The Gloucester County Nature Club and co-sponsors invite people of all ages to participate in the 2017 (18th annual) Gloucester County Bird Quest. This year Bird Quest will take place on Saturday May 6, 2017 from 7:00am to 12:00 noon throughout Gloucester County.
We are pleased to return to Scotland Run Park (Wilson Lake) in Clayton for our picnic and gathering. We hope to reach new families and continue to excite our legacy participants with a wonderful setting for our picnic. Scotland Run Park is located at 980 West Academy St., Clayton, NJ 08312 (directions below).
During this time, teams visit parks and natural sites in Gloucester County to find as many different bird species as they can. The Quest is:
The Quest is an educational event: novices are encouraged to participate.
- A way to discover Gloucester County’s parks and natural areas
- A way to discover the unique birds that live in and through our county
- An opportunity to learn how to identify birds by sight, sound, behavior, and habitat
- An opportunity to have fun with family, friends, and colleagues
- A light-hearted competition
How it works: Teams have 5 hours on Saturday (7am to noon) to visit sites in Gloucester County. Birds are identified by sight or sound. The goal is to find as many different species of birds as possible. At noon, all participants gather at Scotland Run Park in Clayton to report results and for (free) lunch, t-shirts, live bird show, owl interpretive center, and prizes. You can participate in one of the following ways:
Last year’s Gloucester County Bird Quest attracted participants from across the county organized in teams representing schools, scout troops, environmental commissions, families and friends. Each year the Club holds pre-Quest field and classroom trainings, attracting 15-30 persons each, in which local experts help new birders learn to identify birds by sight, sound, behavior, and habitat. The winning team in 2016 located 109 species in 5 hours!!! A tremendous effort when you consider all teams saw a total of 151 species but everyone was a winner because of how much they learned about birds and the natural areas of Gloucester County through this fun, educational event.
- Form a team, plan your route (locations you will visit) for the day of the event and record all the bird species you see within Gloucester County. Hand in your results at Scotland Run by 12:30pm to be eligible for prizes.
- Join one of the buses lead by a bird expert. These buses will visit a few locations in the County where bird experts will help you to identify the many bird species. The buses will meet back at Scotland Run Park at 12:30pm.
- Join one of three guided walks, each lasting between an hour and an hour and a half, in various natural places in Gloucester County lead by a bird expert who will help you identify the bird species present. These walks will be paced and placed so you can participate in all of the walks or just one or two while you spend the rest of the time birding on your own. Hand in your results at Scotland Run Park at 12:30pm to be eligible for prizes.
- 7:00-8:45: Tall Pines Preserve (Maple Ridge): From the intersection of Rt 553 (Woodbury-Glassboro Rd) and Mantua Ave in Wenonah (and Holy Nativity Lutheran Church), travel .75 mile south on Rt 553 to the intersection with Bark Bridge Rd. Turn right onto Bark Bridge Rd then in 200ft turn left into the parking lot meet there. There are no bathrooms at Tall Pines.
- 9:30-11:15: Glassboro Wildlife Management Area: Meet at Carpenter Ave in Clayton. From the Intersection of 322 and Route 47 (Delsea Drive), take RT 47 South into Clayton. Make a left onto Carpenter Ave – about 1.6 miles south of Route 322. Meet in the parking / turn around area where the road turns to dirt.
- 11:30-12:30: Scotland Run Park (also the picnic location): From Route 55 take exit 45 and proceed North on Route 553/ Buck Road. After 1.2 miles turn Right on CR 610/ Clayton-Aura Road. Continue on CR 610 for 3.8 miles. After the traffic light at Fries Mill Road, turn Left into the parking lot for Scotland Run Park. You will meet in the bluebird field adjacent to the parking lot.
This year we have developed educational materials including a Quest t-shirt with original artwork featuring a blue jay in an oak tree holding an acorn which we are using to discuss the old connection between Jays and oaks, birds and forests. Participants will learn about the importance of forests for some bird populations and the many unseen aspects of a forest that help birds thrive. These materials will have lasting educational value for teachers, students, and the general public. Live birds, including owls, will be at the park. The $15 fee per participant helps to defray the cost of lunch, T-shirts, prizes etc.
More information and registration forms will be posted to the Gloucester County Nature Club’s website at www.gcnatureclub.org. For more information, join a team or reserve a seat on the bus, contact Brian Hayes at email@example.com or 856.649.8723 (note new email address and phone number). Participants are encouraged to attend any of a series of free field trainings in the evenings, mornings and weekends before the Quest.
You say you don't know one bird from another? The Gloucester County Nature Club offers a series of training sessions leading up to the event itself to teach you everything from the basics of bird watching to gardening for nature. These trainings are worthwhile even if you already know how to identify birds. They can help you discover the natural places of Gloucester County as well. During the trainings you will visit some of the many local places where you can enjoy nature anytime of the year. These locations are perfect for photography of animals and plants of Gloucester County.
Want to sign up for Bird Quest? Click on the link to Download the Registration form, or use the form included in the Bird Quest 2017 Flyer. Send in the completed form with your check (made out to The Gloucester County Nature Club) to GCNC, ATTN: Brian Hayes, P.O. Box 563, Sewell, NJ 08080.
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