Beavers at the Refuge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
1/ 10
American grass spider, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Autumn meadowhawk dragonfly, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
3/ 10
Bald eagle on main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
4/ 10
Black rat snakes mating, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
5/ 10
Black vulture on Headquarters roof, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
6/ 10
Blue toadflax, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
7/ 10
White-tailed deer in main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
8/ 10
Swallows over main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Spicebush swallowtail butterflies, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
10/ 10
Green-winged teal male, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is a protected natural habitat comprising 767 acres of pristine pine lands, forest, fields, bogs, streams and lakes. It provides a refuge to animals and plants indigenous to southern New Jersey; a place where wildlife can live freely and naturally without fear of being harmed at the hands of human beings. We began as the home of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci, who dedicated their land to habitat preservation so that native wildlife and habitat could thrive. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) entity, federal ID 23-7025010.
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News and take action 2021

Rainbow over main pond
Rainbow over main pond
Rainbow over main pond
Rainbow over main pond

27 September 2021: Images of the day: Last month after a storm, we observed this beautiful rainbow over the main pond. When light reflects off the inside of a water droplet, it separates into its component wavelengths (colors). The light then exits the droplet, making a rainbow.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #rainbow #njnature #njwildlife



Vireo sketch by Edmund J Sawyer
Vireo sketch
Edmund J Sawyer

23 September 2021: Our throwback image this week is a sketch of a vireo by artist and naturalist Edmund J Sawyer, father of Refuge co-founder Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #vireo #njnature #njwildlife



Black horse fly
Black horse fly

20 September 2021: Image of the day: This photo of a black horse fly on a lily pad was taken on the main pond last month. Black horse flies are about 1 inch long, making them highly visible, and they are fast fliers despite their hefty size. PC: Jeremy Amsterdam
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #blackhorsefly #njnature #njwildlife



Old man of the woods mushroom
Old man of the woods mushroom

16 September 2021: Throwback to the summer of 2017 and this old man of the woods mushroom. These fungi can be found on the ground in mixed hardwood forests, and are characterized by gray to black pyramidal and overlapping scales on the cap surface.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #oldmanofthewoods #mushroom #njnature



Black vulture fledgling
Black vulture fledgling
Black vulture fledglings
Black vulture fledglings

13 September 2021: Images of the day: Our resident black vultures have successfully mated this season! We have been anticipating seeing the young vulture(s), and the first photo shows a fuzzy fledgling who finally appeared last week. Although we had seen only one at first, a second fledgling emerged two days later. 2nd photo PC: Jeremy Amsterdam
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #blackvulture #fledgling #njnature #njwildlife



Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci & Cavit Buyukmihci with Junior
Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci &
Cavit Buyukmihci with Junior

9 September 2021: Throwback to many years ago and this photo of Refuge co-founders Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci with their beloved dog Junior.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Lilypad forktail damselfly
Lilypad forktail damselfly

6 September 2021: Image of the day: This female lilypad forktail damselfly was seen on the main pond last month. Lilypad forktails are very closely associated with water lilies, and are seldom found away from ponds and lakes with this habitat present.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #lilypadforktail #damselfly #njnature #njwildlife



Rabbit drawing by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci
Rabbit
HSB

2 September 2021: Throwback to many years ago and this sketch of a rabbit by Refuge co-founder Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci. Cottontail rabbits can run up to 18 miles per hour, and they run in a zigzag pattern to confuse predators.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #rabbit #njnature #njwildlife



Four-banded stink bug hunter wasp
Four-banded stink bug hunter wasp

30 August 2021: Image of the day: This four-banded stink bug hunter wasp was busily burying her prey--the unfortunate stink bug--in her burrow outside of Headquarters last summer.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #wasp #stinkbug #njnature #njwildlife



Black-and-white warbler
Black-and-white warbler

26 August 2021: Throwback to the spring of 2017 and this black-and-white warbler perched on a tree. Black-and-white warblers forage on tree trunks and inner branches to feed on insects below the bark's surface.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #blackandwhitewarbler #warbler #njbirds #njnature #njwildlife



Beavers swimming in main pond
Beavers swimming in main pond

23 August 2021: Image of the day: A beautiful view of our main pond at dusk with two beavers swimming along quietly.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #beaver #pond #njnature #njwildlife



