Friday, February 17, 2017

Great Backyard Bird Count Event

Northwood Center
Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 10:00 - 4:00 PM
Join us for a special, free, family-friendly event this weekend at the Northwood Center in Cape May Point, in celebration of the Great Backyard Bird Count. With your help, we will conduct hourly counts of the many different types of birds at our feeders and surrounding habitat, with walks along the Ryan De Witt Memorial Path led by our Associate Naturalists. Learn how to identify and attract birds t...o your home. Hourly counts/walks will be held at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, & 3:00, with the data being posted on a tally board in the center and entered into the national database. Join in the fun and help us enjoy the beauty of backyard birds!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Coming Up: Register today for Longtails in Love!

Join Chuck and Mary Jane Slugg and other CMBO Naturalists tomorrow for their annual "Longtails in Love" outing for up close looks at Longtail Ducks, scoters, mergansers, and other waterfowl along the barrier islands of Cape May County.

Call 609-400-3864 by 4 pm today register for tomorrow's event!
Click picture to enlarge
And, if you're up early on Sunday, join us at the Northwood Center on Lake Lily in Cape May Point. No need to register for this walk.

Finish off the long weekend by coming on our Bird Walk for Beginners on Monday at 10 am at Cape May Point State Park (meet near the Hawkwatch Platform). No need to register for this walk.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Coming Up: Brigantine & Mott's Creek, Sunday, January 29th

Click picture to enlarge
Register now for this Sunday's trip to Edwin B. Forsythe NWR (aka Brigantine). After birding the refuge, the group will head to nearby Mott's Creek for raptor watching. Join Janet Crawford and other CMBO Naturalists by contacting our Program Registrar at (609) 400-3864 or by email to

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wintering Hawks, Eagles & Owls with Pete Dunne

Gray Ghost Hunting

January 14 & 15, 2017
Pete Dunne and Brett Ewald
Our first School of Birding workshop of the year was very rewarding, as a nice mix of raptors and other birds were studied and appreciated. A fun group of 15 participants made the workshop even more enjoyable, totaling 57 species (summary below).
The morning of the first day was spent surveying several bayshore locations, searching the extensive marshes for winter visitors and those that are already starting courtship for the upcoming breeding season. Stops included Thompson’s Beach, East Point Lighthouse, and Jake’s Landing. We were treated to the various ages and plumages of Northern Harrier, including an actively hunting adult male – Gray Ghost – a beautiful example of a species adapted for that habitat. Bald Eagles were very prominent, with numbers of adults and a few immatures seen. One presumably local pair was constantly escorted out of one area by a diligent pair of resident Red-tailed Hawks. At least five Short-eared Owls were patrolling the distant marshes, resulting in several inter-species interactions, as well as passes made at Northern Harriers and Bald Eagles. A lounging Peregrine Falcon on one of the platforms took it all in stride. Vultures, mostly Turkey, were always rocking back and forth over the surrounding landscape. The flashing past of a Sharp-shinned Hawk helped to conclude the morning’s sightings.

Mott's Creek
Some showers in the afternoon gave us a chance to get acquainted and go over the morning’s checklist at the Observatory’s Center for Research and Education. A presentation on the wintering raptors of New Jersey allowed for a comprehensive review of identification features and discussion on behavior, seasonality, and habitat.

The second day found us exploring coastal areas, this time on the Atlantic Ocean side. Our first stop was the famous Brigantine section of the Edwin Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, where dikes though the tidal marshes allow for an immersion within the habitat. Renowned as a waterfowl stopover location, we were surrounded by many geese, ducks, and swans, with an occasional Great Blue Heron thrown in. The vocal flocks of Snow Geese were especially notable. Of course, where there is a prey base, there will be raptors. Bald Eagles were constantly perusing the area, often putting up flocks of birds as they passed. Northern Harriers also seemed to be coursing everywhere on the refuge. At least two Peregrine Falcons were present – one adult loafing on a post. A Northern Harrier made quite a show of expressing its displeasure at having the Peregrine around.

