CAPE MAY NATURAL HISTORY AND EVENTS HOTLINE, February 6, 2004
You have reached the Cape May Natural History & Events Hotline, a
service of New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory. This
message was prepared on Friday, February 6. 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 web site (http://www.njaudubon.org), by clicking on
"Sightings" at the top of any page.
GREAT HORNED OWLS have laid their eggs by now or will any day, they
being the earliest nesting bird. In most cases they use last season's
Red-tailed Hawk nest, or perhaps the nest of an Osprey or a Great Blue
Heron. Once the female has laid her eggs, they become very quiet; don't
make the mistake of thinking they've left. If you should find a nest,
study it from a safe distance (ideally with a telescope) & not too
often. The young won't be able to fly until late April or early May. A
watchable nest is the only time of year that Great Horned Owls are easy
Finally the snow has melted and iced in waterways are opening up.
LONG-TAILED DUCKS were concentrated and very feisty this past week in
Hereford Inlet, warming up for CMBO's "Longtails In Love" trip on
Saturday, February 14 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Savor waterfowl, gannets,
and other goodies with Mark Garland on the "Birding From the Ferry" trip
on Saturday, February 21 (7:00 to 11:00 a.m.) 25 COMMON EIDER, 3 KING
EIDER, and a male HARLEQUIN DUCK on February 5 at Cold Spring Jetty is
exciting news for CMBO's upcoming "Winter at Two Mile Beach" on Sunday,
February 29 (1:00 to 4:00 p.m.) with Mark Garland, a trip that will
explore the Cold Spring Jetty and other parts of the Cape May NWR's "Two
Mile Beach Unit." While there are still openings, call 609-861-0700,
x-11, to register for any of these trips.
SHORT-EARED OWLS tangle with ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and NORTHERN HARRIER at
Jakes Landing quite regularly this winter and elsewhere. 4 SHORT-EARED
OWLS hunted there on January 31, all hovering quite high between 5:15
and 5:45 p.m. Join CMBO's "Nightfall at Jakes Landing walk" (4:30 p.m.
to dusk) every Sunday evening at the end of Jakes Landing Road.
CMBO's "Winter Raptors of the Delaware Bayshore" discovered ROUGH-LEGGED
HAWKS on January 31 at Turkey Point (3), Maple Avenue (3), and Jakes
Landing (2). An immature GOLDEN EAGLE hunted the marshes on Glade Road
(the road between Rt. 47 and East Point) for a half hour.
Our resident adult BALD EAGLES can be found near their nests this time
of year, they being the second earliest nesting bird. Of the 45 pairs
in NJ, the first pair began incubating eggs on February 5 at a nest in
Greenwich. Others will follow over the next month or so. Many pairs
are busy adding sticks to their nests and can often be found perched
nearby. Be sure to report any behavior that may indicate nesting to the
NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Program at 609-628-2103, since you
might have discovered a new pair. CMBO is again offering "Bald Eagle
Cruises on the Maurice River" this spring; 8 trips (March 20 through
April 4). There is still room on all trips, but some are beginning to
fill. The next "Birding Cumberland" field trip with Clay and Pat Sutton
will cover the Cohansey River on Saturday, March 13 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00
p.m.), also a very eagle-y area! Call 609-861-0700, x-11, to register
while openings last!
The "Sunday Mornings at Turkey Point walk" (8:00-10:00 a.m.) requires no
preregistration and meets at the end of Turkey Point Road in Cumberland
County every Sunday between now and April 4. ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, BALD
EAGLE, COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED MERGANSER, sparrows in
protected sunny edges, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, and FOX have all been enjoyed.
AMERICAN WOODCOCK became very concentrated during the nasty stretch of
bitter cold and freezing temperatures. One survived by feeding in
thawed ground over an ancient septic system, others probed for
earthworms were leaf litter accumulated in sunny side yards and along
the road shoulder of Jakes Landing Road. One observer counted 50 on
January 31 along Bayshore Road. VIRGINIA RAILS were still being seen
this week along trails at the Cape May Point State Park. A good
old-fashioned nature walk with Mark Garland, "The Wonders of Winter," on
Sunday, February 8 (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) still has room. Learn how
creatures adapt and survive winter's freezes! As early as March, male
American Woodcock will be displaying to potential mates. Join Pat
Sutton to witness and learn all about this nuptial flight during the
"Woodcock Dance" field trip on Saturday, March 6 (5:00 to 7:00 p.m.).
Call 609-861-0700, x-11, to register. Also consider signing up to help
with an American Woodcock breeding survey on the Cape May National
Wildlife Refuge (45 minute surveys will be conducted after sunset
between April 10-30), by calling Heidi Hanlon, the refuge's wildlife
biologist, at (609) 463-0994.
Winter gardens are fun to explore now. Look for the very camouflaged
ways in which our insects winter over on last year's now-dead plant
stems: Preying Mantis egg cases, butterfly chrysalides, and moth
cocoons. Mark your calendars to accompany Mark Garland to see the
spring's first native wildflower in bloom during the "Skunk Cabbage
Celebration" on Sunday, February 22 (9:00 a.m. to Noon). Call
609-861-0700, x-11, to register for either.
CMBO's complete listing of "2004 Cape May Birding Workshops" is now
posted on New Jersey Audubon's web site:
http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/Cmboworks04.html Call 609-861-0700,
x-11, to request a brochure be sent to you once available.
Enjoy winter birding by joining CMBO for the following walks that
require no preregistration! EVERY SATURDAY, " Birding Cape May Point,"
8:00-10:00 a.m.; EVERY SUNDAY, "Nightfall at Jakes Landing," 4:30 p.m.
to dusk; EVERY SUNDAY, "Sunday Mornings at Turkey Point," 8:00-10:00
CMBO will next teach the "Nikon School of Birding" April 23-25, Friday
through Sunday. This workshop is designed to help birders of all
experience levels build better birding skills. Call 609-861-0700 or
stop by either center to request the Nikon School of Birding brochure.
There are many additional special programs being offered this winter.
Check CMBO's WINTER Program Schedule. To receive a copy, stop at either
of the two centers, or call the office during business hours at
609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's web site where a full
listing of CMBO's WINTER 2003 PROGRAMS (November, December, January,
February, and a few of the March programs) is posted at:
The NJ DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program is looking for
volunteers to survey reptiles and amphibians throughout NJ this spring.
Training seminars are offered 3 different dates: #1 February 28 at the
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (Classroom B126), in Pomona
(lecture: 9 a.m. - noon; field session: 1 - 3 p.m.); capacity: 50
persons. #2 March 6 at Hackettstown Natural Resource Education Center
(located within the Hackettstown Fish Hatchery), in Hackettstown
(lecture: 9 a.m. - noon; field session: 1 - 3 p.m.); capacity: 80
persons. #3 March 13 at Lord Stirling Environmental Education Center,
in Basking Ridge (lecture: 9 a.m. - noon; field session: 1 - 3 p.m.);
capacity: 75 persons. Participants may register via e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the training seminar you wish
to attend, name of attendee(s), your mailing address and telephone
number. An email containing registration confirmation and driving
directions to the appropriate seminar will be sent back to you. Those
without email capabilities can call 908-735-8975 to register. For more
information, visit the Division of Fish and Wildlife's website 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. Natural history sightings can be written
on sighting sheets at either CMBO center or called in to 609-861-0700.
Thanks for calling and ENJOY THE NATURAL WORLD!
New Jersey Audubon Society's
Cape May Bird Observatory
Center for Research & Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
609-861-0700, x-16 (phone) / 609-861-1651 (fax) email@example.com