Egrets Clarence and Edward are part of the NJ Audubon/NYC Audubon Harbor Herons foraging surveys project. These Egrets were outfitted with advanced tracking devices in June 2015 that text us their location three times per day.
Edward, July-August 2015
Edward, December 2015 - January 2016
Edward the Egret's first migratory flight was truly amazing! He took off from Queens, NYC (Gateway National Recreation Area) on November 23, 2015, 3:45pm and headed out over the Atlantic. He then flew all night along the coast (about 5-30 miles out to sea) before touching down at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina at 6:30am! That is 385 miles in 14 hours 45 minutes, or an average speed of 26 mph!! He must have had some great tail winds.
He spent the winter in South Carolina, north of Hilton Head
Edward, July-August 2016
Edward's return trip last to NY/NJ Harbor in Spring 2016 was even more impressive than his trip south: 494 miles non-stop overnight from Lake Marion, South Carolina to Pea Patch Island, Delaware. He rested there a day before continuing on to Hoffman Island, New York Harbor on another overnight flight. He has since returned to his usual foraging haunts in the Arthur Kill between Staten Island and New Jersey. Along the way he has foraged or cruised by many great birding spots: Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, Gateway National Recreation Area, Congaree National Park, and others.
He spent the breeding season mostly on Staten Island and in the Arthur Kill, flying back and forth to Hoffman Island where we assume he is nesting and raising young. He moved over to Jamaica Bay in early October, where he spent the rest of the fall like last year!
Edward, December 2016 - January 2017
Edward departed from Jamaica Bay in the NY/NJ Harbor on November 22, 2016 (almost to the day of when he left last year!) and is back in South Carolina. He is taking his time staying for days at a time near Wilmington, and Hammocks Beach. Salt marshes surrounded by Spanish Moss-draped Live Oak....beautiful!
Clarence, July-August 2015
Clarence the Great Egret's wanderings during summer 2015 are shown below, as he raised chicks on Hoffman Island, New York Bay (upper right). He spent a lot of time feeding on the southern shore of Staten Island (lower left). The project is a collaboration with Dr. John Brzorad at Lenore-Rhine University in North Carolina.
Clarence, December 2015 - January 2016
Clarence moved from the NY/NJ Harbor to Delaware Bay in October 2015. He left Egg Island, NJ around 4:05pm on November 14th, 2015 and made landfall on Rehoboth Beach, DE about an hour later at 5:10pm...and then just kept on going (with occasional rests) until Charleston, where he spent the winter.
Clarence, February 2016
Clarence, you will be missed.
Unfortunately, we have received some sad news related to Clarence. On Valentine’s Day 2016 we noticed Clarence’s text messages were only coming from one location. On February 29th our partner in South Carolina, John Brzorad, discovered that Clarence had been taken by a predator after going to his last known text location.
Clarence won’t be forgotten as he is remembered fondly by New Jersey Audubon staff and partners. During the time he worked with us he texted his location over 65,000 times and logged over 2,000 miles in just 235 days. Clarence really got around traveling from Staten Island to South Carolina. We are saddened to lose him, attached is a picture of the handsome dude himself.
#7, The Heinz Egret, July 2015