Category Archives: Birds

Birders Need Their Own Time Zone

Longo birding group“… birders should have their clocks set to “Birding Time” this will enable us to take advantage of migration season…and for the times we must drive across the state for a rare bird alert. By being on “Birding Time” we will never be late for work or school. When the boss asks why you are late you can say “I am on Birding Time” and you will be excused.”

This is #4 on Don Torino’s list of proposed New Rules for Birders. See his other suggestions in this Wild New Jersey article.

Don Torino is Having Visions

“… visions of Orioles feeding on my Trumpet vine, Monarch caterpillars munching on milkweed and Hummingbirds visiting my Cardinal Flower dancing in my head.”

Like the rest of us, Don can’t wait for spring. Read his wonderful new article for Wild New Jersey here.

And don’t forget to sign up for his April 14th Lunch ‘n Learn talk Build a Better Butterfly Garden. $6/person, $5/MEC members. Register here.

Learn How You Can Help Nesting Birds

Robin eggs Linda BowersPress release from Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
“Springtime is nesting time, and that means another season of beautiful birdsong, colorful eggs, and downy nestlings. Spring also brings another season of NestWatch, a free citizen-science project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Volunteers have been helping the Lab monitor nesting birds for 50 years, keeping tabs on open-cup nests and actively putting out the welcome mat for species that prefer a cozy cavity.” Click here for more.

Signs of Spring


There were glimpses of spring on our Tuesday walk, despite the recent return of winter temperatures. Krysti Sabins, who maintains a website called Unboring Exploring, shared a few shots she took that day. Many thanks to her. Visit her website here.





A Lucky (Ducky) Day

Northern Shoveler 2It was a lucky St. Patrick’s Day for Roy Woodford. He braved the stiff winds and even laid on the ground to get these amazing shots of Northern Shovelers.
Northern ShovelerRoy writes, “Now that the ice is melting, some ducks are returning.  Aside from the Shovelers, I saw a bunch of Hooded Merganser, Common Mergansers, and Canvasbacks.  Duck season isn’t over just yet.” Thanks for sharing Roy!

St. Patty’s (Third Tuesday) Walk

People may have been discouraged by the rain falling this morning, but by 10:00 it was all over. A small group (7) of participants paused at the beginning of the Transco Trail, then continued across Lyndhurst Nature Reserve toward the Saw Mill Creek Trail where there was plenty of open water and waterfowl.

Horned Grebes caught on camera by Chris Takacs.

Horned Grebes caught on camera by Chris Takacs.

Horned Grebes generated the most excitement – two males and a female were seen diving repeatedly. Five Red-breasted Mergansers were nearby, as were some Common Mergansers, two Lesser Scaup, a Bufflehead, and a pair of snoozing Canvasbacks.

We watched two Northern Harriers chase each other above the Erie Landfill and two Red-tailed Hawks hunting on Kingsland. A group of Fish Crows passed by the power lines on their way south. And a Great Blue Heron took a long slow route overhead. There was a Black Back Gull (the largest gull in the world, at the top of the food chain) among a mixed group of gulls. We even saw a couple of Tree Swallows out there.

Two groups of Canvasbacks (about 20 in all) flew towards the Impoundment, as a group of about 30 Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls stood on the diminishing ice below. Circling Lyndhurst Nature Reserve, we saw American Black Ducks and Mallards on the shore and a Fox Sparrow in the Beach Plum.

We finished with a stroll along the Kingsland Overlook trail. We heard and saw Dark-eyed Juncos, a Carolina Wren, American Robins, Red-wing Blackbirds, a few more Fox Sparrows, and a White-throated Sparrow.

Many thanks to BCAS’s Don Torino and to Chris Takacs for sharing their wealth of experience.

Unusual Sightings Near Saw Mill Creek

White Winged Scoter Tim LenzCathy Millington and Don Smith report seeing three White-winged Scoters and two Great Cormorants this afternoon.  They didn’t get any photos today so I found these online for reference.


great cormorant © Ganesh Jayaraman,

Cathy and Don thought the public might be able to catch a glimpse of these unusual birds from Laurel Hill Park.