jersey, during spring and summer the recovery of ospreys is apparent. They grace the skies of most ocean front beaches from Sandy Hook to Cape May in search of prey. Their nests line our shorelines and can be found in a variety of nest structures. Today there are over 800 pairs of ospreys who nest all across New Jersey. Results from the 2023 nesting season illustrate how the osprey population continues to grow but with reduced reproductive success due to extremes in weather and reduced prey availability.