Press Releases

“Bird TV,” Foxes, Deer, and Chipmunks Bring Plainsboro Preserve to Life

Credits: New Jersey Audubon's Plainsboro Preserve

Plainsboro, NJ - The 530-acre Plainsboro Preserve has its own CSPAN-type channel. It’s called “Bird TV.” It’s on 24/7. And it broadcasts rain or shine, no matter what.

No, Bird TV is not included with your basic cable package and no, it’s not actually television. Rather, it is a giant bay window that showcases a diverse array of habitats and the 50-acre McCormack Lake in Plainsboro. Nevertheless, it educates and fascinates anyone who tunes in.

 “Our bird sightings are extensive and we keep a list of all observed species,” said Nancy Fiske, Sanctuary Director for New Jersey Audubon, who manages the Preserve for Plainsboro Township and Middlesex County.

Sign Up for E-News

 “In January, we can easily see 60 to 100 birds from 20 different species coming daily to visit the bird feeder,” Fiske said. “It’s generally very active and it’s always very entertaining.”

 And just like any quality programming, the showings are diverse. In addition to birds, Fiske said visitors can just as easily observe foxes, beavers, groundhogs, chipmunks, squirrels, deer, and otters on any given day.

 For students, however, the Plainsboro Preserve represents a true sanctuary that brings classroom studies to life.

 “It’s funny, but my favorite thing about coming here are the peaceful noises,” said Anupama Casalena, a third-grade student at the Plainsboro-based Montessori Country Day School, part of the Montessori Corner group of schools. The school routinely brings its students to the preserve for both educational and recreational purposes.

 “We’ve already seen a purple finch, a blue jay, a cardinal and a woodpecker!” Anupama added.

 Beyond that, the preserve is a great place for young learners to exercise their bodies and minds in an outdoor setting.

 “I love seeing the kids being free in open space,” Fiske said. “It’s not on pavement or concrete and they can simply explore.”

 Erica Blanco, an elementary school teacher at Montessori Country Day School, agreed, saying the kids interact with nature at the preserve in ways they cannot on the traditional playground. “They have a great time in the playground, but they leave here knowing more than when they arrived, and that’s particularly powerful,” she said.

“I believe that curriculum can’t be just worksheets. Kids need to learn through interaction and application. When we put our curriculum together I’m constantly thinking of how we apply these lessons in the real world,” Blanco said.

 “Nancy and the Plainsboro Preserve have been very welcoming and it’s great that she and New Jersey Audubon are here,” she said, adding that her school includes botany and zoology in its curriculum, which “dovetail perfectly with our visits here.”

 New Jersey Audubon provides year-round environmental education opportunities for the local community and stewards the site, which Fiske characterizes as a “lasting ecological legacy for current and future generations.” 

 The Nature Center houses a variety of exhibits, live animals, a reference library, a popular Nature Store, and several miles of trails. 

 And, of course, there’s Bird TV. Today, Blanco’s students are doing bird-watching for Cornell Lab of Ornithology and they’re able to input their observations directly into a national database.

 “They’re doing tallying, they’re doing graphing and they’re able to be part of a bigger community to understand that we all play a part,” Blanco said.

 For Sarany Vegirouthu, one of Blanco’s second-grade students, it’s all about learning outside. “It’s really interesting and it’s so cool to be outside and to learn at the same time. I love it!”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - July 12, 2018

WAYNE - Honey! Cancel our Aug. 9th anniversary dinner! I've got other plans! That's the night you can join this bozo and scores of others at "Lace," a Wayne "gentleman's club" where America's favorite tramp - Stormy Daniels - will strip live and in person. Stop at the bank, trade in your wad of 20s for stacks of singles.

The Jaffe Briefing - July 11, 2018

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - There's a Democratic primary in New York between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and "Sex in the City" star Cynthia Nixon. And why do we care? Because our governor is not blindly throwing his support behind Cuomo in the race, reports New Jersey Globe. "We're not getting involved in that," Murphy said, when asked who he supports, admitting he ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 9, 2018

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - It looks like Republicans aspiring for federal office have found a talking point to slam Democrats with: the new, $37.4 billion state budget under Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. It has millions in tax increases, reports, and those Republicans running for Congress want to show New Jersey voters how reckless those tax-crazy Democrats can be.

The Jaffe Briefing - July 10, 2018

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP - It's big. It's ugly. And you haven't been there in years. No, we're not talking about a Trump casino. This morning, it is time to shed a tear over the steady demise of the Burlington Center mall, now gasping with an outdated Sears on the brink of closure. offers an obit, of sorts, to a mall that was positively awesome in the early ...

RU ready for RU Brewfest?

July 6, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall, as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty else ...

New Brunswick Man Charged in Sex Assault of Ex-Girlfriend

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A city man was arrested today and charged with sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend and assaulting a bystander who tried to intervene, Rutgers University police said.

Frank Ferraro, 26, was arrested and charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault, university police said.

They said the victim was attacked about 5:27 p.m. Tuesday, July 3,  at the ...

From the Banks of the Raritan, Rutgers Honors Efforts to Sustain River

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Debbie Mans has spent her career fighting to protect New Jersey waterways and the state’s environment. Last February she was appointed deputy director of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Earlier this month, at the Sustainable Raritan River Awards at Rutgers University, Mans received the Leadership award to recognize her years of work.

“Debbie ...

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Opens Camp DeWitt Conference Center and Activity Building

July 2, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. – If you don’t know by now, Girl Scouts is much more than cookies, crafts, and summer camp.

In fact, the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey say they should host your next professional business conference, special event, or any other big celebration in which you are looking to seriously impress.

Look no further than Camp DeWitt in Hillsborough, the site of ...


Opponents of 'separating families' should suggest solutions

June 28, 2018

Dear Tap Into New Brunswick

I read your article Protesters Oppose Family Separation Policy at Weekend Rally.  A quote states “This country’s cruel immigration policy is separating children from their families.  But we won’t allow it to continue.”  I too agree that families illegally entering the US should be kept together.  However, nowhere in the ...

2018 Asm. Joe Danielsen Backpack Drive Collection

July 13, 2018

After last year’s remarkable success in providing our children with the essentials to begin the new school year, I am pleased to announce that preparations for our Annual Backpack and School Supply Drive are in full swing!

            The collective kindness and generosity shown by the wonderful residents, businesses, and social ...

Make the Call, Save a Life

July 12, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - There is much focus on preventative opioid abuse education. Rightfully so. However, the goal in addressing the opioid epidemic is saving lives. Even if that means just saving one life. While people are becoming increasingly aware of resources relating to rehabilitative services, support groups for friends and family of addicts, and training parents for signs of opioid and ...