Natural Wildlife Abounds
One recent Saturday morning I awoke at 4:15 to the sound of my fire alarm. On my way out of the door, I was greeted by a nice big white-striped skunk. We parted ways as I entered my jeep and off I went with blue lights flaring in the crisp morning darkness. I made my way down Radio Avenue slowing down to let an Opossum cross the street. There was no fire that morning, so I made my way to Dunkin Donuts to get a coffee. Now wide awake I decided to tour the town as I often do in the quiet morning hours. Pulling into the town hall parking lot, I came across a very large raccoon going through the trash. I exchanged greetings with the masked bandit and we both went about our business. From there, I drove around Harmon Meadow. As the sun was beginning to rise, it began to get a little lighter outside as I passed by Harmony Day Care and what do I see? Two white tail deer grazing on the front lawn. Now, at this point I know this is no ordinary day. As daylight continues to fill the sky, I head toward home but not before taking one last trip to Mill Creek Point. As I drive along Mill Ridge Road, I pass a few rabbits in the field, two ducks swimming in a small pond and a muskrat waddling along the creek. As I circle the riverfront park and head homeward, a beautiful red fox runs right across the road. I had to stop and collect my thoughts. Was I dreaming, or is this really Hudson County? This isn’t Hudson County as most people know it; this is Secaucus, the town I love. Now, I think I will go feed the pig.
Yes, this is Secaucus; a suburban town in an urban area. A town with a rich history of natural wildlife such as those I just spoke of. Many of you may recall the pig farms and the horse stables. Others recall stories of the good ole days in Secaucus. The good ole days are every day. In addition to animal care in our shelter, which include, cats and kittens, and the new rescue dog adoption program, the shelter has housed rabbits, birds, and turtles and of course, our newest addition, Henry, the pot-bellied pig, aka Henry Krajewski, affectionately named after a prominent Secaucus resident from days of old. The adolescent pig was found abandoned in a nearby Hudson County municipality and found his way to our town where he was welcomed to live amongst our vast animal community.
Living in the heart of the Meadowlands, there is an abundance of wildlife in addition to the more common urban animals. Take a stroll around town or sit in one of our riverfront parks and you will see stunning birds, including white Swans, Night Herons, and Peregrine Falcons. You may even be lucky enough the see a Bald Eagle soaring proudly in the sky. Mockingbirds are heard repeating sounds all over town. The New Jersey Goldfinch is seen in abundance along the walking trail at Harmon Meadow. More common birds such as Blue Jays, Robins and Cardinals are nesting in backyards in most neighborhoods. A growing family of large Raven perch on the high peak at Laurel Hill where Coyote have also been spotted. Muskrat continue to busily burrow in the marshes.
Aquatic life is once again thriving in the once bleak Hackensack River, with fish such as Striped Bass, Carp and Summer Flounder migrating up river. With mandated catch and release regulations, anglers and biologists are reporting schools of migratory fish that had previously disappeared. The marshes, wetlands, preserves, and estuaries in the natural landscape of our metropolitan island called Secaucus are here to be enjoyed every day by all our residents and visitors.
Next time you have a free minute, grab your binoculars, and take a walk along one of our many nature trails and enjoy the sights of nature and all its wildlife.