B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is made up of over
43,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal land (see
PDF map). Here, habitats are actively protected and managed
for migratory birds as administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service. The Refuge's location is in one of the Atlantic Flyway's
most active flight paths for migratory birds.
Most of Forsythe Refuge
is tidal salt marsh with shallow coves and bays that provide an
important resting and feeding habitat for water birds. The quiet
tidal waters serve as nurseries, spawning and feeding grounds
for fish and shellfish, important in the diets of many wildlife
species. An assortment of marsh vegetation also provides important
food and cover for wildlife.
The Brigantine division
offers an 8-mile loop road (see
PDF map), and two foot trails where you'll have excellent
wildlife viewing and photo opportunities. It also has 1,415 acres
of fresh and brackish-water marsh habitat for wildlife, to attract
and support a wider variety of wildlife than the salt marsh alone.
An Information Office and Auditorium are in the Refuge headquarters
building, open weekdays 8:00PM to 4:00PM.
The one-way loop road
is of dirt, and the speed limit is 15 MPH, although most vehicles
go even slower. There is ample space for stopping to observe and/or
take photos. Hikers and bikers also traverse the road, though
when the greenheads (biting flies) are out, it might be more judicious
to stay in the car! Many, many species of birds, from songbirds
to eagles, can be found here at different seasons.
Here are some photos
from an early September visit:
View from the parking area, with
observation platform in the background
In an almost surrealistic panorama,
the Atlantic City skyline looms in the distance.
A young Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax
carbo) takes in the warm afternoon sun.
A Great Egret
A pair of Sandwich Terns (Sterna
Sandvicensis) looking for dinner.
The shallow mudflats provide a cornocopia
of food for migrating birds of all sizes!
Two herons out for a snack.
Besides the birds, the flora of
the area is stunning!
The James F. Akers Woodland Trail
is great for siting songbirds.
Isaac G. Hound eagerly awaits a
hike through the woodland trail!
This lovely little Atlantic Puffin
enjoys a shrimp snack.
Ok, so this wasn't taken at Forsythe!
One of PineyPower's readers, Ralph Knutsen of Pine Beach NJ,
took these photos while visiting Machias Seal Island in Maine.
Ralph was kind enough to allow me to share it with you. Thanks,
For more information on Forsythe National
Wildlife Refuge, visit the following links:
Fish and Wildlife Service
| The Pine Barrens
is becoming a popular tourist destination. It offers history, nature, boating,
camping, fishing, swimming, and most of all, peace and tranquility. It's
important to families who live here, whether for a few years or many generations,
that our peace and tranquility be preserved.A local lawyer or doctor won't
look any different than his neighbor who works the land. Thousand dollar
suits aren't what impress people of the Pines - taking care of nature and
fellow man is what matters. To that end, it is important for you to know
that as a visitor to our precious Pine Barrens, you should show respect
for the flora and fauna, for the historical buildings or their remains,
and show respect for the "locals". Walk and drive gently. Treat
our Pine Barrens as you would want a visitor to treat your own home town
- and your own family. Thank you.
P.O. Box 307, Barnegat NJ 08005
Member, Barnegat Chamber of Commerce
otherwise noted, all articles and photographs on this site are the property
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