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, June 13. 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.
Thousands of shorebirds were still gathered on the Delaware Bay beaches
feeding on Horseshoe Crab eggs on Friday, June 6. By Saturday, June 7,
they were gone . . . having left in the night; one observer at Fortescue
counted only 13 Sanderlings on June 7. NJ Audubon has launched a grass
roots campaign asking for the Governor of NJ to enact an immediate
moratorium on harvest of horseshoe crabs. Details on how you can help
can be found at:
The few HOT days we've had have really activated turtles (mostly MUD
TURTLE & BOX TURTLE) and snakes. Sadly dozens have been hit by cars.
One RAT SNAKE was zig-zagged across a road taking a sun bath on the warm
asphalt when a keen naturalist popped on his car's flashers, pulled to
the side, & dashed out to rescue it. A ROUGH GREEN SNAKE was found at
Higbee Beach on June 6.
MOUNTAIN LAUREL is in full bloom in Belleplain State Forest, at Jakes
Landing Road, and elsewhere. The lovely white blossoms on ARROWWOOD
(VIBURNUM DENTATUM) adorn roadsides now. The Cape May Bird
Observatory's gardens are coming into their own, lush with color. If
you'd like to learn as you help CMBO maintain these gardens in Goshen,
join Karen Williams every Friday (9:30 a.m.-Noon) for a "Garden
Maintenance Workshop." Plant divisions are often delightful payment for
your labor and having a chance to learn so much from Karen as you work.
Another terrific opportunity to learn, includes CMBO's "Introduction to
Wildflower Identification" with Mark Garland on Saturday, June 14. Call
(609) 861-0700, x-11, to register. Enjoy all elements of the natural
world with Mark Garland during "The Nature of Cape May," on June 19
(9:00 to 11:00 a.m.) at the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area.
A special "Cruisin' for Chicks" trip still has room (Saturday, June 14:
5-8 p.m.). OSPREY and LAUGHING GULL chicks are hatching now. Herons
and egrets are on their hidden nests with newly hatched young. Many of
the other marsh nesting birds lost their nests to flooding during super
high tides and northeasters in May, but many of these birds are
resilient and have already renested, so the activity is still at a peak
for FORSTER'S TERNS, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS, CLAPPER RAILS, and more!
Sign up by calling (609) 861-0700, x-11. "Back Bay Birding By Boat"
cruises, every Sunday and Monday (10:00 a.m. to Noon), offer comfortable
and close looks at shorebirds, herons, egrets, Ospreys feeding their
young, and maybe even a Clapper Rail or two as the boat travels through
the saltmarsh and back bays (call Wildlife Unlimited, call 609-884-3100
to register for these CMBO-sponsored trips).
The Stone Harbor Point colony of nesting terns is dazzling this year! To
fully drink it in, join CMBO Associate Naturalists Gail Dwyer & Dick
Turner for CMBO's "Stone Harbor Point Bird Walk," every Sunday
(7:30-9:30 a.m.). There are 5-6 pairs of PIPING PLOVER, @ 200-300
BLACK SKIMMERS, 60+ pairs of LEAST TERNS, 70-80+ pairs of COMMON TERNS,
2 pairs of GULL-BILLED TERNS, and 6 pairs of AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (& 4
PURPLE MARTINS that survived this wet, cold spring began laying eggs on
June 6 at the Cape May Point State Park colony, almost two weeks later
than normal. The colony at the Cape May Bird Observatory Center in
Goshen has 9 nests being built, but no eggs yet. Any day! Learn all
about Purple Martins, how to attract them, what their habitat needs are,
proper housing, precautions, and maintenance needed to ensure a
successful colony by joining Pat Sutton during the "Purple Martin Nest
Check" every Friday (thru August 1) from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. (weather
permitting: canceled on rainy days) at the CMBO Center in Goshen.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are now on nests at the CMBO Center in
Goshen. The CORAL HONEYSUCKLE (a beautiful native honeysuckle) and RED
HOT POKER are in full bloom and attracting them as well as CMBO's
well-maintained hummingbird feeders. Be sure to keep your feeders
clean, by thoroughly washing & refilling at least once a week, even if
use is minimal. CMBO carries HummZinger feeders, which are one of the
easiest feeders to clean and very well-thought out. Stop by & check
Sunny, warm days are needed to see butterflies and dragonflies, since
they are solar powered. Enjoyed this week in CMBO's gardens in Goshen
and elsewhere were: TIGER SWALLOWTAIL, BLACK SWALLOWTAIL (and their
caterpillars on Bronze Fennel), CABBAGE WHITE, OLIVE' JUNIPER
HAIRSTREAK, E. TAILED BLUE, PEARL CRESCENT, QUESTION MARK (laying eggs
on hops vine), AMERICAN LADY caterpillars on Sweet Everlasting, MOURNING
CLOAK, RED ADMIRAL (& their caterpillars on Stinging Nettle) ,
SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPER, LEAST SKIPPER, and ZABULON SKIPPER. Dragons and
damsels enjoyed this week include: COMMON GREEN DARNER, SEASIDE
DRAGONLET, and FRAGILE FORKTAIL. Their season has been held up by all
the cold and rain. Join Pat Sutton at the Cape May Bird Observatory
Center in Goshen (600 Rt. 47 North) each Wednesday (10:00 a.m. to Noon)
for a "Butterfly & Dragonfly Walk in CMBO's Gardens." CMBO's dragonfly
pond in Goshen has been an overwintering nursery for many dragonflies;
we're finding shed skins for individuals that have emerged as winged
Two opportunities to bird and learn the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge
(also fondly called, "The Meadows") include: (1) "Mondays at the
Meadows" walk, every Monday (7:30-9:30 a.m.) and (2) "Sunset Birding at
the Meadows," every Friday (6:30-8:30 p.m.). These walks are now
enjoying the nesting birds that will be here all summer. The PIPING
PLOVER nest here is one of the few that was not lost to flooding this
spring and 3 chicks can now be enjoyed. WILSON'S STORM PETREL are being
seen regularly on walks here by scanning offshore. A VIRGINIA RAIL was
enjoyed here on June 9.
Additional regularly scheduled walks that require no preregistration and
will help you enjoy birding and summer's nesting birds include: "Birding
for First Timers" every Sunday (1-3 p.m.) and "Birding Cape May Point"
every Wednesday (7:30-9:30 a.m.). CMBO's full listing of SUMMER 2003
PROGRAMS (June-August) is posted on New Jersey Audubon's web site at
http://www.njaudubon.org/Calendar/calcmbo.html If you are not a member
and would like to receive a copy of the Cape May Bird Observatory's
program schedule, call (609) 861-0700.
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 site mentioned above.
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)