The Gloucester County Nature Club and co-sponsors invite people of all ages to participate in the 2019 Gloucester County Bird Quest. This year Bird Quest will take place on Saturday May 4, 2019 from 7:00am to 12:00 noon throughout Gloucester County.
This is our 20th Anniversary. We want to make this the best Bird Quest ever. We are pleased to announce a NEW LOCATION for our picnic and gathering: Wheelabrator Wildlife Refuge in Westville (off of Rt 130). We hope to reach new families and continue to excite our legacy participants with a wonderful setting for our picnic.
See the enrollment brochure for more info and to register.
During the event, 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 Wheelabrator Wildlife Refuge in Westville to report results and for (free) lunch, t-shirts, 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 2018 located 97 species in 5 hours!!! A tremendous effort when you consider all teams saw a total of 135 species. . All participants were winners 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 Wheelabrator at 12:30pm.
- NEW: Join a bird expert who will bird the grounds of the Wheelabrator Wildlife Refuge from 7:00 am to Noon. Start first thing in the morning or join when you are able. Spend more time birding and less time in the car while you explore the varied habitat with your own expert.
- For some variety join our guided walks 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 Wheelabrator in Westville no later than 12:30pm to be eligible for prizes.
- 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 Wheelabrator at 12:30pm to be eligible for prizes.
- 7:00-9:15: 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.
- 9:30-11:00: West Deptford Nature Trail: From Route 44 in West Deptford take Delaware St which becomes Riverwinds Drive upon entering the Riverwinds Complex. Go approx. 1000 ft, then turn right onto the first dirt road (Nature Trail)
- 11:15-12:15: Wheelabrator Wildlife Refuge in Westville (also the picnic location): From Access from Rt 130 - opposite Hazel Ave in Westville, just south of Big Timber Creek. Turn into the 2nd driveway on your right (just past the Butterfly Garden Parking area) to park for the Pavilion and meeting area.
This year we have developed educational materials including a Quest t-shirt with original artwork featuring Natural Places of Gloucester County with a focus on our local waterfowl (ducks). Participants will learn about early conservation efforts through duck stamps and about the current efforts by Wheelabrator to restore habitat. We would like to take time to discuss the impact Bird Quest has had over the years as well. We look forward to sharing stories from the various years of the event. These materials will have lasting educational value for teachers, students, and the general public. The $15 fee per participant helps to defray the cost of lunch, T-shirts, prizes etc.
For more information, to join a team, or reserve a seat on the bus, contact Brian Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 856.649.8723, 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 use the form included in the Bird Quest 2019 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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