Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary


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2019 Lighthouse Challenge of NJ»

The Lighthouse Challenge of NJ celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019. I visited about half of the participating sites, focusing on the ones I didn’t see in 2018. While visiting the Tatham Lifesaving Station on the Lighthouse Challenge tour, I saw a pamphlet for the nearby Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary.


Since I was so close, and the sanctuary was designated a National Natural Landmark, I decided to check it out before moving on to the next challenge stop. I pulled into a small semi-circular parking area on 3rd Avenue and walked the short Heron Overlook Path


The site was created in 1947 to protect the nesting area of shore birds. Once a haven for herons and egrets, they began disappearing in the 1990s. The sanctuary has been rejuvenating the area to encourage the birds to return by removing non-native vegetation, increasing tidal flow into the sanctuary and capturing feral cats.


The path I walked was somewhat overgrown. I was alone in the park and I only saw small songbirds flitting about. There are three other trails, but I didn’t have time to explore them all that day.


2019 Lighthouse Challenge Posts:


Location: 11400 3rd Ave, Stone Harbor, NJ 08247

Designation: National Natural Landmark

Date established/designated: October 1965

Date of my visit: October 19, 2019