In Training

Black-and-White Warbler

Black-and-White Warbler

This female Black-and-White Warbler at the Kearny Marsh appears to be training for gymnastics for the Avian Olympics! She’s one of several wonderful warblers that Ron Shields recently photographed at the marsh. More below.

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

Redstart Warbler

Redstart Warbler

Canada Warbler

Canada Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

 

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Even Northern Brown Snakes Need a Healthy Place to Live

brown snake yard

Last week I was doing some yard work, getting my garden ready for the Hummingbirds and Butterflies that I had faith would visit my tiny backyard this summer. As I was planting, weeding and performing some basic garden chores  I was suddenly startled by a small slithering surprise that was hiding in a small flower pot which still held some soil from the previous year. A Brown Snake! A wonderful sight to behold, especially since it had been many years since I enjoyed the pleasure of having one of these lovely creatures grace my backyard. As it glided into the underbrush of my backyard wilderness I had a feeling of reprieve that this tiny creature still managed to survive the onslaught of suburban life.

For a young boy growing up in the Meadowlands, searching for snakes was a rite of passage. Garter, Milk and Brown Snakes occupied many of our summer days as we explored the woods and marshes of our Meadowlands home. As I grew up I came to understand how important snakes were to our environment and how my backyard inhabitant, the Northern Brown Snake, was keeping my garden healthy and in balance.

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More from Mickey

Mickey Raine is becoming our ace contributor! He sent in these photos from his Monday triple-play of Mill Creek Marsh, Mill Creek Point Park and DeKorte. By the way, that’s an insect fying near the Marsh Wren in the last photo, not a pint-sized UFO 🙂

 

Marsh Wren Mill Creek Marsh

Marsh Wren Mill Creek Marsh

Red-eared Terrapin Mill Creek Marsh

Red-eared Terrapin Mill Creek Marsh

Groundhog Mill Creek Marsh

Groundhog Mill Creek Marsh

Mill Creek Point Park

Mill Creek Point Park

Yellow Iris Mill Creek Point Park

Yellow Iris Mill Creek Point Park

Praying Mantis Egg Casing Mill Creek Point Park

Praying Mantis Egg Casing Mill Creek Point Park

Black Swallowtail Mill Creek Point Park

Black Swallowtail Mill Creek Point Park

Marsh Wren DeKorte Park

Marsh Wren DeKorte Park

BCAS Plant Walk At DeKorte Sunday June 5

Purple Cone Flower

Purple Cone Flower

Join the Bergen County Audubon Society for a Native Plant Walk at DeKorte Park on Sunday, June 5, from 10 am to noon. They’ll tell you all about the native vegetation found at DeKorte and the pollinators, birds and wildlife they attract. Meets at the Meadowlands Environment Center.

For more information email greatauk4@gmail.com or call 201-230-4983.

Sign Up Now for Pontoon Boat and Canoe Tours of the Hackensack River!

njsea-boat-3

It’s that time of year: The NJSEA’s Guided Pontoon Boat and Canoe tours of the Hackensack River launch in just a couple of weeks!

The first pontoon boat cruise of the 2016 season departs from River Barge Park in Carlstadt on Tuesday, June 7, while the canoe season kicks off on Saturday, June 25, also from River Barge Park.

The two-hour boat trips and three-hour canoe tours offer an excellent way to see the natural beauty of the Meadowlands and its wildlife up-close. Guides talk about the history of the Hackensack River and its surrounding environs and structures, and point out wildlife along the way.

So come on out and experience the Hackensack River and the Meadowlands in a totally new, amazing light from the vantage point of a pontoon boat or canoe!

Tours run through September. For dates and to register click here.

Always In Our Hearts

Federal Ship Yard Kearny 014

With a heavy heart we pass along condolences to Carmine Fernandez on the loss of his wife, Laura, earlier this month. Carmine and Laura, North Arlington residents, have been fixtures at River Barge Park and Marina in Carlstadt since the facility opened in 2012, and before that at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. Carmine continues to carry on the tradition, albeit with a heavy heart.

The couple could be seen at the park nearly everyday, seated on lawn chairs outside their purple PT Cruiser. On their own time, and from a pure love for the park and people, they always had a friendly hello for parkgoers, answered people’s questions and made everyone feel welcome.

Our thoughts are with Carmine, and Laura will always be remembered.

Use Caution Driving At DeKorte!

warble

Please use caution when driving on DeKorte Park and Disposal Road. Chris Takacs relayed this info on Friday:

I watched this Yellow Warbler get hit by a car on Disposal Rd. near the bus lot. The car was travelling probably 35 MPH. I believe he was only stunned, but was sitting in the road ready to be hit again. I picked him up off the road and gave him about 5 minutes of warmth and shelter. He seemed to recover a lot and flew off to the edge of the landfill. This is the second day I’ve seen this. Yesterday I found 2 dead Barn Swallows.

Thank you Chris for relaying this important information. Also, in addition to the birds, there are schoolchildren, visitors and staff using the park and walking through crosswalks everyday. Please drive slow and be aware of your surroundings. Much appreciatied!