Important Bird and Birding Areas
Hereford Inlet/Stone Harbor Point

IBBA Site Guide

Cape May County
Coordinates: N 39.02807
W 74.78516
Site Map
Atlantic Coast: New England / Mid-Atlantic Coast

Area: 1,439 Acres     

Habitat: Beach and dune, salt marsh

Site Description: Separated by the waters of Hereford Inlet, this site includes the beach and dune habitat of North Wildwood to the south and the beaches, mudflats and salt marshes of Stone Harbor Point, Champagne Island and Nummy Island to the north. Nummy Island is a 350-acre uninhabited island composed primarily of tidal salt marsh with areas of sand, mudflats and pools. Champagne Island is an intermittent sandbar bordering the intra-coastal waterway channel. Stone Harbor Point, located at the southernmost tip of Stone Harbor, has a sandy shoreline with mudflats and pools on its inland side. This IBA has been designated a Natural Heritage Priority Site by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

IBA Criteria:
Conservation Concern – Federally-endangered; State-endangered (B)Least Tern
Conservation Concern – Federally-threatened; State-endangered (B)Piping Plover
Conservation Concern – State-endangered (B)Black Skimmer
Conservation Concern – State-threatened (FM, SM)Red Knot
Conservation Concern – State-threatened (B)Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Conservation Concern – State-special Concern (B)American Oystercatcher, Common Tern
Significant Migrant Stopover/Flyover (FM, SM)Shorebirds
Adult and Juvenile Royal Tern
Adult and Juvenile Royal TernSteve Byland
Birds: Piping Plovers, Common Terns, Least Terns, Black Skimmers and American Oystercatchers utilize the sandy dunes of this site for their summer nesting grounds. The vegetated sandbar of Champagne Island boasts the state’s largest colony of the state-endangered Black Skimmers with counts as high as 1600 individuals. Common Terns and recently, Royal Terns, also breed on Champagne Island. The sandbars, salt marsh pools and cordgrass fields of this site are of vital importance during spring and fall migration for many species of shorebirds including Sanderlings, Semi-palmated Sandpipers, Red Knots, Ruddy Turnstones, Short-billed Dowitchers, Dunlin, Black-bellied Plovers, Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers. Champagne Island is also a favorite roosting site for migrant terns including Least and Common Terns.

Conservation: Predation by red foxes and raccoons is common at Stone Harbor Point and Nummy Island. The biggest threat to nesting birds on Champagne Island, however, is disturbance from summer tourists. During peak season, as many as 80 boats and 400 people frequent the small island. The NJDEP regularly fences off large sections of the island and has increased patrol of the area by conservation officers to protect the nesting birds. Due to the diverse ownership of this site and the inability to effectively reduce disturbance, it is highly recommended that the entirety of this area be added to the adjacent Cape May Wildlife Management Area for permanent protection.

Additional Information: Site Report
Hereford Inlet
Hereford InletCristina Frank