Daily Archives: March 1, 2013

Our March Observatory Schedule

The William D. McDowell Observatory IMG_5829in DeKorte Park begins a new month of programming on Monday night.

Free public access is from 8 to 10 on Monday and Wednesday nights  this month — weather permitting, of course.

Dress for the weather; with the dome open, you are basically outside.

Each evening at least two major objects in the night sky will be viewed, plus one or two other celestial objects or events depending on the observing conditions.

For more information about free public viewing nights and to check out the observatory's website, click here.

For a South Bergenite column by the NJMC's Jim Wright about the observatory, click here.

We Need Your Big Year Totals

DSCN9973Get out your binoculars — and send us your Meadowlands Big Year totals as of Feb. 28!

The rules are simple, and the first prizes are similar to last year — pontoon boat rides for two, Meadowlands Environment Center annual membership for two, and a nifty Meadowlands coffee-table book.

The goal is to see as many different bird species as possible in the 14 towns of the Meadowlands District over the course of 2012 — and also to have fun birding.

The birder with the highest total will have a donation made in his name for native plants in the Meadowlands — courtesy of the Bergen Country Audubon Society. (For 2012, BCAS donated $211!)

To ensure a level playing field, all birds must be seen in areas open to the public, or on guided walks or banding events in such places as Harrier Meadow or the back of the Kingsland Landfill. 

It's not too late to get started. Sunday's Mill Creek Marsh Walk at 10 a.m. is a great way to begin. We''ll even share a list of birds seen on the walk on eBird.org, and you can delete the birds you did not see.

The idea is to promote birding in the Meadowlands, and to give area birders a competition that does not require as much travel (and gasoline consumption) as, say, a New Jersey Big Year.

To make this as fair as possible, we  have two divisions: Meadowlands residents and non-Meadowlands residents.

More details follow.

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