Great blue heron
Great blue heron

19 August 2021: Great blue herons are commonly seen around the ponds on the Refuge. On this late spring day in 2017, we watched as this individual took off from the main pond.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #greatblueheron #njbirds #njnature #njwildlife



Horned passalus beetle
Horned passalus beetle

16 August 2021: Image of the day: This horned passalus beetle was photographed outside of Headquarters. These beetles can grow to just over an inch-and-a-half long, weigh 1-2 grams, and are capable of pulling 50 times their own weight.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #hornedpassalusbeetle #beetle #njnature #njwildlife



Tufted titmouse
Tufted titmouse

12 August 2021: Throwback to 2018 and this image of a tufted titmouse. Tufted titmice are omnivores, eating a variety of insects and plant material. When eating large seeds, titmice typically hold the seed with their feet and hammer it open with their beaks.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #tuftedtitmouse #njbirds #njnature #njwildlife



Vermilion waxcap mushroom
Vermilion waxcap mushroom

9 August 2021: Image of the day: This vermilion waxcap, a small, bright red or red-orange mushroom, was seen amongst the moss, along the edge of our main pond.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #vermilionwaxcap #mushroom #moss #njnature #njwildlife



Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpecker

5 August 2021: Throwback to 2017 and this red-bellied woodpecker perched vertically with an acorn in her mouth. Red-bellied woodpeckers are omnivores, and in some seasons their diet may be more than 50% plant material.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #redbelliedwoodpecker #woodpecker #njbirds #njnature #njwildlife



Jumping spider
Jumping spider

2 August 2021: Image of the day: This jumping spider was a frequent visitor around the kitchen when our manager lived in the Miller House. Jumping spiders propel themselves by suddenly changing blood flow; they contract special muscles which increases the flow of blood to their legs.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #jumpingspider #spider #njnature #njwildlife



Katydid on leaf
Katydid on leaf

29 July 2021: Our throwback image for this week is of a katydid taken in 2017. Katydids are related to grasshoppers and crickets, and are sometimes mistaken for grasshoppers, though they are more closely related to crickets.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #katydid #njnature #njwildlife



Miller Pond winter day
Miller Pond winter day

26 July 2021: Image of the day: Miller Pond always provides great views and photo ops, as it did on this winter day, while the bright sun shone above the clouds.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #pond #lensflare #njnature



Weasel drawing by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci
Weasel drawing
HSB

22 July 2021: Throwback to some years ago and this drawing of a weasel by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci. Weasels are solitary by nature, and, usually living near a water source, are good swimmers.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #weasel



Rough green snakes mating
Rough green snakes mating

19 July 2021: Image of the day: While maintaining our main trail, we were lucky enough to spot these two rough green snakes mating, and, without disturbing them, snap a few photos before continuing on.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #roughgreensnake #snake #njnature #njwildlife



Horn of plenty mushroom
Horn of plenty mushroom

15 July 2021: Throwback to 2017 and this horn of plenty mushroom. Characterized by a deep funnel, they grow in clusters on soil under deciduous trees, and they can be found well into the winter months.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #hornofplenty #mushroom #fungi #njnature #njwildlife



Concrete walkway on Bluebird Trail
Concrete walkway on Bluebird Trail

12 July 2021: Image of the day: The concrete walkway on Bluebird Trail, a favorite spot for many hikers, allows for beautiful, secluded views around the south side of our main pond.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #hiking #njtrails #njnature



Raccoon at Otter Dam
Raccoon at Otter Dam

8 July 2021: Throwback to 1966 and this photo of a raccoon at Otter Dam off of our main trail. A raccoon's mask of dark fur absorbs incoming light, reducing glare, and making it easier to perceive contrast, which is essential for seeing in the dark.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #raccoon #njnature #njwildlife



Fowler's toad
Fowler's toad

5 July 2021: Image of the day: This Fowler's toad seen on the boundary trail, is one of the three species of toads found in NJ (along with the American, and Eastern spadefoot toads). Fowler's toads breed from March to June, during which time you can hear the males' distinct and loud breeding call.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #fowlerstoad #toad #njnature #njwildlife



