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!

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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!)


Weirdest Monday Mystery -- Answered

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On Monday I asked,

What is the critter featured above?

Two things: It's dead, so I was able to photograph it closeup in this odd pose.

I didn't have a quarter for scale, but trust me it's fairly small. 

It is not Sasquatch or a walrus, and it will not cause bad dreams unless you sleep outside near the Butterfly Garden, where this was photographed.

Slightly closer shot below. Gotta love those digits.

Several folks answered correctly: Star-nosed mole! Congrats to all.

You can read more about the world's fastest eater here.

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