Allendale Tree Question

A Schuyler Road resident writes:
 Years ago I was told by the Allendale shade-tree people that we have the tallest elm tree in Allendale here on our front lawn.
For these many years the tree has been very healthy and void of the dreaded Dutch Elm disease, my theory being that a maple tree growing VERY close to the elm, has protected it for some reason.
It has been suggested that I somehow report this theory, but to who, I am not sure.
Any suggestions?

To Botch a Mockingbird

A couple of Sundays ago, the New York Times Book review ran a couple of articles related to "To Kill a Mockingbird," with the above illustration.

A sharp-eyed reader wrote that the bird in the illustration was not a titmouse, not a mockingbird. I tend to agree, though I live in a glass house myself.

CF Butterfly Walk, Sat. July 21!

Tom Burr Memorial Butterfly Walk at the Celery Farm

Our annual Celery Farm Butterfly Walk is held in memory of Tom Burr, the late Fyke member, naturalist, photographer, and friend.
Meet at the end of Green Way at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, for a 90-minute stroll.
The event is free and open to the public.
Dress for bright sun. Bring your binoculars, water and sunscreen. Rain cancels this walk.
Gaby Schmitt will lead but would appreciate some assistance, especially from folks with more butterfly ID skills.
Email her at


More About Barbara Dilger's Banded Osprey

Osprey  cf 42318 aaaDSC_0092_cropBarbara Dilger, who photographed  a banded Osprey at the Celery Farm in April, writes:

I received an email from the gentleman who banded the baby osprey that I photographed recently at the Celery Farm - 04D.  
He said that they spotted him the other day back at the Barnegat Bay, where he (he thinks it is a male) was hatched two years ago. 
He also believes it is one of the birds that has a successful nest nearby, which he will try to confirm. 

It is exciting to think that he made it all the way up to Allendale from his migration south of the border and now is back to his birthplace and possibly starting his own family. 

The link to the original post is here.

Free Downloadable Butterfly Guide for North Jersey

Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 12.11.43 PM     When I worked for the Meadowlands Commission, my colleague Mimi Sabatino and I put together a butterfly guide for DeKorte Park.

  I took all the photos on site and wrote the text, and Mimi did the design.

  It includes photos of the 18 most common butterflies and two common moths (inlcuding a clear-winged moth).

  The one-sheet is useful for the Celery Farm, too, and you can download it free right here.

My New Column: More Birding at the Shore

My new column for The Record is about lesser-known spots to bird at the Shore, featuring advice from some top birders.

I'd like to thank .the following birders for their help with this column: Steven Albert,  James Armstrong, Pete Bacinski, Steve Buckingham, John Canoles, Gregory Cantrell, Marc Chelemer, Kyle Chelius, Bill Elrick, Brett Ewald, Judy Foulke, Becky Hedden, Ted Krzyzanowski, Andy McGann, Rick Radis, J. Reader, Yvonne Stecher and Ann Thompson. 

(The space allotted for the column is prohibitively tight, so I thought it best to thank them here.
The link to the column is here.

Butterflies & Blooms at the Kay Center

The Nature Conservancy's Kay Center in Chester Township has a beautiful butterfly garden, and so does nearby Willowwood.

Tom Mitchell visited both recently and took some great shots, including the one above.

Tom writes:

We walked around the meadow at the Kay Center this morning and then went to Willowwood. 

The milkweek and bergamot are not yet in bloom at the Kay Center and there were few butterflies, but we did see a monarch laying eggs and a few tiger swallowtails and frittilaries. 

And of course that's a great place to see indigo buntings.  There's a robin photo that's the last one at the Kay Center and a very worn red admiral that's the first one at Willowwood. 

We saw a pretty good variety of species by the end of the day.

You can view them here. Definitely worth a look. (Thanks, Tom!)

Terrific Video about State Line Hawk Watch

As some of you know, Rafael Samanez filmed and produced a documentary video centered around our activity during the 2017 season. It's a project related to his graduate work in films at City College of New York. He recently emailed me to let us know that the video entitled The Watch, is now available for public viewing

The Watch from Rafael Samanez on Vimeo.


If you've been to the State Line Hawk Watch in the fall, you'll see a lot of familiar faces in this video.

Rafael did a great job with it.

A big thank you to Kurt Muenz, who sent out an email about the video and wrote:

"As some of you know, Rafael Samanez filmed and produced a documentary video centered around our activity during the 2017 season.

"It's a project related to his graduate work in films at City College of New York. He recently emailed me to let us know that the video entitled The Watch, is now available for public viewing on Vimeo."


Birding the Woolworth Building -- Please Help!

IMG_8465On Saturday, went with family and friends to visit the Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan.

The tour was led by the great-granddaughter of the building's architect, Cass Gilbert, and it was superb.

What I didn't expect were the ornamental birds beyond the obligatory bald eagle above the entrance on Broadway.

There was the stone owl carved atop the doorway, and then there was an incredible stained-glass vaulted-ceiling mosaic in the lobby by Heinigke & Bowen that featured several colorful (and tropical) birds. (Click to enlarge.)

The question is, are these real birds -- parrots perhaps -- or figments of the artist's imagination?

We figured the final fanciful bird might be a Phoenix.

Would love to hear what you think. Can you I.D. any of the birds?

More about the tours here.

Monday Mystery: We Need Your Help!

John Pastore took this shot of two young buteos in his neighbor's yard (about a block from the Celery Farm) yesterday.

Are they Red-tailed Hawks or Red-shouldered Hawks?

If the latter, it would be great and exciting news since have been unable to find an Red-shoulder nest the past two springs after they had nested (sometimes successfully) near the Celery Farm since 2002. They are an endangered species in New Jersey when nesting.

What do you think, and why?  (Thanks, John!)