Jonathan Teyan, acting director of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary announced that a proposed pond at the Hoffman Center, on Route 25A, will be named after Mary E. Richard. The late Ms. Richard was director of the TRS. She died in an accident earlier this year.
The pond is one of the suggestions that have been made for the Hoffman Center on Route 25A. It has been created as a nature preserve on what was a 155-acre farm in Muttontown. It will one day have a 1914 Georgian-style museum and education center on the site. The TRS has been involved in creating the nature preserve for public use.
Mr. Teyan has been at the sanctuary for four years. Prior to that, he got his degree in Natural Resources at Cornell University. "That means a little bit of wildlife biology, habitat management and ecology courses," he said.
He loves animals and is a fan of raptors, "As was Mary Richard," he said. He is pursuing his falconry license. "In the fall I will have a bird of my own."
There are a number of breeders that have them available. "They are captive bred. There are also falconers who take them from the wild."
While that can be seen as a negative for some types of animals, he said in this case it can be a plus. "In the first year of life, 65 percent won't make it. If they take it, teach it to hunt, they can release them with a 50/50 chance of survival. That is 45 percent better than being on their own."
Mr. Teyan said a search is under way to replace Mary Richard. The director is chosen by the National Audubon Society in cooperation with the TRS Board of Directors. The national group conducts the search and then the decision is made in cooperation between the two.
At the time of the accident he was the TRS research coordinator. "We are involved right now in 10 different research projects. We band migratory song birds, migratory hawks and are conducting a song bird census. We also do consulting work for private landowners like the Hoffman Center."
At the Hoffman Center, they have been involved for the past two years in a wildlife inventory: a mammal and bird survey and a vegetation analysis.
"We are going to give recommendations on how to best manage the property for the maximum wildlife diversity. And we are also focusing on doing educational programs for adults and children."
The Hoffman Center property is fairly big chunk out of the 155 acres of the site - so the work will be done on a broader scale than at the TRS, which covers about 12 miles in Oyster Bay Cove.
There is a 20-acre meadow in one area, and in another, they are proposing a pond. "They are naming the pond in Mary's honor," he said.
It won't be visible from 25A, it is deeper into the site, in property not open to the public.
"The entire Hoffman Center is not open to the public yet," he said, "But we do have nature walks there. You can't go in on your own yet."
The next tour of the Hoffman Center is planned for May 3 when a migratory bird walk is planned. You can expect to see some early spring migrants - who are warblers and flycatchers - the name of a group of birds, over 20, in North America. An example of a flycatcher is the Eastern Phoebe.
You also may possibly see Bluebirds. "People argue about using capital letters with birds. In science they don't but in laymen's literature they do," he said.
The bluebirds will only nest in open meadows with fairly short grass that is under 6 inches tall. It is there in the meadow. "We are trying to maintain a meadow area. We use the brush hog, a kind of mower, in the late fall, to maintain the meadow."
It doesn't keep the plants from growing, but it keeps them from growing too much higher. Growth in a meadow follows stages of succession - from meadow to tree seedlings to forest. "We go in every other year and cut it to stubble to keep it from going too high."
Mr. Teyan said this is a year to be worried about ticks. "It seems like it might be a big year for them - with the warm winter weather we've had. Whenever you go out in the woods, you should check yourself upon returning, as a matter of habit, even in your own backyard."
And remember to dress appropriately when walking in fields and woods, which means being well covered.