Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 6/19/1997
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 June 19 include sightings of GARGANEY, AMERICAN AVOCET, COMMON EIDER, BROWN PELICAN, news of a conservation emergency that demands your immediate action, local nature notes, news of our upcoming programs and field trips, a note that the Higbee Beach parking lots have been closed for the summer again, but this does not mean Higbee Beach is closed -- you just need to get there by bike or by walking.

The CONSERVATION EMERGENCY that demands your immediate action follows. On May 29, New Jersey's Governor Christine Whitman, instituted a 60 day moratorium on the commercial harvest of horseshoe crabs. This emergency measure was taken to stem the rapid and catastrophic decline in the horseshoe crab population -- a decline that has undermined the food base used by one and a half million migrating shorebirds that use Delaware Bay as their last refueling stop enroute to the Arctic. While the moratorium is in the long term interest of Delaware Bay's environment and those whose lives are dependent upon it, some commercial fishermen have orchestrated a campaign to reverse the Governor's ban. So, we are asking you to please call the New Jersey Governor's Office TODAY at 609-292-6000 and tell them that "you support the Governor's Moratorium on the harvest of Horseshoe Crabs." Then call your family, friends, and co-workers and ask them to do the same. Otherwise one of the planet's greatest and most celebrated natural spectacles may become history!

The GARGANEY found on June 9 at Forsythe NWR (Brig) has been reported only once since Sunday the 15th and that was on the afternoon of the 16th.Many hours have been spent searching in vain, although the bird may still be present. Check the sighting sheets at the refuge for the most recent information.

An AMERICAN AVOCET was seen on June 15 at Forsythe near the east pool at the boathouse. It has been seen on both sides of the dike.

The COMMON EIDERS that have been present around Cape May have become less predictable. The adult male and one sub-adult male have been seen well up in the bay toward the Villas, specifically near the outlet of Cox Hall Creek, while the other sub-adult male has been sporadic around the Point. The Oldsquaw has also moved into the bay with the eiders, while a Surf Scoter continues to be seen around Point.

Five BROWN PELICANS were seen this week off the Villas.

ROSEATE TERNS have been seen on a few occasions around Cape May Point, while Royal Terns continue to be seen also. Up to twenty RED KNOTS are summering near Nummy Island along with some RUDDY TURNSTONES, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and a few SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS.

There were several late migrants this week including an AMERICAN REDSTART on Cape May point on the 15th, a COMMON NIGHTHAWK was over the Villas on the 13th, with HORNED LARK there on the 14th and Baltimore Oriole on the 15th.

A BARN OWL was heard in the Villas on June 14, possibly a local breeder.

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are very regular now that they are back on territories. A female is regularly coming to the feeders at CMBO's new center in Goshen and numbers are regular at CMBO's Cape May Point center. If you have feeders, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with fresh solution. Otherwise the solution ferments and can be hazardous to hummingbirds.

CMBO's has a "Champagne Island Cruise" scheduled for Saturday, June 28th, leaving a dock in Cape May at 5:00 p.m. and returning at 8:30 p.m. The fee is $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers and there are still some spaces left! Be sure to call CMBO at 609-861-0700 to register. The Summer Program Schedule is now in print and available at either center and on its way to Members.

CMBO's new Center for Research & Education in Goshen is now open every day, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We're at 600 Route 47 North in Goshen, either 1 mile south of the traffic light at Rt. 657 or 1.7 miles north of the Gulf Station in Goshen. From either direction we are just around a bend. Look for the split rail fence, brand new sign, large parking lot, and big new building beyond.

CMBO's Program Schedule for June includes morning bird walks every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday; a Sunset Bird Walk on Friday, Birding By Boat trips on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and a Kayak Nature Tour on Tuesday afternoons. Stop by either center to pick up the spring program schedule with full details.

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 2 birding bookstores. The Northwood Center in Cape May Point at 701 E. Lake Drive in Cape May Point is open DAILY, 10-5. The Center for Research & Education in Goshen is open Daily, 9-5.

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!

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