Monthly Archives: July 2011

Our Next Nature Walk (This Sunday) is a New Idea!

One of the goals of the partnership between the Meadowlands Commssion and Bergen County Audubon Society is to come up with programs that get families and children closer to nature.

To that end, this Sunday (July 31) we are holding our first annual Summer Bird Count for Families (and anyone who likes to look for birds).

We'll walk around the park and see how many species we can see — and how many of each species we can count. We'll try to have some "loaner" binoculars if you need to borrow a pair.

The low-keyed event is free. Full listing follows.

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Sunday’s Peregrine — Did You Photograph It?

Several folks at Butterfly Day were lucky enough to get a few quick looks at a perched Peregrine Falcon.

We managed to take a few photos, including the one above. The bird is banded, and young.

While we go over our pix to see if we can read anything on the band, we wonder if anyone else was able to photograph the falcon.

Kathy Clark of New Jersey's Endangered and Threatened Species Program writes: "All the states are banding using the same protocol, and Eastern US states all use black/green bicolor band on the left leg. 

"We would need a read of the alpha-numerics to ID this bird's origin.  It could be from NYC …there are a lot of possibilities.  I couldn't make out any characters, but if we can get even a partial read we may be able to narrow it down. 

"Also, some states color the federal band:  NJ's fed bands are black, VA's are green.  Most states still have silver fed bands, but that sometimes helps narrow it."

Kathy says that because of the silver band on the right leg, "this time of year it's most likely to be a NY bird, but early fledglings are moving around already, so it could be a bird from PA or further north that has started south."


Bird Report: Seaside Sparrow by Mill Creek Point

Ray Duffy reports:

After 2 failed attempts on previous days, Chris Takacs and I caught a glimpse of the Seaside Sparrow hiding out in the Secaucus High school marsh around 11 a.m. Sunday.

If you go on the boardwalk about a third of the way across the way prior to the first stream feeding into the marsh, scan the spartina across the channel to the right of the equipment in the marsh.  We did not hear the bird singing, a scope may be helpful. 

Tons of singing marsh wrens and occassional swamp sparrow calls.  Saturday morning, I spotted a male and female bobolink in the marsh.  The young osprey in the Carlstadt radio tower nest appear to be perching on the supports around the nest."

(Thanks, Ray!)

We Brake For Swallows!

If you're coming down to DeKorte, drive slowly. The Barn Swallows seem to be feeding on insects low to the ground, including the roadway and parking lots.

This flight pattern, according to NJMC Naturalist Gabrielle Bennett-Meany, means that rain is likely. ("Low flies the swallow, rain to follow," as the old poem goes.)

More on swallows and rain here.

How many places have a bird-friendly sign like ours, above?

Butterfly Day: The List

As promised, here’s the complete list of 15 butterfly species from Sunday’s 2nd annual Butterfly Day.

Red Admiral (above, photo by Bruce Harman), Cabbage White, Broad-winged Skipper, Viceroy, Silver-spotted Skipper, Orange Sulphur, Peck’s Skipper, Pearl Crescent, Common Buckeye, Gray Hairstreak, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Question Mark, American Lady, Monarch, Clouded Sulphur.

(Thanks, Bruce!)

Last year we had 16 species — link is here.

Another Terrific Butterfly Day

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2nd Annual Butterfly Day at DeKorte Park.P1140018

We had 350 people (including an estimated 175 children),  15 species of butterfly, an awesome Clear-winged Moth, two ravens and a Peregrine Falcon.

We will post a full list tomorrow.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission would like to thank Bergen County Audubon Society and the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association for all their help in co-sponsoring this great free, family-friendly event.

Up next: A mid-summer bird count for families and everyone else at DeKorte Park on Sunday, July 31.

If you have photos from today you would like to share, send them to jim.wright (at)