New Jersey Nature Notes
Birds & Birding

Sedge Wren



Why are people so fascinated with birds and birding?

"They are the most intensely alive of all creatures — often moving, darting, hopping, flying, or at times migrating thousands of miles."

Roger Tory Peterson

“When people ask me why I love birds, I wish I could just show them an Eastern Bluebird. I think that would answer the question.”

Kimberly Kaufman

"Many of us find the sheer physical beauty of birds one of the main draws into our hobby. A truly beautiful bird quickens something inside us akin to coming face to face with a masterpiece in other aspects of life. I submit that there are few (if any) sights in our area more beautiful than a male Northern Cardinal silhouetted against the snow."

— Bob Dodelson, 2012

Click Play  Slideshow (just below) to see all the pictures.


Here is a sampling of some bird photos that I have taken this year. We’d love to include your shots here. Please send them in. Use the Email Me link at the bottom of the page.

If you’ve enjoyed these photos, there are many more on the Flickr site.

Click here to see them.


  2. Rare Bird Alerts: Not a duplication of the link above. Here is their link for Rare Bird Alerts that puts all national RBAs at your disposal. This is excellent if you’re traveling throughout the country and want to know what birds have been seen in a particular region.

  3. Some RBAs are updated more frequently than others (either as needed or weekly), and some may be as much as several weeks behind. Nevertheless, these are an invaluable resource, especially if you’re ‘chasing’. (And if you are, contact us. There are many of us who may like to join you.)

  1. Rare Bird Alerts (the entire U.S. and worldwide)

  2. Here’s the BirdingOnTheNet page with just about everywhere you could possible go. It has everywhere else we haven’t already listed.

   There is only one type of hummingbird that is regular in the eastern United States…the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). These are beautiful, small birds, typically between 3 and 3  3/4” in length. The adults have a green back and a whitish breast and buffy belly. Males are distinguished by a brilliant ruby red on the throat. Throat feathers are iridescent and the color is very much dependent on the angle of light. When the light is right, you will easily see the intense red color. When the light is wrong, it may appear very dark or even black.

    After many years of seeing only 1 or 2 hummingbirds in the garden each year, and sporadically at that, I have been enjoying an increasing number of hummers at home. They were attracted to the impatiens that my wife and I plant in large numbers. But this wasn’t enough to ‘keep’ them there. They were just visiting. Now, we regularly have up to 5 hummingbirds, and for two very good reasons. The first was the planting of a honeysuckle bush around the light post at the curb. Yes, honeysuckle can be invasive so this is in a very restricted area, between the curb and the sidewalk, and does not allow for expansion. Hummers love the sweet, perfectly shaped abundant flowers. It’s a plant just made for them.

    However, to improve the chances of actually get the birds to hang around here, I added 2 hummingbird feeders. These are filled with a sugar water mixture that provides a great deal of energy to hummingbirds.

    An easy recipe for creating your own hummingbird nectar is HERE. No, the nectar doesn’t have to be red. In fact, some believe the red food coloring is not at all good for them. But there must be something that is prominently red to attract them (the base, the jar, etc.). Once the find it, they will remember it.

    Here are 2 feeders with which I have had good success. You can click on the photos to get to a link to order them, or look for them locally. The larger feeder is also available at Home Depot. I hang both feeders from a branch of a tree (near the honeysuckle to give them choices) in the front of my home.

    And THIS from the Hummingbird Society on the best natural nectar plants for your garden.

Recycling Egg Shells
(just in time for female birds preparing to nest)

From "Top Ten Reasons Spring Feeding is Great" by

Bill Thompson III, Backyard Birds Newsletter via the Wild Bird Kingdom’s newsletter “The Chickadee’s Song”. Thanks, Hadas.

"Offering eggshells. Have you seen the commercials on TV that say "We all need calcium"? Birds need it, too, especially during the energy-sapping period of egg laying. A female bird converts the calcium she gets from eating eggshells right back into, you guessed it, eggshells. But this time it's shells for the eggs developing inside her, the ones she's about to deposit in her nest. Here's the eggshell recipe: Wash eggshells thoroughly and place in a pie pan in your oven. Bake them at about 250 degrees for 10-30 minutes. Crush them into small bits and scatter in an open spot, such as a driveway, sidewalk, deck, or platform feeder. Watch as all kinds of birds stop by for a nibble. At our farm, martins, barn and tree swallows, chipping and song sparrows, bluebirds, robins, eastern towhees, and Carolina chickadees have eaten the eggshell bits we offer."