Bald Eagle on Nest

The environs of Mott’s Creek proved a relaxing environment to observe raptors in the afternoon, with Northern Harriers once again providing almost constant motion. The highlight here was our only Rough-legged Hawk of the workshop – a northern breeder that is only present in very small numbers in New Jersey. A Common loon drifting by and a Belted Kingfisher also caught our attention while scanning for raptors. All in all, a perfect setting and ending to another fantastic workshop.

For more information about upcoming School of Birding Workshops, Special Field Trips, or Weekly Walks, click here – CMBO Programs

Snow Goose – 750+
Brant – 100+
Canada Goose – 100+
Mute Swan – 4
Tundra Swan – 2
Gadwall – 25+
Gray Ghost
American Black Duck – 100+

Mallard – 50+
Northern Pintail – 50+
Greater Scaup – 10+
Long-tailed Duck – 3
Bufflehead – 25+
Common Goldeneye – 6
Hooded Merganser – 10+
Red-breasted Merganser – 10+
Ruddy Duck – 6
Common Loon – 1
Pied-billed Grebe – 1
Great Blue Heron – 10+

Black Vulture – 6
Turkey Vulture – 50+
Northern Harrier – 25
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Bald Eagle – 15
Red-tailed Hawk – 7
Owl Watching at Jake's Landing
Rough-legged Hawk – 1
Black-bellied Plover -3
Dunlin – 10+
Ring-billed Gull – 10+
Herring Gull – 100+
Great Black-backed Gull – 3
Rock Pigeon – 10+
Mourning Dove – 10+
Short-eared Owl – 5
Belted Kingfisher – 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1
Northern Flicker – 2
Peregrine Falcon – 3
Blue Jay – 3
American Crow – 10+
Carolina Chickadee – 3
Tufted Titmouse – 1
Eastern Bluebird – 2
American Robin – 250+
Northern Mockingbird – 1
European Starling – 50+
Fox Sparrow – 1
White-throated Sparrow – 3
Savannah Sparrow – 2
Song Sparrow – 2
Eastern Towhee – 1
Northern Cardinal – 3
Red-winged Blackbird – 10+
Eastern Meadowlark – 1
Common Grackle – 25+
Boat-tailed Grackle – 25+
American Goldfinch - 3

Thursday, January 5, 2017

It's a New Year, and a great time to come birding in Cape May!

Now that the New Year is underway, it's time to sign-up with CMBO for winter birding workshops and field trips!
Coming up next week, Pete Dunne's Wintering Hawks, Eagles, and Owls two-day workshop and a new field trip, Coastal Birding at Two Mile. 
To register, call our Program Registrar at (609) 400-3864 or email her at

Friday, December 16, 2016

Coming Up: Kick Off Your Year List, January 1st with CMBO!

It's not too early to start planning for the New Year! Join Program Director, Brett Ewald and CMBO Naturalists on January 1st and get started on your 2017 bird list! We start in Cape May Point and go where the birds are. Recent years have produced over 70 species, including many seasonal highlights and rarities. We’ll break for an hour or so at midday for lunch and to warm up. Preregistration required. Cost:  $25 members, $35 nonmembers

CMBO will be closed for the holidays from December 24 to January 1, so make sure you register by December 23! Call our Program Registrar at (609) 400-3864 or email her at

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Coming Up: Harlequin Romance on Saturday, December 10th

Register now for this Saturday's trip to Barnegat Light where Harlequin Ducks and Purple Sandpipers have arrived! Our annual trip has regularly provided us with exceptional views of Harlequin Ducks, as well as an array of other winter birds, including Snow Bunting, Iceland Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, King Eider and more. Join Brett Ewald, Program Director and CMBO Naturalists by contacting our Program Registrar at (609) 400-3864 or by email to