Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 2/13/1997
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 February 13 include an announcement about an upcoming Pelagic Trip, local nature notes, news that Pete Dunne will offer an additional "Barnegat to Brigantine Duck Round-up" field trip on Sunday, March 16, since the Saturday trip is full, and news of CMBO's other upcoming programs and field trips.

You've reached our new CAPE MAY BIRDING HOTLINE phone number, 609-861-0466. Make a note of it and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this change may have caused you.

The SNOWY OWL continues to be seen at Forsythe NWR, also known as Brigantine. There since about mid-December, it was most recently reported to us on February 8 & 9. On the 9th it was seen within the impoundments from the east dike . . . in other words a bit north of the southeast corner of the east pool where it's been found most of the winter. Give yourself plenty of time looking for it since it can stay quite hidden in a nook out of the wind and with the recent snow it has lots of camouflage. Thank you for continuing to keep us posted here at CMBO of your SNOWY OWL sightings by calling either 609-884-2736 or 609-861-0700. The Forsythe NWR also offers excellent opportunities to study waterfowl up close. On February 9th N. PINTAIL, HOODED MERGANSERS, N.SHOVELERS and GREEN-WINGED TEAL were all enjoyed.

CMBO's Friday evening "Hawk & Owl Watches" and Saturday "All About Owls Workshops" continue to enjoy GREAT HORNED OWLS at dusk at Jakes Landing. Just after 5:30 p.m. has been the magic time when Great Horneds fly out to perch on the marsh edge.

On February 13, from 7th Street in Avalon, looking into Townsend's Inlet, lots of waterfowl was enjoyed, including: SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, BRANT, and OLDSQUAW. Good numbers of AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were also found on Nummy's Island.

A brief announcement follows: The boat, the Miss Chris, out of Cape May is running a Pelagic Trip on Sunday, February 16th, from 5 AM to 5 PM. The cost is $50/person. The boat will be going 30-40 miles offshore and will be chumming to lure in seabirds. In the past this trip has enjoyed great looks at alcids, Razorbills, Great Skua 2 years, Puffin, and Common Murre 3 times. To register or for more information, call Captain Fred Ascoli at 609-884-3939.

Local Nature Notes follow: Daffodils are popping through the ground. Red-winged Blackbirds are giving their "konk-er-eee" spring song and Mourning Doves are cooing, in fact many non-birders mistake their spring song for an owl's hooting. Red-tailed Hawks are paired up and might be seen sitting side by side. Female Great Horned Owls are on eggs now and any large stick nest is a likely nest site. Great Horneds are our earliest nesting bird -- being predators they have an easy time in winter finding food, especially when many other creatures are struggling to survive the winter hardships and become more vulnerable. Silent for the last month, we're beginning to hear Great Horneds again give a few brief low hoots just at dark. Screech Owls have been calling in Goshen recently at odd hours of the night. Bald Eagles will be on eggs soon.

Some of CMBO's upcoming programs follow: Due to its popularity Pete Dunne will be offering another "Barnegat to Brigantine DUCK ROUND-UP" field trip on Sunday, March 16, since the Saturday trip is full. The trip runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., beginning at Barnegat and ending at Brigantine. Cost: $15 members, $25 nonmembers. Call CMBO at 609-861-0700 to register. Payment holds your place. Send payment to CMBO, Center for Research & Education, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Other upcoming winter programs include includes weekly "Owl & Hawk Watches at Jakes Landing" every Friday, now through March 14th at 4:00 p.m.; weekly "Winter Bird Walks" every Sunday, now through March, meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the raised picnic pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. Our next Members' Night is scheduled for February 19th at the NEW CMBO in Goshen from 7:30-9 p.m., where Vince Elia will present a slide program on "Winter Gulls." Our final "All About Owls Workshops" will be offered: February 15. The "Bird Watching For Beginners Course" will be taught February 22-23 and again March 29-30.

Other upcoming programs include an "Oldsquaws In Love" Field Trip on February 22, a "Woodcock Dance" outing on March 8, a "Poor Man's Pelagic" trip on March 29, AND MUCH MORE! Call CMBO at 609-861-0700 to learn more about the programs and to register.

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 our new Center for Research & Education at 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 birding bookstore at 707 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point, open every day except Tues. & Wednesday, 9-5. Our new Research and Education Center will not be open fulltime for visitors until April, but many of the indoor winter programs will be held there.

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 or on Tuesday and Wednesday to 609-861-0700. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

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