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January 2023

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

Nature bookclub (2)
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.


Monday Morning Mystery 011623

IMG_8011Over the weekend, I found the mangled body of a reddish-breasted raptor on Franklin Turnpike about a block from the Red-shouldered Hawk nest.

I was headed for the nest site at the time, and had Red-shoulders on the brain, so I assumed the worst.

I removed the dead hawk and buried it in my yard, but not before photographing a tail feather.

When I looked at the photo, it struck me that the feather was not a Red-shoulder's.

Was I right? If so, what kind of raptor's tail feather is it?