[ photo provided by Bill Hubick]
Coming in at #2 is a species common to most people's feeders throughout the winter but rarely seen past early May, Dark-eyed Junco. This species certainly nests along the high ridges of Northern Jersey but is always elusive around the World Series of Birding. The Lagerhead Shrikes have yet to nail down a nesting bird and can only rely on lingering feeder birds. Pounds of bird seed have been used to keep a single Junco around for an extra day or two during the middle of May.
[Photo provided by Bill Hubick]
Finally, the #1 hardest species to find in Northern Jersey is the almost mythical Northern Goshawk. This species is sighted every year during scout week in various locations of Northern Sussex County. If you were to ask most teams where Goshawk nested in Northern Jersey they could provide a 10 square mile territory to look. Sadly the Lagerhead Shrikes don't have the resources to send a search party out for this species and it is probably better off that way. Just knowing that the species is sucessfully breeding in the state is enough excitement for me.
And if you were wondering how the Lagerhead Shrikes did this year with seeing any of the what I have claimed to be the "5 hardest birds in Northern Jersey" on the Big Day; you will be pleased to hear it was a clean sweep!!!