World Series of Birding Highlights for the NJA Stewardship Department

Ruffed Grouse in Stokes State Forest WSB 2016The NJA Stewardship Department World Series of Birding team, The Fight'n Femelschlagers, had a great day out in North Jersey racking in 105 species of birds!  Bald Eagle, Eastern Screech Owl, Whip-poor Will, Bobolink, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Spotted Sandpiper, Cerulean Warbler, Indigo Bunting, Prairie Warbler were just some of the species we came across on our trek though different habitat types searching for birds. The highlight by far was a Ruffed Grouse encountered in Stokes State Forest that hung around for 10 minutes while we took photos of it from the car!

Timber Rattlesnake WSB 2016The birding was great, but we also encountered many other species of wildlife throughout the day, such as Porcupine, Timber Rattlesnake, Five-lined Skink, Pickerel Frog, American Toad and Snapping Turtle, which just goes to show how important it is to remember that it’s not just about the birds when we think conservation. Habitat restoration and stewardship of those lands are important for a variety of species. What makes the NJ Stewardship Department so unique in how we get significant meaningful work done is, although our work is grounded in science, the professional staff at the Stewardship Department consider other factors then just a single target species or resource concern. Meaning, impacts for other species and numerous ecological resources, as well as social, cultural and economic factors are looked at and planned for in order to make a project and the resource we are focusing on a sustainable project with lasting results.

The World Series of Birding (WSB) is an important fundraiser for the NJ Audubon Stewardship Department, raising funds vital to support our Department’s conservation work on behalf of declining wildlife species Femelschlagers helping a Snapping Turtle cross the road WSB 2016and habitat in NJ. Please note that your pledge/donation to our team goes directly to funding our Department’s work here at NJ Audubon, specifically for habitat restoration in NJ such as: the Bobwhite Quail reintroduction project in the Pinelands, conservation innovation projects with agricultural producers, sustainable forestry projects throughout the State, native grassland restoration projects, bog turtle habitat restoration projects, snake fungal disease survey projects, Ruffed Grouse restoration and population recovery projects, vegetation management projects for early successional species, water quality and habitat improvement projects in the Highlands and Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer regions, invasive species control projects, the S.A.V.E.™ program and working with NJ farmers and rural landowners to create and restore habitat that also benefits the agricultural community.

The 2016 Fight'n FemelschlagersAlthough the WSB is over, you can still donate to our team at Fight’n Femelschlagers

So what is a Femelschlager?  “Femelschlag”, is a German term for a forest management practice that is designed to emulate natural disturbance patterns and encourage tree species diversity in multiple-age classes, thereby enhancing ecosystem services and complexity. (A lot of our sustainable forestry work for various rare species involves this management practice here in NJ)

On behalf of the New Jersey Audubon Stewardship Department, we thank you for the chance to present this opportunity to support our work for your consideration and please know that every little bit helps!!

 

We also would like to thank our Team Sponsors:  Ernst Conservation Seeds, Hudson Farm, and South Jersey Gas, as well as to Vortex Optics for the use of your excellent binoculars and scopes!

All photos by John Parke and Lindsay Gafford