Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove wildlife report’ Category

Benji. Photo by Stephen Goldfinger, Blogfinger staff. © 8/3/16 Ocean Grove

Benji was photographed being walked by a couple on Broadway in Ocean Grove.   Photo by Stephen Goldfinger, Blogfinger staff. © 8/3/16 Ocean Grove


By Stephen Goldfinger, Blogfinger staff.


Benji is a form of domesticated pig originating in Vietnam, called a pot-bellied pig. It eats a special food designed for what are called miniature pigs which prevents them from growing too large. This guy lives in the house with this couple who said it was originally their son’s, but somehow they ended up adopting him. He is very social and intelligent and interacts well with people, although dogs can make him a bit skittish.

On the other hand, I was told that in the home, he can be a bit protective or rather pig-headed over his family members. Benji loves snacking on the numerous patches of crabgrass he finds on his daily excursions around Ocean Grove.  And remember, some little piggies go to market and some eat roast beef.

Here’s a bit of additional interesting info about this breed which became a fad in the 90’s (from Wikipedia):

Pot-bellied pigs have been abandoned when owners discover that these pigs actually grow to larger sizes and require more care than they believed.  Others are forced to give up pet pigs due to local ordinances.

According to Adam Goldfarb, the director of the “Pets At Risk” program for the Humane Society of the United States, “Pot-bellied pigs are really emblematic of what happens to an animal when it becomes a popular or fad pet. We saw this in the ’90s when there was the initial pot-bellied pig craze. A lot of people went to buy them because they are so cute when they are little, but then they get big.”

Pot-bellied pig associations recommend adoption from local shelters instead of buying. Others like the Southern California Association for Miniature Pot-bellied Pigs and the California Pot-bellied Pig Association are actively involved in housing abandoned pet pigs. Despite this, shelters often have difficulty in finding new homes for abandoned pigs.



JANET KLEIN AND THE PARLOR BOYS: “Walking my Piggie Back Home”


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A family of cardinals visit us regularly. This male feeds a baby. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Click to enlarge.

Ocean Grove.   7/19/15.  A family of cardinals visits us regularly. Flying lessons and delicious regurgitated food.   This male feeds a baby. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Click to enlarge.


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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor

We saw a similar hawk last week in our backyard.  It is surprising that this Cooper’s hawk did not attack the squirrel right below him (or her.)   It was morning, time for breakfast.  We used to live in the woods,and we once saw a hawk dive down and grab a squirrel.  It then flew up and dropped the squirrel. then it returned to take the bloody animal away.

Gazebo in Firemen’s Park. Cooper’s Hawk. Note squirrel below. Eileen Goldfinger photo.


Migrating house finches. The male at right has a raspberry color. Our backyard. 11/18/18



Migrating female gold finch.   Olive color with bold stripes in back. Our backyard.

BOB MARLEY  “3 Little Birds.”

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“Falcon. Sunday afternoon at the Pilgrim Hotel on Main Avenue.”   By Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff © 1/21/18


LANG LANG    “Remembering Marilyn.”


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Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff. Jan. 16, 2018. Ocean Grove. ©


Great Blue Heron hunkers down in the cold at Wesley Lake. Jan 16, 2018. By Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff ©


Jean says,

“Hi Paul,
“Today I thought I would take a walk by Wesley Lake.
It was mostly frozen, in fact this person thought he’d venture
onto the ice.

“In the distance, I spotted a huge bird, sitting all alone in the middle of the Lake.
I was able to get a close up photo before it flew away.
I was told by a passerby, that it was a Great Blue Heron.

“She said, , it is ‘Good Fortune’ to see one!
Hopefully it will bring good luck to the Lake.”


Here are two BF post  links regarding the Great Blue in Florida:

Great Blue Heron video from BF. Taken in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Great blue in flight. Florida. BF post 2016



Ann-Margret, Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh and Bobby Rydell with “Bye Bye Birdie”   (Reprise) from the film:

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Sea turtle photographed near the Fishing Pier by Anastasia Pleasant. May 15, 2014. ©

Diamond Back terrapin  photographed near the Fishing Pier by Anastasia Pleasant. May 15, 2014. ©  Click on image for details

From Anastasia Pleasant:     I saw a mom & daughter laughing and taking photos excitedly with what I thought  was a horseshoe crab. Then when I got down to the water, I discovered it was a turtle!

I just found out it was a female Diamond Back Terrapin from Mike at Mike’s Pet Shop. He said they usually live in brackish water, but their population must be doing great to be at the beach. He guessed that  maybe she laid eggs and was checking on them.

After  I took the photo, she just let the waves carry  her back out to sea. Her shell was around 10″ in diameter and she is probably full grown.





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Duck soup?  Photo by Phil Smith of Ocean Grove.

Duck soup? Photo by Phil Smith of Ocean Grove.

