Working in conservation for close to 10 years I’ve gained an eye for wildlife. What I soon noticed, in our town of Mendham, was just how much wildlife we had living with us. Not just the usual hawk, blue jay and/or squirrel but animals listed as threatened or endangered in New Jersey. In fact, Mendham has species of wildlife making a home in town that have never been documented before in New Jersey.
I took to the camera to begin documenting all the sensitive wildlife I could find in town and began to share those photos with residents on the community social pages with information on why those species are here and the importance of protecting them. What began as a small educational post has turned into regular wildlife posts keeping the town informed. The momentum has grown with the continued support of Mendham residents and organizations like MAPC.
Common Yellowthroat Warbler
Scott’s Farm – Mendham Borough
A very pretty warbler that arrives in town in Spring and may stay through to the Fall before leaving for warmer temps down south. As warblers go these guys are pretty easy to get a photo of - they stand still for nearly a second vs a split second from other warblers.
Red-shouldered Hawk (chick)
Site is confidential due to sensitivity of the species
Red-shouldered Hawks are listed as endangered in NJ mostly due to habitat loss caused by development. These raptors require wooded wetlands to breed and thrive. This chick is one of 4 this year and is in a 4th year nest. To date there have been 11 offspring.
The barred owl is listed as 'Threatened' in New Jersey due to encroaching development. Our town has a number of barred owl families that have been here for generations.
Mendham is a sanctuary to them with our wooded wetlands and old growth trees. If this habitat is disturbed these owls will move on, however, it is not as simple as just finding a new tree to make a home in because there are fewer undisturbed areas for them to go to in NJ.
The Mudhole or Mountain Valley Park
A common bird often seen in large lakes or inlets and not small town ponds. However, this one called the mudhole its home for a number of weeks They are not ducks nor herons but related to cranes.
Along Mt Paul Rd
These warblers are fairly common around town especially in the wetland areas which harbor small insects that they feed on. Some may stay in town through Fall nesting over the summer.