Monthly Archives: July 2012

Our Latest South Bergenite Column: In Memory of John Quinn

Jim Wright, who keeps this blog, writes a twice-monthly nature column for The South Bergenite. His latest column is on the late John R. Quinn:

Earlier this summer, the Meadowlands lost a true friend and advocate.

John quinn class5-001John R. Quinn — naturalist, author, artist — died in New England after a long illness.

The former Ridgefield Park resident was 73 years old. I met him a couple of times about a decade ago, when I worked for a newspaper and he worked for the Meadowlands Commission, and I exchanged emails with him several times last fall when I was working on a book project about this region’s amazing environmental comeback.

In every instance, I was impressed by his abiding love for the region where he grew up. As a youngster, he had seen the region at its worst — from the rampant toxic dumping to the headlong filling of marshes. As an adult, he helped chronicle its recovery.

In his memorable 1997 book "Fields of Sun and Grass, an Artist's Journal of the New Jersey Meadowlands," the unassuming Quinn wrote that if the lessons learned here “are applied wherever and whenever they are desperately needed, we will, just perhaps, bequeath a livable planet to those whose lives are yet to be lived."

Soon after, Quinn began working for the Meadowlands Commission as a naturalist and artist.  Fellow NJMC Naturalist Brett Bragin recalls John as one of the old-time, true died-in-the-wool, self-taught naturalists — with a couple of differences.

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Daily Double: Banded Peregrine, Tagged Egret

Thanks to in part to Ramon Gomez, the Meadowlands Commission got the Daily Double of the Bird-Banding World today.

First an NJMC staffer happened upon a young Peregrine near a former landfill at lunchtime and was able to get a shot. (The tag reads "36AX.")

Upon the staffer's return, Ramon Gomez, who is participating in the Meadowlands Big Year contest, phoned to say that there was a tagged Great Egret in the Shorebird Pool (below; it may still be around). The tag reads A15.

The egret was also banded but it was impossible to read.  This may be the same tagged egret that Chris Takacs saw at Clay Avenue wetlands a short while back.

We will post more info as it becomes available. Closeups of the tag and band follow. (Thanks, Ramon and Chris!)


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More Moth Info

As promised, here's are some helpful websites for those who attended last night's big Moth Night.

Dave Moskowitz of National Moth Week suggests: Photographs and moth data should be submitted to our partners at Project Noah – Photographs can be submitted via cell phone), Discover LifeBugGuide and the Moth Photographers Group10_2011_NMWlogoSmall

National Moth Week focuses attention on moths and biodiversity through moth nights and other unique moth-oriented programs around the country and the world.

There are currently 240 registered locations in 48 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, 4 Canadian Provinces and 18 countries and more are coming in every day.

To find other programs near you, visit the National Moth Week website ( and the map of locations.

An Awesome Moth Night!

The Meadowlands Commission and Bergen County Audubon Society would like to thank all the folks who turned out last night for our first annual IMG_2807
Moth Night. We stopped counting around 100 or so.

Equally important we would like to thank Dave Moskowitz and the team from National Moth Week for providing the lights and expertise and putting on such an amazing program.

We will be posting more photos as time allows — including a bunch of moths that we probably could use some help identifying.

Ar one point, Dave estimated that we had 100 species of moths either at the light set-ups (we had three of them) or the trees with a special moth-magnet brew on them.

A couple of moth pix follow, just to wet your whistle.

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The NJMC's Jim Wright, who keeps this blog, is giving a free talk and slide show on a brief history of birds in the Meadowlands next Tuesday, July 31, at 2 p.m.

The event will be held in the 1-img144-001Meadowlands Environment Center auditorium in DeKorte Park.

Topics will include Meadowlands birds that have made remarkable comebacks, gone extinct or rebounded in a most unexpected way.

The slide show will include a mix of archival images and recent Meadowlands nature photography.

Wright is the author of the upcoming coffee-table book, "The Nature of the Meadowlands," to be published by Schiffer Books this fall.

The talk, part of the MEC's summer senior programming, is open to all.

For more information or to rsvp, call (201) 777-2431 or (201) 460-8300.

Aggressive Terns at DeKorte

Tern 3
First came the alpha-male Red-winged Blackbird. Now, says Roy Woodford, "The one surprise [Monday] was some rather aggressive Forster's Terns (above).  I counted six of them along the Marsh Discovery Trail … They weren't very happy with my presence (and I wasn't all that close).  I took a few shots and quickly left …"

Roy adds: "It's pretty slow this time of year … but if you look hard enough, there are a few things around.  There was an Eastern Wood-Pewee along Disposal Road … and a few Black-crowned Night Herons (below) along the Transco Trail."



All About National Moth Week

2012_07_21102615David Moskowitz, who will speak and lead the Moth Night program at DeKorte Park, is a co-founder of National Moth Week.

He has posted lots of helpful background information about this amazing global event — and a link to Moth Night sites across New Jersey — on the blog. Link is here.

New Butterflies for DeKorte!

07-22-12 horace's duskywing(1)
We had two new butterflies for DeKorte Park at Butterfly Day — the Meadow Fritillary and Horace's Duskywing (above). 

(Thanks to Julie McCall for the photo, and a thank you to Fred Weber, Wendy Rufo and Deedee Burnside for offering Horace's Duskywing photos as well.)

Still trying to get a Meadow Fritillary photo….

In addition to the fritillary, a Eastern Tailed-Blue (below) was caught by a camera only — thanks to Geri Kratina.

It was terrifice to see so many folks with cameras on Sunday. We believe that digital cameras have been key in increasing the popularity of butterfly-watching. You can capture their beauty and enjoy trying to identify them.

The official North American Butterfly Association list for DeKorte Park is here.