Habitat Management

Managing restored habitat to insure it remains beneficial to wildlife Once wildlife habitat has been constructed, a great deal of effort must be expended to keep it functioning properly for the species of concern. This is particularly true in the case of meadows as they all want to grow up to be forests one day! It seems that newly created wetlands are very susceptible to being colonized by phragmites, as well. A variety of techniques are regularly used by CWH staff to keep meadows, wetlands and scrub-shrub areas in an early successional state. These include: spot spraying, discing, controlled burning, hand cutting, frilling, frost seeding, delayed drawdown, and carefully timed dormant-season mowing (December-March). We take special precautions to protect nesting and brooding wildlife during the…
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Nesting Structures

 Why Landlords Should Conduct Weekly Nest Checks Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage installs a variety of wildlife nesting structures for Wood Ducks, Ospreys, bluebirds, Screech Owls, Barred Owls, Prothonotary Warblers, Great Crested Flycatchers, and Flying Squirrels.    CWH will only install nesting structures on your property if it has the appropriate habitat.  We also strongly encourage that nesting structures are monitored so non-native species do not use them. Please see more information about CWH NEST WATCH. If you would like to view a picture of a box, click on the name of the box.   Wood Duck Box Installed on post w/ predator guard** Call For Pricing Bluebird Box   Installed on post w/ predator guard** Call For Pricing Sparrow trap for bluebird box Call For Pricing Osprey Platform   Installed on…
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Wildlife Nesting Structures

Supplementing natural nesting sites with alternatives The Nesting Structures program installs artificial nesting boxes and platforms for wildlife species whose natural habitats have disappeared due to development and deforestation. For a reasonable fee, CWH installs nesting structures for Eastern Bluebirds,  Purple Martins, Prothonotary Warblers, Wood Ducks, Great-crested Flycatchers, Flying Squirrels, Owls and Ospreys in suitable habitat. These are protected against predators with an appropriate “predator guard.” In 2008, thousands of manmade nesting structures were monitored or placed around the Bay area for citizens interested in encouraging wildlife on their property. CWH has installed more than 8,400 “woodie” boxes in good brood rearing habitat on freshwater marshes, creeks and rivers around the Chesapeake Bay. CWH's main focus these days is not on increasing the number of boxes,…
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Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach Sharing information with landowners on how to become better stewards of the Bay in their own backyard Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage=s Education and Outreach Program provides landowners, businesses, schools, civic and community groups, and other interested groups with information about the variety of local wildlife and wildlife habitat in the region. Most of the education that is provided by CWH occurs one-to-one during a site visit to a landowner=s property. During these visits, a wildlife specialist can discuss with the landowner the many possibilities of suitable habitat improvements for a specific site. Once the interests of the landowner are determined and the property is surveyed, a management plan is developed and CWH works with the landowner to implement the plan. We also work with…
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Habitat Services

Landowner Services

Working with landowners to protect habitat restored by CWH CWH restored wetland protected by easement on Chic farm   Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage’s Landowner Services Program employs tax-advantaged financing and estate planning to find innovative ways to permanently save land for wildlife habitat. We complete this work in partnership with private landowners. CWH’s conservation easements are designed to permanently protect wildlife habitat. Over the years, CWH has protected 2,666 acres of habitat for wildlife. This habitat includes warm-season grass meadows, riparian buffers along tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, mature woodlands and wetlands. We have permanently protected habitat in Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Kent, Dorchester and Prince George’s counties in Maryland. The Landowner Services Program continues to provide advice and services to other landowners and community groups that…
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Sustainable Agriculture

Reducing farm inputs, such as fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, while maintaining farm profitability and bountiful wildlife populations. The main objective of CWH’s Sustainable Agriculture programis to demonstrate the compatibility of profitable farming bordered by appropriately-sized, enduring natural ecosystems. The program's ultimate goal in row crop production is organic no-till. Specifically, the program involves the elimination of farming practices that are known to have a harmful effect upon the environment (, soil erosion, nutrient pollution, insecticides, residual herbicides, and carbon release) and the implementation of wildlife-friendly and agronomically-benign practices. These would include crop rotations, integrated pest management (IPM), managed buffer strips, soft edges and hedgerows, for example. It is much easier and less costly to reduce the application rate, or eliminate the use, of a pesticide than…
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Chesapeake Care

Restoring habitat for wildlife and improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed   Pickering Creek Wetland In 2013, CWH installed 241 acres of native grass meadows and restored 52 acres of non-tidal wetlands. Waterfowl are an important component of our wildlife heritage and wetland science owes a debt of gratitude to these migratory birds and the interest their preservation sparked in restoring wetland habitat many years ago. The majority of the region’s non-tidal wetlands host species other than waterfowl, such as: quail, numerous amphibians, dragonflies, turkeys, warblers, and endangered Delmarva fox squirrels. Unfortunately, according to the Geological Survey, wetlands have decreased in Maryland by over 70% in the past 350 years. CWH’s Chesapeake Care Program works with landowners on their property to restore some of these lost wetlands. All…
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Backyard Habitat

Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage’s Backyard Habitat program focuses on properties with limited space.  From well maintained nesting structures to butterfly gardens, there are many habitat projects available that will attract a diversity of wildlife to any landscape.  Using native plants is a big part of attracting native song birds and other wildlife.  Native plants are adapted to the Eastern Shore weather, insects and other local growing conditions.  They require less chemical input (which is good for the Bay) while offering a more natural setting for our native wildlife. The following list contains native shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants that will attract native wildlife including songbirds and beneficial insects to your backyard. Redbud, Cercis canadensis - Small, shrub-like tree only growing to about 10 meters. Flowers in…
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Phragmites Control

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 2016, CWH sprayed…
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