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Third-annual Christmas Chook Depend in Elizabeth, New Jersey


    Elizabeth, New Jersey is residence to skyscrapers, parking tons, and one of many busiest seaports within the jap United States, however could not instantly come to thoughts when pondering of a location for fowl watching as a part of the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Chook Depend. Appearances may be deceiving although, because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, together with the Associates of the Nice Swamp Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, Groundwork Elizabeth, and the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation, efficiently hosted their third-annual Christmas Chook 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 plenty of birds. Elizabeth residents had the chance to see all kinds of fowl species on a cold Saturday through the vacation season with some steering from plenty of skilled birders.

    The occasion began at Mattano Park, the place a juvenile bald eagle was noticed hovering within the wind. “An incredible begin for the depend” exclaimed Randi Emmer, a member of the Associates of Nice Swamp NWR who has participated in all three Christmas Chook 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. Most of the occasion’s contributors had no concept in regards to the variety of species that could possibly be discovered of their neighborhood, corresponding to Groundwork Elizabeth Inexperienced Workforce member Juelz Trinidad who shared that the occasion was “truthfully an amazing expertise and one thing I by no means thought I’d do and revel in right here in Elizabeth.” Fellow Inexperienced Workforce 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 wildlife, it’s all they’ve left.”


    The annual Christmas Chook Depend is a good alternative to coach native residents in regards to the birds of their neighborhood and spotlight the fantastic 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 take care of 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 help of the residents of Elizabeth, who’re studying as we speak in regards to the wonderful array of fowl species that may be discovered proper in their very own neighborhoods.” The Depend was notably fruitful this 12 months, with 28 completely different species of birds noticed, together with a red-headed woodpecker, in keeping with Associates of Nice Swamp NWR member Kathy Woodward. Along with offering fowl identification help through the occasion, the Associates of the Nice Swamp NWR generously gifted Groundwork Elizabeth a number of units of binoculars to make use of of their instructional applications, with the hope that they may encourage the subsequent era of birders.

    For these excited by becoming a member of the subsequent birding occasion as a part of the Elizabeth City Wildlife Refuge Partnership, the Audubon Society’s Nice Yard Chook 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.