CAPE MAY NATURAL HISTORY AND EVENTS HOTLINE, April 29, 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 Friday, April 29. 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" (top of any page).
Fledgling Masters are on display in the Gallery at the CMBO Center in
Goshen (600 Rt. 47 North), including young artists from around the
country (ages 13 to 22): Jesse Barry, Evan Obercian, and Cape Mays own
Doyle Dowdell (age 13) are some of the many artists. Dont miss it:
9-4:30 daily. Stop by and be awed by this assemblage of young talent.
A call for volunteers can be found at the end of this hotline.
Spring has FLOODED into every nook and cranny of Cape May County. A din
of songsters on territory adds an auditory bonus to any outing!
Belleplain State Forest, hotspots in Cumberland County, and sites
around Cape May abound with singing warblers, vireos, flycatchers,
cuckoos, and other goodies! And the trees have not leafed out yet, so
observers are savoring good looks. Attend one or all of CMBOs 17+
different weekly spring walks, requiring no preregistration. For
details on each walk, go to:
Marshes are greening up! BALD EAGLES (49 pairs in NJ) have growing
young that are beginning to peek over the nest edge and be visible.
Many OSPREY are incubating eggs, others are about to. RUBY-THROATED
HUMMINGBIRDS are back at habitats complimented by feeders. Males
arrived first in a flood of sightings around April 19; females followed
just this week. With so little in bloom right now, feeders are the key
to getting them to nest in your yard. The male display flight has been
seen in Goshen, so females could soon be on nests. The first PIPING
PLOVERS laid eggs April 18 at Stone Harbor Point and Cape May Point
State Park. TREE SWALLOWS are investigating houses. PURPLE MARTINS are
thick at the Cape May Point State Park. The faint calls of E
MEADOWLARKS and WHIMBREL and the din SEASIDE SPARROWS buzzing, CLAPPER
RAILS clapping, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS konk-a-reeing, WILLET wee
willit-ing, and FORSTERS TERNS kerr-ing fills the marshes at Jakes
Landing and other Delaware Bayshore spots. N. GANNETS are migrating by
in force, with 150 off Cape May Point on April 22.
The trees are all in the early stages of leafing out. The landscape is
gauzy green. BATS are flying at dusk. FROGS are noisy now. Listen for
CARPENTER FROGS hammering nails (or typing) at Beaver Swamp WMA and
FOWLERS TOADS wailing (just about anywhere). 100s of BLUE CORPORALS
have emerged and can be found cruising sand roads. 100s of SPRING
AZURES have emerged and can be seen as one walks sand roads or field
trails. It is a good year for FALCATE ORANGETIPS, with easy looks since
April 18 at Beaver Swamp WMA and Peaslee WMA. BROWN ELFINS, HENRYS
ELFINS, and JUVENALS DUSKYWINGS are flying at Peaslee WMA and Jakes
Landing Road. AMERICAN COPPERS and PEARL CRESCENTS have emerged.
AMERICAN LADIES have arrived from the south and are laying eggs in
CMBOs garden in Goshen and elsewhere. WHITE M HAIRSTREAKS can occur in
the spring, but are rarely seen. One was at Jakes Landing Road near the
overgrown field on April 28. What are all these spring butterflies
nectaring on? Believe it or not, Dandelion is an important spring
nectar plant, as is Purple Dead Nettle, another often unappreciated
This Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m., stop by the CMBO
Center in Goshen where the Annual Plant Swap and Native Plant Sale for
Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens will be held. Bring potted up
divisions from your most vigorous or volunteer trees and shrubs and go
home with new gems that others are sharing. Have no plants to bring? No
problem. Plants will be available for $2 each, with a limit of three
per person, until 1 p.m. During the last hour (1-2 p.m.) there will be
no limit and you can buy as many plants as you want for $2 each! What a
steal! Native trees and shrubs and perennials will also be on sale, as
they are every day at CMBOs Center for Research & Education in Goshen.
Visit the World of Backyard Habitat pages on NJ Audubons website for
Mark Garlands Introduction to Wildflower Identification this Sunday
(May 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., based at the CMBO Center in Goshen) still
has room. Learn to ID the many wildflowers that are keeping newly
arrived Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and the early butterflies alive! Pat
Sutton & Rick Radis Hessels Hairstreaks, Elfins, and Pigmy Pines
trip on Saturday, May 7 (10 a.m. to 3 pm., based at Warren Grove) still
has a few spaces. The din of bird and frog song now, day and night, is
the ultimate spring experience. Learn just what youre listening to by
joining Mark Garland and Chris Vogel for Listening to the Night on
Monday, May 9 (9 to 11 p.m., based at Jakes Landing). To register for
these specially arranged outings, held at key times to witness special
happenings, call 609-861-0700, x11.
