Birding Group to Host Program on Raptors

May 23, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill A Northern Harrier

Birdwatchers who like to observe raptors such as hawks, harries and falcons have a haven in Cape May, where these birds of prey can be observed from September to November.

The Cape May Raptor Banding Project has been operating in Cape May for decades, and their president, Paul Napier, will present a program on the project at the Southern Ocean Birding Group meeting on June 7, 6:30 p.m. at the Tuckerton Seaport’s Hunting Shanty. Meetings are free with no reservations required; light refreshments will be available.

The group has several banding stations located around Cape May every fall. Volunteers capture the raptors, place U.S. Geological Survey bands on them, record measurements and release them. The information is sent to the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory and is available to various research projects. Since 1974, over 146,000 raptors have been banded. During migrations, these birds may be recaptured to check the band, or if the band is found, the information is reported back to the USGS.

Volunteers also participate in the Cape May Hawk Watch every Saturday and Sunday for public educational sessions. Usually, three to five raptors in cylindrical tubes are brought over and each bird is taken out and shown to the public.

For further information, email soceanbirds@yahoo.com.  —E.E.

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