The Nature Conservancy’s Kay Center is a great place to observe birds, plants and (very soon) butterflies.
By Dr. Barbara Brummer on May 15, 2017
The New Jersey Field Office for The Nature Conservancy at the Kay Environmental Center in Chester is a great place to observe nature any time of year, but May is especially inviting. Warblers are warbling (and migrating), Eastern Bluebirds are nesting, and plants are in bloom all over.
Small wonder that last week’s free nature walk at the the 233-acre Elizabeth D. Kay Center drew 20 participants on a Thursday morning. A walk along the center’s scenic paths through fields and woodlands on a sunny spring morning is always invigorating, and see and hear local nature up-close is always enlightening.
Some highlights: Although we saw or heard nearly 30 species on the walk, sightings of a few individual birds were particularly memorable: Baltimore Orioles nesting by the parking lot, a Scarlet Tanager as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel, and a male Eastern Bluebird with a caterpillar in his mouth, perched atop his nesting box for all the world to see.
We also saw all kinds of nifty plants and trees springing into the season, from a stem of a hickory (Carya) tree just “leafing out” to a Celandine (Cheldonium majus) in full bloom.
- You can see the full list of plants and birds here.
- You can read Liz Parker’s article about the walk, published in The Chester Observer-Tribune. (You’ll learn all about warbler calls, too.) Liz is a Nature Conservancy Council member and co-publisher and executive editor of New Jersey Hills Media Group, and she knows her stuff.
To everyone who participated, thanks for joining me. To those who missed out, I hope to see you next time!
Photos © Jim Wright
Eastern Bluebird with brunch.
American Goldfinch, our state bird.
The participants check out some of the local flora.
A hickory (Carya) tree just “leafing out”
A Celandine (Cheldonium majus) in full bloom.
Dr. Barbara Brummer is the state director for The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey.
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