Believe it or not, the monarch butterfly migration is already underway to our north. Although the monarchs of the Meadowlands won’t be heading out any time soon, the Journey North Web site reports that observers in Ontario have already seen butterflies "traveling in clear directional flight." Starting next week, you’ll be able to participate in a nationwide citizen science project that tracks the monarchs’ migration.
A quick visit to the Kearny Marsh last week in hopes of seeing a harbor heron (great egret with a gray band on its right leg and small transmitter on its left) brought none of those special birds. But we did see several other great egrets, a bazillion dragonflies, some jewelweed, pennywort and foxtails. We also saw a least bittern (below) zip past — always a nice bird to spot. Read more about the least bittern here.
Click "Continue reading…" below the photo for more photos.
This week the Meadowlands Environment Center is holding a space camp for students entering the seventh grade. Tuesday’s session was about the sun, stars and planets, and students went outside to learn about the sun in whole new ways (see 1:45-minute video). MEC’s Laura Venner talked to the 15 students abot the sun and SOHO, an international project involving NASA and other space agencies to study the sun. The space camp, one of a half-dozen offered by MEC, a partnership between NJMC and Ramapo College, is designed to meet the New Jersey State Core Curriculum Content Standards. All MEC camps are held at the new Center for Environmental and Scientific Education (below), a “green” building that incorporates sustainable materials and alternative energy, in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst.
This two-minute video is about the Harbor Herons Project, a collaboration of NYC Audubon, NJ Audubon, the Meadowlands Commission and many volunteers. It should be played with the "sound" on. Several great egrets and double-crested cormorant fledglings that were banded earlier this summer are now being spotted in the Meadowlands, confirmation that our marshes are pivotal to the success of herons in the entire metropolitan region. Here is a link to our previous post on the Harbor Herons Project, including a link to the project’s Web pages.
Click "Continue reading…" for more information and photos from this project.