Crosswicks Audubon Sanctuary

Crosswicks Audubon Sanctuary sign
Crosswicks Audubon Sanctuary sign
Saturday, 28 March 2010 – Jenkintown, PA

Weather: 7:30 am – cool, clear, sunny. Location: Crosswicks Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.

Purpose: bird walk and cleanup.

Crosswicks Habitat

Habitat: Piedmont upland woodland of 13 mostly wooded acres with several small streams. The sanctuary is a small second or even third-growth woodland. The canopy trees are tall, many over 150 feet at least. These are so thin, they can’t be that old.

But they are thin trees. It seems trees shoot up in height and then the rest of their long lives concentrate on gaining girth. And the trunks widen until they are massive giants that humans can barely wrap their arms around.

Understory trees are beginning to leaf out. The Red Maple has a fuzzy head of red flowers. The Spice Bush is full of yellow-green flowers and small leaves are sprouting on shrubs. It is the hostplant of the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly.
flowers_skunk cabbage
Skunk cabbage about to bloom.

The woods are criss-crossed by several streams. The streams run clear and swiftly in the cool morning air.

The woodland was wet and in some places, muddy. At least after all the rain and snow we have had over the winter. From January through March 25th, the Philadelphia had 12.78 inches of precipitation. That is 4.84 inches more than normal.

skunk cabbage
Skunk Cabbage at Crosswicks Audubon Sanctuary

Skunk Cabbage is beginning to bloom.

Birds: On our bird walk we saw and heard: Golden-crowned kinglet-2, White-breasted Nuthatch -2, Red-bellied Woodpecker-1, Crow-1, Bluejay-1, Flicker-1, Turkey Vulture-1, White-Throated Sparrow-1, Starling-1 and House Sparrow-1.

We watched a Turkey Vulture rise up and fly in tight, smooth circles high above the tree canopy. It must have been feeding on carrion or even creating a nest. I know they nest early, at least by April.

Crosswicks Wildlife Sanctuary sign.


Lesser Celandine covers the woodland floor in spots. It is an invasive species hard to eradicate in Delaware Valley forests.

flowers_Lesser Celandine
Flowers of the Lesser Celandine

Fresh green moss is alive and well on a rotting log.

Moss on a log
Moss on a log


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