Monthly Archives: April 2012

Don’t Forget to Help the Marsh Hawks


Help the legendary Meadowlands Marsh Hawks! 

They are preparing for their second World Series of Birding on Saturday, May 12. They will be competing in the county-wide category, trying to see as many species of birds in Bergen County in 24 hours as they can  — and raise money for a new native butterfly/bird garden planned for the Carillon area on Disposal Road.

Last year, the Marsh Hawks raised hundreds of dollars for bird research in the Meadowlands.

For more information on supporting the Marsh Hawks, download the Pledge Sheet here: Download Pledge sheet

Or e-mail Team Captain Mike Newhouse at michael.newhouse (at)

If you contribute $25 or more, you will have a chance to win a spiffy official Meadowlands Marsh Hawks cap and T shirt. Make checks payable to the N.J. Meadowlands Commission.

Big Year Update


Yikes! Tomorrow is May 1 already, so we are asking for Meadowlands Big Year participants to e-mail us their totals so far (if they have not done so already. 

There's still eight months left, so feel free to jump in and join the fun. It costs nothing to participate, and we are offering some nifty prizes.

If you are competing off the radar, please e-mail Jim Wright at jim.wright (at) so we know you are out there. 

Much appreciated, and good luck to all.  Thanks to those who have updated their numbers already!

Competition details are here.

Rare Species Sightings Wanted!


The Conserve Wildlife Foundation writes:

The New Jersey Endangered and Non-game Species Program (ENSP) collects data for, not just rare birds, but all of the state’s endangered, threatened, and special concern species. 

A Rare Wildlife Sighting Report Form is available on ENSP’s website for download as well as instructions for completing the form.  A complete list of all of the species tracked by the state — such as the Eastern Box Turtle above –can be downloaded here.

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Our Next First-Sunday Walk: Losen Slote Park, Little Ferry


We hope you' be able join us on Sunday, May 6, for our annual spring walk at Losen Slote. This is primetime for warblers and other migrants, and we hope to see our share. As we did last year, we'll try to groom the trails and clean up any litter we find along the way.

When we did a little scouting trip on Thursday, we noticed the trails were muddy/puddled in a few places, so waterproof boots are a good idea if you've got them.

A post with the list of birds we saw last May on our Losen Slote walk — including 11 species of warblers — is here.

Full event listing follows.

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Kearny Marsh Report: Ron Shields’ Latest

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Ron Shields writes:

Last week, I made my first venture of the year  into the Kearny Marsh by kayak and found numerous Great Blue Herons and plenty of coots throughout the impoundment.  

A substantial raft of Ruddy Ducks was still around along with northern shovelers and a sprinkling of Green-winged Teal.The big surprise was an American Bittern which was flushed from the phragmites in back of Gunnell Oval and a half-dozen snipe that  exploded off a mud flat right in front of me.

The Kearny Marsh also yielded a hunting Northern Harrier and a lone osprey. By the way, the wood duck boxes look great! [Ron is referring to new Wood Duck boxes that the Meadowlands Commission put up in the marsh. One is shown below.]  (Thanks, Ron!)

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Tuesday Teaser Answered (We Just Went with the Flow)

Marco Lips offered up this Teaser, but didn't supply an answer. (Darn you, Marco!)

Mike Gempp posited that it was one of the big pipes connecting Teal Pool with the Saw Mill Creek Mud Flats/Tidal Impoundment, and we agree.

That said, the other answer — "probably the bottom of his coffee cup" did not sound that far-fetched.  Thanks to all who particpated, including Marco.

Latest South Bergenite Column: World Series of Birding

The Meadowlands Commission's Jim Wright, who keeps this blog, also writes a twice-monthly column for The South Bergenite. Here's his latest, on the upcoming World Series of Birding:

On Saturday, May 12, before sunrise, a team of three intrepid birders will begin scouring Bergen County for as many species of birds as they can find in one day.

The team is the Meadowlands Marsh Hawks, led by N.J. Meadowlands Commission naturalist Mike Newhouse, and their goal is simple: to raise money for a new native-plant garden for birds and butterflies in DeKorte Park.

The Marsh Hawks, named after one of the region’s signature raptors, a.k.a. the northern harrier,  are competing in the World Series of Birding, a New Jersey event known around the world.

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