Monthly Archives: February 2020

Gabrielle Bennett-Meany to Speak On Kingsland Overlook Improvement Project at Next Wednesday's (Feb. 19) BCAS Meeting

Join New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Authority Senior Natural Resource Specialist/Parks Supervisor Gabrielle Bennett-Meany next Wednesday (Feb. 19) at the Bergen County Audubon Society’s monthly meeting as she gives a talk on the Habitat Improvement Project at Kingsland Overlook in DeKorte Park.

The Kingsland Overlook was one of the earliest parks on a landfill. It was designed to encompass a variety of habitats attractive to a broad range of birds and other wildlife. Over the years invasive plants had begun to colonize throughout the Kingsland Overlook Trail, growing in either dense stands or sparsely throughout the area.

Providing a sustainable habitat begins with the plants. Native diversity can be increased by selectively adding plants. Through generous grants from the BCAS, Gaby and her NJSEA parks team has enhanced areas along the Kingsland Overlook Trail and re-established stands of native greases, flowers, shrubs and trees.

Gabrielle Bennett-Meany is a Senior Natural Resource Specialist, Open Space Manager Specialist at the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority (NJSEA), formerly the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. She has been employed there for 25 years.

Business Meeting at 7:30pm. Programs begin at 8pm. All are welcome. Teaneck Creek: 20 Puffin Way, Teaneck. For more info contact Don Torino at or 201-230-4983.

And Away We Go!

Northern Shovelers

Thanks to Dennis Cheeseman for the great photo of the Northern Shovelers above, the “sleepyhead Merganser below and more, taken today at DeKorte Park during lunchtime on this (for once) great day!

Northern Shoveler
Common Merganser
Northern Pintail
Red-tailed Hawk

BCAS Bus Trip to Sagamore Hill April 4 – Register Now, Limited Availability

Bus trip to Sagamore Hill National Historic Site–
Saturday, April 4, 2020
Departs DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst, NJ at 8:00 am
Arrive at approximately 10 am – 10:30 am
Departs Sagamore at 3 pm to return to DeKorte Park

Sagamore Hill was the home of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, from 1885 until his death in 1919. It is located in the Incorporated Village of Cove Neck, New York, near Oyster Bay in Nassau County on the North Shore of Long Island, 25 miles east of Manhattan.

We will enjoy a tour of his home and the grounds which include a beach area. There will be many birding opportunities. Bergen County Audubon Society hopes you will join us and enjoy spending time with fellow birders while touring this historic site. Theodore Roosevelt was one of the first and most accomplished United States conservationists. Frank Chapman, our own conservationist from Teaneck, and Theodore Roosevelt shared a love of nature and their commitment to the environment. Come learn and enjoy the outdoors.

Participants should pack and bring lunch. The National Historic Site does not have a cafeteria.

We will leave Sagamore at 3:00 pm to return to DeKorte Park.

The cost of this trip is $50 per person. Your payment will defer the cost of chartering a 56 person bus from Airbrook and the $10 per person entrance fee. This is not a fundraiser for BCAS.

Send your payment to Marilyn Sadowski, 27 Warren Street, Suite 302, Hackensack, NJ 07601 . For more information and questions contact Don Torino at or 201-230-4983.

Don Torino's Life in the Meadowlands: The Best Field Guide

One of the questions I get asked the most from new birders is, “What is the best field guide?” That is a pretty tough question to answer, sort of like asking which one of your children is your favorite. It’s an impossible question to answer because, like field guides, there is something special about all of them.

When I first began birding there were not too many field guides to choose from. There was of course the still popular “Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America.”  Or there was   ….well, “The Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America.”  Obviously there was not  much in the way of  variety  back in the day  compared to the vast amount of great field guides we are lucky enough to able to take advantage of  today.

Today we have not only have the traditional print guide but also a wonderful array of APPs with not only pictures of the birds but their calls and tons of other information to hopefully help you become a better birder, not to mention field guides to just about every country in the world and to almost every State and family of birds.

There are now guides to the Gulls, Sparrows and Warblers; books on Finches, Owls and Hawks; volumes on Hummingbirds, Shorebirds and Waterfowl; and even more guides just for backyard birds, feeder birds, bird feathers and even bird nests just to name a few. So like the age old question of the meaning of life, what is the best field guide of all?

The best field guide is the one you held in your hand when you showed your young son his first Downy Woodpecker in your backyard Oak. It’s the book you and your daughter both held onto together when you watched in wonder at a Northern Cardinal in the winter snow.  It’s the old field guide with the soiled pages from all those wet, rainy birding mornings when you just could not stay home.  The very same guide with the torn pages and the rolled up cover that spent time in your bag, trunk, plane and especially in your heart.

The best field guide was the one you kept in your pocket when you were young enough to travel from Cape May to High Point, from the Great Swamp to the Meadowlands, and not even feel tired. It’s the very same book  that helped you and many old friends add a new bird to your life list,  solve arguments  over  fall warblers and October sparrows, and the one you  would never throw away that now holds a place of honor by your old binoculars that have since been retired.

The very best field guide is the one that holds all your favorite birding memories in between the pages of the Egrets and Orioles. The one you can hand down when the right time is near and the one that will forever hold onto your love of birds not matter who is holding it in their hands on a frosty cold morning. There is no APP that I know of that will ever be able to replace a book.

Whether it was your first Bald Eagle or your first Red-winged Blackbird they are all held inside one small book waiting to be reopened and reread for all to hear whenever you are ready. The reminiscences and recollections of old friends that are gone, family that has grown up and a lifetime of your birding adventures held together by a paper cover and bound by many , many birds and the stories that go along with them. The stories you will never forget.

On some hot summer evening, a cold winter night or just some special time you want to conjure up days gone by, open up your old field guide and thumb through the pages nice and slow. You will feel the cold winds of winter, the warm breezes of spring; hear the Wood thrush song as well as the voices of friends. You might remember birds you thought you had forgotten and remember places you need to return to. The books that can do that are truly the best field guides of all.

More Super Birds!

Northern Pintails

As promised, here are some more highlights from this past Sunday’s Super Bird Sunday Walk held by the Bergen County Audubon Society at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. Many thanks to Joe Koscielny for the great pics!

Northern Pintail
Northern Pintails
Green-winged Teal
Northern Shovelers
Red-breasted Merganser

Super Birds!

Bald Eagle

Thanks to Joe Koscielny for these great photos taken during this past Sunday’s Bergen County Audubon Society Super Bird Sunday walk in DeKorte Park! More from Joe in a bit!

Bald Eagle
Great Blue Heron
American Tree Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow