Author Archives: Brian Aberback

Did You Hear the News!


Apparently there’s something going on, and the young tree swallow in the nest box above is excited to share the news. Thanks to Lior Abitbol for the great pics taken over the past week at DeKorte Park!

Tree Swallow

Male Downy Woodpecker

Female Downy Woodpecker




New Jersey Has a State Reptile!

Yesterday Gov. Phil Murphy announced New Jersey’s first State Reptile: The Bog Turtle! The turtle was awarded the honor through a lobbying effort by an elementary school class at the Riverside School in Princeton.

According to a story on, “The bog turtle is both small and colorful. Typically only about four inches long, this is one of the smallest turtles found in North America according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Bog turtles are identified by the iconic orange, yellow or red spots on each side of their head. Most importantly, the bog turtle has been federally listed as threatened since 1997 and has been listed as endangered in New Jersey since 1974 “

While Bog Turtles are not found in the Meadowlands, we’re still proud of our State Reptile!

Read up on the Bog Turtle here

Tree Swallows Love Their Meadowlands Home

Tree Swallows have happy homes once again in the Meadowlands this year thanks to the hard work of NJSEA naturalists who installed the boxes prior to the birds’ spring arrival. Many of the boxes were donated by Scouts and other civic groups. Chris Takacs reports that lots of young are being fed all around DeKorte as well as other spots. Birds are being fed at boxes as well as tree perches.

So a big thank you to everyone involved! And to Chris Takacs for these great photos!


Thank You Aiden!

A big thank you to Aiden Dartley, who today presented NJSEA Naturalist Gaby Bennett-Meany  with four home-made Forster’s Tern nesting platforms! Aiden, 14 and an avid birder, said he made the 2-foot-by-2-foot platforms because “I thought it would be a good way to contribute to the community.” Aiden is a frequent visitor to DeKorte Park and especially enjoys watching Forster’s Terns. “They have a certain charm to them,” he says. Thanks again Aiden, from the NJSEA and DeKorte’s Forster’s Terns!

A Hungry Falcon and An Unlucky Pigeon

This hungry Peregrine Falcon made short work of an unlucky pigeon this past Saturday morning. Chris Takacs provided the photo taken during an NYC Aubudon boat tour with the NJSEA. Peregrines (and sometimes their prey) are one of many marvels of nature that can be seen along the Hackensack River from the unique vantage point of an NJSEA pontoon boat. For more info and to register for a tour click here

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Fore the Bluebirds

Visitors to DeKorte Park are always in awe of the Tree Swallows that have become a symbol of a rejuvenated and revived Meadowlands. But what many folks may not know about these little metallic blue dynamos is that their life and future generations depends on the tiny wooden nest boxes that you see standing along the waters edge throughout the Meadowlands.

No manmade swallow boxes, no more Tree Swallows. That is the reality of this great migratory bird . But there is another bird much less common which is also blue that raises an even a bigger challenge to help bring back to our area: the Eastern Bluebird.

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