The aerial parade of herons, egrets, and ibis has begun! 100 GLOSSY
IBIS were feeding at Beaver Swamp WMA on April 26; they pass over the
CMBO Center in Goshen daily. The Nummys Island Bird Walk on April 27
witnessed 1000s of flushed shorebirds in wavy lines along the length of
the horizon over inaccessible back bay marshes, undoubtedly flushed by
a PEREGRINE. COMMON LOONS, some in full breeding plumage and others
still in winter plumage, were also seen. Noisy AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS
stole the show until 70 WHIMBREL flew over. Two Wednesday evening
Sunset Cruises for Spring Migrants and Heron Rookeries on May 11 and
May 18 (3 to 7 p.m.) explore these inaccessible back bay marshes where
all these goodies can be enjoyed up close and personal. To register
call 609-861-0700, x11. Another opportunity to cruise through marshes
is the Back Bay Boat Cruise (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) every Sunday and
Monday. To register for the Back Bay Boat Cruises call The Skimmer
directly at 609-884-3100.
CLAPPER RAILS bathing in creeks at low tide are being seen during the
Clapper Rail Madness trips which meet at the end of Jakes Landing
Road: May 6 (2:30-4 p.m.) and May 13 (8-9:30 a.m.). No preregistration
needed; just come!
Breeding warblers are back! A 2-Day Warbler Workshop, May 9 & 10
(Monday & Tuesday), with Louise Zemaitis and Michael OBrien still has
spaces. To register call 609-861-0700, x-11. This is one of CMBOs 2005
Cape May Birding Workshops (15 different offerings) all timed to learn
and savor peak concentrations. To receive the workshop brochure call
609-861-0700 or go to:
The ultimate spring experience is New Jersey Audubon Societys Cape May
Spring Weekend (May 20-22, 2005). The brochure is now available (call
for a copy) and a downloadable pdf version is available on the website:
Once youve read over the brochure, direct any questions to Sheila Lego
or Marleen Murgitroyde at 609-884-2736
SHOREBIRD STEWARDS NEEDED: Red Knot need all the help they can get.
Wintering numbers were even lower than last winters low numbers. The
NJ Endangered & Nongame Species program welcomes volunteer SHOREBIRD
STEWARDS on NJs Delaware Bay beaches May 14-15 and May 21 to June 5.
Training session in early May (TBA). Contact Larissa Smith
(609-628-2103 or LLSmith@gtc3.com) for more details and to sign up.
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDS needed at the Cape May NWRs Two Mile Beach
Unit, May 26 - September 11 (30 hours/week; $200/week). Send a resume
and letter of interest (by April 29) to: Cape May NWR, 24 Kimbles Beach
Road, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210; 609-463-0994.
GREAT BLUE HERON COLONIES: The Endangered and Nongame Species Program
is conducting a survey of Great Blue Heron colonies across New Jersey.
If you are aware of colonies (of any size) in Cumberland and Cape May
counties, please contact Chris Kisiel (609-628-2103 or
Special programs and field trips in addition to those already mentioned
follow (prices vary: call 609-861-0700 for info and to register):
Shorebird & Horseshoe Crabs Galore, Th., May 19 (3 to 5 p.m.), Wed.,
May 25 (3 to 5 p.m.), Th., May 26 (3 to 5 p.m.), Fri., May 27 (3 to 5
p.m.), and Sat., May 28 (3 to 5 p.m.).
Cruisin For Chicks at Sunset, Th., June 16 (3 to 6 p.m.), and Sat.,
June 18 (5 to 8 p.m.).
Drawing With Nature (Saturdays: May 28, June 25, July 30, Aug. 27).
Dragons & Damsels in CMBOs Gardens, Saturday, June 18 (10 a.m. to
Kayak Trips to Wild Areas Great Cedar Swamp (Tu., June 21), Bidwells
Creek (Th., July 7), East Creek Lake and Pickle Factory Pond (Tu., July
26, and Tu., Aug. 16).
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. All are
detailed in the Kestrel Express. To receive a copy stop at either CMBO
Center, call the office during business hours at 609-861-0700, or go to
New Jersey Audubon's web site:
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!
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)
pat.sutton AT njaudubon.org