Saturday May 6, 2017
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey has participated in World Series of Birding for the past 20 years. The event, sponsored by the New Jersey Audubon Society, is held yearly in May. This momentous birding event helps focus attention on New Jersey’s strategic importance to migrating birds and helps organizations like the Conservancy raise money to protect natural habitat.
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey’s 2016 birding team, The Highlands Hawks, had a most successful “Big Day” last year. The team began at midnight at Crystal Spring in Sussex County, where they spotted a mourning dove & a long ear owl. They also spotted a very rare American bittern at Pochuck Creek marshes on the Appalachian Trail in Vernon. The bird, a stocky and well-camouflaged heron of dense reed beds, the American Bittern is difficult to see. Its far-carrying booming call is distinctive, but the bittern itself likes to keep under cover. Team captain Dennis Miranda was excited to report that “Hearing two Whip Poor Wills on Hamburg Mountain for the first time in decades was an astonishing find!”
Because of the generous support of many individuals who made pledges on our team’s behalf, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey can continue its efforts to preserve critical natural lands and special places in New Jersey where mourning doves & great horned owls thrive. This benefits all of our wildlife and enriches the quality of our own lives as well.
As a result of the number of birds identified, the team was able to raise over $12,000 through pledges made for each species they spotted. The money raised will be used to help The Land Conservancy continue its efforts to preserve open space lands and protect water resources in New Jersey.