Jim Wright, who maintains this blog, also writes a twice monthly column for the South Bergenite. His latest column is on Red-winged Blackbirds — and our upcoming nature walks:
You will be happy to hear that spring has arrived. Sure, the calendar says three more weeks of winter remain, but the birds don’t lie.
Last week, on a guided nature walk in North Arlington, bird-lovers were treated not only to three Killdeer — the first Meadowlands sighting of these eccentric shorebirds this year — but they also saw a tree filled with male red-winged blackbirds. Can our ospreys and tree swallows be far behind?
The male red-winged blackbirds typically arrive a few weeks before the females so they can lay claim to their nesting areas — each male with a “harem” of several female red-wings and nests.
In the months to come, you’ll hear the males’ distinctive call — “cong-a-reeeeee” — resounding throughout the Meadowlands.
The story continues below.
New on our Meadowlands history blog are some archival photos from Secaucus from the days when it was a farming community.
To figure out what we might be seeing in the Meadowlands in March, we thought we'd look back to last year.
Here are some highlights (click on text to see the full post):
March 7: Tree Swallows Are Here (photo above by Chris Takacs)
March 9: Disposal Road Action
March 14: New Meadowlands Frog Species
March 20: First Day of Spring Walk: The Full List
March 23: The Ospreys Are Here
March 26: Full list of Meadowlands Birds on the State Watch Lists
March 30: April Fool's Day Walk Preview
For March 2011 highlights, click here.
For March 2010 highlights, click here.
A new app from eBird allows you to upload your birding checklists from the field in one easy click. It costs 99 cents, and a portion of the proceeds goes to fund research and conservation work at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
The link is here.
A previous post on eBird is here.
Yesterday, we asked readers to identify the locations on the map above. It's a little challenging, until you get your bearings. It also helps to know the names of these places!
1. The Meadowlands Environment Center (and the NJMC Administration Building) are located on the edge of the Kingsland Landfill. The Shorebird pool below the "1" is frozen.
2. The Transco Pipeline, now the Transco Trail.
3. The western spur of the NJ Turnpike.
4. The Kingsland Landfill.
5. The Erie Landfill.
6. What would become Harrier Meadow.
7. The 1-E Landfill.
8. The PSE&G transmission lines, later to become the Sawmill Creek Trail.
Yesterday's Teaser asked what was wrong with the photo at left, taken at Harrier Meadow on last week's free guided walk.
The answer follows. Congrats to all of you who answered correctly!
We took a photo of this aerial map from February 1982. It features DeKorte Park, some active landfills, some iced-over bodies of water, and Harrier Meadow (before it became Harrier Meadow).
The same map, with sites numbered, follows.
What's wrong with this picture? Taken during last Tuesday's Harrier Meadow walk… Answer tomorrow.
Beat the late winter blues! Our next free guided walk with the Bergen County Audubon Society is this Sunday at 10 a.m. at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus. It's a great place for a walk, with beautiful views and lots of birds — including this Chicka-dee-dee-dee.
Full details follow.
Today's featured photographer is Patrick Carney.
"When I was 8, my parents got me a point-and-shoot camera for Christmas. I would go out with it all the time in local parks and in my yard, and I loved taking nature pictures! Now I'm in high school, and my equipment and skill have definitely improved.
Back in the days of the first few point-and-shoots, I remember being disappointed with the pictures 'because they weren't like the ones on magazine covers.' Now with a better lens, I am really able to zoom in on my favorite subjects – birds."
"I'm happy to say that my photos have now appeared in two magazines; the 2012 May/June issue of Wild Bird magazine, and the January/February 2013 Audubon Magazine (picture taken @ DeKorte!).
"The interest in photography, however, wouldn't have gotten to where it was without great places like the Meadowlands to go and take pictures. The variety of birds in the Meadowlands is amazing, and a walk through a place like DeKorte is always rewarding even if I don't come away with a good photo. "
Patrick's website is http://carneynaturephoto.weebly.com
Two more photos follow.