Lots of winter animals can be spotted in NJ

Some hibernate in the winter, others fly south, but New Jersey still has a lot to see.

Bald eagles are busy laying and hatching eggs, said Emile DeVito, director of science and management for the New Jersey Foundation for Conservation. If not, it will be by mid-January, he added.

They react faster to changes in daylight by advancing their mating season. The bald eagle is one of the first birds to nest and lay eggs.

“In 1980 we had one bald eagle pair, but now we have about 300 pairs. says Mr.

By the end of January they are all sitting on eggs.


jtstewart photo, ThinkStock

Another New Jersey winter animal is the great horned owl. According to DeVito, they spawn in his late January to early February and hatch in March.

One of the most interesting things to see in winter in New Jersey is tiger salamander mating. This is an endangered species in New Jersey, DeVito said.

However, in breeding ponds, it breeds in early winter, depending on the weather and rain. He said December, January or he could breed in February as well.

“Sometimes they breed under the ice. We have ice-covered ponds and you can see salamanders breeding under the ice,” he said.

He explained that most species of salamanders do not breed in winter, but tiger salamanders do.

Snowy owls can be seen in New Jersey in the winter. They sometimes come in large numbers in winter. Island Beach State Park and Sandy he can be seen along the shores of Hook or in large open areas such as airports.

There are also various northern birds that occasionally appear in New Jersey in the winter if pushed far enough south by food and weather conditions.

Mike Blunt – Townsquare Media

Mike Blunt – Townsquare Media

Few animals in New Jersey hibernate like bears, DeVito said. Snakes and turtles undergo a period of dormancy for reptiles, bloommanation. During the contusion, their bodies shut down to conserve energy.

What’s interesting, says DeVito, is that when the Garden State continues to have warm January days, the snakes will come right out of their burrows to warm themselves in the sun, allowing bacteria that may be present. is to repel the

He said he wouldn’t expect the snake to move around. They stay near their burrows in winter to catch the rays and return to their burrows as soon as the temperature drops again.

Kristen Meistrel, New Jersey Audubon

Kristen Meistrel, New Jersey Audubon

Ducks that breed in the northern and central parts of the United States and Canada like to migrate to New Jersey for the winter.

“This time of year is a great time to look for ducks, as they are home to all kinds of beautiful species, including ducks, geese and swans. , spend the winter on the lake,” DeVito said.

Of course, New Jerseyans can see seals, whales and seabirds offshore. But the ducks are at Barnegat He Wright State Park, Sandy He Hook, or any other beach, so it’s much easier to see, he said. Look offshore or in the bay. He said there are many wonderful species in New Jersey that don’t breed. They only visit here in the winter.

DeVito said there is a lot of nature to enjoy in winter. However, he warns people to stay away from these animals. He knows everyone wants to get up close to take pictures. But if you disturb animals, especially birds, they tend to fly away.

When they fly they consume a lot of energy. Keeping moving and finding new places to nest, eat and keep warm is taxing them. They should not be forced to behave differently.

So admire them from afar and appreciate their beauty.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com.

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