This snapping turtle is not going to win any beauty contests. This is a face only a mother could love. This turtle is also due to become a new mother because its come out of the marsh to lay its eggs like many others around the estate. Turtles have to lay their eggs en mass due to the number of predators who subsequently consume them. Only a small percentage survive the egg stage, so the more eggs the better. You’ll see all kinds of turtles around the estate this time of year – Northern Diamondback Terrapins, Eastern Box Turtles, Snapping Turtles, Spotted Turtles, Painted Turtles, and more. Harvesting of turtles during this time is strictly prohibited.
The Ospreys are out in force this year at Eagle Manor. In some places there are more Ospreys than sea gulls. They seem very interested in our pond now that it’s stocked with fish.
There are several nests in the grounds surrounding the manner with large chicks still inside. I snapped pictures of the adults guarding the nest and chicks inside. These birds of summer will begin the journey back to their South American wintering ground in August, so we need to enjoy them while they are still here.
I was working in the mansion house above Eagle Manor and I heard Bald Eagle vocalization outside in the tree above. I grabbed my camera and ran out and I was able to capture this slightly shaky video of an immature bald eagle preening. Little did I know there were two more eagles in the tree, another immature and an adult. When I moved in for a closer shot they all three flew away. No worries though, they’ll be back tomorrow. We just stocked the fishing pond and that has the eagles and ospreys very interested.
Eagle Manor is the last home on Back Neck Rd. in Fairfield Township, NJ. Past Eagle Manor, the Back Neck Rd. proceeds into the wilderness of Dix Wildlife Management Area and eventually turns into a dirt road best navigated on foot or by jeep. Those who venture further are handsomely rewarded with raptor views unparalleled anywhere else in New Jersey. On this day we caught an immature bald eagle perched high in a dead tree. The close up pictures are a little grainy due to the distance.
We were out performing some aerial photography with our video drone about a quarter mile south of the Manor house today and we had a little visit from a young Bald Eagle. At first I thought it was a red-tailed hawk, but the plumage didn’t match. Immature Bald Eagles are easy to confuse with other raptors. Check out our video page for more videos.
This year’s brood of guinea fowl keets have arrived and are growing steadily in their brooding box. They’ll be in the brooding box for a month before we let them loose on the the grounds. These guinea fowl are ornamental but they also help to keep the pests down, especially ticks, which is always a plus.
Here’s a quick video of our cute little peepers. Notice when one gets separated it freezes and puts out a little distress call before jumping back to the brood.
The adult guinea fowl will mix with the peacocks as ornamentation for the grounds at Eagle Manor.
It’s that time again. The turtles are coming out of the creeks and swamps to lay their eggs. If you get lucky you might even see a Diamondback Terrapin which is a species of special concern.