Monthly Archives: September 2013

Yesterday: Peregrine Action @Laurel Hill


Made a quick trip to Laurel Hill to see if any Ospreys still were out and about. They weren’t, but a pair of young Peregrines put on quite a show above and along the cliffs — dive-bombing each other and zipping around full-tilt pretty high up. (Yes, one of them is upside-down in the photo above; and yes, the one in the photo at lower left appears to be carrying a feather in his talons.)

This, of course, made them tough to photograph (sorry about that). As far we could tell, one was banded and the other was not. They are likely part of the young birds that have been hanging out in the Meadowlands and along the Hackensack River for much of the summer.


Teaser Answered

039Yesterday we asked, “Who is this ‘pillar of strength — from last Tuesday’s walk?”

Fran Duggan and Tiffany Giovia said it is a Wooly Bear Caterpillar. Patrick Carney says it is an Isabella Tiger Moth Caterpillar.

Ian Garrison covered all the bases:” Wooly bear. Cute little guy, too. He’ll make a nice tiger moth.”  Thanks to all who answered!

For those who guessed Wooly Bully, that was a bit of a sham.

(Thanks to Marie Longo for the pic!)

Don Torino’s Latest Column: Birding Alone

A walk alone reminds us why we love birding.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Nicol.

Don Torino, who leads a lot of our walks, also writes a weekly column for His latest is on birding alone. Here’s a sample: :

It is usually by chance that I find myself alone with my binoculars pursuing a Peregrine Falcon through its aeronautical maneuvers over the Meadowlands or walking the woods listening for a Wood Thrush.

It happens as a blissful accident that I find a last minute free moment that allows me to venture out to a favorite birding spot. Sometimes it happens when a friend has a last minute change of plans that leaves me unaided to visit with the local birds.

Other times it may just be that I arrive early for an event, and discover a woodlot of Warblers contesting about high in the Oaks, that I begin my lone quest into nature for what may be just a short social call with my feathered friends.

As limited as my stay may be, something special seems to happen when I am silent and only the sounds of the winds through the leaves and the calls of the birds drift through the air; I begin to remember why I truly love the birds.

The link is here.

Pontoon Boat Trips: Today & Thursday@5 p.m.

Pontoon boat
If you are interested in joining Bergen County Audubon Society and the Meadowlands Commission for a two-hour “birding by boat” pontoon-boat cruise today or Thursday at 5 p,.m., contact us asap.  We have some seats available.

The boat ride along the Hackensack River and its marshes is two hours long and costs just a $15 donation. This is a beautiful time of year for a pontoon boat cruise on the river.

We’ll look for peregrine falcons, ospreys, northern harriers, various egrets and herons, plus diamondback terrapins.  Tour departs from the River Barge Park in Carlstadt. For pre-registration information or to rsvp, please contact Gaby Bennett-Meany at 201-460-4640 or Cathy Vonk at 201-460-4677.

Squishy the Terrapin Needs a Fish Tank!

DSCN6581Karin La Greca of the Meadowlands Environment Center writes:

Our youngest Diamondback Terrapin, Squishy, is growing and in need of a new fish tank. I was wondering if anyone has a tank that is capable of holding water that they would like to donate.

The tank will need to be at least 36 inches long with a height not exceeding 21 inches.

Please e-mail me at Education.Information (at)

Thank you!

‘Nature of Meadowlands’ Talk in Allendale Next Fri.

Nature of Meadowlands cover lg-003Jim Wright, who keeps this blog, will be giving a talk and slide show on his book “The Nature of the Meadowlands” on Friday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. at Allendale Borough Hall, 500 Crescent Ave., Allendale.

Signed copies of the book will be available for sale after the program, with proceeds going to benefit the NJMC’s educational programming.

As a bonus, recent wonderful and whimsical wildlife wood-carvings by the legendary Stiles Thomas will be on display.

The Star-Ledger review of the book is here.

Contact Jim Wright at 201-469-7349 for more information about the event.