Sounds like a great way to get kids involved in backyard birding and to reuse resources right at our fingertips!!

Blogs & Website Resources

  1. BulletRick Wright’s excellent blog: Birding New Jersey and the World.

  2. BulletThe Eyrie - a blog by and for young birders. 

  3. BulletKenn Kaufman’s own birding blog. Always worth the read from this great naturalist and birder.

  4. BulletBill Lynch’s rich New Jersey Outdoors blog with links to lots of other really good blogs.

  5. BulletHere is the excellent Stokes Birding Blog by the famous Stokes couple. 

  6. BulletWinged Wonders: Dave Magpiong’s excellent birding blog. Dave is an educator and you’ll know it! ;-)

  7. BulletWoodcreeper: David LaPuma’s great birding (and other things of nature) blog, with very timely information about migration. Birds and weather…perfect together! This has the inside scoop on how understanding the relationship can make your birding experience much better.

  8. BulletLike attracting birds, try “Zick Dough”. Julie Zickefoose’s blog  We may have a winner!

  9. BulletBirding is Fun!

  10. BulletAs a person who loves heights, and has jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet (yes, intentionally), this video gives me goosebumps. Join a Harris’s Hawk as it soars with its trainer. Fantastic video! youtube/

  11. BulletMia McPherson’s On the Wing Photography website. Wonderful!

  12. BulletCreate a bird-friendly garden and habitat. National Wildlife 


  2. If you’re going somewhere new and need a checklist, you’ll find it here.

  3. BulletPrintable birding CHECKLISTS from for North American states & provinces..

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  5. BIRD CAMS (usually live cameras on bird nests…in season, of course!) Some of these are updated every 30 seconds.

  6. BulletEagle Cam From Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in maryland. (checked 3/28/13)

  7. BulletNUMEROUS Raptor Cams from the Hancock Wildlife Foundation HERE. (checked 3/28/13)

  8. BulletDuke Farms EagleCam (checked 3/28/13)

  9. BulletOsprey Cam Again from Blackwater NWR. Ospreys don’t return until Spring (usually) and begin their nesting activities. Recent activity (prior to the Ospreys returning for the season) has included the Bald Eagles and Black Vultures on the platform. (checked 3/28/13)

  10. BulletA Puffin Cam from  (checked 3/28/13)

  11. BulletSabal Palm Sanctuary (Southern Texas)

  12. BulletMaybe the mother of all bird cam sites:

  13. BulletLive from Ontario.

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  16. Especially useful for the newer birder. We can suggest several field guides and smart phone apps (i.e. iPhone and the like).

  17. BulletHelp with identifying Warblers and some of the more common Sparrows. Simple, and without distractions, and will ease identification.

  18. is an amazing site that can help you identify birds that you have seen using a very broad range of criterial. You don’t have to know all the field marks. This site will help you narrow down the choices by color, range, field marks, etc. GREAT for beginners!

  19. BulletA fun and interactive graphic for learning the ‘parts of a bird’, to make identification easier. 

  20. BulletHelp with identifying those confusing fall warblers, from our friends in Canada. at Migration Research

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  23. BulletABC (American Birding Conservancy) - A new organization with very wide-ranging ambition. Lots of information on their Main Page and a very interesting link (down to the left just a little) called the “Bird News Network”.

  24. Birding/Wild Birds page Beginning birders, this is the first ‘other’ site you need.

  25. BulletBIRDERS WORLD “Welcome to Birding” webpage. A GREAT starter for just getting into birding!

  26. BulletCornell Lab or Ornithology’s great All About Birds. All we can say is “WOW!” Amazing site for beginners and advanced birders alike.

  27. BulletDry Tortugas: YouTube video introduces you to the park. GREAT birding spot!

  28. BulleteBird News - an invaluable resource for birders

  29. BulletWhere to go Hawk Watching in the US…from Always something new to learn.

  30. BulletNJ AudubonImportant Bird Areas’  and  NJ Audubon ‘Great Birding Locations’ ( <--- Two different pages.)

  31. BulletSam Galick’s New Jersey Birding Locations Google map. Want to know where these places are and how to get there? This is the site! You will benefit every time Sam updates the map.

  32. BulletWARBLERS: Getting to know some common Spring migrating warblers-Cornell Lab of Ornithology. YouTube video

  33. BulletBirding Warblers: Again from Cornell. YouTube.

  34. BulletHere’s a great visual graphic (cartoon) to help you learn some of the more common bird songs.

  35. BulletBirding Adventures TV. Many episodes to watch.

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  38. Bullet10,000 birds, just a wonderful website!

