The decline of a species is a very insidious affair. Their departure almost seems to go unnoticed until it sneaks up on you when you least expect it. It feels as if when no one is watching you wake up one day and realize you no longer see the bird you once loved as often as you have in the past. Then you begin to look around and wonder why, and ask what could have happened ?
In reality, of course, the deterioration of a species of wildlife does not happen overnight and usually has multiple causes, but the warning signs are always there waiting to be found. The American Kestrel is one of those species that holds a special place in my heart. Unfortunately, while it once graced the skies of the Meadowlands, it has now sadly seen a dramatic decline in a very short time.
Credit: Johann Schumacher
Check out this column from this past weekend’s New York Times on the American Kestrel in New York City. Check back tomorrow morning for much more on the Kestrel.
Cool event tomorrow night in Teaneck: Bergen County Audubon Society (BCAS) is hosting a program on the New Jersey Bald Eagle Program. Check out the BCAS Facebook page for more info.
Don Torino of the Bergen County Audubon Society (BCAS) sent in a photo of a rather proud looking Peregrine Falcon, the highlight of this morning’s walk at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus. “Great people and great weather made it a great morning, and this Peregrine Falcon made the day,” Don writes.
Don’t miss the next free guided walk on Sunday, Nov. 1, at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus from 10 am to noon. For more information email Don at email@example.com or give him a call at 201-230-4983.
Mickey Raine sent in the following, lovely tribute to his wife Elaine’s Aunt Rose:
I had driven over to DeKorte Park very early this morning, hoping to capture some pre-sunrise and sunrise hour scenes. We had just learned about the passing of Elaine’s Aunt Rose in San Jose, California, and I, too, felt her to be a truly special lady–an infinitely devoted mother, grandmother, wife and sister.
Rose Ichishita (Aunt Rose)
She always seemed to be of great spirits, in spite of her personal conditions, much like our dear friend Tricia, who had just passed away. Elaine had just had one of her long and fun chats with Rose no more than two weeks ago.
This may sound corny, but sunset and sunrise landscape viewings can be deep solace for the soul, while also, quite inspirational.
The Meadowlands has made NJSpotlight’s Top 10 New Jersey locales during the fall migration for birders to add species to their life lists. Check out the story here!
Join the Bergen County Audubon Society tomorrow, Oct. 20, for their Third-Tuesday-of-the-Month Meadowlands Nature Walk. The free walk is at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus from 10 am to noon. Keep an eye out for migrating raptors, shorebirds and other birds of interest, like the Northern Harrier shown in this post. The walk meets at the main parking lot by the ball fields. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201-230-4983.
Common Yellowthroat Credit: Fred Nisenholz
We’re very happy to have a bonus second column today from our friend Don Torino at the Bergen Audubon Society. It’s a very heartfelt piece about the everyday challenges of being an environmentalist and the small things that keep us going. Enjoy!
They say to be a conservationist one must forever be an eternal optimist. Anyone that pronounces themselves an environmentalist knows all too well that, to carry on the day-to-day conflicts and struggles that at times seem to be overwhelming, we must have faith that in one way or another we can change the world for the better.
I am sure that somewhere deep in my heart, between the frustrations, public indifference and exhaustion, that is what must be driving all of us to continue. Nevertheless there are those times the undying hopefulness begins to fade and even dwindle into the defeats of the day .
(Note: We will be posting a bonus column from Don around 2 p.m. today!)
A few winters back birders from all over New Jersey and some neighboring states descended upon Losen Slote Creek Park in Little Ferry to see if they could get a look at Redpolls and White-winged Crossbills that were generous enough to stop over and give us local folks a thrill. As a multitude of binoculars gazed skyward I could hear a nice young lady cry out, “There they are on the itchy balls!” I couldn’t help but laugh . I hadn’t heard the tree referred to by that name for a very, very long time . The tree that she was so happily denoting was, of course, a Liquidambar styraciflua – the Sweetgum tree.