CAPE MAY -- The longest running birding festival in the country just keeps getting better.
New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory, in Cape May, invites you to be a big part of the fall migration, October 19-22. Registration is now open at NJAudubon.org,
Four official migratory counts will be highlighted during the four-day annual event: The Monarch Monitoring Project, the Avalon Seawatch, the Morning Flight Songbird Count, and, of course, the celebrated Cape May Hawkwatch. There is no better way to be immersed in the storied birding experience than by attending this festival in Cape May.
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There is an abundant selection of walks for nature lovers of all skill levels, in addition to special photography walks, as well as insightful and entertaining indoor programs.
Want to work on your hawk identification? Registration includes Hawk ID Master Classes every afternoon at The Bleachers on Stevens Street overlooking the Rea Farm fields. Same for sea birds at the bleachers on the beach in Avalon. There are boat trips and special trolley trips for additional costs that are only open to festival registrants.
Registration is $65 per day or $175 for all three days.
Join Cape May's famous birders, Pete Dunne and Kevin Karlson, on Friday, October 20 to learn more about their new book "Birds of Prey." And on October 21, New Jersey Audubon welcomes its bird observatory partners from Sweden and the United Kingdom - Falsterbo and Spurn - both of which sit on peninsulas like Cape May Bird Observatory, to learn aboutinternational collaborations in migration monitoring.
There's also the three-hour “Trip to the Rips” on October 21 from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm to get some up close and personal looks at sea birds with New Jersey Audubon's crew of guides.
The schedule is constantly changing with new opportunities. New Jersey Audubon will contact registrants via email with new programs. Check the website – njaudubon.org – from time to time for new additions.
During the event, the Cape May Convention Hall will be open and free to the public and will feature Jonathan Wood's Raptor Project, a collection of live hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons with multiple interactive shows per day. There will also be many vendors to visit in the convention hall ranging from acclaimed artisans to sport optics companies to global leaders in nature-based tourism.
Visit NJAudubon.org to register, select your schedule of walks, boat trips and other special events. Evening programs and the October 21 mini-pelagic “Trip to the Rips” may be purchased separately on the same registration page.