Monthly Archives: October 2013

Banded Red-tail

Megan Helsel shared this photo of a Red-tailed Hawk that was banded and released this earlier this week at the NJMC’s banding station by Naturalist Mike Newhouse and his terrific team.

So next time you’re photographing raptors on Disposal Road, keep a shutter cocked for this guy.

(Thanks, Megan!)

Losen Slote Trail Cleared

DSCN7963Thanks to a chainsaw-wielding good Samaritan, the fallen tree trunks that made the main trail through Losen Slote Park semi-impassable have now been cleared away.

As a result, it’s fairly easy to get to the meadow at Losen Slote and see views like this, photographed earlier this week.

Landfill Fossil Mystery

The NJMC bird-banding crew had a rare find today — and we’re not talking about the two Nelson’s Sparrows that they banded. We’re referring to the fossil above, found on a rock on the Erie Landfill.

How did it get on the landfill? Who knows.

What kind of fossil?  Any help is appreciated.  (Thanks, bird-banding crew!)

Our Latest Column: All About Harrier Meadow

DSCN7740Jim Wright, who keeps this blog, also writes a nature column twice a month for the South Bergenite. His latest is all about Harrier Meadow.

The Meadowlands Commission’s next free guided walk, on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 10 a.m., will take place at Harrier Meadow in North Arlington. If you’ve never seen this incredibly beautiful 78-acre natural area — located between closed landfills and a former trash-transfer facility — your first reaction will likely be disbelief.

How could a place so chock full of birds and native plants be tucked away in such an unlikely spot?

After all, how many other places in the metropolitan area offer great views of the Manhattan skyline, a flat and wide walking path, and plenty of raptors, herons, ducks, and wildflowers? Did I mention three tidal impoundments, a vast mudflat and three brand-new native-plant gardens (created with a grant from the National Audubon Society and Bergen County Audubon Society)?

In short, Harrier Meadow — just off Disposal Road near Schuyler Avenue — is a little slice of paradise. See for yourself during the two-hour guided walk, co-sponsored by the Bergen County Audubon Society.

It was not always thus. The property was once part of a vast mudflat. It became a privately run dump site for trap rock from 1967 to 1971, when Interstate 280 was built through the Oranges. Continue reading

Don’t Mess With Meadowlands Falcons

This tidbit was in environmental writer Jim O’Neill’s story in The Record yesterday on the environmentally aware cleanups after Jets and Giants games at MetLife Stadium:

Another challenge for that staff: birds. Starlings and pigeons love to roost in the stadium’s open steel beams, and bird droppings require more frequent power washing.

To reduce the use of water, stadium officials tried installing fake owls to scare the birds. “Within days the starlings were nesting on the owl heads,” said Henry Rzemieniewski, the cleaning operations manager.

Then they brought in a falconer, who released his trained falcon to fly around the stadium and scare the birds away. But a native wild Meadowlands falcon appeared, attacked the falconer’s bird — and killed it.

Finally, the stadium installed fine mesh netting high in the exterior rafters — barely visible to fans, but so far a success at keeping the birds from their favorite roosts, and reducing water used for power washing.

A link to the story is here.

Roy Woodford: Disposal Road Report

roy harrier 4Roy Woodford writes:

Yesterday (Monday) … Lots of action on Disposal Road … 4 Harriers (one Gray Ghost [above], two immature, one mature female), two Kestrels, one Red-tail, one mature Bald Eagle … along with Yellow Rumps and Palm Warblers.  Stuff got close enough that I had to take the teleconverter off … nice.  (Thanks, Roy!)