Spring Migration Staffing Season Sunday, March 24 through Sunday, June 9. Wildlife Observation Center.
Endangered Species Day. Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m.-noon. Welcome the head-start turtles home. Outdoors in the pavilion.
Refuge Ramble. Sunday, June 2, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Informal guided walk led by Refuge staff and/or volunteers. Visitor Center.
Nature on Film. Thursday, June 6, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sourlands.. Bring a “green bag” lunch. Drinks & cookies provided. Visitor Center.
Strike Team Work Days. Fridays, June 7 & 21, July 5 & 19, 9 a.m.-noon. A new effort to eradicate emerging invasive plant species before they take hold. Work days on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month. Volunteers needed! Meet at Visitor Center.
Second Sunday with Friends: Deer Management Success at Great Swamp NWR. Sunday, June 9, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Join Refuge Biologist Dorothy Fecske. Visitor Center.
Invasive Species Control Work Days. Thursdays, June 13 & 27, July 11 & 25, 9 a.m.—noon. Help control invasive species on the Refuge. Work days on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. Volunteers Needed! Visitor Center.
Greeters & Guides Volunteer Exchange. Saturday, June 15, 1:30—3 p.m. New learning opportunities for active volunteers. Visitor Center.
Garden Work Day. Sunday, June 16, 9 a.m.-noon. Help weed and plant. No experience necessary. Visitor Center.
Refuge Readers. Friday, June 21, 2-3:30 p.m. Discussion of Moonbird by Phillip Hoose. All are welcome. Visitor Center.
Garden Work Day. Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m.-noon. Join us for a work day in the gardens. No experience necessary; all are welcome. Visitor Center.
Volunteer Orientation. Saturday, July 13, 1:30—2:30 p.m. Interested in volunteering? Come learn more! Visitor Center.
indicates programs suitable for children
Apr - Sep 2013 (pdf, Adobe Reader required).
Meet the Turtles!
Endangered Species Day at
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m.
at the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center
Wood Turtle, photo by Dorothy Smullen
Instead of hibernating this past year, wood turtle hatchlings from Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge spent the winter in Massachusetts being fed and cared for. The goal is to give these tiny hatchlings a “head start” on life. Over the winter the young turtles have grown much larger and, hopefully, better able to survive in the wild. On Saturday, May 25, these head start turtles will be returned to the Refuge and released. Join us to welcome these turtles home and hear more about this exciting and innovative research project, funded by Friends of Great Swamp NWR, which is now in its third year.
The program will be held outdoors in the Richard J. Guadagno Pavilion and will include live hatchling wood turtles, a demonstration of radio telemetry, and a discussion on the ways in which the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service protects threatened and endangered species.
The wood turtle is a NJ State-threatened species and their numbers are in decline due to stream pollution and habitat loss, nest predation by raccoons and other predators, automobiles, and poaching for the pet trade. On May 25, you will also learn how you can help.
Here are some of the sightings reported by visitors at the Wildlife Observation Center from 2005 to 2010. Mark your calendars and come experience the arrival of spring!
April 16 – 30
The songbird migration is picking up: look for Eastern kingbird, or an early black and white warbler. The mallard is already on her nest. More flowers rush to bloom taking advantage of the intensity of spring sun before trees leaf out, creating shade: carpets of the pink-striped spring beauty, star flower, dwarf ginsing, wood anemone.
May 1 – 15
It’s the peak of spring songbird migration — the woods are full of color and sound. Listen for the haunting call of the thrushes. Vireos and brilliantly-colored migrating warblers abound. The tiny ruby-throated hummingbird buzzes past. Spring ephemerals are giving way to showy summer flowers: golden ragwort, the spectacular pinxter azalea, the blue flag iris, the floating yellow spatterdock. All too soon, summer arrives.
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.