NJSEA Naturalist Drew McQuade came upon this little guy on the Mill Creek Marsh Trail on Tuesday. Drew writes:
Grabbed these shots of a young terrapin on the Mill Creek trail Tuesday, a first of the year for me. It’s way too early for it to be from a new nest, so this terp likely over-wintered in the nest from last season. It was sluggish and dry, so we moved it to a better spot on the edge of the marsh. Also saw a few garter snakes out and about.
As we speak one of the most amazing events in nature is taking place: the spring migration of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Checking out the migration map the hummers have now reached southern Virginia, not far from the New Jersey border. This incredible and grueling journey of one of the tiniest birds in the world takes it clear across the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of approximately 1,300 kilometres (800 miles). It’s an almost implausible journey which is flown in one stretch, without stopping or even resting.
Your backyard is an important stepping stone, a rest stop and sometimes a nesting place along the migration highway for these magical little creatures. Having the right plants in your garden to help them along may play a big part in their survival.
Join the Bergen County Audubon Society this Sunday, April 3, for a free nature walk in Harrier Meadow in North Arlington, from 10 am to noon. Harrier Meadow, an incredibly beautiful, 78-acre natural area, is normally closed to the public, so you don’t want to miss this opportunity. We’ll be looking for lingering waterfowl and early spring arrivals.
Meets outside the gate to Harrier Meadow. The meadow is located off Disposal Road, which is accessed from Schuyler Avenue in North Arlington. For directions, click here.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201-230-4983.
Mickey Raine sent some awesome photos he took of American Kestrel and Ospreys in flight at DeKorte Park yesterday. Mickey writes:
Today (March 29), in the extreme winds, our friend and local bird photographer held in high esteem informed me that an American Kestrel was flying about over the hill just outside of the DeKorte Park entrance. He was on his way to Secaucus, but I remained to see if I could catch a glimpse of this tiny adorable raptor with the cute, baby face. It suddenly emerged from over the hill and continued to search for small prey below.
The best of the recent finds was the majestic Osprey couple. They were flying overhead at DeKorte Park and scanning the water surface for fish. I could not get the pair in one shot, and I believe that the three photos I have are of the same bird. You can see a bit of red blood on the belly from an earlier catch. I did see this one catch another fish, but it was so far away, and the photo was not worth keeping.
The once-ubiquitous chestnut tree, which at a time was New Jersey’s largest tree species, is now nearly extinct. But there may be hope for the future. A story in today’s Record tells how scientists are researching the possibility of growing hybrid chestnut trees to spur a comeback. Read the story here.
There’s an interesting, informative piece in the Washington Post about why bird species seen or heard in movies and on television are often geographically incorrect. The story tells why vultures seen in the 2013 Lone Ranger movie, which is set in Texas, are an African species, and why birds calls of species not found south of Pennsylvania are heard in a television series set in Florida. Read the story here.
Patrick Carney found this Surf Scoter at Overpeck County Park this morning, a rare find in these parts. The beautiful, large sea duck is normally seen farther south in the state.
The first Ospreys of the season have been sighted over the past week at DeKorte Park and Laurel Hill Park. Here’s Chris Takacs’ first Osprey photo of the spring, taken today while the raptor was getting ready for lunch on a pole along Disposal Road.
Mickey and Elaine Raine sent this cute pic of a quartet of Gren-winged Teal in marching formation at Mill Creek Marsh as well as the crow below. Can someone tell us if this is an American Crow, Fish Crow, or a different species? Thanks!