Monthly Archives: November 2012

Our South Bergenite Column on Storm’s Aftermath

Jim Wright, who keeps this blog for the Meadowlands Commssion, also writes a twice-monthly column for The South Bergenite. His most recent column is on Hurricane Sandy.

Highlight is here:

In the mid-20th century, this region suffered from unprecedented environmental degradation for decades — including unregulated dumping, burning landfills and horrible water pollution from toxic chemicals and barely treated sewage.

We humans have been able to overcome that terrible legacy — a legacy that some thought insurmountable several decades ago.

And we will bounce back from Superstorm Sandy as well.

Full text follows.

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Red-Tail, plus How to Report Trespassers

MEC121104- 99_wmFrank Costeira writes:

I came across a Red-tailed Hawk along Disposal Road on Saturday and Sunday. No leather straps on him. I attached a pic.

BTW, on both Saturday and Sunday there was an ATV and a dirt bike riding on the hill. Is there anyone I can call next time a see someone on the hill, security or local police?

Great question. Here's who to call: The site's security office at 201-896-8100. (Thanks, Frank!)



Don Torino’s Thanksgiving Column

Don Torino's latest post on is Thanksgiving-themed. Patrick Carney provided the pic.

Don's column begins: "My love of Thanksgiving has much less to do with Pilgrims and much more to do with giving thanks to the many wild places we are fortunate enough to enjoy here in New Jersey.

"For me, Thanksgiving always started out spending a few hours in the morning enjoying nature before sitting down to dinner.

"Our family tradition began many years ago when my brother and I would wander the Meadowlands enjoying the crisp fall morning air and looking out for the abundance of wildlife that our Meadowlands held out for us to adore."

The link is here.

Sparrow Eating Fish (As Opposed to a Sparrow-eating Fish)

Because of all the storm related cleanups and other work, we have not been posting many of "nature shots." We will try to post more, moving forward.

Brandon Caswell sent us the photo above, commenting:

"I have been down to Disposal Road a few times since the unfortunate weather events.  I got a picture of a Swamp Sparrow with a Mummichog.  It was also witnessed by another guy birding.  We laughed pretty hard at that sight!"  (Thanks, Brandon!)

Laurel Hill Walk: The Full List

DSCN2407We had 27 species on our Tuesday guided walk at Laurel Hill County Park.

Highlight was the arrival of a pair of Common Ravens, who checked out the old nesting site on the cliff, drove off a pair of Red-tails, then settled on a branch and groomed each other for at least 15 minutes, affording great views.

After someone noted that one raven was larger than the other, a question arose: Which is larger, the male or the female?

The answer, according to Sibley, is the male. (On left, above.)

Full list follows. (Thanks, Denise and Ramon!)

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Book News: WBU, Bookends (w/Gov. Kean) on Dec. 1

Nature of Meadowlands cover-001Two "Nature of the Meadowlands" events are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1. 

At 11 a.m. at Wild Birds Unlimited in Paramus, Jim Wright will give a short talk and slide show about this new coffee table book on the history and natural history of the Meadowlands and its amazing comeback.

He'll also sign copies of the book — on sale at Wild Birds Unlimited, at 189 Route 17 South in Paramus.

From 1 to 2 p.m., Jim and Governor Tom Kean (who wrote the book's foreword) will be signing copies at Bookends in Ridgewood — a rescheduling of the signing originally slated for Nov. 7, when we had that early snowstorm.

Bookends is located at 211 East Ridgewood Avenue in Ridgewood.

More on the book here.

Friday’s Cleanup: Harrier Meadow, North Arlington, 10 a.m.

Our next cleanup is Friday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. at Harrier Meadow in North Arlington.

This beautiful 70-acre natural area (see photo above) took a wallop from  Hurricane Sandy, and we are trying to return the site to a semblance of normal.

Work crews have cleaned up much of the Phragmites debris, called "wrack," and left it in huge piles for removal, but much of the site is still strewn with litter of all sorts — and that's where the Meadowlands Commission and Bergen County Audubon need your help.

Our next cleanup after Harrier Meadow is Sunday at 10 a.m. at Mill Creek Marsh.

More information and a larger view of Marco's photo follow.
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Today’s Laurel Hill Walk

DSCN2437Nine of us visited Laurel Hill in Secaucus for today's Third-Tuesday walk, a change of venue because of hurricane damage elsewhere.

Highlights included a pair of Common Ravens — one of which stopped by the old nesting site for a brief visit (above).

As Ray Duffy had e-mailed us earlier, much of the old nest was washed away by Hurricane Sandy. It was good to see the ravens at the nest again — they did not nest there in 2012.

Other highlights included a Great Cormorant on the swing bridge, and brief encounter between two Red-tails and the two ravens.

We'll post the full list and more ravens pix on Friday.

Tuesday Teaser: Special Cleanup Edition

Volunteers found the skulls of two small mammals during the Harrier Meadow cleanup. We photogrpahed them before passing them along to the Bergen County Audubon Society folks, who will use them in the classroom…

Can you ID either/both skulls?

To another view of the skulls and to see a few more bones (feel free to ID), plus a baseball that seemed to survive the storm unscathed, continue reading.

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