“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pennsville in Salem County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Pea Patch Island Heronry

Pea Patch Island Heronry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 13, 2009
1. Pea Patch Island Heronry Marker
Inscription. Pea Patch Island Heronry is the largest Atlantic Coast nesting ground north of Florida for wading birds. Originally a dredge disposal site, this vegetated high ground has been a nesting habitat for nine species of wading birds since the 1970s. It is one of the few protected areas available for these birds. Pea Patch Island supports between 5,000 and 12,000 breeding pairs annually.

Wading birds are highly social and thrive in noisy crowded colonies. However, the habitat available for these birds is being threatened by oil spills, industrial pollution, and pesticides. Protecting the heronry is critical to the survival of these species. By observing the population of these wading birds, the health of the wetland can be determined. A low population can be an early warning sign of environmental changes in these areas.

The heronry shares Pea Patch Island with historic Fort Delaware. It is a designated nature preserve with limited access and is managed by the Division of Parks and Recreation.
Location. 39° 36.129′ N, 75° 33.197′ W. Marker is in Pennsville, New Jersey, in Salem County. Marker can be reached from Fort Mott Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in Fort Mott State Park, at the ferry dock. Marker is in this post office area: Pennsville NJ 08070, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
Pea Patch Island image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 13, 2009
2. Pea Patch Island
The Heronry is seen here on Pea Patch (at right). Fort Delaware, visible at the left, served as a Confederate POW Camp during the Civil War.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pea Patch Island (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Two Batteries in one (about 600 feet away); The Wharf (about 600 feet away); Battery Arnold (about 700 feet away); Generator Room (about 700 feet away); Switchboard Room / Plotting Room (about 700 feet away); The Latrines (about 800 feet away); Battery Harker (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Pennsville.
More about this marker. The top of the marker features a picture of some of the birds found in the Pea Patch Island Heronry. A sidebar identifies each bird:
Wading Birds of Pea Patch Heronry
A. Great Blue Heron
B. Black-Crowned Night Heron
C. Little Blue Heron
D. Great Egret
E. Snowy Egret
F. Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
G. Cattle Egret
H. Louisiana or Tri-Colored Heron (juvenile and adult)
I. Glossy Ibis

The right side of the marker describes the habits of the birds found here:
Nesting Heights
The different species of birds in the heronry tend to nest at different heights. Here are the approximate nest heights for each species.
Great Blue Heron   50 feet (tall trees)
Great Egret   40 feet (tall trees)
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron   30 feet (small trees)
Black-Crowned Night Heron   15 feet (small trees)
Snowy Egret   5 feet (shrubs)
Cattle Egret   3 feet (shrubs)
Tri-Colored Heron   2 feet (shrubs)
Little Blue Heron   1½ feet (shrubs)
Glossy Ibis   (low shrubs)

Categories. AnimalsScience & Medicine
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 492 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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