Monthly Archives: January 2009



   Last week, after we saw a Peregrine Falcon with bands on both legs, we posted an item on the blog that asked readers for help in determining what the bands meant.
   We received several helpful responses, including a couple that ran along these lines:

    The gray band is a U. S. Fish and Wildlife band. 

     If the bird was banded in New York City (by the NYCDEP), it's a female, indicated by the black over green band on its left leg (a male would be black over red).

    Click "Continue reading…" for more about bird banding.

Continue reading




   The Meadowlands Commission is pleased to announce another Raptor Ramble and Duck Walk on Monday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m.  

    We are also planning a Great Backyard Bird Count Walk and Coffee Hour for Friday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m., so mark your calendars – more information will follow in a later blog post.  (And we will be hosting Saturday and Sunday events this spring.)

   On the Jan. 26 walk, NJMC naturalist Mike Newhouse will lead the way. We will meet at DeKorte Park.

   Not far from DeKorte, we’ll look for Rough-legged Hawks, Northern Harriers, owls (from a distance, of course), and the local Redtails and Kestrel.

   Click "Continue reading …" for more information.

Continue reading


This weekly feature is brought to you by the Meadowlands Commission's Parks Department to give you some historical background on how local places, landmarks, and geographical features  got their name.

Mill Creek Point Park, Secaucus

Millstone       In the 1760s sawmills and gristmills operated in Secaucus, along the tributaries that flowed into the Hackensack River.  One of the grist mills, built around 1840, stood on the left bank of Mill Creek.  

   Above, a 700-pound millstone featured at the park.  The park logo is a stylized millstone. 

   Next week: When Mill Creek Point was a marina.


    The Meadowlands has experienced repeated problems with people who are so intent on getting better views or better photos of the Snowy Owls that they have thought nothing of trespassing on private property to do so.

     To help educate the public, a birder suggests that this blog post the American Birding Association's Principles of Birding Ethics.
   The link is here. In a nutshell, the principles say:
    "Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others.  In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first."

   Click here for an earlier post on photographing owls.

Happy birthday to us!

 IMG_9513  1969                                                                                                       2009                                                       IMG_9510 


  The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission celebrates its 40th birthday tomorrow.

   On Jan. 13, 1969, the legislation creating the original Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission went into effect.

   Stay tuned to this page for monthly bird walks and other nature events. A bird walk for Monday morning, Jan. 26, will be announced later this week.


Last week, as we arrived to check on the Snowy Owl, a Peregrine Falcon arrived and landed on a utility pole. We grabbed a camera and started taking pictures. It flew off and headed toward the field where the Snowy Owl stood in the distance.

The Peregrine wheeled and dropped, then zipped past the owl's head. It was close enough to get the owl to move — and reveal that it had been eating a rabbit.