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March 2013

Celery Farm Cleanup This Saturday!

P1010964We meet at the Green Way entrance to the Celery Farm at 9 a.m. this Saturday for a couple of hours of cleanup and trail building. Bring your own work gloves.

Hope to see you there! Many hands make light work. Marsh Warden Mike Limatola is the coordinator (mike.limatola AT

Duke Farms Eagle Cam Action

Patrick Carney passed along a link to some amazing Red-tail vs. Bald Eagle action from the Duke Farms Eagle Camera, which I wrote about in newspaper column on Thursday. Pretty cool.

This link, from, includes a story about the cam and a link to the cam itself.... Link is here. (Thanks, Patrick!)

Allendale Red-shoulder Book: eBook Free on iTunes

Red-shoulder cover 1
I am happy to announce that "Survival: The Red-shouldered Hawks of Allendale" is now available as a free download on iTunes.

The link is here.

Some background on the book: For the last 12 years, a family of endangered red-shouldered hawks has nested in Allendale and nearby Ramsey. To chronicle their struggles and triumphs, photographer Jerry Barrack and I have created “Survival: The Red-shouldered Hawks of Allendale, N.J."

Jerry was the principal photographer, and we also have great shots by Kevin Watson, Kumar Patel, Barbara Dilger, Bob and Lisa Safier, and Ken Wiegand.

I did most of the writing, with additional chapters by John Workman (on the Red-shoulders' courting display) and Ken Wiegand (on what it's like to host a Red-shoulder nest). Len Soucy of The Raptor Trust wrote the Foreword.

The book also features a locator map with the hawk’s nesting sites from 2002 to 2011, an interview with Celery Farm Warden Emeritus Stiles Thomas (who has followed the hawks’ triumphs and tragedies for the past decade and more), plus some nifty surprises. 

And it's a free download. (If you like the book, please consider donating to The Raptor Trust here.)

We hope to update the book later this year.

Laura on the Nest

Not a great shot by any means, but I think you can see a hawk's head sticking out of the Allendale nest where Laura the Red-shouldered Hawk successfully nested in 2011 and 2012.

I took the photo at 8 a.m. today, after a bit of a wait. A passing squirrel got her attention and she sat up in the nest. 

Crossley's Red-shoulder ID Guide

Since folks who follow this blog tend to love our local Red-shoulders -- and yes, Laura and her mate appear to be nesting again this year -- I thought it would be neat to post the Red-shoulder page from Richard Crossley's new Raptor ID book.

(The Celery Farm Blog is part of the book's Raptor Blog Tour; more info on the other featured blogs is here.)

I love the illustration of the adult calling while flying, and the comparisons of the adult and juvenile perched.

You can see how easy it is to glance at the juvie and think it is a Red-tailed Hawk (see photo below, of a juvenile Red-shoulder eating a baby snapping turtle, from "Survival," the book about Allendale's Red-shoulders -- more info on downloading this book for free later today).

And since we have been getting more juvies thanks to Laura and her two most recent nesting seasons, I thought it particularly pertinent.

JW red-shoulder 8251-3