Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 1/22/1998
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 17th.

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 area.

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 609-861-0700.

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 & Wednesday.

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!

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