Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Big Thank You to BCAS!!!

A big thank you from the NJSEA to the Bergen County Audubon Society for their generous donation of $5,550 to fund the Kingsland Overlook Tree Restoration Project in DeKorte Park. BCAS President Don Torino presented the check to Gabrielle Bennett-Meany at last night’s BCAS meeting. Gabrielle oversees DeKorte Park.

The Kingsland Overlook Tree Restoration Project will reestablish a variety of native trees. New trees will be purchased with a 1 ½ to 2 ½ caliper that measure approximately 12 feet in height. Species may include Serviceberry, Gray Birch, Eastern Redbud, Tulip, Hawthorn, and Black Cherry.

Thank you once again BCAS!!!

Thank You BCAS!!!

A big thank you from the NJSEA to the Bergen County Audubon Society for their generous donation of $5,550 to fund the Kingsland Overlook Tree Restoration Project in DeKorte Park. BCAS President Don Torino presented the check to Gabrielle Bennett-Meany at last night’s BCAS meeting. Gabrielle oversees DeKorte Park.

The Kingsland Overlook Tree Restoration Project will reestablish a variety of native trees. New trees will be purchased with a 1 ½ to 2 ½ caliper that measure approximately 12 feet in height. Species may include Serviceberry, Gray Birch, Eastern Redbud, Tulip, Hawthorn, and Black Cherry.

Thank you once again BCAS!!!

Don Torino's Life in the Meadowlands: The Eagle Has Returned But for How Long?

The latest report on the comeback of the Bald Eagle to the Garden State has been nothing short of miraculous. From a single nest in 1980 in Cumberland County which had  failed six times to where we are today, with 211 nest sites statewide with 249 young being brought into the world in 2019 alone, plus 27 new eagle pairs found last season with more on the way, it’s a comeback that almost no one ever believed possible .

The return of the Bald Eagle was no accident, and they could not have done it alone. More than 40 years ago the outlawing of DDT, the enactment of the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and Federal and State agencies working together gave our Eagles a fighting chance that has allowed us the privilege to once again have the symbol of our country grace our skies.

Simply put this is the result of good people, conservation groups and our government working together to do the right thing, a formula we should never forget. But in no way is the future of the Bald Eagle guaranteed, and the jury may still be out on whether or not they continue their comeback and remain here for future generations to enjoy.       

As we look back to events like the first Earth Day, recall the battle for a cleaner, healthier environment and what it took to save species like the Bald Eagle we can only imagine how difficult it must have been and the sacrifices that were made by people like Rachel Carson and others to bring us where we are today.

Now we have to ask ourselves if we will make the same sacrifices and if we are ready to continue where past generations left off? Will we step up and protect the most magnificent of all raptors or will we just pat ourselves on the back and pretend our job is done and leave our future up to someone else?

Threats to the future of our Bald Eagles are many, especially here in New Jersey. Habitat continues to be lost or compromised along our rivers, streams and lakes, and human interference at nesting sites, whether intentional or unintentional, is constantly a problem. On a national level the clock is now being turned back for the protections of our water quality and endangered species protections. Then, of course, is the 800 pound gorilla in the room: climate change. 

Brooke Bateman, senior scientist at the National Audubon Society, says global warming may also bring extreme weather with damaging winds that can endanger nests and baby birds. In the south, extreme heat could threaten the birds’ ability to reproduce. Taking all these factors into account, the National Audubon Society predicts that three quarters of the bald eagles’ current summer range will become unsuitable for the birds in 60 years.

And make no mistake, these threats are not just to the Bald Eagle but also to many other threatened and endangered species like Osprey, Peregrines, Piping Plovers and Savannah Sparrows, and the list continues to grow.

These threats are by no means insurmountable and this in no way should discourage us. Rather, it should inspire and embolden us.  Just like past generations we can stand up, face our challenges ahead, and join together and be counted to do the right thing. We will be looked at and judged by future generations on what we can accomplish in the very near future

The Bald Eagle has done its part. With our help and against all odds they have fought back from the brink of extinction. The only question now is will we allow them to stay?

No Tall "Tail"

Long-tailed Duck

Thanks to the NJSEA’s own Terry Doss, who got these photos of a Long-tailed Duck and more while out on the Hackensack River today! The Long-tailed Duck is a fairly rare Meadowlands bird and should actually be down the shore right now.

Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Gadwall
Peregrine Falcon

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 greatauk4@gmail.com 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