If you’ve visited a park in Central Jersey recently, you may have been fortunate enough to witness the flight of an American bald eagle – a sight that was relatively rare until recently. Thanks to PSE&G partners, including Conserve Wildlife Foundation, Mercer County Park Commission, Mercer County Wildlife Center and Wildlife Center Friends, New Jersey residents have more access to our living national symbol of freedom than possible in many decades.
Today is National American Eagle Day. Established in 1995, this day honors our national symbol and the values for which it stands, raises awareness for its protection, promotes species and habitat recovery efforts and encourages educational outreach. PSE&G is proud to participate in conservation and education programs that support the continued recovery of the bald eagle in our state.
In 1982, New Jersey was down to one pair of nesting eagles and there were no American bald eagles in Mercer County. Today, Mercer County is home to four nesting pairs of about 200 nesting pairs in New Jersey, and numerous visiting eagles. In 2018, PSE&G became the proud sponsor of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s Mercer County Eagle Project, along with partners Mercer County Park Commission, Mercer County Wildlife Center and Wildlife Center Friends.
The program includes a bald eagle nest cam in Mercer County Park, photos from which can be accessed through the CWF website, and educational programs for local school children. Though the bald eagles of Mercer County Park ultimately chose a different nearby location to nest in this year, CWF worked closely with the team to offer exciting and significant eagle-based public programming, with plans to revisit the nest cam possibility for the 2020 nesting season.
The PSE&G supported public outreach program included: interpretive eagle sessions near the nesting site by eagle biologists, with signage and handouts; 14 public viewing events of “Eyes on Eagles” that engaged over 700 park visitors; 12 public presentations on bald eagles, raptors, and other Mercer County wildlife; and signs to prevent nest disturbances by the public.
CWF partnered with the Mercer County Wildlife Center to deliver more than 30 free school programs about bald eagles on-site. They also reached more than 750 students at 12 schools in Hamilton, Hopewell, Pennington, Titusville and Trenton.
To learn more about eagle education, or find ways you can support the recovery our national symbol here in New Jersey, visit: http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/education/mercer/.
We are #PSEGProud to support all efforts to protect and restore native habitats and wildlife, especially those of our nation’s emblem.