Welcome to the Friends of Great Swamp NWR Website

Our independent, non-profit organization is committed to protecting and supporting Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The 8,000 acre Refuge, located in Morris County, New Jersey, provides excellent recreational opportunities for visitors as well as protecting valuable habitat for wildlife. Look here for upcoming events, things to do, and ways you can help.

Download the Event Calendar: January – June 2016 (pdf, Adobe Reader required).

Recent Bird Sightings

Click on the Great Swamp NWR link in the top right corner below to go to the eBird website. There you can look at the data in more detail.

See more photos on the
Great Swamp NWR Flickr page.

Great Backyard Bird Count — Be a Citizen Scientist for a Day!

February 12 – February 14
Helen C Fenske Visitor Center

Join us for three days of birding fun and help collect data which is vital for bird research studies.

Black-capped Chickadee - one of the top 10 most frequently reported species in 2015's Count. Photo by Missy Mandel, Canada.

Black-capped Chickadee – one of the top 10 most frequently reported species in 2015’s Count. Photo by Missy Mandel, Canada.

  • Can’t tell a blue jay from a cardinal? Join us and you’ll learn how to identify at least a dozen different birds. Guaranteed!
  • Help us count and compile a daily tally of all species seen at our bird feeders. It’s a challenge!
  • Join us for one 15-minute count, or stay all day!
  • Bird Walks: Join one of the daily one-hour guided bird walks
    • Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Just for kids
    • Make a suet bird feeder to take home
    • Enjoy bird crafts, bird puzzles and bird games
    • Play bird bingo — with prizes!
    • Get started on your Junior Refuge Manager badge by completing the bird activity page.
  • For the experts — we need you too! Help with those tough-to-identify species, count and tally, assist with online reporting. Share your knowledge.

A joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird count is an annual event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds. The objective is to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are around the world. It’s a huge citizen science project. Last year 147,000 checklists were submitted and more than 5,000 species identified. This data, submitted by all of us, helps scientists understand the birds.

Whether you are a beginning bird watcher or an expert birder – you can participate. Everyone is welcome. It’s free, fun, and easy – and it helps the birds.

For lots more information and great resources visit the Great Backyard Bird Count web site at birdcount.org.

Great Backyard Bird Count at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Helen C Fenske Visitor Center
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Previous news stories can be found here.