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 August 21 include sightings of REEVE, WESTERN KINGBIRD, MARBLED
GODWIT, WILSON'S PHALAROPE, local nature notes, news of our upcoming
programs and field trips, an update on the HORSESHOE CRAB crisis.
HORSESHOE CRAB ALERT -- WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP
On August 18th new proposed horseshoe crab regulations will be published in
the New Jersey Register. On that date (August 18th) a 30-day public
comment period opens.
The proposed new regulations: (1) will establish a limited entry system
whereby individuals must meet certain criteria to qualify for a horseshoe
crab harvester's permit, (2) will restrict the harvest to hand collection
only (prohibiting all other gear types, (3) sets a possession limit of 100
horseshoe crabs per day, and (4) will limit the open season for harvesting
horseshoe crabs to Tuesdays and Thursdays during the period of May 1
through June 30. We need all of you to comment on these new proposed
horseshoe crab regulations. The NJ Marine Fisheries Council must know that
the conservation world is still watching, and that these regulations may
not be strict enough to allow the horseshoe crab population to recover.
The Council must make a commitment to maintaining this fragile and
ecologically significant resource. They must acknowledge that all measures
of horseshoe crab abundance indicate a decline in the species, and that
this decline must be reversed. We must get a commitment that if the
horseshoe crab population does not recover that the council will put in
place a moratorium.
To receive a copy of the new proposed horseshoe crab regulations send a
check or money order of $2.25 (copying fee) to the Office of Administrative
Law, 9 Quakerbridge Plaza, P.O. Box 049, Trenton, NJ 08625-0049 and ask
for a copy of the "Horseshoe Crab Proposal adopted as an emergency
amendment to N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.16."
Your written comments must be received by September 17, 1997 and can be
sent to Janis E. Hoagland, Esq, DEP Docket No. 19-97-07/634, DEP Office of
Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 402, Trenton, NJ 08625-0402.
Thanks for your continued help with this environmental crisis!
Higbee Beach parking lots are 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. Also, an update on the closure at Forsythe (or Brig). It will be
closed on weekdays until August 29. On weekends through September 13-14 it
will be partially open, but closed on the 13th and 14th.
A REEVE (a female Ruff) was seen very briefly in the South Cape May Meadows
on August 20. The heavy rains of August 20-21 flooded the SCMM, greatly
reducing the available feeding areas for shorebirds.
A WESTERN KINGBIRD was a fly-over on Cape May Point on August 18.
The two MARBLED GODWITS that had been regularly were last reported on
A WILSON'S PHALAROPE was seen on August 15 in the South Cape May Meadows.
Other shorebird highlights included UPLAND SANDPIPERS on the 17th and 19th.
COMMON EIDERS continue to summer around the area. Two are seen at various
spots off Cape May Point while another is south and east of the Ferry
Landbird flights were good this week on August 18 and 19. BLUE-WINGED
WARBLERS were seen in good numbers at Higbee Beach, along with lots of
AMERICAN REDSTARTS, YELLOW WARBLERS, and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES. Other
highlights INCLUDED WORM-EATING, PROTHONOTARY, BLACKBURNIAN,
CHESTNUT-SIDED, and CANADA WARBLERS. Also DICKCISSEL and RED-BREASTED
NUTHATCH were seen.
Two BLACK TERNS were seen on and off around Cape May Point this week, while
10 were seen at the Avalon Seawatch on August 21. Also on the 21st at
Avalon were 4 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS, 6 N. GANNETS, 21 BROWN PELICANS, and
a BLACK SCOTER. Two CASPIAN TERNS were seen on Champagne Island in Hereford
Inlet on August 21.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD activity is high. The first broods of young have
left the nest, plus migrants from the north are coming through -- so there
are a lot of hummingbirds around. They are emptying the feeders at CMBO
and constant at flowers in CMBO's gardens. If you have hummingbird
feeders, be sure to clean them out thoroughly each week and refill with
fresh solution or the solution ferments and can be hazardous to
hummingbirds. Trumpet Creeper is in full bloom now and drawing in hungry
Local Nature Notes follow: Wild Cherries are ripe, just in time for
migrant songbirds that are beginning to come through. Some butterfly
highlights this week include 5 Fiery Skippers and a Cloudless Sulphur at
the Circle Gardens in Cape May Point on August 17. Hayhurst Scallopwings
are flying now and being seen at Higbee Beach and in Goshen. Zabulon
Skippers are flying now also. CMBO's new Center for Research & Education in
Goshen is a mecca for silk moths. Some morning we find one or several
clinging to the building; they're drawn in by our security night-lights.
It's a great year for Monarchs. We've been seeing migrants since the last
few days in July. In late July and August, migrant Monarchs seen at Cape
May are coming from Canada and New England where evenings are much colder
and migration has been triggered. Ninety were seen at the Avalon Seawatch
on August 18. Our local monarchs are still mating and laying eggs,
creating the next generation and dying. Each of our centers has a display
with live Monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises. Stop by and check
The Cape May Bird Observatory now has two centers of activity. Our new
Center for Research & Education in Goshen is located at 600 Route 47 North,
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. And the Northwood Center now has more space
than ever devoted to our growing birding bookstore and birding information.
Both centers are open daily, 10-5.
The Cape May Bird Observatory's Summer Program Schedule offers daily bird,
butterfly, or wildflower walks. Also offered weekly, but requiring
preregistration, are Birding By Boat trips each Sunday afternoon and Monday
morning, and a Kayak Nature Tour each Tuesday afternoons. Stop by either
center to pick up the Kestrel Express, which includes our Summer Program
Schedule with full details or call us at 609-861-0700.
Special upcoming summer programs include a 2-day "Bird Watching for
Beginners Course" August 30-31, and a "Workshop on Binoculars & Spotting
Scopes for Birders" on August 30.
Focus on Nature Tours is running two pelagic trips out of Brielle. One on
August 24 and one on September 14, leaving at 5 am and returning by 8 pm.
Cost for either is $66.
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 and the Center for Research & Education in Goshen, both open Daily,
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!