NJ Audubon

What Does “Old What Does “Old-Growth” Really Mean? It depends. Example 3, Bear Swamp (Installment 5 of 6)

In southwestern NJ, along the Delaware Bay, Davis (1993) described two areas of possible old-growth broadleaf swamp forests. According to Davis, Bear Swamp West is 100 acres of possible old growth forest containing some 400 to 500-year-old black gum, 300-year-old sweetgum, large red maples, and large sweetbay magnolia trees (of unknown…...

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Avalon Seawatch Update: November 3rd – 23rd

A group of Wood Ducks migrating in the early morning. The West winds have provided a good diversity and abundance of non-scoter ducks, which provides a good ID challenge in the morning light. Hello Everyone! Things have been quite busy over at the Seawatch the past few weeks; thanks to…...

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What Does “Old-Growth” Really Mean? It depends – Example 2 – Eastern Hemlock Forests of Northern NJ (Installment 4 of 6)

Another example of older forests in New Jersey that have suffered significantly due to lack of management are forests comprised of Eastern hemlock.  Davis (1993, 2003) discussed that many of NJ’s historically old growth forest had been dominated by Eastern hemlock, which is a conifer species that can live up…...

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Final Cape May Hawkwatch Update: November 19th – 30th

After ninety-one consecutive days of counting migrating birds of prey, the 2021 autumn season has officially ended. Keep reading to find out the grand total of raptors counted this season! First, I need to cover the final leg of the season.  After a slow start to the beginning of November,…...

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Montclair Hawk Lookout Update: Nov 3rd – 30th, 2021

As is typical at Montclair, November was the slowest month this season, with the bulk of migrants composed of Turkey Vultures and Red-shouldered Hawks. The latter did not seem to accompany the former as they frequently did in October, but instead, often appeared to materialize suddenly out of thin air,…...

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What Does “Old-Growth” Really Mean? It depends – Example 1, Hutcheson Memorial Forest (Installment 3 of 6)

One site identified by Davis in her book, Old Growth in the East: A Survey (1993) as possible old growth, was the William L. Hutcheson Memorial Forest (HMF). This 65-acre predominantly oak forest is in central New Jersey and owned by Rutgers University. When Rutgers acquired the forest in the…...

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What does ‘Old-Growth’ Really Mean? It depends. (Installment 2 of 6)

In 1993, Mary Byrd Davis, a researcher and conservationist, aimed to identify old growth forest sites across the eastern United States in her book, Old Growth in the East (revised in 2003). In New Jersey, she described 6 sites of less than 40 acres and 7 sites greater 40 acres…...

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Cape May Hawkwatch Update: November 5th – 18th

Just like every hawkwatch in the northeastern US, the daily totals follow a bell curve throughout the fall season. They start out low in September and slowly increase until they peak in October and then slowly decrease throughout November. Unfortunately, the totals seem to be dropping rapidly during the first…...

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What does “Old-Growth” really mean? It depends. (Installment 1 of 6)

We humans depend heavily on our visual senses and emotional responses.  We frequently make decisions from our hearts, occasionally in defiance of data.  We also tend to dislike environmental and other change. This human approach to decision-making is relevant to our definition and approach to stewarding “old-growth” forests.  The notion…...

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Morning Flight Season Recap

Sunrise over the back of the Dike. Photo by Jerald Reb November 15th was the final day of the 2021 Morning Flight season, so it’s time to take a look back at the highlights of this fall! We ended the count with over 335,000 individual birds counted and over 220…...

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