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 Bubba the BlueBird, has been an outspoken member of the NJBBS since 2014. He   accompanies Allen Jackson at bluebird presentations and has become a positive  influence within the organization.  Look for Bubba’s  words of wisdom as he puts pen to paper in  his “Bubba Speaks” articles.     Click for past articles:  2017,   2016,   2015

Bubba  Speaks

1. What is the name of the 1946 Disney movie in which the song

    “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah” won the academy award for best song?  

2. What does this have to do with bluebirds?

Answers -page bottom

Click to listen & watch  > full video version

                                    > Disney sing-along

1) Movie: Song of the South

2) The verse and animation: Mr Bluebird’s on my Shoulder

Allen Jackson, President New Jersey Bluebird Society or 609  805-4073

BUBBA SPEAKS  #11,   Jan 2018


As we move closer to nesting season in 2018, please join me in welcoming new officers (Jenfro Nelson as Secretary and Gemma Major as Treasurer) and County Coordinators (April Tarantino for Somerset County and Chuck Kanupke for Camden County). All four are extremely important to our organization and I look forward to working with them. I asked each one to provide some information about themselves:

Meet Gemma Major, Our New Treasurer

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Gemma Major as our new Treasurer. I first met Gemma and Andy at a Bluebird Festival in New Egypt in 2013 when they sat in on a bluebird lecture. They invited me to come see Andy’s bluebird trail in Monmouth County. It was evident they had a great interest in bluebirds and a love for the environment. They have been active members in NJBBS since.

Andy and Gemma were born in Hungary, where they attended public school until 1956, then moved to the U.S. where they finished their higher education. While living in Matawan, Monmouth County, Andy started his first bluebird trail 6 years ago in Cheesequake State Park, then added boxes at Holmdel Park. Even though they moved to Manchester, Ocean County in 2016, Andy still maintains those trails and has added more sites in the Manchester area. Andy is a retired veterinarian, working at the Raptor Trust, a well known rehabilitation center in northern NJ. Gemma spent her time teaching, stopping in 1978. Their hobby is nature travel with emphasis on bird watching. Their single focus now is the status of global diversity. I think we may have to call them NJBBS’ “Dynamic Duo!”

Meet Our New Secretary of the Board, Jenyfra Nelson

Jen Nelson was raised by her parents to love all living things – wild and domestic - and that included birds. As she raised a family, in Morris County, her love of birds shone through photography, a hobby that turned into a business of wildlife and landscape photography she shares with her husband, Neal.

While still living in Morris County, Jen became a facilitator for Morris County coordinator/member Jim Newquist of the NJBBS, helping with a nice-sized trail at the public library in their town, and another site or two in that county. Working in the field, photographing the progress and growth of the bluebirds on those trails - and assisting with presentations at the library - Jen grew to know and enjoy the beautiful Eastern Bluebird, and became a member of the NJBBS.

Jen and Neal moved to Mays Landing, in Atlantic County, New Jersey, in 2016, and Jen met with Jim Watson of the same town and county, and has been doing field work and photography for the NJBBS and Jim. Impressed by the number of Eastern Bluebirds in this area, Jen jumped in – both feet and one camera – to help with counting, banding and documenting bluebirds in her new hometown and area. With her sights set on the work of Secretary of the Board, Jen plans to continue sharing her work and photography, and is delighted to take on the tasks of Secretary – welcoming new members with information packets, attending meetings, and keeping the minutes and other records of the Society. She looks forward to meeting the other members at the next meeting, and enjoying all that the NJBBS and our beautiful feathered friends have to offer.


Meet April Tarantino, Somerset County Coordinator

I met April when I conducted an on site at her residence because she had Bluebirds along with a severe House Sparrow problem. We made some changes and developed a plan to resolve the sparrow issue and she is now working on plans to promote Bluebirds in Somerset County. She is one enthusiastic blue birder!

April is a life long resident of Somerset, Somerset County and has been in the realty business for 31 years (that must represent a lot of houses). Her husband Walter Degnan is originally from Long Island and now has his own general contracting business. They live in a secluded area of Somerset surrounded by preserved land adjacent to the Raritan Canal. They live close to a girl scout camp with bluebird boxes that have not been maintained or monitored so that is one of April’s projects to improve upon.

April and Walter love to cook, hike, entertain their 2 dogs, bird watch, have an interest in indigenous plants and are totally dedicated to benefiting Bluebirds. Interestingly, we have already identified a few people in her County that she can contact to help support her position as Somerset County Coordinator. It is especially nice to have someone so enthusiastic about Bluebirds in northern part of the State.

Meet Chuck Kanupke, Camden County Coordinator

Chuck Kanupke is the Vice President of the Audubon Wildlife Society (AWS). He is a long-time resident of Haddonfield and has been passionate about birds since his high school days in North Carolina. I was asked to speak at the AWS monthly meeting in Collingswood in December 2017 which is where I first met Chuck. To say he is an energetic birder is an understatement. He has birded extensively across New Jersey as well as Cape Cod, Maine and Peru. He has participated in the New Jersey Audubon World Series of Birding and the Audubon Pinelands Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for over 25 years. In fact, he is the Compiler for the NJ Pinelands area for the Audubon Society’s CBC.

Also at that meeting was Lisa Herman who operates the Wild Birds Unlimited store in Cherry Hill. WBU happens to be the major sponsor of in NABS’ periodical Bluebird. Without my knowing what was going to happen, Chuck wrote a news release following some discussion about forming partnerships in Camden County to benefit bluebirds. That news release lead to a story being published in the Philadelphia Inquirer in early February 2018. This has opened up a new and progressive way to educate the public, bring in new members to both the AWS and NJBBS, bring customers to WBU, and give WBU knowledge where to direct customers for information about bluebirds. Most of all, the benefits to bluebirds in NJ are obvious. I am excited to welcome Chuck as our Camden County Coordinator.

~ Allen Jackson