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: