Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Meadowlands Festival of Birding

Here's a press release from a birding festival I'll be speaking at. By the way, the Meadowlands Environment Center is a short drive from NYC:

Second Annual New Jersey Meadowlands Festival of Birding to Take Place at the Meadowlands Environment Center on Sept. 17

Marie Winn, author of “Red-Tails in Love,” will deliver keynote address

LYNDHURST, N.J. – Break out the binoculars and get ready to see some fantastic feathers fly because it’s time for the second annual New Jersey Meadowlands Festival of Birding, taking place at DeKorte Park and the Meadowlands Environment Center on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Noted birdwatcher and author Marie Winn will deliver keynote address. The event is being organized by the New Jersey Audubon Society and Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc.

"The Hackensack River is a river in recovery and the rich community of migratory and nesting birds in the New Jersey Meadowlands is evidence of it," said Captain Bill Sheehan, executive director of Hackensack Riverkeeper. "The birding here is phenomenal and the Festival of Birding is a great way for beginners and experts alike to experience it first-hand." The day-long event will feature events for birders of all ages and experience, from those just starting out with the pastime to bird watchers who have logged hundreds of hours in the field. An “early bird” field trip to Liberty State Park will take place at 7 a.m. and is only open to those who pre-register. Activities will include bird-watching field trips with expert guides, birding along the Hackensack River by boat, workshops for building bird houses and backyard feeders, and events especially geared to introduce birding to children.

Marie Winn, author of “Red-Tails in Love: Pale Male’s Story – A True Wildlife Drama in Central Park,” will give the keynote address at 1 p.m. in the Meadowlands Environment Center’s auditorium. Her famous book details a group of New York City birders who discovered a pair of nesting hawks near Fifth Avenue. She has published a number of other books including “The Plug in Drug: Television, Computers and Family Life” and “The Baby Reader,” as well as several children’s books and articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

“The New Jersey Meadowlands Festival of Birding is a celebration of the rich birdlife of this urban oasis, and an opportunity for birders of all levels to learn about and enjoy the diverse species found here,” said Don Freiday, Wildlife Sanctuary Director with the New Jersey Audubon Society. The first Meadowlands Festival of Birding was held in October 2004 at the MEC and drew about 100 birders from New Jersey and the surrounding area. This year’s event will feature more attractions and a post-festival warbler walk and hawk watch on Sunday, Sept. 18 at the Palisades Interstate Park Stateline Lookout.

“Mid-September is prime time to find migratory waterfowl and birds of prey in the Meadowlands,” Freiday said, “birding at the Festival will be great.” "When we give our Eco-Cruises, people always marvel at the variety of wildlife that thrives in the shadow of the NJ Turnpike, Giants Stadium and the Empire State Building," Sheehan said. "This festival celebrates that phenomenon."

The fee for the event is $20 in advance, $30 at the door. Children 17 and under are free. A complimentary continental breakfast and lunch buffet of sandwiches and beverages will be provided. For more information or to register for the Festival of Birding, contact Hackensack Riverkeeper at (201) 968-0808 or visit the Web site at