From Teresa Raziano:    “Hi! We live on Franklin Ave ( in the summer/ and when we can get down the rest of the year) love your blog.      I have some lovely pictures of the white ducks and ducklings on Fletcher Lake . They were born in August (18 of them) and i haven’t been down in a while. Do you know what became of them?? I was worried they wouldn’t survive the cold as they were small.   They tend to hang out in the bushes up by Inskip ave. Thanks! Teresa”


“Teresa- I live on Clark Ave. and have seen the ducklings in Fletcher Lake as well. I just went over there on Monday and they are still there, but are now white like their mama duck. So cute!”


” As for the white geese and gooslings (as I think they are), there were two “mama’s” who had 21 between them. They teamed up on the mothering duties (it takes a village?), however life has trimmed them down to 16. Another “mom”, perhaps a week or so later had 6, but they are now 3. It is lovely to watch them as they travel around the Lake and FAM. We too wonder if they will handle the winter. Hope so. There are some folks who do bring by crack corn I believe, but I am leary of the folks that just throw out bread, which I believe is not a healthy plan for them. Also, if you are driving on Central Ave or Fletcher Lake Ave, PLEASE DRIVE SLOW AND CAREFULLY. At least one of the little guys was run over while trying to keep up with his family!”


“The busy Boston streets are too dangerous for eight little ducklings! But with a little help from a friendly policeman Mrs. Mallard and her family arrive safely at their new home. The public garden was no place for ducklings when they were first born, but now they are old enough to brave the raucous crowds and swim with the giant swan boats. Available for the first time in a full-size paperback edition, this Caldecott winning classic continues to delight generations of children”

Caldecott  winning kids book from 1941.

Caldecott winning kids book from 1941.

OKLAHOMA:  movie soundtrack

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Our new guest   Blogfinger photo.  August 11, 2013

Our new guest- —Blogfinger photo.  Note the coloring and the absence of a pointy head.     August 11, 2013

Classic male northern cardinal.  Internet photo

Classic male northern cardinal. Internet photo

Blogfinger Birding Department:  Eileen and Paul

We’ve been birdwatching for years, but we recently saw something that we have not seen before.  Can you help figure it out?

If you live in the northeast, you are used to seeing cardinals.  The males are bright red  (see above) and have a reddish bill, while the females are more greenish red and also have a red beak.  The babies often are light tan with some hints of red.

We have had cardinals in our North End area on a regular basis. The neighborhood has water, trees and some open spaces  (i.e. Fireman’s Park).  The cardinals are skittish birds and often show up early in the morning and at dusk. About a month ago we spotted an unusual cardinal.   We were sure it was a male, but it had a black head and an unusually bright red beak.  In addition it lacked a pointy head, had a white collar, and it’s color was on the purple side.  It was somewhat larger than most and more beefy.  It would come and go just occasionally and it seemed to be a loner.

But now he has revealed himself to be a family man. He came today with two babies and a female. He was feeding the babies from his beak to theirs.    We toss safflower seeds out because the cardinals like to feed on the ground, and they especially like safflower seeds which some other birds ignore.

I was determined to get a photo, and was successful this morning.  Technically it is not ideal, but you can see the coloring which is the main issue.  We suspect that it is  some sort of birth defect or perhaps a rare species variant.  I don’t think that birds engage in inter-species breeding like dogs do.

If you have any ideas, let us know.  We will award a prize to whoever gives an answer that the Audubon Society agrees with—-once we send it to them.  I will keep trying for a better photo.

JOE COCKER—He’s got a bird issue also:     From the score of Sleepless in Seattle.

EDITOR’S NOTE:   Thanks to Pam and Pat for figuring this out quickly.  We have a bald male cardinal.  Read their comments for details.

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This extraordinary photo is by Tracey James, staff photographer  @Blogfinger.   In an email to BF she says, “I’m sure you saw the mass of Monarch butterflies that were making their migration through our area today. Many of them stopped in my yard to enjoy a snack in my hanging baskets. I was fortunate enough to have my 105mm lens attached to my camera and I got a few wonderful shots. Hope you enjoy !!”

Monarch butterfly. By Tracey James. Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Soundtrack:  Grady Tate with “Poor Butterfly.”

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Rose-breasted grosbeak in Ocean Grove.   PG photo

By Eileen and Paul Goldfinger

We’ve been watching backyard birds for many years. We used to live in a semi-rural area in Morris County where there was a large variety of birds to feed and watch. We didn’t think that we would have much luck in OG, but we have seen quite a few interesting birds here. Today, however, we saw a species that we have never seen. We looked into our backyard, and at our feeders were two pair of rose-breasted grosbeaks. The male is black with a startling splash of red in front. They are about 7 inches long. The female is  a light tan with white stripes. She is smaller and doesn’t look anything like her male counterpart. These birds are found in Canada and across the US, but they are uncommon in backyards.

Something weird was happening today: we also saw four grey catbirds and one male rufous towhee. We also heard a report that someone in a nearby town also spotted the grosbeaks.

rufus towhee (internet photo)

Let us know if you see any unusual birds in town. Maybe there is something special going on in the bird world. We also heard that there is a vast migration of Admiral butterflies in the area. They are heading north.

Admiral butterfly. Migration currently in progress. Internet photo

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