Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rogers Refuge Gets a New Bird Blind

One of Princeton's best kept open secrets is Rogers Refuge, a marsh hidden down the hill from the Institute Woods. Located between the Stony Brook and the deep woods of the Institute, the refuge is a mecca for migratory birds. A gravel road splits it into a lower and upper marsh. Two observation towers look out over the upper marsh, consisting of several acres of cattails and wild rice.

A volunteer group called the Friends of Rogers Refuge (FORR) works with the township and the water company, which owns the property, to care for the marsh and make it accessible. Thanks to a grant from Washington Crossing Audubon Society, FORR just installed a new birdblind (photo from several weeks ago) that looks out across the lower marsh.

You can access it by taking West Drive off of Alexander, just on the Princeton side of the canal, until you reach a fork in the road. Ignore the discouraging "private property" sign and veer left onto the dirt road. Numerous potholes tell you you're headed in the right direction. Though it's private property, the public is welcome. Near the end of the road, before you reach the dome-shaped water company buildings, is a small parking area and a very short path that leads to one of the bird observation towers.

On a recent visit, three pileated woodpeckers flew by. Not sure if they had anything to do with what appears in these photos to be a thorough shredding of tree bark to get at the burrowing insects.

No comments:

Post a Comment