  39. BulletAmerican Birding Association - One of the premier organizations in the country

  40. BulletAmerican Ornithologists’ Union - Another major birding organization

  41. BulletBird TV from

  42. BulletBirds and Science  Really interesting and diverse. For the scientist or hard core birder.

  43. BulletBirdingOnThe.Net A fabulous site (their home page) with a treasure trove of information for all interested in birding.

  44. BulletBirdingOnThe.Net Not a duplication of the link above but their wonderful link to a frequently updated map of unusual sightings, nationwide.

  45. BulletBirding field guides and books, as well as books and guides on related nature topics from 10,000 birds. If you need it, it’s probably here.

  46. BulletThe Carolina Parakeet; a very interesting article.

  47. BulletCornell Laboratory of Ornithology-invaluable. These are the people who do so much of the research we read about.

  48. BulletFeathered Photography (Gorgeous website with excellent resources.)

  49. BulletFollow the annual Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration into the U.S. HERE.  

  50. BulletGarden pests: Controlling them with birds. eNature 

  51. BulletHummingbirds: How to feed them. A great resource! Even has an easy recipe for creating your own nectar to attract them.

  52. BulletMaking a Hummingbird Nectar Concentrate. By Julie Zickelfoose through Bird Watcher’s Digest.

  53. BulletNEW JERSEY AUDUBON SOCIETY main links:

  54. BulletHome page - You can reach all other NJ Audubon links from here.

  55. BulletCurrent Issue of NJ Birds Now Online  Voice of New Jersey Audubon Online Usually prepared weekly. Very comprehensive.

  56. BulletCats Indoors! A very important campaign to protect birds. And loads of resources for advocates of this campaign.

  57. BulletNJ Audubon’s link to almost everything else you might want to know (how to purchase optics, injured birds, field trip do’s and   don’t’s, etc. A great resource with links to lots of important other sites and links.

  58. BulletNew Jersey CHECKLISTS

  59. BulletBirds

  60. BulletWildlife

  61. BulletCape May birding and butterflies

  62. BulletThreatened and endangered New Jersey species

  63. BulletCape May Bird Observatory PHOTOGRAPHER of the MONTH (with archives). This is a very good resource for photographers. What a way to improve your bird photography skills…learn from the very best.

  64. BulletA poster of amazing things about Hummingbirds…from Nature

  65. BulletRUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD Migration Map. Just found out about this great resource. Want to know when to put up that hummingbird feeder? Check for when they will reach your area. Lots of hummingbird data and photos.

  66. BulletVideo of the fastest animal on Earth, the Peregrine Falcon. WONDERFUL!!! 

  67. BulletThe 15 Most Spectacular Hummingbirds. 

  68. BulletDavid Sibley’s own website. It’s not just birds.

  69. BulletFrom Flickr and birding acquaintance, Steve Byland…video of a white hummingbird.  And Create Your Own Bird Sanctuary.

  70. BulletiBird and WhatBird…amazing software for mobil phones. I personally use iBird Plus on the iPhone and find it to be a wonderfully rich resource which includes the ability to help you identify birds, display range maps and play bird calls that are more than loud enough on the iPhone to attract birds. The current database in this “Interactive Field Guide to the Birds of North America” contains 891 birds. The company indicates it will provide free lifetime updates.

  71. BulletZICK DOUGH: A fabulous, if not addictive bird food created by our friend Julie Zickefoose. For use only during the cold months.  Article on NPR. It really works!

  72. BulletA Sunday Morning video (CBS) piece about bird migration, from CBS News. Nicely done, too. 

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  74. RARE BIRD ALERTS (RBAs) (Regional):

  75. Rare Bird Alerts: Not a duplication of the link above. Here is their link for Rare Bird Alerts that puts all national RBAs at your disposal. This is excellent if you’re traveling throughout the country and want to know what birds have been seen in a particular region.

  76. BulletSome RBAs are updated more frequently than others (either as needed or weekly), and some may be as much as several weeks behind. Nevertheless, these are an invaluable resource, especially if you’re ‘chasing’. (And if you are, contact us. There are many of us who may like to join you.)

  77.’s Tough Birds Page and their Easy Birds Page. They use the AOU scale: 1 = Easy. 2 - 5 = increasingly difficult.

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Bird Migration radar is fascinating and can be incredibly useful in alerting you to when to be on your toes regarding the seasonal movement of birds through your region. You really need 2 sites to make this work. First…the explanation and how to.

