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April 2017

Help! Where Are the Red-shoulders Nesting?

Red-shouldered hawk 01
Every year since 2002 or possibly earlier, endangered Red-shouldered Hawks have nested in Allendale or nearby Ramsey.

They failed several times before nesting successfully in 2004, and have nested at nine locations total.

This could well be the first spring where we are  in mid-April and have not located the nest.

Stiles Thomas and I hear and see the hawks often, and Stiles saw the pair in flight this week, but no nest. Can you help us find it?

Laura the Red-shoulder and her mate typically nest about 30 feet or more up in a large deciduous tree, and typically within 50 feet of a house.

If you see or hear a Red-shoulder, try to see whether it has a leg band (that would be Laura) and which direction it goes,  and then report your findings to Marsh Warden Emeritus Stiles Thomas at 201-327-3470 or me at celeryfarm (at)

The first person to report the location gets a copy of "Survival, the Red-shouldered Hawks of Allendale," which Jerry Barrack and I compiled with the help of friends of the Celery Farm in 2011. It's 72 pages, with color photography and tons of information on our hawks.

You can read some old blog posts about the Red-shoulders here.


Three Fell House/Celery Farm Talks This Week!

This week I am giving three free talks about the historic John Fell House and neighboring Celery Farm Natural Area -- topped off by the free John Fell Day at the Fell House on Sunday, April 23 -- including two reenactments of John Fell's arrest by British loyalists 240 years ago.

In the talks, I'll illuminate the history of Allendale’s Celery Farm nature refuge and the Fell House – two subjects near and dear to my heart. The talks will be enhanced by archival images and beautiful nature photography.  I'll not only explain the unsung John Fell’s heroic role in the Revolutionary War, but I'll also discuss the house that bears his name  and the swamp that he owned – better known today as the 107-acre Celery Farm. 

I'm in in a unique position to talk about  John Fell and the Celery Farm. I've  written extensively on both subjects, and I'm a deputy warden of the natural area — once called Fell’s Meadows. 

Here's the schedule of the talks:

Monday, April 17, 7 p.m. Mahwah Public Library.  100 Ridge Road, Mahwah,

Thursday, April 20, 10:30 a.m. Northvale Public Library.  116 Paris Ave., Northvale.

Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m. Lee Memorial Library.  500 Crescent Ave., Allendale.

Here's all the info on John Fell Day:

Sunday, April 23, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Fell House, 475 Franklin Turnpike, Allendale. Join the Friends of the Fell House as we host a day of free  history and Earth Day oriented events. At 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m, the Heard’s Brigade will reenact John Fell’s historic arrest by the British Loyalists on April 22, 1777, and explain its significance. 

We’ll also have colonial history activities and Earth Day activities throughout the day. I'll read my "Ghosts of Allendale at 1:30 p.m., featuring illustrations by former Northern Highlands High School art students.