Birds in the Park
Double Crested Cormorant
This is a medium to large aquatic bird that is usually found in coastal settings but frequently can be found in inland waters such as in Verona Park. Cormorants are prolific divers and underwater swimmers as their diet consists primarily of small fish. During the winter, they migrate south to unfrozen waters. Their wingspan is typically 18" - 39" and they can often be seen spreading (drying) their wings on our lake's island.
This bright orange and black 6" - 8" bird is an occasional visitor to the park in the spring through the fall. Females are a paler yellow-orange. Most Northern Orioles migrate to Florida for the winter. They are seen most often in the tops of deciduous trees or when feeding or drinking water. Its diet consists of insects, berries, and fruit.
Canada Geese have successfully established breeding colonies in urban, suburban, and office park areas, which provide food and few natural predators. They are now common inhabitants of parks and open grassy areas and can be seen throughout Verona Park. Their increased numbers and non-migratory behavior has led to them being thought of as a pest because of issues with their noise, droppings, and aggressive behavior. Adult Canada Geese are 30" - 43" long with a wingspan of 50" - 73".
This little 5" yellow and black bird is the state bird of New Jersey. Its diet consists of Niger thistle, sunflower, and other small seeds. They generally stay all year long in our area, though some are known to spend the winter in our warmer southern states. In summer they are a bright yellow and black but change to a shade of olive green in the winter.
The egret is a member of the Heron family and like the cormorant, feeds on aquatic life. It can often be seen in the warmer months looking for food at water's edge. The adult Little Egret usually has white plumage and is 22" - 24" tall with a wingspan of 35" - 42". Other grayish colored members of the heron family can be seen visiting the park in the warmer months as well.
A more common resident of our park, the Mallard lives here year round feeding on vegetation. The male has a green head with a white ring and gray on its wings and breast. The female has a more subdued brown speckled plumage. Adults are up to 20" - 26" long with a wingspan of up to 32" - 36".
At a little over 8", the red-winged blackbird is slightly smaller than a robin. It is thought to be the most populous bird in North America. The male has red epaulets that are visible when flying or when displaying on the ground or on a perch. Females are mostly brown and prefer to stay hidden. Red-winged blackbirds can be seen throughout the park in spring through fall, but are most common around the swampy area near the end of the lake. They winter in our southern states and Mexico.