Goodbye Englewood, hello Ringwood: a tribute to my yard

I began birding 10 years ago in Englewood, NJ. I discovered the Great Backyard Bird Count online and walked down my street trying to count birds, only to discover I literally could not even ID a House Sparrow. For some reason that I still cannot explain or describe, I became hooked on birds, and I have never looked back. So I can actually say that a House Sparrow got me into bird watching!

We just moved to Ringwood, NJ, which is so wonderful already, and I’m thrilled. But I leave my Englewood yard with a very heavy heart and much sadness for all my “regular” yard birds, like Mr. and Mrs. Led-belly (who just recently had another successful nest this year, producing a probable female baby), Boyd and Betty the Robins, the Downy Woodpeckers, the 15 or so Blue Jays, the Cardinals, Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, ¬†and so many more. My yard has produced 85 species over the past 10 years that I am aware of. Who knows what else has flown through when I was not there? 85 species is pretty amazing for a small plot of land (50 feet by 150 feet) in a very suburban neighborhood directly across from Route 4. Some of the more unusual/exciting birds I’ve seen there are Monk Parakeet, Common Nighthawk, Bald Eagle, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Common Raven, Winter Wren, Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets (both were life birds on the same day!), Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Clay-colored Sparrow, Field Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and warblers of the following flavors: Tennessee, Blackpoll, Black-throated Green, Black & White, Pine, Palm, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Redstart, and Common Yellowthroat.

Three of four Monk Parakeets in the yard on June 4, 2011Pine Siskin 2/14/09 for the Great Backyard Bird Count

Below is a list complied from eBird (which I started using over 10 years ago from the day I began bird watching) of my complete yard list, including breeding birds and life birds in my yard. So far the Ringwood yard has been exceptional, producing my most-wanted yard bird – Pileated Woodpecker – just this morning, and we have other birds here I’ve never seen in Englewood, like Red-eyed Vireo and Great-crested Flycatcher. But there will always be a special place in my heart for my little beautiful yard in Englewood. My list is here:

YARD LIST (compiled from eBird)

Asterisk (*) at end of entry = yard or close surrounding area breeder.

Date at end of entry in bold = life bird.

Row #,Species,Count,Location,S/P,Date

1,Canada Goose,22,YARD LIST,US-NJ,24 Feb 2004

2,Mallard,2,YARD LIST,US-NJ,29 May 2006

3,Wild Turkey,6,YARD LIST,US-NJ,08 Aug 2010*

4,Great Blue Heron,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,15 Mar 2010

5,Great Egret,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,18 May 2005,

6,Black-crowned Night-Heron,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,16 Jul 2006

7,Black Vulture,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,31 Dec 2013

8,Turkey Vulture,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,10 Dec 2006

9,Osprey,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,08 Apr 2014

10,Sharp-shinned Hawk,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,17 Apr 2004

11,Cooper’s Hawk,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,31 Dec 2004

12,Bald Eagle,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Nov 2008

13,Broad-winged Hawk,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,15 Sep 2010

14,Red-tailed Hawk,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,14 Nov 2004

15,Ring-billed Gull,20,YARD LIST,US-NJ,27 Feb 2004

16,Herring Gull,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,19 Mar 2011

17,Rock Pigeon,23,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Feb 2004

18,Mourning Dove,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,26 Feb 2004*

19,Common Nighthawk,2,YARD LIST,US-NJ,30 Aug 2013

20,Chimney Swift,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,17 Aug 2005

21,Belted Kingfisher,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,26 Oct 2010

22,Red-headed Woodpecker,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,27 Feb 2004

23,Red-bellied Woodpecker,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,08 Mar 2004*

24,Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,02 Oct 2005

25,Downy Woodpecker,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,25 Apr 2004*

26,Hairy Woodpecker,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,15 Jan 2005*

27,Northern Flicker,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,24 Apr 2004*

28,Monk Parakeet,10,YARD LIST,US-NJ,27 Oct 2008

29,Eastern Phoebe,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,21 Oct 2006

30,Blue Jay,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,25 Feb 2004*

31,American Crow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,26 Feb 2004

32,Fish Crow,2,YARD LIST,US-NJ,09 Apr 2011

33,Common Raven,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,25 Apr 2013

34,Tree Swallow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,21 May 2005

35,Barn Swallow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,14 Jun 2009

36,Black-capped Chickadee,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Feb 2004

37,Tufted Titmouse,2,YARD LIST,US-NJ,08 Mar 2004

38,Red-breasted Nuthatch,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,27 Oct 2007

39,White-breasted Nuthatch,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Feb 2004

40,Brown Creeper,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,06 Nov 2011

41,House Wren,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,16 Jun 2007

42,Winter Wren,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,15 Oct 2009

43,Carolina Wren,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,01 Oct 2006*

44,Golden-crowned Kinglet,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Oct 2005

45,Ruby-crowned Kinglet,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Oct 2005 (NOTE: both Kinglets as life birds on same day!)

46,Hermit Thrush,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,05 Nov 2006

47,American Robin,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,01 Mar 2004*

48,Gray Catbird,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,01 May 2004*

49,Brown Thrasher,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,25 Sep 2007

50,Northern Mockingbird,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,10 Apr 2004

51,European Starling,7,YARD LIST,US-NJ,18 Feb 2004*

52,Cedar Waxwing,8,YARD LIST,US-NJ,10 Jun 2010

53,Black-and-white Warbler,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 May 2004

54,Tennessee Warbler,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,07 Oct 2011

55,Common Yellowthroat,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,29 Sep 2006

56,American Redstart,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,04 May 2010

57,Yellow Warbler,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,01 May 2012

58,Blackpoll Warbler,2,YARD LIST,US-NJ,17 May 2012

59,Palm Warbler,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,05 Nov 2005

60,Pine Warbler,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,28 Mar 2010

61,Yellow-rumped Warbler,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,21 Oct 2006

62,Black-throated Green Warbler,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,04 Oct 2009

63,Eastern Towhee,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Apr 2004

64,American Tree Sparrow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,01 Jan 2011

65,Chipping Sparrow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,09 Apr 2004

66,Clay-colored Sparrow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,21 Oct 2012

67,Field Sparrow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,16 Oct 2012

68,Fox Sparrow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,12 Nov 2005

69,Song Sparrow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Feb 2004

70,White-throated Sparrow,5,YARD LIST,US-NJ,21 Feb 2004

71,White-crowned Sparrow,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,30 Oct 2010

72,Dark-eyed Junco,20,YARD LIST,US-NJ,21 Feb 2004

73,Northern Cardinal,2,YARD LIST,US-NJ,18 Feb 2004*

74,Rose-breasted Grosbeak,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,23 Apr 2009

75,Indigo Bunting,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,06 Nov 2010

76,Red-winged Blackbird,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,29 Apr 2004*

77,Rusty Blackbird,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,26 Feb 2010

78,Common Grackle,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,17 Apr 2004*

79,Brown-headed Cowbird,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,29 Apr 2004*

80,Baltimore Oriole,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,04 Aug 2005*

81,House Finch,2,YARD LIST,US-NJ,18 Jul 2004*

82,Purple Finch,1,YARD LIST,US-NJ,23 Nov 2007

83,Pine Siskin,3,YARD LIST,US-NJ,18 Jan 2009

84,American Goldfinch,2,YARD LIST,US-NJ,11 Dec 2004*

85,House Sparrow,15,YARD LIST,US-NJ,22 Feb 2004*

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