Hudson County’s Best Parks for Bird Watching

Here in Hudson County we saw deer, coyotes and even a sturgeon. But many might be surprised to learn of Hudson County’s avian biodiversity. There are many places in Hudson County for birdwatching: in the 100 km² that make up the county, there are more than half a dozen places worthy of birdwatching. These locations all offer truly impressive birding for the amateur, expert or beginner birder. Read on to learn more about birding in Hudson County.

(Red-tailed bucon, Photo credit: Patricia Hilliard)

Bayonne

It’s no wonder Bayonne has many places where birds of all seasons flock or land on their long migrations. Conservationists have worked hard to negotiate the restoration and preservation of wildlife habitats that now attract populations of waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, birds of prey and more.

The brave people of Bayonne Nature Club will be happy to take new bird enthusiasts under his wing to help them discover the joys of bird watching during ornithological walks organized every Thursday and Sunday. With the help of experts from the Club Nature de Bayonne and their equipment, even those who cannot distinguish a Black-crowned Night Heron from a Snowy Egret have the opportunity to spot and discover the blue skimmers that zigzag along the river. of the cove at low tide in the summer and the plovers and sandpipers using the tall grass leading to the Scottish Links Golf Club which the park surrounds.

ducklings

(Ducklings, Photo credit: Patricia Hilliard)

This group is eager to introduce others to the Rutkowski Historic Wetland Area. Stephen R. Gregg Parkbuilt in 1916. Stroll the boardwalk through this restored wetland habitat to spot American Widgeons, Double-crested Cormorants, Red-winged Blackbirds and Black-throated Blue Warblers.

Bayonne’s Dennis P. Collins Park is a migratory crossing point for winter wrens, chickadees, and eastern kingbirds, among others. Hike the trail keeping an eye out for the treetops and shoreline.

secaucus

Secaucus also lays claim to three of Hudson County’s best parks for viewing the Winged Splendor. cross the Mill Creek Point gate and enter a beautifully restored and replanted wildlife sanctuary teeming with native species of marsh grasses and shrubs inviting enough to attract hen harriers, migrating wood ducks and green-winged teals.

Read more: Quaker Parrots: A Hidden Gem of Nature in Edgewater

Near Schmidts wood offers trails that wind through woods, thickets and meadows where the rare Yellow-crowned Black-crowned Night Heron nests in the treetops and meanders through the park. Hudson County Wild Bird Advocates are calling on dog owners to keep their pets on a leash when in this area and in all areas where susceptible bird species nest, roost and feed. .

Yellow crowned night heron

(Black-crowned night heron, Photo credit: Patricia Hilliard)

During the warmer months (soon!), wildflowers line the trails of beautiful Laurel Hill Park. Hire a canoe or kayak to explore the Hackensack River and spot swamp wrens, mute swans and maybe a Canada goose floating among the reeds.

North of Bergen

North of Bergen James J. Braddock North Hudson Park is home to some of the oldest and largest trees in Hudson County. These magnificent trees attract forest birds, such as Northern Flicker, Nuthatch and Wood Thrush. Local birdwatchers posit that because Braddock Park is directly across the Hudson from Central Park in New York City, it is possible that the falcons seen perched on the tiptops of Braddock’s River The birch trees are part of the dynasty of pale malethe Red-tailed Hawk which became famous in legend, on movietelevision and at least one country song for its sky domination over Central Park.

Lincoln Park

from Jersey City Lincoln Park is the oldest and largest of Hudson County’s parks. Lincoln Park is home to the Black Skimmer, Osprey and Egret. Hawk-eyed birdwatchers at Lincoln Park have spotted golden-crowned kinglets, black-crowned night herons, gray herons, warblers, kingfishers and hawks.

The birds of Lincoln Park roam the ponds and landscaped greenery of Eastern Park and the unspoiled natural habitats of Lincoln Park West. With Edgewood Lake at its center, providing fish not only for people, but also for birds, it’s easy to see why such a variety of bird species are drawn to the 273.4-acre park.

Hudson River Waterfront Walkway Sign

(Photo credit: Patricia Hilliard)

Divided into Lincoln Park East and Lincoln Park West by Truck Route 1 & 9, it is truly an urban park. And while the idyllic pockets of swamps and meadows may make you forget for a moment that you’re in Jersey City, the passing traffic will remind you of it.

