If you are looking to do the Christmas Bird Count this year, there is now one central listing of the dates and locations for each circle in New Jersey. Here's the link.
For a link to the National Audubon site, which has more about the Christmas Count's history and procedures, results of past counts, etc., click here.
This guy has been tooling around the tidal impoundments at DeKorte, but he never sits still for a portrait. We managed to sneak up on him on Friday to get this one shot. Needless to say, we heard him before we saw him.
How do we know it's a male?
More on Belted Kingfishers here.
An apparent leucistic American Tree Sparrow was seen by participants on Saturday's Bergen County Audubon Society field trip to Mehrhof Pond.
Marco Lips photographed the bird, and BCAS is sharing the photo with readers of the Meadowlands Blog. (Thanks, Marco and BCAS!)
More on leucistic birds here.
The Meadowlands Commission and BCAS are hosting a trip to Mehrhof Pond on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
Click "Continue reading…" for more information on the upcoming walk. You must rsvp by Dec. 4.
Neil Maruca Reports:
Safety Note: Duck Hunters were out today on the Saw Mill WMA across from Laurel Hill Park. The current portion of Northern NJ duck season goes Nov. 17 to January 2. There was also some gunfire coming from the impoundment dikes outside to the Wildlife Mgt Area near the WMCA radio towers.
Highlights Kearny East: Clapper Rail, 3 Red Breasted Merg, Coot, Great Cormorant, Tree Sparrow, 400 Ruddy Ducks, 2 Greater Scaup in with the Rudyies and & 2 Lesser Scaup near the Hackensack River. Also a white "bibbed" domestic duck in with some dabblers.
Had Carolina Wren and Northern Flicker off Belleville pike, DeKorte had 9 greater yellowlegs, 200+ GW Teal, 150 Mallards and 50ish Shovelers and Gadwall.
Beth Goldberg reports:
Great bird walk at Mehrhof Pond this morning with Bergen County Audubon led by David Hall.
Birds included both Double Crested and Great Cormorants, Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls, Ruddy Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, Great Blue Heron, Black Crowned Night Herons, Red tailed and Coopers Hawks, Song and Tree Sparrow and an unusual, but cooperative, Leucistic Tree Sparrow.
When we first saw this distant accipiter at Harrier Meadow this morning, we were thinking (or hoping) that this was a juvenile Northern Goshawk. Now, after a good look at the even bands on the tail, we are thinking it has to be a juvenile Cooper's Hawk.
What do you think? E-mail us.
To wrap up the Meadowlands Commission's 40th anniversary celebration in style, we are working with the Bergen County Audubon Society to offer several nifty nature walks in December.
They are: another Mill Creek Marsh walk on Sunday, Dec. 6; a Hawk Walk and Talk on Sunday, Dec. 13; and a trip to the Mehrhof Pond and BCUA Mehrhof Woods property on Tuesday, Dec. 15; and a Year-End DeKorte Walk on Tuesday, Dec. 29. (And yes, you are correct; we ordinarily try to avoid using semi-colons. Our apologies for the breach in form.)
Click Continue reading for the full line-up (and note that the Hawk Walk and talk, previously scheduled for Dec. 6, is now on for Dec. 13.
We saw this immature night heron in the Kingsland Tidal Impoundment (Shorebird Pool) this week, in the back, sitting by itself, away from seven Black-crowned Night Herons.
The question was raised: Could it be a Yellow-crowned?
Our ultimate choice: Black-crowned. Any dissenters?
After seeing the Grebe "grab" shot we took at Harrier Meadow yesterday, Ron Shields e-mailed a Pied-billed Grebe shot he took at Mill Creek Marsh this summer.
Writes Ron: "I was standing on the bridge at Mill Creek as the grebe flushed from the shoreline right in front of me and swam toward some of the exposed stumps."
Remarkable little bird. (Thanks, Ron!)
On the Mill Creek Marsh Walk yesterday, we got a tip from NJMC Naturalists Mike Newhouse and Gabrielle Bennett-Meany that there was an immature Little Blue Heron and a Pied-billed Grebe at Harrier Meadow.
A few hard-core birders joined the BCAS's Don Torino and me for a look-see. All of us saw the Little Blue, and a few of us saw the Pied-billed Grebe, who was hangin' (floatin') with a dozen Common Mergs.
I had been trying for more than a year to get a decent shot of the Pied-billed — this was as close as I have gotten so far. The little guy dived, and I never saw him surface… the Houdini Bird.
More on Little Blue Herons here.
More on Pied-billed Grebes here.