There is an obvious need for such places as museums to get round this if they want to continue having specimens for scientific research and this is covered by a permit system, governed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. We have one of these permits in place at the Northwood Center, so we are allowed to temporarily hold dead birds that have been legally collected for a short time, before forwarding them to a licensed faculty. For more information on this from US Fish & Wildlife, click here.
Early December is providing us with a fine extension to November's good birding; the two Redheads continue on Bunker Pond, the Western Grebe continues in Cape May Harbor (best viewed from Delaware Avenue) and a late Osprey was reported several times from the Reeds Beach area. Common Redpolls remain elusive, but Tom Reed again had one at his Reeds beach feeder on 7th and a Vesper Sparrow was nearby the same day. Birds moving offshore are always tricky to catch up with, but one or two Razorbills continue to be reported - mostly from the Avalon Seawatch but Michael O'Brien also pulled one out of the bag at the 2nd Avenue jetty in Cape May on 7th, where a good loon and scoter movement was also taking place. Another King Eider flew south at Avalon on 7th and Chris Vogel found a male Common Teal at the Coastguard Ponds at Two-mile Beach the same day.
Recent news this morning includes two Orange-crowned Warblers and two Baltimore Orioles in the state park, by the yellow trail bridge, and a late Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on Oxford Avenue, here at the point.
Male Common Teal (left) at the Coastguard Ponds, December 7th. Note the lack of a vertical white stripe on the breast side. This bird doesn't yet have a full horizontal white line on the tertials so if you go looking, beware of male Green-winged Teals still in molt which may not yet have a full vertical line on the breast side. If you get lucky with a closer view, the head patterns are subtly different too [photo by Sam Galick].
Two female Redheads continue to show well on Bunker Pond at Cape May Point State Park [photo by Sam Galick].
A common wintering bird with us, but still a great sight and close up views like this reveal the wonderful colors in the head feathers of a male Bufflehead [photo by Sam Galick].
Now that winter flocks of Common Grackles are roaming the county, check through them for other species. Here are just a few of the 80 or so Rusty Blackbirds that are currently in a grackle flock roaming Villas - here seen on Maryland Avenue [photo by Sam Galick].