Friday"s Free Fyke Zoom Talk: Moths


Friday's Zoom Talk: Moths through the Seasons with Wade Wander, 8 p.m.

Though they share the same order of Lepidoptera, moths have long played second fiddle to butterflies. But of the nearly 180,000 species in that order, fewer than 20,000 are butterflies and skippers.

The rest of the 150,000-plus species are moths. And in New Jersey, it’s estimated there are more than 1,500 species of moths compared to about 125 species of butterflies.

Join Wade Wander as he offers up a chronological look at the amazing diversity of moths that he has photographed at his moth lights at home in Sussex County.

Wade, along with his wife, Sharon, is a partner in Wander Ecological Consultants, investigating wetlands and conducting surveys for Endangered and Threatened species.
He has been an active New Jersey naturalist since childhood, interested in birds, reptiles and amphibians, plants, and butterflies (and of course, moths and other insects). He is a past president of the New Jersey Butterfly Club, for which he is a frequent speaker and field-trip leader.

At the moth station he runs at their home in Sussex County, Wade has recorded more than 1100 species of moths since 2001.

Please register in advance for this presentation. Here's the link to register:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. As always, Fyke meetings are free and open to all.

Since 2015 Fyke's monthly meeting costs have been funded by a generous grant from the Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation.

James Bond's Wife Was a Book Thief!

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The real James Bond's wife, Mary Wickham Bond, was not only on the board of the Free Library of Philadelphia, but she also stole a very valuable book from that very same library.*

Learn more about the amazing Mary and her equally amazing husband at my free talk for the Ridgewood Public Library this Tuesday at 7 p.m.

You can register here:

*We do not approve of what Mary did and ask that others not follow her example.

Stepping Up for the Celery Farm

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I thought this might be helpful for anyone still wanting to step up for the Celery Farm. We had 75 bird species!

Gaby Schmitt writes:

Hi everyone!
Our two-day, annual bird inventory and fundraiser is this weekend. We're seeing some more birds moving through - a Palm Warbler and a Yellow Warbler made appearances yesterday. And so far, the forecast is looking good.
Our Treasurer, Kurt Muenz tells me we're below last year's pledges and donations, so please help. We do not receive any financial assistance from the borough of Allendale, so we depend on financial support from our members and the birding community. 
For the pledge/donation information, please see below.

Continue reading "Stepping Up for the Celery Farm" »

'Birds of the West Indies' in Action!

IMG_0462Charlie Quinn shared this terrific shot of a Barbados Bullfinch getting ready to peruse James Bond's classic Birds of the West Indies. In Barbados. Thanks, Charlie!

You can read more about this smart bird here:

I love what Bond wrote in the fifth edition: "remarkably tame in gardens of Barbados."

(I'll be giving away a free copy of this edition at my talk on Tuesday at the Ridgewood Public Library).


My 2016 Hummingbird Column: Lots of Info


May 5, 2016 

   Now is Hummingbird Time. If you haven’t put up a feeder, what are you waiting for? 

   These inexpensive feeders provide great looks at these dynamic tiny birds, and all they require is sugar water. What a deal.

  Because squirrels deflowered my last feeder (they either removed or ate the little yellow-plastic buds), I had to buy a new one.  While I was at it, I thought I’d get two. 

   After all, I really enjoy watching hummingbirds, and if I’m refilling one with one part sugar and four parts water, I might as well fill two feeders while I’m at it.  Since hummingbirds flit from sugar source to sugar source, I figure both will be put to good use.

   The first feeder is the conventional flying-saucer-shaped one that I will hang on a  feeder pole that has a baffle to keep squirrels away.  The last thing I need is a hyperactive squirrel on a sugar rush.    

    The second feeder is one of those cool suction-cup window feeders. They provide up-close viewing of these little gymnasts, and I think our cat Pook has seen enough birds and squirrels at the window not to have a conniption.

   My wife will no doubt plant more red-blooming native plants like cardinal flowers again this spring (and hope the deer don’t destroy them) so that the hummingbirds can hang around the yard even longer.

    Here are two important hummingbird feeder tips to make your life easier.

Continue reading "My 2016 Hummingbird Column: Lots of Info" »

Here's to Hyper-Humus

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One of my favorite birding spots other than the Celery Farm is Hyper-Humus, officially called the Wallkill River Wildlife Management Area.

It's located in Lafayette, N.J., and it's 2,300 acres of marsh, woods and water -- sort of like a giant Celery Farm Nature Preserve.

And guess what -- the two biggest bodies of water at Hyper-Humus were created the same way Lake Appert was -- peat mining.

Hyper Humus adI visited Hyper Humus with The Nature Conservancy last week, and saw a ton of birds, including a Marsh Hawk, three Bald Eagles, an Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and a nice variety of warblers.

As part of a follow-up, The Nature Conservancy shared an amazing article by ace botanist David Snyder about the rare plants once found there.

You can download it here:

Download NJNLTannualreport2012_PaulinsKillMeadows

You can read more about Hyper-Humus here:

Inicidentally, you will see "Hyper-Humus" with and without a hyphen. The original peat-mining comapny used a hyphen, so I do as well.

Below is an aerial photo I took for tNC with the help of LightHawk.

Hyper-Humus aerial