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My final hawk watch mystery is a fairly easy one. If you've been here, you know the answer.
I spent a week here as writer in residence a year and a half ago, when I was writing The Screech Owl Companion. The book arrives in two weeks from Timber Press. (Sorry about the shameless plug, but...)
The walking stick was carved with a snake on the handle. The carver was a hawk-watcher extraordinaire.
Bonus points if you can I.D. the carver or explain the tradition behind the basket.
This is the last of five Monday hawk watch mysteries. I hope you enjoyed them.
Here are the previous four:
Just came across a review of The Screech Owl Companion in Booklist, a book review site for public libraries.
By Jim Wright and Scott WestonOct. 2023. 212p. illus. Timber, paper, $24.99
Screech owls are enchanting neighbors, as journalist and birding columnist Wright discovered when he and his wife installed an owl nest box 50 feet from their living room. These "most amazing creatures you'll seldom see" are the stars of this combination of natural history and how-to book.
Beginning with the basics of screech owl biology, general owl anatomy and behavior, owl superstitions, owl protection, and owl species, Wright and owl expert Weston move on to the heart of the book -- hosting screech owls in nest boxes.
As they point out, screech owls are very adaptive to urban and suburban areas with trees and green spaces. They detail discovering suitable sites for boxes, dealing with pesky squirrels (who love owl boxes), the basics of box building, and installation. The use of nest cams to monitor owl tenants and attendant software and apps is the pièce-de-résistance.
Full of beautiful photos and illustrations, ... with sidebars featuring owl-oriented quotations and other books about owls, this gem of a manual will satisfy all levels of owl lovers.
YA/S: Perfect for natural-history-loving teens and a natural for scout projects.
I am pleased to announce that I will be giving a sneak preview of The Screech Owl Companion at the Meadowlands Birding Festival on Sunday (Oct. 1) at 2 p.m.
I'll also have a special guest, Tilly the Eastern Screech Owl (see photo above, by Sam Pettigrew). She'll stop by with her colleague, Rosetta Arrigo of the Flat Rock Brook Nature Center.
The free all-day festival also includes live raptor shows, children’s activities, live music and guided walks at some of the best birding spots in the region.
Advance copies of The Screech Owl Companion and my other books will be available for sale and signing before and after.
This is an easy one for many -- a raptor's eye view of a popular hawk watch.
I took the photo seven years ago while doing a flight for The Nature Conservancy and LightHawk. (Thanks, TNC and LightHawk!)
Note the rock slide in the photo. This is why I cringe whenever I see clueless folks climb over the wall and sit on the edge of the cliff.
The answer: State Line Hawk Watch, of course! Kudos to everyone who answered correctly.
My latest column for The Record is about the Meadowlands Birding Festival. Alas, I couldn't fit all the info into a 500-word column. Here goes:
Flat Rock Brook Nature Center is bringing a female Eastern Screech Owl, a male American Kestrel, and a female Red-tailed Hawk.
Giselle Smisko of the Avian Wildlife Center will likely bring a Red-tailed hawk, maybe the American goshawk, and a Saw-whet Owl...
NJSEA has several short presentations. Terry Doss, Co-Director of the NJSEA's Meadowlands Research & Restoration Institute will provide a very brief intro, and then Mike Turso (Wildlife Biologist), Aleshanee Mooney (Ecologist) and Drew McQuade (Senior Biologist) will provide very brief updates on a number of recent studies (saltmarsh sparrow survey, floating islands for least terms, osprey nesting, bird banding recent results). Cailin O’Connor Fitzpatrick (Lecturer at Kean University) will provide an update on the MOTUS tower study.
You can read the column here:
We are including an extra day (Feb. 29, a Thursday) at no additional cost, and you are free to use the day as you wish.
Fyke is the volunteer group that maintains the Celery Farm for the borough of Allendale.
Photographers for this year's calendar are Brian Jenkins, Leslie Young, Stephanie Swanzey, Nancy Motto, Kevin Watson, Great Egret (just checking to see if you're still reading), Mike Gallo, Nick Sweatlock, Tom Mitchell, Alan Pomerantz, Lynn McKenzie, Mike Limatola, and me. Mike L. also did the calendar itself. (Thanks, Mike!)