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 March 26 includes returning breeders, local
nature notes, and information about our upcoming programs and
A note to participants registered for the Saturday, March 28th
"Wintering Eagles By Boat on the Maurice River" trip, the weather
looks great. To anyone who was turned away because these trips
filled up, there's an additional trip on the Maurice River for
Bald Eagles on Saturday, April 4, at 10:00 a.m. Preregistration
is required and there are a few openings left. Call 609-861-0700
to sign up. Payment will be needed to hold your place, so be
ready with a credit card number.
Two very early Solitary Sandpipers showed up this week, being
seen at the Beanery and at a pond off Shunpike Rd.
An early White-eyed Vireo was at Hidden Valley ranch on March 25
Laughing Gulls are returning in big numbers, with over 400
counted off Cape May Point on March 24 and 500 present around
Nummy Island on the same day.
Ospreys have returned to nest sites this week, and are being seen
elsewhere as well.
Pine Warblers have been singing in Belleplain State Forest, and a
few migrants are being seen around Cape May Point.
A few migrant Golden-crowned Kinglets have been around Cape May
Point, and Hermit Thrushes are also moving. A good movement
of Eastern Phoebes was noted on March 26 at Higbee Beach.
Red-throated Loon numbers continue to build in Delaware Bay, and
hundreds of Black and Surf Scoters are staging well out in the
bay, seen scattering as the Ferry plowed through the flocks.
An American Bittern was in the SCMM on March 20, and a Merlin was
in North Cape May the same day.
Local Nature Notes follow: A wet, cold March held spring back
until this week. March 26th a Tree Swallow showed up and hunted
the CMBO Goshen property all morning; Bluebirds have been on
site for several weeks. Great Horned Owlets are growing, having
hatched at the end of February. Screech Owls & Barn Owls are on
eggs now and have been for a week or two. Trees are budding now.
A din of Spring Peepers can be heard. Flowering Quince is
blooming -- hummingbirds will arrive soon. Daffodils and
crocuses are in bloom. Day lilies are up about 7". Several
Cabbage Whites were seen last week, but on March 26 warm weather
produced lots of Spring Azures (one observer had 60) and our
first elfin, either Browns or Henry's. Numbers of Mourning
Cloaks, Question Marks, and E. Commas were also out. These last
three species winter as adults in protected spots, so they were
out at the end of February during the false spring, disappeared
the cold first half of March, and are out and about again.
The Cape May Bird Observatory's upcoming preregistration winter
programs include a newly scheduled CMBO "Wintering Eagles By Boat
on the Maurice River" trip on Saturday, April 4th, a 2-day "Bird
Watching For Beginners Course" March 28 & 29, a "Cruising For
Loons" trip on April 18, a workshop on "Binoculars & Spotting
Scopes for Birders" also on April 18, a Workshop to learn "The
Art of Taking Field Notes & Making Field Sketches" on April 19, a
"Rail Watch" on April 25, a "Workshop for Business Owners to
Learn How to Reach the Birding Market" on April 29, and much
Sunday, March 29th, our final two winter bird walks, requiring no
preregistration, occur: one at Cape May Point 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
and one at CMBO's Center in Goshen from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. The
Maurice River Bald Eagle Cruises still have openings on Saturday,
April 4, at 1:00 p.m. and both Sunday, April 5 trips, one at 10
a.m. and one at 1 p.m. To register for these three Eagle
Cruises call the boat directly at 609-884-3100 and let them know
you learned about the trips through CMBO; a portion of the
proceeds go back to CMBO. Beginning in April CMBO has 2-hour
long DAILY bird, butterfly and dragonfly walks scheduled every
morning except Monday, requiring no preregistration. The
Wednesday morning walk begins, April 1st, with a bird walk at
7:30 a.m. at Beaver Swamp WMA followed by a Butterfly &
Dragonfly Walk there too at 10:00 a.m. The Thursday morning
"Spring Birding in Belleplain" walk begins April 2nd; the Friday
morning "Higbee Beach Bird Walk" begins April 3rd at 7:30 a.m.;
the Saturday morning "Cape May Point Walk" begins April 4th at
7:30 a.m.; the Sunday morning "Hidden Valley for Birds &
Butterflies" begins April 5th at 7:00 a.m.; and the first
Tuesday morning "Birds of the Seashore" walk with Pete Dunne
begins April 7th at 7:30 a.m., with the first Thursday evening
"Sunset Birding at Stone Harbor Point & the Avalon Rookery" walk
begins April 7th at 5:00 p.m.
Mark your calendars now to set Saturday, April 25th, aside when
NJ Audubon will be hosting an all day, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
"Backyard Habitat Day Festival" at the CMBO Center for Research &
Education in Goshen (600 Route 47 North). This is NJ Audubon's
way of celebrating Arbor Day & Earth Day -- A festival
celebrating habitat for wildlife. There will be learning
opportunities for families, teachers, and general nature
enthusiasts through mini-workshops and programs all day long,
crafts and games for kids and families, a plant swap, exhibitors,
and good company! And it's FREE. Rain date is Sunday, April 26.
Members received the Spring Schedule inside our newsletter, the
Peregrine Observer. If you are not a member and would like a
copy of the Spring Program Schedule with all the details about
the dozens of programs, walks, and workshops we offer, 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 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.