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 May 16 include sightings of
SWAINSON'S HAWK, BLACK-NECKED STILT, WILSON'S PLOVER,
MISSISSIPPI KITE, WHITE PELICAN, local nature notes, and
A SWAINSON'S HAWK was present at Jakes Landing Road on May
15; the bird was seen as late as 4:15 PM that day.
One to two BLACK-NECKED STILTS have been seen at Goshen
Landing Road this past week.
Up to six MISSISSIPPI KITES were seen on May 13 at various
locations around Cape May, with one still present at the
Beanery on May 14.
A WILSON'S PLOVER was seen at Brigantine (Forsythe) NWR, on
May 11, while a WHITE PELICAN was there on May 12.
An excellent songbird flight occurred on May 10 at Higbee
Beach. Highlights from there included NASHVILLE WARBLER,
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, CANADA WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER,
WILSON'S WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO, LINCOLN'S SPARROW,
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, and LEAST FLYCATCHER, among _many_
A singing DICKCISSEL was at Higbee Beach, last reported May
13. A CERULEAN WARBLER was also there on May 13, and an
EVENING GROSBEAK was at the Cape May Bird Observatory on
There have been lots of NORTHERN GANNETS off Cape May Point
this week, far more than are usually present at this time
of year; and an early WILSON'S STORM PETREL was off the
point on May 10. Shorebirds are in on the Bayshore, though
the Horseshoe Crabs are either late, or were hit so hard
last year by harvesting that their numbers are
frighteningly low. We will hope that they are late because
it's been a cold spring, and maybe the water is still too
The shorebird viewing platform at Reed's Beach is still one
of the best places to go, but remember that Reed's Beach is
a year-round community. Please park in the Marina parking
lot at the end of Reed's Beach, where parking is $1 per car
and supports ecotourism. View from the viewing platform or
the jetty; do not flush the birds and do not trespass on
The Cape May National Wildlife Refuge will eventually total
21,700 acres; to date, about 8000 acres have been
purchased, and are open to walking access for birding,
butterfly watching, nature study, photography, and
environmental education. Please do not drive on any Refuge
lands. There is no problem walking on Refuge lands, despite
the boundary signs which look intimidating and say
"Unauthorized entry prohibited." The Refuge HQ is on
Kimble's Beach Road, off Rt. 47 just south of Reeds Beach.
The fields along Kimble's Beach Rd. are Refuge property,
and can be explored. THe next two roads south along Rt. 47
back onto the Refuge, Woodcock Lane and Bobwhite Lane; park
at the end of either of these roads and walk to your
heart's content. Be sure to let CMBO know what you find
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are back and are already on
nests. CMBO has several males and at least one female in
the area. If you want Hummers to stay and nest in your
hard, you may want to hang feeders now, especially since
gardens are sparse this time of year. Realize the task you
are taking on; feeders need thorough cleaning once a week
and frequent refilling; in spring, only put one or two
inches of solution in your feeder.
Local nature notes follow. Spring butterflies this week
included PINE ELFIN, BROWN ELFIN, BLACK SWALLOWTAIL, TIGER
SWALLOWTAIL, JUVENAL'S DUSKYWING, PAINTED LADY, PEARL
CRESCENT, EASTERN TAILED BLUE, RED ADMIRAL, and more. The
wet weather puts a damper on activity, yet each sunny day
Dogwood and Lilac are blooming now; Highbush Blueberry is
in bloom, as is Huckleberry. Fowler's Toads are giving
their baby-like cry, Leopard Frogs are giving a guttural
call, and Green Frogs give a banjo-like plunking call.
Carpenter Frogs are also 'hammering' out their calls.
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.