Great blue heron reflection
Great blue heron reflection

1 July 2021: Throwback to 2016 and this photo of a great blue heron's reflection in the water, taken by one of our trail cameras. Great blue herons are regularly seen in and around the bodies of water on the Refuge.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #greatblueheron #njnature #njwildlife



Female common whitetail dragonfly
Female common whitetail dragonfly

28 June 2021: Image of the day: Common whitetail dragonflies belong to the skimmer family Libellulidae. Males have a chunky white body, with brownish-black bands on their otherwise translucent wings. Females have a more slender brown body, and a different pattern of wing spots, which almost appears to be the inverse of the male pattern.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #commonwhitetail #skimmer #dragonfly #njnature #njwildlife



Female great blue skimmer dragonfly
Female great blue skimmer dragonfly

24 June 2021: Throwback to 2018 and this female great blue skimmer dragonfly. As with some of the species we've highlighted earlier this month, females have yellow-and-brown coloring, while male great blue skimmers are a powdery blue.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #greatblueskimmer #dragonfly #njnature #njwildlife



Female ebony jewelwing damselfly
Female ebony jewelwing damselfly

21 June 2021: Image of the day: The ebony jewelwing is a large damselfly endemic to eastern North America. They have an iridescent green body with dark wings; the wings of the male ebony jewelwing are completely black, while the wings of the female are smoky bronze with a distinct white spot (pterostigma) at the outer edge--like the individual pictured here.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #ebonyjewelwing #damselfly #njnature #njwildlife



Male blue dasher dragonfly
Male blue dasher dragonfly

17 June 2021: This week's throwback image from 2017 is of a blue dasher dragonfly, perched atop a mullein plant flower. Like slaty skimmers, blue dashers are sexually dimorphic. Female blue dashers display yellow-and-brown coloring, while males (as pictured here) are a vibrant blue, with a yellow-striped thorax and metallic green eyes.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #bluedasher #dragonfly #njnature #njwildlife



Male slaty skimmer dragonfly
Male slaty skimmer dragonfly

14 June 2021: Image of the day: This male slaty skimmer dragonfly was seen perched on vegetation in Miller Pond last summer. Like most dragonfly species, slaty skimmers are sexually dimorphic, allowing us to tell the difference between males and females by color and pattern. Male slaty skimmers are a dark blue, while females are yellow and brown.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #slatyskimmer #dragonfly #njnature #njwildlife



Silhouette image of dragonfly
Silhouette image of dragonfly

10 June 2021: Throwback to 2017 and this silhouette image of a dragonfly perched on a branch over the main pond. Although not a great amount of detail is visible, the individual pictured might be a blue dasher, a common species on the Refuge.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #bluedasher #dragonfly #njnature #njwildlife



Harlequin darner dragonfly
Harlequin darner dragonfly

7 June 2021: Image of the day: This harlequin darner dragonfly was seen on Cedar Bridge Trail last spring. Darners belong to the family Aeshnidae, a widespread family of big dragonflies. Harlequin darners have a strong inclination to perch on vertical surfaces like tree trunks, as the female pictured here.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #harlequindarner #dragonfly #njnature #njwildlife



Forktail damselfly
Forktail damselfly

3 June 2021: During the month of June we will highlight some of the dragonfly and damselfly species we see on the Refuge. They belong to the order Odonata and, in North America, can be broadly classified as either Anisoptera (dragonflies) or Zygoptera (damselflies). Damselflies are generally smaller than dragonflies with shorter and thinner bodies. We start with a 2018 throwback of this damselfly -- either an eastern forktail, or a fragile forktail -- perched on a leaf.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #forktail #damselfly #njnature #njwildlife



Eastern kingbird and red-bellied turtles
Eastern kingbird and red-bellied turtles

1 June 2021: Image of the day: An eastern kingbird perches on a branch in the main pond, foraging for insects, while red-bellied turtles bask in the sun beneath him/her.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #kingbird #redbelliedturtle #njnature #njwildlife



Mother otter with pup sketch by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci
Mother otter with pup sketch
HSB

27 May 2021: Happy World Otter Day!

Today is International World Otter Day and to help celebrate these elusive animals we have a throwback sketch of a mother otter grooming her pup, drawn by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, our co-founder.

North American river otters are highly social animals, and form family groups centered around a female and her young. However, both parents will take care of the young.

