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Jim Wright
Northern New Jersey
I am a writer and blogger with an environmental bent, author of "The Real James Bond" and on the council of the New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. I write "The Bird Watcher" column for The Record of northern New Jersey.
Interests: James Bond, Birds, nature, conservation, history, natural history, photography, screech owls, the Caribbean, West Indies, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, Belize
Recent Activity
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Parrotfish are one of the many fish that the real James Bond collected for science (and for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia). Ian Fleming, who also loved the West Indies, Parrotfish, and other underwater creatures, mentions Parrotfish feeding on algae on a coral reef in his short story "The Hildebrand Rarity": "A ten-pound green parrot-fish, nibbling algae from a lump of coral, paused only to roll its eyes as Bond passed overhead, and then went back to its meal." These days, because of over-fishing, Parrotfish need our help. That's one of the reasons I am donating all my... Continue reading
Posted 12 hours ago at The Real James Bond
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Last fall, while counting raptors at State Line Lookout in Alpine, several of us birders noticed a nasty interaction between the local Common Ravens and Peregrine Falcons. I remembered back in the Meadowlands when Peregrine evicted Ravens from their nest... Continue reading
Posted 16 hours ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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I am very excited about the launch event for my book at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The event will include my talk, a short question-and-answer session with Academy's Nate Rice, a book signing, and displays of James Bond memorabilia -- including first editions and birds he collected for science (still used for research today). The photo above (from ANSP Archives Coll. 457) is of Bond in 1969 in his office at the Academy. You can reserve a seat here. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Real James Bond
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The other day, Lynn McKenzie mentioned she had taken a shot of three Bald Eagles over the Celery in late December. She was kind enough to share it here. Great pic. Thanks, Lynn. Does anyone know what the high count... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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“On or around 17 February [1952],” Matthew Parker writes in Goldeneye, his biography of Ian Fleming in Jamaica, “he sat down at his desk in Goldeneye’s main room, plucked a name from the author of Birds of the West Indies, whose book sat on his shelf, lined up his ream of smart paper and started to write. So began Bond, with the claustrophobic first line of Casino Royale ... ” In 1964, Fleming told an interviewer from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that “when I started to write these books in 1952, I wanted a really quiet, flat name, and one... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Real James Bond
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I saw this bird on a poster in a Washington, D.C. bookshop over the earlier winter holidays. What kind of bird is it? What do you think it was I.D.'d as? Answer on Thursday... (Comments hidden so as not to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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In the column on the right are several tools to help navigate this blog, subscribe to it, and find my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. To search this blog, just type a word in this space on the right: To subscribe, type your email address, in this space on the right: To check my other social media, click on the names on the right: Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Real James Bond
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Saw this guy while doing a loop yesterday afternoon. It looked colder than I was. You can read why it's standing on one leg here. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Not sure if they are on Lake Appert today, what with the ice, but I have been seen the wigeons daily. Took Barbara Dilger's advice and hung out quietly at the Warden's Watch yesterday for the above pic. Would have... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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The Great Backyard Bird Count is now through Monday. Why not do a Birdy 30 and a GBBC at the same time? Let me know how you do. More about the GBBC here. More about the Birdy 30: Just look... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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To expand on the answer to Monday's feather mystery: A wanderdrossel is an American Robin. The killer, I believe, was a sparrow, with his bow and arrow. Motive unknown Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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The real James Bond loved birds and the West Indies, and he was an advocate for protecting them both -- especially preaching the need to end the slaughter of rare species in the Caribbean. The headline above was from an article in The New York Times in the mid-1930s. Bond was a noted ornithologist with a brand-new book, "Birds of the West Indies," by then. (But contrary to the sub-headline) he had no doctoral degree ... ) The introduction to the book went into great detail about the dangers facing the birds of the West Indies -- from humankind to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Real James Bond
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On Monday Alice Leurck wrote: On a recent walk at The Celery Farm, Lisa Potash and Loren Anderson discovered a large collection of feathers on Parnell's Path (between the Butterfly Garden and the Scout Platform). I found Jim's quarter. It... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Last month I posted a photo of the Celery Farm's Lake Appert with a perfect rainbow above it. This week, during a splash of sun, I took a similar photo from the Warden's Watch. I think the place looks darned... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Ever wonder how Audubon tends to look the same in many paintings of him? The New-York Historical Society also has a life mask of Audubon's face (along with several other life and death masks of famous Americans). . Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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A while back, I visited Audubon's grave in Upper Manhattan, not far from where he lived in his later years. On Sunday, I visited the New-York Historical Society, which has the most extensive collection of his watercolors and prints. The... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Make your reservation now for my book launch at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia on March 3. It looks to be an awesome event, including my talk, a q-and-a with Academy ornithologist Nate Rice and me, a book... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Make your reservation now for my book launch at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia on March 3. It looks to be an awesome event, including my talk, a q-and-a with Academy ornithologist Nate Rice and me, a book signing, and display cases featuring real Jams Bond first editions and birds he collected for science (still used for research today). You can get your tickets (and more info) here. Here's the ANSP's press release: The Real James Bond Book Launch with N.J. Author Jim Wright Takes Place March 3 at the Academy of Natural Sciences He’s described as an... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at The Real James Bond
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Alice Leurck writes: On a recent walk at The Celery Farm, Lisa Potash and Loren Anderson discovered a large collection of feathers on Parnell's Path (between the Butterfly Garden and the Scout Platform). I found Jim's quarter. It was decided... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Did the 2nd Sunday of the Month bird walk at Wave Hill today. Gabriel Willow of NYC Audubon (below center) led the way and did his usual amazing job, Highlights included a Winter Wren that actually sat still for a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Full Moon from the Warden's Watch, Celery Farm, Feb 8. Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond
Yes, Lynn's pix are amazing, and O have yet to see a mink or a Red-shoulder this year...
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2020 on Mink and More at the CF at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Sign of spring? You decide... More about Skunk Cabbage here. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Lynn McKenzie shared these pix of a mink, an Eastern Towhee, and a Red-shouldered Hawk at the CF yesterday. (Thanks, Lynn!) Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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I almost never see Eastern Towhees in the winter, but quite a few have been seen in the CF this season. What gives? Read my column in the Better Living section of The Record or Hearld News to find out.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2020 at Celery Farm and Beyond