Daily Archives: May 18, 2012

Sneak Preview: DeKorte Park This Weekend

NJMC Naturalist Mike Newhouse took a group of educators on a morning bird walk along the Kingsland Overlook Trail and the Marsh Discovery Trail.

The group had 30 species, including Dunlin, some Cedar Waxwings (above) and an Indigo Bunting.

We are posting the full list of birds seen on the walk — think of it as a sneak preview for this weekend. (Thanks for the list, Mke!)

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Marsh Hawks’ World Series Tally Sheet

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Ever wonder what a World Series of Birding Checklist looks like?

Here's the 2012 checklist for the prize-winning Meadowlands Marsh Hawks team.

They saw 139 species in less than 24 hours in Bergen County — but couldn't get a Black-capped Chicadee.

(Thanks to team members Mike Newhouse, Chris Takacs and Mike Wolfe!)

Saving Praying Mantises

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Mickey Raine writes:

A few years back, my wife Elaine and I noticed how many of the Praying Mantis egg casings we spotted during the winter in Mill Creek Marsh were either gone or destroyed by the following spring, therefore producing very little in the form of new population.

Many of these sacs were either lying on the ground, completely exposed to any predator or poorly hanging on to excessively thin stems of invasive vines, again not properly protected from the harsh elements. 

Upon careful study and research of how the Praying Mantis reproduction usually succeeds, Elaine had a much better idea of how to raise the odds of survival.

This past winter, when we found disturbed egg casings (above), Elaine attached them to bamboo skewers and secured them onto branches, using higher gauge string. 

All have survived the winter beautifully.

As an extra precaution in the event no others in the marsh area survived, we kept one of the casings in a jar.  When the babies hatched, Elaine took a couple of photos and  immediately took the jar with the babies over to Mill Creek Marsh, where she released them in a safe spot.

(Thanks, Elaine and Mickey!)

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