Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fall is (almost) HERE! Come Birding!

Fall is here! Okay, so the Autumn Equinox is still weeks away, but we all know that bird migration happens year-round, and what we consider "fall migration", the southbound movement of billions of birds each year, begins in earnest while tens of thousands of tourists are still flocking to our summer beaches. But recently we've had some drier winds from the northwest, we've even seen cooler temperatures showing up farther north, albeit from our weather apps and weather stations, but it's still clear as day that fall is indeed coming, even if it's not officially here. A few offshore storms are setting the surfers into overdrive as well, and birders anxiously await anything pelagic that might blow in. This is also the time for Jaegers to begin their southbound movement out of the Arctic breeding grounds and down both coasts, so seeing a jaeger offshore of Cape May now isn't rare at all, but seeing one overhead, over land, is always a head-scratcher and draws some excitement. So today when the alert came out that a Jaeger species was soaring over Stevens Street with Turkey Vultures, I had to smile and think "yup, Cape May!"

Here's a photo of the bird, with a Tree Swallow, taken by the original observer and resident of Stevens Street, Michael O'Brien. Michael later confirmed that this was indeed a young Parasitic Jaeger, the "expected" jaeger species from shore here in Cape May.

Fall is (almost) HERE! Come Birding!

Juvenile Parasitic Jaeger soaring overhead with a Tree Swallow above it.
Steven's Street, West Cape May, NJ Aug. 30, 2016. © Michael O'Brien

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