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A Summer with the Tides: Fieldwork in the Saltmarshes of NJ with Carl Engstrom


Tue Oct 18, 2022    
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Bellwood-Antis Public Library
526 Main St., Bellwood, PA, 16617

Event Type

Join us via ZOOM or in person at the Bellwood-Antis Library. The saltmarshes of the Mid-Atlantic are a dynamic and harsh environment that are home to some very unique species. This delicate habitat is in constant threat from human encroachment and is now in danger of being lost permanently by global sea level rise. The Saltmarsh Sparrow is found nowhere else in the world and, as a result, is perhaps the bird species most at risk of extinction in the Lower 48. Last summer, Carl was fortunate enough to spend time working in this special ecosystem in New Jersey conducting point counts for the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP) to gain a better understanding on population levels for various bird species that rely on saltmarshes. This presentation will cover Carl’s work and aim to provide a better understanding of saltmarsh habitat and the birds that call them home. A special focus will be placed on the Saltmarsh Sparrow and the threats that they face.

Growing up in State College, Carl has been fascinated by birds his entire life. One of his first experiences with the birding community was helping with the Culp Christmas Bird Count on the Bontas’ property with his dad at the age of ten. He has participated in the count every year since. It’s an annual tradition that he always looks forward to. In addition to birding for enjoyment, Carl has worked several field jobs with birds over the last few years. He spent two summers in college working with Penn State graduate students studying Wood Thrush nest site selection in Centre, Blair, and Huntingdon Counties. Last summer he worked in coastal New Jersey conducting point counts to census populations of Saltmarsh and Seaside Sparrows. After graduating from Penn State in the spring, he worked out in Montana on a project investigating the impacts of conifer encroachment on nest success in sagebrush nesting bird species. Currently Carl is the inaugural morning flight counter at Dan’s Rock along the Allegheny Front in western Maryland working to gain a better understanding on bird migration in the Appalachians. Carl plans to continue bird research in graduate school and hopes to make bird research a career.