Monthly Archives: January 2016

Peregrine Strikes A Pose

Ron Shields took these photos of a very cooperative Peregrine Falcon perched along Valley Brook Avenue just prior to last weekend’s snowstorm. Perhaps the friendly falcon is looking to jumpstart a modeling career.

New Programs in February at the Meadowlands Environment Center!

Don Smith 2-aWe’re pleased to announce two great programs taking place at the Meadowlands Environment Center next month. On Thursday, Feb. 11, from 2 to 3 pm, join Don Smith for a talk on the “Natural History of the Meadowlands.” A Meadowlands native, Don grew up in Little Ferry exploring the Meadows as a kid in the 1950s. He has an abundance of great stories to share. The program is free and you can register at

jessica-verdina1-AThe Meadowlands has always been a place for peaceful relaxation, and now for the first time we’re giving you the chance to further balance tranquility of the mind, body and soul with an “Evening Yoga Class,” on Monday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. The program is open to all levels of students-beginner to advanced, ages 14 and up. Cost is $10. Sign-up at

Hope to see you at the MEC next month!





Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Plant a Birch, Save a Bird (and some Butterflies and Moths Too)

Robert Frost wrote in his poem “Birches” that “One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.” As much value as birch trees might be to your exercise regime, they are one of the most beneficial trees you can plant to help wildlife.

Seeds produced by the “catkins,” or seed clusters, attract many bird species such as our State Bird, the American Goldfinch. In fact, if you were to take a catkin and tap it in the palm of your hand, you would see many tiny seeds very similar to the commercially available thistle or nyger seed used for finch feeders. Besides our goldfinch, irruption birds such as Redpolls, Purple finch and Pine siskins relish the tiny seeds that are important to their survival.

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Al and Alice In Action

Jill Homcy got some great shots yesterday of everyone’s favorite Bald Eagle couple, Al and Alice, at their nest in Ridgefield Park. Jill sent the following message to Bergen County Audubon Society President Don Torino:

“Was so happy to get to the nest today and see both Al and Alice were home. I thought Alice was calling Al to bring her food but then I realized  Al was already there with her. There two shots of them at the nest. As you can see in one they are alerting. The other shot is the 3rd adult that was passing through their territory. It was circling on our side of the creek.

Good News From Mill Creek Marsh

Mickey Raine sent the photos above and the following report from his venture to Mill Creek Marsh yesterday. Cause for optimism!

Mill Creek Marsh Trail was quite beautiful to walk today, for the definite signs of the real winter conditions have arrived. The haunting ancient cedar stumps during near low tide were very interesting with the way in which the frozen water and ice played off of them.

The extensive amount of ice cover prevented many of the water fowl from swimming about, but we were absolutely delighted when Elaine, who was on one of her rolls, kept finding these Praying Mantis egg casings, Cecropia Moth cocoons, and this huge odd cocoon of at least 5 inches in length. In total, we must have seen about 15 or 16 of these, giving us such great hopes for a wonderful spring of new arrivals.


Along the creek near the first part of the path stood the resident Great Blue Heron, and with the perfect time of day, the sun’s warm rays would truly amplify the stunning beauty of this large, graceful bird.