Parking passes are required on Saturdays. The Orientation Center and Cafe are open Thursdays – Saturdays. The property is closed to the public on Sundays and Mondays.

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How Restoration Efforts Boost Bald Eagle Nesting Habitat

In very recent history, the collapse of a bald eagle nest would be cause for grave concern. While bald eagles were removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 2007, […]

Written by:

barreladmin

Feb 13, 2024

In very recent history, the collapse of a bald eagle nest would be cause for grave concern. While bald eagles were removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 2007, they remain threatened and endangered in many states, including New Jersey, where the species is state-endangered during the breeding season and state-threatened for the non-breeding season.

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the greatest threats to bald eagles in New Jersey are disruptive human activity in nesting and foraging areas and habitat loss, which is why the work Duke Farms and partners have done and continue to do around habitat restoration and preservation is such a critical element in the successful recovery of this majestic species.  

Duke Farms has enrolled hundreds of acres of undeveloped sections of our property into preservation efforts. Additionally, we have actively worked to improve other areas by restoring natural wetland hydrology, installing vernal pools for wildlife use and water retention, planting and seeding native vegetation and removing invasive plants. Invasive plant species, like Callery pear and European alder, offer little biological value to local native wildlife and often crowd out or outcompete native flora. Adding more native species back to the property, such as American sycamores, white oak, black willow and northern spicebush, helps provide food and shelter to native wildlife.

This work has been a contributing factor to why bald eagle pairs choose to nest at Duke Farms. There is an abundance of the habitat they need to nest, raise and rear their chicks. These restoration efforts have cascading positive effects beyond our beloved bald eagles as well. For example, removing drainage features and planting more perennial vegetation cover creates more floodwater storage opportunities through a reduction in runoff compared with cultivated and developed lands. Planting more native woody species also provides carbon storage and helps hold soil in place. And creating and preserving more diverse, resilient habitat better equips local native wildlife to survive extreme weather conditions.  

Please sign up for the Duke Farms email list to follow along on this journey with us this year. We will send out updates from the nest, let you know when to tune in for life events such as hatching and fledging and connect you with ways to support wildlife conservation and habitat restoration in New Jersey.


Written by:

barreladmin

February 13, 2024