The Friends of Lenape Park “Nighthawks” birding team surveyed their namesake park on Saturday, May 14 as part of the 33rd Annual New Jersey Audubon World Series of Birding. The event was a success and the team recorded a total of 83 different species within the designated 24-hour period.

“Congratulations to the Nighthawks team and many thanks for their work on behalf of habitat conservation in Union County,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “Due to their efforts we now have an updated catalog of the many different species that make their home in and around Lenape Park.”

During the World Series “Big Day” event on May 14, the Nighthawks covered approximately 400 acres in Lenape Park to arrive at the official count of 83 species. They recorded their findings by sight or sound, as called for in the event guidelines.

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Among the notable highlights, the team identified all of woodpeckers that are known to inhabit the park: red-bellied, hairy, downy, flicker, and the “big guy,” a pileated woodpecker. Pileated woodpeckers, known for their dashing red crests, are the largest woodpeckers known to inhabit North America.

New Jersey Audubon introduced the first World Series of Birding in 1984, and since then teams have recorded a total of 330 different species throughout New Jersey.

“The Nighthawks figure of 83 species represents a full 25 percent of the historic statewide total, demonstrating the importance of Lenape Park for conservation in our area,” said Bergen.

Lenape Park’s diverse habitat includes wetlands, forests and open fields. It is located near the center of Union County, bordered by Springfield, Kenilworth, Cranford and Westfield. For maps and directions to all County parks visit the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation online at ucnj.org/parks-activities.

The World Series of Birding helps to raise funds for conservation projects and environmental causes. Donations to the Nighthawks are still being accepted at the team’s web page, at worldseriesofbirding.org.

To volunteer on conservation projects in County parks as an individual, civic organization or employer group, visit Union County Adopt-a-Park/Adopt-a-Trail at ucnj.org.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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