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 Thursday, April 24. 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
GREAT HORNED OWLS are our earliest nesting bird and their young will be
the first to fledge. A nest in Elsinboro, near Salem at the end of
Money Island Road has one sizable owlet in it that can be easily viewed
by day. The Great Horneds have used an old Osprey nest. Enjoy it now.
As soon as this youngster can fly it will disappear.
BALD EAGLES are the second earliest nesting bird. Their young are over
a month old now and becoming visible in some nests. There are 38 pairs
in New Jersey this spring, though not all have been successful. One new
nest is deep within Beaver Swamp WMA, just up Sluice Creek from the Cape
May Bird Observatory's Center in Goshen and one of the adults is seen
almost daily from the center as it hunts Sluice Creek or follows the
creek out to the Delaware Bay.
RED-TAILED HAWKS are on nests now and might be seen chasing off
wandering Red-tails from near their nests.
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS and E. PHOEBES have been back a while and are
beginning to build their nests this week.
PURPLE MARTINS, TREE SWALLOWS, and E. BLUEBIRDS are all showing interest
in nest boxes at the Cape May Bird Observatory Center in Goshen, though
the recent rains and cold weather played havoc with insect eating birds
the last few weeks.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are daily now at the CMBO Center in Goshen.
Be sure to get your feeders up, especially if you would like them to
nest in your yard. Clean feeders at least once a week, even if use is
minimal. And of course be sure to also provide a lush butterfly &
Bird song in Belleplain State Forest is a joy now with many of the
breeding warblers and other speciality birds back: LOUISIANA
WATERTHRUSH, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, BLACK AND WHITE
WARBLER, OVENBIRD, WORM-EATING WARBLER, HOODED WARBLER, and ACADIAN
FLYCATCHER. At Jakes Landing a din of CLAPPER RAILS, WILLET, FORSTER'S
TERNS, and SEASIDE SPARROWS call from the marshes. The "Birds of
Belleplain State Forest" walk every Thursday and every Saturday
(7:30-10:30 a.m.) and the "Back Trails of Belleplain" walk every Monday
(7:30-9:30 a.m.) are a MUST! And if you seriously want to learn bird
songs join Pat Sutton for "Birding by Ear Walk" each Wednesday,
CMBO's "Cruisin for Loons" trip on Saturday, April 26 (12:30 to 5 p.m.)
still has room and is looking forward to savoring this magic time when
winter loons (RED-THROATED LOONS and COMMON LOONS) are coming into
breeding plumage just before they migrate north. Call (609) 861-0700,
x-11, to sign up. The few CLAPPER RAILS that tried to winter here were
hard hit by the ice and snow and the winter marshes were silent.
They've returned in masses and their calls are already deafening as they
begin their breeding season. Join Pat Sutton or Judy Lukens for one of
the specially arranged "Clapper Rail Madness" programs to actually see
these very secretive birds: Friday, April 25 (12:30 to 2:00 p.m.);
Saturday, April 26 (1:30 to 3:00 p.m.); Friday, May 2 (5 to 6:30 p.m.);
call (609) 861-0700, x-11 to register. "Back Bay Birding By Boat"
cruises, every Sunday and Monday (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), offer comfortable
and close looks at birds of the saltmarsh and back bays (call Wildlife
Unlimited, call 609-884-3100 to register for these CMBO-sponsored
trips). A special "Sunset Cruise for Spring Migrants and Heron
Rookeries" on Saturday, May 3 (3-7 p.m.), still has room; sign up by
calling (609) 861-0700, x-11.
Take advantage of the "Binoculars and Spotting Scopes for Bird &
Butterfly Watching Workshop" on Sunday, April 27 (from 1-3 p.m.) at
CMBO's center in Goshen to learn what is best suited for you and to
fully savor spring's birds, butterflies, dragonflies, flowering plants,
Stretches of cold and rain have held back butterflies and dragonflies.
