Kevin Watson's Africa Talk Is Tonight


African Safari: Big Game and Birds, Kevin Watson

Friday, January 27, 8 p.m., Allendale Municipal Building

Birder and photographer Kevin Watson returns with a program about the incredible wildlife in Africa. This will be a "highlights show," with Kevin's best images from visits to three countries, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda.

There will be large mammals - lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hippos and so on. But Africa is also home to an amazing variety of bird life, and Kevin will present images of many of the star attractions, including Hornbills, Bee-eaters, Turacos, Owls, Eagles and the prehistoric-looking Shoebill.

Kevin is a terrific speaker. Not to be missed!

The talk is free and open to the public.

The Municipal Building is at 500 W. Crescent Ave. in Allendale. The talk will be on the second floor.

This presentation will be live. It will also be videotaped. 

The resulting video will be posted on YouTube with a link provided to all members for whom we have an email. Those who missed the meeting can view it at home at their convenience.

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

The Clove Gets a Big Prune

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Stopped by the Clove at High Mountain yesterday to see first-hand what I had heard by email -- that The Nature Conservancy took major action against all the invasive Ailanthus trees that had grown up there during the past few decades.

The trees had become Spotted Lanternfly magnets in the past couple of years -- and had to go.

There had to be at least seven huge piles of Ailanthus logs.

As a result, the Clove looks a lot more like in the days of yore. (Thank you, TNC!)

Rat Poisons in the News

Poisoned coop cresskiill
This Cooper's Banded in Cape May in 2021, was found dead in Cresskill last summer. Cause of death: rat poison.

As readers of this blog may know, several local environmental groups have joined the campaign against rat poison bait stations after the deaths of at least a half-dozen hawks and owls in our region in the past 18 months.

The rats eat the poison, and the raptors then eat the poisoned dying rats and typically die as well.

In each case, we asked that the dead raptors to be tested for the rat poisons used in these bait stations -- and the NJ State lab confirmed death by rat poison in nearly every case.

The Raptor Trust, a wonderful group,  has seen so many raptors that have died with all the signs of rat poisoning that they no longer ask that the raptors be tested -- lest they burden the state when the cause of death is so apparent.  A sad situation.

Our goal is to get a statewide ban.

At times, I feel like we are tilting at windmills, but nature lovers in other states are faring better -- thanks to the help of a great group, Raptors Are the Solution.

They report:

Last week, we filed suit against Bell Laboratories for making false claims about its rat poisons, including that they are "sustainable" and "earth friendly." Read more here:

Meanwhile, our ongoing work with activists in Connecticut and New Hampshire contributed to both states introducing bills this (new) year to ban the worst of the poisons. British Columbia made its moratorium on these poisons permanent.

It can be done.

Here are the local groups  supporting a statewide ban (please support them!)"
Bergen County Audubon Society
Bergen SWAN
Closter Nature Center
Flat Rock Brook Nature Center
Friends of the Hackensack River Greenway Through Teaneck
Fyke Nature Association
Grow Torah.
Hackensack Riverkeeper
Lorrimer Sanctuary (NJ Audubon)
Palisades Nature Association/Greenbrook Sanctuary (Administrative Council)
The Raptor Trust
Tenafly Nature Center



Update: Cool New Nature Book Club

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Franklin Lakes Library Director Kerri Wallace writes:

Alexa Fantacone from NJ Audubon's Lorrimer Sanctuary and I are starting a nature book club (similar to the one she started at Teaneck Creek).

Our first meeting, on Thursday at 6:30 at Lorrimer, is a meet and greet before we decide which books we will read.