My New Talk: Next Friday, March 1

Jim Wright Bergen Bird.jpg
Can you identify this little guy, and would you like to know more about him and many of the other beautiful birds that call Bergen County home for at least part of the year?
After being on the injured-reserve list with broken ribs, I'm back -- with a brand-new talk and slide show called “The Birds in Our Bergen Backyards” for the Demarest Garden Club at 2 p.m. sharp on Friday, March 1 at the United Methodist Church in Demarest.  

The talk is free and open to the public.

I will talk about my favorite avian neighbors -- including winter, summer and year-round residents -- and how to attract them. I’ll also offer some bird-feeding dos and don’ts, and explain why.  

As a bonus, I'll talk about the Bald Eagles now incubating an egg at Duke Farms.

I'm the author of several books on birds and nature. I’m celebrating my 10th year writing the popular "Bird Watcher" column for The Record. 

Ribs, don't fail me now!

Pronouncing 'Pileated'

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Laura Jannett, who lives in Pensylvania, saw yesterday's column and wrote:

Just wanted to say I enjoyed your article about the pileated woodpecker.

I have no idea how to pronounce it so when I see them, (I have 3 that come to my suet) I say there’s Woody!

Thanks for the note and the photo -- your triple suet feeder is impressive!

Duke Farms Eagle Mom and Egg

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As I hope you heard by now, the Duke Farms Bald Eagles have an egg.

You can scroll down to see the cam live. I took a screenshot last night when Mom (or Dad) was off the egg. 

As I recall keeping the egg warm all the time is not crucial the first 24 hours or so.





Duke Farms Eagle Cam Is Heating Up

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Looks like Mom may be ready to lay an egg at the Duke Farms as the snow falls.

It's about the right time... 

Eagle Cam live stream is below.

You can make the image full screen and you can wind it back two hours.  (Around 10:30 a.m. both adults were on the nest, no egg yet.

If you view on the YouTube sites, you can read comments as well.

Fyke: Kumar Patel Is Friday's Speaker


This Friday evening, nature photographer Kumar Patel is doing an illustrated talk about a magical part of Africa.

The talk is entitled:: "Okavango, the River that Never Meets the Ocean."

Kumar says:  "To understand ecosystems, there is no better living laboratory than the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

"Join my daughter Yogita and me on a journey of discovery, fascination and excitement through this desolate, magical land.

'Along the way, I hope you will appreciate, as well as we did, the beauty of some of the amazing creatures we share this planet with. I know all of you are dedicated to conservation. This is just a reminder to show you what we are trying to preserve."

The presentation begins at approx. 8:15 p.m., after a short members' meeting. 

This event, at Borough Hall, 500 W. Crescent Ave., Allendale, is are free and open to the public. 

Birdy 30 Winner: 'Best Bird' Award Is a Tie!

The good news is that the "Best Bird" category ended in a tie.  

The bad news for everyone but Rick Weiman is both winning birds were seen by Rick, who did the Birdy 30 while he was visiting Nebraska.

He not only saw a Red-shafted Northern Flicker but also a Harris's Sparrow -- a life bird for both Rick and me. The only difference is that this was the first time Rick had seen one, and the first time I had heard of one.

More about Harris' Sparrows here.

Rick also saw a Sandhill Crane. (Photo below, with Rick on the right.)

Congratulations to Rick. Very well done!

Continue reading "Birdy 30 Winner: 'Best Bird' Award Is a Tie!" »

Birdy 30 Results! Top Score & More


A big thank you to everyone who competed in the Birdy 30 -- more than a dozen in all.

The winner is Loren Anderson, who tallied 18 species from 9:10-9:40 a.m.on Monday. and writes:

I live in Oakland on the Ramapo, can see it from inside my house (and once actually in my house  Emoji   during  Hurricane Irene).

The official list:

6 American Goldfinch
2  Downy Woodpecker
3  Northern Cardinal
10 Dark-eyed Junco
3  Black-capped Chickadee
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
10 Blue Jay
3 Mourning Dove
11  White-throated Sparrow
2  Tufted Titmouse
3  Mallard
2  Carolina Wren (one missing its tail)
1  Song Sparrow
2  Red-bellied Woodpecker
1  Common Grackle
1  European Starling
1  House Finch
3  Crow sp
Loren adds:
"In the last week, I have had Common and Hooded Mergs, Bufflehead, and 3 Common Goldeneye here on the Ramapo, all visible from my dining room.  Think any of them would show up for me today? HA!"
Other folks with high scores included:  

Bill Zitelli, Dumont   17

Nils Abate, 16

Betty McDonnell 15 (plus an evident resident Cooper's Hawk who must have caused a window strike during the half-hour)

David LaLima and Georgie Thomas  15

Will announce the winner of the "Best Bird" contest on Wednesday.

I hope everyone had a good time (excepting the bird that flew into Betty's window, alas)...

Cool Story on Central Park Owls

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 7.34.17 AM Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Evan Kirby/Unsplash, Clive Mason/Getty Images, and Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Just came across this online article in Slate about this winter's influx of owls in Central Park.  

It's a very good read, it features Fyke speaker and great guy Gabriel Willow, and I loved the headline.

The link is here.