As winter settles in, we'll help you learn where to go to find birds and how to identify them. Discover how to get
the most out of field guides and optics. For absolute beginners, backyard
birders, and any birder who wants to improve their skills. Join Associate Naturalist Chuck Slugg at the Northwood Center in Cape May Point. Numbers limited, so
please all 609.400.3864 to reserve a space. Family-friendly
(recommended for age 12 and up).
Saturday, December 16
1:00 - 3:00 PM Cost: $15 members, $25 nonmembers (includes a
$10 certificate towards membership)
Looking for a spring getaway that provides an incredible array of fantastic birds? New Jersey Audubon has just what you're looking for - a tour to avian rich South Texas!
Experience an amazing blend of Mexican specialties, spring migration, coastal treasures, and endangered species at one of the continent’s most popular birding destinations. We’ll be there at the peak time for diversity, when an overwhelming abundance of migrants mix with the many tropical species found nowhere else in the United States. Over 200 species are likely on this trip through diverse habitats like barrier beaches, tall-grass savannah, native palm trees and hill country. And to top it off, one or more incredible Mexican rarities show up almost every year.
We’ll start off along the Gulf Coast, an area that hosts the rare Whooping Crane and the largest raptor migration in the United States, involving hundreds of thousands of birds. A wide selection of waterfowl, shorebirds, and waders will also add to the excitement, with incredible views of Roseate Spoonbill, Reddish Egret, and much more. Migrant traps along the coast may also turn up songbirds whose movements are already underway. Our passage inland on the way south to the Valley will provide an opportunity for a variety of different species and for the study of unique raptors like Crested Caracara. We will keep our eyes open for the breathtaking beauty of a Vermillion Flycatcher or a hard-to-find Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, the unbelievable sight of hundreds of American White Pelicans wheeling through the sky, and common migrants like the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.
Entering the Lower Rio Grande Valley is like stepping into another birding world, with tropical species at many locations. We will be greeted by Plain Chachalacas, Green Jays, Chihuahuan Ravens, and Great Kiskadees while searching for gems like Hook-billed Kite, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Ringed Kingfisher, Least Grebe, Aplomado Falcon, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Tropical Parula, White-collared Seedeater, Olive Sparrow, and so many more!! And the number of Mexican rarities to grace this region is phenomenal, with unbelievable sightings such as Crane Hawk, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, and White-throated Robin, and the likes of Blue Mockingbird, Green-breasted Mango, Slate-throated Redstart, and Golden-crowned Warbler recorded in recent years.
We’ll finish our trek in the Texas Hill Country, a unique habitat that hosts the endangered Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler – the only place in the world this species nests. While here, where East meets West, we’ll encounter another suite of species, including Yellow-throated Vireo, Painted Bunting, Canyon Wren, and more, and may have a chance to witness millions of Mexican Free-tailed bats as they exit a cave. This is a trip that a birder will treasure for a lifetime!
You can find more detailed information and how to register at NJA Eco-Travel, along with our full schedule of upcoming tours. Hope you'll join us!
With December on our doorstep, its time to think about all those beautiful winter birds that will be around in the coming months. To help you enjoy them, we have an exciting schedule of walks and workshops planned - check it out at our online calendar or through the digital version of the Winter Kestrel Express. From our relaxed weekly walks (Cape May to Cumberland County) and Special Field Trips (Coastal Birding at Two Mile, Kick of Your Year List, Winter Wanderings, Brigantine and Mott's Creek, Long-tails in Love) to our more in-depth Cape May School of Birding Workshops (Wintering Hawks, Eagles, and Owls, Techniques of Field Observation, Gulls Simplified), you're sure to find the perfect outing. You will need to preregister for the Special Field Trips and Workshops at CMBO Programs, while our weekly walks are drive-up ready. And don't forget, our Seawatch at Avalon (sponsored by Swarovski Optik and the Borough of Avalon) continues until Dec. 22nd, with lots more seabirds to be counted. Hope you'll join us in making the most of what winter has to offer!!
Thanks to Michael Kilpatrick for the photo of the Long-tailed Duck!
Join CMBO Naturalists on this Special Field Trip at the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge's Two Mile Beach Unit for some exciting late fall birding. 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. Saturday, December 9 1:00 - 4:00 PM Cost: $15 members, $20 nonmembers Register now at: CMBO Programs
Ducks and other waterfowl are massing, Northern Harriers, and perhaps Short-eared Owls, will be hunting. Eagles and Rough-legged Hawks are also possible. Join Janet Crawford, Karen Johnson, and other CMBO naturalists on this Special Field Trip at Brigantine, a.k.a. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. After birding the refuge the group will head to nearby Mott's Creek for raptor watching. A refuge pass ($4; can be purchased that day), Golden Age Pass, or federal duck stamp will be required for each vehicle to enter the NWR.
Join us as we explore the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge's Two Mile Beach Unit. Formerly a part of the Coast Guard base, just south of Wildwood Crest, the Two Mile Beach Unit contains barrier island (with beachfront) habitat, tidal ponds, and some of the last remnants of maritime forest habitats in southern New Jersey. As we walk the beach to the Cold Spring jetty, we'll see shorebirds, gulls, and waterfowl, as well as offshore migrants such as Northern Gannett and scoters. We'll also visit the duck blind to view the salt ponds for wintering ducks and raptors. If time allows, we'll visit a nearby back bay location for additional wintering waterfowl.
Come with us on a wonderful exploration of the very best birding sites in Cumberland County. The final route will depend on the latest bird news, but our search for an array of ducks, raptors, and much more could include any of the following hotspots: East Point for migrant raptors and other birds; the "Bluffs" on the Maurice river; the Natural Lands Trust's Peek Preserve and other little-known spots in Cumberland County.
Sunday, November 5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
$24 members, $32 nonmembers