Monthly Archives: November 2008


   The wild Monk Parakeets of Ridgefield look to be doing well.
   We stopped by to check in on them last week and found more than two dozen IMG_7145 sunning themselves in nearby trees. It seemed a bit odd to see a parakeet on a tree with dead leaves, but that is the way it is in this region.
    Karen Riede of the town's Environmental Committee says the Monk Parakeet population is around 30– as it was last year about this time — and that the birds are perfectly acclimated.
   "They all grew up right here, and this is the only home or environment they know,"
she says.
    The birds have been in Ridgefield, Edgewater, Fort Lee and other spots for so long that there is a strong likelihood that  this beautiful, colorful (if a tad loud) bird will be to the state list.

   A prevous post on the parakeets is here.


   The William D. McDowell Observatory in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst has expanded its free public viewing hours.
   Next week, public viewing hours will be from 7 to 10 p.m. on Monday. The observatory wiill be closed on Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve), and then will resume public viewing hours the following week from 7 to 10 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.
   The observatory is a great regional resource. Check it out.
   Click here and here for more information on the observatory.


    The second Harrier Meadow walk for November was cold and a bit windy but sunny. Five hearty Harrier fans fought the chill for two hours to see more than 30 species.
    According to NJMC Naturalist Michael Newhouse, "We had an excellent view of an Orange-crowned Warbler. We also had 8 species of waterfowl, several Northern Harriers, a Bald Eagle, and Fox and Savannah Sparrows."

  Click here for other Harrier Meadow postings.

  Click "Continue reading…" below  for the full list.

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   The Meadowlands Commission was proud to play host to the Watoto Children's Choir from beleaguered Uganda on Monday.  This internationally known choir, composed of orphans, wanted to see local nature on a day off aduring their six-month North American tour.
    Meadowlands Naturalist Gabrielle Bennett-Meany (blue coat, above) gave the 1IMG_6493-17 young singers and their team a walk along the Marsh Discovery Trail and a visit to the Environment Center's Discovery Station in the afternoon.

 At night, John Sloan of the McDowell Observatory gave them a look through the research-grade, optical telescope.
   The choir is giving a free concert in Kearny tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 18).
   Click here for more information on the choir.
   Click "Continue reading…" to see a video of the Watoto Choir's impromptu song at the observatory.

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Button1    Birder Michael Britt is organizing this year's CBC in the Meadowlands. The day is Sunday, Dec. 14, from pre-dawn to dusk, and he is looking for a few dedicated and hearty volunteers to help.
    Expert birders and beginners alike can participate, but be advised this is no walk in the park – the weather can be nasty, and there's a lot of ground to cover.

    Towns to be covered are , North Arlington, Kearny, Lyndhurst, East Rutherford, Carlstadt, Secaucus, North Bergen, etc. — "basically everything but Mehrhof Pond, Teterboro, and other areas at the extreme northern end of the district," Mike says.

   Click the "I Count" button above for more information on the CBC in general.

   Click "Continue reading…" immediately below for details on the Meadowlands CBC.

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Eagle jan 28-1    Channel 13 is airing a great "Nature" show on Bald Eagles this week.

   Although it's set in the Midwest (we'd rather see Eastern Bald Eagles), the footage is superb.

   It includes some amazing shots of a young mother eagle learning to feed her two eaglets in the nest, and footage of eagles hunting (if you are a Coot fan, might fast-forward through this part).

   If you are not an eagles fan yet, you will be after you see this show about America's symbol.

   (A reminder — an NJMC staffer saw a Bald Eagle over DeKorte Park last week, so keep your eyes out.)

   If you missed Sunday night's show, you can still catch it on Tuesday, November 18, at 2:30 a.m. (that's tonight, we think) and Saturday, November 22, 6:00 p.m.