MONK PARAKEETS, Ridgefield When you reach Railroad Avenue, head south under Hendricks Causeway Bridge. Park car near the bridge and listen; Monk Parakeets live in nests on underside of the bridge.
KEARNY FRESH-WATER MARSH, Kearny Camman Drive is the road the loops around Gunnell Oval; the marsh is to the east of the easternmost corner of the drive. You can launch kayaks and canoes at this location.
At the suggestion of Karen Riede of Ridgefield, we checked in on the Monk Parakeets of Ridgefield last week, and it seems they are in the midst of a housing crunch. The bridge over the train tracks by Railroad Avenue (where else?) is undergoing repairs, and workers had to remove the (eggless) nests. Thanks to Karen, the workers did put up two nesting platforms for the parakeets but they were not yet interested in moving in. In fact the roughly two dozen parakeets were just hanging around the vicinity, apparently waiting for (and hoping for) the workers to finish. When that will be is unclear. (Stay tuned!)
This spider was found in the Girls Scout Butterfly Garden in the Ridgefield Community Garden earlier this month, with bats, flying squirrels, and a doe and 2 fawns. Photo by Bruce Riede. Thanks, Bruce!
A bit of news regarding the Monk Parakeets of Ridgefield. Bill Boyle of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee reports: "At the Spring 2008 meeting [last month], the committee voted to add Monk Parakeet to the New Jersey State List. The population in Bergen County, which has been present for many years, has been growing and spreading and is unlikely to be extirpated by natural causes."
Click "Continue reading..." for the rest of his comments.
than 50 middle school students, local businesspeople and Ridgefield residents joined forces on Thursday to
clean the Skeetkill Marsh as part of the Meadowlands Conservation Trust’s (MCT)
annual Clean-Up Day.
The cleanup was organized as part of the
MCT’s Park Stewardship Program, which recruits volunteers from corporations,
schools, civic clubs and other organizations for clean up and site maintenance
Volunteers spent three hours removing more
than 50 bags of litter from around the marsh and public sitting area, including
food wrappers, soda bottles, metal rope, plaster and a truck tire.
Click "Continue reading..." for more information and clean-up photos.
The Meadowlands Conservation Trust is looking for help with its annual clean-up of
this important tidal marsh -- planned for Thursday, March 26, from noon to 3 p.m. Raindate is Thursday, April 2, noon – 3 p.m.
The Skeetkill Creek Marsh in Ridgefield, photographed last week above in its drab winter attire, is a 16-acre restored wetlands area that is one of the Meadowlands unsung vest-pocket parks.
For an earlier blog post on the marsh -- and a look at how beautiful it is in summer -- click here. For general info on the Skeetkill Marsh, click here.
If you can help clean up this treasure, wear work clothes, boots and gloves; trash bags and other equipment will be
Volunteers should gather at the kiosk near the park entrance
on Pleasantview Terrace, Ridgefield.
The wild Monk Parakeets of Ridgefield look to be doing well. We stopped by to check in on them last week and found more than two dozen sunning themselves in nearby trees. It seemed a bit odd to see a parakeet on a tree with dead leaves, but that is the way it is in this region. Karen Riede of the town's Environmental Committee says the Monk Parakeet population is around 30-- as it was last year about this time -- and that the birds are perfectly acclimated. "They all grew up right here, and this is the only home or environment they know," she says. The birds have been in Ridgefield, Edgewater, Fort Lee and other spots for so long that there is a strong likelihood that this beautiful, colorful (if a tad loud) bird will be to the state list.
Ridgefield, in the northern part of the Meadowlands District, has several nifty attractions, from the restored wetlands of the Skeetkill Creek Marsh to the Monk Parakeets that nest under the highway bridge over the train tracks on Railroad Avenue. But there's also the Ridgefield Nature Center, a beautiful wooded natural area comprising 5.4 acres off Shaler Boulevard by Ray Avenue.
The property was the source of the spring for the Great Bear Spring Water Co. from 1920 to 1975, at which point the land was sold to the Borough of Ridgefield.
Since then, the borough has been restoring the site, planting well-labeled native trees and plants and curtailing the invasive species. Those are labeled, too -- so you'll know what to look out for in your own backyard and elsewhere.
Click "Continue reading..." immediately below for more information on the Ridgefield Nature Center.
We'd like to think that Pleasantview Terrace in Ridgefield was named for the view of Skeetkill Creek Marsh, a nice natural oasis amid a commercial district. This 16-acre marsh was once all phragmites, and heavily littered. The Meadowlands Commission overhauled the site a decade ago, creating tidal channels, open water, and islands of vegetation. It is now owned by the Meadowlands Conservation Trust. Local volunteers, with the help of a nearby Ridgefield business that has adopted the site, keep the site clean. The Riverkeeper has done clean-ups here as well.
Peeps and other shorebirds love Skeetkill Creek Marsh at low tide, and egrets and great blue herons fly in to feed as the tide rises.
Click "Continue reading" for more images and information.