Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | June 11, 2011

Grassland Birding: Mercer Sod Farm

Saturday morning brought a great opportunity to do some Grassland birding. We headed over to the Mercer Sod Farm in Burlington County (not far from Princeton, NJ.) Within 20 minutes, we found 3 of 4 of our target birds (we never did find Meadowlark.)

Our day list for the Sod Farm yielded 25 birds, with great looks at Dickcissels, Bobolinks and Grasshopper Sparrows:

Grasshopper Sparrows:

 

 


  • Bobolinks:

     

     

    Dickcissels:

     

     

     

     

    About Mercer Sod Farm:    (From Important Bird Areas of New Jersey by Christina A. Frank, published by NJ Audubon)

    The Mercer (Columbus) Sod Farm is located near Columbus in Burlington County. Formerly a working sod farm, the site is now owned by Burlington County and managed by their Resource Conservation Department. The site includes a wooded stream corridor, a deciduous woodlot, and three small ponds. About half of the site is cultivated with soybeans and hay and the remaining fields contain a mix of grasses and forbs.

    The Mercer Sod Farm is important for state-listed grassland birds. Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, over 60 Grasshopper Sparrows, and over 30 Savannah Sparrows have been observed during a single breeding season. The state-threatened American Kestrel also breeds at this site. Late summer and early fall brings migrating grassland species of shorebirds, including Upland Sandpipers, American Golden-Plovers, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper to the Mercer Sod Farm. Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawks, and American Kestrels also winter here.

    Coordinates: N 40.03494 W 74.73833     Area: 3,899 acres      IBgA: No

    Mercer Sod Farm

    All photos original by LAM

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