Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

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Great Swamp is only 25 miles from New York City in Vernon, New Jersey. It’s a great place for a day of strolling and wildlife spotting.There are duck blinds,roads and trails, wildflower fields, and boardwalks over marshes.

Wood ducks and eastern bluebirds are some of the wildlife rock stars that breed in the refuge. On a recent walk I saw a mother steer her flock of seven teenage ducklings deeper into the brush and away from my prying eyes.

If you pause on the boardwalks and look carefully at the marsh vegetation, frogs, birds, snakes, and will come into focus.

Check the lily pads for bullfrogs; there are lots.

his bullfrog had a tail! It was in the last stages of transformation from tadpole to adult.

A milk snake posed for a photo while being moved from a parking area to a safer place.

Painted turtles bask by the boardwalks.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

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