Monthly Archives: July 2008

LYNDHURST: Dowitchers



We saw these birds in the Kingsland Tidal Impoundment Wednesday while walking along the Marsh Discovery Trail. Could not get closer, but the educated guess is that they are short-billed dowitchers.
    They have also been seen at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus.
    If you thave any significant sightings anywhere in the Meadowlands, please let us know. If you would be willing to share a digital photo or two, even better.

RIDGEFIELD: Monk parakeets


A lot of people have heard of the monk parakeets of Edgewater or Fort Lee, but far fewer are aware of a colony in the Meadowlands, above the railroad tracks on a bridge along Railroad Avenue.

You'll hear their racket before you see them.  They have been in Ridgefield for a several years, and are likely descendants of escaped birds.  They're also called quaker parrots.

Read more about monk parakeets here.

INSECTS: Hummingbird moth


   It’s a bird! It’s a butterfly! No, wait — it’s a hummingbird clear-wing moth.
  These moths may not be a big deal to longtime birders and insect lovers, but this is one neat bug, and it can be seen throughout the region these days.

The one pictured here was photographed at the butterfly garden at DeKorte Park by NJMC staffer Marc Schrieks.

   Click here for more information on this moth.



   One of the many cool and useful projects done by the Meadowlands Commission’s scientific arm, MERI (the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute), is aerial photography done from balloons.

 The photo above was taken last Thursday along the Hackensack River looking north between the Upper Hackensack lift bridge and the HX drawbridge. The two railroad bridges cross the Hackensack between Lyndhurst and Secaucus.

   More on MERI here.
   More on the aerial photography here.
    Click "Continue reading…" for more images.

Continue reading

LITTLE FERRY: Losen Slote Creek Park


 Losen Slote Creek Park is a great place for a hike, and during May and autumn, a good spot to catch warblers moving through.
he 28-acre park seemed a bit overlooked  — perhaps because it's off the beaten path. The first part of the park is woods, then meadows. 
The trail is blazed with red-dotted markers, with Mehrhof Woods fenced off to the left aImg_4367nd houses in the distance to your right.
   That's good to know in case you lose your way.    If you keep the houses on your left and the fence on your right, you'll find your way back.
   But bring a cellphone, just in case.

   The meadows portion is a bit overgrown and easy to get lost in, but filled with dragonflies and an occasional butterfly. If you wander around long enough, you'll come across the slow-moving Losen Slote ("slote" being Dutch for "creek."
   On a  recent visit, the bird of the day was an Indigo Bunting that zipped through the meadow portion.  Standing in the meadow, you feel as though you are in the wild –  despite being in heart of Bergen County.
   Click here  and here for more information.

  Click "Continue reading" for more images from Losen Slote Creek Park.

Continue reading

CONSERVATION: Tree swallow study

    Tree swallows are thriving in the Meadowlands once again, thanks to an innovative nesting box program.

  And the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission now has the data to prove it.

  With a huge boost from local scout troops, families and other groups, the Meadowlands Commission has erected some 250 nesting boxes in marshes throughout the 30.4-square-mile district.

    This year, with the help of Using_the_gps GPS devices, the Meadowlands Commission naturalists Mike Newhouse and Gabrielle Bennett-Meany are keeping track of tree-swallow activity in all of the nesting boxes.

   They found that more than 60 percent were occupied by nesting pairs, with 610 eggs laid and more than 480 nestlings  successfully fledged as of July 15.

  Click "Continue reading…" for more images and information.


Continue reading

LYNDHURST: Egret roosts



The impoundment next to the Meadowlands Environment Center at DeKorte Park Plaza in Lyndhurst is a great spot to watch egrets — especially when water levels are low.
   But when the impoundment fills with water, the egrets have had no place to perch — until now.
    Last week, NJMC naturalists imported several sturdy  branches and sunk them into the mud, in hopes they will attract egrets?
   The question now is, how will the egrets respond?   
   Stay tuned.