GALLOWAY, NJ — Over the past few years, a new island has emerged off the New Jersey coastline, and it recently has become a safe haven for nesting and migratory birds, especially threatened and endangered native species of New Jersey, according to wildlife officials.
In spring 2018, the island stuck through tide cycles. It sat quietly until 2021, when researchers confirmed that more than a thousand birds of different species had made the island their home.
In 2021, Horseshoe Island provided refuge for many bird species, including threatened and endangered birds such as least terns, black skimmers, red knots and piping plovers, officials said. Birds nested, roosted and foraged on the newly formed island.
Birds used the island year-round, officials said. While some passed through during migration, others bred or wintered there. The island usage was “truly unprecedented,” officials said. And it will only grow.
“Today, Horseshoe Island is one of the most critically important areas for birds in the State of New Jersey,” wildlife officials said.