They were once found in virtually all streams, rivers and larger lakes of New Jersey, including tidewaters. Although they are not endangered, their populations are still threatened by humans due to trapping (for their fur), and habitat loss.

You can help protect otters by speaking out against trapping and keeping waterways clean!

#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #otter #WorldOtterDay #njwildlife



Chantarelle mushrooms
Chantarelle mushrooms

24 May 2021: Image of the day: These pretty chantarelle mushrooms were spotted on the way to Miller Pond last summer. Chantarelles can be orange, yellow, or white, and are generally funnel shaped. Their wavy edges allow them to display a variety of cap shapes, often similar to flower petals, and in this case, a heart.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #chantarellemushrooms #njnature



Mink on tree stump sketch by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci
Mink on tree stump sketch
HSB

20 May 2021: Throwback to this undated sketch of a mink on a tree stump by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder. Minks reside on the Refuge, though aside from our trail camera photos, we seldom see this nocturnal species.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



North American opossum
North American opossum

17 May 2021: Image of the day: This North American opossum was seen in Bluebird Field early last year. The opossum is North America's only marsupial, and, although they are generally nocturnal, it is not unusual to see them out during the day.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #opossum #marsupial #njnature #njwildlife



Canada geese in fog
Canada geese in fog

13 May 2021: Throwback to a late fall day in 2017 when a heavy fog partially camouflaged this flock of geese on the main pond.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #canadageese #njnature #njwildlife



Chipping sparrow
Chipping sparrow

10 May 2021: Image of the day: This chipping sparrow was seen near Miller House, foraging on the ground for a bite to eat, a behavior typical of the species. PC: Leor Veleanu
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #chippingsparrow #njnature #njwildlife



Bumblebees and ant on buttonbush
Bumblebees and ant on buttonbush

6 May 2021: Throwback to the summer of 2018 and this busy scene of an ant and two bumblebees foraging on a common buttonbush plant.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #bumblebee #ant #buttonbush #njnature #njwildlife



Carolina saddlebags dragonfly
Carolina saddlebags dragonfly

3 May 2021: Image of the day: Carolina saddlebags dragonflies, like this individual photographed at Miller Pond last summer, are boldly and brightly colored, with a red body, large red patches on their hindwings, and a metallic purple face. They are strong fliers, often found around sunny, shallow ponds.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #carolinasaddlebags #dragonfly #njnature #njwildlife



Cottontail rabbit
Cottontail rabbit

29 April 2021: Throwback to 2018 when this cottontail rabbit was photographed near the old cabin on a bright summer day.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #cottontailrabbit #njnature #njwildlife



Wisteria with ants
Wisteria with ants

26 April 2021: Image of the day: This wisteria, photographed in bloom outside of the Miller House last spring, showcases beautiful purple flowers draping from the vine. If you look closely, you can see an ant or two on the petals.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #wisteria #ant #njnature #njwildlife



Kingfisher drawing by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci
Kingfisher drawing
HSB

22 April 2021: Our throwback image this week is of a kingfisher, with his freshly caught meal, drawn by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci many years ago.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Owl pellet, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Owl pellet

21 April 2021: Image of the day: This owl pellet, seen on our boundary trail, is a regurgitated mass of the undigested parts of the owl's meal. Depending on the species of owl, their pellets can include: bones, fur, feathers, bills, claws, and teeth.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #owl #njnature #njwildlife



Northern cricket frog, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Northern cricket frog

15 April 2021: Throwback to the spring of 2017 and this northern cricket frog photographed on one of the Refuge trails.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #northerncricketfrog #njnature #njwildlife



Multiflora rose, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Multiflora rose

12 April 2021: Image of the day: This photo of multiflora rose was taken last spring near Headquarters. Multiflora rose is a climbing shrub, with typically white, though sometimes pink flowers.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #multiflorarose #njnature #njwildlife



Wasp with grasshopper prey, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Wasp with grasshopper prey

8 April 2021: Throwback to 2018 and this photo of a wasp with her paralyzed grasshopper prey, whom she will bring back to her burrow to feed to her young.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #wasp #njnature #njwildlife



Black vulture in cabin barn attic, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Black vulture, cabin barn attic

