Monthly Archives: November 2017

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: The Spirit of the Eagle

Just as it has always happened since time immemorial, the seasons have changed, mornings have now become cold and crisp, and the final crimson and gold leaves have just about fallen to the ground. And now, like it always should have been, the Bald Eagle begins what it started eternities ago, patrolling the skies of New Jersey; fishing, hunting and soon raising its young as it did for eons past.

Growing up here in the Garden State and especially in the Meadowlands, the Bald Eagle was something we could only imagine and dream of – never could we ever dare to believe that one day we would see the Bald Eagle return here with the almost unimaginable success like it has today.

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McDowell Observatory Is Open (Next Public Viewing Night is Tomorrow, Nov. 15)

The William D. McDowell Observatory at DeKorte Park, which had been tempoarily closed for repair work, is back up and running! The Observatory features a research-grade telescope and is open to the public every Wednesday evening year-round, weather permitting. The next open viewing night is tomorrow, Nov. 15, from 8 to 10:30 pm

Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport; Documentary to Air Wednesday

Scott Morris Productions

A documentary on the battle to protect the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris County from plans to build a 10,000-acre jetport on the property in the early 1960s will air this week on NJTV.

The program is scheduled to air on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. and at 2 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 17. The film earned a Best Documentary award at the 2017 New Jersey Film Festival.

The film chronicles the grassroots movement by a group of people to protect the landmark natural area from development. According to an article on, “The documentary features in-depth interviews with residents, historians and officials, and a tapestry of historic film footage, old photographs and high-end cinematography of the Great Swamp today.”

For more information on the film, click here


Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Nature Knows Best – The Last Flowers

Last Flowers of Summer at DeKorte: Butterfly Bush 11.8.17

A few weeks ago I met someone who is a frequent visitor to one of our Bergen Audubon butterfly gardens . She sat back in her chair and looked at me with sad eyes and said, “Don, things are not good at the butterfly garden.” Needless to say I immediately became alarmed and many catastrophic scenarios began to race through my head.

Was there vandalism? Did a heard of ravenous deer take up residence? Did the groundhogs and bunnies form an evil alliance against the garden making all our hard work for naught? So, it was with great anxiety that I finally got up the nerve to ask the question “What Happened?”

It was then that my fellow lover of the  garden looked up at me again with her big, almost teary eyes and said, “the flowers are almost gone, Summer is over.”

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Photos from Sunday’s DeKorte Walk

Thanks to Don Torino for the great bird watchers photo above, including a father-daughter birder combo, taken during this past Sunday’s (Nov.5) BCAS Nature Walk at DeKorte Park. Many thanks also Joe Koscielny for the great shots of the variety of species seen on Sunday below.

Don’t miss the next Bergen County Audubon Society Meadowlands Nature Walk, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, from 10 am to noon at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus. They’ll be looking for sparrows and other fall migrants. For more info contact Don at or 201-230-4983.


Great Egret

Ruddy Ducks

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

American Robin

Mute Swans