By Joanna Burger
Come for a trip alongside the Jersey shore with naturalist and ecologist Joanna Burger! In those deeply felt, heavily saw own essays, Burger invokes the intertwined lives of naturalist and wild creatures on the ever-changing fringe of ocean and land. realize along with her the fragile mating dances of fiddler crabs, the hazards to piping plovers, the swarming of fish groups into the bays and estuaries, the trilling notes of Fowler's toads, and the sophisticated green-grays of salt marshes.
Joanna Burger understands the shore via all its seasons--the first second of spring while the herring gulls arrive on ice-gouged salt marshes, the tip of spring while the good flocks of shorebirds come to feed on horseshoe crab eggs at Cape may well, the summer season while the peregrine hunts its prey, the autumn while the migrations of hawks and monarch butterflies allure watchers from worldwide, and the depths of wintry weather whilst a lone snowy owl sweeps throughout snow-covered dunes and frozen bay.
This is a publication that anybody who loves the Jersey shore will cherish! and since such a lot of of those fabulous creatures reside all alongside the Atlantic coast, it will likely be of equivalent curiosity to beach-lovers, naturalists, bird-watchers, fishermen, and coastal and marine scientists from North Carolina to Maine.
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Still, New Jersey has over 245,000 acres of salt marsh scattered along its coasts. Once considered wasteland to be tamed and drained, salt marshes are now appreciated on their own merits: not only for the diversity of life they spawn, protect, and nourish, nor for the number of fish that migrate here each summer, but because the salt marsh protects the uplands from the power of the sea. Marshes act as a storm buffer, able to soak up and retain over 300,000 gallons of flood tides before they reach the mainland.
Seasonal and yearly changes in barometric pressure, temperatures, and salinity influence the density and volume of coastal waters, making them rise and fall relative to the land. Sea-level changes are greatest in the summer and lowest in the winter. Changes in geomorphology, such as development of a sand spit or dredging, also affect water levels and tidal ranges. Storms cause sudden changes of ten to sixteen feet above normal tide heights. There is a Page 5 lag between the period of maximum wind, and the highest water levels, and this lag may be up to fourteen hours.
Boat-tailed grackles and red-winged blackbirds settle noisily in the bushes and reeds. On the top of small shrubs, male redwings hunch forward and spread their wings to reveal their bright red shoulder patches, displaying to the recently arrived, brown-streaked females sitting low in the vegetation. When laughing gulls arrive in late April they find the highest places on the marsh taken by the much larger herring gulls, and they are forced to find territories on the lower parts of the marsh, or to seek salt-marsh islands where there are no herring gulls.
Naturalist Along the Jersey Shore by Joanna Burger