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April 2007

March 2007

The Roadkill Prevention Act

   Patrick Scheuer of New Jersey Audubon's Lorrimer Sanctuary in Franklin Lakes advises:

  "Please use a little extra caution while driving over the next couple of weeks.

  "We're at the peak of roadkill season. Local mammals are groggy, hungry, and hormonally charged in early spring. Young of last year are being kicked out of their parents' territory and are forced to find their own turf.

   ..."Some ornithologists claim an expanding highway system (and its associated roadkill) have assisted turkey vultures and black vultures in stretching their ranges northward."

   Given the number of deer in suburbia these days, probably wouldn't hurt to drive a little extra cautiously year-round. :-)

Canada goose control

  Canada_goose_33007_2   If your town or your own backyard has a Canada geese infestation, here's some good news.

  A recent e-mail from the Humane Society of the United States reports:

   "The United States Department of Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is making it easier for landowners to help humanely control Canada goose populations.

  "New federal regulations allow landowners who want to oil goose eggs or remove eggs from nests, to register and report nest numbers when the nesting season is over. 

   "In the past, the federal agency required that permits be obtained prior to handling and removing the eggs."

   The Humane Society suggests that to learn "how to implement an effective and humane geese management and egg addling program in your community," you contact the organization's Maggie Brasted at 301-548-7753 or [email protected].

  New Jersey is accepting the federal registration and does not have any additional requirements.

To register, use this link: Canada-goose control 

Happy trails

  Now that spring is here and the turtles are out sunning themselves again, the Celery Farm Natural Area's paths will be well-traveled again, and that's great. Trail

   The one-mile loop around the lake is a nifty place to go birding, to take a walk, to enjoy those amazing carved snakes Carved_snake-- or to just chill.

  But over the course of the year, it's almost guaranteed that some folks will insist on wandering off the trail, or picking the flowers, or -- heaven forbid -- feeding the Canada geese and mallards.

  Should you come across an errant individual, you might gently remind them that:

  • It's a bad idea to wander off the trail because a person is far more likely to get deer ticks or poison ivy, and because the Celery Farm is a nature refuge with plenty of nesting birds and other critters who could be harmed by a heavy-footed human.
  • It's a bad idea to pick the wildflowers and cattails and other plants because they belong to everyone who visits the Celery Farm. It's a nature refuge, not a pick-your-own nursery.
  • It's a bad idea to feed the Canada geese and ducks for several reasons. In fact, it's against the law in Allendale, and it's bad for the waterfowl. They become reliant on people for food and start acting like they are domesticated -- swimming toward humans when they see them instead of flying away, and hanging around the entire year. 

     The one thing to keep in mind is that this simple code of conduct for the Celery Farm applies just about everywhere where there are trails and woods and people.

    In short, be considerate. :-)

Screech owl drumming (w/audio)

   Ace/Mrs. Ace left the nesting box a little late last evening (around 7:35 p.m.) then promptly returned for a little show.

   The drumming sounds on the Real Audio file here last about 20 seconds. Screech drumming.WMA

   Also got a great side view of a wing as Ace/Mrs. Ace flew off to the side and headed out for the night.Ace_on_wing

  I checked several times on the monitor but did not see the owl again until this morning.