5 April 2021: Image of the day: Our vultures are back, nesting in the cabin barn attic! It's breeding season and we see the pair daily, going in and out of the attic window, likely readying the area for eggs. This photo shows one member of the pair from last season.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #blackvulture #njnature #njwildlife



Whip-poor-will drawing by Edmund J Sawyer
Whip-poor-will drawing
Edmund J Sawyer

1 April 2021: Throwback to this eastern whip-poor-will drawn by Edmund J Sawyer many years ago. Edmund was father of Refuge co-founder Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci. Like Hope, he was a very talented artist.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Wolf spider along main trail, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Wolf spider

29 March 2021: Image of the day: This wolf spider, seen on our main trail last spring, blended in quite well with the surrounding leaves and twigs. Their coloring functions as an effective camouflage, helping them catch their prey and keep safe from predators.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #wolfspider #njnature #njwildlife



Baby striped skunk, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Baby striped skunk

25 March 2021: Throwback to the spring of 2017 and this photo of a striped skunk baby. Striped skunks are born with very little hair and soft pink skin. When their coats are fully grown, the stripes help to deter predators.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #stripedskunk #njnature #njwildlife



Eastern worm snake, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Eastern worm snake

22 March 2021: Image of the day: Resembling a large earthworm, the eastern worm snake is a small species of snake, reaching a length of up to about 35 cm (14 inches). This individual was photographed near Miller House in the moist forest floor debris, a preferred habitat of the species.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #easternwormsnake #njnature #njwildlife



Swamp habitat, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Swamp habitat

18 March 2021: Throwback to 2016 and this view of the autumn foliage surrounding one of the swamps on the Refuge.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #swamp #njnature



Eastern mud turtle laying eggs near Headquarters, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Eastern mud turtle
laying eggs

15 March 2021: Image of the day: This eastern mud turtle ventured out from the main pond to lay her eggs near Headquarters – one of the numerous female turtles who chose this location last summer.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #easternmudturtle #njnature #njwildlife



Barred owl drawing by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder
Barred owl drawing
Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci

11 March 2021: Throwback to many years ago and this drawing of a barred owl by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder. The barred owl is one of eight species of owls found in NJ.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



8 March 2021: Images of the day: Eastern gray squirrels, like this individual seen jumping onto a tree, are very active and acrobatic residents of the Refuge. The squirrels are so active in fact that they set off our motion-activated trail cameras–a lot–though their photos are always enjoyable to see.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #easterngraysquirrel #njnature #njwildlife

Eastern gray squirrel near Wild Goose Blind, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo
Eastern gray squirrel
Eastern gray squirrel near Wild Goose Blind, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo
Eastern gray squirrel
Eastern gray squirrel near Wild Goose Blind, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo
Eastern gray squirrel


Ring-necked snake, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Ring-necked snake

4 March 2021: Throwback to 2018 and this ring-necked snake – a harmless (other than to their prey), non-aggressive species named for their distinctive yellow neck band. (The deformed area on this individual may be a long-healed wound.)
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #ringneckedsnake #njnature #njwildlife



Mantis near Headquarters, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Mantis

1 March 2021: Image of the day: This praying mantis, seen near Headquarters last summer, is displaying the typical posture (upright with forearms folded) which has led to their common name. Mantises are an order of insects, Mantodea, that contains over 2,400 species.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #prayingmantis #njnature #njwildlife



Sparrow drawing by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder
Sparrow
HSB

25 February 2021: Throwback to many years ago and this sparrow drawn by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder. Hope was a talented artist, often sketching the many animals who live on the Refuge.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



House wren near Headquarters, photo by Leor Veleanu
House wren
Leor Veleanu

22 February 2021: Image of the day: This female house wren, seen here with a feather in her mouth, is working on the finishing touches of her nest. After the male starts the process by assembling a pile of sticks, the female then forms a nest cup over the sticks using soft materials. Photo Credit: Leor Veleanu
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #housewren #njnature #njwildlife #birdwatching



Yellow-bellied sapsucker drawing by Edmund J Sawyer
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
Edmund J Sawyer

18 February 2021: Throwback to some years ago when Edmund J Sawyer, father of Refuge co-founder Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, sketched this yellow-bellied sapsucker, a species of North American woodpeckers.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Eastern phoebe nestlings in cabin barn garage, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Eastern phoebe nestlings

