Sam Hilde's Phenology Blog 2016

A UVM blog

Raritan River: Phenological changes, Avian movements, and Woody plants

Having spent many years trekking along the Raritan’s banks it is relatively easy to not the subtle changes in both flora and fauna. I have noted in my previous post about this spot along the raritan that the now Green Acres property was once a garbage dump for the Bedminster municipality. While attempting to avoid shards of glass, old tires, and the occasional beach chair those who hike through this wooded area can find numerous species of birds. In one short hour beside the river I noted the following species:¬†tufted titmouse, grackles, red-breasted nuthatches, black capped chickadees, mourning doves, in addition to both a large pileated and re-bellied woodpecker. The overstory is alive with avian species yet there is far less evidence of larger wildlife among the understory compared to my site on the Winooski. You can note in my photos from the Raritan site that the Subnivean zone was quite active as was the adult red foxed who had burrowed under a fallen log near the river. In addition to the difference in wildlife between the sites, there is far less woody brush along the raritan, the landscape is quite clear with the only exception being invasive japanese barberry, the tatarian honeysuckle, ¬†and knot weed which have made the area their home. Overall, the sites offer very different perspectives on a recovering ecosystem and the phenological interactions.


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