Birding in Bayonne
Record of Birds - 2011 to the present. 
Nature Diary Birding Report:  
This page documents the rare and unusual birds that the members of the Bayonne Nature Club have found in our area.   if you have a photo of a rare bird contact us at   For regular sightings, please share by posting on our FaceBook page under Bayonne Nature Club.
Above: Red-tailed Hawk by Susan Hill

January 2011:  We've been getting a lot of reports of Red-tailed Hawk in Stephen Gregg Bayonne Park.  Also several people have seen the Merlin.  We are on the lookout for further sightings of a Red-shouldered Hawk.  
     February 2011:  NJ Audubon confirmed our sighting of a Red-throated Loon (above) and Ring-necked Ducks (lower left picture)  on Newark Bay, seen from Stephen Gregg Bayonne Hudson County Park.  
​     Below: Also seen were 200 Canvasback Ducks (pictured below) and Bufflehead Ducks.   On Lefante Walk, we saw 35 Greater Scaup, a Mute Swan, Horned Grebe and Red-breasted Mergansers.  
March 5, 2011:  BNC Early Bird Spring Walk: We saw the Red-winged Blackbirds and heard the beautiful call of the Carolina Wren.  In addition, we saw Cardinals, Juncos, Mockingbirds, Song Sparrows, Starlings and Greater Black-backed Gulls.  Ducks seen in Newark Bay were Canvasback, Red-breasted Mergansers, Buffleheads, and a male and female Lesser Scaup.
Below, Christine S. sent the comparison shot of the Canada Goose with the Snow Goose.
Osprey (above) photographed by Ed Rumin as it flew over  Rutkowski -Gregg Hudson County Park in Bayonne NJ.

Below: Canada Geese and Snow Geese seen in Hudson Cty park. Photo by Susan Hill.
April 7, 2011:  It was a "combination day" of winter birds and ducks along with some spring migrants.  Yes, the Brant, Juncos and some Canavasbacks were still in the park, but in came the Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler and Black & White Warblers--all seen near the pond at the base of the hill in Stephen Greg Hudson County Park.  The most surprising sight was a count of 10 Black-crowned Night Herons perched in the trees north of Devlin/Dillon Drive.  See picture below shot by Patricia Hilliard.

Below: A quick but blurry shot of a squirrel approaching a Black-crowned Night Heron high up in the tree.  Herons are shore birds and the unusual appearance puzzled even this squirrel.
Below: Looking up into the trees, here are 9 of the 10 Black-crowned Night Herons seen on April 7, 2011.
June 2, 2011: Scarlet Tanagers, Cedar Wax Wings and more--all seen at Rutkowski Park.  Picture (right of Snowy Egret and Little Blue Heron was shot by Ed Rumain.  Tree Swallow in bird house (below right) shot by Patricia Hilliard.  What a surprise, the swallows used those bird houses that the Scouts put in the park.
August 17, 2011: Our bird walk at Lefante Walk off South Cove Commons was fantastic!  There were the usual Semipalmated Plovers and Sandpipers, 6 Blackbellied Plovers, 6 Lesser Yellow Legs, 8 Great Egrets, 6 Snowy Egrets, 12 Great Blue Herons, and most spectacular: 14 Black-crowned Night Herons, both adults and immatures.  Most were seen from the large green bridge.  We also caught a quick glimpse of a Clapper Rail and a Virginia Rail. At the end of our walk the Black Skimmers came zipping across the water.  It was a great bird walk.  We hope to see you in the future and we hope all our bird walks as so good!
November 16, 2011:  We had a great duck discovery:  We saw American Widgeons, Gadwall, Mallards, American Coot --and the best sightings were the Horned Grebe and the rare Pied-billed Grebe--all seen in Bayonne Stephen Gregg Hudson County Park.  We also saw two Coopers Hawks fly over from Rutkowski Park.  
October 23, 2011 Hudsonian Godwits (left) were seen at the MOTBY/Rt 440 entrance, pictured at right with wings up, along with 10 Black-bellied Plovers, 20 Yellow Leggs, and 4 Dunlins. 6 Dowitchers were also seen.  An immature Purple Gallinule was seen on Lefante Walkway, Route 440 on October 20, 2011 on walkway before crossing the big green birdge.  (Pictured below.)
Christmas Bird Count: Dec. 15, 2011:  Lincoln Park in Jersey City:  LP West: 8 Black-crowned Night Herons, 8 Hooded Mergansers, 2 Belted Kingfisher, 4 Ruddy Ducks, also various Robins, Ruby-crowned Kinglets,  Mourning Doves.   LP East: 1 Snow Goose,  down Rt. 440 and Kellog Street:  124 Canvasback Duck in Hackensack River.   
Here  are the reports for 2011, Dec. at top, Jan. at bottom. 
2012 - We had a mild winter.  We saw all the usual ducks and birds but not nearly as many as the previous year.  Ospreys were plentiful near the Bayonne Golf Course where the osprey nests were erected, but no nesting occurred.   In July, a Yellow-crowned Night Heron was seen at Rutkowski Park.  This is a rare and endangered bird.  Another great sighting was the Tri-colored Heron at the end of July, 2012 and into August.  Here is a picture taken by Michael Augustyniak as it flew over Rutkowski Park. Five Clapper Rails were seen on Lefante Walk on August 22, 2912.
The Winter of 2013-2014 had one of the largest irruptions of Snowy Owls since 1924. Approximately 50 Snowy Owls were sighted in New Jersey.  Three were seen in Bayonne, NJ and one was seen regularly at Liberty State Park.        The owls were both brown and white. The brown owl pictured here was seen at the Newark Bay Water-front Walk and the white owl pictured here was seen on the Scottish Links Golf Course off Lefante Way, Bayonne, NJ.             People turned out in large numbers to see and photograph this rare sighting of Snowy Owls.  It was an exciting winter that will not likely come again in a long time. Pictures taken by Patricia Hilliard in Bayonne, NJ.
June 2013, Rutkowski Park. Bird watchers noticed the threatened Yellow-crown Night Herons feeding on crabs in the park.  

By August, 2013, it was clear they had been nesting and now two immatures were seen walking the sandbars during low tide learning to forage for themselves. The herons nested again in 2014 and 2015 when they hatched 4 chicks!

Pictured at top: A breeding pair of Yellow-crowned Night Herons on their nest.  Pictured below, adult and immature Yellow-crowned Night Herons on mudflats searching for crabs. Local parks are habitat too. Pictures taken by Patricia Hilliard in Bayonne, NJ.
It was hard for the bird experts to believe, but we found a King Rail and chicks in the marsh off Lefante Walk during a regular bird walk on July 26, 2014.  See photo below. The bird was seen again a year later on July 6, 2015. See photo to right.
For the first time in maybe 100 years, Bald Eagles nested in Hudson County, NJ.  Their nest was seen in March, 2015, on the Kearny Point shoreline. 
The photo on the left shows one of the juvenile eagles photographed by Ron Shields.