March brings the arrival of spring. Throughout the month, nature is busy preparing for the season. Signs of it are everywhere - the first buds on trees, the return of migratory birds and the call of spring peepers.
Here are some things to look and listen for during the month:
- Eastern chipmunks emerge from their burrows and start looking for a mate. Chipmunks can be spotted at Huber Woods Park.
- Muskrats are also beginning to mate and will have young kits about 30 days later.
- Frogs and salamanders burrow up out of the mud.
- Wood frogs, pickerel frogs and chorus frogs' breeding season begins. Listen for the call of spring peepers and wood frogs at Turkey Swamp Park.
- During rainy nights, marbled salamanders, redback salamanders, bullfrogs, green frogs, pickerel frogs, spring peepers and wood frogs are active.
- Listen for the robins' "cheeriup cheerily" song.
- Mourning cloak butterflies can be spotted coming out of hibernation on warm days. Look for them in Thompson Park.
During this month:
- Bald eagle chicks begin to hatch. Our nesting pair of chicks at the Manasquan Reservoir have already hatched. Visit our Nature Now page for updates.
- Grackles and other blackbirds return. Red-winged blackbirds can be spotted returning to wetlands.
- American goldfinches yellow feathers start coming in on their heads and throats.
- Piping plovers arrive on the beaches including Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park.
- Ospreys return to the state.
- Wading birds, such as the great and snowy egret and black-crowned night heron return to nesting sites around the bay. Try spotting them at Bayshore Waterfront Park.
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