Migrants and Missiles

Missiles and Migrants: Two Great Reasons to Get Outdoors This Weekend at Sandy Hook

"If you love birding or history or both, this is a great time to visit Sandy Hook," said Acting Sandy Hook Unit Superintendent Dave Avrin. "We've got two excellent programs this weekend. One that guides visitors on a search for migratory species on their way south, and another program that will help them learn about the important history Sandy Hook played during the Cold War at the Nike Missile Site."

Birding for Beginners

Sandy Hook Visitor Center Saturday, November 1, at 10 a.m.

Join a naturalist from New Jersey Audubon for a two-hour guided birdwalk in search of some of the many species of birds that inhabit the hook.

The Sandy Hook Bird Observatory was established in 2001 by the New Jersey Audubon Society in one of New Jersey's best year-around birding locations. A major migration path in both spring and fall, Sandy Hook has attracted approximately 340 bird species to its varying habitats. Over 50 species of butterflies have also been recorded.

Cold War Defenses on Sandy Hook

Meet at the Nike Ajax Missile, ¼ mile north of the Ranger Station

Sunday, November 2 at 2 p.m.

Car caravan to Sandy Hook’s Nike missile sites built as part of the Cold War harbor defenses in the 1950s.

From the 1950s until the mid 1970s, Nike surface-to-air missiles were mounted at Fort Hancock as part of the defense of the New York Metro area. The land based Nike missiles became obsolete in the 1970s with the development of nuclear submarines and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Today, the Fort Hancock site is among the most intact and best preserved in the country. This tour will explain the operation of the missiles and their radar guiding units.

The Cold War is generally considered to have begun with the division of Germany and the blockade of West Berlin by the Soviets in 1948 and end with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Russian Army uniforms from their war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1992. During the Cold War most large American cities were ringed by Nike sites that held nuclear missiles designed to protect the cities fromSoviet bomber attack.

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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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