You have reached the Cape May Birding Hotline, a service of
the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory.
Highlights for the week ending Apr. 20 include sightings of
LAPLAND LONGSPUR, MARBLED GODWIT, COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL,
spring migrants, returning breeders, local nature notes,
A male LAPLAND LONGSPUR, first located on April 7, was seen
again this week at the Cape May County Airport on April
15-16. The best views were had from the main parking area
near the restaurant.
A MARBLED GODWIT was present on Nummy Island on April 17.
The first-winter COMMON BLACK-HEADED GULL is *still*
present in the Coast Guard pond along Ocean Drive.
Many local breeders have taken up residence in Belleplain
State Forest. Today, April 20, a check of the area produced
a dozen OVENBIRDS, ten YELLOW-THROATED WARBLERS, 7
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, 4 PRAIRIE WARBLERS, 2
PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS, a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, a NORTHERN
PARULA and the season's first EASTERN KINGBIRD. Pine Swamp
Road, and the bridge across Savage's Run on Sunset Road,
are good locations to check.
Other new arrivals this week included YELLOW WARBLER at
Higbee Beach on April 16; YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT April 17 in
the garden here at the Observatory; GREEN HERON in Goshen
on April 18; NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH at the Beanery on April
20; and ROYAL TERNS on the beach in the town of Cape May,
on April 20. The last two are not local breeders; the
Waterthrush will head further north while the Royals will
Local nature notes follow.
Hundreds of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS are migrating north
now. Some can be found in the Cape May Harbor at close
range, and you can see their crests, only visible at this
time of year. A few COMMON LOONS in full breeding plumage
can still be found in the Harbor, best seen from the road
end near the Lobster House restaurant.
OSPREY are back at their nests, and have started to lay
eggs; BALD EAGLES, among the earliest breeders, have
sizable eaglets to feed now. The first male RUBY-THROATED
HUMMINGBIRDS were seen April 19; females will follow soon,
so put up your feeders now if you hope to entice them to
nest in your yard. But also plant lots of good nectar
sources for them.
After last year's lack of PAINTED LADY BUTTERFLIES due to
the severity of the previous winter, it is obvious that
they've rebounded and are on the move northward to
repopulate our area. Migrations of PAINTED LADIES and
AMERICAN LADIES were witnessed April 19 and 20, passing
over the South Cape May Meadows and inland to Belleplain
Forest. The first MONARCH was seen on April 9, and another
on the 16th, and 2 on April 20. These individuals are the
grandchildren of the Monarchs that migrated through here
last Fall and spent the winter in Mexico.
CMBO'S first Spring Butterfly walk on April 19 enjoyed 14
species, including FALCATE ORANGE-TIP, HENRY'S ELFIN, BROWN ELFIN, and
PINE ELFIN, and JUVENAL'S DUSKY-WING. FROSTED ELFINS are
out in Belleplain, and HOARY ELFINS are out in the Pine
Barrens, where their hostplant, Bearberry, grows. Nectar
sources in the spring are often scarce; many of the
butterflies we've seen have been coming to Purple
Bed-nettle, Dandelion, Wild Mustard, and budding trees like
Some of the large Silk Moths are emerging. A LUNA MOTH was
seen on the night of April 18. Huge GREEN DARNER
dragonflies have arrived from the south. PINE BARRENS
TREEFROGS were heard calling on April 20, and FOWLERS TOADS
are heard in the State Park ponds and the Meadows.
CARPENTER FROGS can be heard hammering. Shadbush is in
bloom, a small tree with clusters of creamy white flowers
which bloom when the Shad are running.
[program announcements omitted]
Fine print: 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,
phone our office or write to CMBO, PO Box 3, Cape May
Point, NJ 08212. If you're in the area please stop by our
headquarters at 707 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point.
The Cape May birding hotline [(609) 884-2626] is a service
of Cape May Bird Observatory and includes sightings from
Cape May, Atlantic, and Cumberland counties and adjacent
areas. Updates are made on Thursday evening, more often if
warranted. [Compiled by CMBO staff; transcribed by L.
Larson (firstname.lastname@example.org).] Please report
sightings of rare or unusual birds to CMBO at (609)
884-2736. Thank you for calling; good birding.