My Column: One-Woman Hawk Watch

Stephanie Seymour photo by Bob Perry; Broad-wing photo by Karl Soehnlein

My new column for The Record is about Stephanie Seymour of Ringwood, who has an official HMANA hawk watch site in her yard.

   No room to mention this in the column, but Stephanie has also recorded some wonderful songs about birds on an album called "There Are Birds." You can listen on Spotify or Apple Music, or go to

   You can read the column here:

Continue reading "My Column: One-Woman Hawk Watch" »

Inside the Exclosure: The Next Fyke Talk

Deer Exclosure
Fyke's next talk is via Zoom on Fri., Sept. 22, at 8 p.m.

During this presentation, plant i.d. expert and Fyke Nature Publicity Chair Mike Lefebvre takes us where no deer has gone before, or at least for the past four years: the Celery Farm's deer exclosure.

After 4 years of the exclosure protecting a patch of woods inside the 107-acre Celery Farm Nature Preserve, it’s time to look at the flora growing there in the absence of deer grazing.
Deer exclosures are used as best practices in forest management when white-tailed deer browsing becomes an issue. The deer exclosure helps protect, establish and increase regeneration of native plants.
Mike takes us inside the exclosure for a look at what’s growing in the deer-free forest understory.

To register:

Since 2015, Fyke meeting costs have been funded by generous grants from the Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation.

Raptor Rapture & a Big Afternoon

IMG_3590 (1)
This time of year, local folks who love watching hawks start calculating how they can get to their favorite hawk watch as often as they can. They have an incurable affliction known as Raptor Rapture. You can learn the symptoms in a column wrote last year, here:

Last year, Sept. 15 and 16 were the big days at the State Line Lookeout in Alpine. I was a counter in the afternoon of Sept. 15, when we counted 1,179 Broad-wings between 3 and 4 p.m., Yes, you read that right.

You can see the tally sheet for Sept. 15 here:

I'll be counting at State Line again from 12:30 to 4 p.m. this Thursday, Please stop by and help me count. Just be aware that you'll have to pay for parking...  So far, the Broad-wing counts have been low.


Sneak Preview: My New Screech Owl Book

Screech Owl Cover
I just learned that I can get some advance copies of my new book, The Screech Owl Companion, in time for the Meadowlands Birding Festival at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst on Sunday, Oct. 1. I wrote the book with Scott Weston of Massachusetts. Here's the writeup:
Meadowlands Birding Festival Update!
Sneak Preview of Jim Wright’s New Screech Owl Book -2pm Auditorium

Screech owls are the owl most likely to nest in a suburban backyard, but few people know how to entice them to set up residence–or how to thwart those pesky squirrel interlopers. Nature writer Jim Wright, a long-time friend of Bergen County Audubon Society will talk all about his brand-new book from Timber Press, The Screech Owl Companion – to be published on October 17.
Jim thinks the photos alone are worth the price of this entertaining compendium, but see for yourself. Jim will be happy to sign and inscribe advance copies after this event, his first-ever talk about this book.
Lillian Stokes, coauthor of The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, says: “Astounding, thorough, wide-ranging, and well done, this book will take you into the world of the beloved Screech Owl. It delivers everything you could want or need to welcome these appealing, diminutive, feathery, fierce creatures as your neighbors.”

The Library's New Garden & Sculpture

Lee Memorial Library has a brand-new pollinator garden, thanks to Allendale's Maggie Shaw, who did the project for her Girl Scout Gold Award.

The ribbon-cutting is set for Thursday (Sept. 14) at 5:15 p.m. in front of the library. 

But wait, there's more.  There'll be an unveiling of a sculpture in memory of Stiles Thomas by Allendale's Mike Bertelli. (The sculpture will be added to the base shown in the photo of the garden, above.)

The library is at 500 W. Crescent Ave.  Can't wait!