UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS
Sunday, May 21, 8:15 am
Thursday, June 22, 6:00 pm
Thursday, July 20, 6:00 pm
Thursday, August 24, 6:00 pm
Audubon Society plans Allaire State Park field trip for May 21
(Please note: This trip was rescheduled from May 13 due to expected bad weather.)
What is “warbler neck?”
The answer to this question and many others will be revealed when the Monmouth County Audubon Society hosts their annual field trip to Allaire State Park, Wall Township, on Sunday, May 21.
“At this time of year, bird plumage is at its brightest and songs are loudest,” says Dena Temple, trip leader. “To hear birdsong echoing through the woods is a delight. Anyone interesting in learning how to identify spring migrants by song is in for a real treat. We are never disappointed at Allaire.” She adds, “And yes, you’ll definitely find out what ‘warbler neck’ is.”
While most of a bird’s year is spent trying to be invisible to predators, things change in the spring. The priority for birds in the spring is breeding, and birds have a variety of ways to attract a mate. For one, most birds molt into their beautiful, colorful breeding plumage, to make them more attractive to the opposite sex. In addition, birds sing – loudly and often – in an effort to establish a territory and attract a mate. Once summer is underway, a bird’s priorities shift to nesting and raising young. Their feathers revert to the duller “basic plumage,” and they sing much less.
The migration season brings a great variety of birds through our area, and Allaire State Park is what birders refer to as a “migrant trap,” an oasis of woodland habitat surrounded by suburbs. This acts as a magnet for birds passing through, which are drawn to the plentiful food (mostly insects) and native plant cover. The diversity of the habitat and the rich feeding grounds are especially attractive to wood-warblers. “We may see and hear 15 species of warblers, several species of flycatchers, Scarlet Tanagers, and maybe Rose-breasted Grosbeak,” adds Michael Casper, co-leader and past president of the organization.
Anyone interested in participating in the event can meet at 8:15 a.m. in the main parking lot by the historic village. Follow the Garden State Parkway to Exit 98, then follow the brown signs for Allaire State Park. The walk through the park will end before noon.
The walk will take place light rain or shine. If the weather is doubtful participants can check the organization’s website, www.monmouthaudubon.org, for any last-minute changes.
Spend an evening on Sandy Hook with Monmouth County Audubon Society June 22
Join the Monmouth County Audubon Society for a summer evening bird walk to look for nesters and shorebirds on Sandy Hook. The event will take place on Thursday, June 22, starting at 6:00 pm.
The trip will be led by members of the Monmouth County Audubon Society who are familiar with Sandy Hook and its birds. “The evening is a great time to explore the quieter areas of Sandy Hook,” explains Linda Mack, trip leader and past president of the Monmouth County Audubon Society. “We never know what we will discover on these summer walks – herons, shorebirds, Ospreys and gulls are all regulars – and we may be able to sneak a peek at Piping Plovers, the endangered shorebirds that nest at Sandy Hook.”
Anyone interested in participating in the event can meet at 6:00 pm in the parking lot of the old Sandy Hook Visitor’s Center, just north of Lot E (1.8 miles from the park entrance).
The trip is open to both members and non-members of the Monmouth County Audubon Society, and participation is free. Advance registration is not required. Participants should bring binoculars and field guides and should dress appropriately for the weather, including clothing suitable for rain if the forecast is questionable. Insect repellent also is recommended. The walk will take place light rain or shine. Pets are not permitted.
About our field trips
MCAS field trips are open to both members and non-members of the Monmouth County Audubon Society, and admission is always free. (Some trips occasionally require admission fees to parks, or special fares. These will be noted.) Advance registration is not required. Participants should bring binoculars and field guides and should dress appropriately for the weather, including clothing suitable for rain if the forecast is questionable. Pets are not permitted. Why?
In case of inclement weather...
We try to run our field trips even if there are showers predicted. However, in the event of severe weather that would affect the safety of the group and restrict travel, trips are occasionally postponed or cancelled. The decision on whether or not to hold a field trip will be made by 6:00 pm the night before. In the event of a cancelled or postponed event, we will post a notice on this page as well as our Facebook page. Please check back if there are any questions.
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