“Sometimes I talk whimsically about ‘getting wild’ in Jersey City parks. In reality, the city is unavoidable, we hear it constantly, we feel it (too often), we see its traces everywhere. But the birds live with it, and so do we. says Lorraine Freeney. Freeney is the founder of Jersey City Birds, a Facebook group for anyone interested in Jersey City birds to share photos, birding news and offer backyard birding tips. The group has grown steadily since Lorraine started her project and has been producing her own member photo calendar for the past two years.

See more: How to Spend a Day at Liberty State Park

Along with her new flock of avid birdwatchers, Lorraine began organizing bird walks, primarily in Lincoln Park, though they also visit Caven Point and other areas of Liberty State Park, and take field trips to places no JC. The group went to Cape May Fall Festival to see what’s flying to these south Jersey shores. In the spring of 2021, Lorraine came up with the idea of ​​setting up a few tree swallow nesting boxes in Lincoln Park West. She contacted the Jersey City Parks Coalition and Dawn Giambalvo of the Canco Parks Conservancy and the Parks Coalition who put her in touch with the Bergen County Audubon Society (BCAS) who then offered to pay for the boxes.

tree swallows

(Tree swallows, Photo credit: Patricia Hilliard)

“I will never forget that day. Don Torino and Chris Takacs from BCAS came to help set them up and we also had volunteers from our group. Literally within minutes of starting to take the boxes up, tree swallows arrived and landed on the boxes to claim them. It was like magic.

Members of the Jersey City Birds group are now collaborating with Friends of Lincoln Park, the Native Plant Society of NJ and various other groups on the development of a pollination pathway in Lincoln Park West. They have submitted data collected by members to various official count lists and participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count.

Liberty State Park

Liberty State Park is prime real estate for birds. Liberty State Park Nature Center organizes educational birding hikes that will help the novice identify the well-camouflaged Green Heron or even, on rare occasions, the elusive Snowy Owl. For those lucky enough to see such a thing, rare bird sightings should be reported to organizations such as New Jersey Audubon (www.njaudubon.org).

Kearny

Oval Gunnell at Kearney Marsh is the last great place to see birds on this list of Hudson County parks. It is currently undergoing upgrades due to storm damage and chrome cleaning. Environmental land remediation is the endeavor of our time. All of these great parks are in the midst of efforts to restore lost habitats of which birds are an essential contributor and beneficiary. Gunnell Oval is home to many diverse bird species including the Least Bittern, Common Gallinule, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Osprey, Marsh Wren and Black Crowned Heron.

great egret

(Great Egret, Photo credit: Patricia Hilliard)

The Hudson and Hackensack rivers attract birds of all kinds to our region’s doorstep. Local birdwatchers post pictures of even small city parks like Van Vorst in Jersey City or their tiny backyards. Cedar waxwings, downy woodpeckers and even bald eagles make their way from the rivers to our doorstep. They come here, to us. We just need to watch.

Bird watching sites

Municipalities of Anse Sud de Bayonne

1 Voie Lefante, Bayonne, Marais Ritkowski

Stephen R. Gregg Park

Park Drive, Bayonne

Dennis P. Collins Park

84–98 W First Street, Bayonne

Mill Creek Point Park

300 Millridge Road, Secaucus

Schmidts Woods Park

2000 Koelle Boulevard, Secaucus

Laurel Hill Park

1002 New County Road, Secaucus

James J. Braddock North Hudson Park

Bergenline Avenue + 79th Street, North Bergen

Oval Gunnell

488 Schuyler Avenue, Kearny

Follow @jerseycitybirds on Instagram and the Facebook group to learn more about the birds in the area.

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Written by: Sarah Griesbach

Sarah Hermes Griesbach lives in a Newport apartment with a Jersey City zip code, just south of Hoboken Lackawanna Station. She is a longtime museum educator and cultural writer using her location at a crossroads of ferries, trains, subway, light rail, bike paths and walking paths to explore this creative hub. Hoboken Girl gives Griesbach a great excuse to ask questions and seek answers from the countless creative doers, agitators and thinkers that populate our dynamic region. She’s always on the lookout for stories about nature, city life, and people who push for a better world.

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