Welcome to the Friends of Great Swamp NWR Website
Our independent, non-profit organization is committed to protecting and supporting Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The 8,000 acre Refuge, located in Morris County, New Jersey, provides excellent recreational opportunities for visitors as well as protecting valuable habitat for wildlife. Look here for upcoming events, things to do, and ways you can help.
Recent Bird Sightings
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.
Ruby throated hummingbirds are beautiful, feisty, precision-flying machines that bring joy to thousands of people in New Jersey. They are the only species of hummingbird in the eastern part of North America and spend the spring and summer here nesting. In the fall they make the long journey to Central America for the winter. Most fly across the Gulf of Mexico in an arduous, 500 mile, life or death flight.
The Ruby Throat’s control of flight is amazing. They can hover, fly backwards, and for short periods of time, fly upside down. They are also very territorial of their feeding areas and will chase off other hummingbirds. During the mating display, which is a “U” shape pattern, males can reach speeds of over 60 miles per hour. All this make watching hummingbirds a fascinating pursuit.
Ruby Throats eat insects for protein, including mosquitoes, gnats, and fruit flies. For energy they drink nectar from tubular flowers. You can attract hummingbirds to your home by setting up hummingbird feeders. These contain “nectar” made from 4 parts water and 1 part white granulated sugar. You can also plant flowers such as the native coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) or Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). Hummingbirds are also attracted to hanging baskets of fuchsia or lantana.For additional info on Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a good website is: rubythroat.org.