New Jersey Backyard BirdsWe became birders when we moved to New Jersey. At first it was the red-bellied woodpecker, a somewhat common bird, that intrigued us with its brilliant red-head (and just a little red on the belly). They come to the suet feeders frequently but also eat jelly, oranges, peanuts and other bird seed. The goldfinches, the state bird of New Jersey, are brilliant yellow in the spring and summer. They are easily attracted with nyjer feeders. After a while, we saw some less common birds, including ovenbirds and catbirds, some of Chris' favorites. Mike likes the tufted titmice because of their "eye makeup" and he developed a relationship with them by feeding them peanuts on the deck railing.
It was always fun to see the migrating birds as well-- the warblers in the spring and the junco all winter. We always looked forward to the orioles returning in the spring.
We moved to New Jersey in 2006 and moved backed to California in 2012. This blog chronicles our becoming amateur birders after moving to a house on a lake in Piscataway, NJ.
If you like this blog, you can follow our California birding at California Birds.
Lake Nelson BirdsLake Nelson is a small manmade lake in Piscataway, NJ that is home to some mallards, Canada geese, cormorants, herons, and swallows. The migratory birds are amazing, with the male common merganser being our favorite (and the reason we bought better binoculars).
Male Hooded Merganser
|Female Common Merganser||Belted Kingfisher|
|Wood Duck||Whitey and a Canada Goose|
|Black Crowned Night Heron||Great Blue Heron|
Our Favorite Birding Spots in New JerseyWe started out as backyard birders, just feeding, observing and then photographing the birds that came to our house on Lake Nelson. After a while, we started venturing out more, aided by the JerseyBirds email list and ebird to see a wider variety of birds.
Eastern Bluebird: Duke Farms
|Red-headed Woodpecker: Glenhurst Meadows||Eastern Towhee: Higbee (Cape May)|
|Least Bittern Cape May Point State Park||Long Tailed Duck: Meadowlands|
|Hooded Warbler: Garrett Mountain||Snow Geese: Brigantine (Forsythe NWR)|
|Ruby-crowned Kinglet: Sandy Hook||Harlequin Ducks: Barnegat Light|
|Bobolink: Hoffman Park||American Redstart: Liberty State Park|
|Dicksissel: Negri Nepote||Yellow Warbler: Celery Farm|
|Snowy Owl: Merrill Creek Reservoir||Red Breasted Nuthatch |
Round Valley Recreation Area
|Yellow-breasted chat: Rutgers Newark||Black Skimmers: Cape May Meadows|
Birds from around the worldWe took two trips internationally for wildlife viewing. Trinidad and Tobago was solely for birding. We went to South Africa more for the "Big 5" mammals but we found guides who also knew the local birds. We went to the Caribbean almost every winter to escape the NJ winters and would enjoy the birds that came to us.
African Hoopoe: Londolozi Game Reserve
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Birding in the USAWhen we travel, we often bring along the birding gear and will squeeze in some birding when we aren't visiting family, attending conferences, or visiting a beach to escape the New Jersey Winters. We only took one trip in the US solely for birding, to Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama.
Roseatte Spoonbill: Ding Darling NWR Sanibel Island, Florida
Mute Swan and Cygnets
Other Animals from Lake Nelson
A variety of other wildlife visited our home on Lake Nelson. The beavers were the most interesting but the chipmunk is cute and it was fun to see the fox.
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