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May 2020

Monday Mystery Answered: Flying Squirrel

On Monday I wrote:

I know this is a gruesome mystery, so my apologies.

I saw this dead mammal on the shoulder of Franklin Tpke near the Celery Farm.

It looked big for a mouse or even a chipmunk.

Anybody know what it is? Was?

I thought it might be a flying squirrel, and turns out I was right. It is the first one I've ever seen, dead or alive.

A friend who is a mammal expert writes:

"That’s the first roadkill flying squirrel I’ve seen. Could it have been dropped by an owl?

"Flying Squirrels do move over the ground but usually among trees. Or was it struck in mid-glide? Like Screech Owls, their paths are down swoops."

More on flying squirrels here.



My Column: A Tale of Two Boobies

Brown Booby Kevin Watson Belize 20100208 522 (1)
My latest column for The Record is about an extraordinary series of events that happened early this month.

A storm blew two Brown Boobies from the Caribbean clear to the tristate region. One landed in Bergen County, the other on Long Island.

Note: I have a very tight word count for the column, so I could not mention all the unsung efforts to save the Beregn Brown Booby by Bergen County Animal Recuse, the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital, The Raptor Trust and all their wonderful professionals and volunteers.  I do so here. (Thank you, all!)

The photo,  by Kevin Watson, was taken on a trip we took to Belize a decade or so ago. (Too bad that The Record didn't have room for it. Thanks, Kevin!)

You can download it here:

Download Wright Record Bird Watcher_20200528_LF03_2

Or read it here:

By Jim Wright
Special to The Record 

This is the tale of two long-distance seabirds.

Their story began earlier this month, a nasty cold front propelled the two birds all the way from their native tropics to North Jersey and Long Island -- more than 1,500 miles out of their range. They were found roughly 35 miles apart, in bad shape, on the same Saturday.

Continue reading "My Column: A Tale of Two Boobies" »