Monthly Archives: February 2015

Great Backyard Bird Count Sets Records

No there weren't really penguins.

No there weren’t really penguins.

Lowest temperature  (8-15 degrees F)

Lowest turnout (5)

Lowest bird count (13 species)

Yes it was cold out there. The smart birds were apparently hunkered down because there were few to be seen. Species sighted were: Common Merganser, Northern Harrier, Ring-billed Gull, Downy Woodpecker, Common Raven, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Carolina Wren, American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal.

We also saw a sad squirrel sunning itself on a wall: it was so still we feared it might frozen in place. But as we crept closer and closer it finally ran off. Whew.

Thanks Don and Marie from BCAS.

Great Backyard Bird Count Walk is Tomorrow!

RS Immature Red-shouldered Hawk Perched

Bundle up – it’s going to be cold. For inspiration, here is a beautiful shot of a Red-shouldered Hawk taken by Ron Shields in the DeKorte Park area last weekend. Ron and others saw a Merlin, Rough-legged Hawk, male and female Harriers, as well as a Snowy Owl.

FREE tomorrow – February 13th, 10-noon, at DeKorte Park. Co-sponsored by the Bergen County Audubon Society and the NJMC. Please RSVP to Don Torino of BCAS at or 201-230-4983.

Visit Audubon’s national Backyard Bird Count page for info about the even

Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”       – Abraham Lincoln
This is the closest thing I could find to an ‘environmental’ quote from our great 16th president. It can be read as a call to stewardship. It acknowledges the interdependence of people and place, and our role as keepers.
(And let’s assume his use of the word ‘man’ includes women.)

Best New Climate Technology? How About Trees?

Trees“When people talk about technologies that might offset climate change, they often evoke not-yet-invented marvels, like planes spraying chemicals into the atmosphere or enormous skyscrapers gulping carbon dioxide from the clouds.

But in a new report, Oxford University researchers say that our best hopes might not be so complex.

In fact, they are two things we already know how to do: plant trees and improve the soil.”

Read the full article in The Atlantic

NJ Flower and Garden Show Starts Tomorrow

The 13th Annual New Jersey Flower and Garden Show features display gardens, seminars, a Standard Flower Show, a Garden Marketplace, and more.
DeKorte Park will be represented at the Garden State Gardens booth. This consortium promotes visitation, development, stewardship and support of New Jersey’s public gardens. The 23-member organizations includes many of the Garden State’s best public gardens.
Feb 12 – 15, 2015 –  NJ Convention Center – Edison, NJ
Click here for Flower Show link.
Click here for Garden State Gardens website

Sustainable Forestry?

fairy_forestIn a new report, Peeling Back the Eco-Labels: A Comparison of FSC and SFI Forest Certification Program Audits in Canada, ForestEthics quantifies the ways in which the SFI auditing system is weaker and less transparent than that of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) by studying the two systems in Canada.

Read the article by Bill Walsh in Healthy Building News

U.S. Pledges $3.2 Million For Monarch Butterfly

IMG_4504“The federal government on Monday pledged $3.2 million to help save the monarch butterfly, the iconic orange-and-black butterfly that can migrate thousands of miles between the U.S. and Mexico each year. In recent years, the species has experienced a 90 percent decline in population, with the lowest recorded population occurring in 2013-2014.”

“About $2 million will help restore…habitat…including more than 750 schoolyard habitats and pollinator gardens. The rest will be used to start a conservation fund — the first dedicated solely to monarchs — that will provide grants to farmers and other landowners to conserve habitat.”

“The magic of the monarch butterfly is that little patches matter,” said US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe at a news conference in Washington. Piece by piece, he said, “we can make a difference on a continental scale.”

Monarch Caterpillar on MilkweedThe takeaway: PROTECT COMMON MILKWEED.        PLANT COMMON MILKWEED.

Read the full article: