Friday, April 6, 2018

Back-to-back Birding Bonanza!!!!! BIRDING WITH A PURPOSE with Tom Johnson & LEARNING TO HEAR BIRD SOUND with Scott Whittle

These two exciting workshops are new offerings by the Cape May School of Birding - sure to please and educate at the same time - and run in succession, so consider taking both and double your fun!!

with Tom Johnson

This NEW workshop will emphasize how to document unusual sightings, and underscore that birders usually carry something with them that can record sound.  Join Tom Johnson and go through the steps explaining how to use your smart phone (or sound recorder, if you have one) to make serviceable recordings and then add them to eBird checklists as documentation. An additional segment will focus on documentation photos and how to add them to eBird. This workshop will involve spending half your time in the field collecting photos and audio, and the other half in a classroom setting learning to edit and upload.  

Sunday, April 22
7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
$48 members, $64 nonmembers

with Scott Whittle

Spring is alive with birdsong, but how can we understand what they're saying?  Scott Whittle is the co-author of the Warbler Guide, Warbler Guide App, and the new BirdGenie song identification app, and will help you decode the sounds you hear and turn them into identifications.  He uses a unique structural, objective approach to listening, so instead of trying to listen for subtle quality differences or fuzzy descriptions, he'll be teaching the four basic questions you can ask about a song, and the simple things you can do to separate it from any other song.  Come listen with us and open up a whole new dimension to your understanding and enjoyment of the natural world.  

Monday, April 23 & Tuesday, April 24
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
$150 members, $200 nonmembers

Register now for either/both programs at: Cape M:ay School of Birding

Northern Gannets Galore!!!

There has been an enormous number of Northern Gannets massing and migrating past Cape May Point and other areas of southern New Jersey the past several days - following the coastline and feeding in the near-shore waters. These large seabirds (3' tall, 6' wingspan, and weighing over 6 lbs.) are beautiful flyers, and making their way north to breeding colonies on cliffs in northern maritime Canada. They have been passing very close to shore by the thousands, sometimes right over the jetties, presenting an opportunity to study their various plumages, as they mature from immature (gray-brown in coloration) to adult (white with black wingtips) over four years. This short video was taken early this morning (Apr. 6) in North Wildwood, as over 8,500 passed by in one hour - over 10,000 passed by before 10:00 AM. Gannets have been reported in large numbers from the southern Delaware Bayshore to Sea Isle - a great place to witness the spectacle is at the Coral Ave. dune crossing in Cape May Point, where the Springwatch is underway every day, starting at sunrise and continuing for at least 3 hours. Stop by and join in the fun, or follow the counts at! Truly a remarkable sight to see!!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

PREDICTIVE BIRDING 101 with Tom Reed - April 14 & 15

It may seem like magic that certain birders always seem to be at the right place at the right time, but is it really?  Join Tom Reed for a weekend of learning and exploring some of the tricks that experienced field birders use to maximize their time in the field - the calendar, tide cycles, weather events, geography, habitat, and history, among others. Expect to split time between indoor sessions and outdoor. Check out this new and exciting addition to the Cape May School of Birding - sure to take your birding to the next level.  

Saturday, April 14 & Sunday, April 15
7:00 AM - 3:30 PM
$150 members, $200 nonmembers

Register now at: Cape May School of Birding

Thursday, March 29, 2018

2018 SCHOOL OF BIRDING Workshops - Here they are!!!

There are few places in the world that can equal or surpass the birding phenomenon at Cape May. Likewise, our Cape May School of Birding is unequaled for its range of content and quality of leaders - providing a fun, interactive, and personal setting to learn about birds and nature!!!!!

Our full 2018 schedule of in-depth workshop is now set, and we have brought back many of the favorites and added some exciting new programs. These one-three day events are led by experts in their field: world-class birders and naturalists that have often written the guides we all rely on. Our intimate approach to enjoyment and teaching will provide the opportunity and information you need to grow in understanding and appreciation. While the majority of time is spent in the field watching birds and nature, some of the workshops will incorporate an indoor session – a chance to demonstrate and discuss identification, techniques, conservation, and ecology. Along the way, you’ll meet like-minded people and are sure to form lasting memories and friendships. From beginner to advanced, all are welcome! All the while, your registration fees are helping support the mission of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory.

Several new additions are  coming up soon in April - Predictive Birding 101 with Tom Reed (April 14), Birding With A Purpose with Tom Johnson (April 22), and Visible Migration/Birds in Flight with Tom Reed (April 28) - touching on where/when to bird, documentation and eBird, and the magic of bird migration.

Don't wait!!!! Check out all the details and register now at:  Cape May School of Birding

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

2018 George Myers Naturalist - Rebecca Perruci

We're very pleased to have Rebecca Perruci joining the New Jersey Audubon "family" as this year's George Myers Naturalist, helping to educate and engage people about nature and birds in Cape May and beyond. Please welcome her when you see her out in the field or at one of the centers, and know she is making a difference and learning at the same time. In her own words:

"Hi, my name is Rebecca Perruci and I am so excited to become a part of the New Jersey Audubon community this year! I have always been fascinated with the animal kingdom and enjoy being out in nature. I pursued these interests with a degree in Zoo and Wildlife Biology from Malone University in Canton, Ohio. Being surrounded by wonderful teachers, mentors, and friends, I couldn’t help but be encouraged in my love for birds and birding. After graduating in 2016, I decided to channel my desire to help birds into the field of zoo-keeping. I have been working as a bird keeper at the Gulf Breeze Zoo in Gulf Breeze, Florida, for almost two years. My time at the zoo has helped me discover that what I love most of all, though, is teaching people about animals and the natural world around them. It is my goal to share my love of birds through public education, so as to inspire the next generation of biologists and conservationists. When I’m not out birding—which, admittedly, is most of the time—I can be found trail running, painting and drawing, and spending time with my Yellow-naped Amazon Parrot."

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Welcome David Brown to the Montclair Hawkwatch

With temperatures slowly climbing and the days getting longer, spring raptor migration is underway. For the 36th consecutive year, a Spring Hawkwatch is being conducted at the Mills Reservation on Edgecliff Rd. in Montclair, NJ - every day until May 15 (9:00 am - 5:00 pm).

New Jersey Audubon is pleased to announce and welcome this year's counter - David Brown:

David hails from Montoursville, PA. He is on the board of directors of the Lycoming Audubon Society. His local hawkwatch is the Route 15 Overlook. Last fall he was the counter at the Ashland Hawkwatch in Delaware. David has a degree in mathematics from Lycoming College. Outside of birding, he enjoys photography and playing guitar.

He is already counting and totaled 16 raptors on his first day (March 16th), including Turkey Vultures, Cooper's Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, and a Red-shouldered Hawk. You'll be able to follow along as we live stream the count on our website -  Live Data through Trektellen (check back if it's not up and running yet), or check the whole season at under Montclair - Hawkwatch. Better yet, please stop by and make him feel welcome and share in the joy of hawkwatching!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

GULLS SIMPLIFIED with Michael O'Brien - March 31

From the brown and mottled to the clean and gray, you either love gulls or you don't. Whatever camp you're in, join Michael O'Brien on this School of Birding workshop for a morning in the field, learning the easy way to separate the common wintering gulls from the less common and even rare, such as a Iceland Gull. You'll also learn to cut through the fancy terminology around age and molt. After lunch, you'll head indoors for a review of gull plumages, aging, and rare species. By the end, you're sure to love gulls, too. Preregistration required.

Saturday, March 31
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
$90 members, $120 nonmembers

Register now at: CMBO Programs

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Watching the sea in spring

March 1st was the kickoff for the newest migration count in Cape May, dubbed "Springwatch". This all-volunteer count has been going on for a few years but over the last three has become more regularly carried out on a daily basis between March and June.

Last year New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory was able to house several volunteer counters for the Springwatch, and this year we've gone a step further and offered some administrative support in addition to housing, for facilitating those who are willing to come and put in a few days to a few weeks of counting. The count continues to be led by Tom Reed, Cape May Co. native and author of the birding year in review for our annual journal, the Peregrine Observer. Tom has been splitting his time between Cape May and Duluth, MN, and has recently returned to carry out the spring count. You can track the movement of birds each day on the site (today's count is here:, or just show up to the Coral Avenue dune crossover any day between now and the end of May. The count begins at sunrise and continues for a minimum of 3 hours. The count may continue longer if the flight warrants it, and on rainy days the count is moved to the sheltered side of the Sunset Grille at the west end of Sunset Boulevard.

I had the pleasure of being the counter last Saturday morning and really enjoyed the diversity of birds that graced my view over the three hours, despite the overall low volume (winds howling out of the NW are not conducive to large flights in spring!). I especially enjoy watching the Bonaparte's Gulls (Chroicocephalus philadelphia ; Ord 1815) and their distinct flutter-flight, so buoyant in the air, and distinctly marked with a bright white wedge on the leading edge of their wing. I didn't have a chance to photograph birds while I was counting, so I headed out to Sunset Beach this morning to see if I could grab a few shots. The conditions were less than favorable (cloudy and rainy) but the birds were close to shore and putting on a show as they fed in the tumultuous whitewater.
Bonaparte's Gull with headlights on and coming in hot!
Three "Bonies" with a 1st-winter bird leading the two adults
Bonaparte's are a "two-year gull" meaning it takes two years for them to reach adult plumage. At this time of year all Bonaparte's are in winter plumage, sporting a white head with dark ear spot and black bill. Legs are bubblegum pink and obvious when the birds are standing on the beach. Birds born last summer have bold dark markings on the upper sides of their wings, as well as the tip of their tail, making them easily recognizable as "1st winter" birds (this is their first winter since they were born). Adult birds, in contrast, show clean gray backs and all-white tails.

Unique among gulls, Bonaparte's Gull nest almost exclusively in trees within the remote taiga and boreal forests of Canada and Alaska. Lucky for us, in winter they can be quite social and indifferent to humans, providing great opportunities to view them near shore especially along the Delaware Bay!

Another really cool sighting which occurred yesterday and continued again this morning, was of a Thick-billed Murre swimming close to shore both mornings. Dustin Welch captured a few shots of this uncommon-from-shore seabird yesterday when it was initially found by the Springwatch counters. Here's one of Dustin's great photos:

Thick-billed Murre © Dustin Welch
Of course as we progress into spring we will see diversity begin to ramp up quite quickly, so if you'd like to check out some of the great birds Cape May has to offer be sure to join us on one of our guided walks, attend one of our School of Birding workshops, or get a personal tour with our guide-for-hire service.

All the info you need is in our quarterly program guide, the Kestrel Express, downloadable here:
Or free to pick up at our Northwood Center, 701 E. Lake Drive.

We hope to see you soon here in Cape May!

A winter-plumaged Red-throated Loon from Sunset Beach
Red-breasted Merganser, the punk rock duck!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Each year the dance or nuptial flight of the male American Woodcock heralds spring. Witness this wonderful and short-lived spring phenomenon. Join Associate Naturalists Janet Crawford and Karen Johnson at the Center for Research and Education for a brief indoor session, then travel to a nearby woodcock hotspot to experience it yourself. Preregistration required.
Saturday, March 17
5:00 - 7:00 PM
$15 members, $20 nonmembers

Register now at: CMBO Programs

And the 2018 LAGU Award goes to...

Tom Johnson!

Congrats to Tom for finding the first Laughing Gull (LAGU) of 2018 (found on February 26th, at the Cape May / Lewes Ferry Terminal), an annual tradition that typically occurs around the first week of March, and has local birders calling from the hills: “bring on the spring migrants!”

Tom Johnson's Laughing Gull on February 26th

March 1 was also the kickoff of the volunteer-based visible migration count dubbed “Springwatch” which takes place daily from the Coral Avenue Dune Crossover on Cape May Point starting at sunrise and continuing for at least 3 hours depending on flight volume. Come visit our volunteer counters at your leisure, or contact Program Director Brett Ewald (brett.ewald AT to inquire about becoming a volunteer counter. You can also follow along on to see what's being spotted each morning.

Good Birding!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Iridescent Cacophony

We're in the transition between winter and spring, when gregarious blackbird flocks continually descend on the feeders at the Northwood Center and the trees are full of metallic calls, guttural gurgles, and a variety of whistles. Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) are one of the most common icterids in Cape May right now, along with Red-winged Blackbirds and a smaller number of Rusty Blackbirds.
"purple" Common Grackle perched above the Ryan De Witt Memorial Trail at the Northwood Center
Common Grackles come in three "flavors": purple, bronze and the southeastern subspecies colloquially refereed to as the "Florida Grackle" despite breeding from North Carolina to Louisiana. In Cape May we can get both the purple (Quiscalus quiscula stonei ; Chapman, 1935; Named for Dr. Witmer Stone, author of Bird Studies at Old Cape May - thanks to Scott McConnell for pointing this out!) and the bronze (Q. q. versicolor ; Vieillot, 1819) subspecies, as the bronze is most migratory and passes over the range of both the purple and "Florida" subspecies. Currently the flock behind Northwood has been dominated by the purple subspecies which breed south of Southeast New York, and east of the Appalachians down to Alabama and central Louisiana. Keep an eye out, though, as the bronze birds continue to pass through on their return migration and get mixed up in these big blackbird flocks over the next few weeks!
"purple" Common Grackle at the Northwood feeder

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Have Fun Helping Us Count!!! The Great Backyard Bird Count - February 17

Come one, come all - and help us count some birds!!! CMBO is pleased to once again host a Great Backyard Bird Count Event - taking place this Saturday, February 17th at the Northwood Center in Cape May Point (701 East Lake Dr.). Join Pete Dunne and Associate Naturalist on hourly "walks" - counting all the birds we see at the feeders, trails behind the building, and on Lake Lily across the street. Counts are scheduled for 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm, but show up any time and take part. Let's see who can come up with the most species or the most individuals of a certain species - all of our counts will be submitted to the official online count. A great chance to learn more about wintering birds. Most of all, lets' have some fun!!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

TECHNIQUES OF FIELD OBSERVATION with Michael O'Brien - February 17

Sharpen your field skills in the workshop that every birder wishes they'd taken. Binoculars show you the bird. Field guides identify the bird.  But how many times have you studied a bird, only to discover that all of the information you gathered has evaporated by the time you get to the field guide, or that the one field mark you need to distinguish one from another was the one thing you failed to note? Join expert birder Michael O'Brien on this in-depth School of Birding Workshop - it will teach you how to look, record and recall, and most importantly, how to bird like an expert. Preregistration required.

Saturday, February 17
8:00 - 4:30 PM
$90 members, $120 nonmembers

Register now at CMBO Programs

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Update on yesterday's wild Snowy Owl chase: SURPRISE!

Well, as I pointed out in yesterday's post, although Steve Huy had noted a Snowy Owl leaving Cape Henlopen at approximately 2:13pm, and I was able to locate a Snowy Owl on Cape May Point at approximately 2:47pm, 34 minutes later and plenty of time for the bird to have crossed, photographs provided by Steve this morning show that the two owls are not the same! Thanks to Keith Betts, who snapped a few photos before the bird took off, we can confirm that the owls were indeed different individuals. Here are two photos of the bird that left Cape Henlopen yesterday afternoon around 2:13pm.

Snowy Owl on Cape Henlopen 1/29/2018. Photo by Keith Betts.

Snowy Owl on Cape Henlopen 1/29/2018. Photo by Keith Betts.

and here, again, is the bird found on Cape May Point at approximately 2:47pm:

The Snowy Owl from Cape May Point on 1/29/2018.
The bird from Cape May Point, while showing some dark markings on the wings and breast, was considerably lighter marked throughout than the Cape Henlopen bird. The Cape Henlopen bird appears to be a classic Juvenile Female bird, large, and very dark. The bird at Cape May Point is unknown as to age/sex but if a juvenile bird it could be male or female. Without a good look at the spread tail, or better yet, direct measurements like wing chord length and body weight, it's very hard to tell. One thing we do know for sure, though, is that there are many snowy owls throughout the northern US right now, with New Jersey hosting upwards of a dozen individuals (but quite possibly more than that).

Good Birding!


Monday, January 29, 2018

A dreary day turned SNOW day on Cape May Point

As I sat at my desk at the Northwood Center, working on my recent Cuba trip report (I promise I'll finish it this week), I got a text message from friend and Project SNOWstorm collaborator Steve Huy. 
"Female [Snowy] owl crossing the bay from Henlopen right now. Headed your way."
I noted the interesting sighting, but considered staying at my desk and finishing up the report...but the time it takes for a given species to cross Delaware Bay, from Cape Henlopen to Cape May, is something of interest to us at CMBO and something we try and track during fall migration as raptors stream over the bay on their southbound pilgrimage. Armed with that self-imposed task, I grabbed my camera and headed over to the Coral Avenue dune crossover. In the time it took me to get motivated, grab the camera, and head out the door, my arrival at Coral Avenue was approximately 21 minutes after the initial text from Steve. Based on other raptor crossings, I knew that this bird could have made it across in 15-20 minutes, so whether I would see the bird actually crossing open water seemed like a long shot. I scanned over the bay and picked up a few birds on the water: a small group of 4 Greater Scaup, a few Red-throated Loons, a lone Black Scoter, a few lines of scoter way out (Black or Surf; I couldn't tell with only my binoculars). Then a large distant bird could be seen coming directly towards me and my heart skipped a beat, but quickly recovered when I realized it was only a young Herring Gull (born last summer, and quite bleached out light brown). A few more gulls later, and a nice flyby calling Bonaparte's Gull, I still lacked any sign of the great white Arctic owl.
Four Greater Scaup in the surf between Coral Ave. and St. Peter's

A lone Bonaparte's Gull was quite vocal as it flew west past Coral Ave.
"Just a few more minutes", I told myself, as my mind wandered to the report I had left in limbo back at the office. I walked down to the water's edge to get a better look at the scaup, and continued on to the west wondering if the bird Steve had seen might have made landfall here and settled into the dunes.

I never saw the bird come over water, and I never saw it take off from the dunes, but before I knew it I saw it flying around the corner in front of me. I still don't know where it came from, and until I see photos to compare, at this point I don't know if it's the same bird that Steve had seen heading north from Cape Henlopen, but one thing was for sure: there was a Snowy Owl on Cape May Point! I walked up the beach quickly in order to determine whether the bird had flown on or perched, and realized it was indeed posted on a nice piling, in the dunes between two of the main crossovers. I backtracked to the perimeter road and walked the pavement to Surf Avenue, where from the dune crossover I could see the bird, relaxed but aware, taking in the dune scenery. Doubling back again I headed to the Cape Avenue dune crossover which put me about equidistant, but at a better angle given the light, and enabled me to spend a few minutes observing the bird, noting its plumage, and snapping off a few photos to compare to Steve's later tonight. I did notice that the bird was not carrying a transmitter, so is not one of our currently tagged birds. Whether or not it was the "big, dark female" Steve had mentioned remains to be seen. Stay tuned for an update later this week.

The Snowy Owl from Surf Ave. dune crossing.
The same bird from Cape Ave. dune crossing; yawning!
Of course the real adventure is in the journey, not necessarily the destination, and while the Snowy Owl was an absolute treat, getting outside on this otherwise dreary and cold day was something I didn't expect to do, but in hindsight really needed. There were numerous American Robins littering the lawns on Cape May Point, feeding on whatever berries or worms they could procure (the ground is well thawed right now, for a little while at least), accompanied by White-throated and Song Sparrows. Having run into Mike Pasquarello at Surf Avenue, I also heard that there was quite a Bonaparte's Gull show down at Sunset Beach near the Concrete Ship. No doubt a Black-headed Gull or two is somewhere to be found for the intrepid birder, as two were present on the Delaware Bay shore on Friday.

If you're looking for some help getting out this winter, this Saturday has several great options including our Birding Cape May Point walk from 8:00 - 10:00am (meeting near the Hawkwatch platform at Cape May Point State Park; $10 - Non-members; $6 - Members; FREE - Life Members) and the Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival.

Click here to download our Kestrel Express which includes all of the offerings taking place this winter, of which there are many in February, which (gasp) is right around the corner!

Good Birding,

David La Puma
Director, NJ Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory

Saturday, January 27, 2018


Long-tailed Ducks court during the weeks surrounding Valentine's Day, with the males yodeling melodically to their mates.  We'll search for Long-tailed Ducks and many other waterfowl in the ocean, bays, inlets and ponds from Avalon to Cape May Harbor, enjoying all that late winter has to offer. Join Chuck and Mary Jane Slugg and other CBMO Naturalists on this exciting Special Field Trip. Preregistration required.

Saturday, February 10, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
$24 members, $32 nonmembers

Register now at: CMBO Programs


Friday, January 19, 2018


Ducks and geese are massing and Northern Harriers will be hunting. Short-eared Owls, eagles, and Rough-legged Hawks are also possible. Join Janet Crawford, Karen Johnson and CMBO Naturalists on this Special Field Trip for an exciting day of winter birding. Takes place at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR. After birding the refuge, the group will head to nearby Mott's Creek for more raptor watching. Preregistration required. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018
1:00 - 5:00 PM
$24 members, $32 nonmembers

Register now at: CMBO Programs

WINTERING HAWKS, EAGLES & OWLS Workshop Summary - January 13 & 14

We had a wonderful couple days searching the extensive marshes along the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bayshore for raptors of all kinds on this exciting School of Birding Workshop. These marshes play host to a large diversity and number of raptors and other birds, as evidenced by the checklist below. Bald Eagles and Northern Harriers were especially numerous, allowing for the study of various plumages relating to age and sex. We encountered numerous adult and juvenile Bald Eagles, with several two and three-year old birds seen, as well. Northern Harriers were overwhelmingly in the juvenile category, but several adult females were noted, along with a single “Gray Ghost” adult male. Interesting behaviors were enjoyed both days, including a Merlin unsuccessfully chasing a Yellow-rumped Warbler and harassing a Cooper’s Hawk, a Red-tailed Hawk mantling carrion to discourage Turkey Vultures, a Short-eared Owl dive-bombing a Rough-legged Hawk, and a Rough-legged Hawk forcing a Northern Harrier to drop its prey. The adult Peregrine Falcon that passed by in the glowing sunset at Jake’s Landing was carrying some sort of prey. Even the gulls were very predatory, as we watched a Great Black-backed Gull catch and dispatch a Bufflehead along the beach. It was a fun weekend with many highlights, including an adult Golden Eagle. Although focused on raptors, a full accounting of the 62 species encountered is below:

Snow Goose – 150+

Brant – 150+

Canada Goose – 100+

Mute Swan – 25

Tundra Swan – 1

American Black Duck – 150+

Mallard – 16

Northern Pintail – 5

Greater Scaup – 14

Common Eider – 4

Surf Scoter – 16

White-winged Scoter – 1

Black Scoter – 5

Long-tailed Duck – 28

Bufflehead – 16

Hooded Merganser – 15

Common Merganser – 9

Red-breasted Merganser – 3

Common Loon – 4

Great Cormorant – 1

Great Blue Heron – 5

Black Vulture – 14

Turkey Vulture – 43

Bald Eagle – 32

Northern Harrier – 33

Cooper’s Hawk – 1

Red-tailed Hawk – 11

Rough-legged Hawk – 2 (light morph juvenile, light morph adult male)

Golden Eagle – 1 (adult)

Merlin – 1

Peregrine Falcon – 1 (adult)

Black-bellied Plover – 5

Ruddy Turnstone – 3

Sanderling – 13

Purple Sandpiper – 5

Dunlin – 88

Ring-billed Gull – 2

Herring Gull – 1000+

Great Black-backed Gull – 9

Mourning Dove – 25+

Short-eared Owl – 3

Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1

Blue Jay – 2

American Crow – 2

Carolina Chickadee – 2

Tufted Titmouse – 2

Hermit Thrush – 1

American Robin – 100+

Northern Mockingbird – 1

European Starling – 50+

Yellow-rumped Warbler j- 14

Savannah Sparrow – 5 “Ipswich”

Song Sparrow – 4

White-throated Sparrow – 10+

Swamp Sparrow – 1

Dark-eyed Junco – 2

Northern Cardinal – 2

Red-winged Blackbird – 50+

Eastern Meadowlark – 13

Common Grackle – 25+

Boat-tailed Grackle – 1

House Sparrow - 3
Bald Eagle - adult                                      © Kelly Voorhees

Turkey Vultures - carrion                          © Kelly Voorhees

Merlin                                        © Kelly Voorhees

Golden Eagle - adult                                  © Kelly Voorhees

Mott's Creek                           © Kelly Voorhees

Common Loon                                         © Kelly Voorhees

"Ipswich" Savannah Sparrow                   © Kelly Voorhees

Friday, January 12, 2018


We are embarking on a first-of-its-kind, citizen science study in January and February - a survey of wintering "Ipswich" Savannah Sparrows at selected sites throughout the coastline of New Jersey, from Sandy Hook in the north all the way around Cape May Point and up the Delaware Bayshore. Past observations have shown that the dunes and marshes of NJ are a preferred habitat for this unique subspecies with a restricted breeding range on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. We are also hoping to note the presence of color-banded individuals from the breeding grounds this past summer. We have selected the target dates of January 20 and February 17 for 2018 (with a bad weather day the following day). You can find out more about this fascinating bird in an article by Michael Kilpatrick in the 2017 Peregrine Observer - available to members or for purchase at NJ Audubon centers. If you have an interest in participating, and can identify and separate Ipswich Savannah Sparrows, please pass along you interest ASAP to Brett Ewald, Program Director at and get involved!

© Michael Kilpatrick

Saturday, January 6, 2018


Join CMBO's Associate Naturalists on this Special Field Trip to the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge's Two Mile Beach Unit. We'll see shorebirds, gulls, and waterfowl as we walk the beach to the Cold Spring Jetty where we'll look for Great Cormorant and Purple Sandpiper. We'll go to the duck blind overlooking the salt ponds, and, if there's time, we'll visit a nearby back bay location for other wintering waterfowl. A great afternoon of winter birding. Preregistration required.

Saturday, January 13
1:00 - 4:00 PM
$15 members, $20 nonmembers

Register now at: CMBO Programs