Marc Chelemer and john Barrett, you two are too kind to me, I am just a loud mouth. There are countless NJ birders that love to bird their home patch. Before I drank HT’s shorebird Kool-Aid, one of my birding passion was seeking out sparrows in local patch. I gave that up due to invasion of Sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) in almost all grassland habitats I visit now.
About 10 or more years ago or more, I happened to mentioned to a local bald eagle nest monitor, that with the ever increasing number of eagles in NJ, and the sea level rise coupled with beetle killed *champion* eagle nest host pine trees along the Delaware bay, it may be a regulatory nightmare for NJDEP biologists trying to protect bald eagle nests which are encroaching into the further inland where the homo sapiens flourish. That eagle nest watch volunteer thought I was nuts.
Then about 5 years ago or so, I noticed my home town/county grassland patches where I used to enjoy the sparrow show has gone to poop due to the invasion of Sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata). I happened to mentioned to several birders over the years for the reasons for the decline of grassland birds in NJ due to Lespedeza. Some of those birders also thought I was a nut birder. One grassland habitat in Atlantic County that I used to enjoy the sparrow show every fall is no more.
I like to believe the link below demonstrates my personal observation is in fact, scientifically true. How many birders know the ID of Sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata), and also can demonstrate the decrease in sparrows in their home town grassland habitat due to this invasive plant ? Read the PDF for full understanding.