Citizens semi-centennial association, Ridgewood.

Ridgewood, Bergan County, New Jersey, past and present online

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ing their distinctive " conk-err-ee-e. " Here also he may find the less


conspicuous rusty blackbird or the larger and more highly tinted purple
grackle, although these two are more often found in drier locations.

At any time on an open country road the wayfarer may start up
inconspicuous birds that Hy ahead along the fences and disclose white
outer tail feathers, the characteristic mark of the vesper sparrow. In
the trees along the roadside a flash of black and orange Avill betray
the Baltimoi'c oriole, whose nest is suspended from the very tip of
one of the branches. Flying over the road to his hole in a telegraph
pole or hollow tree in an orchard may be seen the flicker or golden-
winged woodpecker, easily to be distinguished by its graceful undu-
lating flight and the flash of yellow as the sunlight strikes the lower
surface of his wings. Another Avoodpecker, which is a Permanent Resi-
dent and may be encountered almost anywhere, is the downy, or more
particularly the northern downy; for there is a slightly smaller variety
which is common in the South. A bird more thoroughly at home in
the orchard, but frequently seen on the telephone or telegraph wires
along the roadside, is the kingbird, easily recognized by the head-crest
and the white tip to each tail feather, making the tail appear to have
a white border. Even more conmion in orchards, and frequently found
nesting under old bridges, is the phoebe, known to almost every one.
Quiet and unassuming as the phoebe is, it is particularly industrious
in consuming large numbers of harmful insects.

Another Permanent Resident not seen quite so much in Summer
perhaps as in Winter, is the Avell-known black-capped chickadee. In
New England this bird has been reported as nesting in artificial houses.
A bird more common than ordinarily supposed, but one frequently
overlooked on account of its small size and lightning-like movements,
is the brilliant little ruby-throated hummingbird, which darts here and
there among the flowers, poising himself occasionally before one of them
to take honey on tlie wing, only to be off again in a flash to a flower
in another section of the garden.

Probably many whose interest is greater than their knowledge have
wondered what bird is responsible for the queer antics and nasal
"peent" that they have observed toward dusk. This is none other
than the nighthawk, which is much more common around Ridgewood
than the whip-poor-will, from which it may be distinguished by the
white markings on the wings and by the forked tail.

The fall migration affords the bird-lover an opportunity to see
species which are not here at any other time except during the coi're-
sponding period in the reverse migration in the spring. By far the
most numerous migrants in point of variety are the warblers, and
most prominent among these is the myrtle warbler, which comes early
and stays late. It is very difficult to distinguish the warblers in the
fall of the year, as the male, female and young all take on dull
plumage, whicli makes them look practically alike and \'ery similar to
tlie other war])lers. The yellow-])alm is another fairly common migrant
wliicli may })e distinguished from other warblers by the cliestnut crown
and side spots and the white ])atc]ies on the outer tail feathers. It
may be found in open woods and along roadsides, but it more often
frequents the neighborhood of a brook.



At least two sparrows are fairly common during migration; the
Fox — known by its large size and fox-like color — and the white-throated
— identified by its striped crown, white throat and faint wing bars.

Spring is, of course, the ideal time to see birds in greatest variety.
At tliat time they all wear their fresh spring plumage and bridal colors.
Fifty varieties of birds is a reasonable number to be identified on
almost any day of the first two weeks of May. To make this record,
however, one must be able to recognize a bird quickly and accurately,
and should visit the highland and the lowland, the open field and the
shady wood.

Only the bird lover knows how very favorable a time is the winter
for bird study. At this season a blanket of snow often conceals the
natural sources of bird food. One who at this time provides a bird
feeding shelf at a sheltered window and watches the various species
that avail themselves of his fare, will be surprised and delighted at
the variety and friendliness of his bird guests.

Chickadees, downy woodpeckers, and white-breasted nuthatches will
visit the feeding shelf quite regularly, and juncos, bluejays, goldfinches,
and redpolls are pretty sure to appear occasionally. English sparrows
will need no urging to attend the feast. Indeed there may be difficulty
in keeping them from becoming so numerous that they drive away the
other birds. Tree sparrows, winter wrens, and crows spend the winter
with us; but they are inclined to be shy and it is not likely that any
of them would patronize the window-shelf lunch counter.

Nearly every variety of bird visiting this section of the country is
found in Ridgewood. The following list shows those which have been
seen and identified by its residents :

Blackliird. Eod-winoed (Agelaiiis phoeni-

ceiis )
Blackbird, Ivusty (Euphagus carolimis)
Blueliird (Sialia sialis)
Bluejay (Cyaiioeitta cristata)
Bobolink (Doliclionyx oryzivorus)
Bunting, Indigo (Passerina cyanea)
Catbird (Dunietella carolinensis)
Chickadee. Black-capped (Penthestes

Cowhird (Molotlirus ater)
Croopt'r. Brown (Ccrtliia faniiliaris

Crossbill, American (Loxia curvirosta

Crow, Ameiican (Corvns bracliyrhyn-

Cuckoo. Black-billed (Coccyzns erythrop-

Cuckoo, Yellow-billed (Coccyzns Ameri-

Fincli, Pine or Siskin (Spinus piniis)
Finch, Pui-nle (Cai'podacus ])urpnrens)
Flickei- or TTigh Hole (Colaptes auratus)
I'Mycatcher, Crested ( iVfyiarchiis crinitus)
Flycatcher, Least (Empidonax minimus)
Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied (Empidonax


Goldfinch, American ( Astragalinus tris-

Crackle, Purple or Crow Blackbird

(Quiscalus quiscula)
Grosl>eak, Pine (Pinicola enucleator leu-

cura )
Grosbeak, Eose-breasted ( Zamelodia

Hawk, Cooper (Accipiter cooperi)
Hawk, Marsh (Circus hudsonius)
Hawk, Red-sliouldered (Buteo lineatus)
TFawk, Sparrow (Falco sparverius)
IFeron, Green ( Butorides virescens)
Hummingbird, Ruby-throated (Arcliilo-

chus colubris)
•Tunco, Slate-colored (Junco hyemalis)
Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)
Kingfisher, Belted (Ceryle alcyon)
Kinglet, Golden-crowned ( R e g u I u s

satrapa )
Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
Xutiiateh, Red-breast€d (Sitta canaden-
Nuthatch, ^^'hite-breasted (Sitia caro

Xighthawk (Chordeiles virginianus)
Oriole, Baltimore (Icterus galbula )
Oriole, Orchard (Icterus spurius)



Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) Warbler, Bay-breasted (Deiidroiea cas-

Owl, Screech (Otus osio) tanea)

Pewee, Wood (Myiochanes virens) Warbler, Blackburniaii (Dendroica

rhu'be (Sayornis phoebe) fiisca)

Pipit, American, or 'I'itlark ( Antluis Warbler, Black Poll (Dendroica striata)

rnbescens) Warbler, Black-tliroatvd Bine (Dendroica
Redpoll (Acanthis linaria) csfrulescens)

Redstart, American (Retophaga ruti- Warbler, Black and White Creeping

cilia) (]\rniotilta varia)

Robin, American (Planesticns migia- \Varbler, Black-throated Green (Den-

torins) droica virens)

8parrow, C]iip])ing (Spizella passerina ) ^\ arbler, Blue-\vinge

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Online LibraryCitizens semi-centennial association, RidgewoodRidgewood, Bergan County, New Jersey, past and present → online text (page 5 of 19)