Daily Archives: December 3, 2015

Kestrels Welcome!


Drew McQuade of the NJSEA’s Natural Resources Department was busy this morning installing a Kestrel Box in Harrier Meadow in North Arlington. Drew helped provide us with some background info on Kestrels:


American Kestrels, the smallest and most colorful falcons in North America, inhabit the Meadowlands region year round, but are most abundant in the Spring and Fall. Nesting season begins in late April, with young birds leaving the nest as early as a month after fledging. In the late Spring, most Kestrels will migrate South, while some will continue to stay in the region.

In February 2012, the American Kestrel became listed as a New Jersey threatened species. Like many birds of prey, Kestrels have been losing their habitat and nesting cavities to development. American Kestrels cannot create their own nesting cavities, and must rely on either those that exist naturally, or man-made nest boxes.

American Kestrels are easily distinguished by their most typical hunting behavior where birds hover at a height of around 35 to 65 feet and swoop down on insects and other small prey

The NJSEA will be installing additional Kestrel boxes in the coming weeks.

There’s a chance you could see a Kestrel during this Sunday’s (Dec. 6) guided nature walk led by the Bergen County Audubon Society. The free walk along Disposal Road in Lyndhurst meets in the Meadowwlands Environment Center parking lot in DeKorte Park, which is adjacent to Disposal Road. The walk takes place from 10 am to noon. Disposal Road is a great place for viewing raptors, including Kestrels, hawks and more. For more information, contact greatauk4@gmail.com or 201-230-4983.

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Keeping a Backyard Bird List

birders list (2)One of the most enjoyable things about birding, besides the birds themselves, is keeping track or records of all the birds that we have seen over the years. These lists can contain more than just the date, place and times of all the many special sightings of our feathered friends that make up one of the great passions of our lives. Birds can also hold many special memories of those extraordinary days when we saw that new bird species for the very first time.

Bird lists, or “Life Lists,” as they are commonly called, can be compiled from birds we have seen from all around the world to a state or even just one singular location. But my favorite Life List to keep is from a much smaller geographic location: my own backyard.

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