Saturday, February 9, 2008

Raptor Workshop: New Eagle Nest at Jake's, Owls aplenty

Yesterday (Friday February 8) was day one of CMBO's Cape May School of Birding workshop, Wintering Raptors on the Delaware Bayshore, and the raptors did not disappoint our 24 participants.

One of the highlights was a pair of adult Bald Eagles bringing material to an Osprey platform at Jake's Landing. From the end of the road, facing the creek, scan to the right down the creek channel - the platform is pretty far but still easily visible with binoculars. We also saw the pair copulating.

In other eagle news, the Beaver Dam pair was present, with the female on the nest. Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers fed in the wetland there. We probably saw 8-10 other eagles during the day as we worked our way north to Dividing Creek.

At Turkey Point, a very cooperative Short-eared Owl was up well before sundown. At dusk, a Great-horned Owl teed up at the edge of the marsh, as they often do - this is an easy spot to find this species. Even better, a Long-eared Owl flew out while we watched the Great-horned, and we finished up by calling in a red morph Screech Owl. Other highlights from the day included about 3 Cooper's Hawks, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and innumerable harriers and redtails.

We're off to Tuckahoe tomorrow, hopefully for Rough-legged Hawks among others.

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