eBird has a nifty new feature called “Hotspot Explorer,” which enables you to see what has been seen recently at DeKorte Park, Laurel Hill, Mill Creek Marsh and just about everywhere else. Really easy to use, and includes a link for directions.
The “Hotspot Explorer” link is here.
The link for DeKorte Park is here.
The link for Mill Creek Marsh is here.
The link for Laurel Hill County Park is here.
The link for Kearny Marsh is here.
Jim Wright, who keeps this blog for the Meadowlands Commission, also writes a twice-monthly column for the South Bergenite. His latest column is about Mike Newhouse (above) and the Meadowlands Commission’s bird-banding research program:
One of the coolest parts of my job is watching the Meadowlands Commission’s annual fall bird-banding research project.
For the past six autumns, NJMC Naturalist Mike Newhouse and his small group of volunteers have been briefly capturing birds in delicate netting, and then weighing them and determining their age and gender.
The birds are beautiful, even if the setting is old-style Meadowlands — in the parking lot of the closed Erie landfill, next to a PSE&G substation in North Arlington.
Since 2008, Mike and his volunteers have banded more than 22,000 birds in their research on migratory birds and micro-habitats. They place a lightweight aluminum band with a unique nine-digit number on each bird’s right leg before releasing back into the wild. (Don’t worry: The band does not cause discomfort to the birds or affect its ability to fly.)
And since they enter their banding information into a national data base, researchers everywhere can benefit.
In some cases, Mike’s crew may recapture a bird they banded just a few days before. When that happens, they check to see if the bird’s weight has changed. If it has, that means that the landfill is providing a wonderful rest stop for birds as they fly south.
Bird-banding has made Mike realize just how much avian diversity there is on the Meadowlands’ former landfills: “Nobody knows the importance of landfills during bird migration. We’ve captured roughly 80 species on the landfill, which is really amazing. It’s an important habitat.” Continue reading