Upcoming Events

Migration Staffing — Wildlife Observation Center. Sunday, August 24 - Sunday, November 2. Volunteers needed!

Youth Deer Hunt. Saturday, November 1. Refuge closed, except Wilderness Area.

Lets go outside paw print

Refuge Ramble. Sunday, November 2, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Informal interpretive walk. Visitor Center.

Annual Refuge Deer Hunt. Wednesday, November 5 through Saturday, November 8. Entire Refuge closed.

Lets go outside paw print

Second Sunday with Friends: It’s Turkey Time! Sunday, November 9, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Did you know? Turkeys roost in trees — they are very fast fliers — and 40 years ago, there were no turkeys in N.J. Meet Bob Eriksen, who was instrumental in restoring the Wild Turkey to New Jersey, beginning in the late 1970s. Hear about this fascinating success story and learn more about the life of this unusual bird, so common now that we just take it for granted. Visitor Center.

Refuge Readers. Friday, November 21, 2-3:30 p.m. Discussion of John James Audubon: The Making of an American by Richard Rhodes. Copies are available for loan at the Visitor Center. New members always welcome. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

Annual Turkey Walk. Saturday, November 29, 1-2:30 p.m. Back by popular demand. Join us as we walk off that Thanksgiving turkey on an informal walk into the Management Area, normally closed to the public. Easy walk along service roads. Meet at Bluebird Parking Lot, 197 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Township, NJ.

Nature on Film — Note new time. Thursday, December 4, 1-2:30 p.m. Film to be announced. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

indicates programs suitable for children

Download the Event Calendar:
Get Adobe Reader Oct 2014- Mar 2015 (pdf, Adobe Reader required).


Find us on Facebook

Good news

As of Sunday, November 9, The Friends of Great Swamp NWR Nature Shop, operated by the Friends on behalf of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will re-open and resume normal hours.



It’s Turkey Time at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Join us Sunday, November 9, when Robert Ericksen, from the National Wild Turkey Federation, comes to talk turkey! Learn more about this fascinating bird, how it became a New Jersey success story, and amazing facts you didn’t know. For all ages. Sunday, November 9, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center, 32 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Township.

Photo by David Kaplan

On Saturday, November 29, join us for the Annual Turkey Walk — a chance to walk off that Thanksgiving turkey dinner. It’s a leisurely walk along service roads, a good birding opportunity, and we might even see a turkey! This is an informal guided walk into the Management Area, normally closed to the public. Saturday, November 29, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Meet at the Bluebird Parking Lot, 197 Pleasant Plains Road, Harding Township.

Some Turkey Trivia

  • Turkeys had vanished from NJ by the early 1900s due to loss of forests and overhunting. They were reintroduced in 1977 and now, thanks to these wildlife conservation efforts, New Jersey is home to more than 20,000 wild turkeys.
  • Turkeys sleep in trees and nest on the ground.
  • They have 5000 to 6000 feathers.
  • Turkeys are fast — they can run up to speeds of 25 miles an hour and their top speed in flight is 55 miles an hour.
  • Turkeys are omnivorous — they eat grass and grain but also consume berries, fruits, insects, and small reptiles.
  • Their average lifespan is 3 to 5 years.
  • A wild turkey’s gobble can be heard up to a mile away.
  • Turkeys have excellent daytime vision — 3 times better than ours — and see in color.

Fall is a great time to enjoy Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Join us on one of our programs — or just visit for a quiet walk outdoors.


Saturday, November 1,
for Youth Deer Hunt

Wednesday, November 5,
through Saturday, November 8,
for regular hunt

See more photos on the
Refuge’s Flickr page.

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.