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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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National Moth Week is July 17-25 this year. As the week approaches, you can find moth events near you. You can read more here. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Celery Farm and Beyond
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When ornithologist Jim Bond went on expeditions to the West Indies for the Academy of Natural Sciences in the 1920s and early 1930s, he collected many species of fish. Several of those species later turned up in an Ian Fleming fleming. Bond even collected a relative of the scorpionfish that graces the cover of the first edition of Octopussy and the Living Daylights. With the help of two current Academy of Natural Science naturalists -- Mark Sabaj Perez and Paul Callomon, I was able to unlock the secrets of that dustjacket for an article I wrote for literary007.com. To the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Real James Bond
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You learn something new every day. My friend Scott Weston in Massachusetts advises using monofilament to deter House Sparrows from commandeering Bluebird Boxes -- and Tree Swallow boxes, and other boxes. You can read more here. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Martin Prince asks regarding the Duke Farms Eagle Cam: Care to make a guess as to what animal served as the eagles' lunch (and dinner)> Four-legged, long front legs, is about all I can make out. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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One of the highlights of my trip to Cuba in 2016 was meeting the great ornithologist Orlando Garrido. I met him as part of a group of birders who visited Cuba with the Caribbean Conservation Trust. The biggest reason for my trip was to meet (and later interview) Orlando for my book about ornithologist James Bond of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. All of us went into Orlando's house in Havana and crowded into his office, where he brought out the taxidermied versions of Cuba's endemic birds and talked about each one. Looking back at the photos now,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Real James Bond
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I took this shot at the CF many years ago but only refound it recently. What critter is this? (I know the answer. Do you?) Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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I recently discovered another similarity between ornithologist James Bond and his fictional namesake, 007. They both posed as marine biologists. You can read all about it -- and much more -- on the Artistic License Renewed website (literary007.com). The website, a must for all Ian Fleming fans, has posted my article about 007 dust-jacket illustrator Richard Chipping and the dust jackets for Octopussy and the Living Daylights. I love everything about it -- from all the illustrations they used for the article to the title: "Richard Chopping and the Butterfly Effect." It turns out that two other Octopussy and the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Real James Bond
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John Pastore shared these recent shots. "It looked, felt and sounded like Spring is aching to get here." Thanks, John. What a bird! (Click to enlarge.) Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Several years ago I did a free online eBook about Bald Eagles for Duke Farms and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, and I am pleased to announce that it's still online. Now that the latest brood of eggs has started to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Last week I wrote: Found these small feathers under the feeder last week. What are they? That pattern always makes me think woodpecker but.... Many folks responded Mourning Dove feathers, with one vote for Wild Turkey feathers. I think they... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Celery Farm and Beyond
A little birdy told me.... Stay tuned. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Spent an hour or so at the State Line Lookout yesterday. Beautiful views, and occasional Black Vultures, Peregrine and Red-tail. The skies were blue but the ground was slushy. Should improve with every warm day. Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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The real James Bond always claimed that he did not like Ian Fleming's 007 novels, and even told the thriller writer so when they met in 1964. It turns out, however, that Bond and his wife Mary saw at least one 007 movie, "Dr. No," on a cruise on the S.S. Rotterdam in August 1963. In her diary, Mary Bond wrote (spoiler alert!): "Ian Fleming's 'Dr. No.' shown yesterday. We went at 3:30 and thoroughly enjoyed it, but too many girls, and they spoiled it by changing Dr. No's demise to a lot of modern mechanical nonsense..." Mary Bond must... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at The Real James Bond
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My new "Bird Watcher" column features a new checklist that makes it easier to keep track of your sightings of backyard birds in North Jersey. The list includes hyperlinks to information and photos for each species when you open it... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
Heck, yes -- though the wild species, not the domestic....
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Found these small feathers under the feeder last week. What are they? That pattern always makes me think woodpecker but.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
3 Days, 3 Ways (to enjoy CF in the snow) from Catfishjohn on Vimeo. In case you haven't been to the Celery Farm and enjoyed the snow, here's what you've been missing -- courtesy of John Pastore. (Thanks, John!) Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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A friend in Newburyport, Mass., saw this owl as it landed and was able to get a distant cellphone pic. Size was hard to determine. I'm thinking a Barred Owl... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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My column for The Record this week is about trying to find a better balance between humans and nature in a post-Covid time. I do point out a couple of examples where birds (and beasts) need humans for protection. Example:... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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Friday, February 26, 8 p.m. Online via Zoom Urban Hawks with Gabriel Willow NYC naturalist Gabriel Willow will give a multimedia presentation about Pale Male and some of the other Red-tailed Hawks that have made an astonishing and inspiring comeback... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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It seems like every month or so, another news report claims to come across another "real James Bond" -- either the inspiration for James Bond or the source of the fictional character's name. I'm sure Fleming drew on several people for his fictional character, but when it comes to the name itself, anyone who says that it was anyone other than the ornithologist from Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences is off the mark. My favorite theory, which was based on speculation, is that Fleming read an Agatha Christie short story called "The Raja's Emerald," noted the name of the main... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2021 at The Real James Bond
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Can you I.D. the bird heads? (Click on them to enlarge.) The one on the left is from the dust jacket for "The Real James Bond." Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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On Monday, I asked: When we cleaned out the Wood Duck boxes last month, we noticed this weird oval depression around one of the boxes. (The ice within the oval seemed thinner....) Anyone have any idea what might have caused... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
I know the above video is a bit far afield, but it does involve a rescue of a Red-shouldered Hawk, the unofficial bird of Allendale. Fishing line can be a real danger to birds. A great job by The Raptor... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2021 at Celery Farm and Beyond
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In my Zoom talk for the Linnaean Society earlier this week, I noted that the ornithologist James Bond also spoke to the group -- at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC on April 11, 1944. Turns out that Bond visited spoke at the AMNH earlier -- I just didn't know the date. Than ks to a newspapers.com search yesterday, I think I found the answer... Early into my research for the book, I came across a clipping in a scrapbook (in the James and Mary Bond archive at the Free Library of Philadelphia, as I recall) that reported... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2021 at The Real James Bond