CAPE MAY NATURAL HISTORY AND EVENTS HOTLINE, December 9, 2004
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, December 9. For bird news call the Cape
May Birding Hotline at (609) 898-2473. NJ Audubon's three hotline can be
read in full on our website (http://www.njaudubon.org), by clicking on "Sightings"
(at the top of any page).
Go to the end of this Hotline for an ANNOUNCEMENT Regarding the terrible oil
spill in the Delaware River
The Avalon Seawatch will continue until December 22. Over 525,000 seabirds
have been recorded since September 22. The N. GANNET show has been
spectacular. Highlights this week include a 1st year LITTLE GULL on
December 1, CAVE SWALLOW on December 1 & 3, BROWN PELICAN on December 3, 2
RAZORBILLS on December 4 and 2 more on December 5, and a flyby PACIFIC LOON
on December 6. 20 PURPLE SANDPIPERS frequent the jetty in front of the
Avalon Seawatch and 4 or more LONG-TAILED DUCKS are regular entertainers in
the waters right in front of the Seawatch. Visit the Avalon Seawatch any
day from sunrise to sunset - the location is along the seawall at the
junction of First Avenue and Seventh Street in Avalon. Take exit 13 east
from the Garden State Parkway and, upon entering Avalon, make the third left
onto First Avenue. Drive to the end.
NJ's first SNOWY OWL, discovered November 30 at the north end of Brigantine,
was seen as recently as December 5 and might still be there. SHORT-EARED
OWLS were thick at Corbin City WMA on December 4, when 10 were seen at dusk.
1-2 continue to be seen at Jakes Landing, along with dozens of N. HARRIER
(including a beautiful adult male), and
3 BALD EAGLES. Those of you keen on owls might want to make this the winter
you travel to witness an amazing incursion of northern owls.
100s of GREAT GRAY OWLS and N. HAWK OWLS are being seen in the Duluth, MN,
area and reported on the Duluth Rare Bird Alerts.
Several hundred AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER and 3 MARBLED GODWIT were in the
marshes behind Stone Harbor (best viewed from the end of 99th Street) on
December 3. An adult female PEREGRINE is a regular on Osprey platforms in
Waterfowl has arrived in big numbers on the Maurice River. On December 8,
1,000 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 670 MALLARDS, 800 N. PINTAIL, 100 GREEN-WINGED
TEAL, 100 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 100 BUFFLEHEAD, 102 RUDDY DUCKS, and 3
CANVASBACKS were found, along with 10 BALD EAGLES (including 4 adults and 6
The December 8 coldfront triggered a major movement of AMERICAN ROBINS at
both East Point in Cumberland County and at Cape May Point. At the Point
the flight also included numbers of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, AMERICAN
GOLDFINCH, and blackbirds.
CMBO's "Cape May Autumn Hawkwatch" 2004 FINAL TOTALS and the peak flight
(total and date) for each species can be viewed on NJ Audubon's web site:
Trees have been stripped of their leaves, making it easier to look through
the woods for large stick nests, built by Red-tailed Hawks last spring and
coveted now by Great Horned Owls looking for suitable nest sites to use in
January. GREAT HORNED OWLS have been vocal at dawn and dusk near potential
nest sites. Put off any woodland explorations on foot in the coming weeks
due to Deer Season. In Cape May County and parts of Cumberland County
Firearm Season runs from December 6-11, followed by Shotgun Season from
December 15-17 and Muzzle loading Season (December 13, 14, 18-24, 27-31, and
January 1-7, 2005). SUNDAYS are SAFE all over New Jersey; there is NO
HUNTING on SUNDAYS.
Learn how to spot owls and learn all about them by joining Pat Sutton during
one of the upcoming "All About Owls Workshop & Field Trips"
offered January 19 (1-5:30 p.m.) and January 27 (1-5:30 p.m.). Call
609-861-0700, x-11 to register! CMBO's "4-day Owls & Eagles Workshop"
(January 21-24, 2005) still has room. To learn more about this Cape May
Birding Workshops and be drawn to Cape May again and again by the great
selection of other 2005 workshops go to:
Backyard feeding stations are enjoying AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. PINE SISKINS,
PURPLE FINCH, and FOX SPARROWS.
Butterflies and dragonflies continue to surprise observers on warm days,
despite some freezing temperatures. COMMON BUCKEYE, ORANGE SULPHUR, and
COMMON GREEN DARNER were all seen this week. And SPRING PEEPERS were
CMBO's 2004 Autumn Monarch Monitoring Project ended with the lowest numbers
in the history of this full-time project. We can all help the Monarch
population by planting more Milkweed in our gardens. CMBO has Tropical
Milkweed seed packets for sale at our Center in Goshen (OPEN
DAILY: 1-4:30 PM). Plant them next spring and enjoy this annual milkweed
with its constant blooms all summer, right up until frost. The tender
leaves of this milkweed are especially attractive to egg-laying Monarchs.
Stop by while they last! Great gifts for anyone with a garden.
Enjoy early winter bird and late migrants by joining a CMBO weekly walk with
local experts : (1) Fridays (through December 17), "Late Fall Birding at
Cape May" with Mark Garland, meets at 8:00 a.m. at the hawkwatch platform in
Cape May Point State Park, (2) Saturdays (through December 11), "Fall
Migrants at the Rea Farm" meets at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot on Bayshore
Road (not at the Rea Farm produce stand on Stevens Street), and (3)
Wednesdays (through December 29), "Birding Cape May Point" meets at 7:30
a.m. in the "South Shelter" raised pavilion at the Cape May Point State
South Jersey's 3 Christmas Bird Counts are all on Sundays. Dates and
contacts follow. When leaving a phone message with count organizers be sure
to also leave your e-mail address. Cape May CBC, Sunday, December 19;
contact Louise Zemaitis at 609-898-9578. Belleplain CBC, Sunday, December
26; contact Paul Kosten at 609-861-5827. Cumberland County CBC, Sunday,
January 2; contact Clay & Pat Sutton at 609-465-3397 or
ANNOUNCEMENT -- Regarding the terrible oil spill in the Delaware River
-- if you want to help out, there are many opportunities both in NJ and
other affected states; for a start, see http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org
Tri State Bird Rescue is handling all the oiled birds. They need paper
towels, Q-Tips, flat sheets, bath towels, Ensure (Vanilla only) and
Pediolite (plain only). If people would like to drop off any of these items
at the Cape May Bird Observatory's Northwood Center in Cape May Point (701
E. Lake Drive -- open every day from 9 AM to 4:30 PM), CMBO will take items
to Tri State. Or you can make a donation of money or items directly to Tri
State Bird Rescue, 110 Possum Hollow Road, Newark DE 19711 (302-737-9543).
If you see any oiled Bald Eagles in NJ, please let Larissa Smith (NJ
Endangered & Nongame Species Program) know at 609-628-2103. If you see any
badly oiled birds you can report them to the USFWS hotline 215-365-2689.
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
our Winter (December 2004 - February 2005) Program Schedule (the Kestrel
Express), stop at one of our centers, call the office during business hours
at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's web site at
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
around Cape May County, and also include reports from 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!