Friday, February 14, 2014

Best Areas to View Snow Geese in New Jersey

The following is a summary of the best areas in New Jersey to view snow geese:

Northern Jersey

In Northern Jersey, snow geese often winter at Merrill Creek Reservoir. These flocks typically exceed 15,000 birds in January and can build to over 75,000 birds in late winter. Merrill Creek Reservoir flocks may cover a wide area during daily feeding forays. Feeding snow geese are usually found from Belvidere to Washington to Clinton to Flemington.

Central New Jersey

Snow goose flocks typically total 5-10 thousand birds in central New Jersey. Flocks in this region are seen feeding in fields in an area from Cranbury to Roosevelt to Wrightstown to Burlington.

Delaware Bay

Delaware Bay tidal marshes and nearby inland farm fields attract the highest numbers of snow geese in New Jersey. During the Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey in early January, researchers may estimate 100,000 light geese in these areas.

Delaware Bay flocks feed, roost and loaf in the tidal marshes yet often make inland field feeding flights primarily into Salem and Cumberland Counties. At times, flocks range as far inland as Mullica Hill, Turnersville and Franklinville.

Southern New Jersey
Snow geese can be found in and around Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville. Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey counts from early January are typically about 5,000 birds in this region.

source: NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Connecticut Urban Waterfowl

Researchers found high numbers of mallards and other puddle ducks in urban sanctuaries during Connecticut’s annual Midwinter Waterfowl Survey. The presence of wild waterfowl in urban areas is often associated with supplemental feeding activities, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

“The Department discourages citizens from feeding waterfowl for a number of reasons, including increased risk of disease transmission, potential for poor nutrition, and a clouding of the real issue facing waterfowl and wildlife in general in Connecticut – loss of suitable habitat,” said Rick Jacobson, Director for the DEEP Wildlife Division.

DEEP conducted the annual Midwinter Waterfowl Survey on January 8 and 9, 2014. The survey is conducted throughout the Atlantic Flyway, and is used as an index of long-term wintering waterfowl trends.

The Connecticut survey is conducted from a helicopter and a census is obtained from the coast, the three major river systems, and selected inland lakes and reservoirs.

A brochure entitled, “Do Not Feed Waterfowl” outlines potential hazards of feeding waterfowl. The document is available on the DEEP website at:

source: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Middle Columbia River Steelhead Restoration

Middle Columbia River steelhead is listed as a species threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

In 2013, NOAA Fisheries designated a population of Middle Columbia River steelhead as “experimental.” The designation will support the reintroduction of steelhead to historical spawning and rearing habitat in the upper Deschutes, helping to re-establish the population.

As part of ongoing efforts to restore steelhead trout in the watershed, Stearns Dam on the Crooked River has been removed. The dam removal will allow steelheads to access 12 additional miles of quality habitat that was previously inaccessible.

The dam’s removal is the result of collaboration among the Crooked River Watershed Council, NOAA’s Restoration Center, American Rivers, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the local landowner.

source: NOAA Fisheries