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Page 13
THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2016
The Rockaway Times
than 330 bird species have been
spotted here in the past 25 years,
which is nearly half the species in
the Northeast. It is also a haven
for 72 species of butterflies.
The Wildlife Refuge also pro-
vides habitat for a wide variety
of flora and fauna, both marine
and terrestrial. It is a prime lo-
cation for diamondback turtles
and horseshoe crabs (there is an
annual Horseshoe Crab Walk on
Sunday, May 22nd at 9AM). The
primary diet of the Diamondback
terrapins include fish, snails,
worms, clams, crabs and marsh
plants, many of which are abun-
dant in thesemarshlands.
There are approximately 21 Os-
prey platforms in the Jamaica Bay
area. A big attraction is the two
mating pairs that are visible: one
nest off of Cross Bay Blvd and an-
other within the refuge that can
be viewed from the Visitor Center
on a high powered telescope.
“The male ospreys arrive at the
nest first and tidy it up in prepa-
ration of the female’s arrival” ex-
plained Ranger Chavone.
The Refuge used to have two
large freshwater ponds. Like the
rest of our area, it was affected
by Superstorm Sandy. The West
Pond was breached and was
overrun with salt water. There are
plans in the works to repair the
breach, dredge the pond and re-
store It to fresh water. Eventually,
the native wildlife and flora will
be reintroduced. The East Pond
remains is still freshwater.
There is a wide variety of ranger
andpartner-ledprograms offered
year-round at the site, including
presentations on seasonal wild-
life, sunset tours, hikes, boat trips,
family programs and an annual
lecture series. Last week, the Ref-
ugehelda Junior Ranger program
and the children built bird feed-
ers that they could take home.
The Visitor Contact Station wel-
comes visitors and is the starting
point for many guided programs.
It is also home to exhibits that
highlight Jamaica Bay’s remarka-
ble plant and animal life, history,
and the continuing human im-
pact on the nature of the bay. Also
in the station is a gift shop, where
one can buy books, hats, jackets,
andaboardgamecalledBirdOpo-
ly. If youare just curious, the rang-
ers welcome visitors who want to
come in and ask questions.
There are two trails open year-
round circling the West Pond; a
short trail lasting 30 minutes and
a longer trail that circles the pond
that is 90minutes long.The north-
ernpoint of the longer trails boasts
a breathtaking view of The Free-
domTower aswell as the rest of the
Manhattan skyline. There are also
a mix of year-round and seasonal
trails along theEast Pond.
The Refuge is always willing to
accept volunteers. Enthusiastic vol-
unteersweredoing their gooddeed
for Earth Day by going around the
areaandpickingupgarbage.
The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
is located off on Cross Bay Blvd. just
northofBroadChannel,Queens.The
VisitorCenter isopendaily from9am
to 5pm. Trails are open daily, from
sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Contact
Station is wheelchair accessible and
handicapped parking is available.
Pets are not allowed. You can get on
theirmailing list forupcomingevents
bycallingtheCenterat718-318-4340.
For more information, visit the fol-
lowingwebsites:
https ://www.nps.gov/gate/
planyourvisit/thingstodojama-
ciabay.htm
http://www.nyharborparks.
org/visit/jaba.html
20-10 Crossbay Blvd.
Broad Channel
tel:
(718) 945-2233
OPEN 7 DAYS
Mon-Fri 5:30am-4pm | Sat, Sun 6am-4pm
ROB & BOBBY ARE BACK !
ALL AMERICAN BAGEL & BARISTA II
NOW OPEN
Must try.
Fruity Pebble flavored Rainbow Bagel!
New Additions. Confetti and Cannoli Cream Cheese
Iced caramel, chocolate and vanilla lattes, cappuccinos,
Espressos macchiatos, and many more...
NEW BARISTA BAR
FREE DELIVERY
to Broad Channel and the Rockaways!
JAMAICA
Continued from Page 10
Osprey Defending Its Nest (pho-
to by John Gladitsch)
West Pond Breach caused by
Sandy (photo by Pat Morgan)