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 .
Tufted Titmouse American Goldfinch, The New Jersey State Bird
Dark-eyed Junco Chickadee
Northern Cardinal White-breasted Nuthatch
Downy Woodpecker Blue Jay
Robin Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing Baltimore Oriole
Oven Bird Black and White Warbler
Northern Flicker Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
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 Double-crested cormorants Egret
Wood Duck Whitey and a Canada Goose
Black Crowned Night Heron Great Blue Heron
Cliff Swallow Osprey
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.
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
Paradise flycatcher: South Africa Lilac-breasted Roller: South Africa Secretary Bird: South Africa Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill: South Africa Pin-tailed Whydah: South Africa White-backed Vulture: South Africa Bananaquit: Palm Island Frigate: Jamaica Antillean Crested Hummingbird: Grenada Great Kiskadee: Bermuda Brown Booby: Guana Island Yellow-faced Grassquit: Jamaica Heron: Belize West Indian Whistling Duck: Antigua White Wagtail: China Northern Parula: Pink Sands, Harbour Island, Bahamas Pied Cormorant: Monkey Mia, Australia Scarlet Ibis: Trinidad White-bearded Manikan: Trinidad Purple Honeycreeper: Trinidad Tufted Coquette
Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad Blue-crowned Motmot: Tobago
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
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Collier County, FL Burrowing Owl
Brian Piccolo Park, Pembroke Pines, Florida Prothonotary Warbler
Indian Shell Mound Park
Dauphin Island, Alabama Summer Tanager
Indian Shell Mound Park
Dauphin Island, Alabama Scissor-tailed flycatcher
Airport Fence in Little Rock, Arkansas Common Loon
Lake Waukewan, New Hampshire Reddish Egret
Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Huntington Beach, California Snowy Egret
Baylands Nature Preserve - Palo Alto, California Agua Caliente Park
Tucson, Arizona Gila Woodpecker: Tuscon, AZ Cedar Waxwing: Lacy Park, Pasadena, CA Hummingbird, Temecula, California Pileated Woodpecker
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Collier County, FL American Oystercatchers: Cape Cod, Massachusetts Hummingbird: Cape Code, Mass Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk: Piscataway, NJ
Stripe-headed Tanager: Puerto Rico California Clapper Rail
Baylands Nature Preserve - Palo Alto, California
Mute Swan and Cygnets
Mother and Baby Mallards Mother and Baby Wood Ducks
Baby House Wrens Baby Turkeys
Baby Blue Jay Baby Goose (Canada Gosling)
Baby Woodpecker Feeding Baby Barn Swallows
Baby Baltimore Oriole Black-crowned Night Heron Chicks
Robin Nest Baby Robin
Flickers in Nest House Wrens Fledging
Other Animals from Lake Nelson
Chipmunk Groundhog Turtles Muskrat Bullfrog Beaver Deer Fox Water Snake
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.