Citizen Science
The adventures of Egret Number Seven

Number Seven was caught at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia in early June 2015 by our collaborator John Brzorad from Lenoir Rhyne University.  She had no breeding plumes when she was caught indicating that she did not breed this year and is likely a young bird. A a solar powered GPS "backpack" sends updates of her location at least three times per day allowing us all to follow her adventures.  

She stayed close to Heinz until mid-July, and then she started moving.  She came to NJ on July 14 and spent a couple of days around Trenton.  By July 16th she was close to Atlantic City and hopped around Hammonton, close to the AC Exrpressway, visiting the DiMatteo Winery daily.



 Checking out the Real Estate for Next Breeding Season?

Then she was on the move again, and is still moving, visiting several breeding colonies along the way. In late July she wandered through Forsythe, Egg Harbor and Tuckerton.  She spent the night of July 29 on a dredge spoil island west of Brigantine, NJ,  likely an egret breeding colony based on the white dots seen on the map.


Soon she was on the move again. On August 2nd she flew to Raritan Bay.  On August 3rd she crossed over to Staten Island and spent one night at the Hoffman Island Rookery.  On August 4th she moved to Jamaica Bay and spent the night at the Subway Island Rookery. As of her 11am update today (August 6, 2015), she remains in the marshes of Jamaica Bay. But who knows where she'll go to next!




There is a connection between Heinz and Jamaica Bay as recorded by NYC Audubon through wing tagging chicks.

Susan Elbin, Director of Science and conservation at NYCA reports:

The connection between NY/NJ Harbor Birds and John Heintz, Philadelphia

1. A13 (Yellow Tag) a pre-fledged young, was tagged on 11 June 2012 at Elder’s Marsh (Jamaica Bay).

Seen on Aug 3-4, 2012 at John Heinz NWR--impoundment (Philadelphia Co.), Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, US.

2. C14 (Yellow Tag) a pre-fledged young tagged 11 June 2012 at Elder’s Marsh (Jamaica Bay)

Seen on August 5-16, 2012; Sept 6; Oct 15 2012, John Heinz NWR--impoundment (Philadelphia Co.), Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, US.

 Also seen 17 May 2014 at Liberty State Park, NJ



We can't wait to see where she goes!  Follow her along with us on the animal tracking site Movebank!