Monthly Archives: February 2009

APB on Eurasian Collared Dove


Birder Chris Takacs of Lyndhurst has issued an all-points-bulletin:
   "Anyone birding the DeKorte area this weekend, please check those  Doves you see around the park.
   "Wednesday afternoon I saw a probable  Eurasian Collared Dove sitting in my driveway. I'm only 2 houses from Schuyler  Ave., I saw it briefly.
   "The bird was  longer, chunkier and lighter colored than the MODO's it was adjacent to. Although I've seen the bird 1000+  times, mostly in Florida, it caught me off guard and off course my camera was  in my car.
   "Checking NJ records, this could be a first Bergen County sighting and the first in NJ north of Sandy Hook."
      More on this bird here.

Falconers in the Meadowlands

  Falconer Erik Swanson of Lodi and two colleagues brought their raptors to the Meadowlands Environment Center earlier this week for a talk and flight demonstration for Melissa Manzella and her  AP Biology Class of Lyndhurst High School.
  Some of the raptors on display were like no other you have ever seen — including a Gyrlin. The name pretty much tells the story: It's a Gyrfalcon the size of a Merlin.

   Click here for photos of the Gyrlin and other raptors.

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Banded Mockingbird

   While at Harrier Meadow on Wednesday, we saw this Northern Mockingbird taking a driIMG_2059bnk from one of the ponds. we thought we detected a band on its right leg.
    Sure enough, an enlargement of his right foot showed that it was banded — most likely one of the mockingbirds that we banded last year.
   Some of our banded birds have migrated thousands of miles.
   Others, like this mocker (and several of his buddies), have stayed around here all along.

New Flyway Gallery Show


    The natural beauty of the  Meadowlands as captured by Rutherford photographers Melissa Buesing and Jonathan Glick will be on display during March at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s (NJMC) Flyway Gallery.

   The show, “Meadowlands – Recent Works by Melissa Buesing and Jonathan Glick,” runs from March 2 through March 30.

     A reception for the artists is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 8.

   Click "Continue Reading" for more information on the show.

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BLACK HISTORY WEDNESDAY 022509: Ruby Dee, Kearny


                                                                                                            Photo credit: AT&T Archives.


The Meadowlands Commission is honoring Black History Month with a weekly post on this blog. Today the topic is  Ruby Dee — pictured above working in Kearny. We would like to thank Tammy Marshall, librarian of the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute, for her help in these Black History Month posts.

    Actress and civil rights champion Ruby Dee, who was born in Cleveland in 1924 and raised in Harlem, worked at the Western Electric Company’s Kearny Works during World War II, soldering wires on an assembly line.

   She graduated from Hunter College and got her first Broadway role in a play called "Jeb," about a black GI war hero. The star was Ossie Davis, whom she married two years later.  

   Both Davis and Dee were active in the Civil Rights Movement throughout their careers. Dee has been involved with the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

   Dee starred in "American Gangster," set in part in Bergen County, in 2007.

   For more information on Ruby Dee, click here.

   For more information on Kearny's Western Electric plant, click "Continue reading…" 

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    Can you find the Snowy Owl in this snowy photo?

   This is what it was like (only easier and not as freezing cold)  to look for the Snowy Owl(s) in the Meadowlands this winter.

    Click here for more Tuesday Teasers.

    Click "Continue reading…" for the owl's locale in the photo and for more information on this species.

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Falconers talk to a class at DeKorte

   Three falconers visited the Meadowlands Environment Center in DeKorte Park today to give a raptor demonstration and a talk to an advanced-placement environmental science class from Lyndhurst High school.

    They brought six raptors with them to show the class. 

     We hope to post more about the talk — and perhaps a video — later this week, so stay tuned.

Birding Event for March


  The Meadowlands Commission is partnering with Bergen County Audubon Society for its major March birding event.

    "Birding for Beginners" will be held on Sunday March 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst.

    You can learn how to get started birding, learn about optics, and how to identify birds.  We will begin indoors and then venture outside to use our new skills.


   Registration required for this free event.

   Please contact Don Torino at Bergen County Audubon Society at 201-636-4022 or email here.

   Stay tuned for other upcoming events, including a Skeetkill Marsh clean-up in March.



About Those Cedar Stumps

IMG_9979    We gave a talk at the Kearny Library last week, and the subject of the Meadowlands White Cedar stumps came up: 

    These trees once covered much of the Meadowlands. How did they meet their demise? 

   We suggested that many had been felled to build Paterson Plank Road, as we posted on this blog here. A member of the audience pooh-poohed that theory. No, he insisted, the White Cedars were burned in the late 1700s to drive out early pirates who hid there.

    Alas, we had heard that theory pooh-poohed earlier in the week by historian Kevin Wright, who told us that they were used "to make water-proof shingles, pails, churns, firkins, etc."

   Who's right? And what's a firkin?

   Click "Continue reading…" for more about the mystery of the White Cedars.

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