You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey
Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. Highlights for the week
ending January 22 include sightings of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW,
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, preliminary results of the Midwinter Bald Eagle
Survey, local nature notes, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.
A brief announcement to birders: the Forsythe NWR, known to many as "Brig,"
will be closed each Thursday through February 12.
The GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW continues at Cape May National golf course, last
reported on January 20. Also at present there was YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT on
the 20th and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER on the 18th.
The MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER was unreported this week, though efforts were
made to find it.
A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was coming to a suet feeder in Margate, probably
the first ever in January in the state.
Other lingerers included a TREE SWALLOW in the South Cape May Meadows
(SCMM) on several dates and three TRICOLORED HERONS at Nummy Island on the
A SHORT-EARED OWL was at Jakes Landing on the 17th.
On January 10th & 11th, CMBO again coordinated the mid-winter Bald Eagle
survey for southern New Jersey, from Trenton south. Our thanks to the 70
plus volunteer observers who made it possible. Despite the mild winter good
numbers of eagles are around. 96 eagles were found on the survey (91 bald
eagles and 5 golden eagles). Cumberland County accounted for almost half
the sightings, with hotspots along the Maurice River and in the Fortescue
Local Nature Notes follow: It continues to be a mild winter, though on
January 19th at 6:45 a.m. when the temperature was just 32 degrees woodcock
were again heard "peenting" and performing their aerial dance. On January
17th at Jakes Landing, two Great Horned Owls perched in the dead trees at
the edge of the marsh to begin their evening hunt. They are evidently not
yet on eggs, but should be soon - being our earliest nesting bird. The last
few weeks observers have reported adult bald eagles sitting side by side
near nest sites. Bald Eagles are also early nesters and will be on eggs by
mid- to late February.
The Cape May Bird Observatory's winter program schedule should have reached
members by now; interested nonmembers should stop by or call for a copy.
Some of our special preregistration winter programs follow. 3 more one-day
courses, titled "All About Owls: Workshop & Field Trip," are scheduled for
the following dates: Friday, January 30; Saturday, January 31; and
Wednesday, February 4. A Family Program on Owls, originally scheduled for
January 17th, has been rescheduled for January 31. The next Bird Watching
for Beginners Course is scheduled for January 24 & 25. Two "Winter Raptors
of the Delaware Bayshore" field trips will be offered: February 6 & 7. A
program on "Backyard Terrorists at the Feeder" and how to cope with them
will be offered by Chris Baker on February 7. A "5-Day Birding Workshop for
Hawks, Owls, and Waterfowl" with Clay & Pat Sutton, and Pete Dunne,
February 11-15, still has space. Our Member's Night on February 18 will
feature a program by Pat & Clay Sutton on their incredible summer vacation
with Pete & Linda Dunne to "Alaska's Arctic NWR." And an "Ornithology 101"
Course will begin March 3rd, every Tuesday evening for 6 weeks. Two
different Sunday morning bird walks begin in January, one at Cape May Point
from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and one at CMBO's new Center in Goshen from 10:00
to 11:00 a.m. If you are not a member and would like a copy of the Winter
Program Schedule with all the details, stop by either center or call us at
The Cape May Bird Observatory has two centers of activity. Our new Center
for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North. The
center features gardens and a meadow for wildlife, feeding stations, nature
store, and a wildlife art gallery in "The Loft"on our second floor,
featuring the work of some of the Bayshore's finest artists, photographer,
and carvers. CMBO's Northwood Center at 701 East Lake Drive in Cape May
Point now has more space than ever devoted to our growing birding book
store and birding information. Both the CMBO Center in Goshen and the
Northwood Center in Cape May Point are open 10-5, every day except Tuesday
The Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May
Bird Observatory and details sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and
Atlantic Counties and near shore waters. Updates are made on Thursday
evenings, more often if warranted. Please report sightings of rare or
unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!