Montclair Bird Club Presents The Nature of the Meadowlands

The Montclair Bird Club invites the public to attend a special program on the Nature of the Meadowlands on Wednesday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. Jim Wright, a local writer, photographer, lecturer and field trip leader will present the history, restoration and wildlife of this often under-appreciated region.

Jim Wright (pictured) writes the Meadowlands Nature Blog for the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, leads bird walks, writes nature columns for North Jersey newspapers, and is an acclaimed photographer of the Meadowlands Region. He is currently writing a coffee-table book on the Meadowlands, and is the author of several books, including “Hawk Mountain” and “Jungle of the Maya.” The program will include some very special and up-close photographs of the Northern Harrier, a resident raptor of the Meadowlands.

The Montclair Bird Club was founded in 1921 and sponsors field trips for all levels of birding. Regular meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month (except December, July and August) at the Union Congregational Church, 176 Cooper Avenue, Upper Montclair. All meetings are open to the public. For further information, contact Wayne Greenstone 908-276-4605 or visit Montclair Bird Club.

Photo: Marco Lips

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  1. Nice article. I became an official birder this past weekend when I attended the Annual Hawk Watch in Cape May Point. We saw many eagles, hawks, falcons and dozens of other beautiful birds on their annual migration south. Yesterday morning a red-headed woodpecker was right outside my window! I guess he officially welcomed me as a birder. I’m glad to learn about the Montclair Bird Club – nice and close to home.

  2. Congrats, magicwoman. One of these days, when I have less work to do, which means I won’t have to do so much procrastinating on Bnet, I’m going to become a birder. I’m gonna git me a pair of bins and head out to the Meadowlands. I’ve always admired the skill and knowledge of good birders. And the Meadowlands are fabulous (depending on wind direction, of course).

  3. I am a birder. My family has a home down in Cape May so we spend hours on the deck bird watching. The pinnacle of our bird watching was a Bald Eagle that soared by a few few from us last summer.

    Magicwoman- How exciting I have yet to see a red headed woodpecker here. I have see many a Flicker….was the whole entire head red????

  4. Figures you’re a birder, Holly. 🙂

    I’m thinking the Red-headed woodpecker was actually a Red-bellied woodpecker, which are very common around here and have red heads. (But only a little red on the belly–go figure.)

  5. Birding and photography go well together. I like both. The last big sit I attend was in the Great Swamp. Since this is National Wildlife Refuge Week there’s lots of walks/sits going on there too. Yup walleroo is correct. So many interesting people. I can’t always identify some of the birds I photograph and amazed at the knowledge of some of my birding friends.

  6. I once sat with a couple of birders on the roof of a house across the street from that wildlife refuge in Cape May along the water. I could hardly tell what the hell they were talking about. “Look, there’s a blah-de-dee-blah warbler whatchamacallit!” How the hell you can tell from so far away, even with a good pair of binocs, without referring to the pictures in the Sibleys guide, was a great mystery to me. It was really something.

  7. If you are experienced or new to birding, you may want to visit the Montclair Hawk Watch this month. There is always someone there to point out the birds flying by and identify them. last week a Bald Eagle circled above the Hawk Watch and on Sunday another flew close to the platform.

  8. Holly! I had (I think) a Downy woodpecker on the catalpa last week! he was soooo cute!

    still trying to get to the Hawk Watch… so far generating excitement amongst the masses at home has been difficult at best…

  9. I am sympathetic, Kay. I dragged my kids birding once. It was their birthday present to me. I have the funniest picture of them bored to absolute tears… That pic alone was worth the trip. They were polite, though, and they humored me.

  10. I drove by the bird refuge in Cape May yesterday. I wasn’t down there for birding, though, but for drinking. I went to the Wine Festival at the Cape May Ferry. An assortment of Pinot Grigio followed by a lobster dinner. Now that’s contentment.

  11. A few winters ago I had a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker on my peanut feeder (wow does that sound odd). It was a cold, cold winter. I am such a bad birder that I took a picture and had to compare it side by side on the computer for about two hours.

    I love wrens. They come and go in my yard. Could they be cuter?

  12. There really is such a thing as a yellow bellied sapsucker? I think I heard it first in a Bugs Bunny cartoon when I was a kid and thought it was something the screenwriters had made up, perhaps because Bugs pronounced it Sapsthhthththsucker.

  13. So nice to know there are so many birders amongst us! Hollykorus: The woodpecker’s head was bright red, but I can’t say it was the entire head. My brother (a birder for 40+ years) said that experienced birders can identify birds at a very high distance (with binoculars, of course) by the way they fly. Darn! I can’t remember all the terminologies he used but you know what I mean – the angles of the wings, wing tips, wingspan, etc. We got to Cape May Point at 9:00AM and left at 5:00PM. I got a great suntan too and collected shells on the beach. What a glorious day it was.

  14. I’ve been to the Montclair Hawk Watch, and the people up there are the best. They’re welcoming, and are eager to educate. I was told I saw an eagle when I was there. Hard to tell — to me it was a black dot in the sky. But I have enjoyed birding now and again ever since. And, I always look up. Never know when an eagle is passing by.

  15. “Yesterday morning a red-headed woodpecker was right outside my window!”

    There are 10 species of woodpeckers and sapsuckers you can see in NJ, inlcuding the red-headed woodpecker and the yellow-bellied sapsucker. Most frequently seen around here are the hairy or downy woodpeckers — both of which have some red on the backs of their heads. If you had a larger bird — 8- to 10-inches in height with a wingspan of up to 16 inches –it was a redhead. More info here:

  16. Thank you Conan for the woodpecker info. Twenty-six bald eagles were sighted on Saturday in Cape May Point. So cool!

  17. magicwoman, you probably saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker, which has a red head but looks quite different from the Red-headed woodpecker.

    I have seen plenty of the former at my feeder but have not seen the latter around here, although it’s possible. The Downy is more common than the Hairy in our neighborhood and these both look very similar. The Hairy has a significantly larger beak.

    They are all very cool birds. Welcome to the wonderful (and wacky) world of birding.

  18. Thanks so much everyone for your clarifications and positive comments. Now, please read the nice story about my two students from Darfur. Click on “Classic” on this site to read about Philip and Musa (written by Erika Bleiberg on Friday, October 7th) and tell me what you think. I’d love to read your comments. Ciao!

  19. That’s quite a story, magicwoman, thanks for drawing my attention to it. I had missed it. That’s a good thing. You are a generous soul.

    How were the Kenyans selected? Just curious. Who have they left behind? I’d like more of their stories, but perhaps they want to keep some things private.

  20. With a swirly straw…duh.

    I sense a new drink coming on.

    Oh, and by the way Woodchucks don’t chuck wood.

    Did I say they did? Did you hear the word “chuck” from my lips? No you did not.

  21. THuffering Thuckotash wasn’t Daffy, Conan, it was that big dog with the southern drawl. Whathisname. I’m not having any better luck searching on sapsucker and Daffy. Is this now lost in the sands of time? Was it a figment of my imagination?

  22. Roo my dear, I am fairly certain the succotash line was Daffy’s. I can almost remember the spittle flying from his bill as he said it.

    Yellow-bellied sapsucker was one of Yosemite Sam’s lines.

    (now I hae “Kill the rabbit, kill the rabbit, kill the RABbit” stuck in my head.)

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