But the few warm, sunny days or even days with a few hours of these
conditions have produced butterflies. New butterflies seen this week
include: FALCATE ORANGETIP (April 22, Weatherby Road in northern Cape
May Co.), E. TAILED BLUE (April 23), JUVENAL'S DUSKYWING (April 22 on
Jakes Landing). PINE ELFIN, HENRY'S ELFIN, BROWN ELFIN, and SPRING
AZURE are all flying still. Enjoy these spring specialities while they
last! 100 ORANGE SULPHURS were at Woodcock Trail in the Cape May NWR on
April 24, the first sign of numbers of these common butterflies, along
with an AMERICAN LADY, an immigrant from the south. EVERLASTING is
about 3" high along road shoulders in Belleplain State Forest and will
attract American Ladies looking to lay eggs. Dragonfly sightings have
been sparse with the cold and wet conditions, though a few BLUE
CORPORALS are being seen. A "Butterfly & Dragonfly Walk" with Pat
Sutton at the Dennisville RR tracks is offered every Wednesday, from 10
a.m.-Noon. Join Mark Garland for two natural history outings: "Spring
at Two Mile Beach" every Wednesday (2-4 p.m.) and "The Nature of Cape
May" every Thursday (9-11 a.m.).
BLUEBERRY bushes are in bud. Many trees are budding and giving a gauzy
look to the forests and new green shoots of Spartina are peeking through
last year's brown stalks on the saltmarsh. SASSAFRAS buds, big and
yellow, are eye-catching. SHADBUSH is in bloom along the Parkway and
other roads of South Jersey. This small native tree has dainty white
flowers, blooms when the Shad are running up the Delaware Bay, and
fruits in June, hence it's other name, JUNEBERRY. PIXIE MOSS (a Pine
Barrens speciality at the northern limit of its range), SWAMP PINK (an
Endangered Plant in New Jersey), and TRAILING ARBUTUS (found along the
sandy woods trails of Belleplain State Forest) are all in bloom right
now. Savor these spring specialities!
CMBO's Center for Research & Education in Goshen will host its "6th
Annual Plant Swap & Plant Sale for Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens"
Saturday, April 26 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Bring your extra perennials
that need dividing. Last year's plant swap had gems and favorites like
Coral Bells, Anise Hyssop, Bee Balm, Catmint, Mountain Mint, Boltonia,
Cardinal Flower, New York Ironweed, Viburnum, Black Chokeberry, and Red
Cedar. Don't miss this great and cost-free opportunity to start your
first garden or expand on an already existing garden. A great way to
get design ideas is by attending CMBO 1st ever "Spring Tour of Private
Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens," on Saturday, May 3 (1-4 p.m.); sign up
(spaces are limited) by calling (609) 861-0700, x-11. If you'd like to
learn as you help CMBO maintain its gardens in Goshen, join Karen
Williams on Fridays (9:30 a.m.-Noon) for "Garden Maintenance
Workshops." Plant divisions are often delightful payment for your labor
and having a chance to learn so much from Karen as you work.
Additional regularly scheduled walks that require no preregistration and
will help you witness spring unfolding include: "Higbee Beach Bird Walk"
every Friday (7:30-9:30 a.m.), "Spring Migrants at the Rea Farm" every
Saturday (7:30-9:30 a.m.), "Hidden Valley for Birds & Butterflies" every
Sunday (7-9 a.m.), "Raptors and Songbirds of Delaware Bayshore" every
Sunday (8-10 a.m.), "Birding for First Timers" every Sunday (1-3
p.m.),"Mondays at the Meadows" every Monday (7:30-9:30 a.m.), "Sunset
Birding at Stone Harbor Point & Nummy's Island" every Tuesday (6 p.m. to
dusk), and "Birding Cape May Point" every Wednesday (7:30-9:30 a.m.).
Full details about cost & meeting place can be found at NJ Audubon's web
CMBO's full listing of spring programs (April - June) is posted on New
Jersey Audubon's web site at
http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html CMBO's spring program
schedule, the Kestrel Express, is now available. If you are not a
member and would like to receive a copy, stop by either CMBO Center or
call (609) 861-0700.
New Jersey Audubon Society's 20th Annual World Series of Birding has a
record 72 teams signed up so far, including 13 YOUTH TEAMS, and will be
held on Saturday, May 10th, 2003. This event draws teams from all over
the country and offers a forum for groups to raise money for their
respective conservation causes. To learn more go to:
The Cape May Bird Observatory offers an extensive series of regular bird
and butterfly 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 Program Schedule, stop at one of our centers,
call the office
during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to New Jersey Audubon's WEB
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)