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 June 6 include sightings of
MISSISSIPPI KITE, BROWN PELICAN, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL,
DICKCISSEL, local nature notes, and announcements.
At least one DICKCISSEL continues at Hidden Valley Ranch,
seen this week on June 2.
Two MISSISSIPPI KITES were seen this week, one on the
Tuckahoe River in Estelle Manor on May 31, and one at
Hidden Valley Ranch today, June 6, seen along with a BALD
BROWN PELICANS were reported from 3 locations: On June 2, 6
were at Hereford Inlet; also on June 2, 2 were seen from
the South Cape May Meadows, and 4 were seen in mid-Bay from
The impoundments at the base of the Canal bridge had a good
assortment of shorebirds on June 4, including a WESTERN
SANDPIPER, 10 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, & 30 SHORT-BILLED
Horseshoe Crabs will continue to mate and lay eggs well
into June, but the shorebirds are thinning out since they
need to reach the Arctic to breed.
WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS are being seen from shore, as they
dance over the offshore waters. Three were seen from the
Concrete Ship June 6. Scan the horizon for small dark birds
the size of swallows.
Some interesting news was received from the Bird Banding
Laboratory regarding two bands found at Jakes Landing
during CMBO owl field trips on Feb. 24-25. An owl pellet
found 2/24 was dissected, and contained a tiny songbird
band; we learned from the Lab that it was an EASTERN
BLUEBIRD, banded Nov. 4 1995 in Deep River, CT. Since the
pellet was medium-sized, it was probably either a BARN OWL
or a LONG-EARED OWL. The next day, 2/25, the group found
the remains of a raptor; all that was found was a foot and
part of the leg, but on the leg was a USF&WS band. We
learned that this bird had been a BARN OWL, banded as a
nestling on May 27., 1995, near Canton, NJ, in Salem
Since May 21, the emergence of thousands of 17-year Cicadas
in northern Cape May and Cumberland counties has led to
some interesting sightings. On June 4, along the railroad
tracks off Rt. 555 in Cumberland Co. at Bear Swamp, a
BARRED OWL was observed hunting and eating Cicadas. Also
there were male and female SUMMER TANAGERS, BLUE GROSBEAKS,
INDIGO BUNTINGS, CRESTED FLYCATCHER, PEWEE, ORCHARD ORIOLE,
BALTIMORE ORIOLE, and AMERICAN KESTREL.
The Higbee Beach parking lots are closed now for the
summer, but Higbee is open to birding and Butterfly
watching. Park in the Hidden Valley parking lot and walk.
You'll find YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BLUE GROSBEAK, INDIGO
BUNTING, WHITE-EYED VIREO, and more.
Belleplain State Forest continues to offer ACADIAN
FLYCATCHER, REDSTART, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, HOODED
WARBLER, OVENBIRD, ORCHARD ORIOLE, BALTIMORE ORIOLE,
GNATCATCHER, CUCKOOS, BLACK VULTURE, BROAD-WINGED HAWK,
SUMMER TANAGER, and more.
The Meadows has 9 PIPING PLOVER nests this year; it is one
of the few sites that was spared so far from oil washed up
from the May spill. Oil is still washing up.
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. You may walk on Refuge lands, despite the boundary
signs which look intimidating and say "Unauthorized entry
Please be sure to clean and refill your Hummingbird feeders
Local nature notes:
There was a push of monarchs on June 5, 15 were seen at
Bayside in Cumberland county, and several at the Meadows.
Lots of TIGER SWALLOWTAIL, SPICEBUSH SWALLOWTAIL, and BLACK SWALLOWTAIL are being
seen, along with RED-SPOTTED PURPLES and RED-BANDED
HAIRSTREAKS. A RED ADMIRAL was seen on June 1. These
migrate south in the fall and repopulate the area each
A LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE was seen May 31 off Cape May
Point; a 30-foot HUMPBACK WHALE was seen in the Cape May
rips off the Point at the end of May. AMERICAN HOLLY trees
are in bloom; MULTIFLORA ROSE, SOUTHERN ARROWWOOD VIBURNUM,
MOUNTAIN LAUREL and SHEEP LAUREL are all coming into bloom
[Program notes omitted -LL]
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.