Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Time flies!

So hard for me to believe that we're already into the second week of July! Every one of my posts here mention how I neglect this blog... :( But I know it gets traffic, so I hate to take it down. I post more to my New Jersey Osprey Project Facebook page then I do here. I find it to be an easier way to engage fellow osprey fans. I hope you'll check it out if you're on there!

If not, I'll be working on something new soon... Possibly a new website that will be setup to track young ospreys that I'm banding with a red alpha-numeric auxiliary band. The band will be used so the individual young birds can be identified during migration, on their wintering areas, and on their home Jersey turf! There I also plan to have a blog to share news about the tagging program, which is only occurring on Barnegat Bay. A total of 100 bands will be deployed. More news to come on this front later this year. For now I'm busy surveying nests along the coast of Jersey. So far things are looking pretty good. I still need to survey many of my colonies over the next 10 days, and look at data from the many volunteer osprey banders who survey all other colonies to get a better idea of how well they're doing.

The first alpha-numeric red auxiliary band (00/C) to be placed on a young osprey in NJ. July 7, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Time lapse in the works...

This season I decided to put together a time-lapse video from the Osprey Cam at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR. This is just a trial run of 17 still images that were turned into a .gif file. I haven't taken a still each day, but will be setting up the camera to automatically take a still at the same position 2-3 times a day for the rest of the year. Having a total of 1,500 images would be best, since at 24fps it would take 1,440 images to make a 60 second video. Either way, it'll be cool to see the changes in the coastal saltmarsh over the next 10 months. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

First install of 2014!

This first install will provide a safe place for a pair of ospreys to nest inside Great Bay Blvd WMA.
Mark your calendars. At 1pm on February 18th, volunteers are needed to help install an osprey platform off of Great Bay Blvd (GBB) in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The pair that formally nested on a short cluster of pilings (147-A-023) that is an "old electric transfer structure utilized to power submerged water pumps when active marsh flooding and draining research was conducted nearby." Two years ago 2 young were produced at this nest and last year the nest failed to produce young. It's low and provides no protection from ground predators, and it's too close to the boardwalk that connects the Rutgers Marine Field Station to GBB. The new site will be far away from disturbance and will also provide protection from predators giving the pair the best chance they have for successfully raising young on the Jersey shore.

Volunteers (at least 6 are needed) will need to bring knee boots, hip or chest waders to wear and a pair of work gloves. We'll meet near the end of the road. You'll see the platform staged along the side of the road.

If you'd like to help, please RSVP to Ben Wurst. Heavy rain will cancel.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Old man winter

A nice coating of ice and snow on the coastal saltmarsh and Absecon Bay.
Ospreys are currently enjoying tropical weather in N. South America while all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are dealing with an arctic air mass that has engulfed most of the U.S. Prior to 2013, no ospreys have been seen in New Jersey past December 31, thanks to warmer weather during winter months. This year is a stark difference and really, something that is more typical weather for winter.

Ospreys will remain on their wintering grounds for at least another 6 weeks or until mid-March. Most spring migration occurs in late March. For now you can follow one bird (C2) from Jamaica Bay, New York who is wearing a satellite backpack and wintering in Venezuela.