15 February 2021: Image of the day: This nest in our cabin barn contains at least two sleeping eastern phoebe nestlings, while mom and dad are likely off in search of food.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #easternphoebe #njnature #njwildlife #birdwatching



Cooper's hawk, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Cooper's hawk

11 February 2021: Throwback to 2018 and this young Cooper's hawk. Color is often an indicator of age with many bird species, and this individual has brown feathers and yellow eyes which are characteristic of juvenile Cooper's hawks.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #coopershawk #njnature #njwildlife #birdwatching



Female and male American goldfinches near Headquarters, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
American goldfinches

8 February 2021: Image of the day: This pair of American goldfinches was seen foraging outside of Headquarters. The male (left) has breeding plumage of a black forehead and black wings with white markings; breeding females are duller yellow beneath and more olive above.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #americangoldfinch #njnature #njwildlife #birdwatching



Northern cardinal drawing by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder
Northern cardinal drawing
Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci

4 February 2021: Throwback to many years ago and this sketch of a northern cardinal by Refuge co-founder Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Mourning dove at Headquarters, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Mourning dove

1 February 2021: Image of the day: This mourning dove was seen perched on a branch above the driveway of Headquarters. Mourning doves are named for their soft, drawn-out calls which sound like laments.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge #mourningdove #birdwatching



Viscid violet cort button, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Viscid violet cort

28 January 2021: Throwback to 2017 and this brilliant viscid violet cort mushroom with its bright purple button cap along one of the trails.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Red-bellied woodpecker; photo by Trustee Leor Veleanu
Red-bellied woodpecker
Leor Veleanu

25 January 2021: Image of the day: This male red-bellied woodpecker, seen here paused between bursts of pecking at the bark surface, was photographed by Trustee Leor Veleanu.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Boundary trail in snow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Boundary trail in snow

21 January 2021: Throwback to a snowy winter day in 2018 on the Refuge boundary trail.
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Spotted wintergreen, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Spotted wintergreen

18 January 2021: Image of the day: This spotted wintergreen is a perennial, evergreen herb found in mixed woodlands in the eastern US. It is an understory species with flowers appearing in late July to early August.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Otter drawing by Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci, Refuge co-founder
Otter drawing
Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci

14 January 2021: Throwback to many years ago and this sketch of an otter fishing by Refuge co-founder Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci. #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Autumn meadowhawk dragonfly on Headquarters wall, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Autumn meadowhawk dragonfly

11 January 2021: Image of the day: The autumn meadowhawk, a late season dragonfly, flies later in the fall season than any other species and has been observed into as late as the end of December.
#UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



Ruffed grouse drumming; photo by Ed Abbott
Ruffed grouse drumming
Ed Abbott

8 January 2021: Unexpected Wildlife Refuge has joined a coalition of animal and environmental organizations calling on president-elect Joe Biden to take immediate action to confront the extinction crisis by signing an executive order that would overturn some of the damage caused by Trump's end-of-term "war on wildlife."

Trump's administration has acknowledged the need for monarch butterflies to be listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but will not go through the process because there are 161 higher priority species it is looking at. Wolves have been delisted. Wolverines have been denied listing, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services defied a court order to create new plans for the conservation of the sage grouse by submitting documents that used the same wording and faulty claims that were rejected in 2019. These rule changes are but a fraction of the rollbacks rendered at the end of Trump's term.

The proposed executive order, ready for Biden to issue, would declare the extinction crisis a national emergency and give him the opportunity to act without Congressional approval under the National Emergencies Act. It would create national monuments protecting 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050, and it would call for all agencies to add climate change to their considerations for species protections under the ESA – a stark contrast to the current administration, which removed all mentions of climate change from the White House website shortly after Trump took office.



Field and woods in snow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Field & woods in snow

7 January 2021: Throwback to 2009 and this view of the sun rising beyond a snow covered field at the Refuge.*
#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #UWRHistory #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge

* In the long-term interests of the animals, Refuge policy no longer permits provision of artificial housing.



Reindeer lichen near main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
Reindeer lichen

4 January 2021: Image of the day: This reindeer lichen, an important groundcover in woodland areas, is a principal winter food for deer. #UnexpectedWildlifeRefuge



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