  1. Bullet1-

  2. Next, you need the site to manipulate the maps as you wish using the instructions from “1” (above).

  3. Bullet2-

  4. Now, make the needed changes to parameters for the map.

  5. Bullet3-Click on the region for the migration radar:

  6. BulletOR you could use a pre-set map for the entire country:


  8. BulletReporting on “Rare” bird sightings! Be certain of what you want to report (that it IS a rare bird in our region), then…

  9. Bullet 1 - Email US first, (thank you) and next…

  10. Bullet 2 - Report it here (New Jersey Bird Records Committee)! (Read the first page before you do so.)

  11. BulletBANDED AND TAGGED BIRDS-Reporting them and other sightings:

  12. BulletReport Trumpeter Swan sightings here, birds banded with colorful neck bands here and birds metal leg bands here.

  13. BulletRing-billed Gulls-Report those with fluorescent yellow or orange tags. They may also have leg bands, some colored or aluminum. This program captures birds using a rocket net baited with Cheez-its and bread. Learn more here. Report the birds to Dan Clark HERE!

  14. BulletReporting wing-tagged gull sightings:

  15. Dan Clark requests that any wing-tagged gull sightings be reported to him at (508-792-7423 x215).

  16. More information on the wing-tagged gull project can be found here:


  18. (Ring-billed gull tagging information from Jim Gilbert)

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  21. BulletNew Jersey Audubon’s Great Birding Locations…for each season.

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  24. Bullet911 Parrot Alert

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  27. BulletHelp! A bird keeps flying into my window. The bird probably sees its reflection and thinks it’s a rival. You need a bird silhouette on the window to deter the bird from wanting to approach it. Click HERE for a falcon silhouette. Trim the silhouette or scotch tape the entire sheet to the inside of the window with the falcon facing outward. This often prevents such strikes from occurring.

  28. BulletI found a baby or injured bird. What should I do? Please see Animal/Wildlife Rehabilitators on THIS page. Also see “Finding a Lost ‘Pet’ Bird, directly above this heading.

Click on the any of the links above to go to that particular site.


At the afternoon session the principal topic of discussion was cats, in their relation to bird protection. The principal speakers were Dr. George W. Field, President of the Massachusetts Fish and Game Commission; Dr. T. S. Palmer, Biological Survey, Washington; Rev. William Lord, Massachusetts and Mr. Frank M. Chapman. It seemed to be agreed that if cats could be kept at home, and their owners made responsible  for them, as in the case of dogs and other domestic animals, the lives of multitudes of wild birds would be annually saved. At the close of the discussion the following resolution was adopted: "Resolved, That in the interests of humanity and bird protection the National Association of Audubon Societies endorses the movement to make the owners of cats responsible for their acts and welfare."

From the First Annual Meeting of the American Ornithological Union in 1906.                                                A big thank you to Rick Wright for this information.

Bird Videos

Sparrowhawk weaving its way through a forest. Amazing!
Attracting HUMMINGBIRDS to your home
Red-tailed Hawk being chased away by a Western Kingbird
       © Richard Wolfert - 2017


(Click the page title below to see it.)




  1. BulletFRONT PAGE

  2. BulletBIRDS & BIRDING  

  3. Bullet    The Birds of Israel, 10/2013

  4. Bullet    RGVBF Texas Birding, 11/2014

  5. BulletWEATHER  


  7. BulletTHE BACK PAGE 



  1. BulletBIRDS of NORTH AMERICA..(416)

  2. BulletVol. 1 (1-161)......(82)

  3. BulletVol. 2 (166-406)....(72)

  4. BulletVol. 3 (407-571)....(79)

  5. BulletVol. 4 (572-791)....(84)

  6. BulletVol. 5 (792-994)....(99)

  7. BulletBUTTERFLIES....(44)

  8. BulletDRAGON & DAMSELFLIES (28)

  9. BulletINSECTS....(131)

  10. BulletMOTHS #s 0001-4702  

  11. BulletMOTHS #s 4703-7648 (490)

  12. BulletMOTHS #s 7649-12233  ——————————


  1. Bullet  ODDS & ENDS

  2. Bullet  SCRAPBOOK


  4. Bullet  SKY & SPACE

  5. Bullet  TICK PAGE

  6. 1 # of species

Need supplies for birds?

North/Central NJ residents. A GREAT place for bird supplies (seed, feeders, birdhouses, accessories, etc.) is Wild Bird Kingdom in Middlesex, NJ. Click the link for more information.