Terns In Action
Many people are familiar with the Meadowlands Sports Complex along New Jersey Turnpike in New Jersey
near Rutherford in the Greater New York Metropolitan area. Just a few miles south of this Meadowlands
Sports Complex is the Meadowlands Richard W. Dekorte Park of Meadowlands Environment Center in
Lyndhurst. There are approximately 8,400 acres of open space, waterway, wetlands and salt marsh with a lot
birds in here. It is an urban wilderness only a few miles from Manhattan.
Meadowlands Richard W. Dekorte Park of Meadowlands Environmental Center is located at 2 Dekorte Park
Plaza, (At south-east end of Valley Brook Avenue), Lyndhurst, NJ 07071. Phone: 201-460-8300. This
110-acre park is an open wetland with several large impoundments and marsh and is a vital migratory rest
stop for thousands of ducks, geese, and shorebirds. More than 270 species of birds live in or visit this area.
There are several hiking trails ranging from 1/2 mile to 3 miles along the impoundments for bird watching.
They are quite beautiful and offer great opportunities for photographers, bird watchers, and nature-lovers. The
glass-enclosed Visitor's Center extends out into the marsh to offer a panoramic view, perfect for viewing
wildlife feeding and resting in the water below. Park and Trail Map can be seen at:
More information on Meadowlands Environment Center is available at the following website:
I visited the Meadowlands Richard W. Dekorte Park in Lyndhurst on September 4, 2006 to see and to take
pictures of many kinds of birds in action including terns, ospreys, gulls, cormorants, egrets, etc.
Many terns are plunge diving from mid air into the water to catch fish as shown in the following pictures:
Two terns in flight over impoundments looking for fish in Meadowlands Richard W. Dekorte Park
A tern on rail in Meadowlands
A tern in flight looking for fish
This tern is hovering in mid air looking down at a fish and preparing to dive
This tern is diving down to catch fish. Notice that its wings are extended during diving.
Another view of a plunge diving tern with extended wings
The tern dived into the water with a splash
After plunge diving, this tern just got out of the water with a small fish in its beak
Another tern just got out of water with a fish in its beak
Another tern just got of water, but probably missed the fish
In case if you see overlapped lines of text or some lines of text become obscured behind a picture on this web
page, please change the page magnification (zoom) factor to eliminate such problems by pressing these two
keys "Ctrl +" simultaneously or these two keys "Ctrl -" simultaneously. Depending on your PC setting, it may be
necessary to reduce the magnification factor several steps down in order to eliminate the overlap and
obstructed text lines.
Please press the F11 key (Fn key and F11 key on laptop PC) on your keyboard to get full-screen view of
photos and web page. Pressing F11 key again will return to your normal screen with various tool bars.
Some Caspian terns with pink bill in action over the pond at Cape May Point State Park on September 29,
Three of many terns hovering and diving into water to catch fish in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
(NWR) in southern shore of New Jersey on June 19, 2013. We drove south for one hour to come to this NWR
for bird watching in the afternoon of June 19, 2013. It was a very exciting and enjoyable afternoon to see a lot
of many kinds of birds in actions in this NWR.
The best show of the day in this NWR is the following movie that I took for the feeding frenzy of many terns:
It was at a period of rising high tide with lots of ocean water pouring from Broad Creek into the East Pool
(Danzenbaker Pool ) at the northeast corner of the 8-mile rectangular loop of Wildlife Drive in this NWR. It
seems that the powerful turbulence of this strong inflow stirs up many fish to the water surface making it much
easier for terns to find and to catch fish. Therefore, this area attracts many terns to come here to catch fish. A
detailed map of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge including the 8-mile Wildlife Loop is available on its
When the tern sees a fish in the water, it dives from mid-air down.
This tern was diving down and just reaching the water surface.
One of many terns at Sandy Hook Bay in New Jersey
Four of many terns at Sandy Hook Bay in New Jersey