The Goose Whisperer?

We've had a goose problem at the Celery Farm the past few months.

A domestic meat goose appeared unannounced -- likely dropped off by some clueless person.

Two things: It's a domestic goose and it's really doesn't belong in its current home.

What's more, it can't fly, so it can't leave, and when the first big freeze, the goose will likely be  a Coyote or Red Fox entree du jour.

IMG_6225 (2)Gabrielle Schmitt, one of the Celery Farm's best friends, has been trying to catch the goose and take it to a place where it belongs. That's easier said than done, since Lake Appert is large and meat goose is clueless.

It doesn't swim away from humans, but it doesn't swim toward them either. It doesn't even respond to alluring meat goose calls (that's Gaby on the left summoning the meat goose with a recorded call).

We'll keep you informed of the meat goose's fate.

It even has a name -- Meaty McMeat Goose. Now it needs a home (and a rescue).

(Thanks, Gaby!)

Walt Staab's Duckstravaganza: Part I

As you may recall, Walt Staab has taken some amazing shots of Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons and Ospreys (and more) at the Celery Farm in the past year.

He has turned his attention to ducks lately, capturing the images of ducks we are often just happy to see. 

Over the next few days, I'll showcase them here.

Can you I.D. them all, including the ones flying above?  (There are five species in today's brood, including some "doubles.")

Coming tomorrow: What kind of landing is that?

Wednesday: Is that a Mallard -- or what? We need your help.

 Walt Staab's Duckstravaganza Part !



Holy Crow! 500,000 Page Views

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I looked at my blog stats yesterday and discovered that "The Celery Farm & Beyond" had its 500,000th page view yesterday. I had lost track.

A big thank you to everyone who has viewed the blog over the years and put up with my so-called humor, sometimes odd enthusiasms and Monday Morning Mysteries. 


By Brotherton Bridge

One of my favorite spots in the Celery Farm is Brotherton Bridge, because not only does it make me think of John and Pat Brotherton, dear friends to so many of us, but it also is a gateway to parts of the Celery Farm that go largely unvisited. 

Phoebes nest nearby in spring, and I saw a Winter Wren (my first of the season) on a dreary afternoon yesterday along the banks of the brook by the bridge. 

(Also saw a flock of Cedar Waxwings along the path as I walked to the bridge.)

Monday Mystery Answered

On Monday, I asked:

Where in the Celery Farm Natural Area are these next boxes located (tough question), and why are they located like that? And what's with the opening?

The answers are:

These boxes are located in the little-known Laino Wood section of the CF.

They are bluebird boxes, and I believe that Fred Weber placed them in pairs because House Sparrows will only occupy one of the boxes.

If House Sparrows do move in to one box, the other box can be used by Eastern Bluebirds.

Some bluebird boxes have narrow slits for openings to make them less attractive to ... you guessed it.... House Sparrows.



Swift Tower at Audubon Homestead

I visited the John James Audubon homestead in Audubon, Pa., highly recommended for anyone interested in Audubon and his art. The beautiful grounds included a Chimney Swift tower.  There were reports of a Pileated, but I couldn't find it....

I plan to write more about this wonderful place next spring -- the home and grounds will be closed from Thanksgiving until next spring.

Below are photos of Audubon's bedroom and the Chimney Swift tower.


Mystery Mallard at the CF

Saw this on the Jerseybirds email list:

My name is Andrew Boucher, I'm a 17 year old birder from northern NJ. I have watched the jbirders emails for a few months now but I finally saw a
bird worthy of sharing!

A few days ago I saw what I identified as a"blonde" mallard (photos attached) at the Celery Farms in Allendale.

I was hoping someone could provide insight into the rarity of this albino-ish
mallard for me.

The internet seems curiously devoid of info, aside from duck-hunting forums.

Andrew has gotten some replies already.  What do you think?