Thanks to Dee De Santis for this incredible array of gulls and more taken during last week’s BCAS Birding By Boat trip. More from Dee later!
Thanks to NJspots for creating this awesome video from our pontoon boat ride on Tuesday! For more on NJspots, a group dedicated to visiting beautiful places around the state, click here It’s not too late to sign up for an NJSEA Pontoon Boat Ride. Check out the schedule and registration form here Trips fill up quick, so if you’re thinking about signing up, the sooner the better!
Nope, no crocs lurking about, just a cool pic by Dave McClure of what looks like one with some sandpipers resting on its “snout.” Thanks to Dave for these cool shots taken recently at Mill Creek Marsh and, in Dave’s words, an “ominous” DeKorte sunset captured in his side-view mirror at the AMVETS Carillon!
Thanks to Dennis Cheeseman for these great photos taken during this morning’s BCAS Birding by Boat Trip with the NJSEA!
Sadly, the reason most people tell me they don’t go out on a group birding field trip is that they don’t have enough experience. As strange as it seems some folks feel they need to have some kind of special qualifications and may not be “good enough” for going outside and enjoying nature with a group of people that enjoy the outdoors the same way they do.
Now just for the record, over the years I have had the opportunity to go out in the field with many world class birders, and I have to tell you that they have made some awful mistakes misidentifying birds to the point of embarrassment. But that is what birding is: humbling to even the most experienced .
Now I am not one for labels, it just puts one in a box that tends to define who they are, which is often not very fair. I also have never been impressed with titles, they always seem to over shadow who a person really is. So when some well-meaning folks say to me I am a “real birder” I am never sure what to think.
I remember many years back when I used to spend many a summer day bass fishing, a gentleman getting into his boat telling me he was a Professional Bass Fisherman, and then promptly asking where the “hot” fishing spots were on the lake. Every title is relative I guess.
Now like anything else there are good birders and some birders that are better than most, and of course there are experienced birders and beginner birders. There are birders that compete and others that don’t. Still others travel around the world to find birds they have never seen and some that may never leave their hometown .
Others may love watching warblers and some that only hanker for the hawks. Some birders love watching birds in the backyard and others don’t even have a backyard. Some birders keep a life list and others no list at all. Some birders own a library full of field guides and some that just stick with their 40-year-old Petersons Guide.
There are some that drive a Mercedes and others that take a bus. Some birders go birding every day and others only when they can. Others birders are great at birding by ear and others don’t hear that well any longer and some use APPS and others don’t even have a computer.
One of my favorite kinds of Birders are folks that don’t think they are birders at all. They just go out and tell me about all the birds they have seen but for some reason don’t think they are birders. So what then is a Great Birder ?
This is what I have come to believe a “Great Birder” truly to be. A Great Birder is someone who deeply cares about all of nature, especially the birds. Birds are a part of their everyday lives. They see birds when driving to work, walking to the bus stop or on their way to school.
A birder understands and endorses the need to protect birds through conservation efforts. They keep a safe distance from nesting birds, never stress them by getting too close with a camera or binoculars. They help others understand the importance of our birds and pass on their passion for birding by helping new birders, children and friends appreciate and respect all of the natural world, especially the birds.
We don’t need to worry about labels or titles. It wastes our time. No need to burden ourselves with who is a great birder and who is not. While we concern ourselves with these trivial designations the barbarians are at the gate: habitat destruction, climate change and special interests are attempting to plow over all the conservation work that has been accomplished over the last 40 years.
We need all birders of all kinds to stand up and protect and defend endangered species, clean air and water. We need them to save the critical wildlife habitat that we have left and we need everyone to protect and save the many birds that are and will become endangered.
We need everyone to join together to teach others to love, respect and protect nature the way we all do or one day there may be no place or no birds left for us to enjoy no matter what kind of birders we might consider ourselves to be.
As Dennis Cheeseman ponders: Pot of gold in the Meadowlands, or is the Meadowlands a pot of gold? Thanks to Dennis for this array of angles of this morning’s rainbow at DeKorte!
Thanks to the BCAS’ Don Torino for sending these photos from his visit to the Museum of Natural History this past weekend. Very cool to see a display about Meadowlands birds!
These flycatchers are keeping a close watch on their surroudings. Thanks to Dave McClure for these neat photos taken recently at DeKorte Park!
Many thanks to those who came out to join the Bergen County Audubon Society for yesterday’s guided DeKorte Park walk. They were treated to plenty of ospreys and George, our favorte American While Pelican.
The next BCAS Meadowlands Nature Walk is Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus, from 10 am to noon. For more info contact Don Torino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-230-4983.
Our own Gaby Bennett-Meany has an article on native plants in the Meadowlands and the importance of floral diversity in the Bergen County Audubon Society’s Summ/Fall Newsletter, the Blue Jay! Check it out here