HACKENSACK, NJ –  Now here’s something to crow about.

After 19 years of competing in the New Jersey Audubon’s World Series of Birding, a three-man team from Bergen County posted a new personal record for the number of sightings during the 24-hour event last weekend.

The Hackensack RiverCreepers – Ray Duffy, Dave Kaplan and Hugh Carola – spotted 131 species of birds in the woods, wetlands, neighborhoods and parks of the Hackensack and Hudson river watershed regions.

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Up until May 11, their single best year for sightings was 2010, when they tallied 129 species. 

In an update after the event, the team wrote: “WE DID IT! We finally posted a new World Series of Birding record!”

They were among the more than 70 teams competing for the title of “best birders” in the state this year. Split into multiple divisions, competitors spent 24 hours trying to locate as many species of birds as they can. 

In the division that the Hackensack RiverCreepers competed in, the first place team spotted 207 species, the second place team saw 180 and the third place winners counted 167. Live, unofficial results of Saturday’s competition can be found online at www.worldseriesofbirding.org.

The World Series of Birding was created in 1984 as fun way for birders and their sponsors to raise money for conservation efforts. It's now one of the New Jersey Audubon's key fundraisers each year and is one of the largest, most well known birding competitions in the country.

The contest is open to anyone, of all ages and skill levels, and participants can join categories that would prompt them to travel up to 300 miles around New Jersey in 24 hours. 

Since 2002, the Hackensack RiverCreepers have participated in the “bird-a-thon” as a way to support the work done by the Hackensack Riverkeeper organization, as well as provide some funding for the Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship, an annual award for a local college-bound student who plans to pursue an environmental service career.

“As always, our team didn’t just do it for fun or for the joy of birding. No, they did it for cash – raising funds through per-species pledges and World Series of Birding-earmarked donations to support the ongoing work of Hackensack Riverkeeper to protect, preserve and restore you river,” they wrote.

“If you were planning to make a pledge or donate, and think you missed out, no worries!,” they said.

The team added: "An insanely generous couple, who has already pledged $10 per species ($1,310) has also pledged to make sure we raise the magic number of $10,000. Right now we’re at about $9,170 and the more YOU can help us now , the easier it will be for us to make that final ask of that wonderful couple. And Every. Single. Dollar. Goes to support our work for clean water, protected habitats and your right to enjoy them all."

Donations are still being accepted online at https://www.hackensackriverkeeper.org/wsb/ 

Hackensack RiverCreepers 2019 Official Results

1. Brant

2. Canada Goose

3. Mute Swan

4. Wood Duck

5. Gadwall

6. American Wigeon

7. American Black Duck

8. Mallard

9. Northern Shoveler

10. Northern Pintail

11. Green-winged Teal

12. Common Merganser

13. Ruddy Duck

14. Wild Turkey 

15. Red-throated Loon

16. Common Loon

17. Double-crested Cormorant

18. Least Bittern

19. Great Blue Heron

20. Great Egret

21. Snowy Egret

22. Green Heron

23. Black-crowned Night-Heron

24. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

25. Glossy Ibis

26. Black Vulture

27. Turkey Vulture

28. Osprey

29. Sharp-shinned Hawk

30. Cooper's Hawk

31. Bald Eagle

32. Red-tailed Hawk

33. Clapper Rail

34. American Oystercatcher

35. Semipalmated Plover

36. Killdeer

37. Spotted Sandpiper

38. Solitary Sandpiper

39. Greater Yellowlegs

40. Lesser Yellowlegs

41. Dunlin

42. Least Sandpiper

43. Semipalmated Sandpiper

44. Short-billed Dowitcher

45. Laughing Gull

46. Ring-billed Gull

47. Herring Gull

48. Great Black-backed Gull

49. Least Tern

50. Common Tern

51. Forster's Tern

52. Rock Pigeon

53. Mourning Dove

54. Great Horned Owl

55. Common Nighthawk

56. Chimney Swift

57. Belted Kingfisher

58. Red-bellied Woodpecker

59. Downy Woodpecker

60. Hairy Woodpecker

61. Northern Flicker

62. Pileated Woodpecker

63. Peregrine Falcon

64. Monk Parakeet

65. Eastern Wood-Pewee

66. Eastern Phoebe

67. Great Crested Flycatcher

68. Eastern Kingbird

69. Warbling Vireo

70. Red-eyed Vireo

71. Blue Jay

72. American Crow

73. Fish Crow

74. Common Raven

75. Northern Rough-winged Swallow

76. Purple Martin

77. Tree Swallow

78. Barn Swallow

79. Cliff Swallow

80. Black-capped Chickadee

81. Tufted Titmouse

82. White-breasted Nuthatch

83. House Wren

84. Marsh Wren

85. Carolina Wren

86. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

87. Veery

88. Swainson's Thrush

89. Wood Thrush

90. American Robin

91. Gray Catbird

92. Northern Mockingbird

93. European Starling

94. Ovenbird

95. Northern Waterthrush

96. Black-and-white Warbler

97. Common Yellowthroat

98. American Redstart

99. Cape May Warbler

100. Northern Parula

101. Magnolia Warbler

102. Bay-breasted Warbler

103. Yellow Warbler

104. Chestnut-sided Warbler

105. Blackpoll Warbler

106. Black-throated Blue Warbler

107. Palm Warbler

108. Pine Warbler

109. Yellow-rumped Warbler

110. Black-throated Green Warbler

111. Wilson's Warbler

112. Chipping Sparrow

113. White-crowned Sparrow

114. White-throated Sparrow

115. Savannah Sparrow

116. Song Sparrow

117. Swamp Sparrow

118. Eastern Towhee

119. Scarlet Tanager* 

120. Northern Cardinal

121. Rose-breasted Grosbeak

122. Indigo Bunting

123. Red-winged Blackbird

124. Common Grackle

125. Boat-tailed Grackle

126. Brown-headed Cowbird

127. Orchard Oriole

128. Baltimore Oriole

129. House Finch

130. American Goldfinch

131. House Sparrow