Upcoming Events

Lets go outside paw print

Second Sunday with Friends: Urban Park Restoration. Sunday, February 8, 1:30-3 p.m. We are so fortunate to welcome back FDU Professor Brian Olechnowski to give us an update on his studies of bird population trends in urban park restoration projects. Visitor Center.

Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). February 13-15, Friday, noon—4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.—4 p.m.. You can be a Citizen Scientist! Join us for a census of winter birds at our feeders and report results to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Make a suet feeder. Continue the count on a guided walk outdoors. Learn the names of common feeder birds with our Bird Bingo! Bird watchers of all ages and skills are welcome. Visitor Center.

Refuge Readers. Friday, February 20, 2-3:30 p.m. Discussion of Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester. Copies are available for loan at the Visitor Center. New members always welcome. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

Refuge Ramble. Sunday, March 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Join us as Refuge Rambles resume. We’ll check out signs of Spring on this informal, interpretive walk. Dress warmly. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

Second Sunday with Friends: Owls of New Jersey. Sunday, March 8, 1:30-3 p.m. Join naturalist Dorothy Smullen to learn about the different species of owls that live year-round or migrate through New Jersey. Indoor program. Visitor Center.

Great Swamp Owl Walk. Sunday, March 8, 5:30—7:30 p.m.. Join us for a guided owl walk to listen for mating owl calls. Registration is required: please all 973-425-9510. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

Two nights!
Spring Woodcock Walks. Sundays, March 8 & 15, 6:30 p.m.—dusk. Watch and listen to the elaborate mating displays of the American woodcock. Half-hour indoor program followed by a guided walk on Pleasant Plains Road. Dress warmly. Leader: Pete Axelrod. Visitor Center.

Lets go outside paw print

indicates programs suitable for children

Download the Event Calendar:
Get Adobe Reader January- June 2015 (pdf, Adobe Reader required).


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Great Backyard Bird Count
Be a Citizen Scientist for a Day!
February 13 – February 15
Helen C Fenske Visitor Center

Great Backyard Bird Count 2015 flyer

Join us for three days of birding fun and help collect data which is vital for bird research studies.

  • Can’t tell a blue jay from a cardinal? Join us and you’ll learn how to identify at least a dozen different birds. Guaranteed!
  • Help us count and compile a daily tally of all species seen at our bird feeders. It’s a challenge!
  • Join us for one 15-minute count, or stay all day!.
  • Bird Walks: Join one of the daily one-hour guided bird walks
    • Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Just for kids
    • Make a suet bird feeder to take home
    • Enjoy bird crafts, bird puzzles and bird games
    • Play bird bingo — with prizes!
    • Get started on your Junior Refuge Manager badge by completing the bird activity page.
  • For the experts — we need you too! Help with those tough-to-identify species, count and tally, assist with online reporting. Share your knowledge.

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Calling Young Artists
Enter the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest!

Stop by the Visitor Center
for Ideas and Inspiration

Young artists in grades K to 12 are invited to participate in the annual New Jersey Junior Duck Stamp contest. Designs can feature native ducks, swans, or geese in their natural habitat. All students who enter will receive a certificate and their artwork will be eligible for ribbons and awards. What a great way to combine a love of nature and a love of art!

Junior Duck Stamp

Find Out More: Come to the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center. Volunteers and Refuge staff will be on hand to answer questions. We have a wealth of information to help with your artwork: waterfowl reference books, duck mounts and decoys, duck stamps, and photos of Great Swamp waterfowl in their natural habitats. Download our Flyer, the Entry Form, Summary of technical requirements and eligible species list, and the Reference Form from our website.

Deadline is March 1, 2015. Entries must be postmarked by March 1, 2015, and addressed to: Great Swamp NWR, 241 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Entries may be delivered, by March 1, to the Visitor Center during visitor center hours: Thursdays and Fridays, noon – 4 p.m.; weekends, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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See more photos on the
Refuge’s Flickr page.

Click on the Great Swamp NWR link in the top right corner below to go to the eBird website. There you can look at the data in more detail.