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.
Falconer Erik Swanson of Lodi and two colleagues brought their raptors to the Meadowlands Environment Center earlier this week for a talk and flight demonstration for Melissa Manzella and her AP Biology Class of Lyndhurst High School. Some of the raptors on display were like no other you have ever seen -- including a Gyrlin. The name pretty much tells the story: It's a Gyrfalcon the size of a Merlin.
Click here for photos of the Gyrlin and other raptors.
The Meadowlands Commission was proud to play host to the Watoto Children's Choir from beleaguered Uganda on Monday. This internationally known choir, composed of orphans, wanted to see local nature on a day off aduring their six-month North American tour.
Meadowlands Naturalist Gabrielle Bennett-Meany (blue coat, above) gave the 17 young singers and their team a walk along the Marsh Discovery Trail and a visit to the Environment Center's Discovery Station in the afternoon.
At night, John Sloan of the McDowell Observatory gave them a look through the research-grade,
optical telescope. The choir is giving a free concert in Kearny tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 18). Click here for more information on the choir. Click "Continue reading..." to see a video of the Watoto Choir's impromptu song at the observatory.
One of the Meadowlands Commission's missions is to revitalize and diversify the region's wetlands.
To replace the invasive species phragmites, a tall inhospitable reed that tends to dominate a marsh, NJMC has been planting all sorts of native marsh grasses in marshes throughout the 14-town district.
To measure the success of those efforts, the NJMC's Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute has been using some innovative methods, including the use of helium-balloon photography (see video above).
On Thursday, MERI is holding a workshop for wetlands professionals on the use of such remote techniques to monitor marsh vegetation.
Harrier Meadow in North Arlington is
a 70-acre wetlands mitigation site restored by the NJ Meadowlands Commission. Once a year, for the Meadowlands Festival of Birding (Sept. 13 and 14), the site is open
to the public. Here's a sneak preview, with an interview with NJMC
naturalist Michael Newhouse. Click here for a previous post on Harrier Meadow, with information on plans for guided tours that you can sign up for.