For the fifth year in a row, a team representing the meadowlands took part in the national World Series of Birding. Known as the Meadowlands Marsh Hawks, the team consisted of Mike Newhouse, Chris Takacs, and Mike Wolfe, who took second place in their category. Congratulations to all!
The team counted 135 species during their 22-hour marathon of bird watching throughout Bergen County. The Willet, shown above, was a standout, being only the second recording ever in the meadowlands. Other special sightings included the Least Bittern, Dickcissel, and Glossy Ibis. The numbers of neo-tropical birds like warblers and vireos were low. Mike Newhouse speculates that recent weather patterns sent many migrators westward to the Central Flyway. Peak migration for these birds is mid-May.
The World Series of Birding is the country’s largest and most prestigious birding competition. Over the years, the WSB has brought birding to the attention of the media, and has raised close to $9 million for conservation.
The Marsh Hawks raised over $2000 this year, which will be used to fund local bird conservation efforts. Past projects include establishing a butterfly garden along Disposal Road and enhancing native plantings at the Kingsland Overlook and Harrier Meadow, projects which also received funding from Bergen County Audubon Society.
There’s still time to support the team! The link to the Meadowlands Marsh Hawks page is here.