Nesting Structure Articles

Osprey: A Treasure of the Chesapeake

Ospreys, Pandion haliaetus, are large birds that have brown backs, white bellies and distinctive brown stripes through their mostly white heads. They usually reach a length of 21 to 24 inches and have a wingspan of approximately five feet. Ospreys are also known as fish hawks because they feed almost exclusively on live fish. Due to their tolerance of human activity and their adaptability to artificial nesting structures in close association with waterfront residences, Ospreys have become a treasure of the Chesapeake. The Ospreys’ diet consists almost entirely of medium-sized fish, which are captured just beneath the surface by plunging feet-first from flight into the water. They rise into the air by swinging their wings high over their back. Ospreys are basically opportunists, feeding on…
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Phragmites Control in Maryland

Phragmites Control Controlling invasive, noxious weeds in wetlands Phragmites (Phragmites australis) continues to invade the Eastern Shore and other parts of Maryland at an alarming rate. Not only does it grow so tall that it blocks the shoreline view, more importantly, it grows so thick it can destroy a wetland=s fragile ecosystem by choking out the beneficial and native wetland plants, becoming a monoculture with practically no wildlife habitat value. CWH initiated its Phragmites Control Program to slow the rapid spread of this invasive wetland plant and restore diverse wetland ecosystems. A five-year research study by CWH documented that once a pure stand of phragmites was eliminated, 65 beneficial species of plants emerged from the existing wetland seedbed. In the fall of 2014, CWH sprayed…
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Early Successional Articles

Vegetation Studies in Power-line Rights-of-way (ROWs)

Vegetation Studies in Power-line Rights-of-way (ROWs) Managing for wildlife while maintaining a safe, reliable, national electric utility power supply In the United States there are between 8 and 10 million acres of utility ROW, comprising potential unique wildlife habitat opportunities in property that is owned or accessed by electric, oil and gas companies. Recognizing the potential for this unique habitat within power line rights-of-way (ROW), in 1994 Conectiv Power Delivery (CPD) and Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage (CWH) formed a 15-year partnership in various research projects in Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. From that liaison, in 2007 CWH evolved a partnership with Integrated Vegetation Management Partners (IVMP), a newly create NPO, formed by Rick Johnstone, former forester for CPD. Our research efforts have concentrated on utility company…
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News and Articles

Four Hundred Loons

Four Hundred Loons by Paul Randolph Spitzer, PhD (November 5, 2014) November brings migratory waterfowl from the North Country to the Bay.  Among these are the loons, well-named in the UK as Great Northern Divers.  They are the size of a goose, and are very partial to the Bay’s annual crop of “peanut” menhaden—nurtured on plankton in countless creeks over the warm summer. These fish are now about 5 inches long, and already they form dense schools.  Soon they will migrate from the Bay to warmer ocean waters, some swimming as far south as the Carolinas.  The newly-arrived loons practice an “intercept fishery” on the peanuts, forming noisy cooperative flocks in the lower reaches of some Bay tributaries.  They form a live fishing net, most…
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Agriculture Articles

CWH-Owned Nutriplacer

CWH continues to assist the farming community reduce pollution and decrease fertilizer input through the use of the CWH-owned nutriplacer. This equipment places liquid fertilizers, principally nitrogen and phosphorus, about four inches below ground. The subsurface placement reduces nutrient surface runoff and increases the uptake by crops. Update on CWH Partnership to Benefit Farms and the Bay by Ned Gerber, Director/Wildlife Habitat Ecologist Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage continues to assist the farming community by providing a technology relatively new to the Mid-shore region that can reduce nutrient pollution and decrease fertilizer inputs. The equipment places liquid fertilizers, principally nitrogen and phosphorus, about four inches below ground. This subsurface placement reduces nutrient surface runoff and increases the uptake by crops. Currently, most fertilizer not run through the…
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