Monthly Archives: March 2022

Becton Regional Students Present on the Balance Between Development and Conservation in the Meadowlands

The NJSEA hosted students from Becton Regional High School on Tuesday, March 22. They were participating in a global zoom program: WorldCast 2022: Summit for High School Students on Local Environmental Problems. The students gave an insightful presentation on “The Meadowlands in New Jersey: Finding the Balance Between Development and Conservation.” Go Becton!

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: “SO WHAT DID YOU SEE TODAY?”

Credit: Susan McTigue

“So What Did You See Today”

That is how the conversation usually starts as birders pass each other on the trail. “What did you see? Anything good?” The discussion continues over the shoulder as they slowly drift in opposite directions which ends with a nod of the head, a faint good luck and a distant have a great day as we are off to the next birding adventure. But despite what noteworthy birds you may have seen or not seen that day we all know that we saw much more and that there is a deeper  and personal story that we could all tell about that morning.

While we more than likely shared a list of the birds with that fellow birder as we passed like ships in the night, what we didn’t share or could not share was what we really saw that day.

Maybe it was the Northern Cardinal we spotted perched on a nearby Birch Tree that reminded us of mom and how much she loved seeing that red bird. It could have been the Junco that brought us back to the snowy morning many years ago holding our child’s hand as we explained to them how far the little bird had traveled to get here. Or perhaps it was the Chickadee hanging upside down on an oak branch as we remembered the how we smiled the day when one landed in our hand and we could feel its tiny gentle feet on our fingertip.

Birding is much more than just a list. More important than being the first to spot a rare bird is something much more complex and personal than maybe even we like to consider. The real list is of our list of memories, experiences, friend  and the nature that is all around us that really makes our bird life list complete.

I can’t imagine what it would be like not to have birds in my life. The birds keep our demons at bay, heal an otherwise damaged day and make our nights that much easier to get through.

Birds show us that there is more to our lives than the evening news. They provide the framework to our journey and bind our life story together in a natural world of intertwined memories never ever to be forgotten.

As we venture out to find that wonderful rare bird, the one we need for our life list, don’t forget to stop and take it all in, for that special time will be unique in your life and never will happen exactly the same way again. Then you will realize how lucky you really are to have birds as part of your life’s journey

See you in the Meadowlands


Operation Osprey Uplift Continues!

In a continuing effort to increase the Meadowlands population of Osprey, a state threatened breeding species, MRRI scientists recently installed two new nesting platforms along the Hackensack River. This brings the total number of platforms installed under ‘Operation Osprey Uplift’ to seven, with more to come before the Osprey begin to return later this month.

Bergen Audubon Announces First Guest Speaker for Meadowlands Birding Festival (Oct. 2)

The BCAS is pleased to announce that Wildlife Biologist Meghan Kolk of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey will join us at this year’s Meadowlands Festival of Birding, which takes place on Sunday, Oct. 2, at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. Meghan will be speaking on American Kestrels.

Meghan is responsible for writing Beach Management Plans that provide for the protection and recovery of listed species of beach nesting birds and plants on New Jersey’s beaches. In addition, she is working on a project to restore native grassland habitat for nesting birds including the state endangered Upland Sandpiper. Meghan earned a B.S. in Biology from The College of New Jersey in 1998. Her hobbies include bird watching and creating works of wildlife art from items found on the beach.

DeKorte Park Closed Saturday, March 5

DeKorte Park will be closed on Saturday, March 5,to facilitate the removal of several trees throughout the grounds that have been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer. The park will reopen on Sunday, March 6.

The Emerald Ash Borer has been infesting hundreds of millions of ash trees nationwide since 2002. The adult borer drills tiny D-shaped holes in the trunk, feeds off the leaves, and lays eggs underneath the bark flaps so that its larvae can feed directly from the tree’s water and nutrient sources. Almost 99% of all infected trees die within 3 to 4 years.

Unfortunately, the Emerald Ash Borer has found its way to DeKorte Park and drilled through several trees, rendering them unsafe. We will be removing the dead trees to prevent any danger to park-goers, and to allow for the opportunity to replant fresh, healthy trees in the near future.