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Cape May Natural History Hotline - 1/12/2005
CAPE MAY NATURAL HISTORY AND EVENTS HOTLINE, January 12, 2005

This is Pat Sutton with the Cape May Natural History & Events Hotline, a service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This hotline was prepared on Thursday, January 12. For bird news call the Cape May Birding Hotline at (609) 898-2473. NJ Audubon's three hotlines can be read in full on our website (http://www.njaudubon.org), by clicking on "Sightings" (at the top of any page).

While the rest of the country is buried in snow, South Jersey is still experiencing a warmer than normal winter. A SPOTTED TURTLE was sunning on January 7 at Corbin City WMA.

Rafts of SURF and BLACK SCOTERS and nice numbers of LONG-TAILED DUCKS can be found at the Avalon Seawatch at 7th Street and the beach, and also at 8th Street. On January 10, the scoters were calling to one another. On January 7, LONG-TAILED DUCKS were mating there, right in front of the seawatch. This site has also been a good spot to look for RAZORBILLS. One was sitting on the water, preening there on January 7.

The Annual Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey was held on January 8 & 9. A record 138 BALD EAGLES were recorded in southern New Jersey (including 92 adults). 2 GOLDEN EAGLES were also seen (1 in Cumberland County at Bear Swamp and 1 at Corbin City WMA on the Tuckahoe River). Many observers watched adult Bald Eagles working on their nests, carrying twigs and branches to the nest and weaving them in place. Territorial behavior is also strong now, with adults chasing intruders off (neighboring adults and young birds). This observer remembers our very first Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey in 1979, when 4 Bald Eagles were counted in the entire state. Weve come a long way! Join Pat Sutton for the popular Winter Raptors of the Delaware Bayshore Saturday, January 29 (9 -5:30). A December 28 outing along the Great Egg Harbor River tallied 10 BALD EAGLES (7 adults) and 2 GOLDEN EAGLES (1 adult and 1 sub-adult). One of the best vantage points was Corbin City WMA. Learn this interesting area by joining Pat Sutton & Karen Johnson for the Tuckahoe & Corbin City WMA Field Trip, Saturday, February 19 (2-6 p.m.). To register for either trip, call 609-861-0700, x-11.

GREAT HORNED OWLS are mating now and will soon be on eggs. Many observers out for the eagle survey on January 9 & 10 were treated to great looks at SHORT-EARED OWLS hunting and interacting. 12 put on a show at Motts Creek and 5-7 at Corbin City WMA. Anytime from 3:00 p.m. on is a good time to look for them, and on overcast days, look all day long. Learn how to spot owls and learn all about them by joining Pat Sutton for the"All About Owls Workshop & Field Trip" offered 1-5:30 p.m. on January 19 and again on January 27. Call 609-861-0700, x-11 to register!

A flock of 7 SANDHILL CRANES was seen during the Cumberland Co. Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, January 2 at Husted Landing in Cumberland County. Since then observers have gone to Husted Landing and successfully refound these birds in the afternoon as theyve come in to roost on the marsh. Their feeding daytime fields have not yet been found.

A WHITE PELICAN entertained eagle survey observers at Corbin City WMA and Tuckahoe WMA on both January 8 & 9. On the 9th it looked like the soaring bird landed in the Tuckahoe River. Keep your eyes peeled and be sure to let CMBO know if you should see this bird.

WILD TURKEYS were chasing CANADA GEESE around in a field in Greenwich on January 9. It was quite comical and might have something to do with their mating season.

Wintering E. BLUEBIRDS are moving around now from one tall grass meadow to the next. So, if you have a backyard habitat meadow, you might just attract a wintering flock.

CMBOs 2005 Cape May Birding Workshops are set. Registrations are being taken now. To receive the workshop brochure call 609-861-0700 or go to: http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/Cmboworks05.html

Enjoy winter birds by attending upcoming CMBO programs:

Weekly walks (no advanced registration, $6 members, $10 for others): Saturdays (8-10 a.m.), "Birding Cape May Point" meets at 8 a.m. in the "South Shelter" raised pavilion at the Cape May Point State Park. A host of other walks begin January 23 and are posted on New Jersey Audubon's web site at http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html

Special programs and field trips in addition to those already mentioned follow (prices vary: call 609-861-0700 for info and to register): Waterfowl Art Exhibit has opened at CMBO Center in Goshen Stop by and be dazzled! The Opening Reception will be Sun., Jan. 30 (2-4) LONGTAILS IN LOVE with Pat Sutton Saturday, February 12 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) BIRDING FROM THE FERRY with Mark Garland Sunday, February 20 (7-11 a.m.) OPTICS WORKSHOP at CMBO Northwood Center Sunday, February 20 (1-3 p.m.) WINTER AT TWO MILE BEACH with Mark Garland Sunday, February 27 (1-4:30 p.m.) CAPE MAY NWR Field Trip with Pat Sutton Saturday, March 5 (1-4 p.m.) WOODCOCK DANCE with Pat Sutton Saturday, March 5 (5-7 p.m.) BIRDING CUMBERLAND with Pat & Clay Sutton Saturday, March 12 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) BIRDING FROM THE FERRY with Mark Garland Saturday, March 26 (7-11 a.m.) CMBOs 10th ANNUAL OPTICS SALE for CMBO or NJ Audubon members ONLY (become a member today to take advantage of the great deals!) Saturday & Sunday, March 19-20 (9-4:30 p.m.)

Many other programs are scheduled for 2005; contact either CMBO Center for a copy of the Kestrel Express, which features the schedule, or go to NJ Audubons website: http://www.njaudubon.org

The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird walks that require no pre-registration and many special field trips and programs for which advanced registration is required. To receive a copy of the Winter Program Schedule (the Kestrel Express), stop at either CMBO Center, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's web site at http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html

This Cape May Natural History and Events Hotline is a service of the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is a research, conservation, and education unit of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Our aim is to preserve and perpetuate the ornithological and natural history significance of Cape May. Your membership supports these goals and this hotline. We detail sightings from Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties. Updates are typically made on Thursdays. Please report your natural history sightings to CMBO's Center in Goshen at 609-861-0700. Thanks for calling and ENJOY THE NATURAL WORLD!

 
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