Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 3/28/2002
You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This message was prepared on Thursday, March 28, 2002. Highlights from the last week include WHITE-WINGED DOVE, LITTLE GULL, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, and PURPLE FINCH.

A WHITE-WINGED DOVE was reported most recently March 23rd. It has been seen on and off since February 25th, always along Seagrove Ave. at the edge of Cape May Point. The bird is most often found roosting with Mourning Doves, on the power wires, in bare trees, or visiting areas with bird feeders. The bird disappears for considerable periods. Look anywhere from 607 Seagrove to 627 Seagrove.

BONAPARTE'S GULLS continue to be very common around Cape May Point, and are often easy to observe at the Concrete Ship. LITTLE GULLS often associate with Bonaparte's Gulls, but during the last week our only report of LITTLE GULL was from March 23rd, when a single bird was seen offshore from Cape May Point State Park.

Cape May Point State Park's YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was seen most recently on March 24th.

Other news is primarily about the progress of migration. YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS were found in Belleplain State Forest on March 25th and 28th. PURPLE FINCH reports are of a single bird at Jakes Landing on March 24th and 25th, and of 4 birds at Cape May Point State Park on March 24th. EASTERN PHOEBES have returned en masse; we have many reports of these birds from locations throughout the region. A major movement of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS has been occurring around Cape May for the last several days. Birds that have returned and which are being regularly seen in the appropriate habitats include PINE WARBLER, TREE SWALLOW, PURPLE MARTIN, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, LAUGHING GULL, FORSTER'S TERN, GLOSSY IBIS, SNOWY EGRET, and OSPREY. Waterfowl are on the move, with populations shifting almost daily at area lakes, ponds, and wetlands. NORTHERN GANNETS continue to be seen in abundance off Cape May Point, with good numbers of these big birds often following the ferry.

Last week's Voice of New Jersey Audubon included reports of EURASIAN WIGEON that we will belatedly relay this week. One bird was found March 15th along the south dike at the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, and one bird was reported from the westernmost impoundment of the McNamara Wildlife Management Area on March 17th.

Finally, GREAT HORNED OWLS are putting on a great show in the Avalon salt marsh. A pair with young is nesting on top of an Osprey platform off 20th St. at the end of 5th Ave.

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration, and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of our Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers, call our natural history and events hotline at 609-861-0466, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB SITE at http://www.njaudubon.org

This Cape May Birding Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at 609-884-2736, or e-mail reports to CapeMayReports@njaudubon.org. Thanks for calling and GOOD BIRDING!

Mark S. Garland, Senior Naturalist
Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Dr., PO Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ 08212

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