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 8 include sightings of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW,
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, EURASIAN WIGEON, MARBLED GODWIT, news of the
upcoming Bald Eagle Survey, highlights of the Cumberland CBC, local nature
notes, and news of our upcoming programs and field trips.
A note: The drive and walking trails at Forsythe NWR (Brig) will be closed
for 5 Thursdays: January 15, 22, 29 and February 5 & 12.
The GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW found on New Year's day at the Cape May National
golf course continues to be seen, reported most recently on January 5.
The MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER is still present at the entrance to the Beanery,
also most recently reported on the 5th.
A EURASIAN WIGEON is in the Coast Guard ponds along Ocean Drive.
Four MARBLED GODWITS were on a sand bar in Hereford Inlet, east of the free
bridge along Ocean Drive. A WILLET and over 300 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS
were also there. Over 20 WESTERN SANDPIPERS were seen at Stone Harbor Point.
Other interesting sightings include HOUSE WRENS, one along Bayshore Rd.
near the Beanery on the 3rd and one at Hidden Valley Ranch also on the 3rd,
a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and up to 3 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS along the Yellow
Trail in the State Park, and 2 LITTLE BLUE HERONS at 2 Mile Landing on the
The Cumberland Christmas Bird Count was held on January 4th and tallied in
124 species so far. Dawn and dusk were windless and perfect for owls. So
far over 55 SCREECH, 108 GREAT HORNED, and 3 BARRED OWLS were logged in for
the count. Other highlights follow: 10 COMMON REDPOLLS at Tom's Bridge Rd.,
4 EVENING GROSBEAKS and 2 PINE WARBLERS at Bevan WMA, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
at Hansey Creek Rd., and 4 EASTERN PHOEBES (with 2 at Hansey Creek Rd.).
Interestingly, no Rough-legged Hawks were recorded.
CMBO's Avalon Seawatch officially ended December 22nd, but Dave Ward
continues to monitor movement at 7th Street and the beach in Avalon. Recent
highlights include a RED-NECKED GREBE and a late FORSTER'S TERN on January
5, GREAT CORMORANT on January 1, a late JAEGER on December 26, 3 KITTIWAKES
and an alcid on December 27.
January 10 & 11 CMBO is coordinating the mid-winter Bald Eagle survey for
southern N. J. from Trenton south. Over 70 volunteer observers will
participate, but if you should see any Bald Eagles on either day, the 10th
or 11th, please note the date, time, location including immediate area,
nearest road, nearest town, county, and what the bird or birds were doing.
Then either call Vince Elia at CMBO at 609-861-0700, x-15, or mail in this
information as soon as possible. Include your name and telephone number.
Local Nature Notes follow: Consecutive days of mild temperatures in January
are rare, and it has triggered some butterflies to come out of their
dormant state. Red Admirals, Question Marks, Mourning Cloaks, Orange
Sulphurs, and a Painted Lady were all seen this week at places like the
State Park trails, Higbee Beach, Old Robbins Trail off Jakes Landing Road,
and Bevan WMA in Cumberland County. Painted Lady and Red Admiral are not
thought to winter over here, but it may be that a few individuals try each
year. Warm weather on January 4th also produced blooming dandelions,
hunting bats, nectaring honeybees, and a sunning turtle. On January 5th 6
Garter Snakes and 4 Ribbon Snakes were discovered along the trails at the
State Park. On the bird front it's time to search for nesting Great Horned
Owls. A pair were seen copulating at dusk on December 28th at Jakes
Landiing Road. Search the woods for large stick nests built this past
spring by Red-tails since these nests will be taken over by nesting Great
Horned Owls. It's an especially good winter already for northern finches.
Keep an eye out if you have pine trees for crossbills, they'll quietly
collect in your pines and feed on the cones with their specially adapted
crossed bills. Watch your feeders for Evening Grosbeaks, Purple Finches,
Redpolls and Pine Siskins. We'd love to hear of your sightings. Be sure to
call them in to CMBO.
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. 5 more one-day
courses, titled "All About Owls: Workshop & Field Trip" are scheduled for
the following dates: Friday, January 16; Saturday, January 17; 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. Our Member's Night on January 21st will
feature a program on "Monarchs in Winter, a slide program visit to Mexico"
with Pat Sutton. 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. 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. The CMBO Center in Goshen is open DAILY
10-5. The CMBO Northwood Center in Cape May Point is open 10-5 every day
except Tuesday & Wednesday.
The Cape May Bird Observatory is a research and education unit of the New
Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to perpetuate and preserve the
ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these
goals and this birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May
birding, our programs and field trips, and the Observatory, call
609-861-0700 or send a request for information to CMBO, 600 Route 47 North,
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. If you are in the area do not hesitate to
visit our 2 birding bookstores.
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!