Brigantine NWR
(Edwin B. Forsythe NWR)
New Jersey

Brigantine May 5, 1995Officially, it is now the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. However,  most birders (and I) still call it Brigantine or Brig. The refuge is located on the New Jersey coast eleven miles from Atlantic City and about 40 or so miles north of Cape May and provides a variety of habitats that attract birds and birders in all seasons.

There is a woodlands trail by the parking lot that is supposed to be good for songbirds but I have never found it so. Another trail goes through the salt marsh and there are a couple of towers to view the birds, but the main features of Brig are the manmade freshwater impoundments. These provide great habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. They also provide ideal breeding conditions for Greenhead Flies. The pinging noises they make as they fly into the windows and sides of your car can prove to be a little irritating and nerve racking at times. The road around the freshwater impoundments provides excellent views of the waterfowl and shorebirds and makes for very easy birding and occasionally some good photographs or videos.

Dunlin at Brigantine - November 27, 1998Great Blue Heron Walking on the Ice - Brigantine - November 29, 1996Naturally, shorebirding is best during spring and fall migration, but some can always be found. Dunlin are abundant from fall through spring. Wading birds, herons and egrets, are found mostly in the warmer months, but some can also be found in the colder weather as evidenced by a Great Blue Heron walking very tentatively on the ice. This picture was taken on the day after Thanksgiving in 1996.

Black Skimmer at Brigantine - August 2, 1998 Black Skimmer - August 2, 1998
It is always fun to watch Black Skimmers skimming!
Mallards at Brigantine - November 29, 1996 Mallard Stretching its Wings - November 27, 1998
Surprisingly, Mallards are uncommon in the summer.


Northern Shoveller on November 27, 1998
A Northern Shoveler cruises along

American Black Ducks and Snow Geese - November 27, 1998
Snow Geese and American Black Ducks

Ruddy Ducks - November 24, 1995
A raft of Ruddy Ducks

Female Green-winged Teal - November 27, 1998 Two Male Green-winged Teal - November 27, 1998
A duck and two drake Green-winged Teal

Tundra (Whistling) Swans - Novembre 29, 1996
Tundra Swans end the day at Brigantine

Canada Geese and Northern Pintails at Brigantine

See photos of Box Turtlee at Brigantine NWER Box Turtle at Brigantine

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Copyright 1998-2005 Richard L. Becker