From dumps to doves, how cleanup efforts transformed the Meadowlands into a bird sanctuary

New Jersey Meadowlands

SCOTT FALLON / NORTHJERSEY.COM – Chris Takacs was convinced the Meadowlands had begun to recover from a century of environmental abuse when he spotted a snowy owl years ago near Disposal Road, once used by hundreds of trucks each day to haul garbage to landfills.

The owl, an Arctic native and favorite among birders for its striking white feathers, had rarely been seen this far south and avoided densely-populated areas.

“That was it,” said Takacs, one of the more prolific wildlife photographers of the Meadowlands. “That’s when I felt you could see just about any kind of bird down here.” …

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