Mariton: Birding at the Delaware Water Gap

May 24, 2018

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.

Red Eft

On Tuesday, we went to northern New Jersey to a section of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Yes, it was rainy on Tuesday, but I thought the radar showed an opening and I lucked out once again.  I am really glad we gambled and went to this location.   The trails were covered with Red Efts (the terrestrial stage of the Eastern Red-spotted Newt).  We had to watch our steps.  The pinxters (Rhododendron nudiflorum) were blooming everywhere, and we also saw Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens) about to bloom.

Female American Redstart at nest.

Of course this was a bird walk in theory and the forest was alive with the songs of many warblers and other Neo-tropical song birds. American Redstarts were very abundant and we saw this female working on a nest.

Female Eastern Towhee

Also seen with nesting material was a pair of Eastern Towhees. Carole got a great shot of both the male and female.  It is nice to see them side by side to see the differences.

Male Eastern Towhee


Black and White Warbler

This Black and White Warbler declared his territory on a bare snag just feet from where we ate our lunches.

Other species seen were Hooded Warblers, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Prairie Warblers, Common Yellowthroats and Ovenbirds. Yellow-throated Vireos, Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were just a few of the other birds sighted.  We heard, but just couldn’t find the Cerulean Warblers.