Third-annual Christmas Hen Depend in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Elizabeth, New Jersey is residence to skyscrapers, parking heaps, and one of many busiest seaports within the jap United States, however could not instantly come to thoughts when pondering of a location for chicken watching as a part of the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Hen Depend. Appearances might be deceiving although, because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, together with the Buddies of the Nice Swamp Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, Groundwork Elizabeth, and the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation, efficiently hosted their third-annual Christmas Hen Depend in Elizabeth on December 17, 2022.

The metropolis of Elizabeth, which was designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an official City Wildlife Refuge Partnership Metropolis, has many inexperienced areas that function an oasis for various birds. Elizabeth residents had the chance to see all kinds of chicken species on a cold Saturday throughout the vacation season with some steerage from various skilled birders.

The occasion began at Mattano Park, the place a juvenile bald eagle was noticed hovering within the wind. “A terrific begin for the depend” exclaimed Randi Emmer, a member of the Buddies of Nice Swamp NWR who has participated in all three Christmas Hen Counts in Elizabeth. The group then traveled to Marciante Jackson-Millet Park on the Elizabeth Waterfront the place they noticed quite a lot of waterfowl and ended the occasion on the Phil Rizzuto Outside Nature and Training Middle the place a number of songbirds had been noticed. Lots of the occasion’s members had no thought in regards to the range of species that could possibly be discovered of their group, comparable to Groundwork Elizabeth Inexperienced Group member Juelz Trinidad who shared that the occasion was “truthfully an ideal expertise and one thing I by no means thought I’d do and revel in right here in Elizabeth.” Fellow Inexperienced Group member Chris Palacios agreed, stating that “the quantity of birds in a metropolis setting is nice…it was enjoyable to go to completely different parks in Elizabeth.” Serving to to information the journey by the completely different inexperienced areas in Elizabeth was life-long Elizabeth resident and Neighborhood Have interaction Specialist for the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation Lucy Crespo. A ten-year member of Groundwork Elizabeth earlier than embarking on her new place with the Refuge Affiliation, Crespo shared that “it’s important that we protect these open areas for native natural world, it’s all they’ve left.”


The annual Christmas Hen Depend is a superb alternative to coach native residents in regards to the birds of their group and spotlight the great inexperienced areas in an city setting situated a brief drive from New York Metropolis. All of the companions work with the Metropolis of Elizabeth year-round to keep up the parks by quite a lot of community-led stewardship occasions, together with native flora plantings, trash clean-ups, and invasive flora elimination. Jared Inexperienced of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shared that the Elizabeth City Wildlife Refuge Partnership is a hit “as a result of efforts of our excellent companions and the assist of the residents of Elizabeth, who’re studying immediately in regards to the superb array of chicken species that may be discovered proper in their very own neighborhoods.” The Depend was significantly fruitful this yr, with 28 completely different species of birds noticed, together with a red-headed woodpecker, based on Buddies of Nice Swamp NWR member Kathy Woodward. Along with offering chicken identification help throughout the occasion, the Buddies of the Nice Swamp NWR generously gifted Groundwork Elizabeth a number of units of binoculars to make use of of their academic applications, with the hope that they’ll encourage the following era of birders.

For these all for becoming a member of the following birding occasion as a part of the Elizabeth City Wildlife Refuge Partnership, the Audubon Society’s Nice Yard Hen Depend will happen on Friday February 17th, 2023 on the Peterstown Neighborhood Middle at 11AM.

This text was written by Lucy Crespo, City Neighborhood Engagement Specialist for the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation and Jared Inexperienced of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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