Photos from The Wetlands Institute's post | Things to Do in Cape May NJ

It’s American Wetlands Month! Clapper Rails are wetlands specialists, spending virtually their entire lives hidden in the thick vegetation of saltmarshes and mangrove swamps. These highly secretive birds live along our East Coast and south into Central America and the Caribbean, foraging within their coastal wetlands homes for crabs, crustaceans, fish, plants — pretty much anything they can get their bills on.

These birds rarely fly, and it shows. In the air, they are less than graceful. They typically walk along the ground, weaving through the covering vegetation, and often running when surprised or threatened. They can also disappear right in front of you, sinking instantly out of sight into the marsh grasses.

Fun facts: Clapper Rails can drink salt water, filtering it through special salt glands. And eggs submerged during high tide (in up to 18 inches of water) can still hatch.

Though secretive, a careful and patient observer can still spot a Clapper Rail – and the best place to actually see one is right here at The Wetlands Institute. Come out for a visit and see if you can find one – and while you’re here, consider becoming a member or making a donation to support our work on behalf of the wetlands and all the creatures – like Clapper Rails – who depend on them.
#wetlandsinstitute #stoneharbornj #middletownshipnj #wetlandsconservation #AmericanWetlandsMonth

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