CU Reporter March 2001

Successful Bird House Management Techniques
Guest Speaker Fred Akers

Meeting Wednesday, March 14, 2000 –
Wheaton Village Crafts Building, Millville 7:30 p.m.


Fred Akers will show us how to successfully provide manmade birdhouses for cavity nesting songbirds, including Bluebirds. Fred has been building, maintaining, and monitoring birdhouses for the last 6 years, and he currently manages 76 birdhouses on 5 trails in the Buena area. He is a member of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, The North American Bluebird Society, and a Cooperator with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program. Fred will share his experiences with birdhouse design, mounting, location, and monitoring the birds for this fun and helpful conservation activity. With proper knowledge anyone can successfully help cavity-nesting songbirds.

NJ Herp Atlas Project – Herpetological Surveys
The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program needs volunteers to help with the NJ Herp Atlas Project. Statewide reptiles and amphibians are declining and you can be trained to identify these creatures. The Program will be hosting regional training seminars in the early spring. For more information please call Program staff at (609) 628-2103 or e-mail Volunteers of all ages are welcome; this is a perfect activity for our scout troop leaders.

Raptor Festival Saturday, February 24, 2001 Mauricetown
We participated with the Cumberland County Department of Planning and Development Staff, representatives of conservation and tourism organizations, and members of the State Nongame and Endangered Species Program in the planning and implementation of a Winter Raptor Festival. It was held Saturday, February 24, 2001 at the Mauricetown Firehall. Field trips were staged at various sites along the river and bay environs and presentations were offered on the topics of raptors by such luminaries in the field as Clay and Pat Sutton. Jane Galetto also gave a talk about CU’s osprey program. A wide range of exhibitors were on hand, including rehabilitators with live raptors, and activities for the children.

Application for Birding Guide Grant
CU has applied for funding from the Environmental Endowment for New Jersey, Inc. in order to update the Cumberland County Birding Guide. It was originally written by Clay Sutton for the County Department of Planning and Development in 1993 through a grant from the Delaware Estuary Program. If we are successful we will be updating this important tool and reissuing it with a colored cover, improved maps, and expanded information. Selected recipients of the grant are announced on Earth Day.

Osprey Volunteers Are Very Busy

Boy scouts constructing osprey nesting box
Boy scouts constructing osprey nesting box

We had a super turn out of boy scouts and scout leaders on Sunday, February 18 for constructing osprey platforms. A special thank you to Larry Merighi for bringing the lion’s share of volunteers. There were about 20 participants in all. A total of 6 new platforms were completed. One structure is going to a school group in the Trenton area and another is being used at a Natural Lands Trust Preserve. At least two platforms are intended for the Maurice River. As of press time volunteers are planning to erect some of the structures on February 25 as well as doing March maintenance.

Website Updates
We continue to add information to our website. As the boating season approaches don’t forget you can get your tidal information through a link on our page “About the Maurice River.” We also have added a graph covering the productivity of our Osprey Colony Project. The web address is

E-mail Addresses
We still don’t have many members’ e-mail addresses. Your e-mail address enables us to give you more timely updates. Send your e-mail to; please put your name in the subject line so it is not mistaken for junk mail.

November Sunrise on Maurice River
November Sunrise on Maurice River

A Remembrance
Our President received this poem from longtime member Kathryn Stachejko memorializing her son’s life. This past May, Boris died suddenly of a heart attack at the young age of 40. The Maurice River was an important part of his life. Kathryn describes Boris as having had a special relationship with the River. Painstakingly he cleaned its banks and was appalled when the river was abused. He passed away looking at the river. Kathryn has been kind enough to grant us permission to share her reflections with the membership.

Echo on the Maurice River
I sit on the land of ancient drums
In the distance, I still hear the sound.
My feet stand on the ground you walked
My soul reflects your thoughts.
It was on this site on river’s edge
You held a child to your breast.
It was on this familiar spot
He laid down to rest.

Kathryn’s thoughtful donation will help us to carry on her son’s work on the Maurice. We are most appreciative.

Dates of upcoming meetings are as follows;
Wednesday, May 9, 2001
Wednesday, July 11, 2001
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

All meetings will be held in the Crafts Building at Wheaton Village at 7:30 p.m.