There’s a story in today’s Record about the Tenafly Nature Center’s plan to install a Butterfly Garden. Check out the article here.
Mickey Raine got some spectacular photos yesterday of a Tree Swallow and feeding Great Black-backed Gull at DeKorte and a Red-winged Blackbird at Mill Creek.
I took a quick drive over to DeKorte Park and Mill Creek Marsh early this afternoon, and it was exciting to see and hear some of the early arrivals of the Tree Swallows. At first, I thought I was imagining things, but when looking way up high in the air, there they were . . . A trio of the incredible aerial acrobats swooshing every which way with hair pin turns on a dime. Apparently, the newly arriving bugs were flying about and serving as meals for these adorable flying machines.
While walking down Transco Trail toward the back parking area, I noticed way up ahead, a fairly large Gull, busily trying to eat something relatively large. When I realized, as I got closer, that it was a Great Black-Backed Gull, I knew that it was not going to be some clam, but most likely perch or some other fish. Well, there is was, maneuvering its placement within its beak, and ultimately getting the fish to slide down fully. Notice how thick the neck is in the two photos-.
Afterward, at Mill Creek Marsh, the Red-Winged Blackbirds were engaged in the endless competition for territorial claim and maybe attracting mates–although I did not see any females. The males were seen at every turn, and it was so much fun to watch them compete and respond to one another by going one decibel louder each time. The sun was very limited at the time, but during one brief moment, just enough appeared in letting me see the one captured for this email batch. The RWBB were flying like little fighter jets from one tree to the other, and this one you see here flew completely across the main body of water as if to engage in some direct challenge to a boisterous one on the far end.
Well, it certainly had all the sounds and makings of spring around the corner. I am hoping that this means no more snow.
Have yourselves a very beautiful weekend.
This morning NJSEA staffers were busy at Harrier Meadow mounting and installing Tree Swallow nesting boxes for the beautiful, magnetic blue spring migrants who have started to appear in the Meadowlands. They have arrived a bit earlier than normal thanks to the warm weather. In addition to our photos from this morning, we’ve included file photos of Tree Swallows outside their new homes.
Tree Swallows migrate to the Meadowlands by the hundreds every spring and our naturalists are busy installing dozens of nesting boxes around the Meadowlands District in our marshes and the Hackensack River. The Tree Swallow is a secondary cavity nester, which means it must have the use of dead trees to nest in, and it must have a hole that has been excavated by a primary cavity nester. Loss of habitat and competition for nest sites from other bird species are part of the reason why we provide these vital nest boxes for these birds.
Here’s a complete primer on tree swallows:
The Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) is a small, beautiful bird about 5 ½ inches in length and has a metallic blue or blue-green upper part and a white under part. Tree Swallows are one of the first swallows to migrate back to this area for the spring nesting season. Hundreds of pairs can be found around lakeshores, streams, flooded Meadowlands and marshes.
March is the time of year when gardeners are just itching to get outside and get their hands dirty. Today I noticed my Honeysuckle leafing out and even saw the buds ready to pop on my Serviceberry. The Red-Winged Blackbirds have been back for a few weeks now, filling up my yard with their O-ka-leeeee call. I know spring is just about here.
Along with the return of many of our favorite birds, spring also means it is time to think about creating or improving your backyard wildlife garden. As more land is lost to development in New Jersey, our backyards will become even more important in the fight to maintain biodiversity in the Garden State. In suburbia a healthy backyard free of pesticides and insecticides along with a good variety of native plants may mean survival for many of our butterflies, migratory birds and pollinators.
A very wise friend of mine once said, “Trying to pick a favorite plant is like trying to pick a favorite grandchild.” It’s just about impossible .“ But since many folks I talk with get a little overwhelmed when trying to pick plants to begin a backyard wildlife garden, I thought I would attempt to pick out a few of my favorites.
Along with the warm weather one of our favorite spring migrants, the Tree Swallow, has returned to the Meadowlands for the spring nesting season. Dennis Cheeseman got this great shot of the small, magnetic-blue bird at DeKorte Park earlier today.
Tree Swallows migrate to the Meadowlands by the hundreds every spring and our naturalists are busy installing dozens of nesting boxes around the park and in areas along the Hackensack River. The Tree Swallow is a secondary cavity nester, which means it must have the use of dead trees to nest in, and it must have a hole that has been excavated by a primary cavity nester. Loss of habitat and competition for nest sites from other bird species are part of the reason why we provide these vital nest boxes for these beautiful birds.
Below are some more spectacular shots by Joe Koscielny from yesterday’s DeKorte Park Nature Walk. Enjoy!
Below are some of the 28 species of birds that were photographed by Joe Koscielny during yesterday’s DeKorte Park Nature Walk. We’ll have a second batch of great photos later, so check back! The complete list of species seen is at the bottom of this post.
Bird species seen (28)
Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Bald Eagle
Great Black-backed Gull
Thanks to the more than 30 outdoor enthusiasts who participated in yesterday’s Bergen County Audubon Soceity DeKorte Park nature walk! It’s always a pleasure to see people experiencing the park. It was a great day for birding, with 28 species identified! We’ll have a bunch of pics up in a bit. But for now, here’s to those who came out!
p.s. Don’t miss the next BCAS walk on Tuesday, March 15, from 10 am to noon at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus. Email email@example.com or call 201-230-4983 for more information.