Daily Archives: April 3, 2009

Harrier Walk: Species of the Day

   We got a rare view of this down-to-earth creature  on the path at Harrier Meadow during our (rainy) Walk of the Month this morning.
   An American Robin was wetting his whistle nearby.
   Three brave souls joined us for the 90-minute walk. They were rewarded with excellent views of dozens of worms  and 28 bird species, including: Ring-necked Duck, Northern Harrier, Eastern Phoebe, and Barn Swallow.

   Look for a full (wormless) report on Friday's walk on this blog early next week.

   More on Earthworms here.

Tree Swallows Are Back — and Nest Boxes Are Going Up

IMG_3125  The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission has begun its annual nesting box program for tree swallows this week, and the beautiful iridescent-blue birds are grabbing up the boxes as soon as they are placed along the edge of wetlands.

   In some instances (see photo at right), Tree swallow box the birds have flown into the nesting boxes while the boxes were still on the boat.

     Tree swallows are a popular bird for many people, not just for their iridescent beauty and graceful speed, but also because they love to eat insects.  It has been estimated that a family of tree swallows can eat hundreds upon hundreds of midges, mosquitoes and other insects in a day. 

     With the help of 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.

    Last year, Meadowlands Commission naturalists used GPS devices to help keep track of tree-swallow activity in all of the nesting boxes.

COMING SOON: Tree Swallow Video

   Click here to read Bergen Record Environmental Writer Jim O'Neill's nifty story today about the Tree Swallow Project.

   "Continue reading…" for more info and pics.


Continue reading

Last Sunday: Birding for Beginners at DeKorte

   The Bergen County Audubon Society got a nice turnout for its Birding for Beginners class, hosted by the Meadowlands Commission at the Visitor Center in DeKorte Park last Sunday.
   A turnout of three dozen learned about binoculars, field guides, and bird identification — before trying out their newfound skills in DeKorte Park (below).
   Click here for more information on Bergen County Audubon. Click here for more info on their "Birding For Beginners" walks.