Wednesday, May 13, 2009

2009 Aerial Survey begins and Suburban nesting pairs, only in NJ!!!

This week, biologists with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program will be conducting an aerial helicopter survey. This is the first survey since 2006 when just over 400 nesting pairs were found, statewide. To read the newsletter from 2004, click here. The survey will determine how many nests are occupied and will give us some insight into how healthy the population is. The survey will also be conducted in mid-June to determine the outcome of all the nests and will help us calculate the productivity rate or the number of young produced per nesting pair. So, if you see a helicopter buzzing over osprey platforms along the coast, do not be alarmed! 

Vote in my poll for the number of nesting pairs you think we will have this year.

 Photo by Peggy Davis

On another note, a concerned citizen spotted a pair of ospreys that were building a nest on a boat lift on Blackberry Bay in Oceanport. She called our office and I spoke with her about the issue and started my hunt to find out who the owners were of the property. After several calls to the local township office, NJDFW Law Enforcement, then DEP's Land Use Regulation Program, I eventually found out the owners name and phone number. Basically, our position was to inform the homeowners of the occurance and to let them know that the nest could be removed, with special permission. The nest could only be removed if there were NO EGGS; if there was eggs, then they would have to get a permit from US Fish and Wildlife Service. So today I called the owner and spoke to her about the nest. I was surprised to know that she already knew about it and was not concerned!!!! She is actually happy to give up her boat lift and dock for the summer to give a pair of ospreys a chance to raise their young. This is great news! For the most part, I would have thought that most people would not want to give up the use of their dock and boat lift for a season, but this is not the case! I hope we do not see any major storms this spring and summer that could possibly blow off the nest and cause the nest to fail. Time to wait and see....
The hard part will be to try and get permission from a local private landowner for us to install an artificial nest platform near the site so the pair has a place to nest next year.

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