Habitat Improvement Project

The Habitat Improvement Plan is designed to improve the natural habitat on our property for various birds and other wildlife, including the golden winged warbler, other songbirds, and game birds, such as the American woodcock and the wild turkey.  The proposed Plan identifies two “target areas” on our property, designated as Target Area 1 and Target Area 2. Wildlife experts and LLCOA members are active in monitoring changes in bird populations and vegetation regrowth in both areas.

Report from LLCOA member Dave Zavracky on a June 2, 2017 bird survey:
I met with Sharon Petzinger, a bird specialist with NJ Division of Fish And Wildlife at 5am Friday for a hike to the habitat areas. Sharon will be submitting a report with the details of her findings. I’ll just mention that she seemed very pleased with developments regarding species present.

Sharon is a tenacious individual and had no qualms about heading into brush areas loaded with sticker bushes, swampy water and ticks (which she proceeded to point out to me as they were attached to my clothing).
Her initial method of identification was the sound that the bird makes. Once she identified the sound, she focused her attention in that direction and located the bird. She took detailed notes recording the birds she identified.
She didn’t miss a thing. While I spent most of my time looking up, (for birds) she on the other hand noticed everything up, down and sideways. Before I stepped on it, she picked up a little orange speckled newt. This newt she said, is bright orange for a reason. It’s poisonous and as such, a warning to the birds not to eat it.
Several times she amplified a recorded call of the golden winged warbler in an attempt to attract one toward our position. Though we never saw a golden winged warbler, other warblers and species appeared. According to her this is the norm as it can take a few years for the golden winged warbler to discover the location.
The most amazing part of the process was when she played a recording of a screech owl attacking some birds. This brought into visual range a whole bunch of birds in the area. They came in to see what was going on. The idea being that birds in the area wanted to keep an eye on the enemy. It was a beautiful morning for a hike and I learned a lot. Sharon has a contagious love for her work. She peaked my interest in the natural processes of out habitat effort.