Monthly Archives: July 2015

Amazing Moth Photo

Silk MothRay Duffy sent us this spectacular shot he took in Lyndhurst of a Ailathanus Silkworm Moth. We hope to get great moth photos this coming Monday, July 20, at National Moth Night in DeKorte Park. The event runs from 8:30 to 10 p.m. For more information and to register click here

Scenes from an NJSEA Pontoon Boat Tour

Many thanks to John Pastore for this video footage from an NJSEA Pontoon Boat cruise she attended last week. Says John:

“Myself and a couple of buddies took a boat trip on July 8th. With Angelo Urato at the helm, and Gaby Bennett-Meany providing narration about what we were seeing, it was a delightful trip. Everyone in North Jersey should take this cruise. It is a great way to get a new perspective on a part of our state that gets a bad rap, and is badly misunderstood.”

Thanks John, and we know you’re just kidding with the “Dirty River” title!


Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands – First Column!


Butterfly Day Celebrates the Comeback of the Meadowlands

By Don Torino

Growing up in the New Jersey Meadowlands I witnessed firsthand some of the worst things that man can do to his environment, but over the years I have also watched our Meadowlands return from the brink of obliteration, transformed from a place that was once thought by some better left for dead into one of the most incredible environmental comeback stories in my lifetime. Not only a New Jersey success story but a shining example of what can be accomplished nationwide when enough people care to do the right thing, and Butterfly Day at DeKorte Park on Sunday, July 26th is a true celebration of that triumphant return.

Butterflies are a true “Canary in a Coalmine,” a symbol or a warning about the health of our environment. When butterflies are few and far between it means that things are out of whack or out of balance, too much pesticide and herbicide use, and too little plant biodiversity means an unhealthy environment, a kind of warning sign but not only for the butterflies but for people too. When butterfly habitat is protected or restored as it has been at DeKorte Park we help not only butterflies but we also help many migratory bird species, pollinators, and even amphibians and reptiles can benefit from maintaining butterfly habitat and of course it also means a healthy in-balance planet for humans too.

DeKorte Park’s many multiple habitats, plant diversity and the continued reintroduction of native plants makes it an incredible place to enjoy the many species of Butterflies, from the many tiny and diverse Skipper species to the larger better known Swallowtails and Monarchs, all signs of the healthy and vigorous environment the Meadowlands has become.

Butterflies have always held a special place in the hearts of mankind. Some cultures believe butterflies can carry our prayers up to the creator and even believe they are a symbol of our own rebirth. Maybe it is the magnificent array of colors which seem to almost magically appear in Summer that bring out a feeling of delight or maybe it is their miraculous mystical metamorphosis as they transform themselves from a common caterpillar into something of incredible beauty which connects them to our very soul in a way that brings us close to our inner spirit. We all like to believe the same is also possible for us. The butterfly is a symbol of great possibilities that like the butterfly we can one day renew ourselves for the better, all fitting symbols of the way the Meadowlands has transformed and returned better than before.

Join us on Sunday July 26th from 10 am to 3 pm in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst when we all celebrate the Butterflies of the New Jersey Meadowlands.


Welcome Guest Columnist Don Torino!

donWe are thrilled to announce that Bergen County Audubon Society President Don Torino will be writing a guest column, “Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands,” for the Nature Blog. The column will run every Thursday, beginning this week. A lifelong Meadowlands resident, Don says that his weekly dispatches will include such topics as the region’s flora, fauna and parks, his experiences growing up in the Meadows, and the area’s environmental revitalization over the past four decades.

You may know Don from the twice-monthly free nature walks that he leads with the NJSEA, or his regular Bergen County Audubon walks throughout North Jersey. Our next guided walk is Tuesday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to noon at DeKorte Park. For more information and to register, click here.

We look forward to Don’s debut column this Thursday!

American White Pelicans Update

Pelicans 2The pair of American white pelicans we posted about in the middle of last week stuck around for the weekend. Chris Takacs reports that on Saturday at 7 am the duo was spotted from Laurel Hill in Secaucus briefly flying around the Hackensack River and Saw Mill Wildlife Management Area. This breed of bird is a very rare sight for the Meadowlands region.

Next, the pelicans were seen at 12:30 pm from DeKorte Park in the mudflats near Saw Mill Creek – Chris’ photo was taken from DeKorte. They then moved to the corner of the Transco Trail and the NJ Turnpike and at about 2 pm flew back over the Turnpike and settled in the water just near the Turnpike Bridge. They were later scene from Laurel Hill at 5:30 pm

Last summer a lone American white pelican was spotted on the Saw Mill Creek mudflats in DeKorte Park. George, as the pelican was called, could be seen all the way through Oct. 17, at least 104 days.

Could one of these pelicans be George? Hopefully they stick around.

Beautiful Butterflies

July 10_Butterfly-RedAdmiral-DRoadSM_ReginaGeoghan_9067July 10_Butterfly-Redadmiral-DRoadSM_ReginaGeoghan_9048Regina Geoghan sent along these awesome butterfly photos she snapped on Friday evening near DeKorte Park. The first two are Red Admirals and the Third a Silver-spotted Skipper.

Don’t forget,July 10_Butterfly-SilverSpottedSkipper-DRoadSM_ReginaGeoghan_9089 Sunday July 26 is the Sixth Annual Butterfly Day here at DeKorte. There will butterfly walks and talks for all ages, a host of kids activities including face painting, coloring, a scavenger hunt, and a costume contest for those ages 12 and under. Don’t worry if you’re a novice: Experts from the Bergen County Audubon Society and the North Jersey Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association will be onsite to help identify all the beautiful winged marvels. They’ll also have handouts about how to attract butterflies to your home garden and much more.

Butterfly Day is Sunday, July 26, from 10 am to 3 pm. Email me at with any questions. Hope to see you there!

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Blog photoGreetings! I’d like to introduce myself as the new keeper of the Meadowlands Nature Blog. My name is Brian Aberback and  I began maintaining the blog in early July. In the coming weeks and months I look forward to continuing to populate the blog with Meadowlands-related posts, including bird and other wildlife sightings, nature photos and news.

We’ll highlight the Meadowlands’ parks, wetlands, gardens and the region’s overall natural beauty. NJSEA naturalists and scientists will provide field work reports, and we’ll keep you posted on news about our public programs, including our great twice-monthly free guided nature walks with the Bergen County Audubon Society. Continue reading

National Moth Night

moth-nightMonday, July 20, 8:30 – 9:30 pm
DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst

Learn about these amazing, lesser-known cousins of butterflies. Representatives of National Moth Week will give a presentation on these spectacular yet misunderstood creatures. Industrial-strength lamps and white sheets will be set up and “sugaring” will be used to attract moths. This family-friendly event is co-sponsored by the Bergen County Audubon Society. Register here.