A few weeks ago I spent the morning exploring the wildlife drive at Forsythe Wildlife Refuge near Oceanville, New Jersey and was happy to spy this beautiful adult Osprey keeping watch over a fledgling still in the nest. While their numbers have been rebounding lately, this was still a very challenging year for Osprey nesting in South Jersey.
During the early morning hours of June 30th this year, a line of severe thunderstorms sweep through several counties of southern New Jersey. Called a derecho, the storms severely damaged homes, ripped up trees, and tore down power lines with wind gusts that exceeded hurricane strength.
The timing of these storms could not have been worse for nesting Osprey, who were right in the middle of their breeding season. Volunteers from the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey rushed out to find several young Osprey blown from their nests. For a fortunate few, volunteers arrive before they succumbed to exposure or predators. Returned to their nests, many of the young survived and this one appeared nearly ready to take flight on the day of my visit.
Kudos to the Conserve Wildlife volunteers!!