Cape May Rare Bird Alert - 6/26/1997
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 26 include sightings of Common Eider, American Bittern, 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 Common Eiders that have been present around Cape May have become somewhat less predictable, although all three were near the Concrete Ship on June 24. An Oldsquaw continues to be seen also, with a sighting near the Concre te Ship also on the 24th.

A Brown Pelicans was seen this week off the Cape May on June 25.

An American Bittern was seen flying into the South Cape May Meadows from the east on June 20.

Three Gull-billed Terns and a Black Tern were seen at the South Cape May Meadows on June 21.

Some migrants, quite probably southbound, were seen after the passage of a week front on June 23 including a Worm-eating Warbler in West Cape May, a P urple Finch on Cape May Point, and a Red-headed Woodpecker in the State Par k.20

A family group of Red-breasted Nuthatches has been seen on two occasions in mid-June in Villas, an excellent nesting confirmation. One was also present on Cape May Point on June 22. 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 h ummingbirds.

CMBO's has a "Champagne Island Cruise" scheduled for Saturday, June 28th, l eaving 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 l eft! 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 Sta tion 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 ne build ing 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 J ersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to perpetuate and preserve the ornitholo gical significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and t his birding hotline. For more information regarding Cape May birding, our programs and field trips, and the Observatory, call our new Center for Rese arch & 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 ar ea 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 Atlan tic 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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