Tag Archives: NJMC

BIRDING: Harbor Herons Project

     For the Img_0599past few years, the Meadowlands Commission and a bunch of volunteers have been helping New Jersey Audubon and New York City Audubon with a project called the Harbor Herons Project.

    The object is to study the foraging behavior of egrets and herons that roost on the East River and near Staten Island to see if the birds from different nesting colonies are foraging at different sites and to see how the birds use the metropolitan landscape, including the Meadowlands.

   This year, researchers have banded several birds and put transmitters on some in an effort to keep track of their travels. Img_0598

   Some of those birds — great egrets, and double-crested cormorants, have been seen in the Meadowlands — and the great egret’s radio signals have been picked up here.

   You can help the research by keeping your eye out for banded/transmitter birds.

    The photo on the left is of a great egret youngster with a silver band on its right leg and a transmitter on its left leg  (image  enlarged on right).

   Kate Ruskin of NJ Audubon sums up the progress:

   * 17 great egret fledglings radio-tagged (transmitter is below right:Img_0796
      – Black letters on white
      – Positioned on the left leg, above the joint with the antenna pointing down (they’re small, less than 3% of their body weight, but visible)

   Click "Continue reading" immediately below to learn more.

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MARSH MADNESS: Fiddler crabs


  If you’re in a boat by the Hackensack River’s marshes at low tide, keep your eye out along the banks for a tiny critter callImg_0925_2ed a fiddler crab.
   One claw is oversized, to the point it almos
t looks like the crab is wielding a fiddle — hence the name.
   Very strange. Very cool.
   The fiddler crabs pictured here photographed at the Saw Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area.

   More on fiddler crabs here.

SECAUCUS: Mill Creek Marsh birds

     Birders Don Torino and Dick Engsberg did some birding along the Mill Creek Marsh Trail in Secaucus Monday morning.
 They report they saw "a nice peregrine falcon, semipalmated plover, greater yellow legs, forsters terns, least and semipalmated sandpipers, snowy and great egrets and a good number of monarch butterflies."  

WHAT”S THAT: DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst

    As you enter the Marsh Discovery Trail at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, you’ll see a tree with large leaves and strange green pods. And you may well wonder what it is.
   "This is a Paulownia tomentosa: princesstree or Royal empress tree," says NJMC horticulturist Ian McDermott.  "This tree has purple sweet smelling flowers in late May and June. Sticky seed pods."

LYNDHURST: Barn swallows


The tree swallows in the Meadowlands have been getting more publicity, but the barn swallows are making their presence known as well in DeKorte Park.Img_8985_3
Walk in the parking lot and they’ll be whizzing past. Walk on the Marsh Discovery Trail or on the elevated boardwalk near the Environment Center, and they are zipping past everywhere.
In fact, they zip so fast they are next to impossible to photograph in flight.

  Click "Continue Reading" below for more on barn swallows and a photo of an empty nest.

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